Doyle Doesn't Fear Submarine Raids

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Doyle Doesn't Fear Submarine Raids is an interview of Arthur Conan Doyle published as an article in The New-York Times on 19 february 1915. The interview occurred after the publication of his short-story "Danger!" in The Strand Magazine.

Conan Doyle as he appears here

The New-York Times, 19 february 1915


Says His Story That Inspired German Blockade Dealt with Inventions of the Future.


But if the Germans Had Had Five Year More They Might Have Utilized the Idea.

Special cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

LONDON. Feb. 18 — "Neutral Observer's" statement in The Times that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story "Danger," which appeared in The Strand magazine last July, suggested the idea to the Germans of a submarine blockade of England, has aroused considerable interest here.

The story tells how a King of the imaginary state of Norland, while at war with Great Britain, found himself in an apparently hopeless position in consequence of his enemy's mighty naval power and was on the point of surrendering when one of his naval captains submitted a plan which he said would bring England to her knees in a few weeks. Norland's fleet was to be gathered in a fortified harbor protected fromattacks by booms and piles. The captain was to have command of eight submarines with which he purposed to destroy England's food imports, reducing her to the verge of stravation. The plan was adopted and proved entirely succesful.

Sir Arthur, in a statement to a reporter today, said:

"I need hardly say that it is very painful to me to think that anything I have written should be turned against my own country. The object of the story was to warn the public of a possible danger which I saw overhanging this country and to show it how to avoid that danger.

"In the story I place the incidents of the submarine blockade some years hence ; it was a story of the future, and my reason was that, after studying the subject, I concluded that the submarine at present was not capable of the result which I depicted. But it is still my opinion that if this war had been delayed for five years, and if the submarine during that time had gone on improving as rapidly as it has done in the past, England would have been placed in a most serious position, exactly as outlined in the story.

"I am quite sure, in the present circumstances, that although we may possibly lose more ships, the German blockade can have no serious effect on the war."