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While I agree with J Bishop (NCE 2 December) that a submerged claw would be effective in destabilising a boat, I would like to point the reader towards Engineering in the ancient world by Dr JE Landels.

It corroborates the approach taken in the Secrets of the Ancients television programme. By attacking the front of the vessel with missiles, forcing the invaders towards the stern, while simultaneously lifting the bow, the boat would become awash.

Will Benedikz, will_benedikz@mmsite.freeserve

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