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The whales revenge and firing a bomb lance
Whales and whaling pictures - 8

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Not infrequently the process of getting very close to an enraged animal many times larger than the boat itself would result in the boat being smashed.  

As time progressed and technology advanced, so the "bomb lance" was invented. This was a large and extremely heavy gun not unlike a shotgun that fired a heavy-weight missile that penetrated the whale and exploded hopefully killing the whale and rendering it unnecessary to proceed closer and use the hand lance. Like much new technology, this was very unpopular at first, the "kick" of the heavy missile in one direction could easily knock the firer over backwards or even overboard in the other direction.

An engraving from "The cruise of the Cachalot"

 

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