Tug o’ war took place between two ships in the Solent

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In 1845 a duel took place at Spithead to determine the merits of the paddle versus the screw.

The duel was between the paddleship Alecto and the screwship Rattler

Both ships had exactly the same tonnage and power.

The two ships were then secured stern to stern and ordered to go at full speed ahead.

After some struggle, with the Alecto churning the waters around her but getting nowhere and at a speed of two-and-a-half knots, Rattler quietly towed her opponent across the waters of the Solent.

After this the screw came into its own.