Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
894
[WAR VESSELS
SHIP


I8-in. 25-ton guns, and the “ Cyclops, ” “ Gorgon, " “ Hecate ” and “ Hydra, " each of 3560 tons and provided with two turrets carrying two I0-in. I8-ron guns. They were protected with armour from 8 to I2 in. thick, and their speed was from IO to 12 knots. The “ Devastation, ” commenced in 1869, represented Reed's views of what a sea»going turret ship should be. Low sides were adopted, but not in combination with rigging and sails. She was the first sea-going battleship in the British navy which depended wholly on steam power for propulsion. She was 285 ft. long, 62 ft. 3 in. broad, 27 ft. mean draught and 9330 tons displacement. Her sides, which, except right forward, rose only to a height of 4 ft. 6 in. above water, were protected with armour 12 in. thick. Her armament consisted of four 35-ton guns, mounted in pairs in two turrets, one at each end of a raised breastwork or redoubt which extended about ISO ft. along the middle of the upper deck. The guns were thus elevated to the height of some 14 ft. above the surface of the water. The turrets were protected by armour 12 in. and 14 in. thick, and the breastwork or redoubt by armour IO in. and 12 in. thick. A forecastle extended forward from the fore-end of the breastwork at a height of 9 ft. 3 in. above the water-line; but in wake of this forecastle the side armour dropped to a height of only 4 in. above the surface of the water, at which level there was an armoured deck. She was provided with twin-screw

machinery of 7000 I.H.P., which gave

her a speed of I4-2 knots, and she

and Sir N. Barnaby was placed at the head of the Construction Department.

The sea-going qualities of the “ Devastation ” had successfully demonstrated that the battleship of the future might depend wholly on steam propulsion; and although many naval officers and others continued to hold the View § "'th I I that sea-going ironclads must of necessity be rigged B;.;, ";';; ships, in the designs which immediately followed sail power was omitted. In the “ Iniiexible ” (Hg. 50, Plate XII.), and the sister ships “ Ajax ” and “ Agamemnon, ” the offensive power was concentrated mainly in two pairs of heavy guns, as it was in the “ Devastation ” and other turret ships which preceded them; but in them the armour defence also was concentrated over a comparatively small space amidships, the unprotected ends being formed into what was called raft bodies by belts of cork, within which was placed a portion of the ship's coal, &c. Thus the buoyancy was secured by a citadel amidships which could not be penetrated, and by ends which might be AJAX and AGAIVIEMNON (of 1876)

carried a large coal supply. After the

loss of the “ Captain, " a special com- 'i 9 " ', ;';'; mittee, including many of the highest l H

professional and scientific authorities in Y " W T Y "Y Y "W; - » the United Kiililgdom, wasf appointed }o l&Q, a i 3" 2 if exaznine into the tesi n o suc vesse v, , v , , Q, ', If ' ' ' X Q V, Of the “ Devastatiog" they reported ' .. . J . .- 1 g . . . ' v . ., :., /, .f. f, ,¢, ». ., t.s~(5»~~&Qs>® :»-, -Q-~.,3, i £, ,;:¢-:O '; that ships ot this class have stability , mw, ,, f:, ; . g MMS, M < amply sufficient to make them safe {; 5 5;£"G'"£5 iammsé BOMERS § 5, ¥;f, ,, A, ], , f MAC" ', '/ against the rolling and heaving action I § ~- = I 1 1 rift 5 5 . X of the sea "; they agreed, however, in ' iTT~TJ04 ft WT i 2 recommending a plan which the constructors

of the Admiralty had pro- 'P1a, ,, , f[#, /, ,, .DeC/, posed, with the view of increasing her grange of stability and the accommoda-

tion of the crew. This consisted in the

addition of side superstructures, formed My

by continuing up the ship's side with . . light framing and plating as high as '“ i Zhfgillasséand the level of the top of the breastwork, ,, or ear and carrying the breastwork deck over ';

to the sides. The structures were continued

aft on each side some distance ' ' Guns ru” “Ut beyond the breastwork, providing two

spacious wings, which added largely to P/GTI Of under wa/'er Protective Dec/r the cabin accommodation. A good idea Co//'er»dam, of her general appearance may be ob- Con', N " ' "” = C0ff¢"'¢i¢'"» tained from ng. 49 (Plate XIl.). The g if:

“ ¥}e'asfation ” fwgs followgd by the

“ unc erer " 0 the same dimensions, "'» 2.i"§ >.§ ! fE3, , "§ i:'“"" ' “"", ;f and the “ Dreadnought " of 10,820 i cmU'“:'“°'” tons displacement, 8000 I.H.P. and 14 §§ 1f§§§§ b':, ff, ; 3, f'i'1f3i}§ M;;f“5} knots Sppedll a vessel of higher free- board, ate wit I in. o armour § l¢" Ei""'=-"=» and caiiiying four giton guns; she

was the most powerful and best pro- Faffer-dam VTTYTT ' Coffér-dam tected Vessel of her day' FXG. 51 — Arrangement of “ Ajax " and “ Agamemnonl” Sir Edward Reed retired from the

Admiralty a short time before the “ Captain "' foundered at sea. During his seven years' term of office some forty iron armourclads of various sizes and types, besides iron cruisers and numerous other vessels, had been added to the British navy, the adoption of armour for the protection of the vital parts of ships had become established, and especially had the importance of utilizing armour in such a manner as to exclude projectiles from the region of the water-line become recognized. The change from the widely distributed armament of the first broadside armour-clads to the highly concentrated armament of the turrets, and from the high free board ship with sail-power to the low free board turret ship without sails, had also been effected; so that when Sir Edward Reed retired in/ 1870, the latest type of battleship was entirely different from that which existed when he took office; and although the construction of broadside ironclads had not been discontinued, “the wooden walls ” had practically ceased to exist. Sir Edward Reed was succeeded by a. Council of Construction composed of his immediate assistants, with Mr Barnaby (afterwards Sir Nathaniel Barnaby) as its president; but three years later this council was dissolved, riddled but (it was contended) not be destroyed. The arrangement shown in fig. SI represents the “ Ajax ” and “ Agamemnon.” The “ Iniiexible ” was similar but larger. Sir N. Barnaby described the design of the “InHexible” in 1874 g before the Institution of Naval Architects thus: “ Imagine a Hoating castle I ro ft. long and 75 ft. wide, rising 10 ft. out of the water, and having above that again two round turrets planted diagonally at its opposite corners. 'Imagine this castle and its turrets to be heavily plated with armour, and that each turret has within it two guns of about 80 tons each-perhaps in the course of a few years guns of twice 80 tons each. Conceive these guns to be capable of firing, all four together, at an enemy ahead or on either beam, and in pairs towards every point of the compass.

“ Attached to this rectangular armoured castle, but completely submerged, every part being 6 ft. to 7 ft. under water, there is a hull of the ordinary form, with a powerful ram bow, with twin screws and a submerged rudder and helm. This compound structure IS the fighting part of the ship. Seaworthiness, speed and shapeliness would be wanting in such a structure if it had no additions to it; there is therefore an unarmoured structure lying above the submerged ship and connected with it, both before and abaft the

armoured castle; and as this structure rises 20 ft. out of the water,