Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

14 articles on this Page



fHE FOREIGN SHIPS AT THE REVIEW. The first foreign warship (says the Standard) to take up her berth for the Naval Review at Spithead 1 was the Austrian ironclad Wieir. She is official!/ j described na a coast defence ship, for the Austrian Admiralty is very anxious to represent its fleet, as a purely defensive force, but iu real fact she is a good j deul more, and might be more correct-ly termed a necond-ola^a battle-ship. We have no modern vessel of her type in our navy, as for more than 10 years we h-ive mid down nothing but large ships for tbe Iino of i>;itt'e, though it, ia an open question whelher we have acted altogether wisely in adhering to such large dimensions as tboso of the Royal Sovereign, j Majestic, and Canopus. Opinion is very much i divided on the question both in England and abroad, j The large ship is faster, more seaworthy, and can Bteam a far greater distance, but then with the torpfdo-boat, which can destroy the laigcstand finest • ship in existence, the risk of placing so many eggs in one basket is very great indeed. In spite of her small size, the Wien is very heavily armed and well pro- tected. She has two turrets of 10|in.and8in. armour, one at each end of the ship. In each turret are mounted two S'4in. Krupp guns, which fire a 4701b. shot. In ad- dition to these, she has six 6in. quick-firers, mounted in a redoubt amidships, behind 3jin. armour, and 14 3-pounders. She has a complete belt of steel lQ^in. thick on the water-line, with Skin. steel again above it, so that almost her whole side is mailed. The plating is throughout of Harveyed steel, and that of very fine quality. There is a protective deck 2in. thick. The speed of the ship was 17*6 knots on trial, her displacement is 5500 tons, and she carries 500 tons of coal. She was launched in 1895 at Trieste, and cost, in all, £ 339,000. Altogether, those who see and study her will be inclined to think that she is a model which we should do well to imitate. We have no modern ironclads for work in shallow water, as our Canopus draws 4ft. more than the Wien. The Rossiya was sent to represent Russia at the Review. She carries the flag of Rear-Admiral Skrydlov, whilst on board her were, as a repreeenta- tive of the Imperial Family, the Grand Duke Cyril. She has the.distinction of being the largest cruiser in the world, after the Powerful and Terrible, and is on her way to Vladivostock, where she will strengthen the Pacific Fleet. Her displacement is 12,130, against the Powerful's 14,200; her horse- power only 14,500, against our huge ship's 25.000; and her speed 20 knots, against the Powerful's 22. She is 50ft. shorter and 2ft. 6in. narrower than our ship, but Ehe draws 2ft. less water, which is a great ad- vantage. She has triple screws, whereas the Power- ful has only twin screws. She has the further ad- vantage of a belt of lOin. steel armour protecting seven-tenths of the water-line. In our ship the water- line, is left absolutely unprotected by armour. In the Rossiya is the usual armour-deck, varying from 2in. to 2'7in. in thickness, as against 2lin. and 4in. in the Powerful. The coal supply of the Rossiya is 2500 tons, in tb3 Powerful 3000 tons, so that the British ship has here a considerable advantage. The Rossiya has five against the Powerful's four torpedo- tubes, and she supplements these with a very powerful battery. Putting the guns of the two ships side by tide, they are: Powerful, two 9 2iu.; twelve bin. quick-hrera; I sixteen 12-pdra. twenty-one small. Rossiya, four 8in.; sixteen 6in. quick-firers; six 4*7 quick-firers; thirty-two small. I The weight of metal fired in one round by all the heavy guns of the Rossiya is probably-for exact in- formation on the subject of modern Russian guns is unattainable-about 26001b. or more by all the heavy guns of th's Powerful, 19601b. Right ahead, the Powerful can fire 7801b., the Russian shipabout 5841b.; on tbe broadside, the Powerful brings to bear 13601b., the Rossiya 13191b. The odds in favour of the British ship are, therefore, none too great, and she betrays that weakness of under-armament which we shall have to observe in other British ships when contracted with smaller foreign vessels of their class. I Considering the enormous importance of the gun, and the lesson of history as to the decisive influence of a heavy broadside-for in the American war, when the combatants were approximately equal in quality, the heavier broadside almost uniformly won I —there is some ground for uneasiness in this, a3 is well understood by some of our younger and more progressive officers. The Powerfnl could scarcely venture to encounter the Rossiya J end-on, as the latter has strong armoured bulk- beads to prevent shells raking her, and the Power-I ful has not. On the other hand, all the large guns j of the Powerful are well protected, as they are placed behind 6in. armour, whilst, so far as is known, the Rossiya's guns have only shields. The Rossiya I was only launched in 1896, and her presence at Spit- head only a year later proves that the Russian dock- yards are making great advances in raniditn -ailAir type, 'Dur.'Iarger than the Powerful, is now building at St. Petersburg, and is to be launched next year. This vessel, it is said, is to have a speed of 23 knots. The next ship in interest was also a cruiser, but re- presenta the United States. The Brooklyn is about the same size as the Blake, but is a much more modern and powerful ship. She has a very curious appearance, since her masts are lower than usual, whilst her funnels aro of unprecedented height, rising 100ft. from the furnace floors below. This is an idea of Chief. Engineer Melville's, though it years ago found favour in England, when the funnels of i our cruisers building under the Jfaval Defence Act were increased in height. Within the past few months the funnels of the Powerful and Terrible have also been lengthened—a return, it will bo j observed, to the practice of our ancestors. The Brooklyn is a twin-screw ship, with engines of 18,700 horse-power, which on her trial gave her a speed of 219 knots. Delusive as are. speed tests in England, they are still more delusive in the United States, where the ships are run in very light trim, and rarely or never repeat their trial performance. We cannot, therefore, regard the Brooklyn, despite her paper speed, as being the equal in pace of the Powerful. The Brooklyn has a remarkably heavy battery, and is well armoured; she belongs, indeed, to a class of ship which are designed primarily to destroy hostile cruisers, and, secondarily, if need be, to take their place in the fighting line. She carries eight 8-in. guns in four turrets, disposed lozengewise—one forward, one aft, and one on either beam amidships. Thus six of these large guns can fire ahead, astern, or on either broad- side. The armour on te turrets is from 15in. to. 6sin. thick. There art 12 5-in. quick-firers, firing, a 501b. shell, all beh.rtd 4in. armour, as many. 6-pounders, and eight smaller guns. The quick- firers are scarcely heavy enough for so large a cruiser, and they are of a pattern inferior to ours; bnt the broadside, 17501b. in weight, is very formid- able. On the water-line there is a belt of Sin. steel for about half the Fhip's length, and a very complete system of protection by cofferdams, or small compart- ments filled with cornpith cellulose. This swells when a shot-hole admits the water, and automatically caulks the leak. The cellulose has been well tested, has been proved non-inflammable by ordinary and high- explosive shells, and might well be employed in British ships, since its virtues were demonstrated at the Yalu, where it saved two Japanese cruisers. There is an armour deck 3in. to Gin. thick. The coal carried is 1780 tons when all bunkers are filled, which, will take the ship 2000 knots at 20 knots speed, or 7000 knots at 10 knots speed. She was launched in 1895, displaces 9250 tons, and cost E700,000. The Amiral-Pothuau, representing France, is a. smaller armoured cruiser, one is of 53UU tons dis- placement, or 300 tons smaller than our cruisers of tho Minerva class, of which there will be seven at the Review. Launched in 1895, she has just passed through her trials, accomplishing 19'2 knots on the measured mile, with 10,300 horse-power. She has a complete belt of armour, varying from l'2in. to 2in., and a deck T3in. to 3'4in. thick. He guns are two of 7'4in. calibre, firing a 1651b. shot, at each end of the ship, in electrically-worked turrets of 72in. armour, and ten 5'5in. quick-firers, firing a 661b. gholl, naonnted behind shields. The guns are so arranged that one 7'4in. and four 5'5in. can fire ahead or astern, two 7'4in. and five 5-5in. on the broadside. The weight of her broadside is thus 6601b., as compared with the Minerva's 4351b., and her guns are better protected, to say nothing of her armour on the water-line. An advantage of 25 per cent. in broadside in the past usually gave victory, so that in a combat between the Pothuau and Minerva the result should not be doubtful. The British ship is a knot faster, but has two less torpedo-tubes. Of coal the Minerva carries 1000 tons to the Potbuau's 600, which is a distinct advan- tage to our ship. The muddy grey colour of the Frenchman will be remarked by all; if not beautiful, it has a workmanlike air, and saves the repainting which wou'd be necessary when our ships should j r--= their aervicerbe required in war. The Pothuau has two screws, two funnels, and two military masts. Her defects appear to be her low speed and her thin armour, which is useless against the heavy quick- firers row afloat in all navies. The Korng Wilhelm represents Germany. She is an old ship of some historic interest, since it was her ram that in 1878 sent the unhappy Grosser Eurfiirst to the bottom off Folkestone. She was built., by the Thames Ironworks as far back as 1868, for Turkey, but was sold to Prussia, and at the date of the Franco German War was the most powerful ship in the two nav<es. She was taken in hand in 1896 and thoroughly re-constructed, receiving an armour- deck and an armament of quick-firers, besides new engine*. The result is that she has been made a very formidable cruiser, and she will read as a much-needed lesson. Lying not far from her will be our Alexandra, a far better vessel in construction and design, but atiH carrying about with her the old feeble nmzale- loaders of the middle sixties. The Jvuiiig Wilhelm's battery consists of 20 6in., and IS 20-pounder quick-firers, besides a dozen smaller guns. The armour on the side ranges from 12in. to 6in., and there is a new deck of 2^in. steel plating. The displacement is 9750 tons, and the speed 15 knots. The Konig Wilhelm flies the flag of Prince Henry of Prussia, the Emperor's brother. She bas been sent, as the Emperor asserted, because he had nothing better, though he seems to have forgotten his four fine ironclads of the Brandenburg class, in his desire to read the German anti-naval party a lesson. Italy sent the largest warship in tb6 world, the Lepanto, of 15,400 tons. She is not, strictly speak- ing, a battle-ship, but, like our new Canopus classj something between the bftttle-sbip and cruiser. Sho was launched as far back as 1882, carries four 100- ton guns, with eight 6in. and four 4-7in. quick-fliers, and on trial steamed 18'3 knots. She and heir sister, the Italia, were the first gigantic shipa to be con- structed. The crew of the Lepanto is 714. The new battle-ship Fuji, built at the Thames Iron Works, represented Japan. She is an improved copy of the Centurion, only larger and far more heavily armed, launched in 1896, and completed for sea in the. Spring of this year. On trial she steamed 18k knots with 14,000 horse-power j her displacement is 12,450 tons, or 1700 tons smaller than the Royal Sovereign. She has two barbettes, one forward and the otheraft, each of 14in. Harveyed armour, and each sheltering two wire 46-ton guns. which have also the protection of strong shields. Besides these there are 10 6in. quick-firèrs-four in casemates, behind 6in. armour, and six behind shield* on ck-24 3-pounders, and fivq torpedo-tubes. Tha armour on the water-line ranges from 14iado 18in. in tkickness, and protects about half the sljip's length; above is another belt of 4in,; steel. There are two funnels and two military masts with. tops; the coal carried is 1300 tons. The ship is painted a light blue-grey. Altogether the Fuji must be pronounced a credit to her designer and builder, and a very fin3 and formidable fighting unit. A sister ship is nearly completed at Elswick, and will, with her, proceed to Japan after the Review. The crew is not a full light- I ing one, but suffi-cient to work the ship. The Yjzcaya, a large armoured cruiser, carries the flag of Spain. She is of a somewhat anti- quated type, resembling the British cruisers of the Australia class, which were launched, as far back as 1886. She has an armour belt protect- ing six-sevenths of her water-line, and lOin. to 12in. thick her displacement ia 6900 tons, and her trial speed was 21 knots. Her armament consists of two llin. guns, mounted in two lOkin. 2 turrets, one at each end of the ship, 10 5"5in. quick- firers, and 14 smaller weapons. Her big guna are excessively heavy for a cruiser, as their shell would probably go right through an antagonist of her own kind, without causing much damage, and their heavy weight must make her an indifferent sea boat. Her cost was C600,000, which is very high for a ship of this type and power. Amongst the minor navies, Siam was represented by the Maha-Chakri, a steel cruiser, which also serves as the Royal yacht, and which fired upm; the French when they forced their Way, a: few years ago, up the river to Bankok. She is of 2500 tons dis- placement, and has a speed of 15 knots: She was launched in 1892 on the Clyde. Her armament consists of four 4'7in. quick firers, and ten 6-pounders. Sweden was represented by an ancient cruiser the Freja launched in 1886, and even then an indifferent ship. She is of 2000 tons, fully rigged, and steams only 12 knots. As armament she has two 6in. and six 4'7in. guns. Greece despatched one of her three bmall ironclads-the Psara--armed with three KKJin. and five 6in. guns, in addition to smaller weapons. Portugal sent the antiquated ironclad Vasco da Gama, built in EnoJpr/? ttiultfllfr guhs.f two protected by iron armour 7in. to thiclr, and has re atrd ha, a steel deck. Her displacement is only 2470 torn and her speed 13 knots.



[No title]



[No title]




[No title]



[No title]