The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, August 25, 1898, Page 5, Image 5

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    'Che Conservative *
navy. She is of steel , 252 feet in length
and 929 tons displacement , mid hns a
speed of 21.5 knots. In the forward
part of the ship are placed three pneu-
niatic guns that form her armament.
These are built into the ship. Their
muzzles are carried forward and pro
ject above the deck near the bow at an
elevation of 18 degrees. They are 15
inches in diameter , 54 feet long , and are
made of thin cast iron. The rear end
of these guns , or tubes , extend down to
the bottom of the ship. The dynamite
shells for the guns are 14 % inches in
diameter and about 7 feet long. The
submarine explosion of a shell from the
Vesuvius would probably destroy a ship
20 or more feet distant. The dynamite
projectiles are hurled from the tubes by
means of compressed air , 1,000 pounds
pressure. Ten projectiles are provided
for each gun. This is the full arma
ment of the ship so far as torpedoes are
concerned. In firing , the guns have a
fixed elevation. Their range is varied
by admitting more or less compressed
air in the tubes. The guns are trained
by action of the helm of the vessel. The
hull of the Vesuvius is actually * a float
ing gun carriage with , three pneumatic
tubes built rigidly into her construction.
Besides the dynamite guns the vessel
carries three 8-pounder rapid-fire guns.
The cost of constructing the Vesuvius
was $350,000.
The armored ram Katahdin is de
signed especially for harbor defense
for ramming an enemy. She has a
small armament of four
6-pounder rapid-
fire guns , and is protected by G inches of
steel on her sides and the slopes of her
deck and 2 inches on the flat. She is
250 feet in length and has a displace
ment of 2,155 tons. Her speed , however ,
is only 16 knots , which is a serious fault ,
as speed and rapidity of action are es
sential for a ram.
The Dolphin was originally intended
for the dispatch boat of the navy'but
her speed , only 15.5 knots at the best is
insufficient. She is constructed of steel ,
and has no armor or protection. The
armament of this vessel is two 4-inch
rapid-fire guns , two 6-pounder rapid-fire
guns , and four machine guns.
CnUSer 1S * CnUS-
ing vessel , the en
gines , boilers , magazines , steering geai
and other vital parts of which are pro
tected by a turtle-back of steel armor
which reaches below the water-line on
either side , and fore and aft the entire
length of the ship. This turtle-back , or
protective deck as it is called , is from 2
to 4 inches in thickness on the slopes
and from 1 to 2 inches on the flat. The
idea in constructing a cruiser is to keep
her as light as possible , that she may
attain high speed and also be quickly
handled. The design of the protective
deck is to deflect projectiles coming into
the ship in the vicinity of water linoand
thus prevent damage being done to the
vital parts of the vessel. This is the
only protection which the hull of a promoted
meted cruiser has against the fire of an
enemy. But sometimes the guns of this
class of vessel are protected by a light
hie Id of steel or thin armor. The
battleships and armored cruisers also
lave protective decks. A cruiser does
lot , except in rare cases , carry as heavy
juns as a battleship , and then she only
carries one or two of them , as in the
case of the Spanish cruiser Vizcaya.
All of the following ships are protected
cruisers :
Dis is NO. GUNS.
place .
NAME. ment. i o rt en
( Tons. ) a art Main
OOH cap Bat
a a
tery. CQ 0,0
Atlanta. . 8,000 15.00 400 8 18
Baltimore. 4,418 20.10 1,144 10 15
3oston . . 8,000 15.00 400 8 12
Charleston 8,750 18.20 758 8 15
Dhicago 4,500 18.00 882 18 12
Cincinnati 8,218 10.00 400 11 18
Columbia. . 7,875 22.80 1,070 11 10
Minneapolis. . , 7,875 23.07 1,801 11 10
Newark , 4,05)3 ) 10.00 800 12 17
Olympia. . 5,870 21.CO 1,170 14 20
Philadelphia. 4,824 10.08 1,080 12 18
Raleigh 8,218 10.00 400 11 15
3an Francisco , 4,008 10.58 028 12 18
The Detroit , Mar-
blehead and Montgomery
gomery are unpro
tected cruisers of a displacement each of
a little over 2,000 tons. Each has a coal
capacity of 840 tons and a maximum
speed of about 19 knots. In each is a thin
water-tight deck of steel which is simi
lar to the protective decks of the other
cruisers , but hi thickness is only 7-16
inches on the slopes and 5-16 on the flat.
These vessels are light , draw only 1G
feet of water , and can be handled read
ily. These vessels , exclusive of arma
ment , cost the government about
$620,000 each. Unprotected cruisers
rely for protection against serious in
jury solely upon coal and a very minute
sub-division of the compartments in the
region of and below the load lino. This
is further secured by cofferdams worked
in the vicinity of the machinery spaces
and filled with cellulose or of-or water-
excluding material , to prevent the v uter ,
in case of injury , from finding its way
to the larger compartments in the cen
ter of the vessel.
The armament of each of these ves
sels consists of ten 5-incli , six 6-pounder ,
two 1-pouuder all rapid-fire , and two
Gatlings , except the Marblehead , which
has two Colt automatic guns in place of
the Gatlings. Each vessel also has one
field gun.
MONITORS. The Amphitrite
Miautonomoh , Mo
nadnock , Monterey , Puritan and Ter
ror are low freeboard double turreted
coast-defense monitors. Each has a
belt of steel armor along and above the
water line , and the turrets are also
heavily armored. Each has also a fla
protective deck of about 2 inches o :
steel. These vessels are not desigiiec
for cruisers , or chasing an enemy , bu
for defensive purposes , They lie very
ow in the water , almost submerged ,
and are sluggish in maneuvering. Their
speed is but 10 or 12 knots , which , however -
ever , is sufficient for the purpose for
which they are intended. The main
mtteries of the double turreted monitors
consist of 10-inch and 12-inch breech-
loading rifles. These vessels cost the
government about $1,800,000 each. &f ) &
The thirteen low freeboard single tur-
eted iron monitors wore built in 1862 ,
and still are 011 the navy list , loaned to
; ho naval militia of the various states.
They are as follows ;
Ajax , Jason , Montauk ,
Comanche , Lehigh , Nahant ,
Canonicus , Mahopac , Nantucket ,
Catskill , Manhattan , Passaic ,
Each of these single turreted monitors
lias a pair of XV-inch smooth-boro
guns in her turret. The original cost of
these monitors was about $500,000 each.
During the past
yc uu
armored steel gunboats have been added
to the navy :
Bancroft , Benningtou , Castine ,
Concord , Helena , Machias ,
Nashville , Petrel , Wilmington ,
These gunboats are similar in con
struction to the unprotected cruisers ,
but are somewhat smaller. Their dis
placements vary from 889 tons , in the
case of the Bancroft , to 1777 tons , in the
case of the Machias.
Since 1897 six
composite gunboats have been added :
Annapolis , Marietta , Newport ,
Princeton , Vicksburg , Wheeling.
A composite vessel is built with steel
frames and is plated with steel above
and with planking below the water line ,
the planking being coppered as in a
wooden sailing vessel. When greater
strength is required the vessel is built
with a complete steel shell and the
undor-water planking is wood-sheathed
ad coppered By reason of this a com
posite vessel can remain away rom a
dry dqck for a considerable time , while
a vessel with her steel bottom exposed
to the action of the salt water must dock
every few months and scrape and paint.
The hull and machinery of tliis class of
vessel cost about $225,000.
The torpedo-
TORPEDO-BOATS. bmfc ig built for
the sole purpose of carrying and firing
The requisites are high speed , the
power to suddenly stop dead in the
water , or to back , or to turn quickly.
Besides she must bo down low in the
water so as to present as little target as
possible to the enemy. Then she must
be noiseless or she could not creep up to
her prey under cover of darkness , fog or
smoke without making her presence
known. Invisibility and the swiftest
movement are essential to a successful