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NORTHUMBERLAND

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 894 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NORTHUMBERLAND. ////f iff i%/% %~/ aiDi~Letii' %ei/ii E S::C'. B B ii M-.... 14 400ft 3" IE.-. iAA/aH ^ '//~// fi •,t //O///%u9d/////////%%/AYien ,- i , eY ~/~/// ii i/iii/~iiy/~/a si l ii A. .iAo/w.A. r/GAAA/libA AwArAilmm'eAsU//////i//l/////i////./////A//////A% /OrmW Ae.AiAAArd.AA i.- day, and their rudder-heads and steering-gear were above water and unprotected against injury by shot and shell. In the four vessels which immediately followed, which were from 500 to 1500 tons more displacement, the overhanging bow, as will be seen from fig. 51, was given up, bows adapted for ramming were introduced, and some protection was afforded to the steering-gear by water-line belts of armour which extended the whole length of the vessel. In 1861 the British government began the construction of eleven armour-clads, six of which, including the " Hector " and " Valiant," sister ships of 6700 tons displacement and 3500 I.H.P., were iron vessels, and five, the " Caledonia," " Royal Oak," " Ocean," " Prince Consort," and " Royal Alfred," were wooden vessels of rather over 4000 tons. The reconstruction of the British fleet was taken in hand in earnest in 1863, when Mr (afterwards Sir) Edward J. Reed was placed at the head of the Construction Department at the Admiralty, with Messrs Barnaby, Barnes, Cross- Reeed d R1 . subject, Transactions of land, Morgan and Wright—the last-named (afterwards Sir James Wright) holding the position of engineer-in-chief--as his immediate assistants. Various types of vessels were devised, experience in the Crimean War; and in June 186o he embodied his with arrangements of armour and dispositions of guns, to provide for the new conditions which had been introduced; and, in addition, great advance was made in the structural arrangements of ships, which up to this period had been considerably influenced by the old systems of construction in use in wooden ships. In investigating the qualities of ships, Sir Edward Reed had the good fortune to secure the co-operation and assistance of Mr William Froude, F.R.S., who had been the first to demonstrate accurately the theory upon which the behaviour of ships in a seaway depends. Mr Froude's experimental investigations on the forms of ships and kindred matters, begun in 1870 on behalf of the Admiralty and continued till his death in May 1879, had a most important bearing on the improvement of ships and on the science of naval construction generally. It is not too much to say that nearly the whole of the accurate information as to the best forms of ships and their resistance at various speeds, in the possession of naval architects to-day, is the direct result of Mr Froude's work, and that of his son, Mr R. E. Froude, F.R.S., who continued the work after his father's death. Among the considerations which Reed had in view in the reconstruction of the navy may be enumerated the following: (r) Steadiness of ship as a gun platform, with ample stability ideas in a paper read before the United Service Institution. When the American Civil War broke out, Congress ordered a number of armoured vessels to be built, and one of the first to be completed was the turret vessel " Monitor " designed by Ericsson. She was 170 ft. in length, 411 ft. beam, 1200 tons displacement, of low speed and low freeboard, the sides being protected by 3- to 5-in, armour, built up of 1-in. plates on 27 in. of wood backing, and the single revolving turret which carried two 11-in. smooth-bore guns protected by 8-in. armour built up of 1-in. plates and placed amidships as shown in fig. 48. Her defeat of the " Merrimac " belongs to history. Several other similar low-freeboard turret vessels were built in America, and one of them, the " Miantonomoh," 250 ft. long, 552 ft. beam, 14 ft. draught, 3850 tons displacement, 1800 I.H.P., 12 knots speed, with twin screws and two turrets carrying four 10-in. B.L. guns, of only 2 to 3 ft. freeboard, succeeded in crossing the Atlantic, returning again in safety; but the " Monitor " her-self was caught in a gale and foundered off Cape Hatteras in 1862. The first turret ships in the British navy were the " Royal Sovereign " and " Prince Albert." The former, a wooden ship, launched in 1857 as a 121-gun three-decked line-of-battle ship, of a tonnage of 3760 tons, was in 1864 cut down to 7 ft. above water and fitted with 52-in. side-armour bedded on a 36-in. wood side, and with four turrets on Captain Cowper Coles' plan; and the latter, an iron vessel, 240 ft. long, 48 ft. beam, launched in 1864, with 42-in. side-armour with 18-in. backing fitted on 1-in. skin plating, also carried four turrets, two fitted with pairs and two with single 12-ton guns; both were low-freeboard vessels and were reserved for coast defence. The in all conditions of lading to enable her to keep the sea in all weathers, and sufficient stability in a partially riddled condition to enable her to reach port in safety. (2) Protection by armour of the vitals of the ship, and of the heavy-gun positions, especially against shell fire. (3) The carrying of guns of power sufficient to penetrate the armour of any possible enemy. (4) Mounting the guns sufficiently high above the water-line to enable them to be fought in bad weather. (5) Simultaneous all-round fire, with concentration of as many guns as possible on any given point of the compass. (6) Speed to overtake or get away from an enemy. (7) Manoeuvring power to maintain, as far as possible, any desired position with regard to an enemy. (8) Large radius of action. (q) Proper provision for the berthing of officers and crew. (ro) Limitation of size and cost. Objections were raised to the early armour-plated ships on the score of their unhandiness, heavy rig, exposed position of guns, &c. To meet these, Reed designed a number of vessels. The " Bellerophon," launched in 1865, was a vessel of 7550 tons displacement, 6500 I.H.P., 14 knots speed, and was 300 ft. long. Her armament consisted of ten 9-in. 14-ton and five 7-in. 62-ton guns. Her water-line was wholly protected by 6-in. armour, and she was provided with a central battery 98 ft. long, protected with armour of the same thickness. She carried a considerable spread of canvas, and she was fitted with a balanced rudder. The " Hercules," completed in 1868, was a much more important ship, her dimensions being: length 325 ft., breadth 59 ft., draught 262 ft., displacement 868o tons. Her engines of 8500 I.H.P. gave her a speed of about 142 knots. She had two 9-in. guns, mounted one forward and one aft on the main deck behind 6-in. armour, and eight to-in. guns, mounted in a central battery on the main deck. Her water-line was protected by armour 9 in. thick amidships, reduced to 6 in. at her ends, and her battery was protected by 6-in. armour. The " Sultan," completed in 1871, was in many respects a similar ship but larger, having a displacement of 9300 tons, 2 ft. more beam and 1 ft. more draught; she attained a speed of upwards of 14 knots. Her main-deck battery carried the same guns as the main-deck battery of the " Hercules," but the 9-in. guns at the extremities of the vessel on this deck were dispensed with, and she carried, in addition, an upper-deck battery, placed over the after-end of the main-deck battery, in which four 9-in. guns were carried. Both batteries were protected with 6-in. armour; elsewhere the armour followed that of the " Hercules." Turret Ships.—The system of mounting heavy guns in revolving turrets was advocated in England by Captain Cowper Coles after I " Monarch," of 8300 tons displacement, was laid down in June 1866 as .a sea-going turret ship. She was launched in May 1868, her dimensions being: length 330 ft., breadth 57 ft. 6 in. and draught 26 ft.; her I.H.P. was 8000, giving her a speed of about 15 knots, and she carried a large spread of canvas. She had a complete armour belt 19 ft. 9 in. wide and 7 in. thick, reduced to 6 in. at the extremities. Above this armour belt amidships, for a length of 84 ft., she was provided with a citadel, also of 7-in. armour, which protected the I bases of two revolving turrets, each protected with 10-in. armour and carrying two 12-in. guns. She also carried two 9-in. guns forward on the upper deck and one 7-in. gun aft on the main deck, all protected by armour. The design of the Monarch " did not satisfy Captain Coles, and he induced the Admiralty to build a turret ship of much lower free-board, in accordance with his views. This vessel was the " Captain," built at Birkenhead and launched in March 1869. By an unfortunate error her freeboard was even less than Captain Coles had contemplated. She was fully rigged, with tripod masts and large sail-spread; this spread of canvas, with her low freeboard and deficient stability, resulted in her capsizing in the Bay of Biscay on 6th September 1870, amongst those drowned being her designer. A number of low-freeboard turret vessels of the " Monitor " class, without masts and sails, were built for the British navy at this time, mostly for coast defence. Amongst these, the " Cerberus " for Australia and the " Abyssinia " and " Magdala " for India were completed in 1870. The " Abyssinia " had a displacement of 2900 tons and a speed of about 92 knots; her dimensions were: length 225 ft., beam 42 ft., draught 142 ft., and her armament consisted of four to-in. 18-ton guns. The other two vessels had the same armament, but were somewhat larger, being of 3340 tons displacement; and the thickness of their side-armour was 8 to 6 in., against 7 to 6 in. in the " Abyssinia." Several vessels of this type were also built for home service, including the single-turret vessels " Glatton of 4910 tons and " Hotspur " of 4010 tons, each carrying two MM.^ ui ^~^ a 1NIIU4IUNNIIINflIIINn " io Two 11" Dahlgren Guns srr--os 0 2 Thicknesses of% "each s 18-in. 25-ton guns, and the " Cyclops," " Gorgon," " Hecate " and " Hydra," each of 356o tons and provided with two turrets carrying two 10-in. 18-ton guns. They were protected with armour from 8 to 12 in. thick, and their speed was from 10 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 150 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 10 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 fore-castle 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 14.2 knots, and she carried a large coal supply. After the loss of the " Captain," a special committee, including many of the highest professional and scientific authorities in the United Kingdom, was appointed to examine into the design of such vessels. Of the " Devastation " they reported that " ships of this class have stability amply sufficient to make them safe against the rolling and heaving action of the sea ' ; they agreed, however, in recommending a plan which the constructors of the Admiralty had pro-posed, with the view of increasing her range of stability and the accommodation of the crew. This consisted in the addition of side superstructures, formed by continuing up the ship's side with light framing and plating as high as the level of the top of the breastwork, and carrying the breastwork deck over to the sides. The structures were continued aft on each side some distance beyond the breastwork, providing two spacious wings, which added largely to the cabin accommodation. A good idea of her general appearance may be obtained from rig. 49 (Plate XII.). The " Devastation " was followed by the Thunderer " of the same dimensions, and the " Dreadnought " of 10,820 tons displacement, 8000 I.H.P. and 14 knots speed; a vessel of higher free-board, plated with 14 in. of armour and carrying four 38-ton guns; she was the most powerful and best protected vessel of her day. 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 armour-clads 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 freeboard ship with sail-power to the low freeboard turret ship without sails, had also been effected; so that when Sir Edward Reed retired in 187o, 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, 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 str that sea-going ironclads must of necessity be rigged Nathaa Barnaby y. ships, in the designs which immediately followed sail power was omitted. In the " Inflexible " (fig. 5o, 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
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