In the decades after the civil war ghosts lucky raiders — armed ships of the southerners was a constant headache to the lords of the British Admiralty. In the event of war with such countries as all the same, the United States, or France, or, for example, Russia, have become a real threat to be found in the seas already dozens of enemy auxiliary cruisers. Besides, over the years, the characteristics of possible candidates in the raiders kept on rising. The best ships had a very decent speed and the shipowners the government specifically pay extra for a more durable design, allowing, if necessary, to set them on a very solid rifled guns of a caliber of 6 inches In such circumstances, numerous corvettes and sloops “mistress of the seas” lost technical superiority over makeshift opponents. Of course, the military remained the advantage of a ship with a disciplined and trained team, but it might not be enough for a confident victory in battle one on one. Needed a solution that allowed staff of cruisers once again regain its dominant force.
And here again reminded of the armor, because any attempt to equip the armor merchant ships doomed them to complete unprofitability. And because at the meeting with the steamer mobilized armored cruiser-the hunter had undeniable advantages. However, a complete armor belt could carry not every combat ship because of its limited displacement; in this part of its payload, as it were omertvlenie. Suffered speed or weapons, and sometimes both of these critical characteristics at the same time. This especially did not suit the British very actively using their cruiser in peacetime for a variety of needs. In this case, from the point of view of the British admirals, fully armored cruiser resembled a knight who was forced to do daily chores, not taking out heavy armor.
Meanwhile, in combat, additional protection never. Particularly vulnerable were the mechanical installation, possessing in those days an extremely low survivability. Usually the only steam engine disabling one successful hit; the same applies to the boilers, whose number is estimated at several units. And improvement of ship mechanics led primarily to the increase in the size of mechanisms, mostly in height. As a result of their getting harder to hide below the waterline, hiding from enemy fire.
The solution came in the form of an armored deck. Install it on a combat ship killing several birds with one stone. “Dead weight” in this case were still much lower than in the presence of and belt, and the horizontal armor. The deck is well covered beneath the premises from hits on top of both the shells and fragments of structures, it is becoming increasingly large and heavy in proportion to the quality of “stuffing” marine bombs.
The first armored cruiser was designed by chief constructor of the British Navy by Nathaniel Barnaby “Comus.” The first housing is completely made of steel, although on top of it over the entire surface trimmed the tree, and the underwater part of the double layer. This at first sight ordinary small ringotnes the ship, in fact, embodied many new features. Nine transverse watertight bulkheads, six of which reached the upper deck, divided the hull into watertight compartments. In the middle part for about 35 m premises machinery and boilers were covered from the top 37 mm of steel armor. Absolutely small cruiser well equipped for everyday service, and to fight. First unit of this class there were spaces for permanent infirmary, showers for the team and the ship’s library. The armament included new-fangled guns; rapid-fire kartechnitsy the micralite and propelling device for the production of torpedoes through the ports in the housing. Control in combat is carried out from any kind of combat logging (there were two), covered with semi-circular armor plate and are placed amidships on both sides. They displayed the negotiation of the pipe and the Telegraph machine and a similar device for sending commands to the steering wheel, which traditionally have remained on the poop. System machine compound had a horizontal arrangement of the cylinders and was still hiding under the waterline. It was served by six boilers. But these very modern ships do not avoid certain anachronisms, which are primarily treated a complete sailing rig with a total area of 1400 square meters and a lifting screw.
Inspired by successful innovation — armored deck, Barnaby decided to implement it even for very small composite sloops of the “Satellite”. When only a displacement of 1420 tons, they had the same speed as steel “compy”, a similar device for the car and a considerable armament of ten to fourteen guns caliber 127 mm or eight 6-Dujmovic. Over one third of the length of the lower deck were covered with steel plates with a thickness of 19 to 25 mm. in respects to armor these typical sloops raised in rank to corvettes. However, the “Satellite” with sisterships different and very respectable cruising range of nearly 6,000 miles at 10 knots — a value that deserves respect not only in the years of their creation (1882 — 1885), but twenty years later, during the Russo-Japanese war.
Composite armored “small fry” turned out to be even more tenacious than steel, the firstborn. All seven units of the “Satellite” reached the new century, and “Rapid” survived both world wars and went for scrapping in 1948. Slightly behind him “the Cavalier”, passed in 1923, the newly independent Ireland.
However, more to the tree as material for armored cruisers the British General, and Barnaby in particular did not come back. Steel is firmly established as the main shipbuilding material. The next pair, “Calypso” and “calliope”, the direct heirs of “Comus,” was very successful. Some Navy historians generally consider them to be some of the best British cruisers. The main structural difference between ships was the location of the armored deck. She is now not tied to the bottom and were independent, being approximately two feet below the waterline. In addition, weapons for 2770-ton vessel looked very powerful: four 6-inch guns in the ribs-sponsons for increasing angles of attack, twelve 5-duymovic the on-Board battery, a dozen throwing Miralles and two torpedo tubes. The rest of the relationship with the “Komus” has remained very close: the same 6 boilers, the same car compound. However, there has been evolution in time: there was another small steam engine, rotating dynamometer. The grid is still very underdeveloped and thin, served not only for lighting but also for applying current to military spotlights. Small “Victorians” loved the Navy, and they were afloat: “Calypso” served until 1922, and “calliope” for another 30 years more.
28. Armored cruiser Faeton, England 1886
Built by “Napier” in Glasgow. Displacement of 4,300 tons, length of maximum 96,01 m, width-14,02 m, a draught of 6.25 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants (machine-type compound) 5500 HP, speed tests 17,5 bonds. Booking: flat deck 37 mm gun 37 mm. shields Armament: ten 152-mm guns, sixteen Miralles, four torpedo tubes. Only in 1885 — 1887 he built 4 units: “Linder”, “Aretusa”, “Phaeton” and “Amphion”. “Aretusa and Amfion” withdrawn from the fleet in 1905, the year before “Linger” became a depot ship, and in 1920 sold for scrap. “Phaeton” sold to private hands in 1913, and became the commercial steamer “Indefatigable”, but in 1941 the newly purchased fleet, renamed “Carrick-II” and served until 1947
29. Armored cruiser merci, England, 1887
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Cattle. A displacement of 4050 tons, length of maximum 96,01 m, width-14,02 m, draft 5,95 m. Capacity twin-shaft power plant (steam engine type compound) 4500 HP at natural traction, 6000 HP at the force, speed 17, and 18 ties. respectively. Booking: 51 mm deck with bevels 76 mm, combat tower 229 mm gun shields 51 mm. Armament: two 203-mm and ten 152-mm guns, six small-caliber cannons, two torpedo tubes. Only in 1887 — 1889 was built 4 units: “mercy”, “Severn”, “Thames” and “the Fort”. The modernization in the 1890s, only the tube is increased to increase the thrust. “Thames” and “Fort” converted into a depot ship in 1903 — 1904, and another pair scrapped in 1905 “Fort” followed in 1921, and “the Thames”, the company previously sold to South Africa and became a trading ship “General Botha”. In 1942, returned to the existing fleet under their original name and served throughout the war as a floating barracks. Sold for scrapping in 1947
30. Cruiser “Comus,” England 1878
It was built by the firm of “elder” in Glasgow. Displacement 2380 tons, waterline length 68,58 m, width of 13.56 m, draft of 5.86 m. the thickness of the steam engine 2450 HP, speed 13 KTS. Armament: four 152-mm breech-loading and eight 64-pounder muzzle-loading rifled guns, 8 artechnic, two settings for firing the projectile torpedoes. Only in 1878 — 1881 built 9 units: “Comus”, “Champion”, “Cleopatra”, “Carysfort”, “Curacao”, “conquest”, “Constance”, “Canada” and “Cordelia”. “Champion” and “Cleopatra” scrapped in 1931, “Comus,” “Curacao” and “Cordelia” in 1904, and the rest withdrawn from the Navy in 1897 — 1899
However, for all its virtues corvettes Barnaby still were not cruisers in the modern sense of the term. They are summed the velocity does not exceed 13 — 14 knots. Therefore it is impossible to pass by another prototype of the future classic cruisers. Just a few months earlier of “Comus” at the shipyard in Pembroke laid the first of a pair of “messengers of the courts”, but really — cruisers, “iris.” He also claims the title of first steel “British”, but in fact came into operation later series of “komusou”. “Iris” and the other ship of this pair — “mercury” had the armored deck, but had a host of other innovations and advantages, including: high-speed, two-shaft mechanical system with two machines located in separate compartments, also posted in boiler room two boilers, a large number of watertight compartments, a double bottom and the coal protection in the form of bunkers, located along the sides near the waterline. Disappeared (although not immediately) have little use of sails. All these differences become the standard for a new generation of ships, which had at last become a full-fledged cruiser.
The first of them are four units of the “Linder”, built in 1885 — 1887. In essence, they represented the same “iris”, but with the armor deck, and a new configuration. More powerful machine for several towered above the waterline, so over it was and the armor-deck. There is a possibility to get a shell under it, right in the car or boiler. So the designers have applied the original decision, turning down the tank’s trim the boards down. So a deck with bevels, which determined the standard scheme of protection of armored cruisers for the next two decades. Classic was the location of artillery: end of installation on the rotary machines in the sponsons allowed to fire at the bow and stern. By the way, they also got armor protection, although only the opposing fire of the enemy’s small-calibre guns. On the part of the series units have installed the latest steam engines triple expansion, providing great speed to 18 knots and a very large cruising range, which is at the maximum supply of coal reached 11 000 miles 10-node move. Not bad, not only for 1885, but half a century later!
These elegant and strong ships remained a clear disadvantage. Their armored deck was only covered for mechanical installation (approximately half the length of the hull), leaving vulnerable the cellar of ammunition (although they are located below the waterline, but hot fragments could cause a lot of troubles). The disadvantage is eliminated very quickly. The next four type “mercy”, named after British rivers, had a full deck from bow to stern. For the first time the element received its characteristic “cherepahoobraznoy” form, caused not only by the curving down of the bevels, but gradually descending closer to the bow and stern. The whole deck was performed waterproof, providing “broadalbin” (at least in theory) sufficient reserve buoyancy as long as it is not broken. As in the bow and stern of the body is severely narrowed, the amount of space there was so small that it did not make sense to “protect” as well as the precious middle. Hence, the lower deck was missing the need for relatively long and heavy slant, and at the bottom of the hull of the cruiser is usually more narrowed, giving further savings in weight of armor. These “uromania” allowed to make thicker as side bevels, and bow and stern ramps. In addition to the two 25 mm layers of steel, comprising a flat horizontal part, demolitions and rays had another, additional, also 25 mm thickness. For the first time on the cruiser appeared solid combat tower, protected by 9-inch armor. Easy booking received and shields guns. Another standard was the location of artillery on the forecastle and poop, providing large angles of attack. In fact, according to the location and composition of the artillery of these ships of the mid 80-ies of the XIX century in no way inferior to their “advanced” to the “classmates” time of the Russo-Japanese war. In fact, all subsequent projects armored cruisers (and not only in Britain) in respect of the internal layout and protection differed little from “mercy”.
To increase the maximum speed on “mercy” was first used artificial blast. They, like the later units, there were two speed characteristics: at normal load and forces by all the extra holes in the boiler room closed and they had created artificial vacuum is increasing traction in the boilers. It should be noted that the firstborn of a new class in General was very successful. In service they have proven to be an excellent artillery platform, and also possessed good seaworthiness and handling.
So in Britain formed a new class of combat ships armored cruisers, to compete with which mobilized the civil court was not able, although the size and speed of the latter continued to increase. And the deciding factor turned out to be exactly the armor deck. No wonder in England, these ships were officially classified as “protected cruisers” — literally “protected cruisers” — as opposed to their unarmored and therefore “unprotected” counterparts.
It is easy to notice that the British were going to create a modern cruiser very thoughtfully and purposefully. Nothing exotic, but only a gradual improvement of the performance associated with technological progress (if we talk about the mechanical installation and service), and with the increasingly rational engineering decisions. The tonnage of ships not only did not increase, but even decreased slightly. When more powerful weapons, better protection and the same speed “mercy” was on 250 tons easier to “Linder”. British “iron” fleet Queen Victoria was clearly on the rise, approaching the moment of its maximum power.
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