We left sir William Armstrong and his designers, who belonged to the elite of British shipbuilding, at a time when the firm appeared on a wide road. After the completion of the new plant in Alsviki main exporter of military ships of the late nineteenth century were finally able to turn around in full force.
The success armed with skorostrel cruiser “Piemonte”is a small and relatively cheap, encouraged the breeder to make a risky step. In 1887, at the new yard was laid next to the cruiser, which had much to surpass its predecessor. The risk was that the firm had at that time no order! However, Armstrong is confident in the abilities of his company to build the world’s best cruiser, and had no doubts that his new creation under the strange name “Nikolay” will definitely find sbrega buyer. And I was right. Shortly after the start of construction, the Argentine government purchased the ship, giving him the name “Antisence de Mayo” translated—”May 25″. From the “Piedmont” he had a more respectable size, and as it turned out, and seaworthiness, and, most importantly, very strong arms. In the extremities with slightly raised forecastle and poop took his place two heavy guns with a caliber of 210 mm, ironically, made the main gun competitor—the German “cannon king” Krupp (on the insistence of the Argentines), and on the sides—traditional armstrongism 120 mm skorostrel. “May 25,” has received impressive protection: bevels the deck had a thickness of from 88 to 114 mm, along the entire side was installed the cofferdam and was located in the coal pits. The already outstanding cruiser could become the first armored: the management company proposed an additional set of waterline armor belt to get more protection from high explosive shells, and designers promised to cram it with a very small increase of displacement. However, the customers did not want to pay and wait. However, in a real “product” was very successful. Testing it without any force developed a course exceeding 21 knots, and artificial blast added almost a half. “Antisence de Mayo” was the fastest cruiser of its time. And, moreover, taking a full supply of fuel, could go up to 8,000 miles economic progress. The combination of such high qualities in the displacement of the ship of 3200 tons fully confirmed the claim of the company to world leadership in the construction of cruisers.
For Armstrong’s finest hour came. Small country, only beginning to build modern fleets, for reasons of prestige, wanted to have the same ships, especially because it allowed their cost. (The same situation a quarter century later repeated with dreadnoughts). Orders Elswick cruisers poured from the cornucopia.
The Argentines wished to have improved “may 25”, armed only with quick-firing artillery. Please. Philip watts, chief designer of firm “Armstrong” designed for them “Nueve de Julio”—in translation “9 July”. A new ship had quick-firing 152 mm guns instead neckarsteinach guns Krupp, as well as additional a couple of new-fangled torpedo tubes. Tests in the shallow water with a natural thrust, he developed a course of 22.7 per node, and experts said that the high water velocity would exceed 23 knots and.
Latin American cruisers were watching closely on the other side of the Pacific, in Japan. Preparing for war with China, “naval samurai” wanted to buy is not only strong and cheap ship, but also to obtain it very quickly. And again—please. All the same watts is somewhat modified Argentine project, fully preserving the arms of the “Nueve de Julio”, but a few increasing the size and power of cars. In February 1892, the laying ship 10 months later the body was lowered into the water, even after eight months held the acceptance tests, and in September, 1893, the “Yoshino” (the so-called Japanese cruiser) entered into operation.
Again armstrongism engineers have set two records: the speed of construction and the maximum speed of the ship. At that moment he was the fastest cruiser in the world, to develop 23 sites with, without any reservations at depth.
But Japan is a much more important component was its modern artillery. During the Sino-Japanese war it became the flagship of “flying squadron” Admiral Tsuboi. His role in this battle cannot be overstated: armstrongism of skorostrel literally threw shells the Chinese battleships, forcing them to retreat. He “Yoshino”, although was in the head of the column received only minor damage. But fate harshly treated him during the Russo-Japanese war, when he participated in the blockade of Port Arthur. May 15, 1904 the cruiser was part of the forces of the siege of Port Arthur, and at night got into a dense fog. During the next turn he rammed the armored cruiser “Kasuga” and “Yoshino” went to the bottom with most of their team.
The success of Armstrong continued to line up in a chain. After 5 years such a well-established ship would be Portugal, whose Navy by that time was in a sorry state. Armstrong suggested almost similar to the “Yoshino,” adding innovation: water-tube boilers. “Don Carlos I” was the first Elswick cruiser with boilers of the new type. The experiment completely failed, but for some reason was not repeated by the famous firm, willing to apply all the trimmings. The last “alsviki” persisted the old cylindrical boilers, heavier and impractical in cases where the ship had urgently to move. Himself “Carlos” for a long time was the only full-fledged Portuguese warship. He took a prominent part in the revolution that occurred in October 1910 that led to the collapse of the monarchy; “the reward” his name was changed: he became known as the “Almirante Reis”. Only in 1923 the ship was excluded from the lists; then Portugal made another attempt to upgrade the fleet.
But let us return to Latin America. Constant opponent of Argentina—Chile, could not remain indifferent to the appearance of the “potential enemy” great cruisers. What sir William Armstrong and Philip watts was ready to meet any requests. The Chileans demanded that their ship had more powerful artillery, and the stocks Alsviku in 1893 goes “Blanco Escapade”. In contrast to the “25 may” and “near relatives” to their forecastle and poop this cruiser has a smooth deck, and to maintain a seaworthy freeboard significantly increased. The reason for this decision was the large number of heavy guns. In the extremities, as in “the Argentine” was a heavy for this class 203-mm guns, but unlike the old kroposki, rapid-fire. In airborne installations were located a dozen 6-duymovic that with the old configuration side much filled with water. An interesting difference was the location of the forward mast, which was ahead of the bridge. Thus control of the ship as much as possible moved away from the nose of 203 mm guns to reduce the impact of the shock wave of the powder gases. This layout was repeated on a later Elswick cruisers-“the Chileans”—”Esmeralda” and “Buenos Aires” and “Chinese”—”Hai Chi” and “Hai Jene”.
Chileans liked the new acquisition. So that the sailors the distant country wanted … they created an even more powerful vehicle is more protected and suitable for combat with regards to armored “Argentines”. Designers Armstrong began the development of a new project. Second allsvenska “La Esmeralda” opened a new page in the history of shipbuilding. By this time the French built “Dupuy de Scrap”, made an attempt to return to the idea of armored cruisers allowed the benefit of the progress in metallurgy—armor of the same strength could be obtained at a much lower weight than 15-20 years ago. The French cruiser was booked almost the whole Board, but in order to avoid an excessive increase in displacement had to limit the thickness of the belt is just 100 mm in the mid 90-ies of the XIX century seemed insufficient. Indeed, given the quality Board the “Scrap” at a short distance could break even 6-dyuymovymi.
70. Armored cruiser “Nueve de Julio” (Argentina, 1893)
Built at the shipyard of Armstrong in El Swick. Displacement 3600 tonnes, length between perpendiculars 107,90 m, width 13,41 m, draft 5,01 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants triple expansion 10 500 HP, speed of 21.7 knots (on trials with boost up to 14 500 HP 22.7 per node). Armament: four 152/40-120/40 mm and eight-mm rapid-fire guns, twelve 47-mm small-caliber (the project includes twelve 37-mm guns), five 457 mm torpedo tubes. Booking: deck 45 — 37 mm, bevel mm 88-114, shields, guns — 51 mm, cutting 102 mm. Excluded from the Navy in 1930
71. Armored cruiser “Blanco Encalada” (Chile, 1894)
Built at the shipyard of Armstrong in El Swick. A displacement of 4600 tons, length between perpendiculars 112,78 m, width 14,17 m, draught of 5.56 m. the Power plants twin-shaft triple expansion 9500 HP, speed of 21.7 knots (on trials with boost up to 14 500 HP— 22.8 per node). Armament: two 203/45 and ten 152/40-mm rapid-fire guns, twelve 47-mm and twelve 37-mm small-caliber, five 457 mm torpedo tubes. Booking: deck 45 mm, bevel 76-102 mm, shields, guns 152 — 51 mm, bridge—mm. 152 In 1920, modernized and turned into ocean-going training ship. Excluded from the Navy in 1946
72. Armored cruiser Esmeralda № 2 (Chile, 1896)
Built at the shipyard of Armstrong in Allspice. A displacement of 7000 tons, length between perpendiculars 132,89 m, width of 16.21 m, draft of 6.18 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants triple action 16 000l. C., the speed of 22.3 per node (for testing of 18,000 HP—23 knots). Armament: two 203/45, sixteen 152/40-mm and eight 76-mm rapid-fire guns, three 457-mm torpedo tubes. The project is eight 76-mm, provided with eight 57-mm, ten 47-mm and four automatic 37-mm gun Maxim. Reservations: belt and traverse (armor Garvey) 152 mm, deck 25 — 51 mm bevels 76— 102 mm, shields, guns 51 — 114 mm, cutting -203 mm. Four 152-mm guns in the add-in removed during a major overhaul in 1910, Excluded from the Navy in 1946
Therefore, the “armstrongism magicians” tried to return to the protection system used on battleships, where the armor was increased on the more important parts of the ship. So on the first armored cruiser of a new type—the second “Esmeralda” appeared quite thick, but forced to narrow armor belt. Another distinctive feature was the large, even for “alsviku” guns on the deck of the ship is eighteen quick-firing guns: two of them are 8-inch, 6-inch. (This record for the artillery in its class “Chilean” share with their potential opponents—the Argentine cruisers “Garibaldi”.) Needless to say, the next astronomski supercruiser was the record speed, to develop 23 sites already under natural draft, without any forcing. Another record the second “Esmeralda” remained purely brand: she became the longest of Elswick cruisers.
It is not surprising that such a ship made a splash, not only in the distant Latin America. Without the involvement of Armstrong partly new armored cruiser advertised as the most powerful in the world on the grounds that it has the greatest weight fired in one minute rounds. “Hot heads” even offered to replace the battleships numerous “esmeralde”. However, in reality it was not so easy and not so cool. Overload artillery and too heavy for such a displacement of the armor led to the fact that even under the moderate excitement of the nose 203-mm gun and were to shoot. Besides, the builders failed to stay within the framework of the project, and the water line rose only a narrow strip of the armour belt—a little more than half a meter. And with full supply of coal all the on-Board plate was immersed in water. In addition, due to the relatively light construction of the second “Esmeralda” is not quite answered one of the most important requirements for the cruisers, the ships of this class were supposed to feel good about themselves in the sea in any weather. If we talk about the battle, the protection of the gun crew only shields could be costly to the crew In General, even so remarkable and powerful a ship is recommended to refrain from the “big battle” with battleships.
Partly, it is understood, and to some extent on the cost, the Chileans switched to smaller ships, without changing your favorite supplier. Watts has fulfilled another requirement, creating a cruiser with slightly more modest specs, but heavily armed and in no way inferior to “may” and “July” Argentine rivals. “Minister Zenteno” in their 3450 tons displacement carrying eight six-inch, not counting small-caliber guns, and could reach speeds of a few more than 20 knots. Launched in 1896, he, like the vast majority Elswick cruisers, lasts a very long time and was expelled from the Navy only in 1931.
Cheap and successful project attracted the attention of another consumer from Latin America—Brazil. The largest country on the continent experienced in the late nineteenth century, as well as its fleet. Therefore, the three cruisers of the same type: “SP”, “Almirante Barroso” and “Almirante Abreu”, differing from “Zenteno” only armament (instead of the eight 6-Dujmovic was supposed to establish six such guns, plus it four 120-mm), could become the core of the Brazilian Navy. However, in 1895, war broke out between the United States and Spain. North Americans have experienced a serious shortage of cruisers and was looking for suitable units around the world. So, in the first and last time that the U.S. “descended” to the products of the British company, bought in Brazil, two of the three ships in the series, which the customer does not have enough money. “Barroso” had survived the financial crisis and pokusitelstvo powerful Northern neighbor, and the “Amazonas” and “Abreu”, renamed the “new Orleans” and “Albany,” were re-equipment in the United States on six-inch guns of American models, and was really ready to fight only to end the Spanish-American war. I must say that the Americans were satisfied with the quality of the products Armstrong and kept them in service for over 30 years, 20 of them very active service. “New Orleans” managed to take part in the blockade squadron Servers at Santiago, and “Albany” led “expedition” to overthrow the government in Nicaragua. The role of the invader in General has become characteristic of this cruiser: the very end the active career after the First world war he took part in the occupation of Vladivostok.
Meanwhile sir Armstrong continued risky policy bookmark cruisers without a specific customer, hoping that a quality product will find its consumers. Philip watts decided to create some smaller (and so cheaper) copy of “Blanco Encalada”, using all the technical innovations. Established in 1896 the building was constructed slowly, and only in 1902 is almost ready, the cruiser has gained owner. Again unable to resist the opportunity to replenish its fleet another record Chileans. “Chacabuco” (so they called the new cruiser) was easier “Encalada” 400 tons and formally had almost the same armament, but its 8-inch switchblade stiletto was a new model. The speed when the force has reached a new iconic figures—24 knots. The last armored cruiser of the Chilean Navy has set another record, having served half a century—until 1952! And not formally, in 1941 he underwent an extensive modernization with the replacement of artillery and add-ons. Do the Chileans have learned, perhaps, the greatest benefit from cooperation with the firm. They got the most advanced for its time cruisers (about one, armored “O Higgins” we’ll explain later), but all in one piece. It is hard to imagine how they could engage in battle, but the small country “South American big three” (Brazil, Argentina, Chile) supported by his motley alsviki fleet in good condition for many years.
Their traditional rivals, the Argentines, and went some other way, immediately ordered a large series cruisers in Italy. However, they have not forgotten about Armstrong, ordered in 1893, the equivalent of “Blanco Encalada”—”Buenos Aires”. He had the same flush-deck hull, but the other part of the armament: a pair of 8-Dujmovic, 152 four – and six 120-millimetrovogo. Like all “alsviki”, the new Argentine cruiser showed excellent speed (23 knots without forcing). From the experience of the Sino-Japanese war in the course of construction, the designers decided to unload the vehicle from the “top” weights; in particular, his fighting tops thoroughly decreased the height of the masts. During the service the cruiser unloaded even more, making it easier for the tops and removing the shields with guns. Like his colleagues, “Buenos Aires” lived a long life, dolariv until 1931.
As a result of the activities of the famous British firms of Chile and Argentina received from the primary (and most efficient) portion of their fleets. In General, for 28 years, Armstrong built a cruiser 51 different countries, from China to Turkey. “Forgotten” was only the British fleet, and the cause was not titled breeder. The conservative Admiralty did not recognize its products, believing that Elswick cruisers built too easily and have limited seaworthiness. In addition, in naval circles, there were rumors that the record speed is achieved with maximum ease of ships for testing and use the highest quality charcoal specially trained firemen. However, a long and successful service with numerous Hiking denies accusations of insufficient strength—none of the cruisers of smaller countries have not experienced any problems. As for testing, I cheat all the firms and government factories, and not only in England. Moreover, once the strike stokers forced the firm Armstrong to use a little prepared by the Chilean team, but the result was still very high. The Admiralty was given orders to plant in Alsviki, but was built there just a standard cruiser in the projects of other, more famous firms. But the influence of the brilliant designers of the firm of sir Armstrong on the world shipbuilding no doubt. The engineers of the state of the shipyards “mistress of the seas” and the competitors had to get accustomed to each of the two famous esmerald, armored to the guard, and armored masterpieces, built for Japan, which we also will cover later.
William Armstrong knowingly gave up the career of a lawyer. He was a talented engineer and possessed a great sense of novelty, able to attract to your firm talented people. His name rightfully takes pride of place in the history of shipbuilding.
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