MULTITUBE GIANTSMinisterial reshuffle in France in the 90-ies of the XIX century in the absence of common ideas in the creation of the Navy not only politicians, but also among experts has led to what could cause any mess of Sharp change of course has impact on all classes of ships, but the most affected was exactly cruiser.

Everything is so by definition, the battleships had to carry armor and heavy guns, and destroyers with torpedoes But the most universal class of warships left a lot of opportunities for various innovations and returns to the old, to implement sometimes questionable ideas, and ultimately, to the waste of very considerable resources, under the pretext of austerity For the right to determine cruising policy actively fought the Minister of marine, Naval Board, naval architecture Committee and the budget Committee in addition, within each Council and the Committee continued a heated debate supporters of the “Young school”, operasi more numerous light forces and the fight against Maritime transport, and the ‘traditionalists’, who preferred a balanced fleet of powerful combat units of the Temporary winner are usually started with out cleaning the marine institutions of dissent of Course, with “material” it was more difficult Already laid the ship had to finish even if it is not consistent with the principles of the new owner of the office But often even settled for just a year and a half, the Minister has managed to “break” your project, and now inherited his new boss was undergoing the same suffering.
It is clear that this practice is not allowed to preserve the logic and continuity of the development of cruisers After a fully-booked “Dupuy de Scrap” and his successors, which, in accordance with the ideas of the “Young school”, was to accompany the numerous small cruisers-scouts, followed by a jump to a huge, but poorly protected armored “D Antraste”, a typical traditional craft of former times But in 1895, the representatives of the “Jeune école” again got the upper hand by ordering a few fighters for trade, “Storeno” and “Guichen”, terribly expensive and little useful Such inherited runners-up in the same year the post of the Minister of Maritime policy to the left, Edouard Lockroy that could finally break the vicious system.
To do this, and the Minister, and designers had to take the bold step Instead of the second just a major personal, which was supposed to be a copy of the “D Antraste”, in 1896 he laid out a real giant, “Joan of Arc” had a displacement of 11 300 t — almost the same as the large units have the “mistress of the seas” Weapons remained at about the same level as his armored predecessor, only manifestly excessive for this cruiser 240-graph paper was replaced by a more rapid-194-millimetrovie odnorodnyh in the two towers But the number of 138-mm guns has increased from 12 to 14, the Entire increase in displacement was used to improve protection of the “maid of Orleans” had a full armor belt almost the entire length of the body, consisting of two bands of lower plates covering the waterline, had in the middle part of the thickness of 52 mm, gradually “slimming” to the extremities to 100, and the lower edge 50 mm Top layer was thinner than 100 mm in the middle and 40 mm at the front and rear, the Engineers have worked well to identify possible weaknesses in need of protection in the nose, the belt was raised very high to minimize the probability of flooding after the devastation of housing high explosive shells In the stern, on the contrary, we decided to limit the armored traverse 100 mm thick, covering the entire steering gears side protection was supplemented by a typical French battleships by the combination of two solid Upper armored deck was located over the zone and the bottom started from the bottom edge of the belt at the sides and rose to the diametrical plane, forming a very smooth semi-circular bevels In combination with traditional cofferdams and coal pits of the armor provided very strong protection against any medium artillery.
The big problem for the designers was to supply ammunition fourteen 138-mm rapid-fire guns located at the side For a continuous supply to them projectiles and charges required a lot of space just where it is usually assigned mechanical installation the Compromise was interesting, the boilers pulled “in the thread” closer to the median plane, leaving the sides of the corridors, on which there is a “supply” of ammunition In the end boiler of the Department is very long, the Engineers have decided that it does not make sense to pull in case of extended flues, limiting the number of pipes, and the output of smoke from each Department were carried out through his trumpet So the cruiser has taken a very specific view of the stockade from six massive pillars, in two groups of three together with a massive battle front mast with bridges and Mars massive case acquired an impressive and bulky appearance, which allowed to confidently identify the “French” with a very large distance Another unique feature of the national steel large rectangular portholes in abundance located on the sides In the open as they are oiled a formidable impression from the exterior of the new giant.
The division of the trumpets into two groups reflect another feature of the internal arrangement of the French engineers kept their beloved three-shaft installation and have managed to squeeze all three machines side by side within a relatively small genuine compartment. Of course, this could only be afforded in the widest part of the hull that is directly in the middle of All shifts with a manual install was not free. Three screws, together with long body led to poor maneuverability Diameter circulation exceeded 1000 m in 2 — 3 times more than foreign competitors But the main trouble lay in the fact that it is a decent project 23-key to achieve and failed, and Jeanne with its maximum of 21.8 per node did not become a high-speed ship.
Lockroy, has made building your armored giant despite opposition from the Shipbuilding Council, simply ignoring respectable, but do not agree with it specialists And, surprisingly bold experiment was quite successful. So much so that almost all subsequent cruisers of France up to 20 years of the new twentieth century were in one way or another a rehash on the topic “Jeanne d’arc”.
However, for the same bad traditions of Ministerial leapfrog, Lockroy long sat at his place he was replaced by Admiral Besner, a supporter of traditional cruisers, small and designed primarily for overseas and raider service it would Seem that the fate of the armored giants could only be sad But a high bar was already set So the three bednarowski “hunters” — “Duple”, “Kleber”, “Deze”, first, quite large — about 7.5 thousand tons And second-Although their armored belt had a maximum thickness of one and a half times smaller (100 mm), General location and appearance is reminiscent of the “Jeanne” long forecastle to the stern of the tower, two groups of pipes (there was only four), three cars in the middle of the case is an Interesting innovation was completely the turret main artillery And the French decided to move away from such a favorite they odnorodnyh towers, installing eight 164-millimetrovogo in four paired.
the towers, located usual “diamond” — two in the extremities, and two on the sides in the middle at that time had serious problems with two-gun turrets with skorostrel in all countries trying to enter them yourself (remember the British “County” or our “heroes”) Engineers “beautiful France” decided about their problems to remain silent, but speaks volumes that the next series they went back to traditional single-barrel installations.
Meanwhile Besner, although remained a staunch opponent of his predecessor, but then went through the path of Lacroa He also ignored the complaints of the Shipbuilding Council and they approved my tab.. three reduced to 9.5 thousand tons of “Jeanne” “Moncalm” and its odnomernye kept two 194 mm guns in the bow and stern, but 138 graph paper was replaced with a mixture of a more powerful 164-mm rapid-fire 100-mm guns, the protection Circuit is almost the same entered on the cruiser, LeCroy, and location, thickness and a Significant improvement was the placement of medium artillery in armored casemates (on “Joan of Arc” she was covered only with boards) As “Cleary”, “Moncalieri” had four pipes, but suffered the same shortcomings as the founder, first of all a huge tactical diameter of circulation of a Real Achilles heel was the speed, not exceeding 21 host both series.
Of course, the size and cost of multitube hulking giants caused a legitimate question whether this money is spent? The only alternative could be the removal of heavy side armor, that is, a return to seems to be finally rejected by the armored cruisers Lesnar not miss your chance and once again quarreled with his advisers from the Shipbuilding Council, once again insisting on traditional for France “the hunter” and “colonial ruler” So almost simultaneously with the “CLEBURNE” was laid in a ship with the same armament of eight 164-millimetrovogo. Externally, the “Jurien de La Graver” since it is almost the same length and widely spaced four tubes strongly resembled their armored relatives, especially at large distances. However, his guns were not located in the towers and deck installations and casemates, and defended the modest thin shields “Graver” had sharp lines, a wide, length-width ratio and a lightweight construction So managed to save about 2000 tonnes (compared to “Kleber”) to get the constant headache in the form of a strong vibration at full speed Which, incidentally, also was not such a fast cruiser and has not held a little before the 23 project sites. From “men at arms” he took also bad handling This, in essence, a small ship had a diameter circulation in 12 cables (recall that the British cruiser could unfold in four times less space) Admirals handed down its unequivocal verdict — failure that should not be repeated and should not try to fix the armored cruisers had already done the long haul in the next quarter of a century, they were not built at all.
Meanwhile once again it was the turn of Lacroa, in 1898, returned to the familiar office in the Ministry of Marine, Now he even did not have more time to destroy the legacy of its predecessor “Moncalieri” is quite consistent with the concepts of the reformer of the fleet were Left to continue their building within the next three years was laid five very similar ships, Along with their three predecessors, they made up the largest cruising series in France for many years.
100. Armored cruiser “Ernest Renan” (France, 1909)
Built the firm “Panoe”. A displacement of 13,500 tons, the maximum length 158,97 m width 21,34 m, draft of 8.36 m. the three-shaft Power plants triple action 36 000 HP, speed 24 knots. Armament: four 194 mm/50, and twelve 164-mm/45 guns, nineteen of the 65-mm, eight 47-mm and two 37-mm small-caliber rapid-fire guns, and two 450 mm torpedo tubes. Booking (Krupp steel): belt 150 — 60 mm, deck 45 — 65 mm and 35 mm, turret 200 — 180 mm, tower 164 mm guns 165 — 130 mm, casemates: 140 mm, cutting 200 mm. Excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1931
101. Armored cruiser “Victor Hugo” (France, 1904)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in the Loriana. The 13 displacement of 100 tons, maximum length 146,45 m, width 21,41 m, draft of 8.41 m. the three-shaft Power plants triple extensions 28 500 HP, speed 22.5 per node. Armament: four 194 mm/40, and sixteen of the 164-mm/45 guns, twenty-four 47-mm and two 37-mm small-caliber rapid-fire guns, and two 450 mm torpedo tubes. Booking (Krupp steel): belt 150 — 70 mm deck 45 — 65 mm and 35 mm, turret 200 — 180 mm, tower 164 mm guns 165 — 130 mm, casemates: 140 mm, cutting 200 mm. Only 1902 — 1905 built in three units: “Jules ferry”, “Victor Hugo” and “Leon Gambetta”. “Gambetta” sunk by submarine in April 1915 the other Two excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1927 — 1930s
102. Armored cruiser “Gluar” (France, 1904)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in the Loriana. A displacement of 10 200 tons, the maximum length 139,78 m, width-20,19 m, draft of 7.67 m. the three-shaft Power plants triple expansion 21 800 HP скорость21,5 site. Armament: two 194 mm/40, eight 164 mm/45 and six 100-mm/50 guns, eight 47-mm small-caliber rapid-fire guns, and two 450 mm torpedo tubes. Booking (gurievskaya Nickel steel): belt 150 — 60 mm, deck 40 — 45 mm 20 — 35 mm, tower 170 — 140 mm, turret 164-mm guns, 100 mm, 85 mm casemates, cutting 150 mm. Only 1902 — 1905 built five units: “Gluar”, “Sully”, “Conde”, “Marselles” and “Amiral About”. “Sully” was wrecked in September, 1905, remaining excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1922— 1933

The difference was in the “second pass” uniform 138 streng-rook took a combination of more solid, but less shooter 164 mm guns and entered just at this time in the fashion of a 100-mm long-barreled skorostrel. (It was assumed that they will be able to fill the shells of the unarmored hull of the enemy at close range ) the rest of the ships were almost identical And they again did not approve of the Shipbuilding Council, which ignored conservatives and reformists. This situation, of course, simplified the procedure of passage of projects, but more and more were bred on different sides of designers and “responsible persons” who made the decisions, the Result is gradually affected by the program of shipbuilding was sometimes random and malovozdelannyj. So, in 1898, when relations with Britain deteriorated due to colonial disputes, appeared on the scene the project of building, in addition to the ships of other classes, 12 new cruisers However, even such a solid number seemed one of the officials is insufficient, and there was a proposal to double, creating eight divisions of three ships and no One tried to demand from visionaries justify such a number Useful even the ability to count money the Minister and his advisers understood that such a giant leap will be beyond the power nor the finances of the country, no domestic shipyards have Decided to stay on compromise among the 18 courts, in essence, as great light-gathering and unreasonable Who liked it — so it’s the manufacturers At about the same wages of shipbuilders in England and France the price of similar warships were more than half — in favor of, and so more of the wealthy English, the Reason was much more expensive steel and other materials At the end of the French cruiser caught up on the price of the British battleships, much more useful in linear battle Multitube giants could only run away from the enemy in the case of the battle But was not perfect for they are as hunters of merchant ships Use them to fight on communications a bit like trying to break an egg with a sledge hammer Armored monsters not enough range in the apparent abundance of artillery and almost unnecessary in the open ocean full reservation British with evident satisfaction, watched the gradual degradation of the cruising fleet of the neighbor and (still) main rival on the seas, rightly believing that the more outwardly menacing cruiser the less will be the trade routes in the event of war Not too scared of the British and the fact that in 1903 they were only 23 and ready to build modern armored cruisers against 16 French.
And the latter continued to “swell” in size, trying to overtake the military power of their opponents the English channel At this time, the designers have taken the bold step of trying to replace the “brand” odnorodnye tower on two-gun Externally, in one fell swoop the number of guns has increased by exactly half (of the new series of cruiser “Leon Gambetta” had four 194 mm and sixteen of the 164 mm guns). However, the actual advantage was not as significant as the first installation with two guns of medium caliber were less precise and less rate of fire (over time challenges have been solved, but it took years ) Between the weight of the additional guns were forced to increase the displacement beyond which seemed just a few years ago too huge “Joan of Arc” Bookings remained at the same level, the experts considered it quite sufficient, especially since the armor on the Creusot factories now produced according to the method of Krupp, providing greater stability for the same thickness.
The Achilles heel of the French armored cruisers remained speed none of them could reach more than 22 knots in battle formation, whereas some of the English “Drake” had reached 24 Attempt to break the bad tradition was taken following the Minister of marine, To Pelletan This deft politician outwardly followed the ideas of the same for several decrepit “Young school” but cared more about the interests of “socially close” to him of Industrialists development Programme, the fleet was gradually narrowed quantitatively, in all classes, on the grounds that will be built by more sophisticated (and hence more expensive and best shipbuilding firms) unit One of these “leaders” were intended to be “Ernest Renan”, advertised in advance as the high-speed version of “Gambetta” and “sisterships” In fact, the cruiser lost four 164-mm guns, the price of which acquired more powerful power plant, which allowed, finally, to develop 24 knots So the fleet appeared fast armored cruiser, but in a single instance, moreover, it was built slowly, and by the time of commissioning, Britain was able to oppose his first three battle cruisers ready and still the same — the stocks Against their 12-Dujmovic and 25-knots speed, none of the “French” there was already no trumps.
However, France almost lucky she was with the British in the part of one military Alliance, the Entente “Almost” because flawed unilateralism her cruising forces still emerged with the beginning of world war I In the area of responsibility of the French part of the Mediterranean sea. It seemed that everything went in the best way Italy declared its neutrality, and the only enemy was Austria-Hungary, the cruising fleet, which consisted of only a pair of armored and four new high-speed light units (not counting the very outdated and weak ships) And then it turned out that two dozen formidable multitube “men at arms” were almost completely useless against such a weak enemy To block Trotsky Strait had to use armored cruisers — other any modern units of this class in France was not Remained ominously to smoke many pipes, without any hope to catch up with the speed of the Austrian “scouts”.
Meanwhile, the enemy was not asleep the Enemy, against whom was rendered useless many guns and armor — submarines during the first months of the war “Jules ferry” thrice barely evaded their torpedoes, Renan is twice Much less lucky “Gambetta” In the joyful time of accession of Italy to the allies in the sea for the implementation of the blockade came all were under the hand of the armored cruiser, since it was expected that the Austrians will try to revenge on the former ally Shortly after midnight on 26 April 1915 “Leon Gambetta”, the flagship of the squadron, received two torpedoes from the submarine U-5, and quickly began to roll Wibehouse on the deck the sailors in the dark (all Dynamo out of order) was looking for ways to rescue squadron Commander, rear Admiral Victor See, seeing this commotion, shouted, “don’t worry! All boats — your Officers will remain on Board!” Indeed, in the only boat which managed to be lowered into the water, there was not a single officer. Noble and nice gesture all the same could not compensate for the totally useless loss of almost seven hundred people, and most importantly — the fact fiasco of the French cruising fleet Blockade had to be removed, and the rest of the war the mighty Novotrubniy carried out mainly in the own databases the Command of the French Navy, forced to inaction because of the blunders in the strategy of shipbuilding, has received an important lesson and never neglected the harmonic development of their light forces.

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