4 Dec 1867, took place at the first sight unremarkable event that opened is actually a completely new era in military shipbuilding. The stocks of the steel company “William Armstrong and company”, noted for his work in the field of armaments and hydraulics, in the waters of the river Tyne in Newcastle went first built it the ship — the gunboat “Staunch”. The value of the birth of this small gunboats designed by firm Manager George Ringelem, it is difficult to overestimate. Tiny ship, which cost just 6700 pounds, became the ancestor of a number of warships, primarily cruisers, the glory “Armstrong” and transformed the enterprises of the average breeder in this Empire arms.

Little kolodka found admirers in England and abroad. Success has brought the company revenue and prompted its owner and chief designer for further work in this new field of military shipbuilding. However, the company “Armstrong” could easily suffer the fate of many other firms the neophyte to appear on such a complex market and then lachiusa unenviable existence or completely disappearing in history. Hope to receive state orders on a larger (therefore more expensive) ships, the newcomer was not. This required at least large stocks, i.e. the additional costs. To reverse the situation could only extraordinary idea. A few years later she appeared at the head of Randall. And received the full endorsement of the future of Lord William.
The idea looked quite simple. If small countries do not have sufficient funds to order, and then contain large ships, what prevents to create for them a much smaller unit, but armed with enough heavy artillery and has a decent move? Modern gun mechanics and hydraulic machines (which ate the dog armstrongism engineers), it is allowed to repeat the success achieved with “Staunen”, but with the ocean or even a sea cruiser. And almost without spending additional money! George Randall offered to make two of the gunboats one by connecting them stern.
And in 1880 the firm “Armstrong” tried to build his new creation: “two-way” rangelovska Kolodko enlarged to the size of the ocean ship in the expectation that she will be able to swim and fight in the open sea. So was born the three first astronomski cruisers, had a very solid pair of arms 254-mm guns and quite a cruising speed of 16.5 knot. This ship looked very tempting for “poor people”, allowing not only to solve problems with its neighbours, but also to make you think the major powers, whose stationery hardly wished to ten-inch shell, thousands of miles from their country.
Two such ships, the “Yang-Wei” and “Zhao-Yun”, ordered China, just starting at that time to the creation of a modern Navy. They were commissioned with an interval of only one day on 15 and 16 July 1881. Since the freeboard and did not reach two meters, for the distillation to the far East in the bow and stern had to build a special bulwark to ships acquired the chance to be submerged by a big wave, like tin cans. Nonetheless, both cruisers and arrived safely in the far East, where it became the basis of the Chinese Navy. However, their fate was unenviable: the “Yang” and “Zhao” was killed in the battle of the Yalu river on 17 September 1894.
Third, the “Arturo Prat”, meant Chile, which was in a state of armed conflict with Peru. However, the war had to end before joining a “mini-battleships” in the system, and the Chilean government put it up for sale. In 1885, the “Prat” bought by the future rival China — Japan. Renamed “Tsukushi” he had the fighting experience in the Sino-Japanese war in 1895.
But calling these ships cruisers full possible only with the big stretch. For the role of raider, guard or scout they had obviously lack of range and autonomy and, most importantly, too little freeboard. Their large-caliber guns could shoot only in absolutely calm weather, and to go to sea in a storm “dual canadkan” is simply not recommended, as, indeed, their normal single people. (Suffice it to recall the fate of our larger “Mermaid”, which sank in the Gulf of Finland). Even in the location of the main fire first armstrongites much “canadaone” the origin: to place within a tiny body complete rotating plant for a 10-inch switchblade stiletto just not possible, and these guns could only shoot in a narrow sectors through the slot ports, though on both sides.
However, astronomski designers (and in the firm at different times worked and William white, and Philip watts— all the major shipbuilders in the British Navy of the late XIX — early XX century, with the exception of N. Barnaby) always remained characteristic doesn’t stop there. Was no exception and Randall. In 1882, at the shipyard in Walker Allspice, built on the profits derived from the sale kolodok, he ceratium (also Chile) laid “the Esmeralda”, which became the prototype of all “Elswick” cruisers, subsequently gained the popularity of combat units composed of many “third class” of Maritime powers, which, in essence, only through them and was able to create a modern naval force.
52. Armored cruiser “Piemonte” (Italy, 1889)
Built at the shipyard of Armstrong in Allspice. A displacement of 2450 tons, length of maximum 97,3 m, beam 11,62 m, draft 4,86 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants double extension 7000 HP, speed 20.5 per node (in trials 12 980 HP and 22.3 per node). Armament: six 152 mm, six 120-mm guns, ten 57-mm and six 37-mm small-caliber, rapid-firing all four MGS, two 356-mm torpedo tubes. Booking: deck 25 — 37 mm, bevels up to 76 mm, the shields of the guns 114 mm cutting 76 mm. In 1891 the composition of the artillery changed to two 152-mm and ten 120 mm, in 1913, ten 120-mm, six 57-mm and two 37-mm guns. Excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1920
53. Armored cruiser Esmeralda (Chile, 1894)
Was built by firm “Armstrong”. A displacement of 2950 tons, maximum length of 83.5 m, a width of 12.80 m, draft 5,64 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants “compound” 6800 HP, speed 18.2 host. Armament: two 254-mm and six 152-mm guns, two 57-mm and five 37-mm small-caliber rapid-fire, three 356-mm torpedo tubes. Booking: deck 12.7 mm (on the bevels to 51 mm), shields, guns 51 is 37 mm, cutting 51 mm. In 1894 sold to Japan and renamed “Izumi”. In 1899 152-mm guns are replaced by 120mm rapid-fire, in 1901 254-mm to 152-mm quick-firing, at the same time the torpedo tubes replaced by 457-mm. in addition, the new water-tube boilers. Actively participated in the Russo-Japanese war, after which was only used for auxiliary tasks. Excluded from the lists in 1912.
54. Unarmored cruiser “Tsukushi” (Japan, 1886)
Was built by firm “Armstrong”. Displacement 1350 tons, maximum length of 65.1 m, width of 9.71 m, draught of 4.42 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants 2890 HP, speed of 16.5 knot. Armament: two 254-mm and four 120-mm guns, two 76 mm and four 37-mm small-caliber, two 457-mm torpedo tubes. Booking: artillery 25 mm, cutting 12.7 mm. Completed construction in 1883, and in 1895 bought by Japan in 1898 and upgraded with the replacement of small-caliber artillery on the new 76-mm and 47-mm rapid-fire guns. In 1907 excluded from the existing fleet, was used as a training ship until 1910, in which scrapped.
55. Armored cruiser Etna (Italy, 1887)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Castellammare. Displacement 3530 tonnes, maximum length of 91.4 m, a width of 13,22 m, draft 5,83 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants double extension 7000 HP., speed 17.5 per node. Armament: two 254-mm and six 152-mm guns, five 57-mm and six 37 mm rapid-fire small-caliber, two 356-mm torpedo tubes. Booking: 37 mm, shields, guns of 12.7 mm, cutting 12.7 mm. In 1887 — 1889 was built 4 units: “Etna”, “Vesuvio”, “Stromboli” and “the Ettore Fieramosca”. Artillery was replaced in 1900 and 1907. Excluded from the lists of the fleet, respectively, in 1921, 1911, 1907 and 1909.

George Rendell used almost all known in those days, and is appropriate for small vehicle, modern materials and technical solutions. The case of “Esmeralda” was made of steel, had a double bottom and was divided into a large number of watertight compartments by bulkheads, which began from a double bottom and going up to the residential deck. The armor deck of the “correct” shape (with bevels) were also waterproof. Above it, across the Board was the dam of the very small cells filled with cork. They complement the system of larger living spaces between armour and residential decks, some of which were filled with coal, which was the only protection Board. It is clear that such a miniature ship armor couldn’t be thick, but 25 — 51 mm bevels is quite consistent with the protection of a much larger armored cruisers. All the vital equipment — mechanical installation, the steering machine and the cellar of ammunition, managed to place beneath the armored deck. The designer has taken care of the artillery: artillery systems and ways of feeding ammunition to a 254-mm guns had a one-inch armor.
It is clear that all these advantages given not free. The case of “Esmeralda”, although not as low as in the “double Kolodko” still remains insufficiently seaworthy. Under normal load the top, it is the same battery, deck towered above the waterline only 3.3 meters. This was enough for relatively calm coastal waters of the South American continent, but “Esmeralda” was there only for 10 years. It is noteworthy that for so long the time for steady technical progress of the period of time the cruiser was still considered quite modern, unlike many much larger and more powerful units, hopelessly outdated for the same years. Therefore, in November 1894, he readily bought by Japan, where the war against China became more and more inevitable. Esmeralda, named “Izumi” has arrived in the far East just in time to take part in the fighting.
In his new Fatherland “Izumi” was not alone. By that time Japan already got their own (booked directly) “esmeralde”. The first armored cruiser of the Navy of the Mikado was designed for “Armstrong,” the future chief constructor of the British Navy William white, retaining all the positive elements of the prototype, but by increasing the height of the Board. However, displacement increased by nearly 700 tonnes, but “Naniwa” and “Takachiho” have become more stable and seaworthy. Increased armor protection, and bronaaaa managed to lift above the waterline, which also contributed to greater survivability. There is still a double bottom, and side coal bunkers become more extensive, and finally established as a kind of “armor”. Armstrong has lost only one point, however, is quite sensitive: the Japanese have insisted that the cruiser received weapons from the German guns. And 10-and 6-inch switchblade stiletto has put the firm at that time still unknown, but in the future the famous breeder — Krupp. However, the British still managed to win when in front of the Russo-Japanese war raised the question of modernization is already old by the time cruisers, the choice is unreservedly in favour astronomski guns. 152-mm “allsvenska” skorostrel in two stages replaced by the German “enemy”, first replaced the 150-mm, and three years later — and the main guns. As a result of “Naniwa” with five modern six-inch in the side volley became one of the strongest among his classmates — small cruisers.
The sensation produced by the first armstrongism armored cruiser, did not go unnoticed either among overseas customers, or in Europe. Italy, the victim in 1866 the defeat in the battle of Lissa against the Austrians, decided to bring their Navy to a modern level, despite the fact that the country was experiencing significant financial difficulties. Naval budget in the period from 1862 to 1870 was reduced more than three times and by the 1880s the years has increased but not yet reached the previous pre-war level. It is therefore not surprising that the eyes of the professionals turned to England with her cheaper ships, but already there is to the “Armstrong” offering very attractive in the battle against the court for a small price.
In 1882, on the stocks at Walker ceremony of the fourth “Esmeralda” — for Italy. “Giovanni Busan” differed little from the prototype, though, and had slightly higher Board. The thickness of the armored deck did not exceed 37 mm, the logging is only 12.7 mm, and the artillery was practically identical weapons armstrongism first child. The Italians insisted on trying to combine all the advantages of belaruskogo of the vessel, which was itself “Esmeralda”, and its Japanese descendants, with rigging. It does not improve the running and performance quality, although the displacement 3080 t “Busan” was able to develop the speed test 17.4 per node. In the end the sails and mast were removed, and the rest of the Italian version proved equally successful, as well as other “armstrongists”. At the end of the XIX century “Busan” rearmed korostelina, and in 1905 took a bold step with the new, quite modern 10″inch switchblade stiletto” with a barrel length of 40 calibres, supplementing them with a real mix of 75-, 57 – and 37-mm skorostrel different models and manufacturers. However, the service once good cruiser had already been drawn to the sunset. In 1913, he became stationary water desalination and command headquarters in the newly captured from the Turks Tobruk, and at the beginning of the First world war lost their 10-Dujmovic needed at the front. After serving four years as a depot ship for submarines, in 1920, “Busan” went for scrapping.
Economical and powerful (albeit largely nominal) strongosky option is so liked Italians that they decided to build a series of similar ships. The chief designer of the young Navy Carlo Vigna tried to reproduce the prototype, however, the possibilities of industry in Italy was slightly inferior to the British. The cruisers of the “Etna” came out heavier (3370 — 3540 t) and less speed: but some builders were able to provide them with the machines required power. Timing of construction — from 4 to 5 years, and was twice greater than in the factories of Armstrong. However, the delay allowed us to install the last unit of the series, “the Ettore Fieramosca,” the 6-inch rapid-fire guns. Since 1900 the Italian “busani” repeatedly rearmed, and in 1907 they carried four 6-inch switchblade stiletto, two 120 of graph paper and the usual motley collection of small-caliber skorostrel. At the same time, in essence, their career ended: “Stromboli” was taken from the lists of the fleet, “Etna” was a training ship, then a floating headquarters and ended the service with a pretty honorable role the headquarters of the ship of the commander of the current fleet in Taranto.
You might think that a “small cruiser with big guns” has finally become the trademark product of Armstrong. In fact, the designers of the firm, actively engaged in more and weapons, knew that a 10 inch switchblade stiletto on such a small platform are not optimum. To begin with, every time to load, they ought to expand in the diametrical plane that the projectile weighing over 200 kg it was possible to submit and to follow through with the help of hydraulic mechanisms.
As a result, even under ideal conditions of a main battery first armstrongites could produce one shell in 3 minutes — less than the larger battleships. In principle, it remained more or less acceptable, but only before the advent of quick-firing guns, which could put on the bottom is small and not too heavily defended ships before they would fall to his opponent of the 254-mm monsters. So sooner or later all the surviving “Esmeralda” lost their frightening guns, replacing them with more modest, but also more efficient 6-inch skorostrel.
By William Armstrong watched with one eye for the “gun mod” and others for their potential customers. And he was able to offer Italy the next “hit”: the first cruiser, only armed with quick-firing guns— the famous “Piedmont”.
One of the direct reasons for ordering this ship was the fact that in 1886, Italy acquired on the stocks of the Greek cruiser “Salamis”, also designed by designers of “Armstrong”, joined the Italian Navy under the name “Dogali”. With a displacement of 2100 tons, he had a 51-mm armor deck, the speed of 19.25 node, artillery, six 152-mm and nine small-caliber rapid-fire guns, a very powerful armament for such a small displacement. The acquisition of such a successful vehicle literally forced the Italian fleet to again resort to the services of the firm “Armstrong”.
In order for “the Piedmont” the main requirement was the creation of a combat vessel cruising class with the greatest speed for a given displacement. Honor the development of this little masterpiece belongs to Watts, who at the time was the chief naval engineer of the company. He watched the construction on a new shipyard in Alsviki, built near the old Walker with the money raised from the sale of a variety of esmerald.
“Product” has been fully. With a displacement of only about 2.5 million tons, “Piemonte” carried as many 6-inch guns as “Dogali”, but rapid-fire; in addition, a similar number of 120-millimetrovogo. All his artillery consisted of twelve skorostrel medium caliber, nominally producing the same amount of shells per minute, as the whole “volcanic” four predecessors. While the rate of the test was reached 22.3 per node is a good indication not only for 1889, but a decade later. Not surprisingly, the case was lightweight for such a powerful artillery, which in the beginning of 1890-ies have changed, leaving a couple of 6-inch and ten 4.7-inch guns. However, and as such, the “Piedmont” remained unique for its time (and not only!) battleship, which opened to William Armstrong the way to new heights and new profits.

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