Speed advancements and new records in battle ships
Speed la Battle-Ships. . The trial trip of the battle-ship Alabama was made under conditions and circumstances that gave it certain pic- turesqueness.' For the first time in the history of the navy, battle-ships were used as stake boats. The Texas, Mas sachusetts, Indiana, Kentucky, and Kearsarge. representing all types of our battle-ships, were In line, as it were, to receive the Alabama. The contract called for a speed of sixteen knots; the new battle-ship averaged seventeen knots for the whole trip. . ' The Oregon, one of our fastest battleships In the practical test of war, made on her trial trip 16.78 knots. The Massachusetts, had.. ; mean speed of 10.15 knots. - ThelMdlaha had on her trial trip a speed of 13.61.' The Iowa In 1897 did better than any Other battle-shipion her trial trip and left her builders' hands with a record of .17.04 knots. The Ken tucky last year was given a record of 16.81 knots, and the Kearsarge 16.S. Considering that the Alabama was not forced in any particular, she stands to day the fastest battle-ship in the navy. The importance of this trial was not in the spectacular features, but in the record; in tho. fact that the attempt of the naval authorities and shipbuilders so to construct -battle-ships as to give them a high rate of speed without weak ening them as great fighting machines has been successful. We have now ready for service the battle-whips Iowa, Indi ana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Kearsarge, Kentacky, and Alabama. All of them except the Texas are, under the old rating, nxst-class ships. The Texas ha a -a displacement of 6,313 tons, the OregoivMassachusetta, and In diana, 10,223 tons each, the Iowa 11,340 tons; the Kearsarge, Kentucky, and Al abama, and the nearly completed Illi nois and Wisconsin, have a displacement of 11,525 tons. The Maine, Missouri, and Ohio, in process of construction, have a displacement of 18,500 tons each. The Georgia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, ordered by Congress, are to hare a dis placement of 13,500 tons each. It will be seen by this that we have been increasing the size of our battle ships from year fo year and at the same time Increasing the speed. Under the old rule of classification the displace ment of a vessel determined Its class. Under the new rule, speed, fighting ca pacity, as well as size, will figure and our armored cruisers as well aa all our battleships will be rated as first class.