The Record-Union (Sacramento, CA)-23 November 1895--Building new battleships under the new administration, and their superiority

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 - THE NEW KEARSARGE. Powerful American...
THE NEW KEARSARGE. Powerful American Battleships About to be Built. They Will Cost $5,000,000 Each, and Will be tlie Most Destructive War Vessels Afloat—Nothing Could Stand Up Against Them—First Description of These Formidable Vessels. ((Copyright by the United Press, 18U5.) WASHINGTON, Nov. 22.—Within a year after the famous frigate Kearsarge was wrecked on Roncador Reef Congress determined to perpetuate the name by giving it to the most powerful defender of American rights that could be designed by our naval constructors, and by its Act of March 2, 1895, authorized two great armored battleships, to ultimately cost, complete, about 0,---000,000 each, and to be invulnerable against the heaviest sea-going fighters oi any foreign navy. The specific provision that one of these vessels should be christened Kearsarge made an exception to the law stipulating that ships of this class should be named for States of the Union, and Congress alone had power to modify this requirement. As no suggestion was made in the case of the sister ship, the suggestion has been made that she be called after Secretary Herbert's native State, the other sections of the country having been reirembered in the Oregon, Indiana, Massachusetts and lowa. This question will not be pressed until the launching time comes—about two years hence —and in the meantime, in accordance with the usual custom of the Navy Department, the vessels will be officially known as battleships No. 5 and Ko. G. Legislative authority also declared that one of the vessels should be built on the Pacific Coast, unless reasonable bids could not be secured from that locality, and the limit of cost, exclusive of armament, was fixed at 4,---000,000. These being the first great warships designed under the present Administration, it was resolved that no effort ; should be spared to make them, without question, the highest types of their class: and for the past six months lively controversies have raged in the Navy Department over their smallest details, every .portion of the designs having been* exhaustively discussed by experts. and every advantage of experience gained from other battleships constructed both at home and abroad having been fully utilized. One essential requisite laid down by Secretary Herbert was that these vessels should draw less water when fully laden than any other first-class battle- i Bhip, either in this country or abroad, j The largest foreign battle-ships, when ready for sea duty, draw in the neighb< rhood of twenty-eight feet of water. Our existing battle-ships, while drawing twenty-four feet at normal dispiace-ment, owing to the settling by the stern due to increased weight, really draw about twenty-seven feet. Battleships 5 and ♦> have been designed to draw but twenty-five feet, with 1,200 tons- of coals and all stores and ammu- j nition on board. This will enable them j to i each all the principal navy yards and ports of the country even when fully laden, and will make their dock- Ing less difficult than that of the other American battle-ships. The question of the caliber ami disposition of the large guns gave rise to more discussion than any other question in connection with these vessels. Chief Constructor Hichborn, who is responsible for all designs under the new : the Navy Department, held , > differing radically from tfc I Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. . gns and builas the guns. The constructor advocated that the : -t tuns should be twelve li , : . carried in two tur; and that eight-inch guns should b<- carried in four turrets, making six turrets in all. The Chief of Ordnance I the novel schena • of two double-decked turrets on each ship, in which were to !>•■ mounted two 13-inch guns, and in the upper part two 8-inch guns, making the heavier battery consist of fnur 13-inch and four 8-inch in two turrets. The department, upon the majority vote of tl • Council of Bureau Chiefs, finally B<lopted this plan, and the K'.-inch and b guns will accordingly be rr.ounted in double turrets, one rigidly Buperposed on the other. These gun positions will be elliptical in section, with major axes in the lin-cf tire, and will have complete armor protection from a distance of foi below the water line to the top of the 6-inch turrets. This armor, as well as all arm^r used <>n these v< ssels, will b< solid nickel-steel. Harveyized. Tht' lower part of the protection, the bocalled barbettes, as well as the 13-inch turrets, will have armor fifteen inches thick, except Immediately in front, where it will b* 1 increased to seventeen Inches. The armor protecting the 8-inch guns will be nine inches heavier ■There the guns protrude. In addition to these heavy guns, a battery of fourteen 5-inch rapid-lire guns will be mounted on the main deck between the turrets and will be pi «d by continuous armor six inches thick, a B] linter bulkhead two inches thick c h gun station. A numerous bati Ix-pounder guns and '■:• I guns will be , :i lire to advant. The protection of th<- hull against in- Jury to the vital regions along the v ■ 'Hue v. ill <ns of a side armor belt of sixteen and a half Inches maximum thickness, with a mean depth disposed In rel to the loadline that the vessel, with 410 tons of coal aboard. Will have three and a half feet ot this belt armor above the water, a'-.l with 1.210 tons of coal aboard, two f. I V. HI I I I tO VieW Th( a j from the stem to U I md maintaining a maximum thickness from its after end t>> the forward boiler room bulkhead will taper gradually to fout inches behind the Protection will be afforded above the i. a Bide armor by a steel i»-lt Qve it a thick, extending op to the level »f the main deck and running in a foreai . ■ lirection from the center of t irward to the center of the after \ tte. <>n top of the n:ai:i side armor b It will rest a Hat steel -leek two and . urter inch'-s thick, an-i f ibaft the machinery and boiler spaces this deck will be inch: ; ; the Bides, and the thickness on : .: .-1 (0 thi ■ five inches. To further protect the ye.---■: against raking fire athwartship, bulkheads ( .f armor ten and tweh > Inch.? thick will be placed at the points where the deck Joins the in- Clini In addition to the armor fcelts, cofferdams fiilled with pressed, fireproof American corn-pith cellulose, recently tested with such satisfactory results, will be distributed the entire length of the- vessel in the region of the water line between the coal bunkers and the ship's outei skin. The conning tower armor is t' be ten inches thick, with a tube seven Inches thi'k leading ■'.own to the arirv.r deck for the protection of voice telegraph, steering rods, etc. Throughout the vessel the use of w tod is reduced to a minimum, the stateroom bulkheads being made of st< el. i ivered with cork sheathing. Every attention is given to lighting, heating, draining and ventilating the vessel in the most approved and modern manner, three distin. ■: electric lighting plants being Installed, each furnishing 100 amperes of curi eighty volts. All wood material of ■very description is to be treated by electric fireproofing process. As these ships are intended for duty as flagships, accommodations are made for a complement of 520 persons, officers, seamen and marines. They may carry provisions and small stores for a three months' stay at sea, summer and winter clothing in sufficient quantity for a year's service, and, besides the distilling apparatus capacity, the tanK holds a supply of fresh water to last fifteen days. The Kearsarge and her sister ship will be driven by two sets of triple-expansion engines, in separate compartments, actuating twin screws, each screw being propelled by direct-acting engines having cylinders of 3314 inches, 51 inches and 78 inches diamefer, with a common stroke of 48 inches, indicating, together with the engines for air and circulating pumps, a collective horse-power of 10,---000, when making about 120 revolutions a minute. Five boilers, two double-ended and two single, in four water-tight compartments, will generate the necessary steam at a pressure of 180 pounds to the square inch. There will be no speed premiums, a penalty of $10,000 a knot being imposed for failure to reach the contract speed of sixteen knots for four consecutive hours. If the speed falls below fifteen knots, which is highly improbable, the vessel may, in the President's discretion, be rejected altogether. The main features of the Kearsarge's design involve the following dimensions: Length of load water line, 3GS feet. Beam, extreme, 72 feet 2.5 inches. Freeboard, forward. 14 feet 3 inches. Freeboard, aft, 12 feet 3 inches. Mean draft, with 410 tons of coal, 23 feet (5 inches. Corresponding displacement, 11,500 tons. Speed, per hour, 16 knots. Indicated horse-power. 10,000. Total coal supply, loose stowage, 1,210 tons. Torpedo tubes, two each broadside, one in stem. To serve the batteries, 481 ton of ammunition will be habitually carried on each ship, distributed as follows: Thirteen-inch breech-loading rifles, 200 rounds. Kight-inch breech-loading rifles, 500 rounds. Five-inch rapid-fire rifles, 3,500 rounds. Six-pounder rapid-fire rifles, 10,000 rounds. One-pounder rapid-fire rifles, 24,000 rounds. h magazine is intended to contain 208 000 rounds of 45 caliber cartridges, to be fed into the insatiable maws of the four Gatlings, each capable of discharging 1,500 shots a minute; 109,000 rounds of .236 caliber nickeled pellets for the repeating rifles with which Jack Tar and the marines will shortly be equipped, and 88,000 rounds of 38 caliber ball cartridges for the self-cocking long naval revolvers to be useful in hoarding an enemy. Eight Whitehead torpedoes will ordinarily be stored ready for launching, and for landing purposes a mounted regulation field pun has not been omitted. It is conservatively estimated that the Kearsarge, in commission, will have sufficient am- Iftion aboard to kill or disable over llion persons, and that she will be to fire it all away within five s—the calculated duration limit of rce fight afloat, cry comparison of these ships with foreign battleship, built or buildin c:. is clearly favorable to the American design. The United States ship? will carry heavier guns and more of and heavier armor, more widely ut-il and protecting more thor■ iLchly the vitals of the ship and gun . r» w. While their normal speed of en knots will be less on paper than ■if some foreign battleships, it is • ble that it will be obtained with a very moderate forced draft for a periodof four hours and without unduly pushing the engines, so that at any iin:- this velocity can be duplicated by cur vessels, foreign battleships notori'•n~ly never again approaching their e-n easured mile trial speeds. The 1 States has never fallen into error with its battleships, but in has required that the maxi'■ontract speed should be obtained p conditions which could be reat any time upon a welldrilled ship. As illustrative of this the Indiana, upon her recent of•iial run, although she had b •■>-: i ear, and presumait half a knot through the rough: h< r bottom, due t-. accumulated marine growth, stiil averaged a l."> 1-2 knot rate four hours, the contract rt•;;-nt being fifteen only. The n■. m;>y prove to be really 16---bips Nos. 5 and <5, with about the same extreme speed, Ldapted to maneuver in company with them. The Kearsarge, when using as bases of action ports having not more than 'Si if water at their entrances, will be ■ 1 to 410 tons of coal, which will I her to cruise 1,350 nautical miles IM-knot rate, or L'.imn miles at 10 knots per hour. When operating from ■ -water harbor, however, her bunuom is so ample that 1,210 tons can ipidly stored in her. it being pos! sible to dump that amount with the is.- into the bunkers without iiing or handling, and with this amount, for all ordinary contingencies, r service in time of war along our • at a cruising velocity of 13 knots, m steam nearly 4,000 miles, or at ore leisurely 10-knot rate she can go over G.OOO miles. In case it benecessary to send her greater dis-3 she has provision to carry tern• ily about r>Hi) tons outside the bunwhlcfa would give her the incomble limit of '.Uioo miles. :1 external appearance and gement battle-ships Nos. ."> and (5 i will more nearly resemble the Indiana :han the Iowa: but the single huge tower of the Indiana will be replaced • i graceful military masts with ng tops, and the Indiana's short 1 smokestack will be lengthened to secure relopmeni Of more power and the Of b. tter speed when Ing under natural draft alone. Perhaps the must novel feature of vessels, and the one which is distly In advance <.f any battle-ships in the world, is the unprecedented for- I midable secondary battery of fourteen 5-inch rapid-fire rifies, incased behind the protection of five inches of the armor. Th<- 5-inch gun is the lai caliber that can be fired with extreme rapidity, and the protection given these guns Is such that it could be penetrated by but f^w of the weapons with which any possible opponent is armed. rience In the recent war between j China and Japan clearly Indicated the r of rapid-fire eruns and nstrated that to enable such guns their best work, they should have protection than has heretofore n them. The terrific destructive offsets of the . tary battery can hardly be over■ I at all ranges the \nz thir[nch "Peacemakers" in the turrets, their half-ton projectiles, Btriking .. can smash to pieces anything •. and tii" eight-inch rifles, throw- Kplosive shells over a range of ten -. are calculated to disconcert an ■>-: but the five-inch battery is reined upon to thoroughly demoralize or |y annihilate him. Upon such a si' i«U- platform as the Kearsarge will ;;>. and on account of the rapidity j with which the five-Inch rifle may be it>-ly manipulated, naval experts • lent of their ability to drive ■cutlve shells into identical spots slowly moving target, one opening the path for its follower, five is having been tire,: from one of guns in twenty-four seconds. A ; hail of fifty-pound explosive proes from these fourteen .mins would the vulnerable parts of any war 1 and speedily force it out of ac- Bucfa are the vessels for which bids will be opened next Saturday, Xovem-30th, and which, according to the ; contracts, must be delivered to the rnment by the end of 1896 H. L. F. —• The fashionable ladies corrective tonic is I>r. Bfegert*B Angostura Hitters, I the world-icnowned South American I invigorator. J to two one Joe S. to of t or one i.. \\. lor \\ in It. of Bradley a of no beautiful coli : It Is I is udn.lnlsi I !

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  1. The Record-Union,
  2. 23 Nov 1895, Sat,
  3. Page 5

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  • — The Record-Union (Sacramento, CA)-23 November 1895--Building new battleships under the new administration, and their superiority

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