FOREIGN SHIPBUILDING PROGRAM
OFFICE OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE, January 31, 1914.
The naval estimates of the principal powers show a steady increase as compared with those of the preceding year.
The only battleships now under construction are of the all-big-gun type, and of increased tonnage.
The only battle cruiser authorized during the year was the German cruiser Ersatz Hertha.
The 12-inch gun for battleships has now been universally discarded in favor of a 13.4-inch or larger gun, England, Germany, and Italy having adopted a 15-inch weapon. France adheres to the 13.4-inch gun, but has increased the number in each turret to four.
Submarines are receiving marked attention, and their size and speed have been greatly increased.
Mining ships and submarine salvage ships are now found in all the principal navies.
Italy and Austria-Hungary are the only naval powers that continue to build small torpedo craft.
The following are the shipbuilding programs of the various naval powers:
[Financial year, April 1 to March 31]
The total naval estimates for 1913-14 amount to $235,213,498 as compared with $228,430,065 for the year 1912-13 (including the supplementary estimates). The principal increases occur under the heads of "Pay of personnel," "Victualing and clothing," and "Naval armaments." The increase in personnel is due to the requirements of new ships being placed in commission and under construction. The total number of officers and men will reach 146,000. The total cost of new construction is $77,662,162.
The actual standard of new construction which the Admiralty has, in fact, followed during recent years has been to develop a 60 per cent superiority in vessels of the dreadnought type over the German Navy on the basis of an existing fleet law.
The naval aid bill, which provided for a grant of £7,000,000 to the Crown for the construction of three first-class ships, was rejected by the Canadian Senate. In order to maintain the margin of naval strength necessary for the whole world protection of the British Empire for the autumn and winter of 1915 and spring of 1916, it was determined to advance the construction of the three contract ships of the 1913 program. The contracts for these ships were awarded during August; the keels of two were laid before the end of the year, while the remaining ships, together with the two to be built in government dockyards, are to be begun during January, 1914.
The shipbuilding program authorized for 1913-14 provides for the following new construction: 5 battleships, 8 light cruisers, 16 destroyers, a group of submarines, and 2 river gunboats.
During the year there were completed the battleships Centurion, Ajax, and Audacious, each of 23,000 tons displacement. The Iron Duke, of 25,000 tons, is completing her trials and will be commissioned shortly. The battlecruiser Australia, of 18,800 tons, and the Queen Mary, of 27,000 tons displacement, have joined the fleet.
The 13.5-inch gun has been discarded in favor of a 15-inch weapon, which is to be mounted on the ships of the 1912 program.
Little is known regarding the battleships of the 1913 program, except that they are to be slightly smaller than their predecessors and that they are to burn coal instead of oil.
Contracts for the eight light cruisers were awarded August 15, 1913. These ships are to be generally similar to those of the preceding year.
Contracts for 13 of the i6 destroyers authorized have been awarded.
Of the submarines authorized neither the number nor the size has been officially announced.
[Financial year, April to March]
The total revised estimates for 1913-14 amount to $112,037,576. The ordinary recurring expenditure is $46,980330; the nonrecurring ordinary expenditure is $53,240,546; the extraordinary expenditure is $11,816,700. This is an increase over last year's (1912-13) final estimates (the ordinary estimates and the supplemental estimates being taken together), of $1,322,532.
Increase of personnel is provided as follows: Two hundred and twenty-three additional officers; 6125 enlisted men. The total authorized strength of the personnel of the navy for 1913 was 3394 officers and 69,495 men.
The existing fleet law as amended provides for by 1920 a fleet to comprise 41 battleships, 20 large cruisers, and 40 small cruisers. In accordance with the memorandum to the estimates of 1905 there are to be altogether 144 torpedo-boats. It is proposed to demand 6 submarines every year. With a 12 years' life this gives an establishment of 72 boats. The law further provides for the maintenance in full commission of about four-fifths of the fleet.
The naval appropriation bill for 1913-14 authorized the following new construction: Two battleships, one battle-cruiser, two small cruisers, one gunboat, one Imperial yacht, one fleet tender, one destroyer flotilla (12), and $4,760,000 for submarine construction and experiments.
During the year there were completed the battleships Kaiserin, König Albert, and Prinzregent Luitpold, each of 24,306 tons displacement, mounting ten 12-inch guns, and the battle-cruiser Seydlitz, of 24,385 tons displacement. The two small cruisers Karlsruhe and Rostock, of 4826 tons displacement, are undergoing their trials and will be commissioned early in 1914. In addition, 12 destroyers and 6 submarines joined the fleet.
The battleships authorized for 1913, the Ers. Wörth and the T, are to be armed with eight 15-inch guns, the first ships of the German Navy to carry guns larger than 12 inches in caliber.
[Financial year, January to December]
The total naval appropriation in the budget as voted for 1913 amounts to $90,164,989, an increase of $8,472,157 over the appropriation for 1912.
The shipbuilding program authorized for 1913 provides for the following new construction: Four battleships, three destroyers, six submarines, one river gunboat, one dispatch boat. According to the law of 1912, only two battleships were to be laid down during 1913, and two during 1914. Authority was asked and obtained to accelerate the construction of the two 1914 battleships. These vessels are to be armed with twelve 13.4-inch guns mounted in three 4-gun turrets.
During the year there were completed the battleships Jean Bart and Courbet each of 23,092 tons displacement, six destroyers, and one submarine.
[Financial year, April to March]
The total naval estimates for the fiscal year 1913-14 amount to $48,105,152, which is an increase over the revised estimates of the preceding year of $1,594,811.
The amount allotted for new construction from the continuing expenditure "Expenses for maintaining naval preparation" is $26,278,631. This includes $2,988,000 additional, which is probably the first installment of a new building program to amount to about 90,000,000 yen ($44,820,000), with which three additional battleships of the Fuso type are to be constructed.
Three battleships were authorized, one of which was laid down during November, 1913.
The only ship completed during the year was the battle-cruiser Kongo, 27,500 tons displacement, armed with eight 14-inch guns.
[Financial year, January to December]
The naval estimates for 1913 amount to $118,643,820. This is an increase over the revised estimates of 1912 of $36,624,187. This increase is in accordance with the shipbuilding program of June 23, 1912, known as the small shipbuilding program, which provides for 4 battle-cruisers, 8 cruisers, 36 destroyers, and 12 submarines, and the previous arrangements for ships to be built for the Black Sea and the Baltic. The principal items of this increase are as follows: New construction of ships, $16,878,390; armaments, $8,810,722; naval ports, $8,104,558.
During the year the contracts for the ships authorized in 1912 were awarded, and many have already been laid down.
There were no additions to the fleet, but the three battleships under construction for the Black Sea fleet were launched during November, 1913, and work is progressing rapidly.
[Financial year, July to June]
The naval estimates for 1913-14 amount to $49,550,147, an increase of $7,656,727 over the estimates for the preceding year. Of the above amount $5,808,260 is for the commercial marine. The balance, $43,203,351, is for the war navy, inclusive of $2,061,723 for pensions, to which must be added, in accordance with the shipbuilding program, an extraordinary credit of $5,790,000 plus $1,640,500 for the "Accounting service," making a total expenditure for the navy of $50,633,851.
The enlisted strength is increased by 4000 men, namely, from 31,000 to 35,000.
The navy appropriation law does not specify the number or type of ships to be laid down, this being left to the discretion of the navy department, but the construction of three battleships was decided upon.
During the year there were completed the cruisers Nino Bixio and Marsala, of 3470 tons displacement. The battleship Guilio Cesare is nearly completed and was undergoing her trials at the end of the year.
[Financial year, January to December]
The naval estimates for 1913 amount to $28,959,414. Of this amount $13,885,200 constitutes the extraordinary credit for new construction allotted for the year 1913 and $14,134,445 the ordinary expenditure. Under these two heads the total amount available for new construction is $15,983,292, of which $191,632 is for armaments. The personnel is hereby increased as follows: 1 rear admiral, 3 captains, 5 commanders, 31 lieutenants, 12 midshipmen, 5 medical officers, 27 engineers, 6 paymasters, and 1500 petty officers and men. The strength will be increased from 14,000 to 21,000 men in 1916.
The only new construction authorized for 1913 were nine torpedo-boats of 250 tons displacement and two colliers.
During the year the battleship Tegetthoff, of 20,010 tons displacement, was completed, as well as the scout cruiser Saida, of 3484 tons, and three destroyers.
PROGRAMS FOR 1914-15
The programs for 1914-15, so far as they have been determined or published, are as follows:
The program for 1914-15 has not yet been published, but the government has been committed by a statement of the First Lord of the Admiralty to the laying down during the year of at least four first-class armored ships. Provision for the construction of scout cruisers, destroyers, and submarines will undoubtedly also be made.
The total naval estimates for 1914-15, which were promulgated the end of November, 1913, amount to $113,993,329. The ordinary recurring expenditure is $52,612,903; the nonrecurring ordinary expenditure is $54,380,846; the extraordinary expenditure is $6,999,580; this is an increase over last year's final estimates of $1,955,753.
Increase of personnel is provided as follows: 218 officers and 5975 enlisted men. The total authorized strength of the navy for 1914 will be 3612 officers and 75468 men.
The estimates authorize the following new construction: One battleship, one battle-cruiser, two small cruisers, one destroyer flotilla, and $4,522,000 for submarine construction and experiments.
According to press reports the naval estimates for the year 1914 amount to $94,401,088, an increase of $5,372,462 over the naval estimates for 1913. For the acceleration of the shipbuilding program (under a loan voted), the sum of $28,092,665 is added to the above amount, making a total expenditure for the navy of $122,493,753. The total expenditure provided for the execution of the naval program amounts to $63,655,515. Provision is also made for an increase of 4350 men in personnel.
It is proposed to lay down the following ships: One battleship, 3 scout cruisers, 1 destroyer, 5 submarines, 1 oiler, and 1 mine layer.
The naval estimates for 1914-15 amount to $50,148,600. The budget has not yet been passed by the Japanese Parliament.
From press reports the budget contains a new naval program entailing an expenditure of $77,864,000 spread over seven years. The first installment of $4,980,000 authorizes the construction of 1 battleship, 16 destroyers, and 10 submarines.
From press reports the naval estimates presented to the Duma on October 6, 1913, amounted to $130,597,902, which is an increase over the preceding year of $11,954,082. Of this amount $57,358,038 is for new construction.
On November 3, 1913, the minister of marine presented to the Duma a bill providing for a supplementary credit of $40,337,000 (for new construction and extention of naval ports) in addition to the ordinary naval budget.
According to press reports, the naval budget adopted in December, 1913, covers only the period from January 1 to June 30, 1914, as it is intended to begin the fiscal year in the future with July 1 instead of January 1.
It is reported that the naval expenditures for the first half of 1914 were as follows: $7,688,337 for the half-yearly naval estimates (ordinary and extraordinary), $9,642,500 for the extraordinary shipbuilding credit, $1,564,623 extraordinary credits for special requirements of the navy and new harbor works at Pola, and $8,210,103 extraordinary credit to cover expenses of mobilization of the fleet during the last Balkan crisis, making a total expenditure of $27,105,563. From the above amounts $11,172,917 is appropriated for new construction, including armaments, mines, and ammunition.
(“Vessels under construction in the several countries during 1913” – not replicated in this Word document.)
The contracts for the 5 battleships authorized in 1913 were awarded on Aug. 15, 1913, 2 to Government yards and 3 to private firms. The 2 ships to be built in Government yards and the 1 by Messrs. Vickers (Ltd.) will be laid down during January, 1914. Of the 8 light cruisers authorized, 5 are to be built in Government yards. Contracts for 13 of the 16 destroyers were awarded on Aug. 15, 1913. Many of these destroyers were under construction as stock boats, and were taken over by the Government.
(Multiple charts found here not replicated in this Word document –multiple Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Italy, Austria-Hungary, England, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Greece and Turkey)
Vessels completed during 1913
ENGLAND Tons FRANCE Tons
Centurion, battleship 23,000 Jean Bart, battleship 23,092
Ajax, battleship 23.000 Courbet, battleship 23,092
Audacious, battleship 23,000 6 destroyers 4,492
Australia, battle cruiser 18,800 1 submarine 984
Queen Mary, battle cruiser 27,000
Amphion, cruiser 3,440 51,660
Dublin, cruiser 5,400 JAPAN
Sydney, cruiser 5,400 Kongo, battle cruiser 27,500
Melbourne, cruiser 5,400
Fearless, cruiser 3,360
16 destroyers 15,018 RUSSIA—none
8 submarines 6,480
Nino Bixio, cruiser 3,470
Marsala, cruiser 3,470
4 destroyers 2,206
GERMANY 21 torpedo boats 2,415
4 submarines 1,200
Kaiserin, battleship 24,306 12,761
König Albert, battleship 24,306
Prinzregent Luitpold, battleship 24,306 A USTRIA-HUNGARY
Seydlitz, battle cruiser . 24,385 Tegetthof, battleship 20,010
12 destroyers 6,636 Saida, cruiser 3,484
6 submarines 4,800 3 destroyers 2,361
DECK PLANS OF SHIPS LAID DOWN IN 1913 —The Engineer
(Not replicated in this Word document.)
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Rivadavia 27,940 22.5 12 12-in., Fore River Co. Under trials.
Moreno 27,940 22.5 Same New York Co. Launched Sept. 23, 1911
NOTE.—Argentine has four destroyers, displacement 950 tons, contracted for (two built at Nantes and two at Bordeaux), launched in 1911 but not yet turned over to the government.
"RIVADAVIA."—The battleship Rivadavia, built by the Fore River Shipbuilding Corporation, on a 34-hour run, on St. Valentine's Day, exceeded her contract of 22½ knots, by half a knot, in spite of the severe weather prevailing at the time.—The Marine Journal.
ARGENTINE REPUBLIC.—The Argentine Republic has placed an order for four destroyers, each of 1250 tons displacement and to have a speed of 32 knots, with the Germania shipyard at Kiel. They are to be equipped with turbines of 30,000 i. h. p., the boilers to be served with oil fuel. Diesel motors are also to be installed.—Marine Engineer and Naval Architect.
RUMOR OF BATTLESHIP SALE.—The sale of the Rio de Janeiro to Turkey opens up some fields for speculation as to whether the Argentine battleships Rivadavia and Moreno may not eventually be found in the market, although official denials of such a step have already been made. It should not be forgotten that these vessels were ordered over four years ago, and after nearly two years work had been put in on comparative designs of all sorts and conditions by most shipbuilders in almost every country. As matters stand at present, only one vessel has yet been out on trial. At the earliest, they may be handed over to the Argentine Government during the coming summer, or about the same time as the Queen Elizabeth, which was ordered three years later than the Rivadavia. It is extremely doubtful whether the Argentine authorities, who exerted far more influence on the design of these ships in the way of general requirements than is usually supposed, are entirely satisfied with this outcome of their efforts, and consequently if one or both of these vessels were to be placed at the disposal of an immediate purchaser it would occasion no surprise. On her recent official trials the Rivadavia obtained a speed of 22.3 knots with 39,750 shaft horse-power and 270 revolutions, but considerable damage was afterwards found to have been caused to the turbine blading.—Engineer.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Prinz Eugen 20,300 20 12 12-in., Trieste Launched Nov. 30, 1912
Szent Istvan 20,300 20 same Fiume Launched Jan. 17, 1914
Ersatz Mon’cha 25,000 22½ 10 14-in. Trieste To be laid down, spring 1914.
“ Budapest 25,000 22½ same same To be laid down, spring 1914
“ Wien 25,000 22½ same Fiume To be laid down, spring 1915
“ Hapsburg 25,000 22½ same Triest To be laid down, spring 1915
Saida 3,500 … … Monfalcone Launched Oct. 26, 1912
Helgoland 3,500 … … Fiume Launched Nov. 23, 1912
Novara 3,500 … … Fiume Launched Feb. 15, 1913
NOTE.—Three destroyers launched in 1913, displacement 787 tons, nearing completion. Five submarines, displacement 550 tons, contracted for in 1912 to be built by Krupp Co.
FOURTH DREADNOUGHT LAUNCHED.—The fourth Austro-Hungarian dreadnought was launched at Fiume January 17. Arch-Duchess Marie Theresa on behalf of the Emperor-King formally named the vessel Szent Istvan.
Laid down on January 29, 1912, the Szent Istvan was almost exactly two years on the stocks. The battleship was originally meant to be ready for her trials by next summer, but this is, of course, out of the question now, and the commissioning date has been provisionally fixed for the summer of 1915. The Szent Istvan is virtually a sister ship to the Viribus Unitis but unlike the first three vessels of this class, which are equipped with Parsons' turbines and Yarrow boilers, she is to be fitted with German A. E. G. turbines and Babcock & Wilcox boilers. The belt amidships is 11-inch K. C., with 6-inch bulkheads, and a 1¾-inch protective deck. The turrets and conning-tower also carry 11-inch armor. The armament remains the same, viz., twelve 12-inch 45-caliber, twelve 6-inch 50-caliber, and eighteen 10-pounders.
The Prinz Eugen, the third ship of this class, will begin her trials in April.—Naval and Military Record.
SCOUT-CRUISERS.—The scout-cruisers Helgoland and Novara, completing at the Danubius dockyard, Fiume, will be ready for their trials in a few weeks. They were laid down in October, 1911, and February, 1912, respectively. They are identical with the Saida, recently delivered from the Cantiere Navale at Trieste, and now making trials, and very similar to the Admiral Spaun, which has proved a singularly successful vessel. The only point of difference is in armament, the Spaun carrying seven 4-inch q. f., and the three later ships nine 4-inch apiece. The displacement of all four is 3500 tons, and the designed speed 27, which has been considerably exceeded by the Spaun. Protection to vitals is afforded by a 2½-inch nickel-steel belt and a ¾-inch deck. All burn coal and oil. The construction of this fast and homogeneous division of scouts is due to the late Marine Commandant, Admiral Count Montecuccoli, who pointed out to the Delegations how badly the fleet was handicapped by the lack of small and speedy ships for reconnaissance duties. The class compares very favorably with the Italian Quartos and Bixios.
In all probability two greatly improved scouts will be laid down for the Austrian Navy this year to counter-balance the Italian Mirabellos, which are to be ships of 5000 tons, 29 knots, and have an armament of 6-inch q. f.
The only other light cruisers available for scouting work are the Aspern, Zelda, and Szigetvar, with an original speed of 20 knots, but these are old and cannot be relied upon for steady work. They will probably be re-boilered and otherwise renovated.—Naval and Military Record.
NEW CRUISERS.—Die Zeit states that three cruisers of an improved Novara type will be commenced within the next four years. They will have a displacement of 4800 tons, and a speed of 29 knots, but the armament has not yet been decided upon.
The six destroyers which were commenced at Fiume in the autumn of 1912 are all practically finished. The first three have completed their trials, and the remainder were launched during November in an advanced stage of construction. These vessels have a displacement of 800 tons and a designed horse-power of 17,000, giving a speed of 32.5 knots. The armament consists of two 4-inch and six 3-inch guns, and two 21-inch torpedo tubes.
SUGGESTED AUSTRO-ITALIAN FLEET EXERCISES.—Proposals were recently made by certain journals in Italy regarding the holding of joint maneuvers between the Italian and the Austro-Hungarian fleets. The project has now been revived in a more definite form, and an article is devoted to it in a recent number of L'Italia Marittima. This journal remarks that although joint land maneuvers by the allies are impracticable, since they would involve the presence of armed troops on foreign territory, combined naval maneuvers would offer no such difficulty, and are, in fact, quite possible, while they would be of incalculable value for both sides. For Austria-Hungary to wage a future naval war without Italy, or vice versa, against one or more of the great powers is out of the question, in view of modern political conditions. The possibility of a joint naval war by the two Adriatic powers is not merely admitted in competent quarters, but has even been considered and discussed down to the last details. The usefulness of joint fleet exercises, continues the paper, should be recognized, so that in time of war the two allied fleets may be prepared and trained to fight together successfully against a common foe, both forces being directed and controlled by a single command. On the high seas there can be no question of the betrayal of military secrets, as the outward appearance of every ship is well known, and a closer contact could be avoided. L'Italia Marittima concludes by suggesting that in preparation for such combined action a joint Austro-Italian signal code should be drawn up.
It is impossible to say to what extent suggestions of this nature find favor in official circles in either country, but so far, at all events, they have not been endorsed by the leading service journals, and it is therefore unnecessary to take them too seriously at present.
It is reported in Rome that the Italian Government has now decided to hand over to Turkey the warship Drama, which was building at the Ansaldo yard to Turkish order when the Libyan war broke out, and was then seized by the Italian Government. The Ottoman authorities are willing to pay for the ship without delay, so that it will shortly be transferred to the Turkish flag. The Drama is a protected cruiser of 3800 tons, with a designed speed of 22 knots, and is armed with two 6-inch and eight 4.7-inch quick-firers. There is a 4-inch steel deck amidships. The vessel is practically identical with the cruiser Hamidieh.—Naval and Military Record.
NAVY LEAGUE PROPAGANDA.—The Austrian Navy League, which has lately almost doubled its membership, and now enjoys great influence, has presented a petition to the Austrian Delegation, in which the following demands are formulated:
(1) The replacement of ships which have reached the age limit should be an automatic procedure, provided for in the ordinary estimates.
(2) Funds should be authorized for building a number of foreign service cruisers, thus making possible a dignified representation of the Monarchy abroad without enfeebling the active fleet at home by detaching ships.
(3) A program should be introduced for adding to all classes of ships, in order to maintain the fleet at least at its present standard of strength.—Naval and Military Record.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Rio de Janeiro … … … Armstrong, Contracted for Feb., 1914
Whitworth & Co.
Note.—Three submarines, contracted for in 1912, to be built at Spezia, displacement 330 tons, were ready Aug. 1, 1913, and two have been turned over to the government.
LAUNCH OF A NAVAL COLLIER.—On February 12 there was launched from the Werf Gusto of the firm of A. F. Smulders, of Schiedam, Holland, the steel hull of a self-propelling coaling vessel, which is the first of two identical boats now being built for the Brazilian Admiralty. This coaling vessel, which it is intended shall follow the fleet on service, has a hold capacity of 1000 tons, and can discharge her cargo automatically at the rate of 500 tons per hour. Her principal dimensions are length 167 feet 2 inches, breadth 40 feet 4 inches, and depth 18 feet 4 inches. She is fitted with two propellers driven by two compound steam engines of 500 indicated horsepower. Each of these engines is of sufficient power for driving the automatic discharging apparatus, whilst an engine of 120 indicated horse-power has been provided for the mechanical loading of the vessel itself. There are, in addition, the necessary warping and anchor winches, whilst the vessel is electrically lighted throughout. The steam for these engines is supplied by a boiler having a heating surface of 1620 square feet and working at a pressure of 120 pounds. The vessel has been built under special survey of the Bureau Veritas.—Engineer.
SALE OF THE "RIO DE JANEIRO."—The battleship Rio de Janeiro has now been taken over by the Turkish Government, but it is the intention of Brazil to construct a new vessel in her place. Writing to the Daily Telegraph on January 7, Captain J. F. Martins-Guimaraes, of the Brazilian Navy, said that Brazil was a country with a sea coast 4000 miles in length, with an area nearly fourteen times larger than France, and with a population of more than 23,000,000 inhabitants. The dreadnoughts which she had in service she had never thought of disposing of, because they were needed for her defence. Regarding the sale of the Rio de Janeiro, Captain Martins-Guimaraes said: "I do not know the reason why my government disposed of our ship, but I think it is only because, if we have to alter the type, we could do with a better class of ship. Then, when we need more, we could have two or more homogeneous divisions, the Minas Geraes and Sao Paulo forming one, and those we start now, with 15-inch guns or larger, the other divisions."—United Service Magazine.
There seems to be no doubt that the Brazilian battleship Rio de Janeiro has been bought by Turkey. Her disposition of seven turrets in the center line is absolutely unique. It may foreshadow possible future developments in super-dreadnoughts; but it is never likely to be surpassed by any design in which twin turrets are embodied. Armstrongs, the builders of the Rio de Janeiro, have accepted the proposal officially made by the Brazilian Government to construct another dreadnought without any loss to the Brazilian treasury.—Engineer.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Latorre 28,500 23 10 14-in., Vickers Launched Nov. 27, 1913
20 4.7 in.
Cochrane 28,500 23 same Elswick Laid down April, 1913
NOTE.—Two submarines of 420 tons displacement have been contracted for to be built by Elec. Boat Co., Seattle. One of these has been launched.
THE CHILIAN DREADNOUGHT "ALMIRANTE LATORRE."—On November 27, 1913, the Almirante Latorre, the first of the two dreadnought battleships which Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd., are building for the Chilian Government, was successfully launched at the Elswick shipyard. The Almirante Latorre has the following approximate dimensions:
Length, over all, feet. 661
Length between perpendiculars, feet 625
Breadth, feet 92
Depth, molded, feet and inches 43.9¾
Mean draft, feet and inches 28.6
Displacement, tons 28,000
The Almirante Latorre and Cochrane will not only be the largest and most powerful battleships in the Chilian Navy, but they will rank as the largest vessels yet constructed by Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd. The main propelling machinery of the Almirante Latorre is being supplied by Messrs. John Brown & Co., Ltd., of Clydebank, and consists of two sets of Parsons' marine turbines working on four shafts, and of approximately 37,000 shaft horse-power, sufficient to give the battleship a speed of 23 knots. There are twenty-one boilers of the Yarrow tube type (pressure 250 pounds per square inch). Both coal and oil fuel will be used. The main armament comprises ten 14-inch guns, whilst the secondary armament will consist of sixteen 6-inch guns, four 3-inch guns, two 76-mm. 12-pounder boat guns, and four Maxim machine guns, or a total main and secondary armament of thirty-six guns and four 21-inch submerged torpedo tubes. The armament is being manufactured by Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd., at whose works at Openshaw are also being manufactured the armor plates employed in this battleship. The complement of the ship will be 1075 men. The Almirante Latorre, named after a distinguished officer of the Chilian Navy who died some two years ago, is the ninth war vessel constructed by the Armstrong firm for the Chilian Government. The first was the Esmeralda, of about 3000 tons, built at the Walker shipyard in 1884. The others were the Blanco, Encalada, Ministro Zenteno, the second Esmeralda, O'Higgins, Chacabuco, Captain Thomson and Jenera Baquedano, all of which were built at the Elswick shipyard. Inclusive of the Almirante Cochrane, their displacement aggregates 90,000 tons, with about 159,000 horse-power.—Shipbuilding and Shipping Record.
(Photo of “Chilian Battleship Almirante Latorre” not replicated in this Word document.)
The propelling machinery is peculiar and consists of a combination of Parsons' and Brown-Curtis turbines, fitted for improved economy. The low pressure turbines will be of Parsons' design and the high of Brown-Curtis.
TWO NEW DESTROYERS.—The torpedo-boat destroyers Lynch and Condell have now been completed, and crews to man them arrived at Cowes from South America in the first week in January. These boats are the first of a class of six whose construction was ordered in 1911, all being allotted to Messrs. J. S. White & Co., of East Cowes. They are among the most powerful destroyers yet built for any navy. Each boat has a displacement of 1500 tons, engines of 27,000 horse-power, a speed of 31 knots, and an armament of six 4-inch guns and three torpedo tubes. The propelling machinery is of the Parsons' turbine type, with steam supplied by White-Forster boilers, arranged to burn both coal and oil, of which about 420 and 80 tons can be carried respectively. The complement of each vessel includes ten officers and 150 men.—United Service Magazine.
CHILE'S SUBMARINES.—One of the most picturesque launchings ever held on the Pacific coast occurred December 31, when the submarine Antofagasta, built by the Seattle Construction & Dry Dock Co., for the government of Chile, took her initial dip in the waters of Seattle harbor. The Antofagasta is a sister craft to the Iquique, launched at the same yards June 2, 1913. Both vessels were constructed under the supervision of T. S. Bailey, Pacific coast manager of the Electric Boat Co. The Iquique will he given her tests this month on Puget Sound, and the Antofagasta immediately thereafter. They will then be towed to Chile. At the christening of the Antofagasta were representatives of many nautical, commercial and civic organizations, besides members of the Chilean Naval Commission, navy and government, the latter represented by Consul L. A. Santander.—Shipping, Illustrated.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Fei-Hung 2,600 … … N.Y. Ship Bldg. Co. Launched May 4, 1912
… 4,800 27 … Monfalcone Ordered Nov., 1913
… 1,800 24 … Monfalcone Contracted for Sept., 1913
… 1,800 24 … Monfalcone same
… 1,800 24 … Monfalcone same
NOTE.—Four destroyers, displacement 400 tons, are building, one at Trieste and three at Schichau.
CHINESE CRUISER "FEI HUNT."—The Fei Hung is a light cruiser, built for the Chinese Navy for use primarily as a training ship; she is also available for all the war functions that can be expected from a vessel of this size and type. She is a deck-protected cruiser, driven by turbine machinery and carrying an armament fully up to the standard of her class.
The Fei Hung was built by the New York Shipbuilding Company of Camden, New Jersey, from outline requirements supplied by the Chinese Government; she is of the same general type as the Ying Swei and Chao Ho, recently completed in England. Some latitude was allowed the builders, so that all these ships have minor differences in arrangement and motive power, notably in the matter of boiler power. What follows relates only to the Fei Hung unless specially noted.
The outline data of the hull is as follows:
Length over all, feet and inches 322-00
Length between perpendiculars, feet and inches. 320-00
Beam, molded, feet and inches 39-00
Depth, feet and inches 22-06
Normal displacement, tons 2600
Normal draft, feet and inches 14-00
Freeboard forward, feet and inches. 18-03
Normal complement, total 230
Bunker capacity, coal, tons. 600
Bunker capacity, oil fuel, tons 100
Full forecastle, length, feet and inches 87-00
Full poop, length, feet and inches 58-00
Double bottom, under machinery, feet and inches 117-00
Deck protection, on flat, inches 01
Deck protection, on slopes, inches 02
Bunkers (coal) above and below the protective deck, amidships.
The officers are berthed in fifteen staterooms forward in the forecastle and on deck; the crew are in large compartments on the berth deck and in the poop. A large sick bay is fitted in the poop. Galleys are on deck amidships. Magazines are located in a platform deck, both forward and aft, with storerooms, etc., below in the holds, thus ensuring a maximum of protection. The oil fuel is carried in suitable compartments at each end of the machinery spaces.
Trimming tanks, potable water, reserve feed tanks and water-ballast tanks are provided.
Cold-storage compartments are fitted on the protective deck abreast the engine hatch. Stowage for torpedoes is provided below deck.
The weather decks are wood sheathed. Under the bridge an armored conning-tower and communication tube are fitted.
A very complete outfit of boats is provided, including one steam launch and one motor whaleboat; there are eight boats and rafts in all. Anchors, chain and lines are provided as customary for vessels of this class.
Dismounting bogies, auxiliary davits, etc., are provided for handling guns, ammunition and stores.
The ship is fitted with a wireless-telegraphic outfit, the masts being of extra height to carry the aerials.
The vessel is armed as follows: Two 6-inch guns, 50 calibers, with shields; four 4-inch guns, 50 calibers, with shields; two 3-inch guns; six 3-pounders; two 37-millimeter automatics; two 18-inch deck torpedo tubes; small arms for crew
The 6-inch guns are located one on the forecastle and one on the poop; the 4-inch are on the main deck at the breaks of poop and forecastle; the 3-inch, 3-pounders and torpedo tubes are arranged along the waist, and the automatics on the forecastle deck under the bridge. All this armament, including the first supply of ammunition, was supplied by Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Company, of England, in order that the armament of all the ships should be of similar make, using the same ammunition. The automatics are by Vickers, Limited. The gun trials were successful in every respect. Several rounds per gun were fired with full charges at varying degrees of train, followed by a broadside; this trial was carried out in connection with the speed trials. Armored hoists, electrically operated by 3-horse-power motors, are fitted to each 6-inch gun; the other guns being served by hand whips. Torpedoes are stowed in boxes on deck and below in a special space. A dummy torpedo was fired from each tube both by compressed air and by a powder charge whilst at the builder's works. On the trials, an actual torpedo, with practice head, was fired by air.
This vessel is fitted with an installation of Parsons' turbines of the regular standard all-reaction type and design, which has proven so successful in vessels of this type. The machinery is arranged in one engine room, and there are three lines of shafting, with one propeller on each shaft.
The high-pressure ahead turbine drives the center shaft and has fifty-six rows of blades in the casing, and a similar number on the rotor, whilst the diameter of the rotor is 39 inches. At the forward end of this turbine a cruising element is arranged, which has an additional sixteen rows of blades in casing and rotor respectively. This stage helps to improve the economy of the turbines at cruising speeds.
A combined low-pressure ahead and astern turbine drives each wing shaft, the low-pressure ahead turbines having sixty-four rows of blades in casing and rotor respectively, with a drum diameter of 55 inches. Each astern turbine has forty rows of blades in casing and rotor respectively, drum diameter being 44 inches.
The turbine bearings are supplied with oil under pressure, whilst the line-shaft bearings are lubricated on a ring system.
The turbine machinery worked most satisfactorily throughout all the trials, and the turbine-bearing journals retained a constant temperature at all times. Heavy weather was experienced between the runs, with excessive rolling of the ship, but this did not appear to affect the steady running of the turbines either at high or low speeds.
Dummy readings were taken regularly throughout the runs and showed that the rotors were floating under nearly all running conditions, with consequently very light loads on the turbine adjusting blocks.
Auxiliary exhaust connections are arranged at different stages throughout the turbines, so that full use can be made of any available exhaust steam which the feed heater does not use and would otherwise be discharged directly into the condensers.
On the completion of the trials the turbine bearings and thrust rings were opened out for examination and found to be in splendid condition. The turbine casings were not opened out for inspection for the reason that the operation of the turbines throughout the trials was very satisfactory. Further, the joints of the turbine casings never showed any signs of leaking under full-power conditions, and it was therefore considered unnecessary to open up the turbines.
The turbines were built by the New York Shipbuilding Company under license from the Parsons' Marine Steam Turbine Company.
The boilers are of the Thornycroft Express type, three in number, located in two boiler rooms, one in forward room and two in after room, all on the center-line of the ship, flanked by the coal bunkers and with a cross bunker leading to each boiler for use in action. The total heating surface is 14,493 square feet and the grate surface 270.75 square feet, working pressure 240 pounds per square inch. The forward boiler is fitted with an auxiliary oil-fuel plant, worked on the mechanical-spray pressure system. The stokehold is closed, and air, forced in by means of blowers, one to each boiler.
Reduced to a uniform displacement of 2600 tons, the curve of speed and power is as follows:
Speed in knots S. H. P.
The torsionmeters used were of Fottinger type.—Journal Soc. Amer. Naval Engs., by E. H. Rigg.
CHINA'S NEW DESTROYERS.—The two destroyers built by the Schichau Company for the Chinese Government have been completed and delivered at Shanghai. These vessels, the Chang Feng Po and Fei Yun arrived safely after a good run from Germany. On account of the long journey special turbines were fitted on these craft.—Mitt. aus dem. Geb. des Seew.
OIL-BURNING SCOUTS.—The particulars of three scout-cruisers building for the Chinese Government at the Cantiere Navale Triestino, near Trieste, Austria, are as follows: Length 359 feet, beam 39 feet, draft 16 feet; Parsons' turbines, designed horse-power 30,000=32 knots; armament, ten 4-inch q. f., two Maxims, and two torpedo tubes; Yarrow boilers for coal and oil fuel. The guns are being made by the Skoda Works. The ships are to be delivered in 22, 24 and 26 months respectively. According to their designed speed these ships will be the fastest scouts in the world, while their armament does not compare unfavorably with that of scouting vessels in other fleets.—Naval and Military Record.
NAVAL SCHEME IN ABEYANCE.—Reuter learns that the Chinese Government, having come to the conclusion that economic and commercial development demand earlier attention than the expansion of the navy, has decided not to proceed with its scheme announced last October for the establishment of a naval college and a naval base. Consequently the negotiations which were commenced with the British Admiralty for the loan of officers and the despatch of a British naval mission to China are in abeyance.—Naval and Military Record.
Orders have been placed with an Austrian shipyard near Triest for three armored cruisers, and twelve destroyers with the Triest shipyard, six destroyers with the Vulcan shipyard at Stettin, two gunboats and five river gunboats with the Kiangnan Dock & Engine Co. at Shanghai. It is reported that further orders are to be issued shortly.—Marine Engineer and Naval Architect.
NAVAL ADVISERS: NEW RIVER CRAFT.—The group of British officers who are to proceed to China under the direction of Captain Harold Christian, R. N., for instructional purposes, had not left for the Far East in January. Six officers were required for the mission, but the services of only three had been secured. Two gunboats named the Monocacy and Palos have, according to the Practical Engineer, been built at the Mare Island Navy Yard, U. S. A., for shipment in sections to China, where they are to be reconstructed at the works of the Shanghai Docks and Engineering Co. Each boat has two quick-firing guns, and is intended for use on the Chinese rivers.—United Service Magazine.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Niels Juel 3,675 16 2 9.4-in., Copenhagen Laid down Sept., 1913
NOTE.—Three destroyers are under construction at Copenhagen and three submarines, displacement 200 tons, are being built by Whitehead Co.
The personnel of the navy for 1913-1914 will be as follows: 1 vice admiral, 2 rear admirals, 17 captains, 45 commanders, 72 "Oberoffiziere" and 7200 petty officers and enlisted men.
A new armored coast defence ship, to be called the Niels Juel, has recently been laid down. Designed in 1911, but with subsequent alterations and improvements her characteristics are as follows: Tonnage displacement, 3670; horse-power (2 engines), 5400; speed, 16 knots; armament, two 24-cm. guns, four 15-cm. guns, 4 under-water torpedo tubes; armor, from 100 to 180 mm, thickness.
The last armored ship built for the Danish Navy was launched in 1908 and is of the same characteristics as the Niels Juel.
Three small destroyers and three submarines are now under construction in Copenhagen. The names of the destroyers are, as already given, Delfinen, Hvalrossen and Svaerdfisken. These ships will be equipped with the Normand turbines, Havre, France. With a displacement of 250 tons they will make 27 knots.
The Whitehead Company, of Fiume, are superintending the building of the three submarines. These boats have a displacement of 230 tons when submerged.
The cruiser Valsyreu has had an extensive overhaul; boilers retubed, decks renewed, two new 90-cm. projector search-lights fitted, a new wireless installation, and her old battery of two 21-cm., and two 15-cm. guns has been replaced by two 15-cm. quick-firers and six 7-cm. rapid-fire guns.—Mitt. aus dem Geb. des Seew.—Translated by Lieut. C. B. Mayo, U. S. Navy.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
France 23,092 21 12 12-in., St. Nazaire Launched Nov. 7, 1912
Paris 23,092 21 same La Seyne Launched Sept. 28, 1912
Bretagne 23,172 20 10 13.5-in., Brest Launched April 21, 1913
Provence 23,172 20 same Lorient Launched April 20, 1913
Lorraine 23,600 20 same St. Nazaire Launched Sept. 30, 1913
Languedoc 25,200 21 12 13.5-in., La Seyne Laid down May 1, 1913
Normandie 25,200 21 same St. Nazaire Laid down May 1, 1913
Flandre 25,200 21 same Brest Laid down Oct. 10, 1913
Gascogne 25,200 21 same Lorient Laid down Feb. 10, 1913
NOTE.—There are approximately six destroyers and 23 submarines under construction.
THE FIRST BATTLESHIPS TO CARRY FOUR GUNS IN ONE TURRET
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The Normandie, one of four French ships, of 25,387 tons and 21.5 knots. Armament: Twelve 13.4-inch guns in three turrets, carrying 17½-inch armor; twenty-four 5.5-inch guns, protected by 8¼-inch armor.
THE FOUR-GUN TURRET.—Time was in the French Navy when the authorities favored the placing of only one gun in a turret. Theoretically, so far as the rapidity and accuracy of gun fire are concerned, that was the ideal arrangement. But French naval authorities are distinguished for the great variety and suddenness of the changes which they introduce. To-day the pendulum has swung to the other extreme, and in the four latest dreadnoughts, the Normandie, Gascogne, Languedoc, and Flandres, the French are putting four guns in a single turret—and this at a time when the two leading naval powers, Great Britain and Germany, are still using only two guns per turret.
The Normandie class are big ships, 574 feet long, 92 feet beam. 28¼ feet maximum draft, and they displace 25,387 tons. The armament is heavy, consisting of twelve 13.4-inch guns carried in three four-gun turrets. The foremost gun is carried above a superstructure on the forecastle deck, the axes of these guns being surely not less than 36 feet above the water-line. Amidship above the spar deck is the second turret; and aft above the main deck is turret number 3.
The 13.4-inch gun is a powerful weapon, 45 calibers in length and firing a shell weighing 1433 pounds, which is slightly heavier than the shell of our 14-inch guns, with a velocity of 2657 feet, which is slightly greater than that of our 14-inch piece; so that although of less bore, this French gun must be of somewhat greater power than ours.
The advantages of the four-gun turret are that there is considerable saving in weight of armor and gun carriages, and of ammunition lifts and gun-operating mechanism. Also it conduces to good shooting, for the reason that four shots fall in one place, and the work of the spotter is facilitated. It is believed that the guns are not mounted in one sleeve, but in pairs in two sleeves; but possibly the two sleeves are connected to a common elevating mechanism, in which case all the advantages of a single sleeve are secured. The theoretical disadvantage of the four-gun turret is that a single heavy armor-piercing shell, penetrating such a turret, may put four guns out of commission at once.
These ships are heavily armored, carrying about 13 inches on the belt, 17½-inches on the main turret, and 10 inches on the sides of the ship above the main armor belt. The secondary battery of twenty-four 5.5-inch guns is carried as follows: Six in a battery protected by 8¼-inch armor, situated forward of No. 1 main turret, on the forecastle deck, these six guns being capable of fire dead ahead; twelve guns placed in broadside on the main deck between turrets Nos. 1 and 2 and behind 8¼-inch armor; and six guns carried on the gun deck abreast of and on the quarters of No. 3 turret. These positions are shown clearly in our deck plan of the ship.
These four vessels are to be turbine-driven on four shafts at a speed of 21.5 knots. They will be fired with coal and oil. The success of these four-gun turret ships will be watched with great interest in naval circles.—Scientific American.
1914-1915 BATTLESHIPS.—The names of the four French battleships of the 1914-1915 program that it is proposed to lay down this year are to be Lyon, Lille, Duquesne and Tourville. In general design it is expected that they will follow closely the design of the Normandie class, except that they will be materially heavier, displacing nearly 29,000 tons. This increase of size is mainly devoted to the introduction of a fourth center turret, which, as in the vessels laid town last year, will contain four 13.4-inch weapons. Apparently, French artillerists prefer increase in number to increase in caliber at the present time, whereas both English and United States opinion is distinctly tending n the opposite direction. The actual design, however, is not yet definitely settled, and it is quite possible that in view of the very keen criticism that is being directed at the 1914 program considerable modification may be made in the design.—Engineer.
PROGRESS OF NEW CONSTRUCTION.—Utilization of Pre-Dreadnoughts.—The 23,457-ton France and Paris, laid down in November, 1911, two months before the British Iron Duke, have on board the whole of their artillery, and will be commissioned next month for their preliminary trials. An effort will be made to have them completed by the end of July, though this will not be easy when it is remembered that the Courbets, ready for their trials in April last year, only joined the fleet in November. They are confidently expected to prove the fastest French battleships up to date. They ought to exceed the record of the Bart (Bellevilles), which reached 23 knots, and also to equal at least the performances of the Italian Vincis, which have finer lines, but inferior motor power (24,000 against 29,000). These nominal figures are, in truth, little to go by, being usually much exceeded in practice. The Bart, for instance, developed 42,000 horse-power instead of 29,000, and the Italian Cesare did even better, registering 39,000 horse-power in lieu of 24,000, an increase of 15,000 horse-power, the speed performances of the two rival dreadnoughts being very similar.
The comparative capabilities of French and Italian dockyards are illustrated by the rate of construction of these ships. Though the Frances were commenced from 15 to 18 months after the Italians, they will hoist the pennant only a few months after the Cesare and Vinci, which are completing their trials, and have every chance of entering the service before the Cavour, now preparing for her steaming tests, but still without part of her armament. At the same time, it is not expected that France will in the future be able to preserve anything like the same margin of superiority, the Italian Admiralty having just adopted energetic measures to do away with causes of delay similar to those experienced in the case of her first batch of dreadnoughts, and having spared no effort to ameliorate the resources of her dockyards. The effect of these improvements is already being felt with the Duilio and Doria, progressing at a faster rate than their predecessors, and certain to compare more favorably with their French contemporaries of the Bretagne class.
Our first super-dreadnoughts of the Orion class (ten 13.4-inch guns) are being pressed forward with the utmost vigor, the vital importance being realized in high quarters of having these powerful units as promptly as possible in service so as to restore to the French side the supremacy in the Middle Sea, which at present belongs to the Triple Alliance. The Bretagne and Provence, launched in April last year, have on board their funnels, masts, most of their gun mountings, and part of their artillery. Should the present rate of progress be maintained, they will run on their preliminary trials in September next, and become available by the end of the year. Their sister ship Lorraine, launched five months since at St. Nazaire, is far from being so advanced, though the contractors are confident of being able to deliver her several months before the stipulated time. The three Bretagnes will array together a broadside of thirty guns of 13.4-inch, to which the Austro-Italian 12-inch ships could make no adequate answer.
The 25,300-ton Normandie, Languedoc, Flandre and Gascogne are to be floated, the two first-named in May-June, and the others in the late summer, thus about one year before their belated sister ship Béarn. These fine super-dreadnoughts, it is interesting to note, not only mark a departure in their armament and motors, but they also embody a series of practical improvements of no mean value. Whereas, for instance, French ships have actually to coal at a rate of 100 tons per hour, the future quadruple turret units are designed for a rate of 300 to 450 tons per hour.—Naval and Military Record.
THE 1914 SHIPBUILDING PROGRAM. SERIES OF REFORMS.—The new government has under pressure of public opinion, recognized the vital importance of an efficient navy, and the Minister of Finance, departing from his hostility to naval expansion, has decided that an extraordinary expenditure of 420 million francs, to spread over five years, shall be added to the 1914-18 yearly estimates, with a view to accelerating the completion of the Lapeyrère program. This opens bright prospects for the future. The present, unfortunately, is less satisfactory. As a consequence of grave modifications to the 1914 budget, France will be this year taking something like a naval holiday, at the very moment when her Mediterranean rivals are making unprecedented efforts to assert the mastery of the Triple Alliance in the Middle Sea. In this respect the recent change of Ministry must be pronounced disastrous. Mons. Baudin had, it will be remembered, arranged to take in hand, in addition to the fifth quadruple-turret ship Béarn, considered as a supplementary unit, four super-dreadnoughts of 29,500 tons and 16 guns of 13.4-inch, to be simultaneously laid down on January 1, 1915. These ambitious plans have been abandoned, and the naval law, which was supposed to be binding to our successive Ministers, has even been disregarded. Of the two battleships due to be commenced in 1914, one is to be the Béarn, ordered at the Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée on January 7, and to be laid down in June, whilst the other is dropped and nominally replaced by three scouts, which, together with five submersibles and a small minelayer, make up the list of vessels to be placed in hand in the course of the present year. This very modest program, the smallest since 1909, contrasts unfavorably with those of Italy and Austria, which are expected to commence this year between them seven or eight super-dreadnoughts. No wonder it fails to give satisfaction to the numerous Parliamentary partisans of naval expansion.
Naval men approve the construction of scouts, the need of which the 1913 maneuvers conclusively demonstrated. They will cost 18 million francs (£720,000), per unit, and will be ordered in private yards late in the year. The plans prepared by the Section Technique are being revised with a view to obtaining greater speed, 27 knots being judged, and with reason, totally inadequate in these times of 30-knot battle-cruisers. It is understood no change is to be made in the armament of ten 5.5-inch weapons of these three boats, which are not expected to be ready before the end of 1916, and have some chance to be outclassed at that date. The total absence of destroyers is a matter for regret, and will cause France to lose the advance she had gained over Italy and Austria in that line of construction.
It is the intention of Mons. Monis, who is a firm partisan of naval expansion, to fully make up for the smallness of this program next year, when the completion of many units now in hand will permit new ships to be commenced without entailing much increase in the estimates. This course, it is confidently stated, offers little danger owing to the superiority of French construction, which will allow super-dreadnoughts ordered early in 1915 to be ready at the same time as the 1914 Austro-Italian ships.
The constructional expenditure will be this year very heavy, amounting to nearly 276,000,000 francs, out of which 217,000,000 for ten battleships (two Frances, three Bretagnes, and five Normandies), 15,000,000 francs for three scouts, and the rest for torpedo, mining, and aircraft. There will be completed in 1914 the 23,457-ton France and Paris, originally due to be ready in July, but now not likely to join the fleet before September 1; the 760-ton destroyers Bory and Lucas, and twelve submersibles, one of 800 tons, three of 520 tons and 17 knots, and eight of 410 tons and 14 knots. There will remain in hand by January 1, 1915, the super-dreadnoughts Bretagne, Provence and Lorraine, advancing at an unprecedented rate, and certain to be completed early next year, and the 25,300 ton Normandie, Languedoc, Flandre, and Gascogne (all to be floated in the spring and summer, 1914), plus the belated Béarn that has no chance to become available before the spring, 1917, thus two years after the division of Bretagnes she is intended to complete, without mentioning 26 vessels of less importance.
Minister Monis is shortly to submit to the Conseil Superieur a series of reforms concerning the organization of the battle fleet and the utilization of the naval personnel. No change is intended in the present distribution of our battle squadrons, but it is felt that the "Division des Ecoles," of Read Admiral Darrieus, which is to include six old battleships of 12,000 tons, absorbs rather too many ships and too great a personnel, and represents to some extent a wasted force. It is proposed either to reduce its importance or to organize it as a real fighting squadron, to train periodically with the battle fleet on the high sea. As to the personnel, the abnormal number of officers and warrant officers (maitres) who have left the service in the course of the past year points to the need of doing away with injudicious innovations introduced in the service routine and in the rules presiding over promotions. The abuse of examinations, especially, has driven out of the fleet numerous non-commissioned officers, with only rudimentary education, but possessing practical knowledge and experience far more valuable than mere book attainment. This loss is unanimously deplored, and a reform in the right direction will be welcomed.—Naval and Military Record.
A Cherbourg telegram states that during exercises by the torpedo-boat flotilla in February one of the vessels ran ashore. A hole was driven in her hull, and the crew were taken off with some difficulty by a lifeboat.—Central News.
THE ESTIMATES FOR 1914. AERONAUTICAL PROGRESS. COST OF SHIPS. BRITISH NAVAL VISIT TO BREST.—The navy estimates for 1914 afford unmistakable proof of the determination of France to vigorously pursue the strengthening of her fleet. They amount to no less than 623,000,000 francs (nearly £25,000,000), including 488,000,000 francs provided for by the annual budget, and 135,000,000 to be part of a loan of 420 million francs for the navy. They are slightly superior to the German 1914 estimates, and considerably exceed the combined Austro-Italian expenditure for the present year. Though they admittedly comprise too large a shares for purely administrative expenses and for other unproductive items, they will enable good progress to be made with the ten battleships in hand, and increased attention to be devoted to war preparation in all its branches, without mentioning important improvements in the plant and equipment of arsenals, the benefit of which will be felt next year, when four capital ships will probably be commenced. After new construction, which absorbs in the estimates the lion's share—£11,000,000—come in order of importance the credits for artillery, which amount to 140,000,000 francs (£5,600,000), and, besides providing for the armament of units in hand, will serve to hasten the time when our battle fleet will possess its full complement of reserve guns and ammunition. The resources of the much-criticised state powder factories are also to be increased. Additional expenditure had to be provided for the manning and upkeep of coastal and harbor defences, an item lately transferred from the Ministry of War to the Admiralty, as well as for heavier guns (305 and 340 mils.) for coastal batteries. Other innovations concern the appropriation of 19,000,000 francs, with a personnel of 12,500, for naval schools on shore or in harbor, and of the relatively large sum of 30,000,000 francs (£1,120,000) for dirigibles and aviation, this latter departure being the object of favorable comments.
Mons. Monis, with many other patriotic Parliamentary men, has long been of opinion that France ought to utilize her pioneer work in the aeronautical branch of activity, and her superior constructional resources, to organize along her coastline at important strategic points naval aerodromes, with hangars and repairing depots, to be the training centers and points d'appui of dirigible and aeroplane flotillas, at the same time as creating another aerial force for duties with the battle fleet on the high sea. Unfortunately mistrust of the new "craze" on the part of old admirals, who are by tradition opposed to innovations not of naval origin, has prevented any headway being made with the realization of this ambitious program, whilst the mistake was made of entrusting the command of the "aviation maritime" to officers of merit, but having no practical experience in flying. To-day the necessary strong impulse from the Admiralty, together with adequate credits, are forthcoming in support of aerial progress and tangible results have every chance of being obtained at no distant date, at least in what concerns aviation.
The intention is to make Frejus the most important naval aerodrome in existence before the end of the present year, and also to spare no effort to evolve a more satisfactory type of seaplane than the one in service, practical aviators, familiarized with the difficulties of aerial and maritime navigation, being considered as the only experts qualified to decide on the characteristics of the aeroplanes.
A special committee, under Senator Aimond, has been at pains to find out the real price of our most recent ships. The 18,000-ton Dantons are shown to cost more than was estimated; namely, 54,788,000 francs (£2.190,000), which is more than the price of the 25,000-ton British Iron Duke. Fortunately, regular commands, together with better plant and discipline in the arsenals, have within the last few years rendered French construction considerably more economical, though it will continue to much exceed British rates, the 23,600-ton Lorraine, for instance, being estimated to cost 66,000,000 francs (£2.640,000). Yet gradual improvements in this direction may safely be looked for. The new Minister is well alive to the vital importance of cheap and rapid shipbuilding, as is shown by his selection to be Prefet Maritime at Brest of Admiral Berryer, who displayed competence and energy in charge of the Lorient arsenal.
The forthcoming visit to Brest of the powerful British battle-cruiser squadron of Rear Admiral Beatty elicits much interest in naval circles, and serves to supply a concrete argument of no small force to the partisans of fast fighting ships. The latter point to the irresistible concentration of fire which the three Lions, with their 13.5-inch battery and their speed of 28 knots, are in a position to bring against the extremities of the line of any Continental fleet, and urge the importance of France acquiring similar tactical advantages, with the least possible delay. While admiring the capabilities of the British Lions, the majority of French naval men, however, consider that such capabilities do not necessarily belong to any battle-cruiser, but are merely the result of the advance gained by the British Ordnance Department, which permits British Lions to oppose superior calibers to all contemporary foreign ships. They quote the Moltkes as a proof that battle-cruisers may also be of little value.—Naval and Military Record.
REPORT ON THE NAVY ESTIMATES. ANARCHY AND INCOHERENCE. CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW MOTHER SHIPS.—Député Maunoury's report on the navy estimates contains an equal share of warm praise for the zeal and professional qualities of the naval personnel and of sharp criticism of the anarchy and incoherence, which still prevail in the various departments of the Admiralty and dockyards, and are, of course, the result of the lack of stability and competence in the direction of the maritime affairs of the Republic. Despite some progress due to the energy of Admiral de Lapèyrere, the French naval machine is far from working smoothly and must be said to remain an inferior instrument when compared with the highly efficient Admiralties of Great Britain and Germany. The various "Directions" of the service continue to be so many water-tight compartments, ignoring each other when not divided by bitter antagonism, and each working on lines of its own to the great detriment of national finance and the efficiency of naval construction. Incredible instances of inefficiency and waste were brought forward in support of these damaging charges, one concerning the battleships Jean Bart and Courbet, which were delayed through deficiency in their aiming and firing appliances, due to lack of cooperation between constructors and artillerists; another concerning the Diego-Suarez drydock, rendered unserviceable owing to the antagonism between the hydraulic and naval construction departments. Unfortunately blunders of this sort are of almost daily occurrences in the Republican Navy, and, as a rule, no one is held to be responsible for them. So long as firm authority and common sense stability are not enforced at the head of the Rue Royale administration no hope can be entertained of any improvement in this direction. The Republican Navy is essentially an anarchic organization, and herein lies the secret of its incurable weakness and the fact that it is not (as Admiral Bienaimé complained in the Chamber) and cannot be, worth the heavy expenditure it entails, since it lacks the primary elements of efficiency.
After deploring the slow rate of production of the state powder factories, the reporter found reasons for congratulation in the efficient type of heavy armament adopted for our super-dreadnoughts, and especially in the progress realized in what concerns the supply of torpedoes for the fleet, formerly exclusively purchased from Fiume, and now manufactured at the St. Tropez Whitehead-Schneider factory. French naval men, long satisfied with the old type 18-inch torpedo, are getting alive to the vital importance of up-to-date and thoroughly efficient submarine armament. A vigorous effort is being made to give to France the advantage of the long range and heavy caliber torpedoes in use in other navies. Comparative experiments are proceeding, a corps of specialists (ingenieurs-torpilleurs) has been created, and before many years the French Navy will, like the English and the German, be in a position to design and manufacture both her mines and her torpedoes.
The decision of Minister Monis to discard, on considerations of economy, the 12,000-ton battleships Carnot, Martel, and Masséna, launched from 1893 to 1895, meets with a good deal of justified criticism. Without exaggerating the value of these contemporaries of the British Majestics, their heavy guns, combined with their complete belts of great thickness, would enable them to fight with advantage against the small battleships of the Triple Alliance still in commission, most of them armed with inferior calibers. Of the other pre-dreadnoughts, the most recent, the 12,700-ton Suffren, is to be transferred from the "Division des Ecoles," considerably reduced in importance, to the reserve division of the battle fleet, which will include the Suffren (flagship), Gaulois, St. Louis, Bouvet, all with nucleus crews.
The three mother ships to be ordered this year are to be copies of the British Arethusas, with a displacement of some 4500 tons, an armament of six 5.5-inch quick-firers, a relatively robust armor belt protection (60 to 90 mm. plates), and a paper speed of 30 knots, which is held to be sufficient to escape from the deadly reach of battle-cruisers, though this is by no means certain. The price per unit is estimated at £560,000, as compared with £760,000 for the 6000-ton type of scout favored by ex-Minister Baudin, and the detailed plans of which have been published in Le Yacht. A desire for economy is the only reason for this change of plans, which meets with very moderate enthusiasm, and may yet be reconsidered. Robustness, sea-keeping qualities, together with the aptitude to maintain speed in a seaway and an armament at least equal to that of foreign rivals, ought, in the opinion of French naval men, to be the strong points of Gallic scouts, which unlike the British Arethusas, will not be supported at sea by powerful battle-cruisers.—Naval and Military Record.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
furst 26,575 23 10 12-in., Hamburg Launched May 5, 1913
12 3.4 in.
Markraf 26,575 23 same Bremen Launched June 4, 1913
König 26,575 23 same Wilhelmshaven Launched Mar. 1, 1913
Kronprinz 26,575 23 same Germania Launched Feb. 21, 1914
Ersatz Worth … … 8 15-in., Kiel Laid down Sept., 1913
“T” 1913 29,000 … same Kiel Laid down May, 1913
Cruisers of the Line
Ersatz Kaiserin 28,000 30 8 12-in., Dantzig Laid down Sept., 1912
Augusta 14 6-in.
Derfflinger 28,000 28 same Hamburg Launched July 1, 1913
(Blohm & Voss)
Ersatz Herha 26,000 … … Wilhelmshaven Laid down July, 1913
Lutzow 28,000 28.5 … Wilhelmshaven Launched Nov. 29, 1913
Karlsruhe 4,900 28 12 4.1 in., Germania Under trials.
2 t. t.
Rostock 4,900 28 same Howaldt Under trials.
Ersatz Irene 4,900 27 10 6-in. Bremen Laid down Oct. 24, 1912
Wilhelm 4,900 27 same Kiel (Kaiserliche) Laid down Oct. 23, 1912
Graudenz 4,900 27 … Kiel (Kaiserliche) Launched Oct. 25, 1913
Ersatz Hela 4,900 27 … Kiel Laid down fall 1913
Ersatz Gefion 4,900 27 … Stettin …
Note.—Germany has approximately eleven destroyers and twelve submarines under construction.
"KRONPRINZ."—The fourth and last battleship of the König class was launched at the Krupp Germania yard, Kiel, on February 21, where she had been built under the designation of Ersatz Brandenburg, and was "named" Kronprinz. This vessel was laid down in the summer of 1912, and was on the stocks for a period of 19 or 20 months. She will be placed in commission about June, 1915. Special interest attaches to this launch, owing to the fact that the vessel concerned is the last German battleship to be armed with 12-inch guns. The later ships are to be super-dreadnoughts, with a main battery of 15-inch breech loading. A few characteristics of the class of which the Kronprinz is a representative have been made public, but the exact dimensions are not yet available. The displacement is unofficially stated to be 25,500 tons, the designed horse-power 60,000, and the speed 21 knots. Ten 12-inch 50-caliber guns form the primary armament, mounted in five double turrets on the center line, the arrangement of the turrets being almost identical with that of the British Orion. On either broadside, therefore, all ten weapons can bear, while the axial fire is from four guns. The standard secondary battery of fourteen 6-inch quick-firers, which has been incorporated in all German battleships since the Nassaus, is mounted on the upper deck, a position which should render it feasible to work the guns even in dirty weather. For end-on fire only two of these 6-inch guns are available, as opposed to the four which bear fore and aft in the Kaiser class. There are also twelve 3.4-inch quick-firers behind armored shields. Five submerged torpedo tubes are fitted, four on the broadside and one at the stern. The ship will have two funnels, and in general appearance is not expected to differ greatly from the Kaiser class, barring the different arrangement of the turrets. Details of protection are naturally withheld, but as the preceding class has a water-line belt 14 inches thick, it is not likely that any reduction in thickness has been made in the new ships.
The Kronprinz is the twenty-third German dreadnought to go afloat, and all these vessels have been launched within the last six years. Five others remain on the stocks, three being battleships and two battle-cruisers. Save for the improved disposition of the big-gun turrets, which permits of a wider arc of fire on either beam, the König class reveals few points of superiority over the Kaisers, the nameship of which class was begun as long ago as 1909. The two classes together comprise nine units. Apart from protection, in which respect they appear to have a decided advantage, these vessels cannot be said to compare very favorably with their foreign contemporaries, though as far as may be judged official German opinion appears to be quite satisfied with the design.
At the launch of the König it was widely reported that the ship would receive an armament of 14-inch guns, this armament, in fact, being generally credited to her by the German newspapers, and not until a year later was it authoritatively known that the guns were of the 12-inch type. The revelation caused some heart-burning among the experts, who reproached the Navy Department with having shown too much conservatism towards the introduction of more powerful ordnance into the fleet, thus allowing foreign nations to gain a long lead in gun power. To this charge the official scribes replied by pointing out that the Krupp 50-caliber 12-inch gun was equal in penetration to the British 13.5-inch, while being much handier and faster in action and enjoying a considerably longer "life." This reply would have carried more conviction had it not been almost immediately followed by an announcement that the battleships to be laid down in 1913 would be given 15-inch guns. By independent critics the announcement was regarded as a virtual admission that the much-lauded 12-inch gun was not, after all, equal to modern tactical requirements. However, as the public discussion of such questions is actively discouraged in Germany, the contention of the government newspapers that the Kaisers and Königs are equal in every particular to foreign ships is rarely contradicted.
The unanimity with which all the papers spoke of a 14-inch armament in connection with the König class and the subsequent disclosure that smaller guns had been adopted plainly hinted at the failure of the first 14-inch weapons manufactured for experimental purposes. On this point Messrs. Krupp and the Navy Department are discreetly silent, but the explanation that the guns did not fulfill the original expectations when they were thoroughly tested would certainly go far to explain the misinformation of the German press regarding the main battery of the ships referred to.—Naval and Military Record.
GERMAN AND BRITISH DREADNOUGHTS.—The launch of the German battleship Kronprinz, ex-Ersatz Brandenburg, raises to twenty-three the number of dreadnoughts built or completing afloat for that power; and although reliable comparisons cannot be based upon the number of ships launched there is a good deal of interest in the fact that the corresponding British total is 34. This includes the Australia and New Zealand; and if these be excluded, as the First Lord has said they should be when discussing the 60 per cent standard, it will be seen that our superiority of 32 to 23 amounts to only 39 per cent. The present year, however, is likely to see a considerable change in the ratio, for while Germany cannot launch more than her three vessels of the 1913 program—and quite probably will not launch all of those—there should go afloat for the British fleet not only the Valiant, Barham, and Malaya, the outstanding vessels of the Queen Elizabeth class, but also the five Royal Sovereigns. Regarding the latter, however, cognizance has to be taken of the fact that it is now the rule for contract-built ships to spend considerably over a year on the stocks. Taking the 1910 and 1911 program, the Queen Mary was launched after twelve and the Ajax after thirteen months; but in the case of the remaining contract-built ships the period was about eighteen months in each instance. The prevailing labor conditions no doubt had something to do with this; but seeing that none of the contract-built Royal Sovereigns was laid down until November—and one not then—it is, perhaps, too optimistic to expect that they will be afloat by the end of the year. On the other hand, contractors as a whole appear to have got over the difficulties which left such a heavy impression on our programs for 1909, 1910 and 1911, and if they are able to get the Revenge, Ramillies, and Resolution into the water by the end of 1914, we shall then have afloat 42 dreadnoughts (including three Dominion vessels) to Germany's 26. The same figures represent the anticipated completed strength of the navies in 1916.—Naval and Military Record.
"ERSATZ VIKTORIA LUISE."—The Ersatz Viktoria Luise, to be laid down this year, will be the eighth ship of the battle-cruiser type to be put in hand for the German Navy. By 1917, therefore, there will be a whole squadron of these vessels in commission at Wilhelmshaven. Four of them will be armed with 11-inch and four with 12-inch guns, and the speed of the slowest will be at least 28 knots. With the exception of the Von der Tann, which has a 10-inch belt, these ships will be protected by 11-inch to 12-inch armor over vitals. Thus in every respect they are most formidable units. If, as seems probable, the battle-cruiser type is to be dropped in England, the British Navy in 1917 will possess only nine ships of this class (excluding the Australia). It is incontestable, however, that in gun power, if not in speed, the British squadron will have the advantage, and this should prove a valuable factor if the battle-cruiser is intended to carry out fast wing tactics in a fleet action.—Naval and Military Record.
SOUTH AMERICAN AND AFRICAN CRUISE.—The German battleships Kaiser and König Albert and the new cruiser Strasburg have left Wilhelmshaven for an extended cruise, during which they will visit the German West African colonies and show the flag in South American waters. These ships are being sent forth to advertise to the world the growing naval power of Germany, and incidentally to show the South American Republics that Germany as well as England can build ships for them. The vessels will return to Europe in March, and a few months later the German naval authorities will be able to congratulate themselves on the completion of the new third squadron, which will give Germany 25 modern and efficient battleships always fully manned and on a war footing. In other words, in ships fully manned and instantly ready at all times the British and German Navies will then be on an equality, unless the fourth squadron of the British home fleets, now based on Gibraltar, is to be withdrawn for permanent service in home waters.—Naval and Military Record.
SUBMARINE ORGANIZATION.—On the 7th of February the new system of submarine organization had been in force for twelve months. The torpedo and submarine services were formerly administered by the same department, but the rapid increase in the number of submarines rendered it advisable to separate the two. Although hardly more than six years have elapsed since the German fleet went in for submarines, such quick progress has been made in the last three or four years that there are now nearly thirty boats in commission, and they are being added at the rate of six per annum. Quite recently an "Inspection of Submarines" was created and placed in charge of a flag officer. The new department supervises and controls the exercises of the boats in commission and the submarine training establishment, and also carries out all technical experiments and trials. It comprises three staff officers, 61 lieutenants, 11 subs., 37 engineers, five surgeons, and six paymasters, or 123 officers in all.—Naval and Military Record.
SOUTH AMERICAN WARSHIP MARKET. NAVY LEAGUE INFLUENCE. THE PACE IN ARMAMENTS. BRITISH TRAINING SCHEME CRITICISED.—During the week of February 15-20 the new navy estimates have been taking their usual tranquil course through the Reichstag. Here and there a minor item has been vetoed, such as the building of a new officers' casino at Kiel, but there has been no opposition worth the name; in fact, practically all parties have confined their remarks to eulogies of the naval administration. Nothing in the proceedings would have led the casual onlooker to suppose that enormous sums of money were under consideration. Thanks to the unfailing courtesy and good humor of the Secretary of State, Admiral von Tirpitz, who disarms criticism with an engaging smile and deprecatory wave of the hand, the Reichstag finds itself in an indulgent frame of mind on these occasions, and the spokesmen of the various parties vie with one another in offering tributes to the Imperial Marine as a pillar of peace and a symbol of Germany's "Weltmachtstellung." The sole demand around which anything approaching a controversy raged was the appointment of a naval attaché to the South American Republics. Rejected last year, the same demand was put forward again, and this time it has been conceded. Herr von Tirpitz was able to persuade the Reichstag that this appointment was urgent in the interests of German shipbuilding. In the course of the debate the remark was made that the South American warship market has been neglected by Germany in the past, with the result that foreign rivals had carried off most of the orders. The posting of an attaché at Buenos Ayres and the visit of battleships to those waters are a proof of German determination to bid for a larger share of foreign contracts in future.
It speaks volumes for the genius of Admiral von Tirpitz that he has been able to persuade 90 per cent of the Reichstag delegates that the present improvement in Anglo-German relations is entirely due to the growth of the Imperial Navy. Hitherto this somewhat Gilbertian suggestion has been made only by the "armor plate" press, which still contends that real cordiality will never prevail between the two nations until the German fleet is as strong as the British. The remarks of the Minister on the subject of the foreign cruiser squadron it is desired to form are generally construed as a hint of further naval increases at an early date. It cannot be denied that his speech on this point was practically a repetition of all the arguments which have been employed by the Flottenverein in its agitation for more battle-cruisers. It is easy to see whence the Flottenverein has been drawing its ammunition for this campaign, and once more the world has unmistakable proof of the oft-asserted fact that the German Navy League works hand in hand with the government, and, in all but name, is a department of the German Admiralty. The recognition of this explains why the Navy League's battle-cruiser agitation must be taken very seriously. What the League asks to-day, Admiral von Tirpitz demands to-morrow, and there is absolutely no reason to suppose that the demand for an additional division of giant cruisers will be refused when the time comes to put it forward in a definite shape.
Yet in spite of the general atmosphere of benevolence in which the navy debate is taking place, the Secretary of State has not escaped outside criticism altogether. His speech last week, in which he laid on England the onus of forcing the pace in naval competition and contrasted the “moderation" of German armaments with the aggressiveness of those of certain other countries, is attacked by Capt. Persius, who shows that the Minister omitted figures which would have thrown a totally different light on the situation. Without entering into details of this dispute, it is enough to say that the world has long since drawn its own conclusions in regard to German naval policy, and will scarcely be impressed by these repeated attempts on the part of German statesmen to saddle England with the sole responsibility for the burden of European armaments. They serve a well-understood political purpose, and German writers betray their characteristic lack of a sense of humor when they make these statements in the Reichstag the theme for long-winded homilies on the perfidy of British naval policy.
A stir has been caused by the reproduction of an interview alleged to have been given by Admiral von Rebeur-Paschwitz, commanding the battleships now in South America, to the Brazilian newspaper, Rio de Janeiro. In this interview the admiral was made to say that with the Far Eastern division, the Mediterranean division, and the "Detached division," Germany has now three squadrons in foreign waters which will be maintained on their present footing. An official démenti has been issued, to the effect that "official circles" do not believe the admiral ever made any such remark, and it is added that the intention is to disband the "Detached division" as soon as the ships return home. This had been assumed all along. Until the Kaiser and the König Albert are back from their cruise the high sea fleet lacks two of its best battleships, and there can never have been any intention of allowing these two fine ships to cruise aimlessly about the Atlantic after their mission to South America has been fulfilled.
Rear Admiral Wietschel has written an article on the "naval jack-of-all-trades," in which he comments adversely on the system of training for British officers. He does not consider it possible to make a competent executive or a competent engineer out of the same material, and he apparently thinks the British system is about to break down. "Its success is very doubtful; and if it fails the personnel of the English Navy will be very gravely affected for years to come." This officer congratulates his own service on not having followed the same system. It deserves to be pointed out, however, that nearly every German critic of British sea training lays what we should consider undue stress on the social factor. To put it bluntly, the German view is that engineers must be drawn from a lower social grade than executives in order to facilitate the task of keeping the former "in their places," to use the words of the last commandant of the engineers' schooll on the North Sea station. There is a fixed belief in the higher ranks of the navy that the middle classes cannot furnish the right material for executive officers. This conviction is also expressed by Capt. von Kühlwetter in his masterly article on the German personnel in the current Brassey. Needless to say, it is not shared by the corps of naval engineers or their Parliamentary supporters, but the fact that it exists has given rise to much friction in the past and promises to cause more in future.
On behalf of the engineers the Navy Department is now being urged to create a higher rank for this branch, corresponding to engineer-captain in the British Navy. The highest present rank is chef-ingenieur (engineer-commander). It remains to be seen whether this concession will be made while the administration of the service remains in the same hands, but the foregoing circumstances have been alluded to for the purpose of showing that the Imperial Navy has a problem of its own to solve, and the German writers who are now complacently prophesying all manner of ills for the British fleet might well pause to ask themselves if all is well with their own.—Naval and Military Record.
ESTIMATES OF GERMAN NAVY.—The navy bill contains an increase of 134 in the number of officers, the respective ranks being as follows: 1 vice admiral, 8 captains, 15 commanders, 32 lieutenant commanders, 78 lieutenants and junior officers (Ober Leutenants and Leutenants zur See). Also there will probably be an increase of 48 commissioned engineers in the engineering corps.
There has been an increase of 5000 men in the enlisted personnel, and to this is added 796 men for the mine, torpedo and aviation services.
After the above increases the grand total of the commissioned personnel will be 2612 (including medical officers) and of the enlisted personnel 75,468.
No navy in the world has increased its personnel as rapidly as the German, as the following figures show:
1901-2 31.2 1908-9 50.5
1902-3 33.5 1909-10 53.9
1903-4 35.8 1910-11 57.3
1904-5 38.1 1911-12 60.8
1905-6 40.8 1912-13 66.8
1906-7 43.6 1913-14 73.1
The budget as published gives the following apportionment:
(1) For the high sea fleet in home waters. 2,275.000
(2) Station and special duty ships 435,000
(3) Squadron exercises 460,000
(4) "Ships for Special Purposes" 240,000
On the first of April the "High Sea Fleet" will be stationed as follows: First squadron and cruisers in the North Sea; second and third squadrons in the Ostsee (East Sea below Skager Rack and Categat with base at Kiel).
Twelve cruisers, including four battle-cruisers, have been attached to the "High Sea Fleet."
THE "HOHENZOLLERN."—The Hohenzollern (the Imperial yacht), now undergoing extensive remodeling in the Vulcan Works, will be equipped as an auxiliary cruiser with a battery of rapid-fire and quick-fire guns. Her new plans call for increased steadiness and a higher speed. The double bottoms will stretch the entire length of the ship. She will be equipped with the Föttinger turbine system; combination oil- and coal-burning boilers; and is expected to make 24 knots.
The number of submarines now building and to be laid down in 1914 is 25. They belong to several types of the following characteristics:
Displacement Length Beam Draft Speed
above water meters meters meters knots
10-Clorinde 410 54 5.1 3.3 15 Diesel Engines (Motors)
2-Zedé 797 74 6.0 3.7 20 Diesel Engines (Motors)
3-Q-102 520 60.6 5.4 3.7 17 Diesel Engines (Motors)
8-Q-105 833 75 6.4 3.99 19 Steam (?)
2-Q-107 630 68 5.5 3.75 17 Diesel Motor
—Mitt. aus dem Geb. des Seew.—Translated by Lieut. C. B. Mayo, U. S. N.
GERMAN NAVAL CONSTRUCTION FOR FOREIGN COUNTRIES.—Vulcan Company.—This firm at its Hamburg works laid down the Greek battle-cruiser Salamis, and is building her machinery, including the turbines, of A. E. G. Curtis type. It has launched the German battleship Grosser Kurfurst, has under construction a large floating dock, and has built and engined six destroyers for the German Navy and four torpedo-boats for the Greek Navy. At its Stettin works it has laid down the small German cruiser Ersatz Gefion of about s000 tons.
F. Schichau.—At the Dantzig works of this company the German battleship Ersatz Worth, of 28,000 tons, has been laid down, and the German battle-cruiser Lutzow, of 27,400 tons, launched. At the Elbing works two 4500-ton cruisers for the Russian Navy, Mooraviev Amursky and Nevelskoy, have been laid down. Six destroyers have been constructed with their machinery for the German Navy.
Aktien-Ges. Weser, Bremen.—In 1913 this firm launched and is now completing the German battleship Markgraf, of 25,500 tons and 34,000 horse-power. This is the first large ship to be fitted with Bergmann turbines, which the Weser Company constructs.
Fried Krupp, Germaniawerft, Kiel.—The Krupp works have launched and completed the German battleship Prinzregent Luitpold, of 24,700 tons and 25,000 horse-power—the last of the Kaiser class—and have laid down the small cruiser Ersatz Hela. They have also laid down four destroyers for the Argentine Navy and completed or commenced a number of submarines for the German, Austrian, and Italian Governments. Guns and armor have been supplied for a number of German warships, also Zoelly turbines, Schulz-Thornycroft water-tube boilers, and the special Krupp type of heavy oil internal combustion motor.
Blohm and Voss, Hamburg.—This firm launched the German battlecruiser Derfllinger, of 25,000 tons and 63,000 horse-power. It has also constructed Parsons' turbines for dockyard-built vessels of the German Navy.
Howalt, Kiel.—This firm in 1913 laid down the new German battleship T, of 28,000 tons.
In conclusion, excluding torpedo craft, it may be mentioned that the warship tonnage laid down in private yards in Germany during 1913 was approximately 81,000 tons, as against 54,900 tons laid down in private yards in the previous year. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the Vulcan Company reported a financial loss on a battleship constructed for the German Navy, and there is some reason to suspect that government contracts represent little or no advantage to German shareholders. The outstanding feature is that, after a many years' practical British monopoly of foreign construction, German private firms during 1913 were at work on one large battle-cruiser, two protected cruisers, four destroyers, and four torpedo-boats for foreign navies, as opposed to a comparatively trifling amount of torpedo-boat work in the previous year. Moreover, Schichau is to all intents and purposes identical with Karl-Zeise of Riga, now doing work for the Russian Admiralty. It is also of interest to note that whereas in 1912 the warships laid down in German Imperial dockyards were confined to one cruiser of about 5000 tons, the displacement of the ships laid down in 1913 amounted to about 33,000 tons, a battle-cruiser being for the first time assigned to the Wilhelmshaven yard. At the same time the Kiel yard was given a small cruiser.—Naval and Military Record.
POLICY OF SHOWING THE FLAG IN FOREIGN WATERS. ADVERTISING EFFICIENCY.—On the resumption of the debate in the Reichstag on the naval estimates, Herr Bassermann, on behalf of the National Liberals, said that Admiral von Tirpitz had declared that a naval holiday for a year was unrealizable for Germany. "We hold fast," he added, "to our building program, and will not allow it to be disturbed. The idea is gaining ground in England that our fleet has no aggressive character, and our relations with England have improved, but an alliance with England much remain, so far as can be foreseen, a beautiful dream." He approved the despatch of German warships to foreign waters. The appearance of their ships in the Mediterranean was the best advertisement of German efficiency. He concluded with a warm encomium on the naval policy and naval administration of Admiral von Tirpitz.
Herr Nehber (conservative) expressed satisfaction that Admiral von Tirpitz had neither added to nor subtracted from his declarations on the disarmament question in 1912, and declared that the conservatives had not thought of an alliance with England. He pleaded for stronger representation of the German Navy in foreign waters.
Showing the Flag.—Admiral von Tirpitz said he welcomed the suggestions of the previous speakers that the fleet in future should be more strongly represented abroad.
The economic and political utility of the appearances of our ships in foreign waters (he declared) must be rated very high, but stronger naval representation abroad is not only a political and economic necessity, but is also a military necessity. All navies must keep in close touch with distant seas and conditions abroad. In recent years we have not done this to the extent which we ourselves would have wished. That has been due to circumstances which I need not explain in greater detail, to the concentration of our fleet in home waters. It is not a question now of creating a special Mediterranean division, but of increasing the activity of our fleet abroad in general. Unfortunately we have not yet nearly reached the number of ships which, according to the navy law, should be serving in foreign waters, a fact which has lately been felt in an especially disagreeable manner. Last year part of our East Asiatic squadron was urgently needed in the South Seas, but ships had to be recalled on their way thither because they were more urgently needed in China. It was equally unsatisfactory that we had to detach a ship from the East Asiatic squadron for Western American waters. Our need in the Far East itself is not fully met. The cruiser Bremen, with the support of the Hamburg-American Line, has done good service, but one ship is not enough. We were obliged to land cadets and ships boys armed with rifles in Haiti to protect German subjects. It is not right to use training ships for such purposes, however much the cadets and boys have enjoyed it. The House may perceive from these examples how heavily we have felt the necessity for a stronger representation abroad during the past few years, and it will indubitably be the aim of the next few years to reach, within the limits of the navy law, as soon as possible the number of ships assigned by the navy law for foreign service. The spokesmen of all the non-Socialist parties have pointed out that the carrying into effect of our navy law is a national necessity. I, too, cherish the firm and full conviction that the whole German people realizes the political necessity of giving effect to the existing navy law.
Limitation Impracticable.—Herr Heckscher (radical) concurred with the political and economic utility of showing the flag abroad. He agree with the Socialists that on the disarmament basis an international agreement was conceivable, but Great Britain and Germany could not conclude such an agreement without the co-operation of France and Russia. Moreover, a naval holiday would be disastrous for the workers in German shipyards.
Herr Wermuth (Imperial party) expressed himself against the imposition of any limitations on German naval policy.
Herr Vogtherr (Socialist) declared that his party was against any extension or acceleration of the navy law. Mr. Churchill's suggestion of a year's holiday for shipbuilding, he declared, deserved to be taken seriously.
After a final reply from Admiral von Tirpitz, the vote for the salary of the Secretary of State was passed.—Naval and Military Record.
GERMAN POLICY RESPECTING INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES.—Herr von Tirpitz also dealt with the internal combustion engine and its application to warships, and expressed his confidence that the new system of propulsion will have a great influence on future naval design. From the very condensed report of his speech, however, it does not appear that his department proposes to lay down any large Diesel-driven ship at the present stage. It is Germany's traditional policy to let other nations take the lead where naval innovations are concerned, and to learn from their dearly bought experience before doing anything herself. This was the policy followed in the case of the water-tube boiler, the steam turbine, and the submarine boat, none of which were adopted by the German fleet until they had been exhaustively tested and more or less perfected by foreign navies. This method is undoubtedly economical and is well suited to a nation which is determined to get full value for the money it devotes to its fleet, but some critics on this side consider it has been pushed too far. On the other hand, information relating to technical matters in connection with the navy is so meagre that it would be premature to conclude that Germany has done nothing to develop the oil-fired marine boiler. A few, at least, of the later torpedo craft are understood to have several, if not all, of their boilers fitted to burn liquid fuel, and similar reports have been heard regarding the Goeben and the Seydlitz. That oil is expected to be in great demand in the near future is proved by the erection of huge tanks at all the German war harbors.—Naval and Military Record.
GERMAN PROGRESS IN TORPEDO WARFARE.—People who are in a position to know assure us that progress in gunnery has been equalled, yes, and surpassed, by the corresponding progress in torpedo training across the North Sea. Needless to say, the actual extent of this progress is not advertised by the Wilhelmstrasse. Until recently torpedo running was confined almost entirely to the range at Friedrichsort, near Kiel, but quite lately a new range was opened at Eckernförde to give full play to the longer range of modern torpedoes. At Friedrichsort is situated the Imperial Torpedo Factory, where 90 per cent of all these weapons used in the navy are made. It is the prudent policy of Germany to confine the output of torpedoes for service use to state-controlled shops, as far as possible, to facilitate the retention of secrets. In former years the firm of Schwartzkopff, of Berlin, and the Whitehead factory in Hungary found Germany a good customer, but of late she has preferred to make her own torpedoes. Thus, whenever a torpedo embodying any improvement is completed, it leaves the state factory to be tested on the range, only a few yards away. This arrangement makes it impossible for any unauthorized observer to gather information of new developments, and only very occasionally do authentic details percolate through.
According to the semi-official works of reference issued in Germany, the latest ships, including all the dreadnought battleships and cruisers, the latest light cruisers, and all destroyers from and including those of 1909, are armed with 50-cm. torpedoes. Now, there is strong reason to believe this to be a misprint or a "terminological inexactitude," and the actual diameter of the new torpedo to be 55 cm., or 21.6 inches. This weapon is understood to be some 17 feet long, to carry a bursting charge of 290 pounds, and to have a range of about 7500 yards. Although the highest speed is behind the published velocity of foreign torpedoes of equal or later date, the extremely powerful warhead is held to be more important. A number of tests carried out against specially constructed targets demonstrated that the 18-inch torpedo was not destructive enough to ensure that a single hit would disable a modern capital ship. It was therefore decided to concentrate on the problem of giving the torpedo the maximum destructive potentiality, while keeping speed within reasonable limits. Moreover, there was substituted for the usual charge of guncotton a warhead of T. N. T. (Trinitrotoluene), which is the more powerful explosive of the two. One hit from the new 21-inch torpedo would, it is believed, place even a 27,000-ton battleship on the "sick list," no matter on what part of the hull it got home.
The whole system of torpedo training in the German Navy aims at the perfection of assaults delivered under cover of darkness or of correspondingly favorable weather conditions. Daylight tactics are considered impracticable, and when these are adopted at maneuvers they are merely intended as a spectacle for the edification of guests on the flagship. Massed attack is also favored to the extent that boats should act collectively, and as a rough rule it is estimated that at least four boats must be used against each object ship simultaneously if the attempt is to be successful. If, therefore, a hostile squadron of eight battleships was to be assailed, at least three flotillas, i. e., thirty-three boats, would undertake the attack. It is understood that this plan is followed with more or less regularity in German torpedo exercises.
Another feature is the high speed at which night attacks are made. Until some three or four. years ago German torpedo-boats rarely maneuvered with masked lights. Since that time, however, the procedure has been changed, and now exercises with masked lights are the rule rather than the exception. There is no denying the superb efficiency of the German torpedo service as displayed in training under these circumstances. A flotilla working at night moves with an assured precision that is nothing short of marvellous. Although no light is shown beyond a mere glimmer at the stern to indicate changes of speed, etc., the boats rush along at top speed in the closest formation, and the flotilla commander exercises the most perfect control over his flock. The most eloquent testimony to this efficiency is furnished by the rarity of accidents, in spite of the fact that the German flotillas claim to put in more actual sea work than the destroyers of any other nation, not excepting Great Britain. The boats are built to stand knocking about, but they are not remarkably comfortable. Everything has been subordinated in the construction to speed and weatherliness, but personal inconvenience does not appear to affect the enthusiasm of officers or men. They have enormous confidence in their boats and in themselves. They claim that the fine flower of the naval personnel, officers and men, is to be found in the flotillas, and anyone with first-hand knowledge of the matter will agree that there is something in the claim. Men and boats are always in the best of condition, ready to go anywhere and do anything.
Most authorities accept it as a foregone conclusion that the torpedo flotillas will play a decisive part in the next naval campaign in which the Fatherland is engaged and any naval power which stands in expectation of imminent trouble with Germany will, if the trouble materializes, doubtless emerge with painful experience as to the efficacy of the torpedo when rightly used.—Naval and Military Record.
GERMAN NAVAL POLICY.—Minister's Case Against a Holiday.—From the official report of the proceedings of the Budget Commission of the Reichstag, it appears that the Secretary of State for the navy, in the course of his speech, said German naval policy had never assumed aggressive aims in regard to Great Britain, but had aimed at attaining a measure of naval power commanding respect. Turning to the organization of the two fleets, he said Germany with her five squadrons of battleships, setting the life of the ships at twenty years, must replace them at an average rate of two yearly, and they did not intend to do more. Great Britain, for her eight squadrons, must lay down an average of three ships annually, but for the last five years she had been building at the rate of five battleships yearly, which was a very long way from the ratio of 16 to 10. In these conditions, if it was desired to reach an armament agreement, it was only natural that Great Britain, being by far the greatest naval power in the world, should make definite proposals.
In regard to the suggested holiday in naval construction, he said "that means either that the program for one year should be postponed, in which case the omission would have to be made good in the following year, or that the holiday-year program should be permanently dropped. In the former case our finances, the labor conditions in our shipyards, as well as our military conditions, especially the regular commissioning of completed vessels, would fall into disorder. Still further difficulties would be involved for us. Great Britain's shipyards are filled to overflowing with new ships, while our building activity is meager. We should have large dismissals of workmen, and the whole arrangements of our shipyards would be upset. If the holiday-year ships are to be abandoned, there would be a shortage in the legally established organization of our fleet, as we only build ships to replace others."
Replying to various speakers, Admiral von Tirpitz expressed the firm conviction that without a navy Germany would probably never have reached good relations with Great Britain. She must, he declared, inevitably have sunk to the level of a vassal state. In conclusion, he expressed the view that overmuch attention should not be paid to reports in the press, especially in the British press, with regard to the projected reduction in the displacement of capital ships. They had always found, he said, that such statements turned out to be incorrect. He could only repeat that Germany had never forced the pace, and that he would welcome a general reduction in displacements.—Naval and Military Record.
The German navy estimates are still the index to the naval movement throughout the world, and the figures for the new financial year, though not sensational, are full of interest. The aggregate sum to be devoted to the fleet is larger than the maximum voted this year by £400,000. On the other hand, the ordinary estimates, that is, those that are to be covered by revenue rather than loan, are £1,400,000 higher. As the value of the fleet increases so, under the automatic rule which applies to the raising of loans, the amount of money spent on new construction is taken in larger proportions from revenue, and the time is not far distant when the loan policy for shipbuilding will come to an end. Under the scheme of finance which was incorporated in the naval legislation, the German people are being provided with a far larger navy than they are paying for by cash, and since the pressure of taxation is very high, they have regarded this method of postponing the day of payment with lively satisfaction. Indeed, but for this policy of loans, it is doubtful whether the Imperial Government would have succeeded in so rapidly educating public opinion on the naval issue. Under this financial scheme it has been possible to keep down the charges on the taxpayers of the present generation by casting the burden of paying for the ships in part on future generations. Not only has this been done, but even the interest on loans and the annuities in repayment of loans do not appear in the navy estimates.
The result of this method of finance has been to lighten the burden on the taxpayer very appreciably, as the following figures, representing the amount met from loan from year to year indicate, the sums being given in million pounds sterling:
Year £ Year £
1901-2 2.7 1908-9 4.2
1902-3 2.5 1909-10 5.4
1903-4 2.3 1910-11 5.5
1904-5 2.3 1911-12 5.3
1905-6 2.3 1912-13 4.0
1906-7 2.5 1913-14 2.5
In 1909, 1910, and 1911, that is during the three first years of the running of the amending act of 1908, half the sum spent upon naval construction and armament was raised by loan, and thus the present generation of Germans could view with extreme satisfaction the rapid addition of ships to the fleet, since they were getting them at half-price, leaving succeeding generations to pay the remainder of the bill. During the period which has elapsed since the beginning of this century loans for the navy have been raised to the amount of, roughly, £44,000,000. Not only is the present generation not finding this money, but the interest on the loans and the annuities for the repayment of these loans do not appear in the navy estimates in any form, and consequently the actual expenditure of Germany is far higher than appears in the estimates.—Naval and Military Record.
ACTIVITY OF THE NAVAL SERVICE.—A despatch from Kiel to the official North German Gazette throws a vivid light on the activity of the naval service in the past year. The vessels in full commission at one or other period during the year included 25 battleships, 14 armored and 23 small cruisers, 11 gunboats, 7 training ships, and 11 special ships, or 91 ships in all, exclusive of torpedo craft. The present year will witness many changes in the foreign squadrons, as a number of older ships are to be replaced by new ones. As regards torpedo craft, no fewer than 194 boats were in service, some of them being placed in and out of commission four or five times in the 12 months. Ten of the boats were commissioned as division boats, and 27 for mine-sweeping duties. Modern material in active service was represented by 93 Schichau, 33 Vulkan, and 31 Germania destroyers. These figures are eloquent of the ceaseless activity of German torpedo training.
The Gazette states that both the materiel and the personnel of the torpedo branch are subjected to heavier strains each year, and remarks that only in this way is it possible to raise the efficiency of German torpedo-boats to that standard which they have now reached, and which must be maintained. The number of submarines steadily increases. Last year there were 24 of these boats kept in commission, six of them having joined during the year. As a rule, says the Gazette, very little is heard as to the movements of the submarines, "for in this branch the navy is doing its work without desiring publicity."
The two new cruisers Karlsruhe and Rostock have practically completed their trials, and will shortly be assigned to service, the former on the America station, where it will relieve the Bremen, and the latter in the scouting squadron of the high sea fleet. In appearance these ships are identical with the Breslau class, though they are somewhat larger. Improved protection is given by the wider armor belt, which is also believed to be slightly thicker than the 4-inch belt of the Breslau class. The excellent protection of all these newer German light cruisers deserves to be noticed, in view of the publication of details of the British "light armored cruisers." Over vitals the Breslau has 4-inch vertical armor, reinforced by a 2-inch deck on slopes, associated with very wide coal bunkers. This combination should afford effective protection from the attack of high-velocity 6-inch shell, and at long ranges might well resist still heavier projectiles. The thickness of the armor, if any, above the belt is unknown. It is clear that these cruisers have nothing to fear from the guns of contemporaries in the same class as far as injuries to vitals are concerned, but the same can scarcely be said of the Arethusa and Calliope, which have only 3-inch unbacked armor .on the water-line and a half-inch deck behind it. Being fired by oil only, they have no bunker protection. It is doubtful if this armor would be of much avail even against 4-inch shell; it certainly could not resist anything heavier. In armament the ships are about equal, the advantage, if any, falling to the British ship with its 6-inch quick-firer fore and aft. As regards speed, the Arethusa, if she succeeds on trial, will be some two knots faster than the Breslau and about one knot in advance of the Karlsruhe, which is reported to have made 29 knots. It remains to be seen what account the Arethusas will give of themselves when they are in service, but the opinion is expressed in shipbuilding circles on this side that the design attempts far too much on the displacement.—Naval and Military Record.
WAR UTTERANCES BY ADMIRAL BREUSING. GREAT SEA FIGHT FORECASTED. REMARKABLE ALLEGATIONS. BRITISH AND GERMAN RATES OF SHIPBUILDING. —The extraordinary speech made by retired German flag officer, Admiral Breusing, at a meeting of the Navy League held in Wiesbaden some time ago, is still the subject of comment. A large number of newspapers, especially those which enjoy service patronage, warmly endorse the admiral's remarks as the utterances of a candid and courageous German sailor, while in other quarters the speech is severely criticised as unseemly and provocative. Admiral Breusing has since repeated it at several other meetings, and appears to have had a rousing reception everywhere. As this officer is admitted to be one of the most influential speakers on behalf of the Navy League, the following report of his lecture, translated verbatim from The Wiesbadener Zeitung, may be of interest:
"The speaker began by sketching the history of the German fleet from the accession of the Emperor to the present day, and gave an appreciation of the services rendered by the Emperor himself and his naval paladins, Grand-Admirals von Tirpitz and von Koester. By means of the navy law the German fleet first became valuable. The broadening of the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal, which will shortly be completed, doubles the value of the ships, for it enables the very largest vessels to pass from one sea to the other very rapidly. We now possess in our submarines a real high-sea weapon, which has proved its efficiency by long endurance cruises. The modern view is that the most effective fleet formation is that of 25 battleships and eight cruisers, for an enemy attacking such a fleet would have to divide his forces and thus weaken himself. Unfortunately this number will not be available before 1920. The Churchill "holiday year" was emphatically repudiated by the speaker as an utterly insincere and dishonorable proposal (einen durchaus unaufrichtigen und unehrlichen Vorschlag). The growth of the fleet on the basis of the navy law has coincided with the extension of our dockyards, coast defences, and harbors. The Imperial yard at Wilhelmshaven is now the largest and best in the world. Heligoland, for which perhaps we had to give much, but which nevertheless we had to have at any cost, has been made impregnable and transformed into a secure naval base. The mouths of the rivers are protected against surprise attack by batteries ready to open fire at any moment, and by mine fields, and a watch is maintained there as in war. The military training is of a higher standard than in any other navy, and our tactical exercises are now copied by every other nation, including England. In the Russo-Japanese War the Japanese adopted our tactical formations, which they had discovered by some unexplained means, and accordingly defeated the Russians.
"The speaker then turned to the tasks of the fleet, and declared point blank that we are threatened with a world war by France. A country which, although much inferior in population, keeps up a far bigger army than ours and has gone back to the three years service, is not doing this for parade purposes. France believes that what is perhaps the last moment for a war of vengeance has arrived. In 1903, 1905, and 1911 England invited France to attack Germany, and promised her military aid. On two occasions France ignored the invitation because she felt herself too weak. In 1911, however, she was ready, but she demanded from England the landing of 150,000 troops in Belgium, in a certain sense as a pledge that England would not, as she has so often done, conclude peace on her own account and leave her ally in the lurch. But the English Admiralty dared not sanction the expedition in view of the menace to the transports from the German fleet. So accordingly this Board of Admiralty was dismissed, and the unquiet Churchill was promoted to the highest naval position, while a Hessian Prince, Prince Louis of Battenburg, declared himself ready to convoy these transports destined to ruin Germany.
"Previous to 1900 the English plan was simply to steam into the German rivers on the outbreak of war, but they had to give this up when the rivers were fortified. They then resolved to seal up the North Sea; but this scheme, too, had to be set aside when the commanding officer in Egypt claimed a part of the necessary force to serve in the Mediterranean. It was then planned to attack the German coast from the Ems, but this was made impossible by the fortification of Borkum. So the English have had to fall back on the plan of a limited blockade of the German coast and an extensive use of mines. It is this mine-laying work that will certainly bring about the first encounters with submarines and torpedo-boats, and the guns of Helgoland may then have a chance of intervening. Our cruisers will attempt to gain the Atlantic, where they will cut up the English food supply, this being of the greatest importance in view of England's insular situation. After some time there will come the decisive action between the two fleets, in which as many as possible of the enemy's ships must be destroyed. After this battle we shall be able to rebuild our fleet more quickly than England, thanks to our larger number of skilled artisans and laborers in general. The decisive engagement will begin at 10,000 to 12,000 meters, which range it will be the German tactics to maintain as long as possible. At 7000 meters the torpedo will come into action, and later on the fight will degenerate into a melée of the wildest description, ship fighting ship, and using every method of destruction. The German fleet will probably enter into this close action already possessing an advantage, due mainly to its excellent Krupp gun material, which England simply cannot equal. Whoever wins in this struggle, it is certain that the defeated side will leave all its ships and men at the bottom of the sea, while the victors will return home a ruined fleet.
"At this stage of the war our allies will come to our support, especially Italy, which owed the failure of its claim to Tunis to English intrigues, and was also to be betrayed out of Tripoli. While the Italians were fighting in Tripoli, England and France were negotiating with Turkey for the lease of this territory, in which case it would, of course, have been lost to Italy. Hence Italy's sudden declaration of annexation, before she had gained more than a few harbors. Italy has not forgotten, nor will she forget. She is in a position to march from Tripoli along the two-thousand year old and twenty meters broad Roman road into the heart of Egypt, to seize the Suez Canal, and thus to deal a mortal blow at the British world position. All this makes England very careful, the more so because Japan is obviously arming against her. During their alliance with England the Japanese also have found out what England's allies invariably do find out, namely, that England reaps all the advantage and leaves the burdens and the cost to others. For this reason Churchill says that English naval policy must be reorganized by 1916, for by that time Japan will have her ships ready. For this reason, too, she attempts to make friends with Germany. Well-informed persons had told the speaker that these negotiations demanded the renunciation of many German claims. There is, however, said Admiral Breusing, no ground for such a renunciation. We hold the trumps in our hand, and provided we show England the cold shoulder we can get from her whatever we want."
The following note by Captain Persius appears in a Berlin newspaper:
"The Nationalistic press has recently been printing the most contradictory statements regarding the time required to build English and German battleships respectively. Whenever they wish to prove that England is no longer able to continue the armaments race they declare that our yards build as fast, nay, faster, than the English. But when they want to convince us that our navy is far behind the British in strength, they say the English build much more quickly than we do. What are the facts? Nauticus gives the following authentic figures for our latest battleships: The Kaiserin was laid down in November, 1910. and commissioned for trials on May 10, 1913. The König Albert was laid down at Kiel in July, 1910, and was completed in the summer of 1913. The Prinzregent Luitpold was begun in June, 1911, and began her trials in summer 1913. The Marine Rundschau for July 1913, reports the König Albert as having run her acceptance trial on June 20, and the Prinzregent Luitpold on June 14. According to these details the Kaiserin took 30 months to build, the König Albert 36, and the Prinzregent Luitpold 30 months. A table in The Naval and Military Record gives the corresponding dates of recently completed British battleships: Centurion, 28 months; Audacious, 31 months; Ajax, 32 months, and Queen Mary, 30 months. The first 29 British dreadnoughts averaged 26.97 months. The last were delayed by strikes and other causes. The truth is, therefore, that British yards now build only a little faster than the German."
On January 7 the German cruiser Breslau arrived at Trieste, and entered the dockyard at San Marco, where she will undergo repairs and a general overhaul lasting several weeks. This is the second time within the last few months that a German warship has been repaired at an Austrian yard. Last autumn the Goeben was in dockyard hands at the Imperial arsenal at Pola. These visits are held to confirm the existence of a naval agreement between Germany and Austria-Hungary, which is responsible for the creation of a German Mediterranean cruiser squadron.
In the course of the navy debate in the Reichstag on January 20, Admiral von Tirpitz ostentatiously took the Navy League under his wing. Several Social-Democratic speakers had previously attacked the League, alleging it to be one of the principal sources of ill-will between Germany and England by reason of its violently anti-English campaign. In reply, the Secretary of State said: "I must defend the Navy League against such attacks. Naturally it agitates on behalf of the fleet, that being its aim and conviction." Too much significance need not be read into this remark, but on the other hand it may fairly be taken as an admission that the means employed by the League to further its campaign are not found fault with by the government. Of course, this will be no news to anyone who has taken the trouble to probe beneath the surface of the naval agitation in Germany. Between the Navy Department and the executive of the League the most intimate relations have always existed, and Germans have good reason to congratulate their country on the wonderful results of this harmonious co-operation. At the same time, one cannot forget how invariably the Navy League writers and speakers revile England, nor how the whole policy of the League has been, and continues to be, the creation of national feeling against England in order to accelerate and justify the expansion of the German fleet.
The latest reminder of this is to be found in the speeches of a German flag officer, Admiral Breusing, whose burning indictment of perfidious England delivered at Wiesbaden lately appeared in these columns. Incidentally, this officer repeated his speech with some additions, at a Pan-German meeting held in the Reichstag building at Berlin on February 11, and was again received, to quote the newspapers, with "tumultuous and long-continued applause." The Secretary of State for the navy cannot be unaware of the questionable methods employed by the Navy League. At all events, he is, as he declared in the Reichstag, ready to defend it, and this establishes a sort of relationship between the government and those speakers who go about the country vilifying England. It should not escape notice that although Admiral Breusing and other no less fiery colleagues have been lecturing and writing in the same inflammatory strain for many months, not a single newspaper of official standing has seen fit to utter a word of remonstrance. Hence public opinion cannot be blamed for concluding that these repeated attacks on England meet with the tacit approval of the Imperial Government, and Admiral von Tirpitz's allusion in the Reichstag cannot be said to have removed that impression.—Naval and Military Record.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Benbow 25,000 22 10 13.5-in., Beardmore Launched Dec. 12, 1913
India 25,000 22 same Vickers Launched Oct. 27, 1913
Iron Duke 28,000 22 same Portsmouth Under Trials
Marlborough 25,000 22 same Devonport Launched Oct. 24, 1912
Qu’n Eliz’b’h 27,500 25 8 15-in., Portsmouth Launched Oct. 16, 1913
Warspite 27,500 25 same Devonport Launched Nov. 26, 1913
Valiant 27,500 25 same Fairfield Launched Dec., 1913
Malaya 27,500 25 same Walker Laid down Oct. 20, 1913
Barham 27,500 25 same Brown & Co. Launched Feb., 1914
Roy’l Sover’gn 25,500 21 … Portsmouth
Royal Oak 25,500 21 … Devonport
Resolution 25,500 21 … Palmer
Ramallies 25,500 21 … Beardmore
Revenge 25,500 21 … Vickers
Tiger 30,000 30 8 13.5-in., Brown & Co. Launched Dec., 15, 1913
Brisbane 5,490 25 9 6-in., Sydney Laid down Jan. 25, 1913
Birmingham 5,530 … … Elswick Trials begun Nov. 22, 1913
Lowestoft 5,530 … … Chatham Launched April 23, 1913
Nottingham 5,530 … … Pembroke Launched April 18, 1913
Aurora 3,600 … … Devonport Launched Sept. 30, 1913
Arethusa 3,600 … … Chatham Launched Oct. 25, 1913
Penelope 3,600 … … Barrow Laid down Feb. 1, 1913
Phaeton 3,600 … … Barrow Laid down March 12, 1913
Royalist 3,600 … … Dalmuir Laid down March, 1913
Galatea 3,600 … … Dalmuir Laid down Jan. 9, 1913
Inconstant 3,600 … … Dalmuir Laid down March, 1913
Undaunted 3,600 … … Govan Laid down Dec. 21, 1912
Cleopatra 4,400 … … Devonport …
Calliope 4,400 … … Chatham …
Conquest 4,400 … … Chatham …
Cordelia 4,400 … … Pembroke Laid down July 21, 1913
Carysfort 4,400 … … Pembroke …
Cornus 4,400 … … Wallsend …
Caroline 4,400 … … Birkenhead …
Champion 4,400 … … Hebburn …
NOTE.—England has approximately 34 destroyers and 24 submarines under construction.
THE NEW "ROYAL SOVEREIGNS."—We learn on excellent authority that the majority of the stories that have been in circulation as to the characteristics of the battleships of the Royal Sovereign class of this year's program are inaccurate. It has already been shown that the reported armament of ten 15-inch guns was inconsistent with a displacement 2000 tons less than that of the ships of the Queen Elizabeth class. As a matter of fact, the Royal Sovereigns will be practically sister ships to the Iron Dukes, the only notable point of difference being a reduction of the nominal speed to 21 knots and a slight corresponding increase in the thickness of armor. It is probable that the great bulk of naval opinion will welcome the decision of the Admiralty not to proceed further with the mounting of the 15-inch gun, although the question will naturally arise as to the position that will be occupied in our naval economy by the Queen Elizabeths, with their three unique qualities of "all oil" furnaces, a speed intermediate between that of battleships and of battle-cruisers, and 15-inch guns. It is worthy of remark that although the 12-inch gun held its position in our battleship armaments for twelve or fourteen years—from the Majestics to the Hercules—no fewer than four types of primary guns were included in the four programs of 1909-10, 1910-11, 1911-12, and 1912-13. The 12-inch weapons of the Hercules and Colossus were succeeded by the 13.5-inch of the Orion class; then came the improved 13.5-inch as mounted in the King George V and Iron Duke classes, and finally the 15-inch of the Queen Elizabeths. For many reasons it is to be hoped that a settled policy will be followed in this matter, at any rate for a few years.—Naval and Military Record.
PUNISHING POWER OF THE "WARSPITE."—The new battleship Warspite will, when completed, have a punishing power unequalled by any other ship afloat. The warships coming nearest to the great British ship will be the United States battleship New York and the Rio de Janeiro, while the German battleships of the 1912 program will be much inferior in weight of broadside, estimated by experts to reach as far down as 80 per cent. The 25-knot speed of ships of the Warspite group will make them of the greatest strategical as well as tactical use to naval commanders during a war, for a fast squadron of such formidable fighters will give the side to which they are attached a great advantage in nearly all conceivable circumstances. The 6-inch guns forming their secondary batteries will be placed in highly protected turrets, and not mounted in batteries behind armored superstructures as in the Iron Duke type. There was a great outcry a short time back about the Empress of India experiments having been useless owing to the vessel sinking before she could be got into harbor and thoroughly examined. We pointed out at the time that this conclusion was premature, and that a great deal of information had, as a matter of fact, been gained by visits paid by gunnery experts to the ships between the series of attacks. As a result of these experiments we now see the 6-inch guns of the Warspite placed in turrets, as it was found that the 6-inch guns from one of the Town class of cruiser engaged in the attack on the old Empress, played such havoc with her superstructure that it would have been impossible for men to have fought a secondary battery behind it. This result only confirmed the experience of the Japanese in the Sea of Japan, where the Russian crews were thoroughly demoralized by the fire from Admiral Togo's secondary guns.—United Service Gazette.
WARSHIPS TO BE SOLD—The Admiralty has ordered seven warships to be placed on the sale list, as no longer fit for service. They are the battleships Hood, Resolution, and Revenge, all of the Royal Sovereign class. The other four are the light cruisers Cambrian, Æolus, Forte, and Scylla. Other vessels on the sale list are the light cruisers Flora and Barham, the destroyers Otter, Whiting, Virago, Taku, Foam, Janus, and Hardy. The battleship Renown, the light cruiser Colleen, and the famous old training ship Britannia are also to go.—Engineer.
THE "INVINCIBLE."—The battle-cruiser Invincible, on whose refit at Portsmouth £114,000 is being expended, has had her eight barbette guns landed in order that the gun mountings may be adapted for hydraulic control from the electric control with which they have been hitherto fitted. The Invincible is the first large ship in the British Navy whose guns were supplied with electric control apparatus, and as an experiment two different systems were fitted to the four barbettes, in which eight 12-inch guns are mounted. It is stated that neither system has come up to expectations, and for that reason the Admiralty have decided to replace them with hydraulic gear similar to that which has proved so satisfactory on the other ships of the class.—United Service Gazette.
SANER SIZE OF BATTLESHIPS.—It seems almost too good to be true, and yet it appears to be an undoubted fact, that the Royal Sovereign group of battleships, whose keels are now being laid down at our royal dockyards and private shipbuilding yards, are to be as much as 2000 tons less displacement than the Warrior class. Our readers will know that the United Service Gazette has always been strenuously on the side of capital ships of medium size, as against the huge and cumbrous leviathans of the super-dreadnought type, where such a large part of our sea power, and so many precious lives of expensively trained men, are placed over one keel. But the gunnery experts who have prevailed at the Admiralty during the last decade have had their way, and we have leapt up by thousands of tons in the size of each new group of capital ships, until the Warrior, of 28,000 tons displacement, has been reached, and still the experts call for more tons and more guns to be placed in each naval basket which is placed on the stocks. They have now received a check, apparently, in the design of the Royal Sovereigns, and it is to be hoped that the check is something more than a temporary one, otherwise our navy estimates must go up by leaps and bounds again if each year's expenses are to be provided out of its own revenues, and loans are not to be resorted to, for large sums will have to be annually expended on naval works. It is not only locks and docks, wharves and channels, which will have to be enlarged to meet new requirements, but some of our old naval harbors are being made obsolescent by the ever-increasing size of the battleships, and new harbors will have to be found if we continue at the present rate of increasing displacement, and then the expense will be enormous, even for so rich a country as our own.—United Service Gazette.
Nottingham, light cruiser, Capt. C. B. Miller, has completed her high speed and other trials in the Clyde, and left for Pembroke to complete fitting out. The speed tests, including those over the measured mile off Skelmorlie, were reported to have been very satisfactory.—Army and Navy Gazette.
"LINNET."—Yarrow & Co., Limited, have delivered to the Admiralty the Linnet, which is the second of the L class destroyers being built by them. She is fitted with the makers' latest type of superheater and feed heater, and a considerable economy of fuel is obtained.—Engineer.
"LYNX."—H. M. S. Lynx, one of three torpedo-boat destroyers being built at present by the London and Glasgow Engineering and Iron Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., for the British Navy, left the builders' basin at Govan on January 20 for drydocking at Greenock, and on the 22d she proceeded on her final acceptance trial, which proved to be very successful; the ship subsequently departed for Portsmouth to commission. The dimensions of the Lynx are: 260 feet in length between perpendiculars by 27 feet in breadth. She is fitted with Parsons' turbines developing over 25,000 shaft horse-power, and has water-tube oil-fired boilers of the Yarrow type constructed by the London and Glasgow Co. She attained a very high speed when running her full-power trials.
The second of the destroyers, built by the London and Glasgow Co., the Midge, which recently completed her program of steam trials with satisfactory results, establishing a speed record for her class, will be delivered in February.—Engineering Weekly.
PROVISION FOR TORPEDO CRAFT.—Another factor which must be emphasized is the peril which we shall run if the Admiralty pursues its present policy, in reference to torpedo craft. Under the present naval program we are laying down only four more destroyers than Germany, and we are devoting the same sum to the construction of submarines. When Mr. Churchill was defining the British standard of British battleship construction, he declared that there were "other and higher standards for smaller vessels." What those standards are he did not state, but certainly they are not represented in the 1913 shipbuilding program. Indeed, the provision made for torpedo craft, above and under water, represents little more than a one-power standard. We cannot, except at the gravest peril, neglect this branch of naval construction. Upon these vessels the best naval opinion is relying in ever-increasing degree. It is true that we have a considerable superiority in submarines built before Germany turned her attention to the construction of vessels of this type, but many of these early British submarines which still figure in lists of comparative strength are obsolescent, and must be replaced. The importance which the German naval authorities attach to the submarine is attested by the fact that they are spending upon these craft about £1,000,000 each year. This energetic policy will lead to a great expansion of German flotillas during the next few years, and it is essential that we should take reciprocal action.—Naval and Military Record.
THE SUBMARINE CRuisER.—There is no department in the British Navy in which more satisfactory progress has been made than in the submarine branch. Starting a long way behind France, who first developed this kind of craft on modern lines, and even behind America with her few boats of the Holland type, we have steadily improved our position until to-day we stand preeminent in the world's navies with our means of under-water attack and defence. There was a time when to talk about under-water craft eventually taking on the duties of surface cruisers, in home waters and the near seas, was to expose oneself to ridicule. This, however, is no longer the case, and in naval circles it is anticipated that naval designers will, at no distant date, give the British Navy vessels which will be capable of the double functions of surface and under-water fighting, and also be useful for scouting purposes. The present drawback is the limited speed of submarines on the surface; but this limit is being daily overcome and the latest vessels can now travel faster over the water, when not submerged, than our earlier type of torpedo-boats and destroyers. The tonnage of the latest type of our under-water fighters exceeds 700 tons, which is more than many of the gunboats displaced in our old fleet, and this displacement is still on the increase at such a rate that we shall soon have submarines with displacements as large as our light cruisers. The designers and engineers will then only have to shape and engine these vessels so that a cruiser speed can be obtained, and they will be able to give us submarine cruisers of the highest possible value for scouting purposes at moderate distances.—United Service Gazette.
JEALOUSLY GUARDED SUBMARINE.—The most jealously guarded vessel in all the shipbuilding yards on the Clyde is the submarine known as S 1, which was launched from Messrs. Scott's Shipbuilding and Engineering Yard, Greenock, for the British Government. No one is allowed to approach the vessel without an official permit, and when she is slipped into the water it will be done quite privately, only Admiralty officials and the builders' workmen being present. The submarine is of the Laurenti type, as built by the Fiat San Giorgio Company, of Spezia, and for the construction of which Scotts' Company hold the license in Great Britain. The S 1 will be propelled by twin-screw Fiat internal combustion engines when afloat, and by electric motors when submerged. This will be the first submarine to be constructed in Great Britain elsewhere than at Barrow-in-Furness and in the royal dockyards. It is believed that there are certain unique features about this vessel.—Standard.
The inner hull is divided into water-tight compartments. The keel, which weighs about 12 tons, is detachable from the interior of the vessel, so that the weight can be decreased while under water. There are "escapes" to be used in case of accident. When the submersible is under water a buoy can be liberated from the deck. Inside the buoy is a telephone, and wires inside a hollow flexible hawser connect the buoy and the submarine. By unscrewing the top of the buoy communication can be established from the surface to the crew beneath.—Naval and Military Record.
Loss OF THE "A 7."—Whilst engaged in exercises in Whitsand Bay on January 16, 1914, the submarine A 7, with eleven men on board, failed to rise after submersion. For several days a diligent search was made for the little vessel, and at length she was discovered lying half buried in sand at a depth of 140 feet. For many more days efforts were made to raise her, but without success, and the state of the tide put further operations out of the question early this week. As every delay causes her to sink deeper and deeper into the muddy sand, there can now be but little hope of bringing her to the surface again. Indeed, there seems but little reason for continuing the attempt. It is not probable that the cause of the accident could now be discovered from the wreck, and no more fitting burial for the brave men who lie dead in her could be found than that the service should be read over her and that she should be allowed to sink deeper and deeper into the sea bed. The class to which the A 7 belongs contains the smallest of British submarines. They were the first to be made, and are quite out-dated by the larger and more modern vessels. Only nine were still in service, out of thirteen originally built, when the A 7 went down, and all were reserved solely for the comparatively safe work of harbor defence. It is not impossible that provision for breaking up the remaining eight and replacing them will be made in the forthcoming navy estimates.—Engineer.
SUBMAR1NE "A 7."—The loss of a warship has aways to be measured in two terms—men and matériel. If it were not for the men who died in her, the disaster to the A 7 would be of small account. She belongs to a class of which no more will ever be built, and which for some time past have been detailed for no more dangerous duties than those of harbor protection. They have been spoken of as "coffin ships," but there is no reason to suppose that they were exceptionally dangerous, at any rate whilst engaged upon the duties they were called upon to perform. The fact that six of the class have met with serious accidents does not, on examination, prove anything against the type, for the A 7 alone has disappeared under circumstances which suggest a fault in the vessel herself. Three were sunk by collision, one by running under when maneuvering on the surface, and one by an explosion. It must be recalled also that the class has been longest in existence, has seen most service, and is therefore most likely to have suffered loss. Nevertheless the class is obsolete; it would probably be of little value in time of war, and the country would not be much the worse if the eight remaining vessels were broken up. There were originally thirteen, but up to last week only nine, numbering from 5 to 13, were still in the service. They were built in 1904 by Vickers, are 150 feet long, displace 204 tons submerged, and have engines of 600 horsepower. The E class, the latest vessels, are 176 feet long, displace 800 tons submerged, and have engines of 1600 horse-power, giving them a surface speed of 15 knots at least. Contrasting the two classes it is obvious that the A's are quite out of date, and the country would lose little by getting rid of them, whilst she would gain much if they were immediately replaced by more modern vessels. It is probable, too, that no submarine of a recent pattern could disappear so completely as the A 7 did for nearly five days. More recent vessels are, we believe, fitted with telephone buoys, which can be released and float to the top in case of trouble, so that the sunken vessel may maintain communication with the surface. It would seem that the A 7 lacks that appliance, for otherwise all trace of her could scarcely have been lost unless some extraordinary accident happened. She has been found lying at the bottom in twenty-three fathoms of water four miles west-north-west of Rame Head. Her salvage is spoken of with confidence. but the operation can scarcely fail to be long and tedious, and under the circumstances, the remarks about the need of having salvage vessels ready and waiting at all submarine stations have lost much of their relevancy.—Engineer.
SUBMARINE "A 7."—The naval authorities have reluctantly abandoned their efforts to raise the sunken submarine A 7, and her ill-fated crew will find in her a permanent tomb. Genuine sympathy will be felt with the distressed relatives, who are thus deprived of the sad privilege of laying their loved ones to rest in hallowed ground. Nor will this feeling be lessened by the fact that but for the refusal of the Admiralty to adopt measures which are taken in so backward a country as Russia with success so melancholy a result of the accident to A 7 need not have been involved, if, indeed, it might not have been possible to raise the vessel in time to save life. With a proper means of indicating by an emergency buoy the situation of the vessel, she could, in all human probability, have been raised and brought into harbor. It was the several days spent in vainly searching for the submarine before she was found that enabled her to sink in the treacherous quicksands which form the flooring of Whitsand Bay, and so rendered it impossible to move her when, at a later date, the full strength of a powerful battleship was exerted to draw her out of the mud. The splendid spirit and discipline of the navy will no doubt always provide plenty of volunteers for the perilous submarine service; but the nation owes it to these brave men that no question of petty economy or official obstinacy shall hinder the effort to find some means of saving them in circumstances such as those in which the A 7 failed to rise to the surface.—Naval and Military Record.
AGE OF FLAG OFFICERS.—One of the most interesting features of the recent series of changes in high commands announced by the Admiralty is the comparative ages of the officers concerned. Mr. Churchill has been assumed to be a strong partisan of the "younger admirals" school, but it is apparent that he realizes the limitations there must be to the justice or efficiency of enforcing any arbitrary age limit. Sir Berkeley Milne was 56 years of age when he was appointed to the Mediterranean command. His successor, Sir H. B. Jackson, is 59. The command of the first battle squadron affords an even more striking illustration of the "swing of the pendulum," for while the Hon. Sir Stanley Colville was only 51 when he took command, Sir Lewis Bayly will be within three months of completing his 57th year when he transfers his flag, assuming that he does so when Admiral Colville completes his two years in the appointment. There is no comparative change in the age of the officer commanding the third battle squadron, Vice-Admirals Bayly and Bradford both being 55 at the date of appointment; but in the case of the fourth battle squadron there is an advance of three years, Sir D. A. Gamble being 57, as compared with the 54 years of Sir Charles Briggs at the date of the latter's appointment in July, 1912. While on the subject it may be mentioned that at the end of this month considerable reductions will be made in the compulsory retiring ages in the Japanese Navy. That for admirals will be reduced from 68 to 65, for vice admirals from 63 to 60, and for rear admirals from 58 to 56.—Naval and Military Record.
ENGLISH NAVAL CADETS.—As one result of the investigations of Admiral Sir Reginald Custance's committee on the system of the entry and training of cadets and midshipmen, certain modifications have been made, and are this week officially announced, regarding the entry of naval cadets. The usual charge to parents is £75 per annum during the course of the training at Osborne and Dartmouth. The committee recommended that a certain number of entrants should only be charged £24 per annum, on the principle that genius is not the monopoly of the class which can afford to pay high fees. Hitherto "a limited number" of sons of officers of the navy, army, marines, or of civil officers under the Admiralty, were admitted under a reduced scale of £40 per annum. In the new regulations now issued, the number of officers' and officials' sons so admitted is not to exceed 10 per cent of the total entrants, while others will be granted the same privilege up to 25 per cent of the total entrants. Thus, from the general community there will each year be entered 15 per cent of the total who will only be required to pay £40 per annum instead of £75; but if the sons of officers and officials fall below 10 per cent, the number from the general community will be increased proportionately.—Army and Navy Gazette.
TRIALS BY COURT MARTIAL—in the entire British Navy in 1912 there were only 121 trials by court martial of enlisted men of the service and the marines. In 1911 there were 154, the largest number since 1907. The returns for 1913 have not yet been compiled—Army and Navy News.
CANADIAN NAVY PERSONNEL—The annual report of the Naval Service Department shows that it is impossible to keep a sufficient complement of men on board the two war vessels of the Canadian Navy to enable them to undertake any prolonged cruises. The cadets who have passed their examinations at the Royal Naval College at Halifax were sent to undergo one year's seagoing training on board H. M. S. Berwick.—Shipping, Illustrated.
PROMOTION FROM THE LOWER DECK.—The Admiralty are losing no time in squaring up the policy of promotion from the lower deck. It has just been announced that it is intended to make provision for the advancement of artificer-engineers, chief engine-room artificers, and engine-room artificers so as to enable them to attain the rank of engineer-lieutenant earlier than is possible under existing regulations. Forthwith candidates are to be selected who will receive the rank of acting-mate (E.) with pay and messing allowance of ten shillings a day, and a grant for uniform of £25. On qualifying as mates (E.) they will receive a further uniform grant of £50, and the most eligible of them will eventually become engineer-lieutenants, receiving on promotion a further gratuity of £50 for uniform and outfit. Not every candidate who is selected for the rank of acting-mate (E.) can hope to reach commissioned rank, and it is announced that those who fail to qualify will be eligible to become artificer-engineers. It is evident that the Admiralty intend to select comparatively young men as candidates. This is in accordance with the scheme for the promotion of seamen petty officers to commissioned rank. It is anticipated that a somewhat similar concession will be made to writers. Rear Admiral Thursby's committee is investigating this subject, and, in view of the concessions already made to other lines, it would occasion no surprise if facilities were given to some of the younger writers to win promotion to commissioned rank. The Admiralty are obtaining as writers men of superior attainments, and, having opened the door to one line after another, it is hardly probable that the authorities will keep it closed to this deserving branch of His Majesty's service.—Naval and Military Record.
NEW CLASSES OF COMMISSIONED NAVAL OFFICERs.—There is no question but that the democracy are getting a foothold on the quarter decks of the navy. The year 1913 saw long strides in this direction. The executive warrant officers, and the petty officers of the lower deck, are going there at a great rate, as "mates" and will presently help to fill the attenuated lieutenants' lists. Not long ago the Admiralty provided for the promotion of smart young marines to the warrant officers' list after becoming specialists in gunnery, and this scheme has proved to be so satisfactory that during 1913 their Lordships also decided to give two marines from the ranks a commission each year. These men will be selected from warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, lance-corporals and bombardiers. The selected candidates will pass through courses arranged for them at the gunnery and torpedo schools at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and at Marine Headquarters. If they succeed in passing the various examinations at the establishments named they will join seagoing ships for practical work and experience for six months and then become eligible, if in all respects satisfactory, for promotion to lieutenants, Royal Marines. The seamen and marines having been given this chance of entering the ward-room, the young warrants and petty officers of the engine-room branch cannot long be denied the same opportunities, and then in rapid succession will surely follow opportunities for the warrant and petty officers of all other large classes on the lower deck and the democratising of the quarter deck personnel of His Majesty's navy will be in an advanced state, while the navy itself will become more popular than ever among the poorer classes of the country.—United Service Gazette.
CHANGES IN DAILY ROUTINE.—The inquiries of various committees into the daily routine followed in seagoing ships of the home fleets has resulted in the trial of a new routine in all ships except the first battle-cruiser squadron. A separate routine will be drawn up to meet the needs of the latter vessels. The routine is to be carried out in principle, and as near as practicable to the details arranged, and the results of the trial are to be reported on June 1.
For seamen ratings the breakfast time has been increased to fifty-five minutes. On week days seamen will go to breakfast and shift into the rig of the day before cleaning mess decks. One cook of each mess will be sent below at 7 a. m. to draw and prepare the meat for the day's dinner, and to clear up the mess for breakfast. Sea routine will conform to harbor routine, except that middle watchmen will be allowed to rest until 6 or 6.15 a. m.
On Sundays all cleaning will be done before the men shift into the dress of the day. After 9.30 divisions it is recommended that men fall out, but remain on the upper deck whilst the captain inspects the mess decks. The routine will be as follows:
(a) Upper-Deck Ratings
5.15 a. m.—Boys turn out.
5.30 a. m.—Hands turn out.
6.00 a.m.—Fall in; clean upper deck.
7.00 a.m.—Clean guns.
7.30 a. m.—Breakfast.
8.25 a. m.—Clean mess deck.
9.10 a. m.—Divisions; prayers; physical drill.
NOTE.—On Saturdays the times for turning out and falling in to be a quarter or half an hour earlier as necessary, the subsequent routine being amended as desired.
(b) Engine-Room Ratings (Except E. R. A.'s and Mechanicians)
6.00 a. m.—Turn out.
6.15-725 a. m.—Clean mess deck and breakfast as convenient.
7.25 a. m.—Fall in below.
7.30 a. m.—Start work.
NOTE.—In ships where a large number of stokers second class are borne it is proposed that, in suitable weather, they should be turned out ten minutes earlier and go to physical drill from 6.15 to 6.30.
(c) Engine-Room Artificers and Mechanicians
6.15 a. m.—Turn out.
6.30-7.30 a. m.—Breakfast and clean for work.
7.30 a. m.—Start work.
11.40 a. m.—Return tools and wash.
1.15 p. m.—Turn to.
4.15 p. m.—Return tools.
(d) Artisan Ratings
6.15 a. m.—Turn out.
6.40 a. m.—Turn to.
7.30 a. m.—Breakfast.
8.25 a. m.—Turn to, except those required for cleaning mess deck, who should turn to at 9.00 a. m.
NOTE.—Carpenters and shipwright ratings required on deck for rigging hoses, etc., for scrubbing decks, to turn out with the hands.
5.45 a. m.—Turn out (stokers 6.00 a. m.).
6.15 a. m.—Fall in.
7.40 a. m.—Pipe down.
8.00 a. m.—Breakfast.
9.30 a. m.—Divisions.—Naval and Military Record.
TRIUMPH OF BRITISH FIRMS IN FOREIGN COMPETITION.—British firms are achieving great successes in the competition for naval orders which is now in progress. The latest triumph has been achieved in Turkey, where Rear Admiral Sir Charles Ottley, on behalf of Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., and Sir Vincent Caillard, in the name of Messrs. Vickers, have just completed an important contract. Under this agreement the government will hand over to the Armstrong-Vickers group the existing arsenal and docks on the Golden Horn, with all the machinery and buildings, and will also provide a site for a naval base at Ismid. Among other things, it is intended to build a floating dock capable of taking the largest unit. The capital necessary for this enterprise will be obtained by the creation of a new Ottoman Company, of which the administration will be partly British and partly Turkish, the English directors being in a minority. On the one hand, the Porte grants to the company for a period of thirty years the exclusive right of carrying out all naval repairs for the Turkish Government, and, on its part, the new company undertakes to reorganize the shipbuilding yards and workshops in such a manner that at the end of twelve years the dockyards at the Golden Horn and Ismid will be able to build hulls and engines of all types. The keenest competition by foreign firms preceded the conclusion of this English contract, and the achievement of Sir Charles Ottley and Sir Vincent Caillard will be recognized as a notable triumph for British industry, particularly if it be borne in mind that this country has in Turkey at this moment a naval mission under Rear Admiral Tufnell. It is a remarkable testimony to the position in which this country stands that in their naval difficulties all the lesser powers of the world turn to us for advice and guidance. The result is not only to find profitable employment for British capital, but to open new fields for British industry, and thus the working classes of this country directly benefit from the pre-eminence of these great armament firms.—Naval and Military Record.
ARMING MERCHANT SHIPS.—The British Admiralty have issued the following list of merchant ships, which, up to the end of December had been "armed with guns for the purpose of self-defence":
Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.—Aragon, Amazon, Asturias, Deseado, 'Desna, Drina, Demerara, and Darro.
White Star Line.—Ceramic, Corinthic, Cufic, Afric, Medic, Tropic, Suevic, Persic, Zealandic, and Runic.
Messrs. Houlder Bros.—La Correntina, La Rosarina, La Negra, El Uruguayo, and El Paraguayo.
Federal Steam Navigation Co.—Wiltshire and Shropshire.
New Zealand Shipping Co.—Rotorua.
Scottish Shire Line.—Argyllshire.
Each vessel carries two 4.7-inch guns mounted at the stern.—Shipping, Illustrated.
INEFFECTIVE SHIPS.—Twenty-Four on the Sale List.—Ten more vessels (including three battleships and four light cruisers built under the naval defence act) have been transferred to the sale list of the Royal Navy as obsolete, namely: The battleships Resolution (launched at Yarrow May 28, 1892), Hood (launched at Chatham July 30, 1891), and Revenge (launched at Jarrow May 28, 1892), the light cruisers Cambrian (launched at Pembroke January 30, 1893), Forte (launched at Chatham December 12, 1893), Scylla, Æolus, Perseus, and Medea, and the Otter, destroyer. The light cruisers have all returned to England comparatively recently from foreign service, and the Otter was recently paid off at Hong-kong.
According to the February navy list, there are now 24 vessels on the sale list, the other 14 being the battleship Renown, the light cruisers Barham, Flora, and Promtheus, destroyers Foam, Handy, Janus, Taku, Virago, and Whiting, the sailing sloop Cruiser (late Lark), the coastguard cruiser Colleen, the hulk Carnatic (late floating powder magazine), and the hulk Britannia (late training ship for naval cadets).
With the transfer of the Resolution, Hood, and Revenge to the sale list, the whole of the eight battleships built under the naval defence act have been removed from the effective list, the Repulse, Royal Oak, Royal Sovereign, and Ramillies having been sold to the shipbreakers, whilst the Empress of India sank in the Channel off Portland after experimental firing.—Naval and Military Record.
"IMMEDIATE WAR."—"Immediate war" is the demand of a writer in the well-known Berlin paper The Post. The entire front page recently was given up to a lengthy article culminating in a frank and unabashed demand for immediate war as the only means of "extricating Germany from an intolerable situation that has a tendency," it was declared, "to become worse for her instead of better." "What are we to do?" this writer asked. "Are we really to wait quietly until Austria is completely shaken to pieces, until Italy must bow before the overwhelming influence of the sea powers, and we, in isolation, are confronted by the arrogance of France, Russia, and England? Is the German nation of 70,000,000 really to renounce the role of leader in Europe which is its due?" To this question the article returns no uncertain answer:
"In the lives of nations there are complications and dangers which can only be disposed of by the sword. . . . . Our nation to-day belongs to this category. . . . . At the moment the conditions are favorable. France is not ready to fight. England is involved in internal and colonial difficulties, Russia shrinks from war, because she fears a revolution. Shall we wait until our opponents are ready, or shall we use the favorable moment to force a decision? When a conflict of interests shows itself we should not give way, but let it come to war, and commence it with a determined offensive, whether it be for a new Morocco, for the position of General von Liman, or the Asia Minor question. The pretext is a matter of indifference, for the point is not that, but our whole future which is at stake."
As the Berlin correspondent of The Daily Telegraph points out, the significance of anything that is said by The Post arises, not from the handful of excitable pan-Germans who form the bulk of its few readers, but from the fact that it is the recognized official organ of the Imperial party, which contains a larger proportion of princes, retired generals, ministers, and other leading officials than any other group in the Reichstag.
AS OTHERS SEE US.—It is unpleasant to be criticized by foreigners, especially when those foreigners are experts in the subject which they are remarking upon. Consequently when we find Lieut. Colonel Le Juge, a well-known German critic of English military matters, expressing the opinion that, after immature and incapable recruits are deducted, England could not send more than 70,000 to 80,000 effective soldiers abroad in case of a continental war, we may not unreasonably expect that the opinion entertained by foreign nations, even those included with us in the "Triple Entente," of our military value as an ally will not be a very high one. Then, again, when a German paper of repute states that the real reason why there are to be no grand maneuvers in the English fleet this year is that the ships cannot be properly manned, and that the men we have are so overworked through the short-handed state of the vessels that they are in a state of discontent, we must expect that foreign nations, Germany for instance, will form a lower impression than before of the fighting capacity of the British Navy.—Naval and Military Record.
CANADA SIDESTEPS NAVAL POLICY.—The Canadian Parliament opened January 14 at Ottawa, and one of the first announcements was to the effect that no naval program would be launched this year. At the last session it will be remembered a bill appropriating $35,000,000 for the construction of three battleships to be assigned to the British Home Fleet was brought in by the government, but defeated, hence it was not deemed advisable to suggest naval legislation at this session.—Marine Journal.
NAVAL WORKS AT GIBRALTAR.—An interesting description has been given by Mr. Adam Scott to the Institution of Civil Engineers of the harbor work and docks extensions carried out at Gibraltar, the result of which, he said, had been to provide a modern dockyard capable of dealing with repairs of the heaviest class, and, in fact, of doing everything except build vessels. The principal works consisted of a southern breakwater extension having a total length of 2700 feet, including the 100 feet begun in 1893; a detached breakwater 2720 feet long between the north and south breakwaters; a large northern mole, with coaling jetties and viaduct; an extended naval yard, with three large graving docks, slipways for destroyers, and subsidiary equipment; and the dredging of the harbor. The harbor has two entrances, the northern 650 feet wide and the southern 600 feet, and the enclosed water area is about 440 acres, of which about 260 acres have a minimum depth of 30 feet at low water. The area added to the dockyard proper by reclamation from the sea is about 43 acres, and the new buildings cover about 11 acres. There are more than 1600 lineal feet of retaining walls round the head of No. 1 dock and at the dockyard south entrance. The site of the large dock, No. 1 was about half on land and half in the sea; that of No. 2 practically and of No. 3 entirely in the sea. The three docks are all of the same type, the entrances and widths being identical; only the lengths vary, No. 1 dock being a double dock with an intermediate sliding caisson, while the other two are single.
YARROW'S NEW WORKS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.—Advices by mail give full details of the fact, already received by cable, that Mr. A. F. Yarrow has purchased an existing shipbuilding and repairing works in British Columbia. The works are those of the British Columbia Marine Railway Company, and are situated at Esquimalt, in Victoria. This company was founded in 1893 by Messrs. Bullen Brothers, who have since achieved a large measure of success. The extent of the establishment at present is 8 acres, and there is included a slipway—or, as it is known in Canada, a marine railway—capable of taking vessels 300 feet in length, ship-platers' and boiler works, forge, machine and joiner shops. The price paid, it is said, although not officially, is £200,000. For some time after being founded, the establishment was confined to repair work, several British warships being overhauled. The reconstruction almost entirely of the double bottom of H. M. S. Flora suggested the suitability of the plant for shipbuilding, and since then quite a number of vessels have been built, including vessels for the Canadian Pacific Railway's coastal service, and for the Dominion Government marine survey. Only continuity of orders seemed to be required to ensure full success. As many as 600 men have been employed at busy times. Mr. Yarrow, who went to the Pacific coast with the view of choosing a site for new works, in the belief that the opening of the Panama Canal would considerably improve the potentialities of success in ship building in British Columbia, was influenced in his decision to purchase the works by the fact that the government at Ottawa had decided to construct, on a site adjoining the works, a graving dock 1150 feet long, 120 feet width of entrance, and 40 feet depth of water on sill, at a cost of £200,000. Mr. Yarrow has been expressing his views as to his future arrangements. Although the parent company at Scotstoun on the Clyde will be in close touch with the new concern, which will be managed by Mr. Yarrow's second son, Mr. Norman Yarrow, the two firms will be separate affairs. For the present, Mr. Keay, a member of the Scotstoun staff, is to remain at Esquimalt until Mr. Norman Yarrow takes over control. Continuing, Mr. Yarrow said the present idea of the firm is to undertake repairs to vessels and their machinery, and to be on the spot ready to build for the Canadian Navy vessels of the class with which the firm are familiar, and for which they have a reputation, "if the laws in Canada are altered so that shipbuilding can be carried on profitably." On this point, Mr. Yarrow said he had come to the conclusion that a bounty of not less than 30 per cent of the value of the vessel would be necessary for the first five years; for the next five years 25 per cent, for the next five years 20 per cent, and for the next five years 15 per cent; after that time the needs of the shipbuilding industry would depend upon the development of the natural resources of the country. Of course, no industry like shipbuilding could be developed quickly. As a finance minister did not want to be faced with an unlimited liability, he suggested that the bounty payable should be limited to a suitable total amount. As it was now, the duty upon imported material for shipbuilding seemed to be of no possible use. It brought no revenue to the country, because little or no shipbuilding was carried on. Elaborating his argument for the development of an industry in Canada Mr. Yarrow said that in the event of the Canadian Government ordering, say, ten destroyers in six years, the first two should be completely built in the Old Country and sent over in pieces; but the others would be laid down in Esquimalt in pairs, and a steadily decreasing amount of work would be done on each in the Mother Country until the last two, which could be built at Esquimalt exactly as they were on the Clyde, in which case even there were certain arts which the firm had to get from special makers.—Engineering.
BRITISH NAVAL POSITION IN MEDITERRANEAN.—The outlook is darkened by the negotiations of Italy for the purchase of the battleship now completing at Elswick to the order of the Brazilian Government. If the purchase is completed this ship will leave in the spring for the Mediterranean. What then will be the position? Italy will possess four, and possibly five, completed dreadnoughts, with six others under construction. She will be at least twice as strong as Austria in ships of the latest class. But it is a mistake, as has been repeatedly insisted in these columns, to calculate naval strength merely in dreadnoughts. It is impossible at this stage of naval development to ignore ships with mixed armament. Of large armored units of the battleship type Italy will possess 12 or 13 by next spring, with 5 armored cruisers, 4 protected cruisers, 22 destroyers, and 18 submarines. At the same time Austria will have at least 11 battleships, one armored cruiser of medium power, 4 protected cruisers, 8 destroyers, and 6 submarines. Our position in the Mediterranean tends steadily to become worse. It may be hoped that when Parliament meets not merely unionists, but far-seeing supporters of the government—and there are to their credit Liberal M. P.'s prominently associated with the Navy League—will seize every opportunity of riveting the attention of the country upon this problem. It has been stated that the Cabinet is determined to retain a one-power standard squadron in this sea. Something has already been done to strengthen our position, but much more remains to be done. The forecasted programs of construction make no adequate provision for maintaining the position in the Mediterranean which the Cabinet has declared to be its policy to assure to us. It may be hoped that immediately the House of Commons reassembles the government will be questioned on this aspect of naval policy.—Naval and Military Record.
"NO GRAND MANEUVERS."—In the terms of Mr. Churchill's reply in the House of Commons, there are to be no "grand maneuvers" this year, but instead a test mobilization will be made of the third fleet, which is maintained on the nucleus crew system. Economy is admitted by the First Lord of the Admiralty to be the reason for curtailing this year's war training program. It is apparent from this that severe measures have been taken to keep down naval expenditure during the coming financial year. It is said that last year's exercises cost round about half a million, and, if any such sum can be saved this year, to this extent the Admiralty will be able to meet the claims of the little navy section of the radical party. Presumably Mr. Churchill will give some explanation of the Admiralty's decision when he introduces the navy estimates. During the past two years the maneuvers have been on a particularly elaborate scale. Last summer, for instance, no fewer than 46 battleships, 38 cruisers, 16 light cruisers, 160 destroyers, 48 submarines, and 28 other vessels took part in the exercises in the North Sea. The aim was to provide data bearing upon the invasion problem, and it is understood that at an early date Mr. Asquith will explain the conclusions which have been reached. Whether or not there are other strategical or tactical problems which might advisedly be submitted for practical study is a question with which perhaps the First Lord will deal. The "ordinary naval maneuvers," as Mr. Churchill describes the practice cruises, will take place as usual, but their instructional value is small compared with that derived from the practical study of such problems as are usually set for the annual maneuvers. The test mobilization of the third fleet in lieu of the grand maneuvers has no doubt been adopted so as to enable reservists and naval volunteers to put in a period of service afloat, but even so the decision of the Admiralty will impose a serious restriction by excluding a large number of officers and men from taking part in a phase of training without which it is impossible to attain a high standard of efficiency.—Naval and Military Record.
ON STATION.—The Admiralty, it is said, intends shortly to establish an oil station at Blackness, on the Firth of Forth. The reason given is that Blackness is so near the oil works of Linlithgowshire that the oil could easily be shipped. It is believed that the oil would be pumped from the works to the shore.—Engineer.
SIR E. GREY ON ARMAMENTS.—Sir Edward Grey has seldom spoken more wisely that he did in Manchester last week, and his contribution to the armaments problem has again stamped him as a statesman in the eyes of Europe. By implication he reproved certain of his colleagues in the Cabinet for their exceedingly cheap denunciation of our expenditure on defence. "I could be no less eloquent," he observed, "but if I were, should we be any further forward to-morrow?" Our Foreign Minister gave the same reason for omitting to wax eloquent upon the vital importance of the navy, but some may regret his restraint on that point. There is a manifest need of such eloquence from the few statesmen we possess just now. With regard to naval retrenchment by this or any other power, Sir Edward Grey clearly indicated the futility of isolated action. It is to be hoped that his warning on that subject will be digested by the public. He said that "while any large increase of expenditure on the shipbuilding program of any great country in Europe has a stimulating effect in other countries, it does not follow that a slackening in the expenditure of one country produces a diminution in the expenditure of others." That was a sound reproof to the enthusiasts of the Hirst-Brunner school, who would risk our ruin as a nation to save a few millions.—Naval and Military Record.
THE 16 TO 1O RATIO.—Two years ago Mr. Churchill referred to a margin of naval strength of 16 to 10 as against Germany. A few days since Admiral von Tirpitz, ignoring the conditions which Mr. Churchill laid down, was good enough to say that such a formula would be regarded by Germany as "acceptable." Two years is a long period to elapse, and perhaps Admiral Tirpitz has forgotten the exact terms of Mr. Churchill's speech. Certainly many people in this country have quite a wrong impression of what Mr. Churchill actually said. He explained why the Admiralty abandoned the two-power standard and then he told the House that "the actual standard of new construction which the Admiralty had, in fact, followed during recent years, had been to develop a 60 per cent superiority in vessels of the dreadnought type over the German Navy on the basis of the existing fleet law," while there were "other and higher standards for smaller vessels." Proceeding to explain the future of the Admiralty policy, Mr. Churchill said (a) "if Germany were to adhere to her existing law," and (b) if there were no "unexpected developments in other countries," that standard would be "a convenient guide for the next four or five years, so far as this capital class of vessel was concerned." Mr. Churchill's statement was very concise, and it was conditional, and in order that there might be no mistake, he added: "I must not, however, be taken as agreeing that the ratio of 16 to 10 should be regarded as a sufficient preponderance for British naval strength, as a whole, above that of the next strongest naval power." The First Lord then told the House of Commons why, in the absence of fresh shipbuilding programs by Germany or other countries, we were able "for the present to adhere to so moderate a standard." He pointed to our great superiority in vessels of the pre-dreadnought era, and reminded Parliament that every additional dreadnought added to the German fleet—and he might have added to the fleets of Italy and Austria—would accelerate the decline in the relative fighting value of our pre-dreadnoughts, and would therefore require "special measures on our part." Then it was that Mr. Churchill announced that for every ship which Germany laid down over and above her existing program we should build two. When Germany passed a new fleet law providing for the building of additional ships, she killed the 16 to 10formula, and Italy and Austria by their acts have since buried it.—Naval and Military Record.
"AN OMINOUS PARALLEL."—France 1866-70: The United Kingdom 1903-13.—The breakdown of the territorial force as a link in the chain for home defence is described by Lord Roberts in a notable article with the above-quoted headlines, which appears in The National Review. The veteran field-marshal also draws a significant parallel between the attitude of the present government towards the military position and that of the French Government shortly before the Franco-German war. As to the fact of the breakdown, he says, there is no need to labor the point. It was openly admitted by Colonel Seely himself in the House of Commons in April last, when he confessed to the House that "they had failed in achievement." The figures are too ominous to be explained away. Out of an establishment of 312,319, the territorials can only show a strength of 245,000. There is consequently a shortage of 67,319 men. "If the territorial force is a failure," continues Lord Roberts, "the special reserve is an even worse failure," and he goes on to show that the numbers have dwindled and the training has been cut down. So serious has become the position of the auxiliary forces that Sir Evelyn Wood recently resigned the chairmanship of the City of London Territorial Association rather than appear to acquiesce in such a state of affairs. Lord Roberts contends that ministers are afraid to take the people into their confidence or acknowledge how great is the danger which confronts the nation. Colonel Seely has issued one or two vague warnings, but the liberal party, sufficiently distracted over the navy estimates, are not in a mood to tolerate demands on behalf of the army.
Very similar was the condition of things which prevailed in France before 1870, and it is not without interest to note that the French Government met the problem in the ways adopted by Mr. Asquith's Ministry. The French Emperor urged his War Minister to propose universal military service for France. This policy was scouted, however, by a commission, although the soldiers implored the government to tell the nation the truth and rely upon their patriotism. After Sadowa, a bill for obligatory personal service was proposed to Parliament, but declared to be "impracticable for France." Then the authorities grew alarmed at Prussia's preparations, and in desperation began to agitate for a reduction of armaments. They dared not make a proposal to Bismarck directly, but used the British Government as an intermediary. Brigadier General F. G. Stone, writing in "The Nineteenth Century and After," traces the overtures in detail, and his article should be read in conjunction with that of Lord Roberts. Lord Clarendon drew up a memorandum, with the sanction of the Queen and Mr. Gladstone, deploring the existence of the enormous standing armies, and declaring that Prussia, better than any other power, could carry out the glorious work of modifying it. Bismarck's feelings on receiving the memorial can be better imagined than described. In a few months more France and Germany were locked together in deadly warfare. The reason given by France for not preparing herself against Prussia could be used word for word by the present ministry. Lord Lyons wrote that "M. Emile 0llivier explained the position of the present French ministers with regard to the subject (of disarmament). They depended, he said, principally on the great agricultural population of France for support against socialism and radicalism. It was essential, therefore, that they should do something for that population. To conciliate them either taxes might be remitted or the call upon them for recruits be diminished." The disastrous defeat was the sequel, and the price to be paid for such weakness was 200 millions sterling in a war indemnity, the loss of two rich provinces, and countless lives. The moral is plain to see. South Africa gave its warning to England, and it can be neglected only at her peril.—Naval and Military Record.
RECENT BRITISH TORPEDO-BOAT DESTROYER CONSTRUCTION.—The twenty boats of the 1911-12 type represented a great improvement over the designs of the two preceding years. All these boats except one—H. M. S. Hardy—are of the uniform Admiralty design. They are 260 feet long by 27 feet 9 inches beam and displace normally about 950 tons. Oil fuel is provided for the four boilers, and twin-screw machinery of 25,000 horse-power has enabled a speed of 32 knots to be obtained. The armament and speed are for once highly satisfactory for boats of this size when the other features of the design are considered. Three 4-inch guns are mounted on the center line, as well as two pairs of 21-inch tubes, making these craft as far as concerns armament and its arrangement—a concomitant influence of almost paramount importance—quite the most powerful craft of their type afloat. So much so, in fact, might this be said to be the case—and that without any exaggeration—that the result of even a day action between three or four of these craft and a single big battleship or battle-cruiser need by no means be a foregone conclusion, unless it be in favor of the torpedo craft. For the speed and range of the automobile torpedo are now so great, and the accuracy so improved, as to render shooting at a 600-foot target not merely a blind chance even at 6000 or 7000 yards, at which range a 4-inch gun would find a destroyer a difficult mark to hit, but at which a big ship would not be a very difficult target. A 6-inch gun on the big ship would be no better, but the question of the reintroduction of such a weapon, while it has an important influence on destroyer design, is hardly germane in this article. For a solitary 22-knot battleship to be caught by four boats of this type might prove a very serious, if not a fatal, matter for her, unless her gunlayers could hit destroyers with big guns. Probably the most approved remedy is a 12-inch shrapnel, but the introduction of torpedo craft of this power is tending to force upon the bigger navies a new type of vessel represented for the first time by the British Aurora, which is a hybrid between a destroyer and light cruiser, with functions which only a vessel of her dimensions could fulfil. The truth is that the 21-inch hot-air torpedo has outranged the heaviest hand-fed quick-firing gun when the range and relative sizes of target are considered. When once that broad essential fact is realized we shall hear less of the return to secondary batteries for use in battle. True, the 6-inch gun will keep even the biggest destroyer at a distance—that distance being the range at which it can be relied on to hit the destroyer. Outside that range what is the remedy? Apparently, when all is taken into consideration, it is considered better to mount the 6-inch gun in an auxiliary vessel that can stand between the battleship and the destroyer. That this auxiliary vessel, assuming her to be an Aurora with six 6-inch guns, will have an unhappy experience at the hands of four L class boats is very certain, for the simple reason that, even speed apart, she also is big enough to hit with a torpedo. Many years of experience have shown that the 6-inch gun is the biggest man-handled quick-firer that can reasonably be considered; the weight of its shell—100 pounds—and its muzzle velocity are now practically at their maximum, whereas it is only necessary to add 3 inches to the diameter of the torpedo, and it is on almost level terms as regards range with the 12-inch gun. The intermediate type of ship, whatever may be her role for foreign stations, seems likely to fall into the same category as the 6-inch gun. Her speed cannot be much improved except at an enormous sacrifice of displacement to machinery weight, whereas the absolute size of the destroyer is now very considerable, and the fighting power for a broadside action considerably greater than that of vessels of much greater tonnage than the two combined.
Reviewing Admiralty destroyer construction in the light of the vessels of the last two years' programs—those now under construction being virtually replicas of last year's boats—it is impossible not to feel satisfied with the type that has been evolved in the last five years. It is hard to see why such a low speed was aimed at for the craft which were built in 1909 and 1910, in view of the average 32 knots of the German boats, except for the fact that they were expected to maintain it at sea; but it must be remembered that the British destroyers attained their 28 knots with oil fuel and are able to maintain it while the fuel lasts, but the German boats of that period have three coal and one oil-fired boiler, all of which had to be very severely forced on a trial of much less duration in order to obtain their high speed. Although the list of the German vessels built during the period under review has been added for the sake of comparison, it is intended to deal with them separately in a future article. Their contemporary construction is given here to indicate how, year by year, the Admiralty programs have allowed for a very reasonable margin both in size and number. There are now, including the 1913-14 order, no less than 109 British destroyers built and building since April, 1909, compared with the 60—one of which has since been sunk, unfortunately with considerable loss of life—built in Germany. It will be noticed that Schichau, Krupp, and the Vulkan Company are the only builders with experience of destroyer construction in Germany, whereas in this country we have no less than twelve and even fourteen firms which have constructed modern torpedo craft. This position can only give us satisfaction.
As regards future construction, it seems most improbable at the moment that any reduction in size or speed should be contemplated, especially the latter, which should always tend to increase. The question, however, of the relative importance of the submarine, which is annually growing in size, speed, and offensive qualities, may cause a diminution to be made in the number of destroyers ordered in suceeding years, though a stop is not likely. Peace maneuvers with submarines are even more misleading than with destroyers, for, whereas in war time a periscope would be anathema and a thing to be deliberately run down, in peace time a weighted broomstick, as was proved during the last maneuvers, was sufficient to cause far greater anxiety to avoid contact with a submerged hull than was ever the case with vis-à-vis destroyers attacking with lights out. But without wishing to minimize the excellent work done by the submarines in last year's mimic war, it is impossible to conceive conditions in war time when we could have too many destroyers. Even the altogether overwhelming superiority in boats of this class that the Japanese possessed at Tshushima was not found to be excessive, though the fullest use was not made of them at any period of the war. The direction in which we might reasonably look for further developments in type is in the reintroduction of boats as opposed to destroyers. Possibly something of the Lurcher type and speed with two pairs of tubes might be made to fill a most satisfactory role supplementary to that of an enlarged M class destroyer, which type is increasing too much in size properly to fill the role of torpedo-boats as they used to be understood. Nowadays the torpedo can be used to fight and does not depend upon surprise for success.—Engineer.
TWO NEW TYPES OF BRITISH SUBMARINES BEING EVOLVED.—Rather unexpectedly the name of the destroyer Nautilus, of the Fifth Mediterranean Destroyer flotilla, has been changed to Grampus. The vessel belongs to the Beagle class of sixteen ships, which were transferred from Harwich to the Mediterranean last November, in order to strengthen the British position in that sea. This group is known as the G class, in accordance with the new system of nomenclature; consequently the new name begins with that letter. When the system was adopted it was not considered expedient to re-name the whole group, as in the case of the L class, which were originally known as the Darings, because the G class have been in service for some time. The reason for re-naming the Nautilus is stated to be that the name has been earmarked for a submarine under construction at Chatham, which is to be the largest of her type in existence, and to be more like a surface craft than any submarine yet built. The Admiralty are attempting to evolve two distinct types of submarine. One type will be of moderate size and limited radius of action destined for coast defence. The other is very much larger and is intended to cruise with the fleets at sea. To make this feasible the Nautilus will have to be large enough to be at least as seaworthy while on the surface as the latest types of destroyers. To keep up with modern battle squadrons, her surface speed will have to be not less than 21 knots, while her submerged or battle speed will probably be about 15-16 knots. For offensive purposes the new type may be expected to have at least six torpedo tubes, although modern French craft have no less than eight, together with a pair of quick-firing guns, for repelling hostile aerial attacks, or to avoid being caught unawares by destroyers when rising to the surface.
To embody the above features the surface displacement of the new submarine would be not far short of 1500 tons, provided it is found possible to fit oil engines capable of driving her at 21 knots. A large part of the displacement will be given over to the extremely bulky battery required for running submerged, and there is a likelihood that electric motors will in consequence be exchanged in large submarines for an improved system of propulsion under water, involving less weight. Many experiments, which have hitherto met with scant success, have been made in this direction. In addition, space will be required for the crew, who will of course live in their vessel for considerable periods, and also for large supplies of fuel. The E class have a crew of 29 men, while the French 1000-ton submarines of the Fulton class have to provide accommodation for a crew of 40.
Finally, it is hoped, in view of recent events, that adequate safety arrangements in the shape of lifting eye-bolts, telephone buoys, and detachable compartments, not to mention the safety helmets already provided, will be fitted in all future submarines.—Naval and Military Record.
The Art of Long-range Hitting.—The basis of long-range gunnery is the capability in action of ascertaining the movements of the enemy, so as to cause the gun-sights to rise and fall in exact correspondence with the changes of range which those movements bring about. To hit a ship at, say, 9000 yards it is necessary to aim at the position that ship will occupy when the projectile reaches her. Not only have the movements of the firing ship, and of the target, to be taken into consideration, but the time the shot takes in crossing the intervening distance. The spot to aim at can only be obtained by calculation based on the earlier courses and speeds of the two ships. This fundamental truth was first propounded in 1900; but it was not until four years later that an attempt was made to test experimentally the truth of the principle, with a view to its utilization in long-range firing. It was after this experiment that types of ships were adopted, designed specifically for obtaining an advantage at the longest ranges. As if in order to emphasize the fact that the policy of making long-range fire effective was bound up with the dreadnought design, the all-big-gun exceptionally-high-speed cruiser was adopted, as well as the all-big-gun high-speed battleship.
Every gunnery expert at once realized that with an increase of speed some form of organization for scientifically directing the aim had become necessary, for the greater the rate at which the ships move the greater the rate at which ranges alter. It is manifest that at long ranges the man behind the gun can form no judgment of the distance of the object he is to fire at. Thus some outside organization of men and instruments became necessary in order to obtain hits. The machinery for ensuring that the right range is on the sight at the moment of firing is what is called fire-control. It is not the business of fire-control instruments to find the range only, but to discover the speed and course of the target and to deduce therefrom the rate of change and the rule of the variation. It has also been learnt that no combination of individual effort, with its opportunities of error in transmission and its loss of time, can hope to transfer changes in speed and course and rate from the observers and calculators to the gun-sights sufficiently accurately and quickly to make hitting anything but a matter of chance. The operations must be synchronous, instantaneous, and extraordinarily exact.
It will be recalled that the ranges at Tsushima exceeded what most seamen thought the limits of effective marksmanship. Since that date improvements in guns have made hitting at still longer ranges possible. But these ranges will not be battle ranges unless change of range is eliminated from the Problem. It can, of course, be eliminated tactically if the opposed ships keep the same course and speed. It is because in these conditions there is no change of range that some professional writers say that they are the only conditions in which gun-fire can be effective. This is to put a restriction on naval tactics, which, apparently, can only be removed if the change of range problem is to be solved by mechanical fire control. Here, at all events, is a field for inquiry and experiment. If guns can be enabled to hit under any conditions, the speed and long-range gun-power of the dreadnought fleet are justified. But if gunnery conditions are as limited as they seem to be to-day, wherein lies the justification for a continuance of the dreadnought policy?—The Times.
CHANGE OF RANGE IN ACTION.—The following excerpt from a letter written by Mr. A. H. Pollen in reply to an inquiry as to how great a change of range was to be expected in a modern engagement is reproduced from the Engineering:
The reason that Admiral Sir Reginald Custance and many other writers, both English, European, and American, have laid it down that naval gunnery can only be effective when opposing ships are on identical courses, and at approximately equal speeds, is that in any other relation there must be a changing range. It is therefore taken for granted that change of range is fatal to efficiency. This must obviously be so, if the factors creating the change, and hence the change itself, are unknown. But if these are known, the change can be instrumentally eliminated. The question is, How far are these factors ascertainable?
In a recent publication, Rear Admiral Bradley Fiske, of the American Navy, himself a pioneer of fire control, laid it down that a change of range of 160 yards a minute was considerably more than could be expected in action. Now 160 yards is a change of range which would be created if two ships going 2½ knots were to approach end on. The speed of the modern battle-cruiser is said to exceed 30 knots. If, therefore, two such ships were to approach end on at full speed, a change of range of over 2000 yards a minute would be created. This may be regarded as the maximum that can be created. The question I am asked is, What is the maximum that will be created? The reply can only be that it depends upon the tactical ideas of the leaders of the opposing forces.
It seems very obvious that there are two schools of tactical thought struggling for mastery in the navies of the world to-day. One school believes that, once in the neighborhood of the enemy, it will be possible to maneuver to obtain a favorable position before engaging in the final mêlée at short range. They think that, in the interval between the fleets being, so to speak, in sight of each other and close engagement, there is scope for the employment of tactical skill resulting in a relative distribution of forces that should be favorable to the side which is the better handled. It is thought that during these maneuvers possibly an overwhelming advantage may be obtained by long-range fire.
The other school holds that the moment an enemy is seen, the fleet should form as rapidly as possible and close immediately and at top speed to the range preferred for action, then to turn into a course parallel to the enemy's, so as to engage him in conditions as favorable as possible to the rapid and effective use of artillery. The first school relies upon the closing movements being more or less gradual at long range, so that the change of range would not be very high, and hence that gun-fire could reasonably be expected to be effective. The second school, however, have no intention of voluntarily submitting to long-range fire in such conditions, and rely upon the use of their speed to create so great a change of range during the approach as to afford an absolute protection against hostile artillery.
When the dreadnought design was first proposed it was officially given out that the purpose of giving these ships a high speed was to enable them to maintain a range favorable to the use of their long-range guns. It is obvious that if an enemy decides to close at top speed, the only way of "maintaining" a range is by retreat, and it is very doubtful to-day if any commander-in-chief would have the moral courage to order so extremely univocal a movement. If, therefore, a force led by a tactician of the first school were to engage a force led by a tactician of the second, it seems clear that the first force, unwilling to increase the change of range by advancing on the enemy, and unable to reduce it by retreat, would be compelled to form in a line ahead, so as to receive the approaching enemy with the maximum number of guns bearing.
If this supposition is correct, while it may be impossible to answer the question, "What is the greatest change of range that may be expected?" it becomes obvious that the minimum change of range that must be expected is that which can be set up in these conditions. This minimum will naturally depend partly on the speed of the fleet attacked, but much more on the speed of the fleet attacking. The diagrams herewith illustrate this proposition generally.
Fig. 1 shows a "Black" fleet formed in line ahead, and travelling from left to right at 20 knots. The "White" fleet, also at 20 knots, is in line abreast, and is advancing approximately perpendicularly on the course of "Black." At each two minutes a slight change of course is made by "White," and at the tenth minute "White" turns together from line abreast to line ahead. so as to form up parallel to "Black."
The second diagram, Fig. 2, shows a time and range scale illustrating consecutive ranges from the first minute to the fourteenth, and the slope of this line indicates the rate from moment to moment. It will be seen that for the first minute and a half the rate is practically steady at 900 yards a minute; it changes then from 1½ minutes to 725, increases then to 850, drops again to 725, increases to 775, and between the tenth and twelfth minutes drops from 750 yards to nil. A rate protractor, Fig. 4, shows how the slope of the lines indicates the rate. An enlargement of the scale between the tenth and twelfth minutes shows, in Fig. 3, every 50 yards change in the rate as it occurs.
(Figures 1 through 4 not replicated in this Word document.)
What is involved in enabling guns to maintain continuous hitting in such changing conditions as those illustrated? The standard of accuracy required for hitting is half of the danger space. If "White" is making an end-on attack on "Black," the artillery conditions are more favorable for "Black" than for "White," because the length of "White's" ships adds so much to the danger space of the target. At 14,000 yards, therefore, "Black" will have to know the range within about 100 yards (0.7 per cent), and at 7000 yards within about 125 (1.8 per cent). "White," supposing it wished to engage "Black," would have to know the range within 20 yards at 14,000 (0.14 per cent), and within 50 yards at 7000 (1.16 per cent).
It is clear that it is not sufficient to know a range at any one moment. A right range must be set on all the sights, and it must then be changed in exact accord with the movements of both ships, after allowance has been made for the change in the range that takes place while the projectile is in the air. This allowance may exceed 200 yards at 14,000 yards. Exact knowledge of the enemy's speed and course is essential.
It will be quite fatal for "Black" to continue the 900-yard rate into the third minute, when it is already changed to 725, while he could not obtain the initial rate correctly had he underestimated "White's" speed by 2 knots, or failed to get the exact angle of his course by 1/2 point. It is clear, too, that in the interval from the tenth to the twelfth minute, that the rate changes so rapidly that "White" could probably complete the turn to parallelism without running the smallest risk from "Black's" fire. "White's" period of danger would be not during this turn, but in the preliminary periods.
The possibility of "Black" hitting during this period depends upon two things. First, there is the capacity to ascertain "White's" speed and course exactly, and to check the change of course the very moment it occurs. Next, "Black" must be capable, once "White's" speed and course are known, to forecast the rate of change, and to cause the sights to change their setting in exact coincidence with the changes in the range as they occur. These are the primary needs of fire control. But to be useful they must, as I think is clear from this illustration, be carried out both instantaneously and synchronously with the occurrence of the two movements. The whole operation must occupy simply no time at all. That is the first, and perhaps the most difficult, of the conditions that has to be met.
But it must next be remembered that no tactical information can be obtained about an enemy's ship except by the agency of a range-finder. When suitably mounted and controlled, the range-finder can yield a succession of ranges and bearings. But usually range-finders can only be used when the light is exceptionally bright. There are apt to be some hours of half-daylight in the early morning and in the evening, and sometimes whole days of opaque atmosphere, when nothing at a greater distance than a few hundred yards off can be seen through the range-finder at all, although objects 5 miles off are distinctly visible to the naked eye. Unless, therefore, "Black" is furnished with range-finders of quite exceptional light-gathering capacity, he will not be able to employ his fire-control in the early morning and the late evening, or in thick and hazy weather.
Next, it is not easy in rough weather to keep a range-finder continually trained and laid upon a target. It must be mounted in a special manner to render these operations easy and continuous. Again, while "Black" may be trying to maintain a reasonably steady course, it will be impossible for many ships in a line of ships to avoid some helm movements if anything approaching accurate station is to be kept. Should the necessity arise for "Black" to change course, the rear ships of the line will be apt to be under continuous helm for some minutes before and after the change of course is made. Whatever arrangements, therefore, "Black" employs both for ascertaining the speed and course of the enemy, and for keeping his sights changing in the terms of a forecasted rate, they must be such as will be unaffected by his ships being put under helm. It the rate-keeping device satisfies this condition, there is no reason why being under helm should cause a cessation of fire, for guns can be trained much more rapidly than a ship can be turned. Thus, while "Black" could not hit "White” in the 10-12 minute period there is no reason why "White" should not hit "Black," assuming “Black's " speed and course to be known.
And, lastly, there is a condition the importance of which cannot be overrated. "White's" speed and course having been ascertained, it may easily happen that his ships may be completely concealed from view for periods of a minute or more at a time, either by the smoke of his own guns or by the spray and smoke caused by the bursting of "Black's" projectiles on striking the water: "Black's" arrangements for keeping the rate, therefore, must not be dependent on a continuous supply of “White's" bearings.
In other words, it is indispensable to fire-control, if it is to be battle-worthy, that it should be absolutely accurate in the results it gives; that it should be instantaneous—or, in other words, automatic—in its action; that it should be helm-free, weather-proof, and capable of being used in a half-light. There are, of course, many other conditions that it ought to satisfy. For instance, it must not make too heavy demands either on the numbers or on the skill of the personnel. But it would probably be found that if it fulfils the conditions I have enumerated it will necessarily comply with all others that are likely to be raised.
In order to make more clear the bearing of this letter upon warship design the following extracts from communications to the London Times are also reproduced:
WARSHIP DESIGN.—The historical survey of progress in naval architecture, and the curiously erratic course which warship design has taken since steel and steam succeeded oak and canvas, have attracted the attention of all who are interested in naval affairs. It has been shown how, by wrong deduction from observed occurrences and faulty reading of the lessons of the sea campaigns of the last 60 years, much ill-directed effort has resulted, and much money has been wasted on vessels unfitted for the kind of warfare which the experience of many years has proved to be the best adapted to the needs of this sea-girt empire. "Success can be attained only by aggressive tactics," and the best possible protection against an enemy's fire is "a well-directed fire from our own guns." Whatever other qualities, then, are given to British ships, the power of taking the offensive, of choosing position, of compelling the enemy to fight when he is at a disadvantage, and the means of delivering a well-directed fire, of hitting every time, and all the time effectively, these are essential. These are the elements to which those who design our ships must give consideration in the largest degree.
Aims of the Dreadnought Policy.—The claim of those who inaugurated what is called the dreadnought policy was that their new types of warships, in a larger measure than had heretofore been the case, embodied the views of naval officers. The ship, it was said, had been fitted to the tactics of the seamen, who no longer would have to fit their tactics to the ship given them by the naval architect. The underlying idea apparently was to give the naval officers the kind of ship which they thought they could make the best use of, and those designs in which were provided to the largest possible extent the elements of battle-worthiness they most desired. Thus in the dreadnought types gun-power and speed, the twin elements of offence, were supplied in larger relative proportion than in earlier ships. Not only did naval officers form the majority of the special committee appointed to consider this question of design, but the instructions to the committee were drawn up by the board after conference and consultation with such experienced flag officers as Sir Arthur Wilson and Lord Charles Beresford. Moreover, it was claimed by Lord Selborne that the committee had the immediate benefit of the experience to be derived from the naval warfare between Russia and Japan, and the resultant studies of the Naval Intelligence Department.
Needs of Long-range Fighting.—It was clearly indicated that the reason why these naval officers asked for increased gun-power and greater speed was because the Russo-Japanese War had shown that actions were to be fought at a greater range, and that, while the provision of higher-powered guns should permit of the development of effective fire to its furthest extent, increased speed would give the advantage in assuming the offensive and ensure engagements at suitably long ranges. The gun was accepted as the weapon which all history and experience pointed out as that by which decisive naval victories for some three centuries had been won. As weapons influence tactics, so tactics should influence design. Every nation has since followed a similar policy. All the bigger guns in the later ships are of one caliber, while increased speed, with a more numerous battery of long-range heavy ordnance, are the principal elements in all modern battleship designs.
Naturally and necessarily, with the introduction of the dreadnought designs and the inauguration of the dreadnought policy, there came about a renaissance of gunnery methods. The arrival of the long-range-gunned ship and the development of long-range marksmanship were to proceed together. This implied a close connexion between the two; and, indeed, such was the case. It would have been futile to give the ship guns for use at long-range and not to develop methods of hitting at such ranges. It is the number of effective hits made, not the number of rounds fired, that spells victory. As Sir Reginald Custance has said, “It matters little what gun is used if it does not hit."
With the coming of the dreadnought, therefore, an immense improvement in marksmanship took place. The progress in the gunlayers' test—the exercise in which gunlayers showed their aiming skill—was communicated to the public in full detail. The progress in battle practice—the long-range test—was vouched for by the Admiralty, but no details were published. It was presently pointed out that neither practice was a test of battle-worthiness, the conditions were too simple, and their importance seems to have been greatly exaggerated. Certainly, as soon as the target was made to move, the ship to vary her speed and course, and battle practice generally to approximate more closely to battle conditions, the percentage of hits to rounds fell off to an extent which indicated that the real problem of hitting at long ranges had been insufficiently realized. This seems to be clear from the fact that the percentage of hits to rounds, which rose from 18 in 1905 to 30 in 1907, dropped, when the practice was further assimilated to war conditions, to 18 in 1908, and is now said to be down to 13 or lower. Yet the conditions of practice, though increasingly stringent, are still very far from resembling those of actual battle. This it is which is disquieting; since the value of the dreadnought policy, materialized in ship design, must surely be measured by gun efficiency at long ranges.
BATTLESHIP DESIGN.—Naval attention is again directed to this very important theory of battleship design by a letter in The Times from the writer of a series of articles on warship design which we lately examined. This certainly able critic now claims to have shown conclusively that: "The great increase in Admiralty expenditure" (i. e., upon construction) "has been, at least in part, due to our own impolicy, that war experience has been too much neglected, and that we are therefore drifting, without guidance or even consistency, towards monstrous ships, costing enormous sums . . . ." and so on. The critic did essay to show all this, but his claim to "conclusive" proof is another story. The theory remains open to debate, and the supporters of Admiral Custance are as yet in the minority. Surely there has been no "inconsistency" in the design of British battleships since the conception of the dreadnoughts? The retention and the increase of armour may come to be regarded as erroneous policy, but its inconsistency is not apparent. And as for method and principle, our design has unmistakably been influenced by the theory of long-range actions. The purpose of the critic is to induce the Admiralty to apply for a Royal Commission to consider the whole subject of warship design. He thinks that such an inquiry would create public confidence and indicate directions in which "rational economy might be effected." But if the proposed commission concluded that our naval designs have been faulty and unduly costly (as this critic assumes would happen), it is surely the height of inconsistency for him to expect that public confidence in the Admiralty would be strengthened.—Naval and Military Record.
DISPOSITION OF SHIPS. CANADA'S NAVY AND AUSTRALIA. THE PROBLEM OF THE PACIFIC.—The Torch and Gayundah are the only ships at Sydney. The former is refitting alongside Garden Island, and the latter at Cockatoo dock.
The Australian squadron is still at Hobart.
Of the Imperial ships, the Psyche, Philomel, and Pyramus are at Auckland, and the Sealark and Fantome at Hobart.
Canada has not asked the advice of Australian opinion upon her naval problem, and unless Australian opinion is sought for in conference or otherwise, neither the government nor the press of this country will attempt the impertinence of tendering it. On the other hand, Australians cannot help reckoning up to themselves what will be the position of this country and of New Zealand in the event of Canada's deciding upon a policy of contribution.
The situation, simply stated, is as follows: The Australian Government has decided that it is necessary for the future of Australasia that a protective fleet should be maintained in the Pacific. Whatever classes of vessels for the time being constitute an effective fleet, of those vessels must the fleet be composed. If the effective fleets of the world were composed of submarines or light cruisers, the fleet in the Pacific would have to be a submarine or cruiser fleet. As every effective fleet at the present moment is a fleet of battleships, of those ships must the fleet in the Pacific be composed. The sole question for Australia is whether an effective British Pacific fleet must or must not exist. That question has been decided once and for all, and quite definitely, by Australian statesmen. They have come to the conclusion that in the interests of Australia an effective Pacific fleet is indispensable. If they had not come to that conclusion, then the presence of the battle-cruiser Australia would be not merely unnecessary, but inexcusable—a gross waste of millions of money and of hundreds of men. If the present or any future government believed that an effective British fleet was unnecessary in the Pacific, then it would be their duty to send the Australia back to the North Sea, intimate to the Admiralty that Australia would require no effective fleet, and leave the Australian public, when it realized that the sea all around was absolutely bare, to express its opinion at the next general election. As a matter of fact, the historical reason why the Australia is in the Pacific is that in 1909 the Australian Government, and (at that time) the British, Canadian, and New Zealand governments also realized that there must shortly be a powerful British fleet in the Pacific; and that it was not too early to set about creating it. It was decided to establish the beginning of that fleet, and the Australia and the New Zealand, with a similar ship contributed by Britain, were to form what was to be the first battle squadron in that fleet. Since that time Australia and New Zealand have not changed their minds as to the necessity of an effective Pacific fleet, but Great Britain has; and the interest of the Australian and New Zealand peoples in the controversy, which is still unsettled in Canada, lies in the fact that Canada is in effect, if not in intention, at the moment wavering between the British and the Australian view. If, as Mr. Borden is said to have determined at all costs, Canada decided to pay for three battleships built in Great Britain, then the control of those ships will go to the Admiralty, and they will be stationed, in accordance with the Admiralty's views, at Gibraltar. If, on the other hand, Canada decides on what is miscalled a "local navy," then we shall probably see one or two of the big Canadian ships, at any rate, in the Pacific. If Australasia needs an effective fleet in the Pacific, then the presence of the Australia and other big ships in this ocean is essential. But if no other big ships, either British or Canadian, are to be maintained here, and the Pacific is to be abandoned by the navy, and Australian efforts defeated, then the sooner the Australian Government discovers this fact the better. A conference cannot well be held until Canada either suggests one or comes to her decision; for that reason an early settlement of her problem is awaited in Australia with considerable anxiety.—Naval and Military Record.
ADVANCE AUSTRALIA!—Criticisms which have been levelled against the government of the commonwealth of Australia respecting the mistake that was made in the vaulting ambition of desiring to build their own cruiser Brisbane, before they had assured themselves that their dockyard was sufficiently equipped for that purpose, has tended to becloud the actual naval performances of the Australians, since they started out to provide themselves with a local fleet. This performance is, on the whole, a very creditable one. They have taken over the naval establishment at Sydney, have founded naval training establishments for both officers and men whose work and output have been entirely satisfactory, have now created a fleet of their own, organized and commanded by Rear Admiral Sir George E. Patey, who is in the service of the Australian Government and not controlled by the Admiralty, and who has under his charge a battle-cruiser, the Australia; three cruisers, the Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane (the latter still under construction at Sydney dockyard); the Encounter, a protected cruiser, six destroyers (two still under construction) each of 700 tons displacement, and two submarines of the E class, in a forward state of building. The advance on the personnel side is also excellent; many officers and men have been trained into efficient units of a warship's crew by the four training establishments already mentioned—there has likewise been much surveying work accomplished; moorings have been laid down and a good start made in forming naval bases, which will one day become first-class naval centers. For a young nation, with limited finances, such an effort is most praiseworthy.—United Service Gazette.
SUBMARINES FOR AUSTRALIA.—A view of the first of two submarine boats built at Barrow-in-Furness for the Australian Navy the AE 1, is reproduced herewith. The view is interesting because of the bow wave due to the peculiar form of the ship forward, which has been designed to make the vessel "dryer" than some of the earlier submarine boats when proceeding awash, a condition which is particularly desirable in the Australian boats, as they will proceed to Australia under their own power. The two vessels are of the E class. The length is 176 feet, the beam 22½ feet, and each vessel displaces, when submerged, 800 tons. They are propelled by twin-screws driven, when awash, by heavy-oil engines of the Vickers type, each of which is of 800 brake horse-power, so that the combined brake horsepower is 1600, sufficient to give the vessel a surface speed of 15 knots. When submerged the propellers are worked by electric motors taking current from batteries charged by a dynamo, which can be coupled up to the main propelling engines. The two Australian boats, it may be added, passed through all their trials with thoroughly satisfactory results, and may be said to represent the latest practice in submarine-boat construction. There is a crew of 29 on each vessel. As some evidence of the progress made in recent years in submarine construction, it is worthy of note that when some time ago two submarines were built at Barrow for the Japanese Government, a special steamer was built to carry these two ships to Tokio. Now the Australian submarines are sufficiently powerful and sufficiently seaworthy to undertake the voyage from England to Australia by means of their own heavy oil engines, which not only work very satisfactorily, but throw off none of the dangerous fumes which, in many instances, have proved so destructive to submarine craft.—Shipping, Illustrated.
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Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Salamis 19,500 23 8 14-in., Hamburg Laid down July, 1912
NAVAL PRoGRAm.—Further reports concerning the program of construction upon which the Greek Navy is to embark were made early in January. It is stated that during the next five years, there will be built two dreadnought cruisers, two other cruisers of 10,000 tons, 25 destroyers, six submarines, 12 gunboats, 20 hydro-aeroplanes, and a depot-ship. This list of ships, published in the Continental Press, is a larger one than that originally issued, in which two battle-cruisers, two cruisers of 5600 tons, four destroyers, six submarines, and ten hydro-aeroplanes, were included. The two battle-cruisers included the Salamis, already in hand. It is possible that the purchase by Turkey of the ex-Brazilian battleship Rio de Janeiro may have some effect upon the Greek program. Questioned on the subject on January 1, M. Venizelos, the Greek premier, after stating that the present condition of national questions did not allow him to state what orders for ships had already been given, nor what negotiations had been entered into with the object of acquiring others, assured the Chamber that Greece was determined to maintain her supremacy.
THE BRITISH NAVAL INSTRUCTORS.—Writing to the papers on December 27; Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, the senior of the British officers who recently were lent to the Greek Government, said that, the King of Greece having done them the honor of appointing them officers of his navy, they should not be styled members of the British Naval Mission, but British officers of the Greek Navy, or briefly, Anglo-Greek officers. "We are proud," he added, "to wear the uniform of Greek officers and to consider ourselves sons of Greece."—United Service Magazine.
The six new 125-ton torpedo boats built or building in Germany for Greece have been named as follows: Daphne, Thetis, Aigle, Alkyone, Arethusa, and Doris.—Engineer.
THE GREEK NAVY.—Offer to a Devonport Official.—The Greek Government recently decided to embark upon an important scheme of naval defence, and in selecting officials and others to give effect to that decision is, not unnaturally, turning to this country. Included in the scheme is the construction of new docks, and in connection with this the Greek Government has offered an important appointment to Mr. C. H. Colson, superintending civil engineer of Devonport dockyard. Mr. Colson has a high reputation in his profession, and before being appointed to Devonport last March, held a similar position at Dover.
In connection with the same scheme, the Greek Government is also asking for candidates for the position of chief assistant-engineer, who have had considerable experience in the control of design and construction of large dock works, workshops, etc., as well as for an assistant-engineer, engineering assistants for drawing-office, and secretary and accountant.—Naval and Military Record.
Holland has five destroyers and five submarines under construction.
SUBMARINE SUNK.—Submarine No. 5 has sunk at the Scheldt Quay. The vessel is full of water, and a workman, who was the only person on board when the accident occurred, has been drowned. Attempts are now being made to raise her.—Central News.
The Dutch submarine No. 5 is a Whitehead boat of 131 tons displacement.—Naval and Military Record.
SOCIALISM IN THE FLEET.—A debate on the navy recently took place in the Dutch Parliament, arising out of the government's proposal to lay down at once the first battleship of the dreadnought type, which is intended for service in the East Indies. This vessel will be of about 21,000 tons, and will carry a powerful armament of 11-inch or 12-inch Krupp guns. A second ship of the same type is also projected, and to supplement the available funds a public subscription has been opened in all the chief towns. No decision regarding the date of commencement appears to have been reached in the Parliamentary debate, as most of the speakers devoted their remarks to the reported spread of socialism in the fleet, and the consequent decline in discipline and efficiency. The Minister of Marine, M. Rambonnet, promised to take the necessary steps to remedy this evil, and he has since issued a general order which forbids the naval personnel to have any dealings with the "Bond Van Minder Marine Personnel" (lower-deck league), a socialist organization which has been particularly active in recent years, and is said to have incited men to commit breaches of discipline and to refuse obedience to their officers. Very severe penalties, including exile, are threatened against Socialist agitators in the fleet.—Naval and Military Record.
THE NETHERLANDS.—The naval appropriations for 1914 amount to 44,302,000 Kr., an increase of almost one and one-half millions Kr. for expenses. No new construction is planned, but about six million of the above is to be spent on the ships now under construction of the 1911 program. These are 3 armored cruisers, 8 torpedo craft and 2 submarines with a submarine depot ship. Four of these ships are to be built in the Vulkan dockyards at Stettin, Germany, and four in home yards. This is a departure from previous custom as heretofore all torpedo craft have been built by the Yarrow Company of Glasgow.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Cavour 22,000 22 13 12-in., Spezia Launched Aug. 10, 1911
18 4.7 in.,
Vinci 22,000 22 same Genoa (Odero) Launched Oct. 14, 1911
Andrea Doria 22,400 23 13 12-in., Spezia Launched March 30, 1913
Duilio 22,400 23 same Castellamare Launched April 24, 1913
Dandolo 32,000 23 12 15-in., Ansaldo
Morosini 28,000 25 9 15-in. Odero
Mazzini 28,000 25 8 15-in., Spezia
20 6 in.
Mameli 28,000 25 same Castellamare Laid down Jan., 1914
Basilicata 2,500 16.5 6 6-in. Castellamare Laid down Aug. 9, 1913
Campania 2,500 16.5 6 6-in. Castellamare Laid down Aug. 9, 1913
NOTE.—Italy has about sixteen destroyers and four submarines under construction.
NEW TYPE OF BATTLESHIP.—According to the Gazzetta Ufficiale, one of the super-dreadnoughts to be laid down this year will be named the Giovanni da Varazzano, after the reputed discoverer of the Atlantic coastline of the American continent. The new type of battleship, of which this is the first, has been designed by Signor Edgardo Feretti, who since the recent death of Colonel Cumberti, “the father of the dreadnought," is looked upon as the most eminent naval constructor in Italy.
The gun contracts for the new ships have all been awarded. It is understood that the order for 15-inch guns has been equally divided between three firms, viz., Armstrong (Pozzuoli), Vickers (Terni), and Ansaldo. The guns to be made by the two English firms will be of the wire-wound type, while those manufactured by Ansaldo will be built up. It is evident, therefore, that the statement that Italy had decided completely to abandon wire guns was premature.
It is interesting to note that the triple turrets for the 12-inch armament of the Leonardo da Vinci were completely built and equipped in England. These turrets were made by Messrs. Vickers at Barrow.—Naval and Military Record.
NEW BATTLESHIPS.—It is now definitely reported that the 30,000-ton battleships are to be laid down during the first half of 1914. The designs are not yet complete, but work has been commenced at Spezia to prepare the berth for ship G, which will be 692 feet long. Owing to the time which must of necessity elapse before the arsenals can produce the 15-inch guns required for the armament of these ships, it will be four or five years before the first of the G class can be completed. These vessels will carry eight 15-inch guns each.—Shipbuilder.
RESULTS OF TRIALS OF DESTROYERS FITTED WITH TOSI TURBINES.—
Indomito Intrepido Irrequieto
Average speed at full power, knots 35.068 35.040 35.796
Power developed in E. H. P 17.080 17.730 17.640
Maximum speed, knots 35.630 36.740 36.039
Number of revolutions, at average speed
with full power 690 692 696
Consumption of naphthaline per H. P.
hour at full speed Average 0.590 kg.
The time for reversing the engine for a course in the opposite direction at varying speeds of 400, 500 and 600 revolutions at full power was also recorded, and the following are the results:
For passing from "ahead" to "astern," the time was from 9 to 14 seconds, according to the speed of the ship, and for passing from "astern” to "ahead," the time was from 5 to 7 seconds, again according to the speed of the ship.
It was noticed that when passing from full power ahead to full power astern, the latter movement reached a maximum of 400 r. p. m.
On account of the results obtained with the Tosi turbines, the Italian Government, in placing an order with the Odero and Pattison shipbuilding companies for eight new torpedo destroyers of 700 tons, of the Francesco Nullo type, specified that these turbines should be utilized as the means of propulsion.
Quite recently the Pattison yard, Naples, gave an order to the latter firm, for eight other turbines, each of 20,000 E. H. P. ahead movement and 6500 E. H. P. astern movement, with 500 revolutions, intended for four destroyers for the Roumanian fleet, of 1500 tons, and a speed of 35 knots.
The weight of each turbine per E. H. P. is from 3.25 kg. to 3.50 kg.
The following are the principal measurements of the Italian torpedo-boat destroyers:
Length, feet 239½
Breadth, feet 23
Average draft, feet 7½
Displacement during trial, tons 612
Displacement fully equipped and manned, tons 620
Maximum speed, knots 35
The principal measurements of the Roumanian destroyers, however, are as follows:
Length, feet 308½
Breadth, feet 30½
Average draft, feet 9¾
Displacement during trial, tons 1,330
Displacement with full equipment and manned, tons 1,450
Maximum speed, knots 35
—Journal American Society Naval Engineers.
"SAN GIORGIO."—The Italian armored cruiser San Giorgio, escorted by the cruiser Ferruccio and a repairing vessel, left Messina for Taranto on December 26, the temporary repairs to her hull having taken somewhat longer time than had been expected. She experienced rough weather on her passage, and only arrived in the small hours of December 28 at her destination, where she has now been dry-docked. The big guns and turrets, which were carried on board the Bengasi, have also been disembarked in Taranto Arsenal.—Engineer.
"ARETUSA AND CAPRERA."—The torpedo-gunboats Aretusa and Caprera, both of 850 tons, have been struck off the active list and will be sold, and the gunboat Governale is to share the same fate. In her day the Aretusa was a remarkably fast little craft. She did 23 knots on trial in 1893. Both the Aretusa and Caprera were slightly modified editions of the early British torpedo-gunboats, a type which found much favor in Italy at the time.—Naval and Military Record.
“ARDENTE."—The destroyer Ardente, built by Messrs. Orlando, exceeded her contract speed by 5.3 knots on the trials which took place recently. This vessel is driven by Zoelly turbines.—Shipbuilding.
37-KNOT DESTROYERS.—A number of 1000-ton destroyers of a new class are at present being constructed in Italy. The trials of the first of these vessels were made recently, and it is stated that a speed of nearly 37 knots was attained. The Ministry of Marine claims that this destroyer is the fastest boat of its kind in the world.—Central News.
“AUDACE."—A very fine performance has recently been achieved by the Italian destroyer Audace, of 650 tons displacement. On a four-hour full-power trial carried out in December last the vessel attained a mean speed of 35.5 knots with about 20,000 horse-power, and at one time reached 36.25 knots. The machinery consists of Zoelly turbines driving twin screws, and steam is supplied by White-Forster boilers fired with oil fuel. The sister vessel, Animoso, has just completed similar trials with an equally successful result. The armament of these craft consists of one 4.7-inch gun, four 12-pounders, and two torpedo tubes.—Engineer.
THE CROWN PRINCE AND THE NAVY.—The Crown Prince of Italy will shortly enter the navy, and will make a lengthy cruise on board the cruiser Puglia, which will be commanded by his naval tutor, Capt. Benardi. In the past it has been customary for Italian princes to enter the army on reaching their tenth year, but this departure from tradition has been made at the earnest wish of the Crown Prince himself, who already shows great enthusiasm for the sea service.—Naval and Military Record.
"TWELVE SUPER-DREADNOUGHTS BY 1918."—COST OF THE WAR—The German paper Schiffbau reports that the Italian Government intend to bring forward a new naval program very shortly which will provide for the construction of 12 super-dreadnoughts by 1918, each of these ships to be armed with ten 15-inch and twelve or fourteen 7.5-inch guns. The heavy weapons will be mounted in double turrets. Contracts for the first units of this class have already been placed with home yards, and the first is to be laid down at Spezia. The displacement will be 28,000 tons. This new Italian program is to be regarded as a reply to the French scheme, which will give France by 1918 a force of 38 battleships, including 20 dreadnoughts, all the 18 pre-dreadnoughts carrying guns of 12-inch. No authority is cited for the foregoing statement, but it should be noted that the German press is constantly crediting Italy with gigantic building programs which never seem to materialize.
During her speed trials outside Spezia lately the new destroyer Audace reached a maximum speed of 36.2 knots, developing 20,000 horse-power, whereas the contract only called for 15,000 horse-power. The Audace is one of four 690-ton destroyers built by Orlando, and is of the same type as the six boats of the Impavido class recently completed by Pattison. All these boats burn oil only.
The new submarine Giacinto Pullino has made her contract surface speed of 18 knots on trial, and is therefore probably the fastest submarine in the world. On the other hand, she is reported to have failed to reach the speed of 14 knots submerged, which the contract calls for. The builders are the Fiat San Giorgio.
The harbor of Taranto is being made into a naval base of the first class, and the fleet station at Naples has already been transferred to the first-named port.
Interesting figures have been published relating to the late war with Turkey. The total cost of the conquest of Libia amounted to £39,000,000. During 1911 no fewer than 90,000 men were despatched thither, followed in 1912 by a further 124,000, while 70,000 men were withdrawn. Thus the conquest of the country demanded an army of 114,000 men. The Italian casualties throughout the war amounted to 236 officers and 4076 men killed or wounded.
THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.—The Italia Marittima prints an article dealing with Austria-Hungary's intention to postpone the building of four dreadnoughts, and says that this delay will have no influence on Italian construction. The strength of the Austrian fleet is no longer responsible for Italian naval expansion, for Italy has now to reckon with the balance of power in the Mediterranean in general. The need of securing the safety of the new African possessions impels Italy to add to her naval force. She is accordingly building four dreadnoughts, to be completed by 1916, and from then on one ship will be laid down each year, so that by 1921 the fleet will include 21 battleships. The design of the four new dreadnoughts has now been finally determined. They will be 656 feet long and 98 feet in beam. The keels will be laid shortly, and all four ships are expected to be completed within 32 months. This is, however, at variance with earlier reports, according to which the building period will be not less than four years owing to unavoidable delays in the manufacture of guns and armor.
The Italian Admiralty is experimenting with a new steam turbine of Italian origin. The tests are being made in the harbor of Spezia, and have proved most satisfactory. The special advantages of the new turbine are claimed to be: Very moderate steam consumption at all speeds, but particularly at cruising speed, strong construction, and easy maneuvering. The inventor is Professor Belluzzo, of the Milan Polytechnic.—Naval and Military Record.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Fuso 31,300 22.5 12 14-in., Kure Launched Mar., 1914 (?)
Fuso 2d 31,300 22.5 … Kawasaki Launched May, 1913
Fuso 3d 31,300 22.5 … Mitsubishi Launched Feb., 1914
Fuso 4th 31,300 22.5 … Yokosuka …
Hiyei 27,940 27 8 14-in., Yokosuka Launched Nov. 21, 1912
16 6-in., 8 t.t.
Haruna 27,940 27 same Nagasaki Launched Dec. 14, 1913
Kirishima 27,940 27 same Kobe Launched Dec. 1, 1913
NOTE.—Japan has two destroyers and two submarines under construction in England and France respectively.
"KONGO."—The Japanese battle-cruiser Kongo has become flagship of Vice Admiral Kato Yusaburo, commanding the first squadron of the Japanese fleet. The other vessels in this force are the dreadnought battleship Settsu, the "mixed armament dreadnought" Satsuma, the pre-dreadnought battleships Suwo and lwami, and the armored cruiser Tsukuba. The second squadron, consisting of the armored cruisers Yakumo and lwate and the protected cruisers Hirado and Chikuma, is commanded by Vice Admiral Kato Seikichi.—United Service Magazine.
RETIRING AGE CHANGES.—Dating from March 3! next the compulsory retiring ages of flag officers on the active list of the Japanese Navy will be modified as follows: Admirals will retire at 65 instead of 68; vice admirals at 60 instead of 63; and rear admirals at 56 instead of 58. It will be seen that the new rates are lower than those ruling in the British service to the extent of five years for vice and four for rear admirals. Captains are to retire at 52, commanders at 48, senior lieutenants at 45, and junior lieutenants at 43.—United Service Magazine.
JAPANESE INSTITUTION OF NAVAL ARCHITECTS.—The Japanese Institution of Naval Architects carried out last November a more ambitious program than on any previous occasion. Their meetings were spread over four days, November 14 to 17, and the program included ten papers, a dinner, and excursions. Sir P. Watts was expected to be present, both at the papers and at the dinner, but was recalled to England a few days prior to the meetings. The principal excursion was that made to Yokosuka, to visit and make careful examination of H. I. M. battle-cruiser Kongo, recently arrived from Vickers' works in England, after a most successful voyage by the Cape of Good Hope.
The full list of papers read was as follows:
"On the Use of Special Steel in Warships," by Commander Y. Hiraga, Naval Constructor at Yokosuka.
"On Some Experiments on Mild Steel and Special Steel Rivets," by Commander Hiraga and Lieutenant Hashiguchi.
"On Recent Studies in Connection with Rivets, Riveting and Riveted Joints," by Lieutenant Y. Taji, Assistant Naval Constructor.
"On Rolling, and Anti-Rolling Tanks," by Dr. Suyehiro, Professor of Naval Architecture, Tokyo Imperial University.
"On Water-Tube Boilers for Marine Purposes," by Mr. M. Miki, engine-shop manager of the Mitsu Bishi works at Kobe.
"On the Construction of Ships with Flanged Plates," by Mr. K. Ota, Surveyor to the Mercantile Marine Bureau, Department of Communications.
"On the Preservation of Timber and on Bottom Painting," by Dr. T. Shiga.
"On the National Flag and its Use in Ships," by Mr. N. Matsunami.
"On Vibrations of Ships and Instruments to Measure them"; also "On a Rollingless, Pitchingless, and Waveless Ship," both by Dr. Y. Yokota, Professor of Naval Architecture, Tokyo Imperial University.
From Professor F. P. Purvis, of the Tokyo Imperial University, we have received the following account of the proceedings:
Japanese Naval Progress.—In the unavoidable absence of Baron Akamatsu, the president, the chair at all the meetings was taken by Dr. S. Terano, Professor of Naval Architecture, Tokyo Imperial University. In the course of the president's address, read by the chairman, reference was made, with some pride and decided approval, to Japan's forward policy in regard to both the army and navy. Dealing wholly with the latter, it pointed out that "the battle-cruiser Kongo has already arrived from Vickers' Works, Barrow-in-Furness, and the sister ships Kirishima and Haruna are on the eve of being launched, while the Hiyei is approaching completion. The Fuso, the most powerful warship in existence, is to take the water early next spring. The day is at hand when great strength will be added to the Imperial Navy." In speaking of the mercantile marine, the address pointed with gratification to the work of the year completed in the home shipyards, instancing the Kashima Maru and Katori Maru, built for the Nippon Yusen Kwaisha's London service, and the Anyo Maru, built for the South American service of Toyo Kisen Kwaisha, the largest geared turbine vessel at present afloat. "The total number of ships launched this year (in Japan), war and mercantile, is over 190; tonnage, 120,000; while under construction are four Fusos, and some twenty steamers ranging from 1000 to 12,000 tons; the total tonnage in hand exceeds 220,000 tons, breaking all records. On the other hand, during the past three years, a number of ships have been imported to meet our unprecedented activity of sea commerce; these aggregate 140 in number and 430,000 in tons, all bought from abroad. Of these, seventeen ships, of 70,000 tons, are newly built. Thus in spite of government protection we still seek the assistance of foreign builders for the supply of our new ships. The need for this state of matters, and the causes leading up to it, are at present under the consideration of a committee formed in the early part of the year. It is much to be hoped that the outcome of this committee's investigations will be favorable to the development of the shipbuilding industry within the country."—Engineering.
On November 20 last the construction of the fourth ship of the Fuso class was started. This ship, of a tonnage of 30,600, will have a main battery of twelve 35.6-cm. guns (according to other reports ten 38-cm.) and a torpedo defence battery of sixteen 15-cm. quick-firers; speed 22.5 knots. When this ship is launched Japan will have twelve dreadnoughts completed. The Japanese fleet includes the eight battleships of the Satsuma and Kawochi classes now in commission; the battle-cruiser Kongo and her three sister ships, and the Yokosuka built battleship Hiyei which should be finished some time this spring.
We are informed by London dispatches that Japan intends to order from an English firm a second battle-cruiser of the Kongo type.
The delayed launching of the battleship Fuso took place in February. The Marine Rundschau gives the following data for the Fuso: Turbines, Parsons, 45,000 horse-power, four propellers, twelve 35.6 cm. and sixteen 152-cm. guns.
Several powder explosions have taken place in Japan lately; July 16 two workmen were killed and several injured at Kure (ammunition case exploded); August 10, 150 tons of powder exploded at Meizurn (?);and on August 21 on board the Musachi a 6-pounder cartridge burst, killing two men; again on August 27 a large quantity of powder exploded in the open air at Kure dockyard.—Mitt. aus dem Geb. des Seew., translated by Lieut. C. B. Mayo, U. S. Navy.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Bjorgvin 5000 16.5 2 9.4-in. Messrs. Armstrong Laid down Jan. 8, 1913
Nidaros 5000 16.5 2 9.4-in. same …
NOTE.—Norway has four submarines under construction.
According to the Berlin correspondent of The Journal des Debates, Roumania intends to purchase two armored cruisers, in addition to the torpedo-boats already ordered in Italy, in order that she may have a fleet adequate for the protection of the country's new coastline. The two armored ships are said to have been ordered in Germany for delivery next autumn.
The Roumanian building program calls for an expenditure of 142,000,000 Kr. to be extended over a period of eight years and contemplates the following addition to the navy:
For the Black Sea fleet, six small cruisers of 3500 tons displacement and 12 destroyers of 1500 ( ?) tons displacement. For the Donau (Danube) flotilla, 12 monitors of 600 tons and a number of smaller craft.
Four of the destroyers are now being built at Pattison's in Naples. Four of the monitors were launched in 1907 and 1908.—Mitt. aus dem Geb. des Seew.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Sevastopol 23,300 23 12 12-in., Baltic Works Launched June 29, 1911
20 4.7 in.
Petropavlovsk 23,300 23 same Baltic Works Launched Sept. 9, 1911
Poltava 23,300 23 same New Admiralty Launched July 10, 1911
Gangut 23,300 23 same New Admiralty Launched Oct. 7, 1911
ander III 21,000 21 same Nickolaief Launched July 24, 1912
Empress Marie 21,000 21 same Ivan Bunge Co. Launched Nov. 1, 1913
Catherine II 21,000 21 same Ivan Bunge Co. Laid down Sept. 1, 1912
Ismailia 28,000 27 9 14-in., Galerni Laid down Dec. 20, 1912
Kinburn 28,000 27 same Baltic Works Laid down Dec. 20, 1912
Borodino 28,000 27 same Galerni Laid down Dec. 20, 1912
Navarino 28,000 27 same Baltic Works Laid down Dec. 20, 1912
Adm. Butakow 7,000 .. … Putilow, St. Petersb. Laid down Nov.29, 1913
Adm. Epiridow 7,000 .. … Putilow, St. Petersb. Laid down Nov. 29, 1913
Evjatlana 7,000 .. … Neval Laid down Dec. 7, 1913
Adm. Creigh 7,000 .. … Neval Laid down Dec. 7, 1913
Amurski 4,500 .. … Elbing Laid down Sept. 22, 1913
Nevelskoj 4,500 .. … Elbing Laid down Sept. 22, 1913
Adm. Laserew 7,000 .. … N.F.W. Nikolaief Laid down Nov. 1, 1913
Adm. Nachimov 7,000 .. … R.S. Co. Nikolaief Laid down Nov. 1, 1913
NOTE.—Russia has about 30 destroyers and 25 submarines under construction.
The Russian Minister of Marine has ordered to be registered in the list of vessels under construction six cruisers, four named after Admirals Boutakoff, Spirvoff, Greig, and Nevelskvi, 36 torpedo-boat destroyers, and 12 submarines.—Naval and Military Record.
Naval court martial has sentenced Captain Berch to be dismissed from the service, and Steersman Gorbuzky to three months imprisonment, in connection with the accident to the gunboat Uralets.—Naval and Military Record.
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Espana 15,700 .. … Ferrol Trials begun Aug., 1913
Alfonso XIII 15,700 .. … Ferrol Launched May 7, 1913
Jaime I 15,700 .. … Ferrol Laid down Feb. 5, 1912
Name Displacement Speed Armament Builders Remarks
Sverige 6800 .. … Gothenburg Laid down Feb. 15, 1913
The battleship Sverige will be fitted for oil burning.
The raising of the gun-boat Urd which was sunk by collision with the armored cruiser Oden at her launching last August, has been let to a private wrecking company.