In the designing of a cruiser as of any class of warship, the first step before which none should be taken, is to decide the primary object to be realized—what is this ship meant to do?—Mahan
IN THESE simple words Mahan sets forth the basis of all intelligent warship design. Once we have answered the question, “What is this ship meant to do?” we know the offensive armament and speed necessary to accomplish the allotted task; while the hazards which will probably be encountered give us the defensive armament and protection necessary to provide reasonable insurance that the vessel will be able to meet those hazards. Hence we have a criterion by which we can test the soundness of the design of any type of warship. In applying it to cruisers, however, we must bear in mind that new weapons have changed not only many of their functions but also the risks to which they are exposed.