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U. S. NAVAL INSTITUTE
Admiral DAVID D. PORTER, U. S. Navy, 1873
Rear Admiral EDWARD SIMPSON, U. S. Navy, Oct. 1885-Ocr. 1887
Vol. 46, No. 5 HAY, 1919 Whole No. 195
U. S. NAVAL INSTITUTE, ANNAPOLIS, MD.
THE BATTLE CRUISER
A great desideratum in building up a fighting fleet is economy in the expenditure of money and men. It is hardly to be expected that all such expenditures could be so made that all are represented in a general action, and one measure of the efficiency of a fleet is the percentage of the total expenditures that are then available.
There will always be special classes of vessels used for special purposes, which cannot be used for fighting, in a fleet action, and they will require men that are therefore not used in battle. There are, on the other hand, vessels that will always be valuable in a general action, such as the battleship, the destroyer, and the submarine—real fighting ships—and we might say that their crews are fighting men. How many of the others though are non-combatants?
Are cruisers fighting ships? To be sure, a cruiser will fight a cruiser or a vessel inferior to herself, but she is wasted capital in a general action, as she cannot inflict damage on a capital ship. The same may be said, to a large extent, of the battle cruiser; indeed it might be asked, is the battle cruiser intended to fight in a general action?
This is usually answered in the affirmative, and it is probable that the first intent was that the battle cruiser should be employed in a general action as a battleship, though of course in a special organization, such as a fast wing. That this is, however, the