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The forward hydroplanes are of the housing type, the planes sliding inboard along the shaft into the superstructure to protect them from heavy seas and during high-speed running on the surface. This operation is effected by hydraulic power, but hand emergency gear is also fitted.
The torpedo equipment of these vessels consists of four 18-inch torpedo tubes in the bow and four 18-inch broadside tubes. In later boats of the class the bow armament equipment consists of six 21-inch torpedo tubes.-Engineering, 2/28.
DESTROYER'S HIGH SPEED.—Nearly Forty Knots.-H. M. destroyer Turquoise, built by Messrs. Yarrow and Co., has just passed her official trials on the measured mile at Skelmorlie, when a speed of 39.6 knots was obtained during four hours' continuous steaming. The Turquoise was fully equipped, and had fuel for a run of 1000 miles at cruising speed. It is understood that this is the highest speed yet obtained by any destroyer.-London Times, 3/18.
BRITISH 18-Inch Naval GUN.—Describing the British 18-inch gun, the largest naval gun in the world, which was built and placed aboard monitors and which was used in bombarding Ostend, the London Engineer gives the following interesting facts: “The special mounting allows an elevation of 45 degrees, in which position the gun has a range of nearly 50,000 yards, or say 30 miles. The projectile stands close on seven feet in length, and weighing 3600 pounds, has a long 'wind-cheating' cap. The fact that a gun of this enormous weight could be mounted on board such a vessel as the Lord Clive, in addition to her armament of two 12-inch guns, without seriously affecting stability or trim, says much for the generous lines and substantial construction of the monitor type. The shell, when capped and fired and striking normally, is capable of perforating armor of the following thicknesses, the shell itself emerging unbroken on the other side of the plate: (a) At point-blank range, no less than 41 inches of hard-faced armor. This is equivalent to a wall of unhardened steel of about 54 inches (four feet six inches !). (b) At ten miles and 20 miles, respectively, 22 inches and 1272 inches of hard-faced armor of the latest and best type. (c) Finally, at the extreme range of no less than 30 miles, armor of ordinary steel having a thickness of close upon one foot. As a matter of fact, the shell in actual trials perforated a hard-faced plate of a thickness nearly equal to its caliber at a velocity equivalent to a range of about 14 miles. Thus the heaviest armor afloat, when attacked by it, would not be much better than a piece of cardboard. Officers who were on board the Lord Clive during the final bombardment of Ostend, state that the discharge of the 18-inch piece had no apparent effect on the structure of the vessel, and the blast was felt only at the extremity of the forecastle. No fittings were injured nor was any damage sustained by the two searchlights, which, as shown in our engravings, are placed directly abaft the 18-inch shield. Unfortunately-or otherwise-the armistice intervened before this tremendous weapon had fired many rounds at the hostile positions, but judging by its first performance it has a distinctly promising future. Even with reduced charges its range appears to be much superior to that of the smaller naval guns, and it need hardly be said that the shattering power of the 3600 pound projectile is very great. Whether this gun will reappear in the capital ship of the near future remains to be seen.”Army and Naval Journal, 3/29.
In spite of the bad weather exceptionally good work has been done recently by the mine-sweeping flotillas. They have destroyed about 5500 mines since the armistice, and about 100 mines a day continue to be swept up. Following the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 and the Tripoli War of 1911, stray mines were found as late as two or three years after hostilities ended. Risk of similar happenings around our coast must be eliminated. Our own protective minefields must be lifted no less than the floating traps laid by the Germans. Mine-sweeping is an affair of vital national importance. If sufficient trained men volunteer for the new Mine Clearance Service, the fishing grounds and trade routes may be cleared by the autumn for traffic to move normally, London Army and Navy Gazette, 3/22.
THE INTERNED GERMAN SHIPS.—The question of what is to be done with the Gerinan Fleet now interned at Scapa Flow is apparently still unsettled by the Peace Conference, which finds the problem no easy one to solve to the satisfaction of all the Powers interested in the fate of the ships. The American delegation, however, have put forward a memorandum explaining their views, from which it seems that the only difference between the American and British attitudes is that, whereas the country favors the destruction of the ships forthwith, the Americans advocate them being “sold as junk." Cogent arguments against the proposal to divide the vessels amongst the Allied Navies are set forth in the American memorandum. Such a distribution would increase the naval armament of the Powers by about 30 per cent; and this is rendered unnecessary by the removal of the German and Austrian menace. It is impossible to find a method of distribution which would be regarded as equitable by all, and as the German ships are of short steaming radius, built to fight near home, and are dependent upon German shops and yards for maintenance, they would be uneconomical and inefficient as part of any foreign navy, apart from the fact that they will soon be obsolete with the possible exception of the Baden.
As a compromise between the American idea of selling the ships as scrap iron and the British plan to sink them, there is a means of disposing of the hulls which would give a useful return to the Powers without raising awkward questions of inequitable division. This is to allow all the Allied Navies to use them as targets. Trials could be held at which the ships of all nations concerned, with guns of varying caliber and power, could be utilized.--London Army and Navy Gasette, 3/29.
GERMANY THE FATE OF THE “DEUTSCHLAND."-— The mystery which hitherto has surrounded the whereabouts of the merchant submarine, the Deutschland, has at last been cleared up. In June, 1917, the vessel was rammed by an English ship, in the Mediterranean.
Captain John Thompson of the British mercantile marine, who, for a long time, had been called “ Deutschland Thompson" by his comrades, acknowledged the deed during a visit to New York. The British Admiralty gave him a reward of 1000 pounds (20,000 marks), and the D. S.O. (Distinguished Service Order) was conferred upon him by King George. when asked in New York for details, he answered: “I am the man that sank the Deutschland, but I may not talk about it.” At that time the war was still in progress, but assuredly there were no grounds for this silence. Others, who knew the captain, and had been on voyages with him, have told more of his experiences.
In 1915, when Thompson was in command of a merchant ship, he was stopped by a German submarine in the Bay of Biscay. An officer came on board and questioned him concerning his cargo. The information given by Thompson failed to satisfy the U-boat officer, and he called the Englishman a liar. In English this word used in such a manner is considered a deadly insult. Thompson was furious, let fly at the German officer and knocked him down. When two German sailors had helped him to his feet, he drew his sword and wounded Thompson in the left hand the forefinger of which is still stiff.
In June, 1917, we learn Thompson went in another ship from Malta to Alexandria in Egypt. A large submarine, which appeared to be lying in wait, was sighted. The English vessel was unarmed and the only way of escaping the danger was to try to ram the U-boat. For more than an hour, the two ships circled around each other, mutually intent on gaining the advantage. The German submarine fired several shots, which did very little damage. Finally, the English ship managed to steer straight at the submarine and cut it in two. It was known that the former merchant submarine, the Deutschland, had been armed and was cruising in the Mediterranean, and from the unusual appearance and the size of the rammed submarine, Thompson decided that it must be the Deutschland; later, lifebelts, etc., were picked up which, in fact, bore this name, so that there is little doubt as to the identity of the ship. In March, 1918, a vessel commanded by Thompson was torpedoed near the Azores, and Thompson was prisoner for some 40 days on board a German U-boat. Fortunately, says the English reporter, the Germans did not know that their prisoner was the man who had sunk their finest U-boat, with its crew of 100 men. Probably this Englishman imagined that it was this fact alone which saved him from being Aayed alive-instead, as actually occurred, of his being set free, there being no room for prisoners on board our submarines.
Through these reports, the truth of which the gift of money to Thompson, and the fact of his being decorated, seem to confirm the rumors current in the press that the Deutschland had seen captured and was lying in an English port, were put an end to. It is characteristic of the English that they made no effort to save any of the one hundred men of the crew-only life-belts were picked up, not a man. When he himself was torpedoed, Thompson had the good fortune to have one of the "barbarous Huns as an opponent, who sheltered him for 40 days.-From German Press.
AERONAUTICAL.-Gothas for Great Britain.-As soon as the circumstances permit, three of the German airplanes of each type surrendered under the terms of the armistice will be Aown to England for exhibition purposes. The number of airplanes required from Germany is far from having been reached. In many cases the machines were found damaged or deficient in instruments or parts. On the British sector the proportion of large bombing planes-only about 20-left by the Germans is very small. The examination of all the planes surrendered has added to the accumulated evidence that in armament, fittings, and accessories of all kinds British aviation had completely outstripped the German air service. The total number of airplanes collected by the British Air Service is just over 500. About 170 were abandoned in open railway trucks and were left dismantled-a clear evasion of the armistice terms, and evidence of the hostile spirit in which Germany submits to the inevitable.-Scientific American, 3/29.
NAVAL TERMS.—The naval clauses of the Peace Treaty have been but very slightly amended, but it may be well to review them in slightly more detail than has yet been done.
All the clauses which relate to the fate of the warships to be surrendered by Germany are still subject to the reservation that the Allies have not yet come to an agreement whether or not the ships should be destroyed or broken up or used to make good Allied losses during the war. The object aimed at in settling the naval clauses was exactly the same as that which inspired the drafting of the military terms—namely, the reduction of the German naval strength to the requirements of police and frontier control. Perhaps the chief feature of the German fleet as it will be left after the stipulations of the treaty have been observed is that it will have ño submarines.
The German fleet will consist of six battleships of the Deutschland or Lothringen type, six light cruisers, 12 destroyers, and 12 torpedo-boats in commission. All other warships, whose, fate has not otherwise been
settled, must be placed out of commission or used for trade. In replacing units of the seagoing fleet it is laid down that vessels built shall not exceed 10,000 tons for armored ships, 6000 tons for light cruisers, 800 tons for destroyers, and 200 tons for torpedo-boats, and unless ships be lost no Ersatz battleship or cruiser can be built until the vessel it replaces is 20 years old, and, in the case of destroyers and torpedo-boats, 15 years from the date of launching.
The personnel of the German Navy, including land staff and officers, must not exceed 15,000, and there must not be more than 1500 officers and warrant officers.
All other German warships which are not in German ports cease to be German, and vessels interned are regarded as being finally given up, and warships under construction shall be broken up under the supervision of the Allies.
One clause, which, as already stated, is subject to reservation, provides that the following ships, with all guns aboard, shall be sunk:
Battleships.-Oldenburg, Thuringen, Ostfriesland, Helgoland, Posen, Westfalen, Rheinland, Nassau.
Light Cruisers.-Stettin, Danzig, München, Lübeck, Strassburg, Augsburg, Kolberg, Stuttgart.
Forty-two modern destroyers and 50 modern torpedo-boats.
All auxiliary cruisers are to be disarmed and treated as merchant ships. All submarines, submarine salvage vessels. submarine docks, including the Kiel tubular dock, will be handed over. Here, again, there is a reservation as to what shall be done with these craft. The material derived from the breaking up of the German warships must not be sold to foreign countries and can only be used for industrial purposes. Germany is forbidden to buy warships from abroad, or to buy or construct submarines even for commercial purposes. Naval war material, including such things as mines and torpedoes, will be fixed by the Allies, and all stocks in excess of those limits must be surrendered. Germany will be called upon to sweep certain areas free of mines.
The principle of voluntary service is also applied to the navy and petty officers, and men must serve a minimum period of 12 years. There is the same stipulation as to the length of service of officers as figures in the military terms. There is a provision forbidding the war training of officers and men of the mercantile marine.
In drafting the naval terms the necessity of obtaining free access for all nations to the Baltic has been borne in mind, and Germany will be called upon to demolish the fortifications commanding the passages to the Baltic and to place its hydrographical information with regard to the channels between the Baltic and the North Sea at the disposal of the Associated Government. The coastal defences and fortifications on German islands within 50 kilometers of the German coast will be treated as defences, and there is a stipulation that no fresh fortifications are to be constructed within these limits.
There is a provision prohibiting the use of wireless high-power stations for naval, military, and political messages without the consent of the Allied Governments.
The fate of the Kiel Canal has not yet been settled, nor has that of Germany's submarine cables.
With regard to Heligoland, the clause dealing with which is also subject to reservation, it has been pointed out that the destruction of the harbor and Heligoland might entail suffering to the fishing fleets which find refuge there in bad weather, and this question is still to be disposed of.-London Times, 3/20.
UNITED STATES Navy DEPARTMENT,BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR VESSELS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, UNITED STATES NAVY-DEGREE OF COMPLETION,
MARCH 31, 1919
Apr. 1, 1919 Mar. 1, 1919
Scout Cruisers 4................
Todd D. D. & Const. Co......
Todd D. D. & Const. Co.... .. Todd D, D. & Const. Co....
Union Iron Works..........
Union Iron Works.... 9.
Wm. Cramp & Sons Co.. 10...
Wm. Cramp & Sons Co..... 11....
Wm. Cramp & Sons Co.... 12....
Wm. Cramp & Sons Co...... 13...
Wm. Cramp & Sons Co.....
There are 195 destroyers, 71 submarines, 20 mine sweepers, 19 sea-going tugs, 35 harbor tugs, 12 oil tankers and 53 Ford eagles in various stages of completion.
MATÉRIEL NAVAL BUILDING PROGRAM.-In advance of the return to Washington of the Secretary of the Navy and the bureau chiefs who accompanied him on his European trip of observation, the naval general board is giving its attention to the new naval building program. The failure of the 65th Congress to enact a naval appropriation bill with its authority for the construction of new ships of course necessitates the reconsideration of the measure and its provision for new construction when the 66th Congress shall meet in extra session. By that time it will be known to what extent the proposed league of nations will impose a limitation upon armaments. It may be expected