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experienced off Flushing, but we can French are right. All honour to him. easily understand how much they He deserves well of the navy for havmust have desired that the Glatton's ing said so; for we believe, had he sides could have been easier pierced still been sceptical, we should have by their 24 and 12-pounders. James, still gone on thumping away at these the naval historian, we are aware, at- plates for years to come. Expense taches much importance to the Glat- was the next bogie; it still stands ton mounting 68-pound carronades. its ground. We are told, on unexHer armament may account for the ceptional authority, that the two damage to the enemy, but not for the large mail-clad frigates now buildtrivial casualties among the noble ing, the one in the Thames, and the Trollope's crew ; that must go to the other in the Clyde, will cost the credit of stout oak or teak against the pretty figure of a million sterling ! cannon of those days. With respect to A very dear million's worth, in our sinking armour-clad ships by means of opinion; but we are always expensive firing shot at them below water-line, in Britain when we desire to be enerwe say that these vessels may be só getic. We shall build iron-clad vesconstructed as to receive more shot sels for much less than that some below water with impunity than any day; but if ever we should not be wooden craft in existence. A cellu- able to do so, an officer, who for lar skin, upon the Great Eastern prin- years has had his attention diciple, together with a number of rected to the subject, assures us perfect internal compartments, and that one gun covered by a shield steam pumps capable of delivering of iron on board a ship, is equal a large volume of water, will make to ten guns mounted in an ordinary the sinking of such ships as the three-decked line-of-battle ship of Warrior a very difficult feat indeed. wood; and as the broadside of our No wonder, we say, if the Admiralty Royal Albert counts sixty guns, the and Horse Guards were harassed iron-clad vessel of six guns of a side with such fears and objections, that would be her match. The Warrior they have hesitated to go heartily or Defiance, therefore, with their 36 into the new system.
guns, are each equal to three of our Happily ail inventors of rifled largest three-deckers as engines of guns have not agreed with Mr Whit- war. Why, then, be so startled beworth. Sir Richard Armstrong tells cause they cost as much? Captain General Peel, late Secretary of War, Coles estimates the value of the " that if we can produce iron-cased largest frigate (iron-cased) of 36 guns vessels, attaining anything like the at £320,000. The value of three same speed, and as sea-worthy as Royal Alberts or Dukes of Wellingordinary men-of-war, no other vessels ton would be about £600,000; and as will have the slightest chance against an investment for public security the them.". This is strong testimony. former would be the better property, Sir Richard has been passing his although not quite so ornamental. shells through the stoutest wood- The relative fighting powers of guns butts with ease; he has breached and crews properly sheltered, from martello towers, and shaken granite those placed in ships pervious to walls; but he knows that, except every missile, is very remarkable ; when placed over a yielding sub- but no one can form a better estimate stance, no shell or shot that he has upon the subject than the gallant invented — not even his 100-lb. officer above quoted, for his experisolid shot-can penetrate slabs of ence extends through every action in wrought-iron ; and it appears to be which our wooden fleet was engaged immaterial whether the projectile in the Black Sea, and we entirely have a flat head, sharp point, or adopt his opinions. After the expunch point! The last experiments pense of these vessels, the next quesagainst iron-walled embrasures at tion has been their sea-worthiness Shoeburyness are conclusive on that and speed, combined with their capsubject; and, convinced of it, he ability of carrying guns well above frankly yields that, after all, the water.
So far as sea-worthiness goes, the cause they are lower and bearer the question can never have been dis- element that supports them? Aspassionately considered, or there suredly not. And, if we take care would not have been a doubt upon that on the displacement, or bottom, the subject
. To bring it home to so to speak, of the razéed “Royal the minds of the general_reader: Albert," we take care to place a less Let us suppose that the Duke of weight of armour than it had to Wellington of 120 guns, and with carry in timber and metal when she nominally three, but actually four a three-decker, will not her fighting decks, be taken into a basin lower tier of guns be higher out of --that we cut off from that towering water? Of course they will
. Then all structure all the wood, decks, and we have to do is to keep this in mind sides above her lower gun battery, -to take care that the displacement leaving her say sixteen guns of a of these new Warriors is equal to the side; and that we throw into a huge weight to be carried ; and they will scale and have weighed, all that oak, then be fleeter, safer, stouter ships at teak, bolts, treenails, plank, and sea, and as good a protection to Old beams; add to that the 88 guns and England for years to come, as our carriages, with a hundred rounds of wooden walls were in years goue by. shot and powder for each of those We should only tire our readers by 88 guns, as well as other fighting dwelling longer on the point of seagear; then, let the 800 seamen be- worthiness, which, after all, is atlonging to those decks be requested tested by the Gloire, and we hope to get into the scale with their will very soon be by our Warrior clothing and three months' provi- and Defiance. Speed is the next sions, as well as six weeks' water, hobby-horse of the opposition. They and an aggregate of weight removed will be of no use unless they are out of that three-decked ship would faster than wooden ships, they argue. appear on the index of the steelyard Why so? If they are as fast, surely which would astonish most people. they will be as good ; and there is For instance, we have calculated more nonsense talked of the speed of roughly, and at the lowest figure, our great frigates and liners of what the fighting gear alone upon wood, than unprofessional men are those three removed decks would perhaps aware. The measured mile be, and the result is no less than at Stokes' Bay, upon which de1100 odd tons weight.* Now, we pends the question of the constructor maintain that, if on the remaining and contractor, the school of naval portion of that ship's side, iron be architecture and the engineers, fulspread equal in weight to that re- filling all expectation of a confidmoved, there cannot possibly be any ing Admiralty and a generous counsound reason why such a cut-down try, is one thing; a knot by the ship's three-decker should not be a better log three months afterwards against ship than when all those weights a moderate breeze and head sea in were piled upon top one of the other the Atlantic, is, as the Spaniards to a height of fifty feet? Will not even know, quite an
“ otra cosa. the same steam - power move the When the reader takes up the Times, same weight faster when the hull and finds that H.M.S. Screamer, of offers smaller resistance to winds and 90 guns, went in Stokes' Bay 13.8 beating seas, and when the masts and knots, equal to so many more miles, spars are proportionately reduced ? and only required the length of PlyWill her weights be worse, or more mouth Breakwater to turn in, he trying to her sides in a tempest, be- must not run away with the idea
Taking each gun-its gear, shot, shell, powder, &c.—as 12 tons, it gives 88 x 12 = 1056 tons, + 50 tons for arms and ammunition of the 800 seamen and marines. This estimate will be a low one, because there are a multitude of small stores supplied for the service of a man-of-war's armament, all of which would be wonderfully reduced in cutting a three-decker down to a single-decked ship.
that it will often be so. Ten knots demur to this statement on two will probably be her natural speed, grounds. In the first place, we can
- a very good speed, too, and fight without even opening a portagainst a double-reefed breeze and hole ; and, in the next, a correctlyhead sea, proud must be the naval constructed war-ship should have no centurion whose bark will go steadily wood whatever employed in herhull half that number of miles per hour; or lower masts--nothing to ignite and in either case we should be very except her stores. The mode in sorry to pay the bill for caulking which men-of-war can be constructed seams, docking for leaks, or repairing to fight their guns, and elevate or defects of the Screamer. We dare train them without exposing an apernot tell all the stories we know on ture to the enemy's fire of more than that head; but great speed in great 3 inch diameter, involves a long ships is a popular error, except when mechanical explanation, ill adapted the wind
is fair, or water nice and to the tastes of our general readers. smooth. But allow that ten knots can We must, therefore, ask them to often, under favourable circumstances, accept our statement for the present be steadily maintained in wooden ves- that the difficulty has been met by sels, is there any reason why as much Captain Coles, and that we believe a should not be done by our mail-clad modification of his cupola may be ones ? For our part, we think handi- even applied to the ports of such ness and light draught of water far ships as the Warrior, and keep more important points, and urge out, at any rate, shells, rockets, or that they should not be sacrificed to hot shot. These cupola, or shieldspeed. Actions are never fought at ships, will be hereafter described ; high steaming speed. There are fifty models of them may be seen at the reasons against doing so. Chasing Royal United Service Institution ; is all very well; but a long pair of and the difficulty of fighting a gun legs will only insure occasional safe- without opening a huge port has ty, not victory, against the Gloire. been solved. Our long-range guns place a wooden Let us pass to the consideration enemy under fire at three or four of the two next objections, which miles distance; he would have to are brought forward with a view come as near as that to know what to frighten us. It is disheartening, the slow ship was made of. Hon- says one statesman, to think that, our would forbid that the wooden after all the exertions and lavish Screamer of_90 guns should leave expenditure of the two last years, the 36-gun Turtle without trying a there is reason to fear that it is throw, and then God help the time, material, and money thrown Screamer! On the one side, im- away. We have just got fifty screw munity from every projectile but line-of-battle ships, are they to be solid shot, delivered at a half-musket burnt? or, like our sailing threerange ; on the other 900 gallant decker and screw block-ships, to be men, working over magazines of consigned to the limbo of the mispowder and shell, furnaces and boil- takes of this century? ers, contained within a hull of wood We think all this alarm-all these -a huge target of living creatures fears—uncalled for. Keep all the and explosive inflammable matter, wooden vessels of war that we now through which every hellish inven- have, but build no more, until the tion of shell, hot shot and rockets, new experiment in iron has had a can run riot. Heaven help bravé fair trial. If, as we firmly believe, the men thus sacrificed. Oh! but you Gloire and Warrior class prove to have your weak points, too, insist the be steps in the right direction, all we believers in wood. You fight in a shall have to do will be to cut down casemate; but then your ports must the big three-deckers, in the manner be open, and through them, by aid we have already described, and put of my rifled guns, I throw shells the wooden frigates into armour. filled with inflammable matter, and Iron plates over wooden shells will hoist you in your own petard.' We not be as strong and perfect as
iron plates over iron shells or hulls; these hold our own, whilst the enbut inasmuch as our great naval tirely iron vessels are preparing at rival France is, from necessity, oblig- a steadier and surer pace. ed to adopt the former mode of car- To the royal navy, and the sailors, rying armour, let us, for convenience as well as merchants of England, the and economy's sake, do likewise. problem to be worked out by these Our new 50-gun frigates may be con- iron-clad ships is one of the deepest verted into 8 - gun corvettes; our interest—the deepest moment. The corvettes into mail-clad gun vessels. Report of the Royal Commission on Ships that cannot carry 4} - inch the Defences of Great Britain tacitly plates had better carry 3-inch ones, admitted that, in our wooden walls, rather than none at all ; for it is England could no longer rely for seknown that a plate of one inch in curity against insult and invasion. thickness is impenetrable to every We who, in times gone by, with description of ordinary shell and ships of oak, swept our enemies from hot shot. Let us go to work with the seas, can with ships of iron do a will upon the subject, earnestly, as much for the future. We have not recklessly. France is building the iron, the coal, and the skill in
more wooden line - of - battle this country to preserve to us our ships, but next spring she is to have proud supremacy, and to enable ten Gloires in the water, it is said. us to repeat at Cherbourg or CronWhy should we not on the 1st May stadt the deeds of Copenhagen and have as many wooden ships in ar- the Nile. In the words of the Prussian mour? We can, at any rate, with Marshal, “ Forward !"
Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh.
We have been earnestly requested compels us to take a common-sense by an old lady to go to the War-Office, view both of her motherly object and and before finally deciding in favour proposal. of iron against wood, to inspect some
In the first place, we have seen excellent photographs of the effects sufficient of the effects of round shot of rifled cannon against the poor and rifled balls to readily believe that Trusty and other mail-clad targets. there has been fracture, splinter, and She touchingly adds, that her son is wreck. The man who fancies that a naval officer, that the great ambi- iron vessels are indestructible, must tion of her life has been to see the be a simpleton; but we again repeat, dear boy a captain of a three-decker, that the only way in which such dewith her three rows of ports, gilt struction can be inflicted will be figure-head, and ensign drooping so from guns equally or better shielded gracefully over the stern; that she in iron casemates.
Those photoshould have died happy could she graphs go to prove that fact, and no have once seen him “ make it eight more; and they bear in no way upon
i o'clock” on board the Duke of Wel- the relative destructibility of armourlington ; everybody saluting him, the clad ships as compared with ordinary colours going up, yards going across, wooden vessels. To do so, photobands playing, all the boatswains'' graphs should have been taken of the mates chirruping, all the midship- effects of an equal quantity of missiles, men running about, and one thousand at equal distances and under exactly men watching the nod of her swan- similar circumstances, against a like boy. We feel for her deeply; woolen vessel of ordinary size and we know that her son, who is almost scantling. The comparison then goose enough to make one a convert would be of some service, and we to competitive examinations for the should be by no means afraid of the rank of captain, must by her family issue. interest very soon get such a ship,
We will suggest an experiment and we would spare her feelings by which would fairly test the question. letting him have one as soon as pos- Take the Trusty, and one of our usesible ; but it must not be. We have less screw block-ships-the Blenheim, had enough of these now useless, for instance; equip them perfectly over-grown, but highly ornamental for a sea cruise, but with old stores. ships, mere dreams in wood; and duty Take any vessel that we may possess, VOL. LXXXVIII. —NO. DXLII.