Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The old battleship Texas

This is really interesting picture of the old US battleship Texas. You can see that the gray paint was just slopped over the prewar white paint and the gold leaf on the decorations. There is also a lot of detail there, including the small guns in the hull casemate mounts and the sponsons. You will need to click the small picture to see the larger view.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Akitsushima in 1894

I have a real Brassey's for 1894. I bought it because I wanted good Sino-Japanese War ship data. One ship listed is the Japanese ship Akitsushima, launched in 1892. The Akitsushima was a protected cruiser of 3150 tons with dimensions of 302ft x 42ft-7in x 18ft-5in. The Akitsushima had a top speed of 19 knots with 8400 IHP and Brassey's says it was armed with 1-12.6in BLR, and 12-4.7in QF guns, but that has to be wrong. We think that the correct armament was 4-6in and 6-4.7in guns. The deck armour was 3in steel. There were four above water torpedo tubes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The rebuilt Messudiyeh

The Ottoman Empire thought that you should be able to modernize old ships so that they could have some of the capability of more modern ships. The old ironclad Messudiyeh was rebuilt in Genoa in 1902. The rebuilt ship had one military mast behind two funnels. The photograph indicates that the hull was black with a thin white stripe over a red lower hull. The upperworks, turrets, and funnels appear to be white. The ship carried 2-9.2in Vickers guns, 12-6in/45 QF guns, 14-14pdr (3in) QF guns, 10-6pdr (57mm) QF guns, and 2-3pdr (47mm) QF guns. The armour was still mostly the original iron. The belt was 12in, but that was useless against modern guns. The turrets and barbettes were Terni steel. The Messudiyeh was 331ft long, so it was about the size of the older British and French battleships. There was a great deal of interest in this sort of rebuilding, but Admiral Fisher disagreed and sold off old the old ships from the British navy, starting in 1904.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Old Jane's Fighting Ships

I have always enjoyed reading the old Jane's, which were actually called Jane's All the World's Fighting Ships. I have a old one from prior to 1904. Reading the listed data is at least as interesting as reading the real data from Conway's or a similar source.

The Danish "torpedo ram" Tordenskjold

The Danish ship Tordenskjold was rated as a "torpedo ram", but was actually a small protected cruiser with a huge gun. An old Jane's reported that the Tordenskjold was launched in 1880. The ship had a very archaic look to it. The main protection was from an arched 3-3/4in steel deck, probably with coal stored above and below it. The main armament consisted of a 14in/25 BLR. There were also 4-4.7in guns. The Tordenskjold also had four above water torpedo tubes and 8-MG. The large gun had an 8in compound barbette with a hemispherical shield. The 4.7in guns were mounted on the upper deck, aft, and had the usual shields. The designed speed was 14 knots, from an IHP of 2,600. There were two screws and cylindrical boilers. The coal capacity was 170 tons. The crew was fairly large at 220 men. The ship was quite small, with a displacement of only 2,530 tons.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Battle of Manilla Bay

Early in my study of naval history, I had read Donald McIntyre's account of the Battle of Manilla Bay (in The Thunder of the Guns: A Century of Battleships, a Norton book from about 1960). There is a relatively decent Wikipedia page, although the Spanish OOB seems to omit smaller ships that I believe were present.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The 2007 Weblog Awards

Kevin Alyward has opened nominations for the 2007 Weblog Awards.

The 2007 Weblog Awards

Kevin is proprietor and founder of the Wizbang! blog.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Japanese cruiser Yoshino

The cruiser Yoshino was another Elswick cruiser built for the Japanese navy. The Yoshino was in a long series of fast protected cruisers designed by Sir Phillip Watts, later a distinguished Director of Naval Construction for the British navy. The Yoshino figured prominently at the Battle of the Yalu in the Sino-Japanese War in 1895. The Yoshino was sunk in a collision with the armoured cruiser Kasuga, early in the Russo-Japanese War. The Yoshino could make 23 knots. The protective deck had 115mm slopes and 45mm flat armour. The main armament consisted of 2-6in and 8-4.7in QF guns.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Takasago

The Japanese cruiser Takasago was what passed for a very fast cruiser in 1904. This is a highly massaged photograph of the Takasago at anchor, in prewar livery. The Takasago had been launched at Elswick in 1897. This was typical of a certain type of Elswick cruiser. The Takasago carried 2-8in large QF guns, 10-4.7in QF guns, and 12-3in QF guns. The Takasago also had 5-18in TT. The deck armour was very thick, at 4.5in of Harvey-Nickel steel. The 8in guns also had 4.5in shields. the 4.7in guns had 2.5in shields. The Takasago was rated at 24 knots. Coal was used to augment the protection, but this type of ship was vulnerable to mines and torpedoes. The Takasago was lost due to a mine off of Port Arthur in December 1904. More than half the crew was lost. The Takasago was designed by a top notch warship designer, Sir Philip Watts: