Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Chilean cruiser Esmeralda (1883)

I am disappointed that we can't find a better picture of the Elswick cruiser Esmeralda, built for Chile (1883). For such an important ship, the first fast cruiser built at the Elswick yard, with a complete protective deck. The arched deck, in these ships, was surmounted by a cellular layer, filled with coal and other materials. The original idea was to have two large guns, at the ends, with a secondary armament at the sides. These eventually became quick-firing guns. The large guns were replaced by smaller guns with a higher rate of fire that were easier to handle on a small ship.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The little ironclad Huascar

The Peruvian monitor Huascar is a wonderful little vessel. It was built by Laird's and was launched in October 1865. Thanks to being constructed of iron, the Huascar still exists and is now a museum ship. My 1894 Brassey's Naval Annual has some information from the time. In 1894, the Huascar was in service with the Chilean navy, having been captured. The dimensions were 200ft (between perpendiculars) x 35ft x 15ft-6in. The ship was driven by a single screw. The machinery produced 1,500 IHP which drove the ship at up to 12 knots. The armour belt was 4 inches of iron and the barbette was 5 inches thick. The Huascar was armed with 2-8in 13 ton guns in a single iron turret. The secondary armament in 1894 consisted of 2-4.7in QF guns. The Huascar could steam at 1100 nm at 10 knots with 250 tons of coal.