Saturday, May 24, 2008
I think that the Russian cruiser Askold really betrays her German origin. The entire conception is very strange, with the low hull, the first level superstructure, and five funnels. This picture apparently shows the ship off Port Arthur in 1904 in gray wartime garb.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The more that I look at the Manassas picture, the more that it is obvious that it was an advanced concept. The ship was intended to be six feet above water and 17ft below the water line. The curved deck was almost an early example of a protective deck, with a bit more arch than was typical. One problem was that the armour was too thin. It seems to have been all that the displacement could carry. The Manassas was about 143ft long and had sharp ram shape forward, where the curve of the deck came down to a point below the water. The ram protruded 10 feet forward and seems to have been part of a solid block of wood about twenty feet long. In service, the ram seems to have been not solid enough to penetrate the side of a ship, since in about three attacks, ships were damaged but not holed. I was interested to read that David Dixon Porter had hoped to save the Manassas as an "engineering curiosity", but the ship was on fire, drifted downstream, blew-up, and sank before it could be rescued.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I took that CSS Manassas drawing that the Wikipedia has and applied photographic elements and did some other graphic editing to see if I could make the picture look photographic. It seems at least somewhat successful to me (of course, I am prejudiced). The Manassas was converted towboat (often called a tug, which has a different connotation) that had curved iron plating for armour. The armour was too thin and the Manassas was sunk during the Union attack on New Orleans in 1862. This picture shows the Manassas with a single funnel, which is what I have grown to expect. An alternative view shows the Manassas with twin funnels aligned so that from the side, they look like one.