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the matter the more strongly did the conviction c., before a design, framed for a coasting force itself upon his mind that the system of raft could be made available for a large ship portholes, which was inseparable from a broad | fitted to contend with an Atlantic gale, or to side armament, was not only fraught with take its place in a line of battle. But all needless danger to the gunners, but was, at difficulties yielded before a resolution to surall events from the moment that we began to mount them, and at last, in June, 1860, he cover ships with iron plates, a source of weak- produced a design for two classes of ships, ness to the ship ; and consequently the more one suited for home service only, the other was he led to adhere to his principle of the capable of long and distant voyages ; and in shield. But, if the gun had to be trained a lecture which he delivered at the United within the shield, it was clear that it would Service Institution, he fully explained the still require a porthole. To obviate this he details of his plan, and all the advantages presently hit upon the idea of making the which he expected to derive from it, especially shield itself revolve upon a turntable, so that in action ; he pointed out that a ship armed what should be trained should be not the gun on his principle, with her guns placed, as he by itself, but the shield containing the gun, proposed, along her centre, would be free from and thus mounted the gun would require an that roll, so disconcerting to the gunner's aim, opening only very little larger than its muzzle. which, independently of any smoothness or There were still many points to be considered, roughness of the sea itself, is caused by the especially with respect to rigging, steam-power, mere working of the guns when placed at the

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side of the ship ; while the character of the turrets, each containing two guns of 100 lbs. shields, revolving round the entire circle, each ; and as the Warrior, our first ironwould enable the fire of all the guns to be con- plated ship, which had been commenced in centrated on any point on either side except one May, 1859, was to have a broadside of someexactly fore or aft, the end turrets being able thing over 1600 lbs., of which only 13 68to command those points also. He explained pounders were to be protected by armour, also his plans for ventilation, and for getting he contrasted with that force the 1800 pounds rid of the smoke, so that the captain of each of shot which the revolving power of his shields gun would always be able to see his object : or turrets would enable his vessel to throw on while his vessel, though having her guns either side at pleasure, pointing out with selfhigher out of the water than could be the case evident truth that the effect of a ship's fire in

any ship armed on the broadside principle, would depend, not so much on the mere would yet have her gunwale nearer the water, weight of her collected broadside, as on the and so would offer a far smaller target to smallness of the number of the shot which the enemy; and finally, he proved that a made up that weight. The originality, boldvessel so armed would require a much smaller ness, and undeniable plausibility of the plan, crew; would be, in fact, not only cheaper in while it startled some, who thought, as indeed her first construction, but infinitely cheaper in they still think, that Captain Coles, like other her maintenance in an effective state, and in her men proud of, and confident in, their invenwhole subsequent working. His scheme, as pro- tions, was disposed to underrate the objections posed on this occasion, embraced a row of nine to it, and to overrate the evils attendar:t on

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the broadside system, and the difficulty of the other, the Royal Sovereign, a splendid removing or diminishing those evils, yet made three-decker, which had never been to sea, was a great impression on his hearers, and on the to be altered to receive the turrets, as other public in general ; but apparently it was not vessels, such as the Royal Oak, the Prince regarded with equal favour by the Admiralty, Consort, &c., had been reduced to receive their il who, while ordering ships to be laid down on armour-plates. The Prince Albert is not yet i the old models with different trifling variations, ready for sea ; the Royal Sovereign was comsteadily resisted every proposal to give Captain pleted in the spring of the present year, and of Coles's novel designs a trial. However, as her we will now attempt to present some detime wore on, the new plan was discussed scription to our readers. and favorably estimated in Parliament ; the We must premise however that she is not Prince Consort, who, from a careful examina- built or equipped exactly in accordance with tion of its details, had conceived a high opinion Captain Coles's original plan. Some alterations of its probable success, and, at all events, of have been made by himself ; others, strange to the genius and merit of the inventor, pressed say, in spite of his most earnest protest. The it on the notice of those in authority at White- vast increase in the size of ordnance which had hall; and at last, after a year had elapsed, been made since his lecture in 1860, led him a trial was so far given to it that a turret was to reduce the number of his turrets, though constructed on an old vessel called the Trusty, making them, from the superior calibre of the from which a gun was worked in competition guns which he now placed in them, very far with another gun mounted in the old fashion more powerful than those which he had origiat the side of the ship ; and the strength and nally designed. In fact, the effect of shot is working of the turret was further tested by a now so clearly ascertained to increase in almost heavy eannonade from 68 and 110-pounders geometrical progression according to its calibre, being directed at it from a distance of only that a single 300-pounder will probably disable 200 yards. Whether for offence or defence a hostile ship more than twenty guns of a third the turret proved a complete success.

of that size, just as one lion would be more hit by 44 shot, which not only failed to pene- formidable to a herd of oxen than a score of trate it at any point, but utterly failed also cats. The alterations, however, which have to destroy, or even in the least to diminish been made by others, in disregard of his the ease and rapidity with which it worked wishes, affecting as they do her masts, her round. So utterly, indeed, that the men tonnage, and her whole general character to a employed at it declared (we should think | degree which disqualifies her from being used with some slight exaggeration) that the pound- as a sea-going ship, may almost be looked upon ing it had received had made it work, “if as neutralising the advantage gained by the anything, rather better.” As a weapou of increase of her gun-power. A little while offence the gun which it contained, though before the commencement of her conversion only 7 men were required by it, while 12 into a turret-ship the Admiralty had appointed were wanted for the gun at the ship's side, a Mr. Reed Chief Constructor of the Navy, never fired fewer than three shots for every though he had previously had scarcely any two that could be discharged from the other ; experience as a ship builder ; and, though he and on one occasion, when the smoke (from was chiefly known as the champion of a plan which its position on deck relieved those in diametrically opposed to that of Captain Coles, the turret) enveloped those at the broadside gave him authority to decide on and alter the gun between decks, she actually fired seven details of that officer's design-authority which shots, bringing each to bear with true aim at he certainly exercised with no very great fora gunboat passing at full speed, while her bearance. It would seem to have been a sine rival could only deliver one.

gular policy of the Board so to tamper with a Yet even after this apparent verification of new invention as to leave the inventor the all that the inventor had promised, no steps credit of any success which his ship might were taken to give the invention such further achieve, while thus dividing the discredit of trial as to build a ship in accordance with any defect which she might develop between it, till, in the spring of the next year, the themselves and their new constructor. increasing pressure of public opinion, fortified We must however look at her as she is; and by the knowledge that the Americans had a very singular vessel she certainly appears to borrowed the idea, and had proved its value eyes accustomed to the tapering masts and in real warfare, became irresistible, and at lofty sides gaping with portholes and bristling last the Admiralty yielded, and orders were with cannon of the honoured old Victory or the issued to apply it to two ships, one of which, modern Duke of Wellington, both of which, as the Prince Albert, was to be built on purpose ; | if to provoke the comparison, lie almost by her

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side. Instead of those graceful stately fabrics one side of them, is much greater, is we see a long low mass, so low indeed that her effected by revolutions given to the turrets figurehead, the crowned lion of England, is themselves. And of them we will now speak, raised far above her deck, and looking longer pausing only to remind or inform our readers than she really is, by reason of that exceeding that the greatest degree of lateral training of lowness. Her sides too project no threatening which a broadside gun is susceptible is 28 muzzles from rows of great square openings, degrees, making an arc of 50 degrees, and to but present one solid unbroken wall, which, effect this her ports are forced to be not less on inquiry, we learn is composed of 18 inches than 13 square feet in size. of timber, protected on the outside by solid The entrance to the turrets is below the deck, plates of 5 inches of wrought iron, and and there also it is that they and the guns which coated on the inside also with a stout iron skin. they contain are worked, the whole crew being Her deck too, which, as being originally the below, with the exception of the captain, whose lower deck of a three-decker, is of an unusual place in action is in a little watch-tower, as it width, not less than 63 feet, and also unusually may be called, slightly raised above the deck, arched, so as to give a rise in the centre of 18 and plated as strongly as the turrets, in which, inches, as an underclothing of inch iron ; while fully protected and concealed from the and, rising out of it along the centre, are four sight of the enemy, he has a full view of all circular turrets, which contain the ship's that is going on, and from which, by means of offensive power. They too are as solid as the a set of voice pipes ingeniously placed around sides of the ship; but in them we perceive small him, he can convey his orders to every part of oval openings, one in each of the three stern

the ship.

Each turret is supported on a turnmost, and two in the foremost, each of which i table, the idea of which Captain Coles borrowed is almost filled up with the muzzle of a huge from that in ordinary use on our railways ; 300-pounder Armstrong gun ; the only vacant ' and each turntable revolves on a gigantic pivot, space being one of 3 inches below, and 4 inches 'two feet in diameter, made of wrought iron, above the gun, to give room for its occasional hollow, with sides four inches thick, and fitted depression or elevation. And lest this small with bearings like the shaft of a paddle-wheel. opening should prove a source of weakness, an The men who fight the gun have ample standextra 44 inch iron plate is added for a space ing room in the turret, which, when it is deof 4 feet on each side of the port; giving a sired to train it in any direction, is moved by thickness there of no less than 10 inches of a double set of winches, outside and inside, solid iron. The largest or 2-gun turret in the which, in the case of the smaller turrets, can bow rises 5 feet above the deck, measures 23 be worked by as few as four men, though there feet in diameter, and weighs, including its guns, is room for double that number if required. 144 tons; the three smaller turrets rise 4 feet They can turn it with extreme rapidity or with 6 inches, measure 20 feet 6 inches in diameter, the most deliberate slowness, and stop its and, with their gun, weigh 103 tons cach, the revolution at a word, thus bringing the gun to weight of a gun and carriage being 16 tons. bear on its object with the most perfect nicety. Each

gun is but just clear of the deck, And this was tested and proved in the most and, except in action, is nearly concealed from satisfactory manner at the end of July, when the sight of anyone outside the vessel by an the ship closed her first series of experimental iron bulwark about 3 feet high, made in firing in the open sea by destroying, with the compartments resting on hinges and secured concentrated fire of all her guns at a single by pins, the withdrawal of which—an operation discharge, a target only a foot square at a disthat can be performed in a few seconds—leaves tance of 1000 yards. The trial she had then the gun a clear space in front for its fire. The just completed of repeated and rapid firing of position of the gun in the centre, coupled with all her guns with full charges proving also, as that raising of the deck which has already Captain Coles had predicted, that very little been mentioned, enables it to be depressed so smoke entered the turrets, and also, what was low as to strike the water at a distance of only least expected, at least by the adversaries of

I 23 yards from the ship. The perpendicular 'the plan, that the concussion was less felt in depression of the gun, or its elevation, which them than in other parts of the ship. The by the arrangement of the carriage can be gun carriages run on a kind of rail, the recoil carried as high as 35 degrees, is of course after fire bringing the gun back within the effected by moving the gun itself, but the turret sufficiently to allow of its being reloaded lateral training, which in the central turrets without any exposure of the gunners, and at amounts to about 60 degrees each way, making the same time (from the admirable arrangean arc of 120 degrees, and which in those at ment of all the gear which holds the gun) being the bow aud stern, from their having nothing under the most complete control, as may be

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udged by the following circumstance. Since remarkable man, who has seen more service from the small size of the interior of the turret than perhaps any officer of his standing, who on (the walls of which are two feet thick) there is all occasions has displayed the most brilliant no clear space of any extent behind the gun, professional skill and courage, and who comas is the case with those at the side of a ship, bines with them no ordinary degree of scientific stout beams of oak are fixed at the rear of knowledge and acuteness as well as of literary each, against the wall of the turret, to act as attainment. He not only bore an active share buffers ; and though every gun has gone in the search for the lamented Franklin and through repeated trials, nearly two hundred his comrades, but from him, while all in Engrounds having been fired altogether, on only land were in a state of doubt and uncertainty, one of these beams is the very slightest dent came by far the most accurate conjectures as visible.

to the course which Franklin had taken, and The Royal Sovereign's masts are three low the region in which consequently the chief woodeu spars, without yards, looking more search should be made, that was at any time suitable for a schooner yacht than for a mighty offered to the Admiralty. To him, as its comship of war ; and though they may be useful mander, was chiefly owing the admirable sucat times in steadying her, or may perhaps cess achieved by our squadron in the Sea of assist her in beating off shore in the event of Azov, to which allusion has already been made. any accident happening to her screw, they He it was who, having seen some of his earliest are wholly different from the powerful iron service in Chiva under Sir W. Parker, revisited tubular masts in which Captain Coles designed the same waters under the most distinguished

I to spread a cloud of canvas half as large again of all the successors of that gallant officer, and, as is usually carried by ships of her tonpage, penetrating to Hankow (far beyond the utmost and with which he would not have feared to limits of the expedition of 1841) and return. undertake the longest voyage, to race with the ing in safety under difficulties which severely speediest vessel, or to encounter the heaviest tested his seamanship, earned for himself so weather.

high a reputation that, when the Chinese goThe accommodation for the crew, at least | vernment sought the aid of a European fleet for the officers, is perhaps rather more scanty against the Taeping rebels, it entrusted the than we are accustomed to see in a ship of the command to him. The misunderstandings tonnage of the Royal Sovereign ; but it must arising between the Mandarins and M. Lay, be remembered that, including marines, artil- which ended in his laying down his command, lery, and engine officers, she carries only 300 added to his credit by giving him the oppor. ' meu ; and among her officers there are no mid- tunity of displaying a high degree of moral shipmen, an arrangement which, though it courage and promptitude of decision. Forsaves one mess-room, we should think of very tunately also for Captain Coles, his system, doubtful policy, since there could hardly be now placed fairly on its trial, thus obtained the a more useful school for the very youngest aid of so consummate a master of every branch officers than would be afforded by the practical of his profession. working of a vessel equipped on so novel a Such a captain cannot have a bad crew; system. Even the captain's cabin is made out and the perfect state of discipline to which he of what was originally the bread-room of the has brought them cannot perhaps be better three-decker, and is crowded by the wheel, for described than by saying that they can clear which no other place can be found, but which their ship for action, let fall the bulwarks, train the captain has converted into a piece of orna- the guns to any point required, load and dismental furniture, painting on it Nelson's signal charge them all in less than five minutes, and in letters of gold, thus proclaiming his recogni- that afterwards, two minutes and fifty seconds tion of that heroic principle as tho rule of bis is all the time they require to repeat the own conduct, and inculcating obedience to it broadside, so that they can fire 21 broadsides on others. Another decoration which the cabin in less than an hour ; a result far surpassing contains may not be passed over, a pair of anything that, under any other system, has been pictures of the Queen and her lamented hus- effected by a crew of 300 men, or of twice that band, who took a judicious and clearsighted number. interest in Captain Coles's plan from its first In the middle of September the Royal Sove announcement. They are the gift of her reign returned to harbour from Portland, where Majesty herself to Captain Osborn, as a testi- she had been undergoing a series of severe trials mouy of her approval of his efforts to do that to test her capabilities as a sea-boat, and also the plan justice, and of the success which, as far working of her guns and turrets in the open sea. as opportunity has been given him, has at- In both points she has been found to work adtended those efforts, The captain himself is a | mirably. Her speed is, of course, not great ;

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but she h:~ made eight knots against a heavy precision the cost of the Royal Sovereign : but sea and a sl. ing head wind ; and her extreme that of the Prince Albert is fixed at £157,303, roll, even in double-reefed topsail breeze, is an amount which would be augmented by less not more thai has been experienced in some than £10,000 if she were built as a sea-going of our finest wooden vessels of the old time. ship with somewhat increased tonnage, and While in the very roughest weather the turrets with the masts to 6t her for a long voyage, and guns have been found to work admirably; while the cost of the Warrior is given in the nor, though nearly two hundred rounds have | Parliamentary returns as having amounted been fired in every variety of weather and sea, to no less than 360,9951. The economy in has a single breeching been carried away, nor maintaining and working her is equally es(a thing which might easily have happened tablished by a comparison of the number when the heaviest guns ever yet put on board of her crew with that of the Warrior, the a ship were being worked on a wholly novel Royal Sovereign having, as has already been plan) has the most trifling hurt been sustained said, 300 men only of every class and rank ; by a single man.

while the crew of the Warrior, reckoned in The chief objects then which Captain Coles the same manner, exceeds 800; nor, leaving proposed to himself and promised to his coun- out of the question the saving of money, would trymen,-greater rapidity and accuracy in shoot it be a trifling advantage in the event of war ing ; greater, indeed complete protection to breaking out suddenly, and its becoming requithe crew ; and greater economy in the construc- site to equip a fleet in haste, to be able to tion, maintenance, and working of the ship --- man two ships completely with fewer men than appears to have been successfully attained. Tho would otherwise be required for one. attainment of the first is established by the The Royal Sovereign, as we have said, is not trials of which we have already spoken. The a sea-going ship, but Captain Coles earnestly attainment of the second, at least until it is desired to make her such, and not only be

defeated by the production of guns so large as lieves that there is nothing in his plan of 1. to crush through any armour under which a construction nor in the disposition of weight

ship can float, is proved by the details which on board such a ship calculated in the least to have been given above of the composition of render her unfit for long voyages, but he even

her sides and her turrets, to be so far perfect as maintains that his system is especially suited y to be equal in every respect to that of any for ships to fight in the open sea, since guns

ship yet launched or designed, and to be placed in the centre of the ship are less likely superior to that of any except vessels of the to be disabled by its roll in a heavy sea than Minotaur class, the only ones which carry plates guns on a broadside, where it is sometimes of the same thickness, 5-inch, those of the necessary to close the portholes,—the guns Warrior class, the Royal Oak class, and the even of the Warrior, though unusually high Achilles being all alike 4.1-inch. To even

above the water, being six inches nearer to it the strongest of these, the Minotaur, the than the guns of the Royal Sovereign. To Royal Sovereign is still superior in that most which argument, it may perhaps be added, that important point of having no port-holes, no other kind of ship gives room for availing the Minotaur, like the Warrior, having 20 on a ourselves of those improvements in artillery side, presenting collectively an opening of 260 which are now proceeding at so rapid a pace. square feet. Moreover, the crew of the Royal Whatever may be the size to which guns may Sovereign have an additional protection in the eventually be carried, none can be made so smallness of the target which their ship presents large or so heavy that, if we believe Captain

She is 240 feet long, and, as Coles, a turret ship cannot receive and work we have said before, 8 feet out of the water, them, while it is not clear that our gun makers or, including the rise in her deck, 9 feet 6 have not already produced pieces too large to inches, the whole area therefore which she be placed at the side of a ship : at all events it presents to the aim of an enemy, including is certain that even on board the Minotaur, a her four turrets, is one of 2668 square feet. ship exceeding the Royal Sovereign in size by The Warrior has a length of 380 feet, and nearly 3000 tons, it is not contemplated to place her gunwale is 22 feet out of the water, she any gun of more than 110lbs. calibre ; though therefore affords a mark of 8360 feet, while we against 5 inch plates, a ball from such a gun must add, as a source of danger to her men , the would be almost impotent. Moreover, though opening of 260 square feet of porthole. How we have as yet taken no steps to test this porundeniably the third object, cheapness in con- tion of Captain Coles's assertions, other nations struction and working, is arrived at, is proved have had sea-going ships built entirely on by the Parliamentary returns. As she is a his plan; and the complete success achieved by converted ship it is impossible to state with the Danish Rolf-krake, ir lier action with a

to the enemy.

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