Today in AFJ History

September 8, 2013  

1899: Britain’s new battleship

HMS Vengeance: "Underway in harbor, prior to the adoption of the overall gray warship color scheme by the Royal Navy in about 1904." (U.S. Naval Historical Center)

HMS Vengeance: “Underway in harbor, prior to the adoption of the overall gray warship color scheme by the Royal Navy in about 1904.” (U.S. Naval Historical Center)

From the archive: September 2, 1899

Britain’s New Battleship

The new British battleship Vengeance, which was launched July 25, is of the first-class and though not so large as the largest battleships, has a displacement of 12,950 tons. The launch was very successful. As the Vengeance went down the ways she weighed 8,000 tons. She had four check anchors on each side, hung by chains from single eyes carried on plates riveted to her sides. These anchors successfully checked her progress, and she was speedily taken in hand by tugs.

Vengeance goes down the Vickers ways at Barrow-in-Furness on July 25, 1899. (Municipal Archives of Trondheim)

Vengeance goes down the Vickers ways at Barrow-in-Furness on July 25, 1899. (Municipal Archives of Trondheim)

The builders claim that the Vengeance will be the first battleship to have been constructed throughout by one single firm, for the company will have built the hull and supplied armor plate, engines, boilers and armament. Her armor consists of a belt of nickel steel cemented plate 6 inches thick. This extends for 196 feet of her length amidships, and it has a vertical depth of 14 feet, of which 9 feet is above and 5 feet below water line. The ends of the port and starboard sides of the belt are connected together by nickel steel plates varying in thickness from 12 inches to 8 inches. There is a protective deck of 2-inch wire guns, weighing 46 tons each, mounted in pairs and carried in circular barbettes 37 feet in diameter. The upper portions of the barbettes will have 12-inch armor, and those lower down 6-inch armor. The angle of fire for the main deck casemates is 120 degrees, and the forward and aft guns will be able to fire right ahead, and right astern, respectively. There will be eight of these casemates on the main deck, and four on the upper deck. There are to be four submerged torpedo tubes to take 18-inch torpedoes. The 12-inch guns can be loaded in any position of training or elevation, and can fire one shot each per minute.

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