Remarkable Armament and
Power of the American Dread
noughts, Delaware and North
Dakota, Greatest Battleships
In the Navy.
By JAMES A. EDGERTON.
AMERICA now has the biggest bat
tleships in commission. The
J~\ recent government tests and ac
ceptance of the Delaware and
North Dakota place us in the van.
England and Japan have launched one
or two bigger ships, and they are now
being completed, but it will be gome
months before they are ready. Ger
many has also projected some giants
of greater tonnage, but they will not
foe in commission till a still later date.
.Temporarily the United States is the
'Dreadnoughtiest naval power on the
planet. Not only so, but she promises
to hold the place. About the time the
other nations pass us with their big
ger vessels our Utah and Florida will
be ready, and they have each a greater
displacement by 1,500 tons than the
Delaware and North Dakota. If the
other ambitious powers try to get
ahead of that pair of sea monsters
iXJncle Sam has still two cards to play,
for the Wyoming and Arkansas are
ibeing planned, and they will have a
displacement of 26,000 tons, or 4,500
more than the Utah and Florida. -It
may be remarked also that they are
considerably larger than the battle
ships projected by any nation so far
as known. When it comes to Dread
noughts or super-Dreadnoughts or
super-super-Dreadnoughts your Uncle
Samuel is stepping along at the head
of the procession. It costs money, each
one of the new naval Jumbos eating
,tip something like eight or ten million
dollars for building and a million a
year for maintenance, but the peace
of the world must be preserved at
any price. As a peace producer a
Dreadnought is figured to be better
than a Hague congress.
THE FIRST AMERICAN DREADNOUGHTS.
A Chapter of Paradoxes.
Taken by and large, the naval game
Is now about the funniest thing in the
.world. It is fuller of paradoxes than
a frog pond is of tadpoles. For one
thing, it consists of building fighting
ships that no shell can pierce and of
inventing shells that no fighting ship
jgan withstand. It is a race in planning
bigger and more improved naval "ves
sels that are outclassed and ready to
foe consigned to the junk heap by the
time they are completed. It creates
engines of war whose professed object
is to prevent war. It produces the
most expensive and elaborate weapons
'of destruction in the history of the
world that ordinarily are used for
'nothing more destructive than shoot
ing at a mark or conveying their offi
cers to pink teas. It is both a menace
and a promisea menace of a holocaust
that will involve all nations and will
be the most terrible ever known and,
on the other hand, a promise of se
curity that reassures the timid and
makes many believe that the thousand
years of peace have already begun. It
is so packed with potential harm as to
4 thought harmless, so fraught with
the possibilities of death that it is con
sidered a safeguard of life, so terrible
that it amuses the world.
This humorous view of the case,
however, is at best superficial. The
xace toward naval supremacy brings
out a high type of human ingenuity,
energy and progress. It throws into
circulation vast sums of money that
are chiefly paid to labor. It trains
armies of workmen and other armies
of marine soldiers and seamen into a
(high grade of efficiency and order. It
makes the nations more diplomatic,
cautious and courteous. It suppresses
lawlessness on the seas and prevents
international squabbles over petty
questions. The world's navies are the
..world's policemen. They are better
rtban standing armies, for they are con
fined to the water and do not overawe
and oppress the people at home. If
they are a menace it is only to out?
The present frenzy of battle
Still Larger Vessels of Enor
mous Displacement and a
Greater Number of Guns
Have Been Planned-To Be
Run by Turbines.
building is doubtless the result of Eng
land's policy of maintaining a navy as
strong as that of any other two na
tions. The Dreadnought type certain
ly comes from England, although
America, as in so many other things,
is now beating her at her own game.
The British ship of that name was
completed in 1906 and started a new
era in,naval construction.. Since then
she has put on the seas six more of
the same type and of even greater ton
nage and armament, has launched an
eighth larger than any of them and is
building four more, making twelve in
all. Other nations are following the
pace. France already has six battle
ships of slightly greater displacement
than the Dreadnought, but not mount
ing so many big guns. Germany has
four of equal tonnage and almost equal
armament and is building six more
greater still. Italy is constructing two
ships of the Dreadnought class and
has provided for two more. Japan has
two and is building four additional
ones, some of them almost completed.
Russia has two ships that are but
slightly, inferior to the original Dread
nought in displacement and armament
and is building four more of greater
tonnage and equal armament. Amer
ca has eight vessels of the Dread
nought class that are either completed
or are under way, two of which, the
Michigan and South Carolina, are
slightly inferior in tonnage and arma
ment to the English Dreadnought and
the other six already named all, sur
passing that vessel. This is the world's
complement of battleships of the lar-
gest class and takes no account of the
smaller battleships, armored cruisers,
some of which are also of gigantic
size, and the hundreds of war vessels
of lesser types belonging to these and
other nations. For a world of peace
we certainly are well armed. If all
this is necessary to prevent war, what
would we do if we actually expected
war? It is like a man going about
bristling with guns and knives merely
to announce the fact that he does not
want to fight.
The original British Dreadnought,
after which all the others of that class
are to some extent modeled, is a vessel
of 17,900 tons displacement, length 490
feet, width 82 feet, draft 26 feet 6
inches, maximum speed 22.4 knots,
armament ten twelve-inch guns, twen
ty-seven quick firing twelve pounders
and five submerged torpedo tubes.
Our Dreadnoughts Larger.
Compared to this the American
Dreadnoughts show up very favorably,
all of them excelling it in size with the
exception of the Michigan and South
Carolina. These two vessels went into
commission in 1908. They are 16,000
tons displacement, 18.5 knots speed,
450 feet length, 80 feet 3 inches beam
and 24 feet 6 inches draft. Their arma
ment consists of eight ten-inch guns,
twenty-two quick firing three inch
guns, two quick firing three pounders,
eight quick firing one pounders and
two torpedo tubes. The Michigan and
South Carolina are not always classed
as Dreadnoughts, but the arrangement
of their guns and other points of con
struction fix them with this type.' Sev
eral of our older battleships are larger,
however, the Connecticut and Louisi
ana each having 17,600 tons displace
ment and the New Hampshire, Kan
sas, Minnesota and Vermont 17,650
tons. Each of these six vessels has
four twelve-inch guns, with a host of
smaller pieces. They were designed,
however, before the advent of the
The Delaware and North Dakota, the
two vessels that have just been tested
by the government, begin the real
Dreadnought era, or, rather, super
Dreadnought era, in the American
navy. English experts have pro
nounced the North Dakota the most
up to date battleship afloat. After her
launching and before her completion
she was severely criticised by Amer
ican naval experts, but that is the busi
ness of experts. President Roosevelt
paid enough heed to the strictures to
call a naval court to pass on the points
of the new battleship, and in several
particulars an adverse finding was
made. It was then too late to change
the North Dakota and Delaware, but
modifications were made in the de
signs of subsequent vessels. Despite
minor defects, however, these two are
certainly the greatest fighting ships in
the American navy, if not in the world.
They are of 20,000 tons displacement
or 22,000 at full load, and the speed is
21 knots, which was bettered by both
ships in actual tests, the North Dako
ta making 22.25 knots an hour length,
518 feet 9 inches over all beam. 85
feet 3 inches draft. 27 feet armor. 8
feet wide and 11 inches thick engines
on the North Dakota on the turbine
system, a novelty in battleship con
struction armament, ten twelve-inch
guns, arranged to be fired in one broad
side on either side the ship, a superi
ority over the British Dreadnought
fourteen quick firing five inch guns
four quick firing three pounders four
semi-automatic one pounders two
three-inch field guns two one-half inch
machine guns two twenty-one-inch
submerged torpedo tubes.
Will Scare the Man In the Moon.
To a layman that would seem enough
artillery to sink a fleet, tear down a
city, wipe out an army or make the
man in the moon jump sideways. For
example, each of the twelve inch guns
throws a ball weighing 750 pounds a
distance of twenty miles and is capa
ble of being shot twice per minute.
As for the smaller artillery, the five
inch guns would have been considered
giants a few years ago.
The Delaware and North Dakota are
different in appearance from any other
battleships in the American fleet. They
have high decks in front, enabling
them to be fired when the vessel is at
rapid speed or in a storm. Each has
two skeleton masts made up of a
framework of rods and cables such as
have already been installed on a few
of the larger ships. It is almost im
possible to bring these masts down,
as they can be shot through and
through and still stand firm.
Of the American Dreadnoughts yet
to be completed the Florida and Utah
are still larger than the Delaware and
North Dakota. The displacement of
each of these vessels will be 21,500
tons. The keels of both were laid
early this year, the Florida at the
New York navy yard, the Utah at the
works of the New York Shipbuilding
company. The length of these two
vessels will be about the same as the
Delaware and North Dakota, but with
three feet greater width and one and
a half feet more draft. There will be
the same number of twelve inch guns,
With two more five inch and several
more smaller pieces. There are also
improvements in the way of armor
and other points criticised by the
board of experts on the North Dakbta.
Both the new vessels will be run by
turbines. The Florida and Utah will
be completed no later than 1911.
The Two Biggest of All.
It would be supposed that with these
two marine monsters the limit in bat
tleship construction had been reached.
But still another pair authorized in
1909 and just contracted for will dwarf
all the rest. They will have the enor
mous displacement of 26,000 tons,
which is at least 4,000 tons heavier
than is known to be contemplated by
any navy on earth. Their armament
will also be greater, each carrying
twelve twelve-inch guns, all arranged
on a center line, to be fired at one
broadside. Their length is to be 554
feet, which is greater than the height
of the Washington monument beam
93 feet 3 inches, draft 28 feet 6 inches,
or more than thirty feet greater length
and eight feet greater width than the
giant North Dakota and Delaware, now
being commissioned. As the keels of
these vessels have not yet been laid,
it is hardly probable that they will be
completed before 1912 or 1913. They
are to be named the Arkansas and the
Wyoming and are being built by the
New York Shipbuilding company and
by Cramp & Sons respectively.
With the construction of the Flor
ida, Utah, Arkansas and Wyoming.
Uncle Sam will have eight Dread
noughts, fourteen battleships of more
than 16,000 tons displacement and thir
ty-four battleships in all. This takes
no account of the armored cruisers,
many of them almost as heavy, or of
the numberless types of other fighting
vessels. The millions of first cost in
the construction of these ships is but
a small part of the expense. For ex
ample, it is estimated that one broad
side from the Utah, including both
twelve inch and five inch guns, which
can all be fired simultaneously, will
cost $18,400, enough money to buy 365,-
000 loaves of bread, to pay for one
year the wages of twenty-six school
teachers or to meet the average yearly
rent of sixty-eight families. Verily the
race in naval construction started by
Great Britain is liable to exact a price
that will stagger humanity.
Moving Pictures In the Light.
An inventor of moving picture appli
ances and machinery has devised a
new screen which gets rid of the an
noyance of darkness in the room.
With his patent screen, a large mirror
with a chemically frosted surface, pic
tures are as plain in the light as in
darkness, thus doing away with the
danger of panic in the dark.
Bug Scientists Wanted.
Bug scientists, especially those with
diplomas from American colleges, are
wanted in the government service as a
result of a new field of research open
ed in the Philippines under the direc
tion of this government's sanitary ex
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