The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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Three powerful armour-clad vessels of war
are now building or fitting at Chatham. Of the
vessels under construction, the large ironclad
ship Sultan, of 5,226 tons, and 1,200 nominal
horse-power, is the most forward. The Sultan
is the same type of vessel as the Hercules, but,
in many respects, the Sultan will be as superior to
the Hercules as the latter was to the whole of the
armour-plated vessels which preceded her. The
Sultan will carry a commanding armour-plated
battery on the upper deck, in addition to the
midship protected battery on her main-deck.
Mr. Reed, the Chief Constructor of the Navy, her
designer, has been led to adopt the new principle
of placing a powerful battery on her upper fighting
deck from the advantages which follow the placing
of a few heavy guns with long ranges on the upper
deck of ships of this class, which the recent trials
of the ships of our ironclad squadron in the
Atlantic in rough weather have conclusively proved.
 
The Hercules carries in her central battery on the
main deck eight 18-ton guns, in addition to which
she has on the same deck two 12 ½ ton guns
protected by armour, one at the bow and the other
at the stern. On her upper deck she mounts four
6 ½ ton guns, two at the bow and two at the stern.
The Sultan will carry the same armament in her
main deck central battery and at the bows as the
Hercules; but while the latter carries at the stern
on 12 ½ ton gun, protected, on the main deck,
and two 6 ½ ton guns on the upper deck, the
Sultan will carry two 12 ½ ton guns in a central
batter central battery on the upper with a number
of smaller guns, or howitzers, on the same deck.
The Sultan’s upper deck battery will project
slightly beyond the sides, and will be plated with
6-inch armour plating in the wake of the guns,
and with 5-inch plating in the other parts. Each
of the battery guns will have a clear range of
147 degrees, for 53 degrees before the beam to
a cross-fire at the stern. The substitution of a
commanding battery on the upper deck, armed
with guns of the heaviest caliber, for the ordinary
deck guns of the Hercules will undoubtedly give
the Sultan a greater offensive power than is now
possessed by any other ironclad. The Sultan is
enabled to carry her heavy upper deck battery by
not having the weight of armour to protect the
stern guns, as in the Hercules, by being
immersed six inches deeper, and by the armour
belt being reduced in breadth to that amount.
 
The Sultan is enabled to carry her heavy
upper deck battery by not having the
weight of armour to protect the stern
guns, as in the Hercules, by being im-
mersed six inches deeper, and by the
armour belt being reduced in breadth
to that amount. The central batteries
on the main deck of the two ships differ
only in the Sultan not being fitted with
embrasured ports at the after end, which
the upper deck battery renders unnecessary,
while the after bulkhead of her battery is
moved a trifle further forward. In structural
appearance the Sultan will differ somewhat
from the other ironclad ships, because, in
order that the guns in the upper deck battery
may concentrate their fire on an enemy’s ship
directly astern, the tumble-home of her top-
sides abaft the battery is more abrupt than
in the Hercules. Various other minor alter-
ations appear in the Sultan, all of which
have for their object the giving of increased
offensive power to the vessel. Already the
Sultan has three tiers of armour-plates
bolted to her midship port and starboard
side—namely, one tier of nine-inch plates
and two of six inches in thickness. The
remainder of the plating will be six inches
in thickness, with the exception of one tier
of plates of eight inches to protect her battery
guns. From the progress already made in her
construction there is little doubt that the
Sultan will be completed and ready for un-
docking by an early day in the ensuing
year. – Pall Mall Gazette.
 
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