A WONDERFUL MAN-OF-WAR.
The torpedo ram Polyphemus, now being constructed in Chatham Dockyard, appears likely to be the most extraordinary ship that has yet been built. She is novel and peculiar alike in form, structure, fittings, and arrangement of armour protection, while her weapons of attack are such as will, necessitate her being fought differently from any other war-ship. Her design was described by the late Mr Ward Hunt, in the House of Commons on the 12th of March, 1877, as being “of a kind as yet unknown in any part of the world, but which has been much talked about, and has been at last forced upon me by the gallant officer who stands at the head of the veteran list of the navy—viz., Sir Georger Sartorious, who has shown that although his age is great, his mind is still youthful, and that he is willing to receive new ideas, and able to inculcate them.” The leading features of the Polyphemus are a strong ram bow, a powerful torpedo battery, oreat speed and handiness, moderate size, and a small extent of surface above water exposed to the enemy’s tire, such portion of the vessel as is above the water-line being convex in form, so as to deflect any projectile that may strike it. The appearance she will present when at sea will be that of a cylinder, floating on its side, and deeply immersed, which is tapered at the ends to form a bow and stern. The topi of the cylinder will be 4 feet 6 inches above the water-line, and will be flattened over a large portion of its area to form a deck. The whole of this flattened cylindrical surface will be plated over with steel armour, and will cover in and protect the ship and all her machinery and fighting appliances. The ship proper as she will thus appear will be surmounted by a light sti ucture, carrying a hurricane deck of about two-thirds her length, and upon this deck will be seen a signal mast, funnel, pilot tower, boats, and other fittings. Under water the form of the Polyphemus is as as it will appear above. ’l l e cylindrical curvature of tlm sides is air ed down several feet below the water-line, and armour-plated to that depth. Below this point the section assumes a Y form, and
cuds in a sharp angle at the kc iel. It will therefore be seen that a col iplete cross section of the vessel is very similar to that of a peg-top. The llattc ned convex curvature of the upper part would represent the part of the Polyph Jmus that is above water, ami the lowi ir portion, which ends in a point, would also represent the part of the ship tl lat is below water. If the peg-top be i tnagined to float in water at a depth beloi V where its breadth is greatest, and ■ vhere the section thus begins to curve t owards the centre line, a rough idea may be obtained both of the form and proport; ons of the above and under water pa rts of the Polyphemus. The Polyphe nus is 240 feet long between perpendicul irs, 40 feet in extreme breadth, and will 1 lave a load draught of 20 feet. Her d isplacement will be 2640 tons. The conve x armoured deck will be 4 feet 0 inches above the water-line, and will be completely plated over with steel armour 3 in. dies thick. This armour will be carried to a depth of 6 feet to 7 feet below the water lino. The Polyphemus will not be fitted with masts or sails, but Will cany a pi >le for signalling purposes, and for i aaking observations from. She will b' ) propelled by twin screws, and will have two pairs of high-pressure compound horizontal engines, which are being cons tructed by Messrs Humphreys and Tt nnant, of Deptford. Each high-pressu. :e cylinder will be 38 inches in diametei and the low pressure 64 inches. The . stroke will be 45 inches. The boilers will be of the locomotive type, 12 in nu nbor, and will be made of steel. They will work up to a pressure of 1101 fis ' per square inch. It is estimated that, t: le engines will indicate a collective powc r of 5500 horses, and that the speed of th e ship will be 17 knots. The only oftensh 'e weapons the Polyphemus will posse as are a powerful ram bow and Whitehead torpedoes. She will have m 0 guns at all, except a few light shell guns and Gatlings on the hurricane dec :k for the purpose of repelling boat o; r torpedo attacks.—“ Times.”
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