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The Modern Warship.

In his remarks at Sydney upon the fleet now being constructed specially for the Australian station, Admiral Fairfax lately described them aB likely to be a considerable improvement upon the class of ships hitherto stationed in these waters. Of improvements made in men-of-war it may be said they have quite equalled those made in the mercantile marine. Great changes in shape, size, and fighting power have taken place since the days of the old Victory, when in 1805 she was considered one of the most formidable vessels in the allvictorious British navy. The Viotory's guns, then the best afloat, were the merest toys in weight and power of penetration. At tho battle of Trafalgar tho heaviest of her 104 guns was only able to throw a 321b shot, the wholo of her cannon together weighed but 224 tons, and at a double broadside she could only throw projectiles weighing in the aggregate 2.2881b. Contrast that with tho Anson in 1883, one of the four representatives of the Admiral class of battle Bhips. The Anson is armed with four 67-ton guns, each of which requires 5201b of powder to hurl its 1,2501b weight of Bhot or shell. She also carrios six 5-ton guns and nineteen quick-firing and machine guns. Without including the storm of shot and shell which these latter implements of destruction can rain upon a foe, the Anson's double broadside means a weight of no less than 5,6001b, or more than double that which the Victory's 104 guns could pour forth when sho led the van at Trafalgar. But even the Anson does not carry the biggest guns in the navy. There is the Trafalgar, with her cannon each weighing 111 tons. Then Nelson won his victories with guns which could at best throw their 321b round shot for 2,oooyds ; but tho ships of today will hurl masses of iron I,Boolb in weight 25,000yd5, or nautical miles. The improvements are surely pretty considerable in naval architecture, and the man-of-war of the period may well be said to have lost all claim to beauty, and to be but a combination of brute strength and mechanical science.

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Bibliographic details

The Modern Warship., Evening Star, Issue 8041, 18 October 1889

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The Modern Warship. Evening Star, Issue 8041, 18 October 1889