1865-12-26 RUSSIAN ARMOUR-PLATED VESSELS

London Times, 26 December 1865, p. 10: RUSSIAN ARMOUR-PLATED VESSELS.

            Some time ago it was mentioned in The Times that Messrs. Charles Mitchell and Co., of Newcastle-on-Tyne, were building at their yard in St. Petersburg several armour-plated vessels for the Russian Government. The following are the dimensions of the principal ships in course of construction. The largest is the Pojarski, an armour-plated vessel about 280ft. long, 49ft. beam, and about 31ft. deep. The armour-plating is 4½in. thick, and extends the entire length of the vessel from the depth of 5ft. below, and 6ft. above the line of flotation. This armour is laid on a backing of East India teak 18in. thick. The Pojarski's armament is placed in a central battery occupying about 80ft. on the length of the gun deck, both sides and ends being completely armour-clad. The armament will consist of eight 300-pounder steel guns, four on each broadside. The iron hull is of great strength, being constructed on the cellular tubular principle. The entire bottom of the vessel is built with double iron skin for the purpose of giving great additional safety as well as strength. The Pojarski will be propelled by engines of 700-horse power, which are being constructed with all the modern improvements for economy of fuel. Messrs. Mitchell are also building for the Russian Government two armour-plated turret-ships on Captain Coles' system. These vessels are of 1,500 tons and 250 horse-power. Each will be armed with two revolving turrets carrying a pair of 300-pounder guns. Each vessel is thus enabled to deliver a broadside 1,200lb. Their defensive powers are also great, as their sides from stem to stern are covered with armour 4½in. thick on a teak backing 18in. thick. The entire deck is also covered with iron plating 1in. thick. The turrets are covered with 5½in. armour on 24in. thickness of teak. It will thus be seen that although of only 1,500 tons, and drawing but 10½ft. water in fighting trim, the offensive and defensive powers of these turret ships are equal to those of a great majority of the largest armour-clad vessels hitherto built by any country. The general arrangements of hull and machinery will be similar to the turret-ship Smertch, designed and built by Messrs. Mitchell for the Russian Government. It is a somewhat remarkable fact that not only are the hulls of Messrs. Mitchell's vessels built in Russia, but the entire quantity of iron used is also made there; the steam-engines and boilers, the armour-plating, and the armament are also wholly of Russian manufacture. 

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin

 

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