Naval architecture, or naval engineering, along with automotive engineering and aerospace engineering, is an engineering discipline branch of vehicle engineering, incorporating elements of mechanical, electronic and safety engineering as applied to the engineering design process, shipbuilding and operation of marine vessels and structures. Naval architecture involves basic and applied research, development, design evaluation and calculations during all stages of the life of a marine vehicle. Preliminary design of the vessel, its detailed design, trials and maintenance, launching and dry-docking are the main activities involved. Ship design calculations are required for ships being modified. Naval architecture involves formulation of safety regulations and damage-control rules and the approval and certification of ship designs to meet statutory and non-statutory requirements; the word "vessel" includes every description of watercraft, including non-displacement craft, WIG craft and seaplanes, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.
The principal elements of naval architecture are: Hydrostatics concerns the conditions to which the vessel is subjected while at rest in water and to its ability to remain afloat. This involves computing buoyancy and other hydrostatic properties such as trim and stability. Hydrodynamics concerns the flow of water around the ship's hull and stern, over bodies such as propeller blades or rudder, or through thruster tunnels. Resistance – resistance towards motion in water caused due to flow of water around the hull. Powering calculation is done based on this. Propulsion – to move the vessel through water using propellers, water jets, sails etc. Engine types are internal combustion; some vessels are electrically powered using solar energy. Ship motions – involves motions of the vessel in seaway and its responses in waves and wind. Controllability -- involves maintaining position and direction of the vessel. While atop a liquid surface a floating body has 6 degrees of freedom in its movements, these are categorized in either rotation or translation.
Fore and aft translation is termed surge. Transverse translation is termed sway. Vertical translation is termed heave. Rotation about a transverse axis is termed pitch. Rotation about a fore and aft axis is termed roll. Rotation about a vertical axis is termed yaw. Longitudinal stability for longitudinal inclinations, the stability depends upon the distance between the center of gravity and the longitudinal meta-center. In other words, the basis in which the ship maintains its center of gravity is its distance set apart from both the aft and forward section of the ship. While a body floats on a liquid surface it still encounters the force of gravity pushing down on it. In order to stay afloat and avoid sinking there is an opposed force acting against the body known as the hydrostatic pressures; the forces acting on the body must be of the same magnitude and same line of motion in order to maintain the body at equilibrium. This description of equilibrium is only present when a floating body is in still water, when other conditions are present the magnitude of which these forces shifts drastically creating the swaying motion of the body.
The buoyancy force is equal to the weight of the body, in other words, the mass of the body is equal to the mass of the water displaced by the body. This adds an upward force to the body by the amount of surface area times the area displaced in order to create an equilibrium between the surface of the body and the surface of the water; the stability of a ship under most conditions is able to overcome any form or restriction or resistance encountered in rough seas. Structures involves selection of material of construction, structural analysis of global and local strength of the vessel, vibration of the structural components and structural responses of the vessel during motions in seaway. Depending on the type of ship, the structure and design will vary in what material to use as well as how much of it; some ships are made from glass reinforced plastics but the vast majority are steel with some aluminium in the superstructure. The complete structure of the ship is designed with panels shaped in a rectangular form consisting of steel plating supported on four edges.
Combined in a large surface area the Grillages create the hull of the ship and bulkheads while still providing mutual support of the frames. Though the structure of the ship is sturdy enough to hold itself together the main force it has to overcome is longitudinal bending creating a strain against its hull, its structure must be designed so that the material is disposed as much forward and aft as possible; the principal longitudinal elements are the deck, shell plating, inner bottom all of which are in the form of grillages, additional longitudinal stretching to these. The dimensions of the ship are in order to create enough spacing between the stiffeners in prevention of buckling. Warships have used a longitudinal system of stiffening that many modern commercial vessels have adopted; this system was used in early merchant ships such as the SS Great Eastern, but shifted to transversely framed structure another concept in ship hull design that p
The protected cruiser is a type of naval cruiser of the late 19th century, so known because its armoured deck offered protection for vital machine spaces from fragments caused by exploding shells above. Protected cruisers are similar to armoured cruisers, which had a belt of armour along the sides. From the late 1850s, navies began to replace their fleets of wooden ships-of-the-line with armoured ironclad warships. However, the frigates and sloops which performed the missions of scouting, commerce raiding and trade protection remained unarmoured. For several decades, it proved difficult to design a ship which had a meaningful amount of protective armour but at the same time was capable of the speed and range required of a'cruising warship'; the first attempts to do so, armoured cruisers like HMS Shannon, proved to be unsatisfactory being too slow for their cruiser role. During the 1870s, the increasing power of armour-piercing guns made armouring the sides of a ship more and more difficult, as thick, heavy armour plates were required.
If armour dominated the design of the ship, it was that the next generation of guns would be able to pierce it. The alternative was to leave the sides of the ship vulnerable, but to armour a deck just below the waterline. Since this deck would only be struck obliquely by shells, it could be less thick and heavy than belt armour; the ship could be designed so that the engines and magazines were under the armoured deck, with enough displacement to keep the ship afloat and stable in the event of damage. Cruisers with armoured decks and no side armour became known as protected cruisers, eclipsed the armoured cruisers in popularity in the 1880s and into the 1890s. Shannon was the first warship to incorporate an armoured deck. However, Shannon principally relied on her vertical citadel armour for protection. By the end of the 1870s ships could be found with full-length armoured decks and little or no side armour; the Italian Italia class of fast battleships had armoured decks and guns but no side armour.
The British used a full-length armoured deck in their Comus class of corvettes started in 1878. The breakthrough for the protected cruiser design came with the Chilean cruiser Esmeralda and built by the British firm Armstrong, at their Elswick yard. Esmeralda had a high speed of 18 knots, an armament of two 10in and six 6in guns, her protection scheme, inspired by the Italia class, included a full-length protected deck up to 2in thick, a cork-filled cofferdam along her sides. Esmeralda set the tone for cruiser construction for the years to come, with "Elswick cruisers" on a similar design being constructed for Italy, Japan, Argentina and the United States; the French Navy adopted the protected cruiser wholeheartedly in the 1880s. The Jeune École school of thought, which proposed a navy composed of fast cruisers for commerce raiding and torpedo-boats for coast defence, was influential in France; the first French protected cruiser was the Sfax, laid down in 1882, followed by six classes of protected cruiser – and no armoured cruisers.
The Royal Navy was equivocal about which protection scheme to use until 1887. The large Imperieuse class, begun in 1881 and finished in 1886, were built as armoured cruisers but were referred to as protected cruisers. While they carried an armoured belt some 10 in thick, the belt only covered 140 ft of the 315 ft length of the ship, the belt was submerged below the waterline at full load; the real protection of the class came from the armoured deck 4 in thick, the arrangement of coal bunkers to prevent flooding. These ships were the last armoured cruisers to be designed with sails. However, on trials it became clear that the sails did more harm than good; the masts and rigging were removed and replaced with a single military mast with machine guns. The next class of small cruisers in the Royal Navy, the Mersey class, were protected cruisers, but the Royal Navy returned to the armoured cruiser with the Orlando class, begun in 1885 and completed in 1889. However, in 1887 an assessment of the Orlando type judged them inferior to the protected cruisers and thereafter the Royal Navy only built protected cruisers for large first-class cruiser designs, returning to armoured cruisers only in the late 1890s with the Cressy class, laid down in 1898.
The sole major naval power to retain a preference for armoured cruisers during the 1880s was Russia. The Russian Navy laid down four armoured cruisers and one protected cruiser during the decade, all large ships with sails. Around 1910, armour plate began to increase in quality and steam turbine engines and more powerful than previous reciprocating engines, came into use. Existing protected cruisers became obsolete as they were slower and less well protected than new ships. Oil fired boilers were introduced, making side bunkers of coal unnecessary but losing the protection they afforded. Protected cruisers were replaced by "light armoured cruisers" with a side armoured belt and armoured decks instead of the single deck developed into heavy cruisers; the first protected cruiser of the United States Navy's "New Navy" was USS Atlanta, launched in October 1884, soon followed by USS Boston in December, USS Chicago a year later. A numbered series of cruisers began with Newark, although Charleston was the first to be launched, in July 1888, ending with another Charleston, Cruiser No.
22, launched in 1904. The last survivor of this series is
A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, can perform several roles; the term has been in use for several hundred years, has had different meanings throughout this period. During the Age of Sail, the term cruising referred to certain kinds of missions – independent scouting, commerce protection, or raiding – fulfilled by a frigate or sloop-of-war, which were the cruising warships of a fleet. In the middle of the 19th century, cruiser came to be a classification for the ships intended for cruising distant waters, commerce raiding, scouting for the battle fleet. Cruisers came in a wide variety of sizes, from the medium-sized protected cruiser to large armored cruisers that were nearly as big as a pre-dreadnought battleship. With the advent of the dreadnought battleship before World War I, the armored cruiser evolved into a vessel of similar scale known as the battlecruiser; the large battlecruisers of the World War I era that succeeded armored cruisers were now classified, along with dreadnought battleships, as capital ships.
By the early 20th century after World War I, the direct successors to protected cruisers could be placed on a consistent scale of warship size, smaller than a battleship but larger than a destroyer. In 1922, the Washington Naval Treaty placed a formal limit on these cruisers, which were defined as warships of up to 10,000 tons displacement carrying guns no larger than 8 inches in calibre; some variations on the Treaty cruiser design included the German Deutschland-class "pocket battleships" which had heavier armament at the expense of speed compared to standard heavy cruisers, the American Alaska class, a scaled-up heavy cruiser design designated as a "cruiser-killer". In the 20th century, the obsolescence of the battleship left the cruiser as the largest and most powerful surface combatant after the aircraft carrier; the role of the cruiser varied according to ship and navy including air defense and shore bombardment. During the Cold War, the Soviet Navy's cruisers had heavy anti-ship missile armament designed to sink NATO carrier task forces via saturation attack.
The U. S. Navy built guided-missile cruisers upon destroyer-style hulls designed to provide air defense while adding anti-submarine capabilities, being larger and having longer-range surface-to-air missiles than early Charles F. Adams guided-missile destroyers tasked with the short-range air defense role. By the end of the Cold War, the line between cruisers and destroyers had blurred, with the Ticonderoga-class cruiser using the hull of the Spruance-class destroyer but receiving the cruiser designation due to their enhanced mission and combat systems. Indeed, the newest U. S. and Chinese destroyers are more armed than some of the cruisers that they succeeded. Only two nations operate cruisers: the United States and Russia, in both cases the vessels are armed with guided missiles. BAP Almirante Grau was the last gun cruiser in service, serving with the Peruvian Navy until 2017; the term "cruiser" or "cruizer" was first used in the 17th century to refer to an independent warship. "Cruiser" meant the mission of a ship, rather than a category of vessel.
However, the term was nonetheless used to mean a faster warship suitable for such a role. In the 17th century, the ship of the line was too large and expensive to be dispatched on long-range missions, too strategically important to be put at risk of fouling and foundering by continual patrol duties; the Dutch navy was noted for its cruisers in the 17th century, while the Royal Navy—and French and Spanish navies—subsequently caught up in terms of their numbers and deployment. The British Cruiser and Convoy Acts were an attempt by mercantile interests in Parliament to focus the Navy on commerce defence and raiding with cruisers, rather than the more scarce and expensive ships of the line. During the 18th century the frigate became the preeminent type of cruiser. A frigate was a small, long range armed ship used for scouting, carrying dispatches, disrupting enemy trade; the other principal type of cruiser was the sloop, but many other miscellaneous types of ship were used as well. During the 19th century, navies began to use steam power for their fleets.
The 1840s sloops. By the middle of the 1850s, the British and U. S. Navies were both building steam frigates with long hulls and a heavy gun armament, for instance USS Merrimack or Mersey; the 1860s saw the introduction of the ironclad. The first ironclads were frigates, in the sense of having one gun deck. In spite of their great speed, they would have been wasted in a cruising role; the French constructed a number of smaller ironclads for overseas cruising duties, starting with the Belliqueuse, commissioned 1865. These "station ironclads" were the beginning of the development of the armored cruisers, a type of ironclad for the traditional cruiser missions of fast, independent raiding and patrol; the first true armored cruiser was the Russian General-Admiral, completed in 1874, followed by the British Shannon a few years later. Until the 1890s armored cr
Louis-Émile Bertin was a French naval engineer, one of the foremost of his time, a proponent of the "Jeune École" philosophy of using light, but powerfully armed warships instead of large battleships. Bertin was born in Nancy, France on 23 March 1840, he entered the Paris École polytechnique in 1858. At exiting the school, he chose the field of Naval Engineering, his role model was Henri Dupuy de Lôme. Bertin came to be known for his innovative designs at odds with conventional wisdom, won international recognition as a leading naval architect. In 1871, he became a doctor of laws, showing great versatility of talents. In 1885, the Japanese government persuaded the French Génie Maritime to send Bertin as a special foreign advisor to the Imperial Japanese Navy for a period of four years from 1886 to 1890. Bertin was tasked with training Japanese engineers and naval architects and constructing modern warships, naval facilities. For Bertin aged 45, it was an extraordinary opportunity to design an entire navy.
For the French government, it represented a major coup in their fight against Great Britain and Germany for influence over the newly-industrializing Empire of Japan. While in Japan, Bertin designed and constructed seven major warships and 22 torpedo boats, which formed the nucleus of the budding Imperial Japanese Navy; these included the three Matsushima class protected cruisers, which featured a single but immensely powerful 12.6 inch Canet main gun, which formed the core of the Japanese fleet during the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895. Bertin directed the construction of the naval shipyards and arsenals of Kure and Sasebo. However, Bertin's time in Japan was plagued by political intrigue. There were strong factions with the Japanese government who favored the British or Germans over the French, or who still begrudged the French for their previous strong support of the Tokugawa bakufu. Bertin's position was more than once put into jeopardy; that Japan was gambling on the yet-untested Jeune École philosophy in approving Bertin's designs was of concern.
His efforts in building up the Imperial Japanese Navy, made a decisive contribution to the Japanese victory at the Battle of the Yalu, 17 September 1894, Japanese Admiral Itō Sukeyuki, wrote to Bertin: "The ships fulfilled all our hopes. They were the formidable elements of our fleet. Émile Bertin received the Order of the Rising Sun, second class, from the Meiji Emperor at the end of 1890. During the ceremony, the Navy Minister Saigo Tsugumichi declared: "Not only did Bertin establish the plans for the construction of coastal ships and first-class cruisers, he made suggestions for the organization of the fleet, the defense of our coasts, the construction of high-caliber guns, the usage of materials such as steel or coal.. 3 coastal warships of 4,278 tons. 2 small cruisers: the Chiyoda, a small cruiser of 2,439 built in Great Britain, the Yaeyama, 1800 tons, built at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan. 1 light cruiser: the Chishima, built in France. 1 frigate, the 1600 tons Takao, built in Yokosuka.
16 torpedo boats of 54 tons each, built in France by the Companie du Creusot in 1888, assembled in Japan. Upon his return to France, Bertin was promoted to Director of the School of Naval Engineering. In 1895 he became the Director of Naval Construction with the rank of General Engineer. During his tenure as Director, the French Navy became the second navy in the world in terms of tonnage. Back in France he found himself at odds with the supporters of Admiral Hyacinthe Aube's Jeune École, he more than once criticized the designs of his fellow constructors, he was inducted in the famous Institut de France in 1903. Bertin's concept of armored, heavily-gunned cruisers was soon overtaken by the pre-dreadnoughts; the Japanese were not happy with the overall performance of the Matsushima-class vessels, after the Unebi sank en route from France to Japan in December 1886, Bertin's designs were ordered from British, rather than French shipyards. Bertin's real legacy for Japan was his creation of a series of modern shipyards, most notably Kure and Sasebo.
During World War I, those yards built twelve destroyers for France’s embattled fleet. After his death, a light cruiser of the French Navy, the Émile Bertin, was named in his honour. Émile Bertin invented the twin-oscillographer. Louis-Émile Bertin wrote several books: "Données Expérimentales sur les vagues et le roulis" "La Marine à Vapeur de Guerre et de Commerce" "Les Grandes Guerres Civiles du Japon" "Chaudières Marines, Cours de Machine à Vapeur" "État actuel de la marine de guerre" "Évolution de la puissance défensive des navires de guerre" "La marine moderne" "La marine moderne. Ancienne histoire et
Copra is the dried meat or kernel of the coconut, the fruit of the coconut palm. Coconut oil is extracted from copra, making it an important agricultural commodity for many coconut-producing countries, it yields de-fatted coconut cake after oil extraction, used as feed for livestock. Copra has traditionally been grated and ground boiled in water to extract coconut oil, it was used by Pacific island cultures and became a valuable commercial product for merchants in the South Seas and South Asia in the 1860s. This 19th-century copra trading inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's 1893 novella The Beach of Falesá, based on his experiences in Samoa. Nowadays, the process of coconut oil extraction is performed by crushing copra to produce coconut oil. Once the oil is extracted, the remaining coconut cake is 18–25% protein but contains so much dietary fiber it cannot be eaten in large quantities by humans. Instead, it is fed to ruminants; the production of copra – removing the shell, breaking it up, drying – is done where the coconut palms grow.
Copra can be made by sun drying, or kiln drying. Hybrid solar drying system is used to make drying process runs continuously, therefore it will reduce drying time. In hybrid solar drying system, solar energy is utilized during daylight and energy from burning biomass is used when sunlight is not sufficient or during night. Sun drying requires sufficient sunlight. Halved nuts are drained of water, left with the meat facing the sky. After two days the meat can be removed from the shell with ease, the drying process is complete after three to five more days. Sun drying is combined with kiln drying, eight hours of exposure to sunlight means the time spent in a kiln can be reduced by a day and the hot air the shells are exposed to in the kiln is more able to remove the remaining moisture; this process can be reversed drying the copra in the kiln and finishing the process with sunlight. There are advantages and disadvantages in both – starting with sun drying requires careful inspection to avoid contamination with mold while starting with kiln-drying can harden the meat and prevent it from drying out in the sun.
In India, small but whole coconuts can be dried over the course of eight months to a year, the meat inside removed and sold as a whole ball. Meat prepared in this fashion is sweet, oily and is cream-coloured instead of being white. Coconut meat can be dried using direct heat and smoke from a fire, using simple racks to suspend the coconut over the fire; the smoke residue can help preserve the half-dried meat but the process overall suffers from unpredictable results and the risk of fires. While there are some large plantations with integrated operations, copra remains a smallholder crop; the major producing country is the Philippines. It is a major exporter. In former years copra was collected by traders going from island to island and port to port in the Pacific Ocean but South Pacific production is now much diminished, with the exception of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Copra production begins on coconut plantations. Coconut trees are spaced 9 m apart, allowing a density of 100–160 coconut trees per hectare.
A standard tree bears around 50–80 nuts a year, average earnings in Vanuatu were US$0.20 per kg —so a farmer could earn US$120 to US$320 yearly for each planted hectare. Copra has since more than doubled in price, was last quoted at US$540 per ton in the Philippines on a CIF Rotterdam basis by the Financial Times on 9 November 2012; the largest source of copra is from the Philippines, where the value of annual production exceeds US$80 million. A large number of small farmers and tree owners produce copra, a vital part of their income. Copra is susceptible to the growth of aflatoxins if not dried properly. Aflatoxins can be toxic, are among the most potent known natural carcinogens affecting the liver. Aflatoxins in copra cake, fed to animals, can be passed on in milk or meat, leading to human illnesses. In the Philippines, copra is collected as dried "cups". At the shipping point the copra is sampled by driving a small metal tube into the bag at several points, thus perforating the cups and collecting small amounts of copra within the tubes.
Those samples are measured for aflatoxin contamination. If within standards the bag is shipped; this method leaves the risk that many cups are missed by the random sampling—and contaminated copra might be missed. Because so many small producers are involved, it is impractical to monitor all the farms and drying sites; the Philippines government continues to work on developing methods for the testing and minimisation of aflatoxins. Copra meal is used as fodder for cattle, its high oil and protein levels are fattening for stock. The protein in copra meal has been heat treated and provides a source of high-quality protein for cattle and deer, because it does not break down in the rumen. Coconut oil can be extracted using either mechanical solvents. Mechanically expelled copra meal is of higher feeding value, because it contains 8–12% oil, whereas the solvent-extracted copra meal contains only 2–4% oil. Premium quality copra meal can contain 20–22% crude protein, <20ppb afla
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
The Beiyang Fleet was one of the four modernized Chinese navies in the late Qing dynasty. Among the four, the Beiyang Fleet was sponsored by Li Hongzhang, one of the most trusted vassals of Empress Dowager Cixi and the principal patron of the "self-strengthening movement" in northern China in his capacity as the Viceroy of Zhili and the Minister of Beiyang Commerce. Due to Li's influence in the imperial court, the Beiyang Fleet garnered much greater resources than the other Chinese fleets and soon became the dominant navy in Asia before the onset of First Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895 — it was the largest fleet in Asia and the 8th in the world during the late 1880s in terms of tonnage; the creation of the Beiyang Fleet dated back to 1871, when four ships from the southern provinces were shifted north to patrol the northern waters. The Beiyang fleet was considered to be the weakest of the four Chinese regional navies; this soon changed. In 1884, on the eve of the Sino-French War, the Beiyang Fleet was the second-largest regional navy but was closing the gap with the Nanyang Fleet, based at Shanghai.
By 1890, it was the largest of China's four regional navies. Unlike the other Chinese fleets, the Beiyang Fleet consisted of battleships imported from Germany and Britain; when the flagships Dingyuan and Zhenyuan were purchased from Germany, the superiority in strength of the Beiyang Fleet became evident, as Germany was the emerging world power, rivalling Britain in new naval construction. The Qing Chinese navy at its peak consisted with a total tonnage of 83,900 tons. However, construction of new ships completely stopped in 1888 due to high expenditures in other fields by the Qing dynasty. Grand Tutor Weng Tonghe, advised the Guangxu Emperor to cut all funding to the navy and army, because he did not see Japan as a true threat, there were several natural disasters during the early 1890s which the emperor thought to be more pressing to expend funds on. Due to missing expenditures, the training of the fleet and personnel ran to a standstill, which contributed to its defeat in the Battle of the Yalu River against Japan.
The British naval officer Captain William Lang was recruited by Hart and Li Hongzhi in 1882 to advise the Chinese in naval matters. The Beiyang Fleet took good care to stay out of range of Admiral Amédée Courbet's Far East Squadron during the Sino-French War, it featured prominently in the calculations of the French government between 1883 and 1885. The Beiyang Fleet was due to take delivery in early 1884 of Dingyuan and Zhenyuan, three modern warships building in German shipyards. In December 1883, as war with China seemed likely, the French persuaded the German government to delay the release of these three ships, they did not reach China after the end of the Sino-French War. In late June 1884, when the news of the Bắc Lệ ambush broke, the French admiral Sébastien Lespès, commander of the Far East naval division, was cruising off Che-foo in the Gulf of Petchili with the French warships La Galissonnière, Triomphante and Lutin, while the Beiyang Fleet lay at anchor in Che-foo harbour. Although war was imminent and China remained technically at peace, Lespès was forbidden to attack the Beiyang Fleet pending the outcome of diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis.
On 3 July 1884 the Beiyang Fleet's commander, Admiral Ding Ruchang, withdrew his ships from Che-foo to Pei-ho, where a strong bar across the harbour protected them from the French ships. The fleet remained at Pei-ho in complete idleness throughout the Sino-French War. In February 1885 the Beiyang Fleet reluctantly released two of its ships and Yangwei, to join a sortie launched by a number of ships of the Nanyang Fleet to break the French blockade of Formosa; the two ships set sail for Shanghai to join the Nanyang vessels, but were immediately recalled by Li Hongzhang, who claimed that they were needed to watch the Japanese in Korea. The result was the loss of two Chinese warships from the Nanyang Fleet at the Battle of Shipu. Li's selfish attitude was neither forgotten nor forgiven, in the First Sino-Japanese War the Nanyang Fleet made little attempt to help the Beiyang Fleet. In 1894, on the eve of the war with Japan, the Beiyang Fleet was in theory the most powerful fleet in Asia, it was only one of China's four regional fleets.
The pride of the Beiyang Fleet were the German-built steel turret battleships Dingyuan 定遠 and Zhenyuan 鎮遠. Between 1881 and 1889 the Beiyang Fleet acquired a squadron of eight protected or armoured cruisers, most of which were built in either Britain or Germany; the cruisers Chaoyong 超勇 and Yangwei 揚威, which joined the fleet in 1881 and were prudently kept far from the scene of action during the Sino-French War by Li Hongzhang, were products of Laird's yard, Birkenhead. Three German-built cruisers, Jiyuan and Laiyuan 來遠, were completed in 1887 in the Vulcan yard at Stettin. Another pair of protected cruisers, Chingyuan 靖遠 and Zhiyuan 致遠, were built by Armstrong Whitworth in 1887 at its new Elswick yard; the latter pair were a class loosely known as the "Elswick Cruisers", ships built for export under a simil