5"/38 caliber gun
The Mark 12 5"/38 caliber gun was a United States naval gun. The gun was installed into Single Purpose and Dual Purpose mounts used by the US Navy. On these 5" mounts, Single Purpose means that the mount is limited to 35° elevation with no provision for AA shell fuze setters, is designed to fire at surface targets only. Dual Purpose means that it is designed to be effective against both surface and aircraft targets because it can elevate to 85° and has on mount AA shell fuze setters; the 38 caliber barrel was a mid-length compromise between the previous United States standard 5"/51 low-angle gun and 5"/25 anti-aircraft gun. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 5 inches in diameter, the barrel was 38 calibers long, making the 5"/38 dual purpose midway in barrel length between the 5"/51 surface-to-surface and the 5"/25 anti-aircraft guns; the increased barrel length provided improved performance in both anti-aircraft and anti-surface roles compared to the 5"/25 gun.
However, except for the barrel length and the use of semi-fixed ammunition, the 5"/38 gun was derived from the 5"/25 gun. Both weapons had power ramming; the 5"/38 entered service on USS Farragut, commissioned in 1934. The base ring mount, which improved the effective rate of fire, entered service on USS Gridley, commissioned in 1937. Among naval historians, the 5"/38 gun is considered the best intermediate-caliber, dual purpose naval gun of World War II as it was under the control of the advanced Mark 37 Gun Fire Control System which provided accurate and timely firing against surface and air targets; this advanced system required nearly 1000 rounds of ammunition expenditure per aircraft kill. However, the planes were killed by shell fragments and not direct hits; this would result in large walls of shell fragments being put up to take out one or several planes or in anticipation of an unseen plane, this being justifiable as one plane was capable of significant destruction. The comparatively high rate of fire for a gun of its caliber earned it an enviable reputation as an anti-aircraft weapon, in which role it was employed by United States Navy vessels.
Base ring mounts. On pedestal and other mounts lacking integral hoists, 12 to 15 rounds per minute was the rate of fire. Useful life expectancy was 4600 effective full charges per barrel; the 5"/38 cal gun was mounted on a large number of US Navy ships in the World War II era. It was backfitted to many of the World War I-era battleships during their wartime refits replacing 5"/25 guns that were fitted in the 1930s, it has left active US Navy service, but it is still on mothballed ships of the United States Navy reserve fleets. It is used by a number of nations who bought or were given US Navy surplus ships. Millions of rounds of ammunition were produced for these guns, with over 720,000 rounds still remaining in Navy storage depots in the mid-1980s because of the large number of Reserve Fleet ships with 5"/38 cal guns on board; each mount carries one or two Mk 12 5"/38cal Gun Assemblies. The gun assembly shown is used in single mounts, it is the right gun in twin mounts, it is loaded from the left side.
The left gun in twin mounts is the mirror image of the right gun, it is loaded from the right side. The Mk12 gun assembly weighs 3,990 lb; the Mark 12 Gun Assembly was introduced in 1934, where it was first used in single pedestal mounts on the Farragut-class destroyers, but by the time of World War II they had been installed in single and twin mounts on nearly every major warship and auxiliary in the US fleet. The major Mk12 Gun Assembly characteristics are::158 Semi-automatic During recoil, some of the recoil energy is stored in the counter-recoil system; that stored. The firing pin is cocked, the breech is opened, the spent propellant case is ejected, the bore is cleared of debris with an air blast. Hand loaded a powder-man are stationed at each gun assembly, their job is to move the round, consisting of a projectile and a propellant case, from the hoists to the rammer tray projecting from the gun's breech, start the ram cycle. Power rammed This gun used a 7.5 hp electric-hydraulic power rammer, designed to ram a 93 lb, 47.5 in long round into the chamber at any gun elevation in less than one second.:172 The rammer's control box, hydraulic fluid tank and AC motor are bolted to the top of the slide.
The hydraulically driven rammer spade, called the power spade in that picture, is at the back of the rammer tray. If the multiple names of the "spade" are confusing, look at this footnote. Vertical sliding-wedge breech block, it contains the firing pin assembly. Hydraulic recoil Two hydraulic pistons in the housing absorb the major shock of recoil as the housing moves back inside the slide, they buffer the end of counter-recoil for a soft return to battery. Pneumatic counter-recoil At the end of recoil, the counter-recoil system moves the housing forward again until it is back "in battery," and holds it there at any gun elevation. A chamber in the housing is filled with compressed air. At the rear of this chamber is a 3.5 in cylindrical hole with a c
A torpedo bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ships with aerial torpedoes. Torpedo bombers came into existence just before the First World War as soon as aircraft were built that were capable of carrying the weight of a torpedo, remained an important aircraft type until they were rendered obsolete by anti-ship missiles, they were an important element in many famous Second World War battles, notably the British attack at Taranto and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Torpedo bombers first appeared prior to the First World War, they carried torpedoes designed for air launch, which were smaller and lighter than those used by submarines and surface warships. Nonetheless, as an airborne torpedo could weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, more than twice the bomb load of contemporary single-engined bombers, the aircraft carrying it needed to be specially designed for the purpose. Many early torpedo bombers were floatplanes, such as the Short 184, the undercarriage had to be redesigned so that the torpedo could be dropped from the aircraft's centerline.
While many torpedo bombers were single-engine aircraft, some multi-engined aircraft have been used as torpedo bombers, with the Mitsubishi G3M Nell and Mitsubishi G4M Betty being used in the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse. Other twin-engine or three-engined aircraft designed or used as torpedo bombers include the Mitsubishi Ki-67, the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 "Sparviero", the CANT Z.1007, the Bristol Beaufort and Bristol Beaufighter, the Junkers Ju 88, the Heinkel He 111, the B-25 Mitchell and many others. Some postwar jet aircraft were adapted as torpedo bombers in the late 1950s; the last known torpedo bomber attack was made by US Navy Skyraiders against the Hwacheon Dam during the Korean War. The North Korean Air Force retired the world's last operational torpedo bombers in the 1980s. In a parallel development, many maritime strike aircraft and helicopters have been capable of launching guided torpedoes. Many naval staffs began to appreciate the possibility of using aircraft to launch torpedoes against moored ships in the period before the First World War.
Captain Alessandro Guidoni, an Italian naval captain, experimented with dropping weights from Farman MF.7 in 1912. Which led to Raúl Pateras Pescara and Guidoni developing a purpose-built torpedo bomber from which a 375 lb dummy torpedo was dropped in February 1914 but they abandoned their work shortly afterwards when the aircraft's performance proved inadequate. Admiral Bradley A. Fiske of the United States Navy took out a patent in 1912 for a torpedo carrying aircraft entitled "Method of and apparatus for delivering submarine torpedoes from airships." He suggested. Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty from October 1911 to May 1915, was a strong proponent of naval air power, he established the Royal Naval Air Service in April 1912 and took flying lessons to foster aviation development. Churchill ordered the RNAS to torpedo bombers for the Fleet; the British Admiralty ordered the Short Admiralty Type 81 biplane floatplane as a reconnaissance aircraft. It first flew in July 1913 and was loaded aboard the cruiser HMS Hermes, converted to become the Royal Navy's first seaplane tender.
When the rival Sopwith Special, designed from the outset as a torpedo bomber, failed to lift its payload off the water, Shorts converted the Type 81 to carry torpedoes in July 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War. On 28 July 1914, Arthur Longmore dropped the first aerial torpedo, a 14-inch 810 lb torpedo, from a Type 81 at the Royal Naval Air Station Calshot; the support wires of the floats were moved to allow the torpedo to be carried above the water and a specially designed quick-release mechanism was used. The first plane designed from the outset as a torpedo bomber was the five-seat floatplane biplane AD Seaplane Type 1000 or AD1. However, it proved to be a failure; when the prototype built by J. Samuel White from the Isle of Wight first flew in June 1916, it was found to be too heavy and its float struts too weak for operations. Remaining orders were cancelled. On 12 August 1915, a Royal Naval Air Service Short 184 floatplane torpedo bomber sank a Turkish merchantman in the Sea of Marmara.
It was operating from a seaplane carrier converted from a ferry. Fitted with an aircraft hangar, Ben-my-Chree was used to carry up to six biplanes with their wings folded back to reduce carrying space; this was the first ship sunk by air-launched torpedo. Five days another ship supplying Turkish forces in the Gallipoli campaign against British and New Zealand troops was sunk. Production of the Short 184 continued until after the Armistice of 11 November 1918, with a total of 936 built by several manufacturers, it served including the Imperial Japanese Navy, which built them under licence. The first torpedo bomber designed for operation from aircraft carriers was the Sopwith Cuckoo. First flown in June 1917, it was designed to take off from the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers, but had to land on an airfield as arrester wires, needed to stop an aircraft during landing on a ship, had not yet been perfected; the Admiralty planned to use five carriers and 100-120 Cuckoos to attack the German High Seas Fleet, sheltering in Kiel since the Battle of Jutland in 1916 but when the war ended only 90 Cuckoos had been compl
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U. S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base, it is the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U. S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II. Pearl Harbor was an extensive shallow embayment called Wai Momi or Puʻuloa by the Hawaiians. Puʻuloa was regarded as the home of the shark goddess, Kaʻahupahau, her brother, Kahiʻuka, in Hawaiian legends. According to tradition, the head of the powerful Ewa chiefs, is credited with cutting a navigable channel near the present Puʻuloa saltworks, by which he made the estuary, known as "Pearl River," accessible to navigation.
Making due allowance for legendary amplification, the estuary had an outlet for its waters where the present gap is. During the early 19th century, Pearl Harbor was not used for large ships due to its shallow entrance; the interest of United States in the Hawaiian Islands grew as a result of its whaling and trading activity in the Pacific. As early as 1820, an "Agent of the United States for Commerce and Seamen" was appointed to look after American business in the Port of Honolulu; these commercial ties to the American continent were accompanied by the work of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. American missionaries and their families became an integral part of the Hawaiian political body. Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, many American warships visited Honolulu. In most cases, the commanding officers carried letters from the U. S. Government giving advice on governmental affairs and of the relations of the island nation with foreign powers. In 1841, the newspaper Polynesian, printed in Honolulu, advocated that the U.
S. establish a naval base in Hawaii for protection of American citizens engaged in the whaling industry. The British Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Crichton Wyllie, remarked in 1840 that "... my opinion is that the tide of events rushes on to annexation to the United States." From the conclusion of the Civil War, to the purchase of Alaska, to the increased importance of the Pacific states, the projected trade with countries in Asia and the desire for a duty-free market for Hawaiian staples, Hawaiian trade expanded. In 1865, the North Pacific Squadron was formed to embrace Hawaii. Lackawanna in the following year was assigned to cruise among the islands, "a locality of great and increasing interest and importance." This vessel surveyed the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands toward Japan. As a result, the United States claimed Midway Island; the Secretary of the Navy was able to write in his annual report of 1868, that in November 1867, 42 American flags flew over whaleships and merchant vessels in Honolulu to only six of other nations.
This increased activity caused the permanent assignment of at least one warship to Hawaiian waters. It praised Midway Island as possessing a harbor surpassing Honolulu's. In the following year, Congress approved an appropriation of $50,000 on March 1, 1869, to deepen the approaches to this harbor. After 1868, when the Commander of the Pacific Fleet visited the islands to look after American interests, naval officers played an important role in internal affairs, they served as arbitrators in business disputes, negotiators of trade agreements and defenders of law and order. Periodic voyages among the islands and to the mainland aboard U. S. warships were arranged for members of the Hawaiian royal family and important island government officials. When King Lunalilo died in 1873, negotiations were underway for the cession of Pearl Harbor as a port for the duty-free export of sugar to the U. S. With the election of King Kalākaua in March 1874, riots prompted landing of sailors from USS Tuscarora and Portsmouth.
The British warship, HMS Tenedos landed a token force. During the reign of King Kalākaua the United States was granted exclusive rights to enter Pearl Harbor and to establish "a coaling and repair station." Although this treaty continued in force until August 1898, the U. S. did not fortify Pearl Harbor as a naval base. As it had for 60 years, the shallow entrance constituted a formidable barrier against the use of the deep protected waters of the inner harbor; the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 as supplemented by Convention on December 6, 1884, the Reciprocity Treaty was made by James Carter and ratified it in 1887. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy to exclusive right to maintain a coaling and repair station at Pearl Harbor.. The Spanish–American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision. Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United States Navy established a base on the island in 1899.
On December 7, 1941, the base was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy airplanes and midget submarines, causing the American entry into World War II. One of the main reasons that Pearl Harbor happened was because the United States had major communication breakdowns among several branches of the U. S. armed services and departments of the U. S. government. This led to the surprise Japanese attack at the Hawai
The Coral Sea is a marginal sea of the South Pacific off the northeast coast of Australia, classified as an interim Australian bioregion. The Coral Sea extends 2,000 kilometres down the Australian northeast coast, it is bounded in the west by the east coast of Queensland, thereby including the Great Barrier Reef, in the east by Vanuatu and by New Caledonia, in the northeast by the southern extremity of the Solomon Islands. In the northwest, it reaches to the south coast of eastern New Guinea, thereby including the Gulf of Papua, it merges with the Tasman Sea in the south, with the Solomon Sea in the north and with the Pacific Ocean in the east. On the west, it is bounded by the mainland coast of Queensland, in the northwest, it connects with the Arafura Sea through the Torres Strait; the sea is characterised with frequent rains and tropical cyclones. It contains numerous islands and reefs, as well as the world's largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981.
All previous oil exploration projects were terminated at the GBR in 1975, fishing is restricted in many areas. The reefs and islands of the Coral Sea are rich in birds and aquatic life and are a popular tourist destination, both nationally and internationally. While the Great Barrier Reef with its islands and cays belong to Queensland, most reefs and islets east of it are part of the Coral Sea Islands Territory. In addition, some islands west of and belonging to New Caledonia are part of the Coral Sea Islands in a geographical sense, such as the Chesterfield Islands and Bellona Reefs; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Coral Sea as follows: On the North. The South coast of New Guinea from the entrance to the Bensbach River to Gadogadoa Island near its Southeastern extreme, down this meridian to the 100 fathom line and thence along the Southern edges of Uluma Reef and those extending to the Eastward as far as the Southeast point of Lawik Reef off Tagula Island, thence a line to the Southern extreme of Rennell Island and from its Eastern point to Cape Surville, the Eastern extreme of San Cristobal Island, Solomons.
On the Northeast. From the Northernmost island of the Duff Islands, through these islands to their Southeastern extreme, thence a line to Méré Lava, Vanuatu Islands and down the Eastern coasts of the islands of this Group to Anatom Island in such a way that all the islands of these Groups, the straits separating them, are included in the Coral Sea. On the Southeast. A line from the Southeastern extreme of Anatom Island to Nokanhoui off the Southeast extreme of New Caledonia, thence through the East point of Middleton Reef to the Eastern extreme of Elizabeth Reef and down this meridian to Latitude 30° South. On the South; the parallel of 30° South to the Australian coast. On the West; the Eastern limit of the Arafura Sea and the East Coast of Australia as far south as Latitude 30° South. The Coral Sea basin was formed between 58 million and 48 million years ago when the Queensland continental shelf was uplifted, forming the Great Dividing Range, continental blocks subsided at the same time; the sea has been an important source of coral for the Great Barrier Reef, both during its formation and after sea level lowering.
The geological formation processes are still proceeding, as evidenced by the seismic activity. Several hundred earthquakes with the magnitude between 2 and 6 were recorded in the period 1866–2000 along the Queensland coast and in the Coral Sea. On 2 April 2007, the Solomon Islands were struck by a major earthquake followed by a several metres tall tsunami; the epicentre of this magnitude 8.1 earthquake was 349 km northwest of Honiara, at a depth of 10 kilometres. It was followed by more than 44 aftershocks of a magnitude greater; the resulting tsunami destroyed more than 900 homes. The sea received its name because of its numerous coral formations, they include the GBR, which extends about 2,000 km along the northeast coast of Australia and includes 2,900 individual reefs and 1000 islands. The Chesterfield Islands and Lihou Reef are the largest atolls of the Coral Sea. Major Coral Sea currents form a counter-clockwise gyro, it brings warm nutrient-poor waters from the Coral Sea down the east coast of Australia to the cool waters of the Tasman Sea.
This current is the strongest along the Australian coasts and transforms 30 million m3/s of water within a flow band of about 100 kilometres wide and 500 metres deep. The current is weakest around August; the major river flowing into the sea is the Burdekin River, which has its delta southeast of Townsville. Owing to the seasonal and annual variations in occurrence of cyclones and in precipitation, its annual discharge can vary more than 10 times between the two succeeding years. In particular, in the period 1920–1999, the average flow rate near the delta was below 1000 m3/s in 1923, 1931, 1939, 1969, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1993 and 1995; this irregul
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of large caliber guns. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the battleship was the most powerful type of warship, a fleet of battleships was considered vital for any nation that desired to maintain command of the sea; the term battleship came into formal use in the late 1880s to describe a type of ironclad warship, now referred to by historians as pre-dreadnought battleships. In 1906, the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought into the United Kingdom's Royal Navy heralded a revolution in battleship design. Subsequent battleship designs, influenced by HMS Dreadnought, were referred to as "dreadnoughts", though the term became obsolete as they became the only type of battleship in common use. Battleships were a symbol of naval dominance and national might, for decades the battleship was a major factor in both diplomacy and military strategy. A global arms race in battleship construction began in Europe in the 1890s and culminated at the decisive Battle of Tsushima in 1905, the outcome of which influenced the design of HMS Dreadnought.
The launch of Dreadnought in 1906 commenced a new naval arms race. Three major fleet actions between steel battleships took place: the decisive battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War, the inconclusive Battle of Jutland during the First World War. Jutland was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships in the war, it was the last major battle fought by battleships in world history; the Naval Treaties of the 1920s and 1930s limited the number of battleships, though technical innovation in battleship design continued. Both the Allied and Axis powers built battleships during World War II, though the increasing importance of the aircraft carrier meant that the battleship played a less important role than had been expected; the value of the battleship has been questioned during their heyday. There were few of the decisive fleet battles that battleship proponents expected, used to justify the vast resources spent on building battlefleets. In spite of their huge firepower and protection, battleships were vulnerable to much smaller and inexpensive weapons: the torpedo and the naval mine, aircraft and the guided missile.
The growing range of naval engagements led to the aircraft carrier replacing the battleship as the leading capital ship during World War II, with the last battleship to be launched being HMS Vanguard in 1944. Four battleships were retained by the United States Navy until the end of the Cold War for fire support purposes and were last used in combat during the Gulf War in 1991; the last battleships were stricken from the U. S. Naval Vessel Register in the 2000s. A ship of the line was the dominant warship of its age, it was a large, unarmored wooden sailing ship which mounted a battery of up to 120 smoothbore guns and carronades. The ship of the line developed over centuries and, apart from growing in size, it changed little between the adoption of line of battle tactics in the early 17th century and the end of the sailing battleship's heyday in the 1830s. From 1794, the alternative term'line of battle ship' was contracted to'battle ship' or'battleship'; the sheer number of guns fired broadside meant a ship of the line could wreck any wooden enemy, holing her hull, knocking down masts, wrecking her rigging, killing her crew.
However, the effective range of the guns was as little as a few hundred yards, so the battle tactics of sailing ships depended in part on the wind. The first major change to the ship of the line concept was the introduction of steam power as an auxiliary propulsion system. Steam power was introduced to the navy in the first half of the 19th century for small craft and for frigates; the French Navy introduced steam to the line of battle with the 90-gun Napoléon in 1850—the first true steam battleship. Napoléon was armed as a conventional ship-of-the-line, but her steam engines could give her a speed of 12 knots, regardless of the wind condition; this was a decisive advantage in a naval engagement. The introduction of steam accelerated the growth in size of battleships. France and the United Kingdom were the only countries to develop fleets of wooden steam screw battleships although several other navies operated small numbers of screw battleships, including Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Naples and Austria.
The adoption of steam power was only one of a number of technological advances which revolutionized warship design in the 19th century. The ship of the line was overtaken by the ironclad: powered by steam, protected by metal armor, armed with guns firing high-explosive shells. Guns that fired explosive or incendiary shells were a major threat to wooden ships, these weapons became widespread after the introduction of 8-inch shell guns as part of the standard armament of French and American line-of-battle ships in 1841. In the Crimean War, six line-of-battle ships and two frigates of the Russian Black Sea Fleet destroyed seven Turkish frigates and three corvettes with explosive shells at the Battle of Sinop in 1853. In the war, French ironclad floating batteries used similar weapons against the defenses at the Battle of Kinburn. Wooden-hulled ships stood up comparatively well to shells, as shown in the 1866 Battle of Lissa, where the modern Austrian steam two-decker SMS Kaiser ranged across a confused battlefield, rammed an Italian ironclad and took 80 hits from Italian ironclads, many of which were shells, but including at least one 300-pound shot at point-blank range.
Despite losing her bowsprit and her foremast, bei
Ceremonial ship launching
Ceremonial ship launching is the process of transferring a vessel to the water. It is a naval tradition in many cultures, it has been observed as a solemn blessing. Ship launching imposes stresses on the ship not met during normal operation, in addition to the size and weight of the vessel, it represents a considerable engineering challenge as well as a public spectacle; the process involves many traditions intended to invite good luck, such as christening by breaking a sacrificial bottle of champagne over the bow as the ship is named aloud and launched. There are three principal methods of conveying a new ship from building site to water, only two of which are called "launching"; the oldest, most familiar, most used is the end-on launch, in which the vessel slides down an inclined slipway stern first. With the side launch, the ship enters the water broadside; this method came into use in the 19th-century on inland waters and lakes, was more adopted during World War II. The third method is float-out, used for ships that are built in basins or dry docks and floated by admitting water into the dock.
If launched in a restrictive waterway drag chains are used to slow the ship speed to prevent it striking the opposite bank. Ways are arranged perpendicular to the shore line and the ship is built with its stern facing the water. Where the launch takes place into a narrow river, the building slips may be at a shallow angle rather than perpendicular though this requires a longer slipway when launching. Modern slipways take the form of a reinforced concrete mat of sufficient strength to support the vessel, with two "barricades" that extend well below the water level taking into account tidal variations; the barricades support the two launch ways. The vessel is built upon temporary cribbing, arranged to give access to the hull's outer bottom and to allow the launchways to be erected under the complete hull; when it is time to prepare for launching, a pair of standing ways is erected under the hull and out onto the barricades. The surface of the ways is greased. A pair of sliding ways is placed on top, under the hull, a launch cradle with bow and stern poppets is erected on these sliding ways.
The weight of the hull is transferred from the build cribbing onto the launch cradle. Provision is made to hold the vessel in place and release it at the appropriate moment in the launching ceremony. On launching, the vessel slides backwards down the slipway on the ways; some slipways is launched sideways. This is done where the limitations of the water channel would not allow lengthwise launching, but occupies a much greater length of shore; the Great Eastern designed by Brunel was built this way as were many landing craft during World War II. This method requires many more sets of ways to support the weight of the ship. Sometimes ships are launched using a series of inflated tubes underneath the hull, which deflate to cause a downward slope into the water; this procedure has the advantages of requiring less permanent infrastructure and cost. The airbags provide support to the hull of the ship and aid its launching motion into the water, thus this method is arguably safer than other options such as sideways launching.
These airbags are cylindrical in shape with hemispherical heads at both ends. The Xiao Qinghe shipyard launched a tank barge with marine airbags on January 20, 1981, the first known use of marine airbags. A Babylonian narrative dating from the 3rd millennium BC describes the completion of a ship: Openings to the water I stopped. Egyptians and Romans called on their gods to protect seamen. Favor was evoked from the monarch of the seas—Poseidon in Greek mythology, Neptune in Roman mythology. Ship launching participants in ancient Greece wreathed their heads with olive branches, drank wine to honor the gods, poured water on the new vessel as a symbol of blessing. Shrines were carried on board Greek and Roman ships, this practice extended into the Middle Ages; the shrine was placed at the quarterdeck, an area which continues to have special ceremonial significance. Different peoples and cultures shaped the religious ceremonies surrounding a ship launching. Jews and Christians customarily used wine and water as they called upon God to safeguard them at sea.
Intercession of the saints and the blessing of the church were asked by Christians. Ship launchings in the Ottoman Empire were accompanied by prayers to Allah, the sacrifice of sheep, appropriate feasting. Chaplain Henry Teonge of Britain's Royal Navy left an interesting account of a warship launch, a "briganteen of 23 oars," by the Knights of Malta in 1675: Two friars and an attendant went into the vessel, kneeling down prayed halfe an houre, layd their hands on every mast, other places of the vessel, sprinkled her all over with holy water, they came out and hoysted a pendent to signify she was a man of war. The liturgical aspects of ship christenings, or baptisms, continued in Catholic countries, while the Reformation seems to have put a stop to them for a time in Protestant Europe. By the 17th century, for example, English launchings were secular affairs; the christening party for the launch of the