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The twenty ships said to be then on the stocks are as follow:—
Eighteen of the above twenty were sailing ships, and these have since been converted into steamers. The twelve old sailing-ships, marked above with an asterisk, have since been lengthened and are to be converted into screw-steamers of 400 to 450 horse-power. All these will, when finished, make thirty-two line-of-battle steamers; but, since that time, twelve new steam-ships have been built, and one of these, the 'Bretagne,' was launched at Cherbourg, on the opening of that port in the present year: it carries 131 guns, and has engines of 1000 horse-power. The building of new ships in the ports of France continues, and there is no doubt that in 1861 the number will amount to fifty, as recommended by a member of the "Commission of Inquiry," in 1851. All the new ships of the line are built on the type of the 'Napoleon,' and are to have engines of nearly equal horse-power.
It may be interesting to know that, according to the evidence given at the Enquete Parlementaire in 1851, the total quantity of oak timber, for the purpose of ship-building, then in store at the five great ports of I ranee—Cherbourg, Brest, L'Orient, Rochfort, and Toulon—amounted to 207,673 stere (7,334,387 cubic feet), and of fir 28,831 stere (1,018,224 cubic feet); also that the whole mean annual consumption of oak for this purpose, at the same ports, was 35,834 stere, or 1,265,549 cubic feet.
The Russian navy, during the war with Turkey in 1829, consisted of five divisions, each comprehending 9 line-of-battle ships, 6 frigates, and 8 corvettes and brigs, with 8 steamers. This force has since been augmented to 12 line-of-battle ships in each division. The total establishment of the Russian fleet at the commencement of the late war was 60 ships of the line, armed with from 70 to 120 guns; 37 frigates, of from 40 to 60 guns; 70 corvettes and brigs; 40 steamers and 200 gun-boats. The system of manning is by establishments of equipages de Kgne, as in France. (See Art. 35, note, Naval Gunnery, 4th edition.) Of this vast naval force three-fifths were stationed in the Baltic, and two-fifths in the Black Sea. These last divisions having been destroyed, and treaty obligations having been forced upon Russia not to re-establish a naval arsenal at Sebastopol, she is devoting her naval resources to increase her Baltic fleet, which will, in the course of the next year, amount to 40 steam ships of the line, all the sailing ships being converted into steamers.
Six sailing-ships and three steamers-of-war were on the stocks.
The Dutch navy, under the ministry of Admiral Gobins, an experienced and excellent officer, is in a very efficient state.
NAVAL WARFARE WITH STEAM.
The Swedish navy, in 1852, consisted of—
There are, besides, 10 steam-vessels.
Of the ten line-of-battle ships, two are said to be in bad condition and the remaining six were to be fitted to receive screwpropellers.
The United States' Navy.
From the Report of the Secretary of the Navy in 1856.
James Town, sloop.
San Jacinto do.
* One of these, the ' Naijaden' (I8 guns), is the exercising ship, for gunnery practice, in the Swedish navy. This vessel of war is now being repaired in Chatham dock, having sustained considerable damage by running aground on the Galloper Sands during her voyage from Christiansund, on her way to the West Indies.
The armament of five new frigates consists of 8, 9, 10, and 11-inch shell guns. The 8-inch guns are on the spar-deck, and the 9-inch guns on the gun-deck: the frigates have besides a 68-pounder solid-shot pivot-gun at bow and stern, the 10-inch shell-gun, which was formed upon the model of the 10-inch British shell-gun, having been abolished in the United States navy, as being deficient in accuracy, range, and power." Yet this very defective shell-gun, displaced, as a pivot-gun, in the British service, on account of its great inferiority to the 68-pounder solidshot gun, as shown in Article 268, p. 258, 'Naval Gunnery,' and wholly proscribed from the naval service of the United States, forms the principal armament of the ' Diadem,' and other frigates of her class, lately built and armed, as fully equal to contend with the United States frigate 'Niagara,' 'Merrimac,' &c.! Surely this defective shell-gun should be forthwith withdrawn, and the 68-pounder solid-shot gun substituted. There is ample displacement and deck-room to admit of this; and we have the authority of Captain Dahlgren, and even that of the gallant Captain of the 'Diadem,' for asserting, that the 95-cwt. solid-shot 68pounder may be worked as easily as a 3"2-pounder, and, it may be added, fired at long ranges with solid shot, as rapidly, at least, as a 10-inch shell-gun, which cannot fire solid shot.
The 'Niagara'carries twelve 11-inch guns, each capable of throwing a shell weighing 135 lbs. All the shell-guns are capable of firing solid shot; but in the United States' service hollow shot are abolished." Shells are preferred on account of the destructive effects which are expected to ensue when they explode in an enemy's ship.
It has been recommended to the Government of the United States that there should be constructed a number of sloops of war, each furnished with brass boat-guns—12 and 24-pounders. These vessels, on account of their small draught of water, are expected to do good service in defending the coasts, or on entering an enemy's harbours.
* Dahlgren, 'Shells and Shell-guns,' pp. 35, 255. b Ibid., p. 21.