The greatest iron-clad ram in the world.
The New York Times
, is giving an account of the iron-clad vessels of war now building, speaks as follows of the great ram now being built by Mr. Webb
This vessel will be one of the most extraordinary iron-clads in the world.
Larger than the Dictator
, she will be almost twice as heavy as either of them.
She is over forty feet longer than any wooden ship afloat except the Great Eastern
, and twenty feet longer than either of Mr. Ericsson
's two largest vessels.
She will measure 7,000 tons, being more than the combined tonnage of the English ships Duke of Wellington
, or of the American ships the Niagara
, four of the largest wooden vessels in the world,--Her dimensions are — length 360 feet, breadth 78 feet, depth 25 feet, power of engines 5,000 horses, tonnage 7,000 tons.
Her beam, as will be seen, is greater by far than that of any other iron-clad vessels now building in this country or in Europe
.--None of them are over 65 or 70 feet wide, the La Gloire
or Warrior not being even as wide as that.
's vessel will be a steam screw propeller.
The bull will be of wood, and will consist of almost two complete ships, one to be built within the other, so that it might almost be said that you could completely destroy the outside vessels without inflicting a particle of injury upon the inside one.
In other words, it is a double vessel--one within the other.
Besides the thickness of the planking, and the bolts and screws, and other iron appendages of common vessels, together with those of the iron clad, with the additional protection of the ‘ "second ship,"’ there will be a mall of 4½ inches of iron covering the monster from stem to stern, making it almost impossible for any common ball to penetrate her.
The ‘"inner vessel"’ will be divided into several compartments, both longitudinally and transversely, within which are enclosed both engines and boilers, thus securing the machinery beyond the possibility of danger.
But to render them still more safe both the engines and boilers are to be covered with a casemate, in which will be mounted a powerful battery.
We are not permitted to give details of the armament.
Suffice it to say, however, that inside this casemate will certainly be placed guns which, for size and power, cannot be surpassed in any navy.
Upon the casemate will rest two revolving turrets, on Mr. Ericsson
's plan, each containing two very large guns, the casting of which has already commenced.
The vessel will, therefore, have the advantage of being able to deliver a broadside, and at the same time to send a terrible discharge from the four guns in the turrets in any direction.
The great objection to iron-clad vessels, and one which has been found in battle — as the case of the Monitor
proves to be exceedingly dangerous to life — is the want of accommodation, not to speak of comfort, for men during an engagement.
In the new ram these inconveniences will be obviated.
By a singular and very scientific arrangement, Mr. Webb
has been enabled to preserve all the advantages of the iron-clad vessel, and still to make her roomy, comfortable, well ventilated, and in every respect as convenient below decks as a wooden man-of-war.
Nor will this tremendous ship be a mere hulk lying in the neighborhood of the land alone.
She will be a sea-going vessel in every respect, furnished with sails the same as the Niagara
, and will be able to accommodate, besides the fighting crew of artillerists, a large force of naval sailors, for whom there will be plenty of room, and every accommodation for provisions and all necessaries for a long voyage.
Her keel will be laid in a few days.
Her keel blocks are now being put down.
Her name has not yet been decided upon.