ONE of the most fruitful topics of the day seems to be the phenomenally rapid growth of the German Navy; and the notion is widely held that the Kaiser is adding to his fleet for the purpose of challenging Englands age-long supremacy on the sea, New, whatever may be the Kaisers idea, such a contingency is not likely to be realized for many years to come, for not only is Germanys naval strength still far inferior to Britains, but it is at the moment of writing also vastly less than our own. Until the year 1910 those who made it their business to rank the various fleets of the world had assigned second place to the United States Navy, England holding first position and Germany third; but in the last twelvemonth these critics have seen fit to attribute to Germany a superiority which in our opinion is not borne out by fact. The only fair way to estimate the relative strength of the two navies is to take them ship for ship and compare their respective offensive and defensive qualities. the tonnage method which most naval writers employ is misleading, for it lumps together the armored and unarmored ships, and takes no account of age or design. In this way four unarmored cruises would equal one battleship, and twelve destI oyers would rank with one armored cruiser. Obviously the proper means of obtaining relative values is to oppose battleship to battleshill, armored cruIser to armored cruiser, as they would presumably line up in actual conflict. And, further, these ships should be as near as possible of equal age, for of course the newer vessels are not only larger but also more powerful than thnse of earlier date. We need only concern ourselves with four classes of ships-battleships and armored cruisers, destroyers and submarines; fOl' the functions of protected cruisers and gunboat are almost negligible from a military point of view, their activities being properly confined to police duty in time of peace, and, in time of war, to scouting and intelligence service. Of the four classes which we shall consider, the battleship is all-impOrtant; it takes its place in the forefront of the line Of battle, and bears the brunt of the fighting. 'l'he armOred cruiser is the heavy cavalry of the sea, and but rarely takes its place where the fire is hottest. In making comparisons of the ships of these two navies, the dearth Of positive .nformation on subjects relating to the efficiency of the personnel of the Kaiser's fleet requires that in all matters dealing with the pensOnal equation the tWO services be considereu en a parity. We know nothing definite of the Germans' proficiency in battle practice or in steaming trials; but we may be quite sure that the thoroughless which is characteristic of their nation has brought these things to a high state of perfection. But no matter how much they may practise at the targets, they cannot overcome deficiency in materials; inferior guns must give inferior results; for, sira,ge as it may seem, Germany, the home of thG Krupps and the Ehrhardts, has at this moment not one gun afloat which can pierce our hattleships' side-armor at what we call battle range (8,000 yards)! This is a startling fact, and one which must be of supreme importance in making a fair comparison of the offeneive power of the two fleet,. In our annual battle practice the battleships commence firing at the targets when they are some 12,500 yards away, and their fring time is generally exhausted before they have approlched to within 8,000 yards of the canvas screens. Yet 1he result is often the complete demOlition of the target, although the mark is a rectangle less than one-ifourth of the area of the broadside Of a modern man-oif-war.* * 'he U. S. armored cruiser “Maryiand” won the battleship trophy for 1910 by makmg 40 per cent of hits with her S-inch gnns at 10,000 yards in a heavy sea. Little or nothing is known about tht conditions under which the German High Sea Fleet conducts its shooting, but it is high'y probable that their ranges are less than ours, for their lighter guns could not hope to score hits at over 10,000 yards, owing to the fact that the high angles at which they must fire at such great distances would tend quickly to impair the a()curacy Of their aim. Their new ll-inch guns of 45 ,calibert-with which, by the way, Only their dreadnoughts are equipped-have a very high muzzle-velocity (3,250 foot,seconds), but the relative lightne1S of the shell (595 pounds against 850 pounds for our “twelves") tends to a rapid falling off in velOcity at anything above a point-blank range, So that while at 3,000 yards-which is almost point-blank-their armor-piercing shell will penetrate 22 inehes of Krupp armor to 20 inches for our 12-inch A. P. shell, at 8,000 yards the penetrations are 8% inches and 11 inches respectively. All this means that in case of actual hostilities between Germany and the United States our vessels in the line of battle could fire with eled at the German battleshivs at ranges at which the latter could 1ot seriously injure the vitals of our ¦men-of-war. Of cours. they could do great damage to our upper works and lightly protected ends; bu t in the meantime-and before they could close in-our heavy artillery would presumably have shot their side-armor to pieces and pounded their turrets until they jammed and were incapacitated for further firing. (At the battle of Tsushima the Japanese sank many of the Russian battleships by long-range firing, the impact of the heavy projediles against the belt-armor tending to fracture the plates and start the seams, so that the water entered in sufficient quantities to flood t The wont “caliher” IS here used to exprpss the length of the gun in terms of the diameter of the bore: thns a 12-inch glln of 45 calibers would have a length fronl powder-chamber to IUyzle of 45 feet. 78 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN the compartments and ultimately cause the ships to turn turtle.) In the matter of armor protection there is little to choose between the fleets of the two powers when the ships are compared individually, according to date of launch. The same holds true of the relative speeds. In coal supply the Americans have a slight advantage, as may be seen in the appended tables. The twenty-six German ships given in the table have a total displacement of 339,220 tons, an average of 13,047 per ship. This compares with a total for the Americans of 407,650 tons, and an average of 14,057. Let us now examine somewhat more closely into the guns and armor of the later models-say the fourteen most recent Germans and the twenty newest Americans. Taking first the four “Westfalens.” They carry twelve heavy guns each, but these are so arranged that only eight of them can fire on either broadside. The ten heavy guns of the “Delawares,” in p:irs in five turrets on the center line, can all fire on either broadside, which gives the Yankee dread- Able to 13 in. Able to Pierce 9.4 in. 11 in. ll in. No. of No. of 12 in. 12 [ft. 35-cal. Pierce Inches Ships in Name Name Ships in ("Iowa," Inches Krupp at 40-cal. 40-e*af 4">-Oiilt Class Class 45-calt 40-calt 12 in. Krnpp at 8000 yds. 35-cal.) 8000 yds. 8Yz 32 (4) "Nassan" "Delaware” “Michigan" (2) (2 (6) 20 16 11 11 6 40 lO) "Ham:over" "Connecticut" 24 11 "Idaho" (2) 8 11 "Georgia" (5) 20 8% "Maine" (3) 12 8M 4Y 40 ( 1 0 ) "Kaisers" "Alabama" (3) 12 6 2Yz •8) (2) (2) 8 6 2 **4) 1 "Indiana” “Iowa" (3 (1 )) 12 4 6 4 52 40 I 32 II 68 32 36 t Only the main batteries arc here shown. * Old ll-in. 40-cal. *' Old l1-in. 35-cal. TABLE SHOWIXG COMPARATIVE: OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE POWER OF G ER MAN AND AMERICAN CRUISERS . noughts an [immense advan tage; an^ even the rela tively Bnjian “Michi-gans” can OP!pose the German l1-inch guns with au equal nump'r of 12's. Now at 8,000 Yiirds the l1-inch gun can : pierce only 8l inches of Krupp steel on direct impact, and all the vulnerabL parts of the United fjjtates ships are coVered -.iHh from 12 to 8 inches of Krupp armor, and theiT turrets and barbettes are protected by slanting 'lates 12 inches” thick. Onr 12-inch 45-cal-iber rifle, on the other hand, can send a shell through l1-inch Krupp steel at 8,000 yards, and not one o,f these four German t:readnoughts mounts a plate more than 9% inches in thickness, except on the barbettes. Is it not plain, then, that the four Yankee vessels, with their thirty-six 12's in broadside, are more than a match for the four “Westfa lens” and their thirty-two l1's? The discrepancy between the ten “Hanlovers” and the sixteen contemporary battleships of the American navy is even more startling. The German main belts vary from 9 to (CoFtirltte<! on paue 9U.) Secondary Battery. 10 6 in. 50-cal.' 16 3.9 in. 40-cal. 6 6 in. 40-cal. 20 3.9 in. 35-cal. 10 6 in. 40-cal. 14 3.9 in. 10 6 in. 40-cal. 12 3.2 in. 12 6 in. 40-cal. 10 3.2 in. Main Battery. 8 11 in. 45-cal. 12 8.2 in. 4.-ca1. 8 8.2 in. 40-cal. 4 8.2 in. 40-cal. 2 9.4 in. 40-cal. |4 9.4 in. 40-cal. Upper Side Main Turre 4Yz in. 6 in. 6 in. 6M in. 4 in. 6 i!. Main Belt. 6 in. 6 in. 4 in. 4 in. 6 in. Nickel Steel none 8 in. Nickel Steel ~, 4 in. in. Coal Supply. 2300 & 200 oil 2000 & 200 oil 600 1500 & 200 oil 1500 & 200 oil 1200 injured 1909 and has been Sea Kpeed. 25 24 Yz 17' 22.5 20 18.5 Di.Placement. Date Name. S,"" 15,500 11,600 9,050 8,930 10,700 ” V wid,""” “ “ 1908 “Bluecher" ” Scharnhorst" ' Gneisenau' 1903 “Roon" to I “Yorck" 1904............... 1901 “Prinz Adalbert' to “Friedrich Karl' 1902 1900 “Prinz Heinrich' 1897 “ Furst Bismarck' 11,328 I Av. 10 Ships Name. I Date "Montana" Dlsplacement. ,100 'North Carolina” I to "Tennessee” “Washington" "California" "Colorado" "Maryland" ” Pennsylvania" ” South Dakota "West Virginia" ,190(5 190:* to 190-1 "Charleston” 1904 “ Milwaukee” to “St. Louis” 1 1905 "Brooklyn" "New York” 1891 15 Ships 14,500 13,500 9.700 9,200 8,200 ' 12,367 Sea Speed. 22 22 21 21 Coal Supply. 2000 1500 1650 1150 Main Belt. Upper Side Main Turret' M,iu Battery. 5 in. 6 in. 4 in. 5 i!,. , I 9 in.-5 in. -f 5-Cal. 3 in. Har 4 in. 5 in. (} in. to ¦ 4 R in. 45-eal. 6 in. 4 in. none 8 in. 8 8 in. 35-cal. vey none 7 in. 48 in. 45-cal. pp Secondary Battery. 16 6 in. 50-cal. 22 3.2in. 50-cal. 14 6 in. 50-ca1. 20 8.2 in. 50-cal 14 6 in. 50-cal. 18 3.2 in. 50-(1. 12 5 in. 40-cal. 12 5 in. 50-cat 8 3.2 in. 50-cal. slow ever since. COMPARATIVE POWER OF GERMAN AND AMERICAN BATTLESHIPS. Scharnhorst" Secondary-Buttery. Main Battel·Y. Upper Side Main Turret. Main Belt. supply. 8peed Displttce- [I1ULC. liUtK Xftnw, Name. Date Disp.acement. Sea Speed. Supply. Ma.n Belt. Upper Side Main Turret. Main Battery. Secondary Bat[ery. 12 6 in. 50-Cal1 2700 1908 "Nassau" "Delaware" 1908 2340 10in-8in lOin.-12 12 11 in. 8 In. & to "Westfalen" to 20,300 21 & 11 in. 14 5in. 50-cal. 45-cal. 9)4 in. 9% in. 200 oil 20 18,500 1909 "Posen” “ Rheinland" ” Hannover" "North Dakota" "South Carolina" "Michigan" "Kansas" 1909 1908 16,250 18.5 600 oil 2200 12in.-lOin. 12in.-8in. 10in.-8in. 12in.-8in. 45-cal. 8 12in. 45-caL 14 6.7 in . 4 11 in. 8 in. 1800 1905 '' Pommern'' "Minnesota" 1905 7 in. 8 8in. 45-cal. 40-cal. 40-cal. 11 in. 9M in. & 200 oil 18 13,200 to 1906 ” Schleswig-Holstein" "New Hampshire” “Vermont" to 1906 16.000 18 2314 9 in. 12in.-8in. 4 12in. 45-cal. 12 7in, fO-cal. 14 6.7 in. 4 11 in. 8 in. 1800 "Idaho" 7 in. 4 12in. 8 8in. 45-cal. 40-cal. 40-cal. 11 in. 9 in. & 200 oil 18 13,200 1904 ” Deutschland” “ Braunschweig" "Mississippi" 1905 13,000 17 1750 9 in. 12in.-8in. 45-cal. 8 7in. 50-cal. 14 6.7 in. 4 11 in. 1600 1902 "Elsass" "Connecticnt “ 7 in. 4 12in. 8 8in. 45-cal. 40-cal. 40-cal. 11 in. 9 in. & 200 oil 18 13.200 to 1904 "Hessen" ” Lothringen “ "Preussen" "Louisiana" 1904 16,000 18 2200 11 in. 1Oin.-8in. 45-cal. 12 7in. 50-cal. "Georgia" "Nebraska"" 6 in. 4 12in. 8 8in. 45-cal. 1904 15,000 19 1700 11 in. "Rhode Island" 12in.-8in. 40-cal. 12 6in. 50-cal. "Virginia" ” Wittelsbach “ 7 in. 4 9.4 in. 5Yz in. 1400 1900 "Mecklenburg” “Schwaben "Maine" Krpp 4 12in. 16 6 in. 18 6 in. & 11,830 to "Missouri" 1901 12,500 18 2000 12 in. 12 in. 40-cal. 40-cal. 4 9.4 in. 10 in. none 200 oil 1050 1901 1896 "Wettin" "Zahringen" ” Kaiser Barbaross "K.Friedrich III "Ohio" Harvey-Nickel 40-cal. 50-cal. 14 6 in. 12 i1. & 18 10,790 to "K.Karl d.Grosse "Alabama" 16 Y2 in. 5 Yz in. 40-cal 40-cal. 10 il. 100 oil 1900 •"K. Wilhelm d. W Illinois" 1898 11,550 16 1450 to 14 in. 14 in. 4 13 in. 35-cal. 14 6 in. 40-cal. ” K. Wilhelm II. “ Harvey-.Nickel 1898 11,500 16 1210 16 Y2 in. 5 Y in. 4 13 in. 4 8 in. 40-cal. ” Kentucky" Harvey- 17in.-15in. Nickel 35-cal. 14 5 in. 40-cal. "Iowa" 1896 11,500 16 1780 14 in to 11 in. Har 5 in. 14 in. vey 4 12 in. 35-cal. 8 8 in. 35-cal. 4 11 in. 40-cal. 2 11 in. 1S91 to "Brandenburg" "Indiana" 18 in. to 5 in. 4 13 in. 8 8 in. 35-cal. 5 in. 15 in. 1050 15 10,060 ” Massachusetts" 1893 10,300 15 1800 15 in. 15 in. 3&-yaL 4 6-in. 50-cal. Comp ound 1K92 "Worth" "Oregon" Har vey 35-cal. 13047 Av. 26 Ships 29 Ships Av. 14,057 ? 22 2000 1906 21 1895 r