The Congress of 1899 authorized the construction of three, and the Congress of 1900 of two first-class battleships, which to-day constitute what is known as the “Georgia” class. These ships are the “Georgia,” “Nebraska,” “New Jersey,” “Virginia,” and “Rhode Island.” The contract for the “New Jersey” and “Rhode Island” went to the Fore River Sbip- building Company; for the “Georgia,” to the Bath Iron Works; for the “Virginia,” to the Newport News Company; and for the “Nebraska,” to the Moran Brothers, at Seattle. These ships represent a great advance in size, speed, and power over the “Maine” class. The main battery consists of four 12-inch guns, and the secondary battery of twelve 6-inch pieces; but the 8-inch gun makes its reappearance once more, Copyright 1906 by Loeffier. Displacement, 14,948 tons. Speed, 19 knots. Bunker Capacity, 1,700 tons. Armor: Belt, 11 inches to 4 inches; turrets, 11 to 10 inches and 6).9 to 6 inches; barbettes, 10 inches and 6 inches ; deck: flat, inCh, slope, 3 inches. Armament: Four 12-inch 4O-caliber B. L.; eight S-inch 45-caliber B. L.; twelve 6-inch 5O-caliber R. F.; twelve 3-inch R. F.; twelve 3-pounders; eight 1-pound- ers; two 3-inch field guns; six automatic guns ; two machine guns. Torpedo Tubes, 4 submerged. Complement, 705. FIRST-CLASS BATTLESHIP “ VIRGINIA." Copyright 1906 by Loeffler. Displacement, 16,00 tons. Speed, 18 knots. Coal Supply, 2,200 tons. Armor: Belt, 11 inches to 4 inches; casemates, 7 inches; main turrets, 12 inches ; secondary turrets, 8 inches ; deck, 3 inches. Armament: Four 12-inch, eight S-inch, twelve 7-inch, twelve 3-inch rapid-fireguns, 26 smaller guns. Torpedo Tube!!, 4 submerged. Complement, 803. BATTLESHIP “ LOUISIANA.” ALSO “ CONNECTICUT." battleships had all been protected with Harveyized armor; but in the “Maine” class, for the first time, the Krupp armor was employed, and it has been used in all subsequent battleships. Because of its higher resisting qualities, it was possible to reduce the thickness of the armor all round, the belt being 11 inches and the turrets 12 inches in thickness as against 16% inches and 14 inches respectively in the “Alabama” class. The 6-inch guns also are of the latest 50-caliber pattern; and, taken altogether, these three vessels are to be considered the most heavily armed battleships of their particular type and date to be found in any navy. The bow 12-inch guns are carried at a height of 26% feet above the water, the after 12-inch at a height of 19 feet. All four 12-inch can be loaded in any posi eight of these pieces being carried. The length is increased to 450 feet, and the beam to 76 feet 10 inches. The displacement is increased from 12,500 in the “Maine” to nearly 15,000 in the “Georgia,” and the speed is 19 knots. The armor plan is generally similar to that of the “Maine,” except that the belt is carried continuously from bow to stern. In order to secure a maximum concentration of fire the double turret was reintroduced, four of the 8-inch guns being carried on the roof of the 12-inch turret, the other four 8-inch being mounted in two turrets, one on either beam. The command of the large guns is exceptionally good, the 12-inch being 26% feet above the water, and the center line 8-inch 32 feet above the water; the side 8-inch, 26 feet above the water; but the 6-inch guns of the secondary battery are only 12 feet above the waterline. The great defect of these ships is the lack of protection to the magazines below the big gun turrets. There are no handsomer battleships in our navy than these of the “Georgia” class. All of them made their contract speed of 19 knots, and, in several cases, this speed was considerably exceeded. They have a bunker capacity of 1,700 tons of coal, and, compared with other ships of their displacement and date, they carry an exceptionally heavy battery. When in the end-on position they can concentrate ahead or astern two 12-inch, six 8-inch, and two 6- inch. On either broadside they can train four 12- inch, six 8-inch, and six 6-inch guns. The guns of the superposed turrets, both 8-inch and 12-inch, can be trained through an arc of 270 degrees. The 8-inch guns on the beam have an arc of training of 180 degrees, and the guns of the 6-inch battery have an arc of training of 110 degrees. In these ships was mounted, for the first time, the new powerful turbine-drive 21-inch torpedo, for the firing of which each ship carries four submerged torpedo tubes.
This article was originally published with the title "First-Class Battleship “Georgia”—Class of Five Ships"