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BB-18 Connecticut Class

The huge structure is a little over 450 feet in length from the extreme tip of the ram to the end of the rudder. The foundation of the whole is the keel, which is nothing more nor less than a deep plate girder. 3 feet 6 inches in depth, extending from the inboard end of the rain structure to the rudder post. Bisecting it at every 3 feet of its length occurs one of the plate girder frames or ribs, which extend athwartship, and run up to the under edge of the armor shelf, where they are reduced to a depth of say from 18 to 12 inches, the frames extending up the sides of the ship to the level of the upper deck. On the outside of these frames is riveted the outer plating of the ship, and upon the inside of the frames, extending as high up as the under side of the water-line belt, say 4 or 5 feet below the water-line, is riveted an inner shell of plating. The space between the outer and inner plating is divided up by the frames into transverse water-tight chambers 3 feet in width, and every one of these spaces is subdivided by seven or eight longitudinal plate girders which are built into the double bottom, as it is called, parallel with the keel and extending, most of them, the entire length from stem to stern.

Consequently it will be seen that the space between the outer and inner shells of the ship's bottom is divided into an innumerable number of separate compartments, measuring 3 feet in depth by 4 feet in length by about entrance of the fragments of heavy, high-explosive shells, bursting within the ship above the water-line, a steel deck, 2 to 3 inches in thickness, known as the protective deck, extends at about the level of the water-line over the whole of the vitals, and is continued in a gently curving slope to the ram forward and to the stem aft. This steel deck is 1% inches thick on the flat and 3 inches thick on the slopes.

Above the inner floor or platform the central portion of the vessel is taken up by the magazines, boiler rooms and engine rooms. These because of their vast importance, are known as the ship's vitals, and great care is taken to provide them against the entrance of heavy projectiles of the enemy, and, as far as may be, against the attack of the still more deadly torpedo. The engines and boilers are so proportioned as to height that they do not extend above the water-line; and to protect them from plunging shot.

Now, the space below the protective deck is divided up by a large number of transverse, water-tight bulkheads of steel plating, there being nineteen of these bulkheads altogether. They extend from the inner shell of the vessel to the under side of the protective deck. They are riveted perfectly water-tight, communication from compartment to compartment being by water-tight doors. Forward in the bow are the trimming tanks, used to assist in bringing the vessel to an even keel. Then abaft of the collision bulkhead are bread and dry provision stores, and the construction stores. In the next compartment, which is divided into three decks, we have on the floor of the ship a storeroom for torpedo gea submarine mines, etc. Above this the under-water torpedo room, and immediately below the protective deck are kept the paymaster's stores and life preservers. In the next compartment, below on the platform, are the author gear and chain lockers, and above this the navigator's stores.

Passing through the next bulkhead we come to the vitals of the ship proper, with the 8-inch gun magazines on the floor, the 12-inch magazines and handling rooms on the deck above, and above this the 6 inch ammunition and blower rooms. Above the magazines, and resting on the protective deck, is the barbette of the forward pair of 12-inch guns, while in front of the barbette the athwartship sloping bulkhead, placed there to prevent raking projectiles from passing through the entire structure of the ship. Immediately to the rear of the forward barbette is the coning tower, with the heavily ar mored tube which protects the telephones, electric wires, fuse tubes, etc., that pass from 'the tower down below the protective deck.

In the next compartment, aft of the magazines, are the dynamo rooms; and then between the next two bulkheads is placed an athwartship coal bunker. A similar athwartship coal bunker extends athwartship on the other side of the boiler rooms ; and it must be understood that at the side of the boiler rooms are the wing bunkers which run aft for the whole length of the boiler rooms and engine rooms. The boiler installation on this particular ship is entirely of the water-tube type. Aft of the boiler rooms comes the athwartship coal bunker above referred to, and then in two separate water-tight compartments are the twin-screw engines.

Aft of the engines in another compartment is contained a complete set of magazines similar to that beneath the forward barbette, and above them, resting on- the protective deck is the after barbette and turret, with its pair of 12-inch guns. Aft of the magazines come more compartments, devoted to stores. In the next compartment, down on the platform, are the fresh-water tanks and two trimming tanks, and on the deck above, be- 'w the protective deck are, first, the ring-machinery room, and then the steering-gear room, each being in a separate water-tight compartment. This completes the description of the space below the protective deck.

The protective deck is known more generally among seamen as the berth deck. Above that, at a distance of about 8 feet, comes the main deck, and 8 feet above that the upper deck, while amidships, between the two main turrets, is the superstructure, the deck of which is known as the superstructure or boat deck. The berth deck and main deck are devoted to the living accommodations of the officers and crew, the crew being amidships and forward, and the officers aft. The berth deck, as its name would indicate, is largely devoted to the berthing and general living accommodation of the crew. Here are also to be found, in the wake of the forward gun turrets, on one side the sick bay, and on the other side the refrigerating room and ice machine. Aft of that, on the port side, are the sick bay, lavatory, dispensary, machinists' quarters, ordnance workshop and blowers; while on the starboard side are the petty officers' quarters, the laundry, and the drying-room.

Then, in the wake of the boiler-rooms, on each side of the ship, are coal bunkers which add their protection to that of the side armor of the vessel. In the center of the ship are washrooms for the crew and firemen. Aft of the coal bunkers on this deck come the officers' quarters. On both sides of the ship are the staterooms of the junior officers, and the wardroom staterooms, while between them is a large wardroom and dining-room with its pantry. The extreme aft portion of the berth deck is taken up by officers' lavatories, etc. On the main deck above, forward, is more berthing accommodation for the crew, also shower baths and lavatories, while amidships are found the various galleys for the crew and the officers, arranged between the basco of the smokestacks, while amidships in the wings of the vessel is more berthing space for the crew.

Aft on the main deck the space is given up largely to accommodations for the senior officers and for the admiral, which, by the way, give one an impression more of commodiousness than of rich or extravagant furnishing. Forward, above the conning tower, are the pilothouse, chartroom and the room of the commanding officer.

The heavier guns are mounted on the upper deck, two 12-inch guns in a turret forward and two aft, and eight 8-inch guns in four armored turrets, two on each broadside amidships. The intermediate battery of twelve 7-inch guns is mounted on the main deck, the guns firing through casemates. On this deck are also 12 single 7-inch/45 Mk2 guns and 20 single 3-inch/50 Mk2-8 guns mounted in broadside on the upper deck, within the superstructure. The new method of emplacing guns on warships, by which it is possible to swing the guns around until their muzzles are flush with the side of the ship, has the good effect of leaving the side of the ship free from projecting objects when the vessel is in harbor, and o leaving the living spaces of the crew but very slightly obstructed.

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