Page:Heresies of Sea Power (1906).djvu/335
THE DIMENSIONS OF WAKSHIPS 307 cannot cry a halt and adhere to moderate dimensions without giving hostages to fortune. The best known modern examples of moderate dimensions are the Swiftsure and Triumph of 12,000 tons odd. Designed about the same time were the Lord Nelsons of 16,760 tons, so that approximately seven of the former could be built for the tonnage (not the cost) of five of the latter. Let us compare the total of guns. We get : —
Nelsons 7 Siviftsures 12 inch. 28 10-inch. 9-2-inch. 98 7-5 -inch.
-inch belts. 7-inch belts. On the question of attack all the power is with the five, the seven have numbers only. In defence the five are practically invulnerable at the water line, the seven are vulnerable at almost any range. What chance is theirs ? The only possible chances reside in extremely superior personnel (a matter outside dimensions) and the chance of using the extra torpedo tubes, 1 which would hardly be theirs except by virtue of luck and very superior handling. Is not this but a way of saying that to advocate relatively moderate dimensions is to advocate leaving everything to luck ? It is argued, of course, that whereas five successful torpedoes would annihilate the one squadron they would leave two ships afloat in the other. This is so :
The larger dimensions of the Lord Nelsons would also easily admit
of fitting more torpedo tubes if deemed necessary.x 2