A Few Thoughts

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The Arrival of Ironclad Warships

1870-80 saw a huge change in gun decks, with the guns themselves traversing on rails to provide more accurate fire. Gun caliber increased as well as breach-loading rifles replaced muzzleloaders. Recoil mechanisms became harbingers of even greater change with dreadnaughts.

Beginning in the 1880s with just 90 small ships, over one-third of them wooden and therefore obsolete, the US Navy quickly grew to include new steel fighting vessels.

USS Texas

The USS Texas, built in 1892, was the first pre-dreadnought battleship of the United States Navy.

The pre-dreadnought ships replaced the ironclad battleships of the Post-Civil War construction of the 1870s and 1880s. Built from steel, protected by case-hardened steel armor, and powered by coal-fired triple-expansion steam engines, pre-dreadnought battleships carried a main battery of very heavy guns in fully-enclosed rotating turrets supported by one or more secondary batteries of lighter weapons.

In addition to their gun armament, many pre-dreadnought battleships were armed with torpedoes, fired from fixed tubes located either above or below the waterline. By the pre-dreadnought era, the torpedo was typically 18-inch in diameter and had an effective range of several thousand yards. However, it was virtually unknown for a battleship to score a hit with a torpedo.





50-year precipitation trend in Spring (Mar-May) precipitation using NCEI county-level data.




26 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts

  1. I certainly would not like to be belowdecks firing those bastards that’s for sure.
    I have a few boxes of those slugs and few of some Russian made hollow points and can imagine the damage to the human torso. They are not currently in my bump in the night go to but I might change the load out now.

  2. Hey guys, if you’re ever in the Philly area pay a visit to the USS Olympia! The very same ship that Commodore Dewey steamed into Manila Bay on and said those imortal words: “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley” She’s a proud ship and one of the few from that era still afloat. She is staffed by volunteers and they do a great job. So even though she’s at Penn’s Landing in Philly, pay her a visit if you can.

  3. Thanks for the history lesson on the pre-dreadnought ships. My pre-WWI Naval History has huge gaps, and that just plugged one.

    The good old P-40! 3rd most produced American fighter. Many good stories about it even though it was considered “obsolete” by some at the time.

    Not sure about those 12ga rounds. I prefer the Hornady SST sabots. Devestating at 150yds out of a rifled barrel.

    1. I have rifled and smooth barrels for my go-to shotgun and yes, those SST sabots are potent. It’s a great hunting round.

      1. Looking at the damage they can do to various static targets, I’ll bet you could drop an elk with one.

  4. Got to love Naval tradition! Racked between each breech loading state of the art cannon are naval cutlasses, just in case.

  5. Not enough information to decode the “foreign born” maps. Do they mean the greatest influx of immigrants for the particular calendar year? I don’t see Massachusetts literally full of Chinamen, for example, so the maps can’t be looking at total foreign feet on the ground. It’s gotta be some sort of inflow-type count.

    Whoever decided to change the color coding between the 1900 and 2018 maps didn’t do anyone any favors, BTW. Orange in 1900 meant Cubans and now means (dot) Indians? That doesn’t help comprehension/comparison between 1900 and 2018.

    1. It’s not my map. Sorry. I just put it up there for reference and to spark interest, as they often do. The problem with “maps” is that a lot of detail is necessary to make them valid well beyond the graphic representation.

      1. Oh, I didn’t think you made those foreign-born maps. (I’d have been more polite in my comments if I thought you’d made them personally.) I was in “review” mode because I’m supposed to be reviewing a manuscript for a journal, but was screwing around instead. (Not that we get paid for the peer reviews. Or say rather we get paid in “prestige” 😉

  6. I could be wrong but I think the last time a battleship fired torpedoes in anger was Nelson vs. the burning hulk of Bismark, resulting in zero hits.


  7. salvadoran, that explains some things. we could solve very many problems if we ceded the 3 northern counties to maryland or dc.

    1. Neutron warheads. Nuke ’em – they leave the buildings intact – and then reoccupy.

      1. Or as the Russians described them, “The Perfect Capitalist Weapon. It Destroys the People, and Leaves the Properties Intact”.

        Which can also be called a “Variable Rate Mortgage”…..

    2. Maryland wants to unload Prince George and Montgomery counties for the same reason. Oh the horror, 5 counties would give DC sufficient mass to be a state….or maybe a 3rd world country.

      1. Maybe contiguous territory between DC and Baltimore – to form one big ghetto & democrat stronghold. It would be wonderful if democrats fled there to be with their own kind.

    1. Repel boarders? I don’t know. I think that those things still happen with pirates in the South China Sea, etc.

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