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The armored cruiser was a type of
warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and ...
of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was designed like other types of
cruiser A cruiser is a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to with ...

cruiser
s to operate as a long-range, independent warship, capable of defeating any ship apart from a
battleship A battleship is a large armored warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually ...

battleship
and fast enough to outrun any battleship it encountered. Varying in size, it was distinguished from other types of cruiser by its
belt armor Belt armor is a layer of heavy metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts El ...
—thick iron (or later steel) plating on much of the hull to protect the ship from
shellfire Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications duri ...
much like that on battleships. The first armored cruiser, the
Imperial Russian Navy The Imperial Russian Navy () operated as the navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral ...
's , was launched in 1873 and combined sail and steam propulsion. By the 1890s cruisers had abandoned sail and took on a modern appearance. For many decades naval technology had not advanced far enough for designers to produce a cruiser which combined an armored belt with the long range and high speed required to fulfill its mission; for this reason, many navies preferred to build
protected cruiser Protected cruisers, a type of naval cruiser A cruiser is a type of . Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after s and s, and can usually perform several roles. The term "cruiser", in use for several hundred years, ...

protected cruiser
s in the 1880s and early 1890s. It was often possible to build cruisers which were faster and better all-round using this type of ship, which relied on a lighter
armor Armour (British English) or armor (American English; see American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, spelling differences) is a covering to protect an object, individual, or vehicle from damage, especially direct contact weapon ...

armor
ed deck to protect the vital parts of the ship; however, by the late 1880s the development of rapid-fire cannon and high-explosive shells made the reintroduction of side armor a necessity. The invention of face-hardened armor in the mid-1890s offered effective protection with less weight than previously. In 1908 the armored cruiser was supplanted by the
battlecruiser The battlecruiser (also written as battle cruiser or battle-cruiser) was a type of capital ship of the first half of the 20th century. They were similar in displacement, armament and cost to battleships, but differed slightly in form and balance ...
which, with armament equivalent to that of a
dreadnought battleship The dreadnought (also spelled dreadnaught) was the predominant type of battleship in the early 20th century. The first of the kind, the Royal Navy's , had such an impact when launched in 1906 that similar battleships built after her were refe ...
and
steam turbine A steam turbine is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine that uses Power (physics), power to apply Force, f ...
engines, was faster and more powerful than armored cruisers. At around the same time, the term "
light cruiser A light cruiser is a type of small or medium sized warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warshi ...
" came into use for small cruisers with armored belts. Despite the fact they were now considered second-rate ships, armored cruisers were widely used in
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. Most surviving armored cruisers from this conflict were scrapped under the terms of the
Washington Naval Treaty The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was a treaty signed during 1922 among the major Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual ben ...

Washington Naval Treaty
of 1922, which imposed limits on warships and defined a cruiser as a ship of 10,000 tons or less carrying guns of 8-inch caliber or less—rather smaller than many of the large armored cruisers. A handful survived in one form or another until
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Only one, the
Greek Navy The Hellenic Navy (HN; el, Πολεμικό Ναυτικό, Polemikó Naftikó, War Navy, abbreviated ΠΝ) is the naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collect ...
's ''Georgios Averof'', has survived to the modern day as a
museum ship A museum ship, also called a memorial ship, is a ship A ship is a large watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical ...
.


History


Background

The armored cruiser was developed in the 1870s as an attempt to combine the virtues of the armored
ironclad warship An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed ...
and the fast and long-ranged, but unarmored,
cruiser A cruiser is a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to with ...

cruiser
s of the time. Such a ship was desirable to protect overseas trade and, especially for the French and British, to police their vast overseas empires. The concern within higher naval circles was that without ships that could fulfill these requirements and incorporate new technology, their fleet would become obsolete and ineffective should a war at sea arise. Concern over obsolescence in official circles was further fueled by the race between the increasing size of naval guns and of armor strong enough to withstand such fire. In 1860, one of the largest naval cannons in standard use had a bore of and fired a solid
shot Shot may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media *Shot (album), ''Shot'' (album), by The Jesus Lizard *''Shot, Illusion, New God'', an EP by Gruntruck *''Shot Rev 2.0'', a video album by The Sisters of Mercy *Shot (song), "Shot" (song), by The Ra ...
or approximately spherical
shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure), a thin structure ** Concrete shell, a thin shell of concrete, usually with no interior columns or exterior buttresses ** Thin-shell structure Science Biology * Seashell, a hard out ...
. By 1884, guns with as wide a bore as , firing an exploding shell, were being mounted on naval vessels. This gun could penetrate up to 34 inches of
wrought iron Wrought iron is an iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . ...
, the earliest form of naval armor. These were
muzzle-loading guns
muzzle-loading guns
, as had been used on ships from the 1500s. Breech-loading cannon, which were readopted into naval use in the 1870s, were more destructive than muzzle loaders due to their higher rate of fire. The development of rifled cannon, which improved accuracy, and advancements in shells were other factors. Although a cruiser would not likely face the largest-caliber guns of a battleship and many navies commonly used smaller weapons as they did not wear out as fast as larger ones did, cruisers still needed some form of protection to preclude being shot to pieces. The adoption of rolled
iron armor Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 element, group 8 of the periodic table. It is Abundance ...
in 1865 and sandwich armor in 1870 gave ships a chance to withstand fire from larger guns. Both these protective schemes used wood as an important component, which made them extremely heavy and limited speed, the key factor in a cruiser's ability to perform its duties satisfactorily. While the first ocean-going ironclads had been launched around 1860, the "station ironclads" built for long-range colonial service such as the British and French were too slow, at 13 and 11 knots respectively, to raid enemy commerce or hunt down enemy
commerce raider Commerce raiding (french: guerre de course, "war of the chase"; german: Handelskrieg, "trade war") is a form of naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent confl ...
s, tasks usually assigned to frigates or corvettes. Powered by both sail and steam but without the additional weight of armor, these ships could reach speeds of up to 16 or 17 knots. The most powerful among them were the British , the U.S. Navy's and the French . The British especially had hoped to rely on these vessels to serve the more distant reaches of its empire. In the aftermath of the
Battle of Hampton Roads The Battle of Hampton Roads, also referred to as the Battle of the ''Monitor'' and ''Merrimack'' (rebuilt and renamed as the CSS ''Virginia'') or the Battle of Ironclads, was a naval battle during the American Civil War. It was fought over two ...

Battle of Hampton Roads
in 1862, where United States wooden warships were defeated by the
Confederate Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

Confederate
ironclad , the Admiralty realized that its ships could theoretically encounter an ironclad in any theater of operation. Ship propulsion was improving but was also taking time to develop. Naval engines in the 1860s were single-expansion types, in which steam was expanded into a cylinder, pushed a piston and was released.
Compounding In the field of pharmacy, compounding (performed in compounding pharmacies) is preparation of a custom formulation of a medication to fit a unique need of a patient that cannot be met with commercially available products. This may be done for med ...
, where steam is passed through a series of cylinders of increasing size before being released, was a more efficient process; it allowed the steam to generate more energy and use less coal to go the same distance. With greater efficiency came increasingly complex machinery and the larger potential for breakdown. However, advances in
metallurgy Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering ''Materials Science and Engineering'' may refer to several journals in the field of materials science and engineering: * '' Materials Science and Engineering A'' * '' Materials Science ...
and engineering, the potential for smaller bunkerage and the successful use of compounding in commercial engines made it an attractive option for naval engines, as well. By the 1870s, compound engines had become standard for warships. Compounding by itself did not increase power or speed significantly, although it allowed for a much greater operating range. Forced-draught systems would help increase power and speed but would not come into use until the early 1890s.


1870s: First armored cruisers

The Russian navy became the first to produce an armored warship intended for commerce raiding, with , begun in 1870 and launched in 1873, often referred to as the first armored cruiser. Armed with six and two guns, she and her sister were not fully armored but protected only by a narrow belt along the waterline. This belt, moreover, was so heavy that it sat below the ships' waterlines, which limited its benefit still further. Since they were iron-hulled, however, they were more durable than their wooden counterparts. With a top speed of only and a high coal consumption, which necessitated a full sailing rig, they were not really suited for the role of cruiser. Nevertheless, these ships were considered a new threat to British commerce in the event of war, the rationale being that any vessel, regardless of its speed, could technically be a threat to overseas commerce. The British responded with , begun in 1873, launched in 1875 and armed with two and seven rifled guns. Two ships of the followed, armed with four 10-inch and eight 9-inch guns. These early armored cruisers were essentially scaled-down versions of the first-rate ironclad warships of the time and, like their Russian counterparts, were essentially belted cruisers. Their 9-inch belts were thicker than that of the Russians but did not extend the full length of the hull due to weight but tapered off at both ends. Past this belt, the designers placed a armored deck, situated deepest in the ships, to guard magazines and machinery against plunging fire. Above this deck, space was allocated for coal bunkers and storerooms. These areas served a two-fold purpose. The bunkers served as added protection, since two feet of coal was considered the equivalent of one foot of steel. Also, if either of the ships became flooded from battle damage, it was hoped the contents of the bunkers and storerooms would aid in their continued buoyancy. Because of this unarmored protection, these ships could be considered the first protected cruisers. However, these ships also shared the liabilities of the Russian ones and because of this, the British navy was never happy with them. ''Shannon''s top speed of and ''Nelson''s of made them too slow to deal with fast cruisers and they were not armored well enough to take on a first-class battleship. Their armor belts also sat below the ships' waterlines, which made them of limited benefit. The underlying problem with these early warships was that technology had not caught up to the demands being made of them; therefore, they represented a series of compromises and could not be fully effective. They were typically powered by double-expansion steam engines fed by boilers which generated steam at perhaps 60 or 70 psi pressure, which gave relatively poor efficiency and short range. Even with improved engines, the dearth of overseas refueling stations made a full sailing rig a necessity. As sailing ships required a high freeboard and a large degree of
stability Stability may refer to: Mathematics *Stability theory, the study of the stability of solutions to differential equations and dynamical systems **Asymptotic stability **Linear stability **Lyapunov stability **Orbital stability **Structural stability ...

stability
, the use of armored turrets as used on monitors and some battleships was ruled out, because a turret was a very heavy weight high in the ship and its placement necessitated a lower freeboard than was warranted for an oceangoing vessel. (The loss of in 1870 with nearly all of her 500-man crew illustrated graphically what could happen in a heavy sea with a steam-and-sail
turret ship Turret ships were a 19th-century type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are desi ...
.) Consequently, armored cruisers retained a more traditional broadside arrangement. Their armor was distributed in a thick belt around the waterline along most of their length; the gun positions on deck were not necessarily armored at all. The limitations of these ships would not be rectified fully until decades after their construction. Meanwhile, a battle in May 1877 between the British unarmored cruiser and the Peruvian
monitor Monitor or monitor may refer to: Places * Monitor, Alberta * Monitor, Indiana, town in the United States * Monitor, Kentucky * Monitor, Oregon, unincorporated community in the United States * Monitor, Washington * Monitor, Logan County, West Virg ...
demonstrated the need for more and better-protected cruisers. ''Shah'' and the smaller wooden corvette hit ''Huáscar'' more than 50 times without causing significant damage. The Peruvian ship had an inexperienced crew unused to its cumbersome machinery, and managed to fire only six rounds, all of which missed. The engagement demonstrated the value of cruisers with armor protection.


Rise of the protected cruiser in the 1880s

During the 1870s, the rapid increase in the size and power of
armor-piercing Armor-piercing shell of the APHEBC. 1. Lightweight ballistic cap; 2. Steel alloy piercing shell; 3. Desensitized bursting charge (TNT, Picric acid, Trinitrophenol, RDX...); 4. fuse (explosives), Fuse (set with delay to explode inside the target); ...
guns caused problems for the designers of battleships and cruisers alike. Even a ship designed with adequate armor protection from the current generation of guns might be vulnerable to new guns powerful enough to penetrate its armor. Consequently, naval designers tried a novel method of armoring their ships. The vital parts—engines, boilers, magazines and enough hull structure to keep the ship stable in the event of damage—could be positioned underneath an armored deck just below the waterline. This deck, which would only be struck very obliquely by shells, could be thinner and lighter than belt armor. The sides of the ship would be entirely unarmored but would be as effective as an armored belt which would not stop shellfire. Cruisers designed along these guidelines, known as
protected cruiser Protected cruisers, a type of naval cruiser A cruiser is a type of . Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after s and s, and can usually perform several roles. The term "cruiser", in use for several hundred years, ...

protected cruiser
s, superseded armored cruisers in the 1880s and early 1890s. As mentioned earlier, the armored cruiser ''Shannon'' was the first ship to make use of an armored deck. However, by the end of the 1870s, ships could be found with full–length armored decks and little or no side armor. The Italian of very fast battleships had armored decks and guns but no side armor. The British used a full-length armored deck in their of corvettes started in 1878; however the ''Comus'' class were designed for colonial service and were only capable of speed, not fast enough for commerce protection or fleet duties. The breakthrough for the protected cruiser design came with the Chilean , designed and built by the British firm Armstrong at their Elswick yard. ''Esmeralda'', with a high speed of , dispensed entirely with sails and carried an armament of two 10-inch and six 6-inch guns, considered very powerful for a ship her size. Her protection scheme, inspired by the ''Italia'' class, included a full–length protected deck up to thick, and a cork-filled
cofferdam A cofferdam is an enclosure built within a body of water to allow the enclosed area to be pumped out. This pumping creates a dry working environment so that the work can be carried out safely. Cofferdams are commonly used for construction or rep ...
along her sides. ''Esmeralda'' set the tone for cruiser construction for the years to come, with "Elswick cruisers" on a similar design being constructed for Italy, China, Japan, Argentina, Austria and the United States. Protected cruisers became attractive for two reasons. First, the concept of the armored cruiser was not embraced wholeheartedly in naval circles. Second, several navies were caught in a race between armor thickness and the size of main guns and did not have the money to spend on battleships and armored cruisers. The use of smaller, cheaper cruisers was a better alternative. The French navy adopted the protected cruiser wholeheartedly in the 1880s. The '' Jeune Ecole'' school of thought, which proposed a navy composed of fast cruisers for commerce raiding and torpedo-boats for coast defense, was particularly influential in France. The first French protected cruiser was , laid down in 1882, and followed by six classes of protected cruiser – and no armored cruisers until , laid down in 1888 but not finished until 1895. ''Dupuy de Lôme'' was a revolutionary ship, being the first French armored cruiser to dispose entirely of masts, and sheathed in steel armor. However, she and two other were not sufficiently seaworthy, and their armor could be penetrated by modern
quick-firing gun A quick-firing or rapid-firing gun is an artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the abi ...
s. Thus from 1891–1897 the French reverted to the construction of protected cruisers.Roberts, p. 128 The British Royal Navy was equivocal about which protection scheme to use until 1887. The large , begun in 1881 and finished in 1886, were built as armored cruisers but were often referred to as protected cruisers. While they carried an armored belt some 10 in thick, the belt only covered of the length of the ship, and was submerged below the waterline at full load. The real protection of the class came from the armored deck thick, and the arrangement of coal bunkers to prevent flooding. These ships were also the last armored cruisers to be designed with sails. However, on trials it became clear that the masts and sails did more harm than good; they were removed and replaced by a single military mast with machine guns. The next class of small cruisers in the Royal Navy, the , were protected cruisers, but the Royal Navy then returned to the armored cruiser with the , begun in 1885 and completed in 1889. The navy judged the ''Orlando''s inferior to protected cruisers and built exclusively protected cruisers immediately afterwards, including some very large, fast ships like the 14,000-ton . However, the ''Orlando''s were the first class of cruiser to use the
triple-expansion engine A compound steam engine unit is a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages. A typical arrangement for a compound engine is that the steam is first expanded in a high-pressure ''(HP)'' Cylinder (engine), cylinder, then h ...
. Because this type of
reciprocating engine A reciprocating engine, also often known as a piston engine, is typically a heat engine In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to ene ...
used the steam in three stages, it was more fuel-efficient than earlier compound engines. It also used steam of higher pressure, 60 poundforce per square inch, as compared to the 25 to 30 poundforce in earlier engines. With these engineering developments, warships could now dispense with sails and be entirely steam-driven. The only major naval power to retain a preference for armored cruisers during the 1880s was Russia. The Russian Navy laid down four armored cruisers and one protected cruiser during the decade, all being large ships with sails.


Armored cruisers in the pre-dreadnought era

The development of rapid–fire cannons in the late 1880s forced a change in cruiser design. Since a large number of hits at or near the waterline could negate the effect of water–excluding material used in protected cruisers, side armor again became a priority. Four inches (c. 10 cm) was considered adequate. However, it had to cover not just guns and the waterline but also much of the hull structure in–between; otherwise, the equally new high–explosive shells could penetrate and destroy much of the unarmored portion of the ship. Another development was the publication in 1890 of American naval strategist
Alfred Thayer Mahan Alfred Thayer Mahan (; September 27, 1840 – December 1, 1914) was a United States Navy, United States naval officer and historian, whom John Keegan called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His book ''The Infl ...
's book ''
The Influence of Sea Power upon History ''The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660–1783'' is a history of naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumb ...

The Influence of Sea Power upon History
''. While Mahan emphasized the importance of battleships above all other types of warships in obtaining command of the sea, armored cruisers and large protected cruisers could still be used as second-class battleships to maintain control of the sea lanes and potentially as fighting units of a battle fleet. The armored cruisers built in the mid– to late–1890s were often as large and expensive as
pre-dreadnought battleship Pre-dreadnought battleships were sea-going battleships built between the mid- to late- 1880s and 1905, before the launch of in 1906. The pre-dreadnought ships replaced the ironclad warship, ironclad battleships of the 1870s and 1880s. Built f ...
s. They combined long range, high speed and an armament approaching that of battleship with enough armor to protect them against
quick-firing gun A quick-firing or rapid-firing gun is an artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the abi ...
s, considered the most important weapons afloat at the time. Their speed was made possible due to another development, case-hardened steel armor—first
Harvey armor Harvey armor was a type of steel naval armor developed in the early 1890s in which the front surfaces of the plates were case hardening, case hardened. The method for doing this was known as the Harvey process, and was invented by the United S ...
and then crucially Krupp armor. The higher tensile strength of these armors compared to
nickel Nickel is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

nickel
steel and mild steel made it feasible to put a light yet useful armor belt on a large cruiser. They saved further weight by not requiring a heavy timber backing, as previous armor plating had, to soften and spread the force of the impact from oncoming shells; of teak to give a fair surface upon which to attach them was all that was needed. Moreover, this belt could also be much wider than previously, covering the center of the hull, where the ammunition and engines were located, from the main deck to five feet below the waterline. Steel bulkheads added strength to the hull, while armor as thick as the belt covered the guns and heavier protection surrounded the conning tower. With these improvements, the ships became more fully protected than was possible previously. They were also expensive to maintain at fighting strength as they required a greater number of stokers to feed the boilers than a battleship when steaming at
flank speed Flank speed is a nautical term referring to a ship A ship is a large watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical s ...
. The ideas presented by Mahan prompted French Admiral
Ernest François Fournier Ernest François Fournier (1842–1934) was a French diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the an ...
to write his book ''La flotte necessaire'' in 1896. Fournier argued that a fleet of technologically advanced armored cruisers and torpedo craft would be powerful and flexible enough to engage in a wide range of activity and overwhelm potential enemies. French naval and government circles embraced this ideal mutually and even advocates of battleships over cruisers admitted the latter's potential usefulness in scouting and commercial warfare. The result was the building of increasingly large armored cruisers. , laid down in 1896, displaced 11,000 tons, carried a mixed armament of and guns, and had a belt of Harvey armor over her machinery spaces. The 12,300-ton and 14,000-ton followed. With a speed of 22.5 knots, the ''Léon Gambetta''s were armed with four guns in twin turrets and 16 in four single and six twin turrets and were protected by up to of Krupp belt armor and nearly on their conning towers and turrets. The ''Edgar Quinet''s, slightly faster at 23 knots, were armed with 14 guns and carried up to of armor on their belts, almost on their decks and on their turrets. Britain, which had concluded as early as 1892 that it needed twice as many cruisers as any potential enemy to adequately protect its empire's sea lanes, responded to the perceived threat from France, Russia and, increasingly, Germany with a resumption of armored cruiser construction in 1898 with the . At 21 knots, the ''Cressy''s were slower than the newer French cruisers. However, their belt of Krupp steel was expected to keep out armor-piercing shells from a quick-firing gun at likely battle ranges, while their two 9.2-inch (233.7 mm) and 12 6-inch (152 mm) guns offered comparable firepower. The 2,500-ton weight of their belt armor was an improvement over the 1809 tons of the otherwise similar and very similar to that of the of battleships. The ''Cressy''s were the beginning of a rapid expansion in British cruiser construction. Between 1899 and 1905, seven classes of armored cruisers were either completed or laid down, a total of 35 ships. Japan, which now received British technical assistance in naval matters and purchased larger vessels from France and Britain, began an armored cruiser program of its own. With the end of the
First Sino-Japanese War The First Sino-Japanese War (25 July 1894 – 17 April 1895) was a conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese lan ...

First Sino-Japanese War
in 1895 and the return under pressure from Russia (in what became known as the "
Triple Intervention The was a diplomatic intervention by Russian Empire, Russia, German Empire, Germany, and French Third Republic, France on 23 April 1895 over the harsh terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki imposed by Empire of Japan, Japan on Qing dynasty China that ...
") of the
Liaotung peninsula The Liaodong Peninsula (also Liaotung Peninsula, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends ...
to
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, Japan began a 10-year naval build-up program, under the slogan "Perseverance and determination" (, Gashinshōtan) in preparation for further confrontations. The core of this 109-ship build-up was the "Six-Six Program" of six battleships and six (eventually eight) armored cruisers comparable to the British ''Cressy'' class. followed the basic pattern for these cruisers—on a displacement, she carried four and twelve guns, was protected by a main belt, armored deck and turret armor and steamed at . They were considered a compromise between cruiser and battleship and were intended to augment capital ship strength in battle squadrons. This practice would persist until
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. The first
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
armored cruiser, , was launched in 1889 but not completed until 1895 due to a three-year delay in the delivery of her armor plate. Armed with four guns, mounted en echelon (with the fore turret
sponson Sponsons are projections extending from the sides of land vehicles, aircraft or watercraft to provide protection, stability Stability may refer to: Mathematics *Stability theory, the study of the stability of solutions to differential equations ...
ed to starboard and the aft turret to port) to allow end-on fire for both turrets, and six guns on broadside, she carried between 7 and 12 inches (178 to 305 mm) of belt armor and between 1 and 4 inches (25 to 102 mm) on her decks. However, ''Maine'' was laid down before Harvey or Krupp armor was available and could not benefit from the advantage in weight these much lighter armors offered. She was redesignated a "second-class battleship" in 1894, an awkward compromise reflecting that, at 16.45 knots, she was considerably slower than other cruisers and weaker than first-line battleships. Her destruction in Havana harbor in 1898 was a catalyst in starting the
Spanish–American War The Spanish–American War (April 21 – August 13, 1898, es, Guerra hispano-estadounidense or ; fil, Digmaang Espanyol-Amerikano) was an armed conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, S ...
. ''Maines'' immediate successors, and , launched in 1895 and 1896 respectively, carried thinner but newer armor than ''Maine'', with on her belt and 3 to 6 inches (76 to 152 mm) on her deck but better protected overall against rapid-fire weaponry. Their armor was comparable in thickness to that of ''Dupuy de Lôme'' but the French ship's armor covered a much greater area of the hull. The hull protection of both ships was superior to their main rival, the British , which were the largest cruisers at the time but had no side armor. Armed with six guns, ''New York'' carried more heavy weapons than the French ship. Moreover, ''New York''s builder diverged from the Navy blueprint by rearranging her boilers during construction; this allowed the installation of additional transverse and longitudinal bulkheads, which increased her underwater protection. ''Brooklyn'' was an improved version of the ''New York'' and designs, more heavily armed (with eight and 12 guns) and with better sea-keeping abilities through the addition of a
forecastle The forecastle ( ; contracted as fo'c'sle or fo'c's'le) is the upper deck of a sailing ship A sailing ship is a sea-going vessel that uses sails mounted on Mast (sailing), masts to harness the power of wind and propel the vessel. There is a ...

forecastle
. After these two ships, the Navy concentrated on battleship construction until the Spanish–American War showed how cruisers could be "useful," in the words of General J. B. Crabtree, "and howedhow desirable others would be." Shortly after the war ended, the Navy laid down six armored cruisers to take advantage of lessons learned and better control the large sea areas the nation had just gained. Much larger than their predecessors (displacing 14,500 tons as compared to 8150 for ''New York''), the ''Pennsylvania''s "were closer to light battleships than to cruisers," according to naval historian
William Friedman William Frederick Friedman (September 24, 1891 – November 12, 1969) was a US Army The United States Army (USA) is the land service branch of the United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military ...
. They carried four and 14 guns, of armor on their belts, on their turrets and on their conning towers. Their deck armor was light at for flat surfaces and for sloped, a compromise made for faster speed (22 knots, compared with 20 knots for ''Brooklyn''). Improved ammunition made their main guns as powerful as the guns of the battleship and their use of state instead of city names, usually reserved for capital ships, emphasized their kinship. The Spanish-American and
First Sino-Japanese
First Sino-Japanese
wars proved instrumental in spurring cruiser growth among all the major naval powers, according to naval historian Eric Osborne, "as they showcased the abilities of the modern ships in warfare." The only time cruisers were seen in any of their traditional role, he continues, was as blockade ships during the Spanish–American War. More often, they were seen fighting in a battle line. They would not been seen in their designed role until World War I. Even with all their improvements and apparent performance, opinion on the armored cruiser was mixed. The 1904 edition of the ''
Encyclopedia Americana ''Encyclopedia Americana'' is a general encyclopedia An encyclopedia (American English), encyclopædia (archaic spelling), or encyclopaedia (British English) is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either ...
'' quotes an otherwise unidentified Captain Walker, USN, in describing the role of the armored cruiser as "that of a vessel possessing in a high degree offensive and defensive qualities, with the capacity of delivering her attack at points far distant from her base in the least space of time." The same source defines an armored cruiser as "a battleship in which the qualities of offense and defense have been much reduced to gain high speed and great coal capacity" and adds, "... there are many who hold that the armored cruiser is an anomaly, something less than a battleship and more than a protected cruiser, performing satisfactorily the duties of neither, with no special function of her own and lacking the great desideratum in warships, ability to fight in proportion to her great size and cost."''Americana'' By 1914 the U.S. Navy in hearings before the House or Representatives gave testimony to the effect that no armored cruisers were further planned nor to it knowledge were armored cruisers being built by any major naval power worldwide.


Battle of Tsushima and appearance of the battlecruiser

Armored cruisers were used with success in the line of battle by the Japanese at the
Battle of Tsushima The Battle of Tsushima (russian: Цусимское сражение, ''Tsusimskoye srazheniye''), also known as the Battle of Tsushima Strait and the Naval Battle of the Sea of Japan (Japanese: 日本海海戦, ''Nihonkai-Kaisen'') in Japan ...
in 1905. Of the battle damage received by the Japanese, the armored cruiser received eight hits, which destroyed three of her guns, killed five crew members and injured 90 more (one of the wounded being
Isoroku Yamamoto was a Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territor ...

Isoroku Yamamoto
, who would later plan the
attack on Pearl Harbor The Attack on Pearl HarborAlso known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike In the United States Armed Forces, military of the United States, strikes and raids are a group of military operations that, alongside quite ...

attack on Pearl Harbor
). None of the other Japanese armored cruisers suffered serious damage or large loss of life. was hit 16 times but no one onboard was killed and only 15 were wounded. Except for , all the cruisers present at Tsushima that morning were still battle-ready in the evening. The performance of the Japanese armored cruisers led to a boom in the construction of armored cruisers in the world's navies as some naval authorities concluded that the armored cruiser's superior speed could ensure survivability in a naval action against battleships; they did not take into account the Russian Baltic Fleet's inefficiency and tactical ineptitude during the battle.
First Sea Lord The First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff (1SL/CNS) is the professional head of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, Eng ...
"Jacky" Fisher, an advocate of armored cruisers as more useful than battleships to safeguard British trade and territorial interests, saw his efforts justified; his belief that "speed is armor" would lead him to create the
battlecruiser The battlecruiser (also written as battle cruiser or battle-cruiser) was a type of capital ship of the first half of the 20th century. They were similar in displacement, armament and cost to battleships, but differed slightly in form and balance ...
. Danish Navy Commander William Hovgaard, who would later become president of
New York Shipbuilding The New York Shipbuilding Corporation (or New York Ship for short) was an American shipbuilding company that operated from 1899 to 1968, ultimately completing more than 500 vessels for the U.S. Navy, the United States Merchant Marine, the United ...
and serve on the U.S. Navy's Battleship Design Advisory Board, a group which would help plan the fast battleships in the 1930s, said, "The fighting capacity of the armored cruiser has reached a point which renders its participation in future fleet actions almost a certainty" and called for a "battleship-cruiser" which would possess the speed of a cruiser and the firepower of a capital ship Other naval authorities remained skeptical. Mahan called the interest in armored cruisers "a fad," then explained:
She is armored, and she is a cruiser; and what have you got? A ship to "lie in the line"? as our ancestors used to say. No, and Yes; that is to say, she may at a pinch, and at a risk that exceeds her powers. A cruiser? Yes, and No; for, order to give her armor and armament which do not fit the line, you have given tonnage beyond what is needed for the speed and coal endurance proper for a cruiser. By giving this tonnage to armor and armament you have taken it from other uses; either from increasing her own speed and endurance, or from providing another cruiser. You have in her more cruiser than she ought to have and less armored vessel, or less cruiser and more armored ship. I do not call this a combination, though I do call it a compromise.... I do not say you have a useless ship. I do say that you have not as useful a ship as, for the tonnage, you ought to have.
Buoyed with their success at Tsushima, Japan laid down the four s between 1905 and 1908. At a speed of 20.5 knots, they carried an extremely heavy main armament of four guns, of belt and turret armor and of deck armor. The ''Tsukuba''s were intended to take the place of aging battleships and thus showed Japan's intention of continuing to use armored cruisers in fleet engagements. The U.S. Navy raised the main gun caliber of its cruisers with its , laid down between 1902 and 1904. These mounted four and 16 guns, the former a size previously allocated to battleships. While they had thinner armor than the ''Pennsylvania''s ( on their belts and on their decks) due to newly imposed congressional restraints on tonnage, they could still steam at 22 knots. They were built as a fast, powerful response in the eventuality of a Pacific war and were the largest and last American armored cruisers built. The British also considered and guns for its cruisers, the culmination of its armored cruiser building program. They displaced 14,600 tons, were capable of 23 knots and were armed with four and 10 guns. By the time these ships were commissioned, Britain possessed the largest armored cruiser force in the world. Undaunted and fully engaged in a naval arms race with the British, the Germans also continued to build armored cruisers, partly from their faith in them as fighting units and commerce raiders, partly from Japan's success. Between 1897 and 1906 they laid down eight of them for use on overseas stations. The initial two, and , were armed with guns; the six that followed had guns of a more modern design. The final pair, and , displaced 12,781 tons, steamed at 23.5 knots, carried of belt and of deck armor and were armed with eight guns. Another powerful armored cruiser was the Russian , completed in 1908. Armed with four in two twin turrets fore and aft and eight in turrets along the ship's sides, she displaced 15,190 tons and carried a belt, two armored decks and armor on her turrets and conning tower. Her top speed was 21 knots. ''Rurik'' was unusual in that she was Russian designed but British built; the Russian Navy was not usually a customer of British shipyards. She was reportedly one of the best armored cruisers built, with an advanced sprinkler protection for the magazines. Intended as the first of a three-ship class, ''Rurik''s sisters were cancelled with the advent of the battlecruiser . "The supreme embodiment of the armored cruiser," in historian Robert K. Massie's words, was the German ship . An enlarged version of the ''Scharnhorst'' class with a speed of 24.25 knots, armed with 12 and eight guns, ''Blücher'' was planned as an armored cruiser in part because the British had misled the Germans on the ''Invincible''s then being constructed. The Germans expected these new British ships to be armed with six or eight guns. One week after the final decision to construct ''Blücher'', the German naval attache learned they would carry eight guns, the same type mounted on battleships. With no funds available to redesign ''Blücher'', work was ordered to proceed as scheduled. Although much more powerful than a typical armored cruiser, she was significantly weaker than the new British battlecruisers. By the time these ships were entering service, the armored cruiser as it was then known had reached the end of its development. Tactics and technology favored fighting power over long to medium ranges, which demanded an armament of primarily large caliber guns and a speed higher than that of battleships, preferably by at least 30 percent, to fulfill its traditional role as scout for the fleet and the newly acquired one of participating with battleships in a naval encounter. Thirty percent was the ratio by which frigates had been faster than ships of the line in the days of sail. If a battleship sailed at 20 knots, this would mean that an armored cruiser would have to steam at least 26 or 27 knots. To fulfill these criteria, however, armored cruisers would have to be built much larger and take on a different form than they had in the past. The battlecruiser HMS ''Invincible'' and her two sister ships were designed specifically to fulfill these requirements. In a sense they were an extension of the armored cruiser as a fast, heavily armed scout, commerce protector and cruiser-destroyer, reflected in the term originally ascribed to them, "large armored cruiser." However, the battlecruisers were much larger than armored cruisers, allowing them to be faster, more heavily armed, and better-protected, so battlecruisers were able to outpace armored cruisers, stay out of range of their weapons and destroy them with relative impunity. Because they carried the heavy guns normally ascribed to battleships, they could also theoretically hold their place in a battle line more readily than armored cruisers and serve as the "battleship-cruiser" for which Hovgaard had argued after Tsushima. All these factors made battlecruisers attractive fighting units, although Britain, Germany and Japan would be the only powers to build them. They also meant that the armored cruiser as it had been known was now outmoded and no more were built after 1910. The
United States Naval Institute The United States Naval Institute (USNI), based in Annapolis, Maryland, is a private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defense and security issues. In additi ...
put the matter bluntly in its 1908 written proceedings:
It is very doubtful if an armored cruiser of the ''Colorado'' class would dare even tackle a monitor, for fear that one of the latter's shot ''might'' hit a vital spot, and if it did she would lose her only raison d'etre, for a crippled cruiser would be useless as a cruiser, and still not fit to "lie in the line."... It may be urged that an armored cruiser was never intended to fight a battleship. Then what ''is'' she intended for? Surely not as a scout or a commerce destroyer, for vessels a fifth the displacement could do this work as well, and numbers are required here, not strength.... If she is to overtake a weaker enemy, you must first assume a smaller enemy, otherwise she could not have superiority in both speed and strength. By escaping from a stronger enemy she will never win wars.
Later in the same address is this: "Every argument used against rmored cruisersholds true for battle-cruisers of the ''Invincible'' type, except that the latter, if wounded, would be fit to lie in the line, owing to her great armament. If it is hoped to fight at such great ranges that her 7-inch belt and 5-inch side will be of value, then the armor of battleships is wrong, not in principle, but in distribution."


World War I

Although pre-dreadnought battleships and armored cruisers were outclassed by modern battleship and battlecruiser designs, respectively, armored cruisers still played an active role in World War I. Their armor and firepower was sufficient to defeat other cruiser types and armed merchant vessels, while their speed and range made them particularly useful for extended operations out in the high seas. Some German and Royal Navy vessels, like , were allocated to remote naval squadrons. Many other vessels however, were formed into independent squadrons for patrolling European waters and accompanied capital ships every time the latter made forays out of port. At the
Battle of Coronel The Battle of Coronel was a First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known ...

Battle of Coronel
, the German armored cruisers and scored a resounding victory over British naval forces from the West Indies Station. With newer ships, superior gunnery and optimal logistics, the Germans sank the Royal Navy armored cruisers and , with the loss of over 1,500 British sailors and officers (including
Rear-Admiral Rear admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to a major general and air vice marshal and above that of a Commodore (rank), commodore and Captain (naval), captain, but below that of a vice admiral. It is regarded as a two star "ad ...
Christopher Cradock Rear Admiral Rear admiral is a senior naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primaril ...

Christopher Cradock
). This was one of the last battles involving armored cruisers as the chief adversaries; all subsequent engagements were dominated by battlecruisers and dreadnought battleships. Moreover, the timing could not have been worse for British morale. Six weeks earlier, the armored cruisers , and had all been sunk on the same day by the German submarine U-9. Five weeks later, the
Battle of the Falkland Islands The Battle of the Falkland Islands was a First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporane ...

Battle of the Falkland Islands
showed graphically how much technology and tactics had changed. SMS ''Scharnhorst'' and SMS ''Gneisenau'' were sunk by the battlecruisers HMS ''Invincible'' and . The German armored cruisers were too slow to outrun their pursuers, and their initially accurate gunnery failed to inflict serious damage on the British battlecruisers. The British 12-inch guns turned the tide of battle once they started scoring hits on the Germans, and the German armored cruisers were fatally crippled before they had a chance to close the range and use their superior secondary armament. This victory seemed to validate Lord "Jacky" Fisher's justification in building battlecruisers—to track down and destroy armored cruisers with vessels possessing superior speed and firepower. The German force commander Admiral
Maximilian von Spee Maximilian Johannes Maria Hubert Reichsgraf von Spee (22 June 1861 – 8 December 1914) was a naval officer of the German ''Kaiserliche Marine {{italic title The adjective ''kaiserlich'' means "imperial" and was used in the German-speaking count ...

Maximilian von Spee
had been wary of the Allies' battlecruisers, especially the
Imperial Japanese Navy The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN; Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji, Chinese characters, Chinese written characters used in Japanese language, Japanese. Their simplified counterparts are shinjitai (), "new character forms". Some of ...
and the
Royal Australian Navy The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the principal naval force A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riveri ...
—in fact he described the latter's flagship, the battlecruiser , as being superior to his entire force by itself. At the Falklands, he had already deduced the battle was lost when he missed the chance to attack the British battlecruisers in port. During the Battle of Dogger Bank, ''Blücher'' was crippled by a shell from a British battlecruiser, which slowed ''Blücher'' to 17 knots and eventually sealed her fate. Admiral
Franz von Hipper Franz Ritter von Hipper (13 September 1863 – 25 May 1932) was an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the Unit ...
chose to let ''Blücher'' go down so his more valuable battlecruisers could escape. , and were lost at the
Battle of Jutland The Battle of Jutland (german: Skagerrakschlacht, the Battle of Skagerrak) was a naval battle fought between Britain's Royal Navy Grand Fleet, under Admiral John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, Sir John Jellicoe, and the Imperial German Navy's H ...
when they inadvertently came into sight and range of the German Navy's battle line, which included several battlecruisers and dreadnought battleships. At that time the armor belt was shown to be far less than required to survive the 11-inch and 12-inch shells of more modern dreadnoughts and battlecruisers and too slow to get away from them. The final nail in the coffin for the armored cruiser type was in a development in armor-piercing shells called capped armor-piercing shell. The Harvey and Krupp Cemented armor that had looked to offer so much protection failed miserably when hit with soft capped AP shells of large enough size. Later hard capped AP shell would only make the matter worse.


Post-World War I

After the end of World War I, many of the surviving armored cruisers were sold for scrap. The
Washington Naval Treaty The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was a treaty signed during 1922 among the major Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual ben ...

Washington Naval Treaty
of 1922 placed strict limits on the numbers of "capital ships" possessed by the navies of the great powers. A "capital ship" was defined as any vessel of over 10,000 tons displacement or with guns over 8-in caliber, and several more armored cruisers were decommissioned to comply with the terms of the treaty. The
London Naval Treaty The London Naval Treaty, officially the Treaty for the Limitation and Reduction of Naval Armament, was an agreement between the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingd ...
of 1930 introduced further limits on cruiser tonnage, and the former role of the armored cruiser was occupied by more modern
light cruiser A light cruiser is a type of small or medium sized warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warshi ...
s and
heavy cruiser The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range and high speed, armed generally with naval guns of roughly 203 mm (8 inches) in caliber, whose design parameters were dictated by the Washington Naval Tr ...
s (and, in the case of the German navy, panzerschiffe). Only a small number of armored cruisers survived these limitations, though a handful saw action in World War II in marginal roles. For instance, the late-design
Hellenic Navy The Hellenic Navy (HN; el, Πολεμικό Ναυτικό, Polemikó Naftikó, War Navy, abbreviated ΠΝ) is the naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collect ...
's , constructed in 1909, served with the British Navy as a convoy escort in the Indian Ocean after the fall of Greece, while a number of Japanese armored cruisers were still active as minelayers or training vessels. The only armored cruiser still considered to be in existence, as well as in active duty, is the aforementioned ''Georgios Averof'', preserved as a museum in
Palaio Faliro Palaio Faliro ( el, Παλαιό Φάληρο, ; Katharevousa Katharevousa ( el, Καθαρεύουσα, , literally "purifying anguage) is a conservative Conservatism is a Political philosophy, political and social philosophy promoting t ...
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
.


Differences with heavy cruisers

The armored cruiser was not a close ancestor of
heavy cruiser The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range and high speed, armed generally with naval guns of roughly 203 mm (8 inches) in caliber, whose design parameters were dictated by the Washington Naval Tr ...
s, even though the name might suggest this. The armored cruiser type had come about in a time of transition as one technology after another presented itself. Boilers had become better (though still in need of improvement), and Krupp cemented armor and compound steam engines had arrived. The rate of change was nothing less than staggering and any ship more than 20 years old was found to be completely obsolete. The Italian Navy, unable to afford battleships, produced the ''Garibaldi''-class cruiser of 7,500 tons displacement which was an international success.Friedman, Norman: ''British Cruisers of the Victorian era'' Location 6228 William H. White DNC of the British Royal Navy was taken by the design and presented the design for the ''Cressy''-class cruiser of 12,000 tons displacement designed from the onset as an adjunct to the pre-dreadnought battle line, on 5 May 1887.Friedman, Norman: ''British Cruisers of the Victorian era'' Location 6248 William White would take the idea further by designing the battlecruiser. As such the armored cruiser is the direct predecessor of and inspiration for the battlecruiser. The heavy cruiser was a direct product of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, which limited cruisers to a standard displacement of no more than 10,000 tons, with main guns not exceeding 8 inches (203 mm) caliber. There were also important technical differences between the heavy cruiser and the armored cruiser, some of which reflected the generational gap between them. Heavy cruisers were typically powered by oil-fired
superheated steam Superheated steam is steam Steam is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vita ...
boilers and
steam turbine A steam turbine is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine that uses Power (physics), power to apply Force, f ...
engines, and were capable of far faster speeds than armored cruisers (propelled by coal-fired reciprocating steam engines of their era) ever had been. Countries withdrawing from the Washington Treaty and the
London Naval Treaty The London Naval Treaty, officially the Treaty for the Limitation and Reduction of Naval Armament, was an agreement between the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingd ...
of 1930 and
Second London Naval Treaty The Second London Naval Treaty was an international treaty signed as a result of the Second London Naval Disarmament Conference held in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city ...
1936 eventually rendered all limitations on heavy cruisers moot, although the only supersized or large cruisers actually built were the two members of the ''
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...
'' class.


See also

* List of ships of the Second World War * List of cruisers of the Second World War


Citations


References


Author unidentified, "Thirty-First Meeting of the British Association—with extracts from the Address of Mr. Fairbairn at the opening." In ''The American Journal of Science and Arts, Second Series'' (New Haven, Connecticut), Vol. XXXII No. XCVI, November 1861. At Google Books. Accessed 13 April 2012.

Author unidentified, "Warships, Modern." In ''Encyclopedia Americana (1904), Volume 16'', ed. Beach, Frederick Converse and George Edward Rines. At Google Books. Accessed 9 April 2012.

Andidora, Ronald, ''Iron Admirals: Naval Leadership in the Twentieth Century''
(Praeger, 2000). . Accessed 14 April 2012.
Baxter, James Phinney, ''The Introduction of the Ironclad Warship (Classics of Naval Literature)''
(Harvard University Press, 1933; reprinted with permission by US Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2000). . Accessed 10 April 2012. * Beeler, John, ''Birth of the Battleship: British Capital Ship Design 1870–1881''. Caxton, London, 2003. * * *
Burr, Lawrence, ''US Cruisers 1883–1904: The Birth of the Steel Navy''
(Osprey Publishing, 2008), . Accessed 11 April 2012.
''Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905''
Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1979. Accessed 11 April 2012.
Crabtree, Jerome Bruce, ''The Passing of Spain and the Ascendency of America''
(Springfield, Mass.: The King-Richardson Company, 1898). Accessed 14 April 2012.
Crabtree, Jerome Bruce, ''The Marvels of Modern Mechanism and Their Relation to Social Betterment''
(Springfield, Mass.: The King-Richardson Company, 1901). Accessed 9 April 2012.
Fairbairn, William et al, ''The Life of Sir William Fairbairn, BART''
(London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1877), ed. Pole, William FRS. Accessed 13 April 2012. * * * * Jane's Fighting Ships 1905/6. Arco Publishing Company, Inc. (reprint) 1970. *
Hovgaard, Commander William, "The Cruiser." In ''Transactions: The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Volume 13''
(New York: Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, 1905). Accessed 14 April 2012.] *
Mahan, Alfred Thayer, ''Naval strategy compared and contrasted with the principles and practice of military operations on land: Lectures delivered at the U.S. Naval war college, Newport, R.I., between the years 1887 and 1911''
(University of Michigan Library, 1915). Accessed 14 April 2012. * *
Osborne, Eric. W., "Cruisers." In ''World War I: A Student Encyclopedia''
ed. Tucker, Spencer and Priscilla Mary Roberts. Accessed 9 April 2012. * Osborne, Eric W., ''Cruisers and Battle Cruisers: An Illustrated History of Their Impact'' (ABC-CLIO, 2004). .
Parkerson, General A. C., ed., ''How Uncle Sam fights: or, Modern warfare—how conducted''
(Baltimore: B. H. Woodward Company, 1898). Accessed 9 April 2012. * * *
Ropp, Theodore, ''The Development of a Modern Navy: French Naval Policy, 1871–1904''
(Naval Institute press, 1987), ed. Roberts, Stephen S. . Accessed 9 April 2012.
Sandler, Stanley, ''Battleships: An Illustrated History of Their Impact''
(ABC-CLIO, 2004). . At Google Books. Accessed 10 April 2012. *
Stirling, Commander Yates, USN, "Another Argument for Speed in Battleship Design." In ''Naval Institute Proceedings, Volume 34''
(Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute, 1908). Accessed 13 April 2012. *


External links



{{Warship types of the 19th & 20th centuries Ship types Cruisers Russian inventions