By Norman Friedman
Progressively evolving from crusing frigates, the 1st smooth cruiser isn't really effortless to outline, yet this booklet starts off with the earliest steam paddle warships, covers the evolution of screw-driven frigates, corvettes and sloops, after which the succeeding iron, composite and steel-hulled periods all the way down to the final armoured cruisers.
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I am also grateful to Bob Todd, photo curator at the Brass Foundry. For photos held by the US Navy, I would like to thank my friend Charles Haberlein, curator emeritus at the Naval Historical and Heritage Command, and his assistants Ed Finney and Robert Hanshew (who is Mr Haberlein’s successor). I would like to thank the photo library staff of the US Naval Institute. I am grateful to the State Library of Victoria (Australia), which has made available the superb photography of Allan C Green which it holds.
He identified eighteen such places, Each of these eighteen stations should be occupied by two or three ships, making a total of forty to fifty cruisers. 7 By cruisers Milne meant frigates and corvettes, which he thought would soon be rerated as cruisers of the first, second, and third classes. Only a few of them were really fast. Milne proposed a fleet of 20 frigates, 25 to 30 first-class corvettes, and 30 second-class corvettes, aside from lesser craft (sloops and gunboats). He considered this a low estimate, and pointed out that a quarter would probably always be under repair or defective at any time.
Once Britain relied heavily on foreign sources of food, cutting British seaborne trade threatened starvation: the imported food had to reach Britain by sea. Furthermore, the new industries relied heavily on raw materials brought by sea from abroad. Cutting that traffic could destroy the ability to produce the weapons needed to defend the British Isles. The Victorian Royal Navy found it difficult to arouse public interest in so abstract an issue as trade defence. Too many in the United Kingdom equated defence simply to defence (by army and militia) against invasion.
British Cruisers of the Victorian Era by Norman Friedman