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Re: Dreadnoughtus weight calculation
I cannot resist my first opportunity (as a non-dino military engineer)
to actually contribute to the conversation.
Everybody had battleships before 1906, but they tended to have two or
four big guns for long-range pot-luck sniping a lot of medium-sized guns
to do the real dirty work up close. The term battleship had actually been in
use for centuries and applied to what we moderns call "ships of the line".
Nelson called them "Line of Battle Ships" or simply "battleships." There
was even a wooden battleshp called Dreadnought in the 1700s.
The continuing and steady improvement in gunnery, optics, and other
mechanical sciences meant that long-range gunnery had reached the
point that it might actually work. Several nations started building a new
kind of battleship, the "all-big-gun" battleship. The trick was, nobody knew
what one looked like because nobody had ever seen one. The first to start
construction was the USS South Carolina and her sister the USS Michigan.
Everybody else was starting this new kind of ship, independenty, on their own.
Britain, German, Italy, Russia, all had plans in hand or keels on the slipway.
The British started HMS Dreadnought somewhat later, but built it much faster,
so it was the first all-big-gun-battleship in service. Dreadnought was a very
bad design. It had all big guns, but because the British couldn't figure out
how to have Turret #2 shoot over Turret #1, only eight of the ten cannons
could shoot right or left, and there was not much in the way of internal
compartments (another new idea) so a torpedo hit was going to be sudden
death overtime. It did have the new kind of modern turbine engines.
USS Michigan came out next, and it had four double gun turrets with #2 shooting
over #1 (on the front) and #3 shooting over #4 (on the back) so with only
eight guns it had the same firepower as Dreadnought (8 vs 8). It had internal
compartments, turbines, and was superior to Dreadnought in every way, BUT,
Dreadnought was first so now "dreadnought" is interchangable with "battleship"
when it shouldn't be. HMS Dreadnought was so bad that the British never sent it
into battle and quickly copied Michigan. Maybe you'd call it a "loss leader"
to "capture the brand name."
So now we just need a dinosaur called Michigandus magnificus and we'll
be historically accurate.