American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any one of a class of warships of the largest size, carrying the greatest number of weapons and clad with the heaviest armor. Also called battlewagon.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A ship of war; specifically, a powerful war-ship designed to fight in the line of battle; in recent use, a heavily armored and armed sea-going war-ship intended for the line of battle. The change from the wooden war-ship propelled by sail-power to the modern armored iron and steel steam battle-ship dates from about the middle of the nineteenth century. The first war-ship propelled by a screw was the United States ship Princeton, and the first ironclad (with the exception of a number of floating batteries built by the French for use in the Crimean war, and copied by the English) the French armored wooden frigate La Gloire, launched in 1860. This was followed by the English Warrior, launched in 1861. From this date the development of the war-ship, largely influenced by the success of the monitor (which see), has been very rapid, resulting in a great diversity of types (as regards arrangement and weight of protective armor, character of armament, and adaptation of design to special ends), and accompanied by an equally rapid progress in the perfection of ordnance (see ordnance, gun), armor-plate (which see), and explosives. The Warrior, an iron vessel, was of 9,210 tons' displacement, had 4½-inch iron armor, carried 32 muzzle-loading guns, of which the largest were of 8-inch caliber and of small power, and had no torpedo-ejectors; the Lepanto, of the Italian navy, launched in 1883, one of the largest war-ships yet constructed, is of 15,900 tons' displacement, has steel armor 19 inches in maximum thickness, carries 16 guns, of which 4 are of 17-inch caliber, and has 4 torpedo-ejectors. See
navy. Modern war-vessels arc classified, according to the service for which they are specially designed, as battle-ships, coast-defense and harbor-defense ships, cruisers (which are classed as armored, protected, or unarmored, according to their degree of defensive power), lookout ships, gunboats, despatch-vessels, rams, torpedoboats, torpedo-boat destroyers, etc. The development of rapid-firing guns in recent years has resulted in increasing the area on the side of the ship covered by armor and the number of guns protected by armor. This involves making the armor of less thickness and compensating for this by improvements in manufacture by which its resisting power is increased. See armor-plate. On the other hand, it has resulted in placing armor on high-speed cruisers, sacrificing something of the speed for this purpose, accompanied by a great increase of size. The modern battle-ship is intended to combine in one vessel the most powerful offensive and defensive weapons of floating warfare. To be effective it is necessarily of large size, with a tendency toward continual increase, limited only by the depth of water in the harbors which it must necessarily frequent. The battle-ship may be divided into three portions, namely, the part under water, that in the vicinity of the water-line, and the upper works. In the first are carried the propulsive machinery and boilers, coal, the steering-gear, the submerged torpedo-tubes, the ammunition, and the greater part of the stores. Upon the integrity of this part depends the floating of the ship. It is subject to attack by mines and torpedoes, and the machinery within it is liable to destruction by fragments of exploding shells or by mortar fire. To protect it from mines and torpedoes, the under-water body is divided into a great number of compartments by an outer and inner skin and a number of water-tight transverse and longitudinal frames and bulkheads, so that the space to which water can gain access by a single explosion will be limited and will not seriously impair the floating power. This is, however, the most vulnerable part of a battle-ship. Attempts to armor the bottom against explosions under water have not yet been made to any extent, because the weight required is prohibitive. To prevent the penetration of projectiles from above, there is a protective or armored deck, usually from 2 to 4 inches thick, the middle part of which is a little above the water-line. This deck extends out to the side at the top of the belt-armor, or, in the most recent ships, slopes down at the sides to the bottom edge of the armor-belt from 4 to 6 feet under water. There is sometimes a second protective deck below the first one to catch fragments which might pass through the first, and this is sometimes called a splinter-deck. The part of the ship immediately above the protective deck, in the vicinity of the water-line, is sometimes called the raft-body. Upon its integrity depends the stability of the ship, for if a sufficient part of it is open to the sea, the ship will “turn turtle.” It is protected from the enemy's projectiles by a heavy armor-belt. In modern battle-ships the armor-belt extends over the whole or the greater part of the length, but it is usually thicker in the middle portions over the engines, boilers, and magazines. The raft-body is further protected by subdivision into a large number of water-tight compartments in which coal and stores are carried and in some of which are quarters for officers and crew. The compartments just inside the armor-belt are called coffer-damsand are frequently packed with obturating material, such as cork or the compressed pith of corn-stalks, which, when wet by the water entering a shot-hole, swells up and closes the hole. In the upper part of the ship is carried the principal offensive power, its battery of guns. This consists of heavy guns, medium guns, and small guns. See armament. The heaviest guns on the modern battle-ship are usually of 12-inch caliber, firing a projectile weighing about 850 pounds. These are mounted in barbette-turrets. See barbette. The largest battleships carry four of these guns in pairs in two turrets, one forward and the other aft on the center line. The majority of United States battle-ships have also from four to eight 8-inch guns, also in turrets. In some cases an 8-inch turret is placed on top of a 12-inch turret, forming what is called a superposed turret. This plan has been adopted only on United States battle-ships. The guns of medium caliber, such as the 6-inch and 7-inch, are usually carried in casemates or in an armored citadel subdivided by splinter-bulkheads. The side of the ship in the vicinity of these guns is usually covered by armor. The tendency is to put more and more guns into turrets, and in battle-ships of French design the greater part of these medium-caliber guns are in small turrets. In the upper part of the ship, usually well forward, is the conning-tower, from which the captain directs the ship in battle. It contains a steering-wheel, speaking-tubes, battle-order transmitters, engine-telegraphs, and other instruments by means of which orders are given to the engineers below, the officers commanding the guns, etc. On the military masts above are small guns for repelling the attack of torpedo-boats, instruments for finding the range, and yards for displaying signals, and on them are frequently placed the search-lights. The most vulnerable part of a battle-ship being that subject to torpedo attack, the modern tendency is to fight at long range, beyond the effective limit of the automobile torpedo. At long range the heavy guns are much more effective and accurate than those of medium caliber. Hence the tendency is to build battle-ships carrying a greater number of heavy guns, reducing in number or abolishing the medium guns, but retaining a large number of small guns, such as the 3-inch, to repel the attacks of torpedo-boats and other unarmored vessels. As so much weight is required for guns and armor in a battle-ship, comparatively little can be devoted to the propelling machinery; hence battleships are of moderate speed as compared with cruisers and torpedo-boats. The modern battle-ship usually has a maximum speed of between 18 and 19 knots. The desire for a type of vessel having much higher speed combined with considerable offensive and defensive power has led to the building in recent years of a class of vessel called armored cruisers(which see). These vessels may be regarded as a special class of battle-ships in which offensive and defensive power have been sacrificed to speed (20 to 23 knots) and coal-endurance.
- n. military Large capital warship displacing tens of thousands of tons, heavily armoured and armed with big guns. Battleships are now obsolescent, replaced by smaller vessels with guided missiles. Types: dreadnought, pre-dreadnought.
- n. Non-functional rocket stage, used for configuration and integration tests.
- n. A guessing game played on grid paper, see Battleship (game)
GNU Webster's 1913
- (Nav.) An armor-plated warship built of steel and heavily armed, generally having over ten thousand tons displacement, and intended to be fit to combat the heaviest enemy ships in line of battle; the most heavily armed and armored class of warship at any given time.
- n. large and heavily armoured warship
- Short for line-of-battle ship. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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“U.S. warships bore official designators—a battleship was a BB, a destroyer a DD, a fleet carrier a CV (heavy) or CVL (light), and so forth.”
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“For Christine Bradley, the eighteen-year-old daughter of the Governor of Kentucky, to stand on the dock at Newport News, against the customs of centuries and facing the jeers of prejudice, baptize the battleship”
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ABM Agreement, accession to a co..., accession to a tr..., accession to an a..., achievement of peace, ACP-EC Convention, advanced technolo..., aerospace industry, African organisation, aggression, agreement, agricultural coop... and 851 more...
If I had a boat
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Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat.
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