papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 ноя 1874 - 24 янв 1965) Part III 1916–1918 (1923-31)

To All Who Endured



‘A thousand years scarce serve to form a State;

An hour may lay it in the dust.’

Still greater was the British superiority in gun fire. Sir John Jellicoe’s battleships and battle-cruisers mounted 272 heavy guns against 200 German. But this superiority in numbers was magnified by an enormous superiority in size: 48 British 15-inch, 10 14-inch, 142 13·5-inch, and 144 12-inch guns were matched against 144 German 12-inch and 100 11-inch, making a total British broadside of 396,700 lbs. against a German of 189,958.

Each turret in a capital ship is a self-contained organism. It is seated in the hull of the vessel like a fort; it reaches from the armoured gun-house visible to all, 50 feet downwards to the very keel. Its intricate hydraulic machinery, its ammunition trunk communicating with the shell-rooms and magazines—all turn together in whatever direction its twin guns may point.

The two leading ships, the Barham and the Valiant, were engaged with the enemy’s battle-cruisers; the rear ships, the Warspite and the Malaya, fought the whole of the finest squadron in the German Fleet. This apparently unequal conflict lasted for over half an hour. All the ships except the Valiant were struck repeatedly with the heaviest shells, the Warspite alone receiving thirteen hits and the Malaya seven. Such, however, was the strength of these vessels that none of their turrets were put out of action and their speed was wholly unaffected.

All the main forces were now fast drawing together, and all converged and arrived upon the scene in one great movement. Every ship was moving simultaneously, and after an almost unperceived interval, the duel of the battle-cruisers merged in the preliminaries of a general Fleet action.

Tags: Черчилль
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