The new ships would be built under contract. White estimated that they would cost £480,000 to £500,000 each, compared to £540,000 for a Kléber, in each case exclusive of armament. Given a sketch design, Controller Rear Admiral Wilson compared equal-cost fleets: 7 large cruisers (Drakes) or 10 smaller ones. The Drakes would have 14 × 9.2in guns and 112 × 6in guns in casemates; the smaller cruisers, 40 × 6in guns in turrets and 100 in casemates. Taking into account both the greater impact of each 9.2in hit, and the reduced rate of fire of 6in guns in twin turrets, White considered the overall firepower of the two groups about equal. The smaller ships needed more men, about 6850 compared to 6300 for the Drakes. They were not nearly as well protected, with 4in rather than 6in belts. For the same total of coal, the smaller ships would have about an eighth less radius of action.
White estimated that one large cruiser could engage two French Montcalms with about the same chance of success as the small cruiser could engage one of them, but she need not fear meeting two of them. The large cruiser could meet many foreign battleships (if caught singly). To Wilson, the greatest advantage of the large cruiser was ‘the certainty that an Admiral would have that whatever service he sent them on, they are sure not to fall in with any single cruiser superior to themselves in either speed or power, and that in most cases their superiority will be so overwhelming that they will be able to destroy their enemy with comparatively little injury to themselves’. Against this, the small cruiser (60ft shorter, and 18in less draught) could enter harbours the large cruiser could not, and the greater number of small cruisers would cover more ground. Wilson considered this last insignificant, given the large number of existing British cruisers. What mattered was the ability to catch and kill the fastest and most powerful of the enemy’s cruisers – and that took a Drake. The existence of Drakes would force an enemy to concentrate his own cruisers, and that in turn ‘would limit his sphere of action more than the reduction in numbers limits ours’.
发表时间：2017-09-14 23:25:00 +0800 CST
更新时间：2019-06-10 12:59:03 +0800 CST