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ministration of the bureau in such cases is now placed upon the chief clerk. There are at present but two bureaus without an assistant chief of bureau, namely, the Bureau of Construction and Repair and the Bureau of Yards and Docks.
It is recommended that the office of Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks be provided for by law in the same manner as in other bureaus.
INCREASE IN THE CORPS OF CIVIL ENGINEERS.
The bureau invites attention to the necessity for an increase in the authorized strength of the Corps of Civil Engineers. With the rapidly increasing Naval Establishment, the demand for the services of officers of this corps has increased correspondingly. The bureau is frequently unable to recommend that civil engineers be assigned to important duty for which they are especially fitted, owing to lack of available officers. The present authorized strength of the corps is insufficient to expeditiously perform all the duties for which these officers have been especially educated and trained.
Attention is also invited to the fact that nearly 50 per cent of the corps will retire on account of age during the 10 years from 1929 to 1939, and unless an increase in the corps be provided within the near future there will be a serious shortage of experienced officers following these retirements.
The bureau strongly recommends that the authorized strength of the corps be increased from 40 to 60 officers, the increase to be at the rate of 5 per year.
H. R. STANFORD.
The SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.
REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF ORDNANCE.
BUREAU OF ORDNANCE,
Washington, D. C., October 8, 1915. From: Bureau of Ordnance. To: The Secretary of the Navy. Subject: Annual report for the fiscal year 1915.
1. The following report is submitted, covering the work of the bureau for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915.
2. The manufacture of guns required to arm the Pennsylvania and Arizona has been completed and the manufacture of guns for the California, Idaho, and Mississippi and for the destroyers, submarines, and auxiliaries under construction is being carried on without interruption by the navy yard, Washington, D. C., the Bethlehem Steel Co., the Midvale Steel Co., and the American & British Manufacturing Co.
3. The replacement of 5-inch 50-caliber Mark V guns afloat has been completed and the relining of the spare guns is being pro
ceeded with and will be completed in about a year, thus making all these guns good for 3,000 foot-seconds initial velocity.
4. The work of relining and replacing turret guns has progressed satisfactorily and the replacements for the battle fleet have all been completed; there remain only a few armored cruisers to have their turret guns replaced.
5. The 5-inch cartridge-case guns of the Arkansas have been replaced and those on the Wyoming will be replaced this autumn by bag guns. The 5-inch 50-caliber guns of the Delaware and North Dakota have been replaced by the latest type 5-inch 51caliber guns; thus all battleships, from the Delaware class on, have the same type guns for torpedo defense
and use the same ammunition. 6. The replacement of all 3-inch rapid-fire guns with breech mechanisms fitted with eccentric firing pins has been completed. and the modification of all spare guns is nearing completion.
7. The work of assembling reserve batteries is progressing satisfactorily and is practically completed except for the 3-inch batteries whose guns are being relined and fitted with new mechanisms.
8. The bureau is continuing its investigations on the subject of erosion and is testing and investigating all promising schemes submitted.
9. All Colt automatic machine guns have been modified to take service ammunition. Slight changes were found to be necessary to make the Benet-Mercie gun efficient, and these changes have been made, with the exception of a few guns recently shipped from vessels on distant stations.
10. With the object of keeping pace with the increased range of modern naval warfare the bureau has increased the power of the 14-inch guns for the California, Mississippi, and Idaho by increasing the length of the gun to 50 calibers and enlarging its chamber capacity. In order that these latest additions to the Navy should carry the highest type of artillery the bureau took the bold step of ordering their guns without manufacturing a trial gun. The bureau's confidence in its design has been fully justified. The first gun proved not only gave the designed velocity and pressure exactly, but its additional longitudinal strength which has been provided for has resulted in these guns having less droop than any guns of large caliber heretofore produced. As it stands these guns, although of lesser caliber and weight than the 15-inch guns now mounted abroad, are capable of penetrating the heaviest side armor at oblique impacts and at the greatest effective battle range, and give us the advantage of flatter trajectory, with greater volume of fire due to the increased number that we are permitted to mount on any ship of equal displacement.
11. In August, 1914, a type 16-inch gun of 45 calibers length was tested. This gun fulfilled the highest expectations of its design, and the bureau believes it to be as powerful a gun as is in existence to-day.
12. The Nevada and Oklahoma are finished as far as gun mount work is concerned, except that power powder hoists will be installed in the two-gun turrets, after commissioning at the home yard during the period necessary to install torpedo tubes, etc. A slight delay
may occur in completing the work on the Oklahoma, due to injury to ordnance material caused by a fire on that vessel.
13. Practically all of the material for the Pennsylvania's gun mounts has been shipped to the contractors. All deck lugs and two triple 14-inch slides have been shipped to the New York yard fothe Arizona, and the rest of her material will follow in satisfactor time.
14. The first 14-inch slide for the California class has been tested and functioned very well. Arrangements have been made to set up the entire gun mount proper, deck lugs, slides, guns, elevating gear, nut transom, and control gear, in order to test all clearances, adjustments, and alignments. Each turret mount will be thus assembled before shipment. Work is proceeding satisfactorily on the machining of these mounts.
15. The mounts for battleships Nos. 43 and 44 are similar to those for the California class, except that provision is made in the design for a maximum angle of elevation of 30 degrees for the turret guns. While the utility of as great an elevation as 30 degrees may be very remote, it has been attained in the design with so little sacrifice as to warrant the change.
16. The 5-inch mounts for the Pennsylvania have been completed and those for the Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, and California are well in hand. Four-inch mounts for destroyers Nos. 51 to 56 have been completed, those for destroyers Nos. 57 to 62 are nearly completed, and those for destroyers Nos. 63 to 68 are well under way. Three-inch mounts for submarines of the L and M classes are practically finished and a modified and improved type will be manufactured for the Schley. One-pounder anti-aircraft mounts for the one-pounder Maxim-Nordenfeldt guns on hand are being manufactured. All the older gunboats in service have been fitted with the latest type of mount available, and a large number of Naval Militia armories have been supplied with uniform types of 4-inch and 3-pounder guns and mounts for instruction. The work of collecting spare mounts into reserve batteries is nearly completed, except for the 3-inch, and it should be completed in a few months.
17. The bureau has designed and built a 4-inch 50-caliber antiair-craft gun and mount. It has been proved and found to be highly satisfactory. Three-inch 50-caliber antiair-craft guns and mounts are being manufactured for the battleships.
18. The bureau's design of 3-inch submarine gun and mount has passed successful tests at the proving ground, and it remains only to observe its behavior in service. On submarines after the M Class this mount will be modified to give greater elevation for use against air craft.
19. A 1-pounder air-craft gun has been designed, and the bureau expects to increase the caliber as soon as the first gun and mount have been completed. Experiments with this gun will provide data for the further improvement of such artillery.
POWER POWDER HOISTS.
20. The bureau has installed power powder hoists of the conveyor type in the New York and Arkansas, and proposes to extend this plan to the Delaware, South Carolina, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada.
21. Director installations have been made on the Michigan, Delaware, South Carolina, Utah, Florida, Arkansas, Wyoming, New York, and Texas. It is proposed to fit this installation on all other turret ships back to and including the New Jersey class, and in all ships building. As this system does not interfere in any way with the present gear it is believed to be a valuable adjunct at present, in that it undoubtedly provides a means of obtaining fairly accurate results in very heavy weather, or in smoke, spray, or gases, when the present system would be admittedly unsatisfactory. Further development after experience may enhance the value of the system.
CROSS-CONNECTED ELEVATING GEAR.
22. All dreadnaughts are fitted with cross-connected elevating gear except the North Dakota. Directions have been given for installing this improvement on that vessel during her present overhaul.
23. During the past year contracts have been let for armorpiercing, common, and target projectiles, in accordance with the needs of the naval service and within the limitations of the funds available for the purpose of purchasing projectiles.
24. Great difficulty has been experienced in obtaining projectiles in accordance with the new specifications for armor-piercing projectiles, which were first put into practice in 1913.
25. Four manufacturers are now making armor-piercing shell for the Navy Department, three are making common projectiles, and a large number of concerns have competed toward obtaining contracts for target projectiles, in consequence of which the source of supply for the last-named material has widened, and two firms in the South are now engaged in its manufacture.
26. The following table will indicate the increase in the cost of armor-piercing projectiles of the 14-inch caliber since January, 1914:
Date of contract:
$320 Mar. 27, 1915. 27. Some of the increased price may be attributed to the increased severity of specifications, to the increased demand by reason of the European war, and absence of foreign competition.
28. For some months the bureau has been experimenting with the manufacture of armor-piercing projectiles at the Naval Gun Factory, and has produced satisfactory ones of 8-inch caliber. The manufacture of experimental shell of larger caliber is being undertaken. The specifications for armor-piercing projectiles are undoubtedly severe, but they can be met. Difficulty is being experienced in having the manufacturers undertake contracts for such projectiles. In view of our own success, and the fact that other manufacturers have succeeded in producing the required shell, and their evident reluctance to undertake their manufacture, the bureau believes that a projectile factory should be established by the Government, and has submitted estimates elsewhere for this purpose.
29. Considerable experimental work has been conducted for the purpose of developing a satisfactory design of antiair-craft projectile, for the purpose of improving the armor-piercing type of projectile, and in connection with the type of projectile carrying a large amount of high explosive for which armor-piercing capabilities are sacrificed. The results strengthen the views long held by the department as to its preference for armor-piercing projectiles carrying high explosive; and in this connection the bureau quotes the following paragraph from La Nature, July 24, 1915:
The experiment on a large scale of target practice against the hull of the Iena in 1909 confirmed the views of the French naval ordnance, who had always refused to sacrifice the armor-piercing power to the capacity for the explosive. It showed the absolute powerlessness of shells of large capacity, of 20 per cent or even 10 per cent, against armor of any importance.
30. The bureau has provided a small supply of aeroplane bombs, which tested very satisfactorily. Additional bombs of a somewhat different type will be procured as soon as tests can be arranged with the Aeroplane Service.
31. There were manufactured at the naval powder factory, Indianhead, Md., during the fiscal year 1915, 3,984,978 pounds of smokeless powder. Comparative statement of powder manufacture at Indianhead during the fiscal years 1914 and 1915 is given below.
32. The increase of 700,000 pounds in the total output of new powder during the fiscal year 1915 over the fiscal year 1914 is not due to the increase in the powder factory authorized by Congress but to improved methods of operation. It is expected that the new nitrating house will be in full operation about February 1 and that the output of the Indianhead plant for the fiscal year 1916 will be about 5,000,000 pounds and for the fiscal year 1917 about 6,000,000, pounds.
33. Owing to the abnormal rise in the cost of all raw materials entering into the manufacture of powder on account of the war, the cost of the powder now being manufactured is considerably higher than the cost of powder for the last fiscal year, the raw materials for which were nearly all contracted for before the war.