Monday, 22 April 2013
Dynamite Gun Cruiser
The USS Vesuvius was a one of a kind experimental vessel commissioned in 1890. She was fitted with three fixed elevation compressed air launchers which were aimed by physically turning the ship, and lobbed explosive charges. In theory she could lob 30 charge in 30 minutes, giving a rate of fire, and a net explosive effect, significantly greater than any other vessel.
Vesuvius saw action in the Spanish American War, joining the Cuban blockade in 1898 and conducting a number of shore bombardments. While the local Commander claimed she had 'great effect' a planned follow up vessel was never built as more conventional weapon technology overtook pneumatic weapons and made them redundant.