By Patrick McSherry
The Protective Deck
This is a rare view of the installation of OLYMPIA's
protective deck during her construction. The angled shape toward the
of the ship with the flat central portion can be plainly seen.
The only "armor" on the OLYMPIA (in
to her turrets and conning tower) is her "protective deck." It is this
deck which is the indicator of her class of ships - "protected
The protective deck was a layer of armor, below the level of the
deck, which was intended to protect the ship's vitals - her engines,
dynamos and magazines.
The construction of the protective deck is plainly visible from
The deck began below the waterline on one side of the ship, angled up
the level of the torpedo deck floor where it became level and formed
deck. As it approached the hull on the opposite side, it again angled
to to below the waterline.
In this image, the protective deck can be
overhead. This image was taken at the point that the deck begins to
down to below the waterline.
The center, horizontal portion of the deck is two inches thick,
on the slopes, where the deck proceeds down at an angle toward the
hull to a point below the waterline, it is four and three-quarters
thick. It is supported by intermediate bulb tee frames following the
of the deck transversely through the vessel and spaced at approximately
four foot intervals.
The OLYMPIA is one of only three
cruisers in existence today, the others being slightly more modern -
AURORA and Japan's MIKASA.
Proceed to the Cofferdam and
Wing Passage Page
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