Circular Iron-Clads in the Imperial Russian Navy.
We have been favoured with the following description of the Popoffka Novgorod, on of the new class of circular iron-clads designed by Admiral Popoff for the Russian Imperial Navy. This description faithfully represents both the ideas on which this class of vessel has been designed, and the manner in which the designer has embodied those ideas in the first circular iron-clad. The accompanying engravings exhibit bow and stern views of the ship, copied from photographs taken recently at Nicholaev. Three years ago the first design for a circular iron-clad was submitted by Admiral Popoff to the Imperial Russian Admiralty with the object of obtaining a ship of small dimensions which should carry an armament of a few guns of the heaviest class, be capable of steaming at a speed sufficient for all purpose of coast defence, and at the same time be well protected by armour-plating. The principle on which the design was made is -- that, in comparison with ships of ordinary form, circular vessels have greater displacement with the same weight of hull, and therefore increased means for protecting the water line with a strong belt of armour, the decks with thick plating, and the guns with a strong armoured breastwork, thus insuring, in accordance with modern principles of design, the highest attainable amount of safety for ship and crew. The great advantage of the circular form is that it enables a vessel to be built of small draught of water, with the greatest displacement as compared with weight it is possible to give her. From this account it is evident that the present idea of a circular vessel has nothing in common with any project of the kind which has hitherto appeared, but is in fact an extraordinary development of the principle, carried out by Mr. Reed in the British Navy, of shortening