Lattice masts, or cage masts, or basket masts, are a type of observation mast common on United States Navy major warships in the early 20th century. They are a type of hyperboloid structure, whose weight-saving design was invented by the Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov. They were used most prominently on American dreadnought battleships and armored cruisers of the World War I era.
In the age of sail, masts were required to support the sails, and lookouts were posted on them; with the advent of engine-powered warships, masts were retained and used for observation and to spot fall of shot. The purpose of the lattice structure was to make the posts less vulnerable to shells from enemy ships, and to better absorb the shock caused by firing heavy guns, isolating the delicate fire control equipment (rangefinders, etc.) mounted on the mast tops. However, the masts were found to be easily damaged by the inclement weather experienced at sea by naval ships during typhoons and hurricanes: USS Michigan's mast was bent right down to the deck by such a storm in 1918. As the caliber and range of ships' guns increased, heavier rangefinders were required, and the powerful guns and engines created shock and vibrations; lattice masts were eventually phased out in favor of the more rigid tripod masts favoured by the Royal Navy.
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Use in fortifications
A lattice fire-control mast was installed on Fort Drum, a fort built by the United States to guard the entrance of Manila Bay. The mast directed the fire of the fort's 14-inch main batteries.
Source: "Lattice mast", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 1st), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lattice_mast.
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USS Nevada (BB-36)
USS Mississippi (BB-41)
King Edward VII-class battleship
Colossus-class battleship (1910)
List of battleships of Russia and the Soviet Union
Andrei Pervozvanny-class battleship
Russian battleship Rostislav
Italian battleship Dante Alighieri
Francesco Caracciolo-class battleship
Russian battleship Imperator Pavel I
Russian battleship Andrei Pervozvanny
- ^ Hore, p. 56
- ^ Hore, pp. 56–60
- ^ Friedman, p. 27
- ^ "'Basket' Mast in Successful Test". Popular Mechanics Magazine. Chicago. 18 (6): 869. December 1912.
- ^ Wright, p. 164
- ^ "Mast That Is Target for Big Guns" (PDF). The Washington Times. August 23, 1912. p. 7c. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- ^ "Science and Industry". Goodwin's Weekly (hosted at Newspapers.com). Salt Lake City, Utah. January 11, 1913. p. 6a. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- ^ "Basket Masts Unstable; Tests by Navy on the San Matos[sic] Disclose Weaknesses". New York Times. September 5, 1912. p. 6f. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- ^ "Remnants of the old 'Texas'" (PDF). The Sun. New York. January 7, 1917. Section 4, p. 1. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- ^ Wright, p. 160
- ^ a b Friedman, p. 177
- ^ Friedman, p. 195
- ^ Hore, p. 60
- ^ Morison, Morison and Polmar, p. 172.: Quote:"The only foreign ships to have them were the U.S.-built Argentinian Rivadavia and Moreno and the Russian Andrei Pervozvanny and Imperator Pavel I."
- ^ Hore, p. 91
- ^ Hythe, pp. 351–352 (Plates 57–58)
- ^ Melnikov, p. 24
- ^ Staff, p. 8
- ^ McGovern, pp. 14–15
- Friedman, Norman (1985). U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-715-9. OCLC 12214729.
- Hore, Peter (2006). Battleships of World War I. London: Southwater Books. ISBN 978-1-84476-377-1.
- Morison, S. L.; Morison, S. E.; Polmar, N. (2003). The American Battleship. Zenith. ISBN 0-7603-0989-2.
- Hythe, Thomas A., ed. (1912). The Naval Annual. (Brassey's Naval Annual). Portsmouth: J. Griffin & Co.
- Melnikov, R. M. (2003). (in Russian) Lineyny korabl "Andrey Pervozvanny" (1906–1925) (Линейный корабль "Андрей Первозванный" (1906–1925)). Saint Petersburg: Korabli i srazheniya. (no ISBN).
- McGovern, Terrance C. (2003). American Defenses of Corregidor and Manila Bay 1898–1945. Osprey. ISBN 1-84176-427-2.
- Staff, Gary (2006). German Battlecruisers: 1914–1918. Oxford: Osprey Books. ISBN 978-1-84603-009-3.
- Wright, Christopher C. (2006). "Re: Questions on the Effectiveness of U.S. Navy Gun Fire Control System Rangekeepers". Warship International. XLIII (2): 159–164. ISSN 0043-0374. JSTOR 44893396.
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