Our cut represents the corvette Greif - the latest addition to the German fleet - on its trial trip, March 10. As other naval powers, especially England and France, have lately built corvettes and cruisers which can travel from 17 to 18 knots, while the fastest German boats, Blitz and Pfeil, can make only 16 knots an hour, the chief of the Imperial Admiralty decided to construct a corvette which should be the fastest vessel in the world. The order was given to the ship and engine corporation "Germania," of Berlin and Keil, in April, 1885, the requirements being that the engines should generate 5,400 h.p., and that the vessel, when loaded, should have a speed of 19 knots, a point which has never been reached by any boat of its size. The hull is made of the best German steel of Krupp's manufacture, and measures 318 ft. in length at the water line, with a breadth of beam of 33 ft., the depth from keel to deck being 22 ft. It draws about 11 ft., and has a displacement of 2,000 tons.
As the vessel is to be used principally as a dispatch boat and for reconnoitering, and as - on account of its great speed - it will not be obliged to come into conflict with larger and stronger men-of-war, no great preparations for protection were needed, nor was it necessary that it should be heavily armed, all available room being devoted to the engines, boilers, and the storing of coal; these occupy more than half the length of the vessel, leaving only space enough for the accommodation of the officers and crew at the ends. The armament consists of five Hotchkiss revolving guns on each side, and a 4 in. gun at each end, the latter being so arranged that each one can sweep half the horizon.
The keel was laid in August, 1885, and the ship was launched July 29, 1886, on which occasion it was christened Greif. On the trial trip it was found that the slender shape of the vessel adapted it for the development of a very high rate of speed under favorable conditions, when it can make at least 22 knots an hour, so that the speed of 19 knots an hour guaranteed by the builders can certainly be reached, even when traveling at a disadvantage. In spite of its great length, the Greif can be easily maneuvered. When moving forward at full speed, it can be made to describe a circle by proper manipulation of the rudder, and by turning one screw forward and the other backward, the ship can be turned in a channel of its own length.
THE NEW GERMAN WAR STEAMER GREIF.
A large and rapid cruiser, also for the German navy, is being built by the corporation "Germania". This vessel is of about the same length as the Greif, has more than double its displacement, and will make 18 knots an hour, an unusual rate of speed for a vessel of its class. It will be launched by the last of the summer or early in the fall.