In 1901, Lord Fisher (First Lord of the Admiralty) wrote the basis for future warships:
'oil fuel, turbine propulsion, equal gunfire all around [perhaps implying a batter of uniform calibre], greater speed than any existing vessels of their class, no masts, no funnels, etc.'
Oil fuel and turbines added up to sustained, rather than the usual burst of speed (unlike coal-fired boilers, oil-fired ones did not have to be shut-down periodically to clean grates of ash, for example.
Coal-fired boilers also required a high number of personnel; geared turbines did not. At the time, the Royal Navy was also suffering a shortage of personnel, another reason for geared turbine adoption. Adopting oil fuel would more than double the reduction in engineering spaces personnel. With one technology adoption, half the Navy's personnel problems would be solved!
One could argue that the upcoming revolution brought on by the HMS Dreadnought was as important in engineering plant adoption as the more common considered "all big-gun" battery design.
BG Tech Statement.
The practical application of turbine for naval applications, as well as civilian uses, created a revolution in engineering plants and practical applications. Turbines could absorb more than their rated power in terms of steam. Initially, turbines were far less efficient than reciprocating engines, but more efficient propellers, and with the turbine speed problem solved, geared turbines also allowed for introduction of lower speeds cruising turbines for use over long distances.
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