Originally Posted by Akula2ssn
Still, it took them a little while to work out the bugs with having centerline turrets....
Turrets - then known as 'barbettes' - experienced many teething troubles; by the same token, the technology was thereby 'tried and true' by the day the H.M.S. Dreadnought - the first 'definitive' battleship - rolled around.
Just for comparison's sake:
(Image I wanted is un-linkable. However, see the picture below; just above the armor-belt you can see the positions that the original plans called for barbettes to be installed in...)
EDIT: Okay, look at theis picture, just above the armor-belt; you'll see the side-mounted turrets; by comparing this Japanese ship to the Texas, you can see where the same class of 'side-guns' were removed from the design...
U.S.S. 'Texas' - the last 'commisioned' Dreadnaught-class capitol ship:
Centerline 'barbettes'/turrets were, in fact almost an 'afterthought'; sailing 'ships of the line' always fired broadsides, with fore/aft armament little more that an embellishment. The weight-distribution problem you refer to comes with the OFF-center mounted turrets - with the weight of the barrel, so far out from the center of gravity, 'swinging out' one broadside without matching the other could cause the axial list you spoke off.
(The counterweights; as a mid-way measure, ships boasting off-axial barbettes had weights installed via capstan/chain. When the barrel was pointed fore/aft, the weight sat above the keel - as the weapon trained out, the chain would drag a matching weight 'off-side' the keel to counter the effect. It worked... but was hideously prone to both battle-damage and just general wear-and-tear, not to mention the havoc it made of regular bething/pasasgeway.)
Center-line was the SOLUTION to this problem. Considered as a percentage, the 'swing' of the barrel was negligible across it's traverse, in terms of center-of-gravity.
Ironically, you could consider the U.S. Navy's history that of 'make do'; just as axial main armament was a 'make do' measure for steam-powered warships; likewise when the Pacific fleet was crippled in 1941, America was forced to become a 'carrier navy', something it had never intended...