OTOH, if the cramped bridge interior matches the topside external shape, the ship still ought to have space for hundreds if they are equally tightly packed - and if the machinery inside takes no more room relatively than in a WWII sub. But I'd prefer to give more space to machinery and to trim down the crew a lot, so that Kirk eventually causes the deaths of relatively few people compared to the 430 that would have died in Romulan hands.
Agreed, giving internal space priority to the plasma weapon and cramming the crew in what's left over fits the tone of the episode as well as the WW2 sub "men in a can" vibe. A small crew also works for the secret mission/deniability thing.
Robert Comsol wrote:
The in/outlets of a WWII submarine serve the purpose of submerging the vehicle (= rendering it "invisible"), therefore I know believe that the holes on top of the Romulan Bird of Prey serve the same purpose, i.e. rendering the vessel literally invisible.
The numerous visible
holes on a WW2 sub don't have much to do with surfacing/submerging, they simply allow water to freely flow in and out of the space between the cylindrical pressure hull and whatever external structures have been added around/atop it: The outer hull on a US fleet boat, or the deck and bow structure on a Type VII. The valves for the ballast, trim and diving (negatve) tanks were generally not externally visible or very inconspicuous.
That doesn't mean the "holes" couldn't have that function on the BoP, of course, but the (unfortunate, IMO) ease with which a cloaking device is installed in Enterprse seems to weigh against much specialized structure being necessary.
I do wonder f there is a important difference between "powered by impulse," and possessing "impulse power."
Just a impulse engine?
A warp drive powered by impulse?
Good question. The distances involved make some kind of warp-equivalent drive pretty much a necessity. But it's also made clear that whatever it is, it's inferior to what Enterprise
has, which evens up the odds a little and maintains the analog to the speed/range limitations of a U-boat on electric drive.