Nevada class battleships

Nevada class battleships

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Nevada class battleships

The Nevada class battleships were the second class of 14in battleships built for the US Navy, and adopted a new 'all or nothing armour' scheme, designed to make better use of a similar weight of armour to earlier ships.

This 'all or nothing' system eliminated most of the thinner armour used to protect outlying areas of previous ships, and concentrated as much of the armour as possible in a thick band around the key working parts of the ship - the machinery, magazines and gun turrets. Armour piercing shells were designed to explode after they had penetrated armour, doing damage inside the protected area. Thin armour was enough to detonate the shells but not enough to protect against them. In the 'all or nothing' scheme the most important areas were protected by armour thick enough to prevent the shell from penetrating it (with the thickest belt armour rising from 12in on the New York class to 13.5in on the Nevada class, and a larger area protected by the thickest armour). The deck armour was also increased, from 2in to 3in, and the armoured deck moved to the top of the belt, with a thinner 'splinter deck' below to protect against splinters from shells exploding after hitting the deck. Outside the central 'raft' the ship was effectively un-armoured, in the hope that armour piercing shells would fail to detonate. This system made sense while most hits were expected to come from the sides, but as ranges increased more hits would come from above (plunging fire), potentially missing the 13.5in armour completely.

In order to reduce the amount of space that needed to be protected the number of turrets was reduced from five to four but the number of guns remained at ten, with two turrets carrying three guns each. Both ships in the class used oil fired boilers instead of coal fired ones, saving boiler and fuel space, but removing the underwater protection provided by coal bunkers. The Oklahomaretained the reciprocating expansion engines used in the New York class, but the Nevada was the first American battleship to use geared turbines, which offered better fuel efficiency at cruising speed than earlier turbines.

Both ships underwent a major refit in the late 1920s, getting anti-torpedo bulges, new boilers, increased horizontal armour and tripod masts in place of the original cage masts.

Both ships were posted to Bantry Bay, Ireland, during 1918 to help escort US convoys across the Atlantic. They were also both present at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. The Oklahoma capsized early in the attack, but the Nevada was the only battleship to get underway. She was eventually badly damaged by Japanese bombs and had to be beached to prevent her sinking. Oklahoma was righted but not repaired, but Nevada returned to service in 1943 and took part in the D-Day invasion, Operation Dragoon in the south of France and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



8,000nm at 10kts

Armour – belt


- deck


- turret faces

18in or 16in

- turret sides


- turret top


- turret rear


- barbettes


- coning tower


- coning tower top





95ft 6in


Ten 14in guns in two 3-gun and two 2-gun turrets
Twenty one 5in guns
Two 21in submerged beam torpedo tubes

Crew complement


Ships in Class

USS Nevada (BB 36)

Sunk 31 July 1948

USS Oklahoma (BB 37)

Sunk 7 December 1941

Battleship Row

The USS Nevada was moored behind Arizona on December 7, 1941, and was the only battleship to get underway that morning. Though she was run aground off Hospital Point to avoid blocking the channel, the effort to escape boosted morale among service members that day.

After many missions in the Pacific, Nevada was sent to Europe. On June 6, 1944, she served as the flagship for the D-Day invasion. The USS Nevada was the only ship present at both Pearl Harbor and Normandy.

USS Arizona

The USS Arizona was a Pennsylvania-class battleship built in the mid-1910s. Commissioned in 1916, Arizona stayed stateside during World War I. Later on she was sent to the Pacific Fleet, based in Pearl Harbor, HI.

The USS Arizona was hit multiple times in the first few minutes of the attack. One bomb penetrated the armored deck near the ammunition magazines in the forward section of the ship, causing a massive explosion and killing 1,177 of the sailors and Marines on board. Irreparably damaged, the USS Arizona still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

USS Vestal

The USS Vestal was a repair ship moored next to the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. The Vestal was badly damaged during the attack, hit by bombs intended for the battleships. Crew members of the USS Vestal played a vital role in rescuing sailors on the nearby USS Arizona.

This image shows the USS Vestal on December 7, 1941, just after the Pearl Harbor attack.

USS Tennessee

The USS Tennessee was the lead ship of her class of battleships. She was launched in April 1919 and served in various places before arriving at San Pedro, California, where she spent the next 19 years.

The USS Tennessee was sent to the Pacific in 1940 along with the other battleships, as part of President Roosevelt’s plan to deter Japanese expansion. Moored next to the USS West Virginia, the Tennessee was damaged during the Pearl Harbor attack but was repaired and modernized.

USS West Virginia

The USS West Virginia was commissioned in December 1923. She took part in training and tactical development operations until 1939, and was sent to Pearl Harbor in 1940.

On Dec 7, 1941, the USS West Virginia was sunk by six torpedoes and two bombs, killing 106 crew members. In May 1942, the ship was salvaged and sent away to be repaired. She would later play a key role in many Pacific battles, and was present at Tokyo Bay during the Japanese surrender.

USS Maryland

The USS Maryland was commissioned in July 1921. She was used for many special occasions and training operations.

In 1940, the USS Maryland was moved to Pearl Harbor with the rest of the fleet. She was moored at Battleship Row next to the USS Oklahoma on the morning of December 7, 1941. The USS Maryland was only slightly damaged by bombs during the attack and lost four crewmembers. In June 1942, she became the first ship damaged at Pearl Harbor to return to duty.

USS Oklahoma

The USS Oklahoma was a Nevada-class battleship commissioned in 1916. She served in WWI, protecting convoys crossing the Atlantic. Modernized in the late 1920s, Oklahoma was sent to the Pacific in the late 1930s.

On December 7, 1941, Oklahoma's port (left) side was hit by eight torpedoes at the very start of the attack. In less than twelve minutes, she rolled over until her masts touched the bottom, trapping hundreds of men inside and under the water. Four hundred twenty-nine crew members died. Of those trapped inside, only 32 could be rescued.

USS California

The USS California was a Tennessee-class battleship completed just after World War I and commissioned in August 1921. She served as the flagship of the Pacific Fleet for twenty years.

The USS California was sunk on December 7, 1941, during the Pearl Harbor attack, and 105 of her crew members died. The USS California was salvaged and reconstructed, however, and went on to serve for the remainder of World War II.

Ships not on Battleship Row

USS Pennsylvania

The USS Pennsylvania was commissioned in June 1916 and attached to the Atlantic Fleet. In 1922, she was assigned to the Pacific Fleet for fleet tactics and battle practice.

The USS Pennsylvania was in drydock undergoing repairs on December 7, 1941. She was one of the first ships to open fire on the Japanese planes. Pennsylvania was bombed and badly strafed 31 servicemembers aboard were killed. The USS Pennsylvania was repaired in March 1942 and sent back into service in the Pacific.

USS Utah

The USS Utah was a Florida-class dreadnought battleship completed in 1911. She served in WWI and throughout the 1920s. In 1931, Utah was demilitarized and converted into a target ship. She was also equipped with anti-aircraft guns for gunnery training.

On December 7, 1941, the USS Utah, moored on the other side of Ford Island and hit by torpedoes at the start of the attack, quickly rolled over and sank. Fifty-eight of Utah's crew died. The ship was never salvaged and remains where it sank in Pearl Harbor.


Authorized by Congress on March 4, 1911, the contract for constructing USS Nevada (BB-36) was issued to the Fore River Shipbuilding Company of Quincy, MA. Laid down on November 4 of the following year, the battleship’s design was revolutionary for the US Navy as it incorporated several key characteristics that would become standard on future ships of the type. Among these was the inclusion of oil-fired boilers instead of coal, the elimination of amidships turrets, and the use of an “all or nothing” armor scheme.

These features became sufficiently common on future vessels that Nevada was considered the first of the Standard-type of US battleship. Of these changes, the shift to oil was made with the goal of increasing the ship’s range as the US Navy felt that would be critical in any potential naval conflict with Japan. In designing Nevada’s armor protection, naval architects pursued an “all or nothing” approach which meant that critical areas of the ship, such as magazines and engineering, were heavily protected while less vital spaces were left unarmored. This type of armor arrangement later became commonplace in both the US Navy and those abroad.

While previous American battleships had featured turrets located fore, aft, and amidships, Nevada’s design placed the armament at the bow and stern and was first to include the use of triple turrets. Mounting a total of ten 14-inch guns, Nevada’s armament was placed in four turrets (two twin and two triple) with five guns at each end of the ship. In an experiment, the ship’s propulsion system included new Curtis turbines while its sister ship, USS Oklahoma (BB-37), was given older triple-expansion steam engines.

Nevada class battleships - History

Seventy-two of the 211 design drawings in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book treat battleships. These plans cover development of all of the designs selected for construction during Fiscal Year 1912 through Fiscal Year 1919, from the Nevada (Battleship # 36) through the South Dakota (Battleship # 49) classes. (The ships of the South Dakota class were canceled prior to completion.) In addition, the drawings include several design concepts that did not result in approval for construction, often illustrating the implications of alternatives significantly different than those adopted for construction. Related drawings in the book that show battle cruiser and the so-called "torpedo battleship" designs are listed and described separately.

The battleship was considered to provide the main fighting strength of the fleet during this time period. As of 1911, battleship design had just passed through a significant period of change. Construction of ships with a mix of main and intermediate caliber guns, such as 12-inch and 8-inch, respectively, had ended in favor of ships having a so-called "all-big-gun" armament comprised of main battery guns but no other weapons intermediate between the 12-inch turret guns and much smaller anti-torpedo craft weapons (typically 3-inch to 5-inch guns in U.S. Navy ships.) The completion of the British battleship Dreadnought in 1907, armed with ten 12-inch guns, marked the beginning of the "all-big-gun" era and ships built to this concept often were referred to as "dreadnought" battleships. The U.S. Navy ordered a total of eight battleships of the "dreadnought" or "all-big-gun" type during 1906 to 1909. All these eight ships, of four separate, successive designs, mounted a main battery comprised of 12-inch guns. None of these earlier designs are included in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" book. The first battleship design described in this book was the first subsequent design to be completed, the first U.S. Navy battleship design mounting a main battery comprised of 14-inch caliber main battery guns.

Discussion of the need to increase the caliber of the main battery gun above 12 inches in caliber dated from at least 1908 and a 14-inch gun was considered the logical next step. The Bureau of Construction and Repair circulated to other bureaus the first draft preliminary designs for a battleship armed with 14-inch guns on 11 November 1908. Two resulting preliminary designs incorporating 14-inch guns, the so-called "Scheme No.404" (with eight 14-inch guns) and "Scheme No.502" (with ten 14-inch guns), were forwarded to the General Board for review on 15 December 1908, together with a third design incorporating twelve 12-inch guns ("Scheme No.601"). (None of these designs is included in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book.) In the event, the 12-inch gun design was chosen for the two ships ordered in 1909--Wyoming (Battleship # 32) and Arkansas (Battleship # 33).

The Bureau of Ordnance commenced construction of a 12-inch/50-caliber and a 14-inch/45-cal. gun in parallel with orders placed on 14 January 1909 for single prototype guns. The ordnance bureau considered the 14-inch gun much riskier than the longer variant of the 12-inch gun. This assessment played a role in the selection of the new 12-inch gun variant for the Wyoming class.

The Bureau of Construction and Repair watched the development of the 14-inch gun and anticipated that it eventually would be chosen for use in a new battleship. Accordingly, the construction bureau wrote on 16 October 1909 to the Secretary of the Navy to request that the General Board and the Board on Construction, the two primary advisory panels assisting the secretary in policy and technical matters, respectively, to consider the matter and to help obtain a departmental determination. (The Board on Construction, composed of bureau chiefs, was disestablished at the end of 1909, leaving the General Board as the principal senior advisors to the secretary on ship design.) In due course the decision was made to build the next class of battleships armed with 14-inch guns, with the first of these ships placed on contract by December 1910. This design is the earliest battleship design included in this volume (see Photo # S-584-028), illustrating the two ships of this type built under the Fiscal Year 1911 shipbuilding program. These ships, New York (Battleship # 34) and Texas (Battleship # 35), had five twin main battery turrets providing a total of ten 14-inch guns. The drawing in this volume is dated 1 April 1913, after both ships of the class already had been launched, and thus presumably was prepared merely as a reference to assist deliberations concerning future designs.

The Nevada (Battleship # 36) class that followed the New York (Battleship # 34) class introduced two major design innovations, the adoption of the so-called "all-or-nothing" armor protection concept and the use of triple main battery gun turrets. Both innovations involved risk and were the subject of much internal debate among the U.S. Navy officials involved. This class also was the first battleship design to provide fuel oil rather than coal for propulsion energy. The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book includes a total of seven preliminary designs for the Nevada class (Photos # S-584-001 through S-584-007) plus one drawing of the final design approved for construction (Photo # S-584-009).

The "all-or-nothing" protection concept was based on the premise that vital elements of the ship should be protected securely against enemy attack, principally by shell fire, and that much of the rest of the ship could be left unprotected by armor without hazarding the loss of the ship's or its major functions.

The Secretary of the Navy sent approved characteristics for the new battleships on 1 November 1910 to the Bureau of Construction & Repair, expanding upon some initial general characteristics established on 28 June 1910 and supplemented by additional guidance provided on 1 December 1910. The bureau sent a set of drawings for one resulting proposed preliminary design to the Secretary of the Navy on 13 February 1911, in fulfillment of this task, but this design is not included in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book. (This initial design is described in the bureau's letter File 26162-E.28 that survives, without enclosures, in Bureau of Ships correspondence files (National Archives Record Group 19 Preliminary Inventory # 133 Entry 92, "Correspondence Concerning Ships 1896-1915.) This design provided a ship of 28,000 tons with a main battery of twelve 14-inch guns in four triple turrets, a secondary battery of twenty-one 5-inch guns, and a maximum speed of 21 knots. The plan called for a ship 580 feet long on the waterline and side belt armor of 11 inches maximum thickness.

The Bureau of Construction & Repair sent a set of three new preliminary design drawings to the General Board on 14 March 1911 that provided a ship of 27,000 tons displacement, which the bureau considered to be the largest likely to be affordable with the amount of money provided by the Congress in the annual appropriation on 4 March ($6 million). One of the new designs provided eight 14-inch guns in four twin turrets (Photo # S-584-001), the second provided ten 14-inch guns in two twin and two triple turrets and 21 knots speed (drawing not included in this book), and the third provided ten guns in four turrets but reduced speed to 20.5 knots to permit increases in protection (Photo # S-584-005).

By verbal request of the General Board, the bureau prepared three additional "Spring Styles" plans, one dated 17 March with a main battery of eleven 14-inch guns, one dated 21 March with a main battery of ten 14-inch guns, and another dated 21 March with a battery of twelve 14-inch guns. None of these plans, which were delivered to the General Board on 23 March, are included in this book.

The bureau followed up with four additional drawings on 28 March 1911, providing, respectively, nine, ten, eleven and twelve 14-inch guns on a displacement of 27,000 to 27,700 tons displacement. None of these particular drawings is included in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book, although an earlier version of the nine-gun design is included (Photo # S-584-006).

The President of the General Board recommended on 30 March 1911 that the 27,000 ton design dated 11 March 1911 (Scheme "C", seen in Photo # S-584-005) be approved for construction. The Secretary of the Navy approved this proposal on 31 March 1911. This approved design appears as updated through 13 November 1911 in Photo # S-584-009.

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book also includes three early preliminary designs (dated 4 to 9 March 1911) for Battleship # 36 that apparently never were sent to the General Board but rather were developed solely for internal use within the bureau to explore the impact in ship size if armor protection and speed were increased significantly. One plan (Photo # S-584-002) provided twelve 14-inch guns, 17-inch side armor, and a speed of 23 knots, together requiring a ship of 38,000 tons displacement, far over the 27,000 ton goal. Another plan (Photo # S-584-003) retained the heavy armor but reduced the main battery to eight guns and the speed to 21 knots, lowering displacement to 32,800 tons, but still much too large. The third plan (Photo # S-584-004) likewise retained the 17-inch armor and eight-gun main battery, but further dropped speed to 19 knots. Even these sacrifices fell far short, providing a 30,200 ton ship that was approximately 3,000 tons over what was deemed affordable.

The bureau's interest in provision of very substantial armor protection appears to be consistent with Naval Constructor David W. Taylor's vision that a battleship could be designed with essentially unassailable protection. Taylor's contemporary views can be seen in presentations that he made on 2 and 3 August 1910 at the Naval War College, notes from which were published in the Bureau's Confidential Bulletin No.28 of 1 December 1910. There he offered the following observation: "It seems to me that there is only one common-sense solution of the problem. It is possible to find out the thickness of practicable armor which is reasonably proof against the big guns of to-day and the possible near future. It is possible to utilize this thickness of armor to protect against gun fire the buoyancy, stability, motive power, and offensive power of our battleships. Why not do it? It is possible to adopt means which will effectively defend our battleships against any torpedo now known. Why not do it? . " (p.16.)

Taylor was assigned in the bureau during this time, succeeding Richard M. Watt as Chief Constructor (and bureau chief) on 13 December 1914. With the original preliminary design workbook for the class lost, it is impossible to know what role Taylor may have had in Nevada's design, but evidently there was serious consideration given within the bureau about the need for such very heavy armor protection.

Analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of "all-or-nothing" protection depended in part on estimates of the risk of flooding damage in the unarmored ends of a ship built to this concept. One drawing included in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book may relate directly to this concern. Photo # S-584-008 provides illustrations of the anticipated changes in flotation trim in the event of flooding of compartments in the forward part of a modern battleship, in this case apparently a Delaware (Battleship # 28) class ship.

Development of the triple 14-inch gun turret also was a matter of great concern to Navy officials. The Bureau of Ordnance brought up the potential for triple turrets in March 1910 and secured approval from the Navy Department to design a triple 14-inch gun turret. Orders were sent on 5 April 1910 to the Naval Gun Factory to prepare the design. The Department gave approval on 31 January 1911 to build an initial experimental triple 14-inch mount and the successful initial test took place at Indian Head, Md., on 28 June 1912. Subsequent firings showed unsatisfactory dispersal in fall of shot and a thorough follow-on test program took place during 1 August to 30 October 1912. Progress with the 14-inch gun triple turret was watched closely as design work proceeded with both the Battleship # 36 and the subsequent Battleship # 38 class designs.

The General Board issued recommended characteristics on 9 June 1911, reaffirmed on 25 October, for the next class of battleships to be built. The characteristics called for an increase in the 14-inch main battery from ten to twelve guns and a significant increase in armor provided underwater to defeat plunging shells, while also reducing designed draught of water. Whereas the Nevada (Battleship # 36) class had approximately 195 tons of underwater armor, new designs that met the Board's characteristics provided over 400 tons of additional armor placed below the waterline.

The Bureau of Construction and Repair forwarded a set of four preliminary designs to the General Board on 2 March 1912, all of which are included in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book. Inevitably, these designs were significantly larger than Nevada in order to meet the characteristics. One, Scheme "G" (Photo # S-584-010) satisfied the Board characteristics, included 411 tons of additional underwater armor, at a designed displacement of 31,300 tons. Scheme "I" (Photo # S-584-011) adopted a deeper hull, illustrating the benefits in design efficiency that could result. The resulting shorter hull allowed more weight to be shifted to armor, with displacement unchanged from Scheme "G". Scheme "J" retained the deeper draught of Scheme "I", reduced length a further 15 feet, and provided less armor, reducing displacement to 30.100 tons. This design had the same speed and protection as the Nevada class but two additional main battery guns. Finally, Scheme "K" followed Scheme "G" but reverted from turbine to reciprocating machinery and a slower speed to save 500 tons displacement. The "Spring Styles" Book includes two pages of tabular data (Photos # S-584-014 and # S-584-015) comparing these four designs with the preceding Nevada (Battleship # 36) class.

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book also includes two additional, later designs that apparently were not sent to the General Board but rather reflected bureau interest in the implications of reverting to twin from triple main battery gun turrets. These two designs (Scheme "L", Photo # S-584-016 and Scheme "M", Photo # S-584-017) both mounted eight 15-inch guns in four twin turrets. One design--Scheme "L"--adopted reciprocating steam machinery for 20.5 knots speed while the other--Scheme "M" employed turbine machinery for a 21 knot speed and a 200 ton displacement savings. The selection of a main battery gun of 15-inch caliber, a type not then under development for the U.S. Navy, apparently reflected a hypothetical assumption by the ship design office that such a weapon, lighter than a 16-inch gun, might help facilitate a compromise in qualities that would be more affordable than a 16-inch gun-armed ship and more capable than a 14-inch gun-armed ship. There is no evidence the Bureau of Ordnance was consulted on this matter, which in any case was not pursued.

The "Spring Styles" Book includes a drawing for Battleship # 38 dated 24 August 1912 (Photo # S-584-023) that shows a significant change in the design of underwater protection. Whereas earlier preliminary designs placed underwater armor on the outer shell below the main side belt, this later plan shifted the underwater armor to an interior location, installed as a vertical bulkhead set inboard of the hull shell plating. This layout was adopted and a still later drawing in the book (Photo # S-584-041), dated 21 November 1913, almost nine months after the construction contract was signed, confirms the final arrangements.

With only one battleship (Pennsylvania, Battleship # 38) funded in Fiscal Year 1913, the Secretary of the Navy directed on 10 February 1913 that the one further ship authorized and appropriated in Fiscal Year 1914 be built to the same design. This FY 1914 ship became Arizona (Battleship # 39).

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book shows that further significant excursions from previously approved designs were considered between the time the design for the Pennsylvania was approved and that for the similar subsequent New Mexico (Battleship # 40) class was selected. The "Spring Styles" Book includes one radical and enigmatic design that apparently represented an early example of the so-called "Ironsides" concept. The book also includes at this point several examples of a large, fast battleship design that proved to be ahead of its time.

The so-called "Ironsides" concept was based on the replacement of vertical side belt armor by highly sloped armor. Unfortunately, virtually no original documentation describing this concept survives. The Bureau of Construction & Repair prepared in 1915 Research Data Memorandum No.100, entitled ""Ironsides"--Proposed Battleship, Originated by Constructor D.W. Taylor in 1913 Showing Radical departure from Usual Construction, Sloping Armor, etc.--History of", to summarize the history of the design. Unfortunately, that document is missing at the National Archives (Record Group 19 Bureau of Ships, Preliminary Inventory # 133 Entry 118, Box 3) and all that survives is the derivative account of the concept written by Dr. Norman Friedman, who was able to consult the document before its disappearance, in his book U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1985), pp.147-148.

The "Spring Styles" Book drawing in question identifies the design with the caption "Possible", implying that the mix of capabilities shown was considered technically feasible, but also perhaps recalling the titles given to a series of innovative battleship designs created by then LCDR Homer C. Poundstone in a 1903 Naval Institute Proceedings article, called "Feasible", "Probable", and "Possible", where "Possible" was an "All-Big-Gun" ship imagined prior to the appearance of HMS Dreadnought.

The "Spring Styles" Book drawing of this "Possible" design (Photo # S-584-018) was dated 25 March 1912, prior to the earliest date of early 1913 cited for initiation of the "Ironsides" concept. Naval Constructor David W. Taylor was assigned as a senior naval architect in the Bureau of Construction & Repair at this time. The "Spring Styles" Book design is radical in several respects, not just in terms of armor layout. The design incorporates "internal combustion" propulsion--apparently implying diesel power--and shows a complete absence of masts and funnels. (Inconspicuous diesel exhaust vents would have been provided, though with uncertain benefit in clearing the ship of gases.) Very heavy armor protection (17,200 tons, about twice that carried in Nevada) was provided, consistent with Naval Constructor Taylor's known preference for heavy armor. A heavy main battery of ten 16-inch guns is provided, including most notably a midships turret atop an extraordinarily high barbette, apparently to permit longer-range fire and added plunging effect in trajectory. While not extraordinarily fast at 22 knots, the design was faster previous battleships, contributing materially to the very large resulting size of the ship--48,000 tons displacement.

The "Ironsides" concept was abandoned quickly, contemporary sources citing the potential reduction in stability in the event of flooding on one side, where the unarmored area above the sloping armor would be liable to prompt flooding and risk capsizing the ship. Moreover, as pointed out by Dr. Friedman, the 45-degree slope of the armor in this scheme actually would have reduced its resistance as gun ranges increased in later years, creating an increasingly plunging angle of arrival that would make the armor appear increasingly perpendicular to such diving projectiles.

The other excursion at this time from contemporary norms focused on creation of a high-speed capital ship. These investigations also involved the introduction of 16-inch guns for the main battery and added much higher speed, in this case, 25 knots. The Bureau of Ordnance already had proposed development of a 16-inch gun in 1911 and construction of a test weapon was approved a year later. The Bureau of Ordnance sent preliminary design drawings for a 16-inch gun turret to the General Board on 6 June 1912 for comment as part of the design process. The first test gun, 16-inch/45-caliber gun Mark I Serial # 1, went to proof at the Naval Proving Ground on 30 September 1914.

Other surviving records show significant contemporary interest in providing much faster capital ships. Records at the National Archives include evidence that the General Board sent a letter to the Navy War College on 18 January 1913 that was entitled "fast battleships to replace battle cruisers". While the letter has not been found in Washington, D.C. area archives, contemporary "Spring Styles" drawings include designs capable of much more than the standard 20 to 21 knots of contemporary battleships.

Thus, a battle cruiser preliminary design, the earliest to appear in this collection, was completed on 12 October 1912 (see Photo # S-584-024). This design is described here separately under the battle cruiser ship category. Not long afterwards, a similar design for a battleship completed in February 1913 provided a 16-inch gun main battery in a 25-knot ship (see Photo # S-584-027). No doubt daunted by the estimated 50,000 ton displacement of this design, two subsequent preliminary designs recast this plan with twelve 14-inch guns in lieu of a 16-inch main battery (see Photo # S-584-029) and then, in turn, maintained the twelve 14-inch gun battery and reduced speed to 22 knots (see Photo # S-584-030). The reduction to a 14-inch main battery reduced displacement only by 3,000 tons (to 47,000 tons), still very large, while further reduction to 22 knots maximum speed finally generated significant reduction in size, to 36,500 tons--though still about 5,000 tons larger than the Pennsylvania.

No other record was found to show Navy interest in advancing these large, high speed battleships at this time. Development began several months later on designs for the new battleships anticipated in Fiscal Year 1915, and these were begun very much on the basis of experience with the Pennsylvania (Battleship # 38) class design. The General Board issued draft characteristics on 20 May 1913 that included three alternative proposals, two that reproduced or slightly modified the Pennsylvania design and one that called for a ship having eight 16-inch guns or twelve 14-inch guns in the main battery, a speed "not less than 21 knots", and side armor 14 inches thick.

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book contains a total of twelve drawings for the Fiscal Year 1915 battleship design. The prospect for providing 16-inch guns in the main battery and significantly increasing armor protection appears in these designs, but ultimately the decision was taken to repeat, in most aspects, the Pennsylvania (Battleship # 38) class design.

The Bureau of Construction & Repair submitted five alternative designs to the General Board on 10 October 1913 and a sixth on 14 October, in support of their deliberations over design priorities. The General Board's Executive Committee met on 21 October to evaluate and select one design of the six for Battleship # 40. Five of the six are included in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book, Photos # S-584-032 through S-584-035. The missing sixth design ("Design # 2") was similar to the so-called "Design # 1" mounting ten 16-inch guns except that protection was reduced, with only 13.5-inch side belt armor instead of 16 inches as provided in Design # 1. In a Committee vote on 21 October, Design # 3 (Photo # S-584-032) was preferred, but the Chief Constructor was asked to determine if a revised variant could be created that would shift weight from side protection to underwater protection.

The Chiefs of the Bureaus of Construction and Repair (Chief Constructor R. M. Watt) and Ordnance (Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss) presented their views on battleship design to the General Board on 1 November, and were asked to return with a "joint recommendation of the type of ship preferred by both." The two bureau chiefs returned on 21 November with two designs.

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book meanwhile includes three preliminary designs for Battleship # 40 dated 24 October through 3 November 1913 that apparently were not presented to the General Board and that apparently reflected internal investigation of the implications of various design options. The first, dated 24 October 1913 (Photo # S-584-036) was similar to Design # 4 (Photo # S-584-031) but provided 6-inch guns in the secondary battery rather than 5-inch and had two additional torpedo tubes. The second, dated 29 October 1913, resembled the design of 24 October but provided much heavier protection (9,382 tons compared to 8,162 tons, see Photo # S-584-037). The last of these three designs (Photo # S-584-038) was much smaller, mounting a main battery of only eight 14-inch guns in four twin turrets and having 13.5-inch side armor protection.

The bureau chiefs presented two designs on 21 November 1913, both proposing a main battery of twelve 14-inch guns in four triple turrets but differing in secondary battery and protection. The first design (Photo # S-584--039) was 36,000 tons while the second (Photo # S-584-040) was 33,200 tons. The first provided 6-inch guns in the secondary battery and 16 inch side armor the second retained a 5-inch gun secondary battery and had 15-inch side belt armor. The retreat from the 16-inch gun in the main battery is most notable, reflecting a sense that the new weapon was not yet ready for service use. Instead, a new Mark of 14-inch gun in development, the 14-inch/50-caliber gun Mark IV was selected for this class. The first 14-inch/50-caliber gun, Serial # 82, went to proof at the Naval Proving Ground on 18 April 1916.

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book includes another very different design for Battleship # 40 dated 13 December that may reflect lingering concern with the new triple main battery gun turret. This design (Photo # S-584-042) provides a main battery of twelve 14-inch guns but disposed in six twin turrets, requiring a ship that was longer and heavier than the designs incorporating triple turrets. No record has been found of any circulation of this design outside the Bureau of Construction & Repair.

Ultimately, the Secretary of the Navy decided on 3 January 1914 that Battleship # 40 would replicate the design of Pennsylvania (Battleship # 38) with the exception that the 14-inch main battery guns would be mounted independently rather than in a single common sleeve. The separate mountings permitted operation and elevation independent of the other two guns in each turret, but also incorporated a provision to cross connect all three guns to permit firing on a single elevation angle. To incorporate this change, Chief Constructor Watt stated in his transmission letter dated 21 November 1913 for the design of 19 November 1913 (Photo # S-584-040) that "the barbettes have been increased in diameter 30 inches in diameter, and the turrets 30 inches in transverse direction, to provide the necessary room around the guns for their operation and for separate slides. It is possible that this dimension may be somewhat reduced in working out the detailed design of turrets and turret mountings." Photo # S-584-043 in the "Spring Styles" Book shows the design as of 8 January 1914, following departmental approval. Further refinement, taking the hull design closer still to that of the Pennsylvania, took place later in the month, reflected in the "Spring Styles" Book drawing dated 13 January 1914 (Photo # S-584-044).

It is noteworthy that the Bureau of Construction and Repair's preliminary design of 19 November 1913 (Photo # S-584-040) for the New Mexico class battleships carries the designation as "Preliminary Design No.101". This is the earliest known designation in this common series in the long history of numbered preliminary designs that was sustained into the 1930s (e.g., battleship South Dakota (BB-57) was Preliminary Design # 454). This designation system later was paralleled by and ultimately replaced by the World War II years (1941-1945) with a new alphanumerical system categorized by ship type (e.g., B for battleships, C for cruisers, etc., with, for example, the South Dakota design being Design B-19). (There is no known single common designation system for preliminary designs prior to 1913.)

Congressional authorization and appropriations were provided in Fiscal Year 1916 for the construction of two battleships, which became the Tennessee (Battleship # 43) class. A brief design history of the class survives in the National Archives Bureau of Ships (Record Group 19) collection in Washington, D.C. This history, Research Data Memorandum No.151 (located in Preliminary Inventory 133 Entry 118), was dated 10 April 1916 and summarizes the main sequence of events in the design of these ships. (The Preliminary Design Book on this class apparently never was accessioned by the Archives and is unlocated.) According to this memorandum, preliminary design work began sometime in 1914, and was "started with the idea of adopting the type of vessel familiarly known as "Ironsides"" (see Photo # S-584-018). The history states that "the radical feature in the ["Ironsides"] design was the 45 degree sloping side armor, extending to the main deck. Due to questions of stability in damaged condition, this design was considered impractical, and on January 14, 1915, it was decided to proceed with a modified California [i.e., Battleship # 40, renamed New Mexico on 22 March 1916] type of vessel. For history of "Ironsides", see Design Book, pages 27 to 30 inclusive" [this last reference is an example of proof that such class design books were created]. In due course, the Secretary of the Navy directed that characteristics for Battleship # 40 approved on 30 July 1914 be adopted (modified with a reduction in speed by 0.5 knots to 20.5 knots), rather than a more ambitious set (requiring thicker armor) issued by the General Board on 10 June 1914.

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book includes two preliminary design drawings for these ships that date from an intermediate phase of design development. The first design (Photo S-584-047), dated 4 October 1914, shows a design very similar to that of Battleship # 40 (see Photo # S-584-044), except that the side protection system of vertical bulkheads on each side has been altered. In this design, the depth of the side protection system inside the hull shell envelope has been increased by 4 feet 3 inches to a total of 15 feet and one additional vertical bulkhead added. The second intermediate design (Photo # S-584-048) appears to represent an attempt to economize in the overall design of the ship. In this design, dated 28 October 1914, the same, shallower side protection system approved for Battleship # 40 is used, plus the ship's length is reduced by 20 feet. Note the so-called "knuckled bulkheads" employed in the side protection system in these two plans, where a right-angle attachment is made to the underside of the sloping armor deck. Contract plans reflected this system of side protection but the contracts were drawn up with provisions for alterations if need be to incorporate desired changes based on planned testing.

Meanwhile, the Navy was conducting a new series of live fire tests of new designs for side protection systems. The so-called "Caisson No.2", a full-scale section of a battleship side protection system, was tested on 20 July 1915, followed by a series of quarter-scale models that began tests on 29 September 1915. Once analysis of these tests was complete, the side protection system on Battleship # 43 was changed significantly, to a system incorporating five straight, vertical bulkheads set inside the ship's outer shell. While the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book does not include a final version of the Battleship # 43 design, the layout was very similar to that used in the subsequent class of ships, the Colorado (Battleship # 45) class, and is illustrated most closely here in Photo # S-584-094, showing an alternative design proposed for Battleship # 45 that replicated the final Tennessee (Battleship # 43) design in almost all aspects.

A total of ten battleships were authorized in Calendar Year 1916 but appropriations (funding) was provided only for four ships in the next forthcoming Fiscal Year, 1917, the other six receiving appropriations during Fiscal Years 1918 and 1919. The first four ships were built to one design while an entirely new design was selected for the six ships built under the latter two fiscal years' shipbuilding programs.

The Navy Department approved characteristics proposed by the General Board for battleships to be built in Fiscal Year 1917 on.6 October 1915. These characteristics were based on repeating many of the design parameters for the preceding battleship design, the Tennessee (Battleship # 43) class. Changes were directed by increasing steaming radius (from 8,000 to 10,000 miles at 10 knots) and shifting the officers' quarters from aft (in Battleship No.43) to forward. The approved characteristics called for a significant increase in the main battery to ten 16-inch guns, to be mounted in five turrets all placed on the ship centerline.

Meanwhile, questions had been raised more generally about several design features in Battleship # 43. There was an open question concerning the desirability of shifting from submerged to above water torpedo tubes in battleships, both because of concern about an inability to launch torpedoes at higher speeds and also because the tube doors weakened the ship's underwater integrity. The prospect of shifting to turret mounting for the secondary 5-inch gun battery had been raised, as well as the possibility that ongoing experimental work might develop new and improved concepts in underwater protective systems. Finally, there was an expectation that the Battleship # 43 design would need to be modified to provide specialized spaces needed to fit the new ships as flagships.

The Bureau of Construction and Repair developed seven alternative preliminary designs to illustrate different main battery arrangements and sent them on 28 March 1916 to the Navy Department via the Bureaus of Ordnance and Steam Engineering. The Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering endorsed the package on 18 April 1916, recommending that any one of the three designs represented in drawing numbers S. & C.B. 002554 (Preliminary Design # 162, Photo # S-584-094), 002555 (Preliminary Design # 163, Photo # S-584-095), or 002556 (Preliminary Design # 164, Photo # S-584-096) be adopted because they "will require very little modification of the designs . and can be gotten out in a short time." In the event that the Department selected a scheme provided five main battery turrets, the Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering recommended that a design placing the turrets outside the machinery spaces be adopted, preferably No.002559 (Preliminary Design # 167, Photo # S-584-099). The other designs would complicate machinery layout and also might require a return to magazine refrigeration for safety in the midships turret powder supply.

The Bureau of Ordnance, in its endorsement on the package of 4 May 1916, emphasized the "the advantage of duplicating the hull and machinery arrangements of [Battleships #] 43 and 44." This bureau noted that "considerable success has been attained at the recent fleet torpedo practice in firing submerged torpedoes at 20 knots. These torpedoes, however, are not as long as the Mark VIII with which the new ships will be armed." The bureau also stated that "it would be well to retain the single 5-inch mount" until the first twin 4-inch pedestal mount could be tested.

The Secretary of the Navy reviewed the package and its endorsements and forwarded them to the General Board on 13 May 1916, noting that "the time element" to develop working drawings for construction was "important". The General Board took an aggressive posture, recommending in an endorsement dated 31 May 1916 that 50-caliber 16-inch guns be adopted "if practicable", or 45-caliber 16-inch weapons if not. The board further recommended a ten-gun design, stating that it was "preferable to take 8 weeks for Design No.002558 (Preliminary Design # 166, Photo # S-584-098) rather than accept what it considers an inferior design [i.e., either ships mounting 14-inch guns or only eight 16-inch guns.] (The first 16-inch/50-caliber test gun, 16-inch gun Mark II Serial # 42, went to proof at the Naval Proving Grounds on 8 April 1918.)

The Secretary of the Navy rebuffed the board's recommendations, starting that it was "the Department's intention to duplicate Battleships No.43 and 44 as nearly as possible in regard to size, armor, and general arrangement" and asking the board on 28 June 1916 to answer the question of preference between eight 45-caliber 16-inch guns or twelve 50-caliber 14-inch guns.

The General Board returned its answer on 30 June in an endorsement signed by Rear Admiral Charles J. Badger, stating a preference for the 16-inch 45-caliber gun design, but also reiterating a recommendation that the ships be built instead with ten 16-inch 50-caliber guns, believing "that there will be little, if any, delay in the completion of these ships . " The Secretary of the Navy ended the exchange in a letter dated 22 August 1916, directing the provision of eight 16-inch 45-caliber guns in the main battery of the 1917 battleships, duplicating the Tennessee design in most other respects as previously sought. The ships that were built became the Colorado (Battleship # 45), Maryland (Battleship # 46), and West Virginia (Battleship # 48). A fourth unit of the class, Washington (Battleship # 47) was canceled under terms of the Washington naval arms limitation treaty terms of 1921-22 and expended as a target.

Each of the original drawings shown is a blueprint copy of an original ink on linen plan. The original ink drawing currently is unlocated. Each of the blueprint copies includes a pencil annotation in the left margin, written sideways, that records the fact that blueprint copies of each were provided on 28 March 1916 to a correspondence record book, to the Preliminary Design Book, and--in two copies--to Navy Department headquarters.

This account of the development of the preliminary design for the Colorado (Battleship # 45) class battleships was taken from correspondence in the National Archives Record Group 19, Bureau of Ships, Bureau of Construction & Repair Correspondence Concerning Ships 1916-1925, File 22-B45 to 48, filed in Preliminary Inventory # 133 Entry 105, Box 1247.

The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book includes a set of four preliminary designs (Photos # S-584-104 through # S-584-106 and # S-584-114) illustrating the development of the next battleship design adopted for the U.S. Navy, the South Dakota (Battleship # 49) class of the Fiscal Year 1917-1918 shipbuilding programs. Keels were laid for these six ships only in 1920-1921 after some delays and all were canceled prior to launch as a result of the 1922 Washington Treaty on armaments limitation.

The Bureau of Construction & Repair forwarded the first three alternative preliminary designs (Photos # S-584-104 through # S-584-106) to the Secretary of the Navy on 21 December 1916. The Secretary in turn forwarded the drawings to the General Board for comment. The Board replied to the Secretary on 2 January 1917, recommending against Scheme # 3's taller barbette for Turret II that both supported the turret and housed a large armored conning tower. The Board also recommended some modifications in the location of secondary battery guns, placement of the forward cage mast abaft rather than on top of the conning tower, and the combining of smoke uptakes into one single funnel. The Secretary of the Navy approved the General Board's position on 25 January 1917. These changes, as well as some other modifications, are reflected in a preliminary design drawing dated 18 January 1918 (Photo # S-584-114). The final design for the class is reflected in Photo # S-584-132.

At Congressional request, the Navy prepared a series of designs during the winter of 1916-1917 for a hypothetical battleship that would be the largest possible vessel that could use the existing facilities of the Panama Canal to pass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Produced at the request of South Carolina Senator Benjamin Tillman (U.S. Senator from 1895 until his death in 1918), these designs never were considered as likely to be adopted for construction. They represent, however, illustrations of how such large vessels might have developed had circumstances allowed. The 1911-1925 "Spring Styles" Book includes six designs prepared for Senator Tillman and the Congress. As expected, no practical use was made of any of them.

The Navy devoted very serious interest, on the other hand, at this time to the question of increasing speed in capital ships. The Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, called on 9 April 1918 to his design team to examine "combining the principal features of the battleship and battle cruiser classes . to get as much speed as practicable in a vessel carrying a maximum battery and as much protection as possible." While well smaller than the "Tillman Battleship" designs, they still proved very large, about 50,000 tons displacement.

One very unusual aspect of these designs is that two parallel series of designs were created, one by the U.S. designers, led by civilian James L. Bates, and a second drawn independently by the British exchange officer Stanley Goodall, serving at this time in the Bureau of Construction and Repair. (U.S. Naval Constructor Lewis McBride represented the United States in the British Navy's ship design office at this time, in exchange.) Two designs were prepared by Bates (Photos # S-584-133 and # S-584-134), captioned as "Fast Battleships", and two by Goodall (Photos # S-584-136 and # S-584-137), captioned as "Battleship Cruisers." The collection also includes one rough draft by Bates (Photo # S-584-130) and one detail plan of armor arrangements by Goodall (Photo # S-584-138)

The material bureaus took their interest in such a high-speed capital ship to the Secretary of the Navy in what appears to have been an independent initiative, lacking instructions from the Navy headquarters, on 3 June 1918. The Bureaus of Construction & Repair, Ordnance, and Steam Engineering sent a joint memorandum on that date to the Secretary of the Navy entitled "Capital Ships--Preliminary Design". Delays with progress on the 1917-1918 battleships and continuing major changes in the battle cruiser design (see battle cruiser section) caused the bureaus to question the merits of the currently approved capital ship designs. The letter asked "whether the time has come to abolish the distinction between battleships and battle cruisers and combine the two types in a high-speed battleship, or heavily armed and armored battle cruiser . " The bureaus attached two preliminary designs, admittedly "in no sense complete . " but offered as "illustrative" of future possibilities, those prepared by Mr. Bates in May (Design "C", Photo # S-584-134) and Design "D" (Photo # S-584-133). Two additional attachments, Scheme "A" (the latest representation of the design for Battleship # 49, Photo # S-584-132) and Scheme "B" (a modified version of the current Battle Cruiser # 1 design, Photo # S-584-135), were provided for reference.

The Navy's leadership declined at this time to adopt such a radical, and costly recasting of capital ship design at this point, preferring to proceed with construction of the South Dakota (Battleship # 49) and Lexington (Battle Cruiser # 1) classes, the latter substantially modified. Preliminary design work on new fast battleships continued, however, and two later "Spring Styles" Book drawings (Photos # S-584-146 and # S-584-147) show how thinking on such a ship had advanced by early 1919. These designs were part of the work undertaken under Preliminary Design # 215, entitled "1920 Capital Ship", but unfortunately this particular design workbook is missing from the collection at the National Archives and so no background on design goals and priorities is available. The end of the war, however, with subsequent significant reductions in military spending, made such ambitious concepts increasingly problematical, and none were pursued beyond such initial stages.

The final set of eight battleship drawings (Photo # S-584-149 through Photo # S-584-156) provides preliminary designs and design data for a series of designs of so-called "Small Battleships". The origin and purpose of this set of designs is not well documented. The preliminary design workbook for these designs survives at the National Archives in Record Group 19, Preliminary Design Data for Ships 1914-1927 (Preliminary Inventory # 133 Entry 449, Box 26), as Preliminary Design 214. An entry in this design book states that the Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair (Rear Admiral David W. Taylor) asked the Preliminary Design Branch on 8 March 1919 to develop a set of comparative studies for such a ship type, providing some summary characteristics as a guide. Unfortunately, no other documentation concerning these designs has been found, leaving modern researchers to speculate that this design program was undertaken as a timely internal investigation within the Bureau to gain insights into the feasible lower limits on capital ship size, in light of postwar retrenchment in military budgets. It is interesting to see that the designers used pre-dreadnought type battleships as their precedent (see the tabular data in Photos # S-584-155 and # S-584-156) in evaluating the validity of the mix of capabilities foreseen in the new preliminary designs.

This page features those 1911-1925 Bureau of Ships "Spring Styles" plans that concern battleships.

On the picture data sheets referenced from this page, click on the thumbnail image (small photograph) to prompt a larger view of the same image.

USS Nevada (BB-36)

By Stephen Sherman, June, 2007. Updated March 21, 2012.

O n December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, U.S. Navy Gunner's Mate First Class Victor H. Lively, stationed on the battleship USS Nevada, went ashore to Honolulu to buy Christmas gifts for his family . gifts that were never to be placed in their hands.

Shore leave lasted from noon to midnight. Procedure was to walk up the gangplank to the main gate, show the pass, and catch a taxi into town. He remembers paying about twenty-five cents to ride in a new DeSoto cab. Vic describes Honolulu as a "quaint town" where the tallest building was four stories high. The attack came early Sunday, December 7. Vic heard the alert, "Man the battle stations!" His post was in the foremast of Nevada where he served as director of operations for broadside guns. Broadside guns were designed to shoot horizontally at ships, not vertically at planes, so they were powerless in the attack that raged from above. "If I'd had a .22, I could have shot planes - that's how close they were," Vic remarks. The battle had been going for about an hour when, during a lull, he started to climb down from the observation tower.

A bomb hit at the spot below him, killing everyone there. Had he started down a few seconds earlier, he would have been killed.

Battleship Nevada (BB󈞐), of 27,500 tons and 583 feet in length, dated to World War One. Carrying ten 14” guns, and twenty-one 5" guns, she was the only battleship to get under way during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The second Nevada (BB󈞐) was laid down 4 November 1912 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass. launched 11 July 1914 sponsored by Miss Eleanor Anne Seibert, niece of Governor Tasker L. Oddie of Nevada and descendant of Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert and commissioned 11 March 1916, Capt. William S. Sims in command.

Nevada joined the Atlantic Fleet at Newport 26 May 1916 and operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean until World War I. After training gunners out of Norfolk, she sailed 13 August 1918 to serve with the British Grand Fleet, arriving Bantry Bay, Ireland 23 August. She made a sweep through the North Sea and escorted transport George Washington, President Woodrow Wilson embarked, during the last day of her passage into Brest, France, before sailing, for home 14 December.

Nevada served in both Atlantic and Pacific Fleets in the period between the wars. In September 1922 she represented the United States in Rio de Janeiro for the Centennial of Brazilian Independence. From July to September 1925, she participated in the U.S. Fleet’s goodwill cruise to Australia and New Zealand, which demonstrated to our friends down under, and to the Japanese, our ability to make a self-supported cruise to a distance equal to that to Japan. Modernized at Norfolk Naval Shipyard between August 1927 and January 1930, Nevada served in the Pacific Fleet for the next decade.

On 7 December 1941, Nevada was moored singly off Ford Island, and had a freedom of maneuver denied the, other 8 battleships present during the attack. As her gunners opened fire and her engineers got up steam, she was struck by one torpedo and two, possibly three, bombs from the Japanese attackers, but was able to get underway. While attempting to leave harbor she was struck again. Fearing she might sink in the channel, blocking it, she was beached at Hospital Point. Gutted forward, she lost 50 killed and 109 wounded.

Refloated 12 February 1942, Nevada repaired at Pearl Harbor and Puget Sound Navy Yard, then sailed for Alaska where she provided fire support for the capture of Attu 11 to 18 May. In June she sailed for further modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard, and in April 1944 reached British waters to prepare for the Normandy Invasion. In action from 6 to 17 June, and again 25 June, her mighty guns pounded not only permanent shore defenses on the Cherbourg Peninsula, but ranged as far as 17 miles inland, breaking up German concentrations and counterattacks. Shore batteries straddled her 27 times, but failed to diminish her accurate fire.

Between 15 August and 25 September, Nevada fired in the invasion of Southern France, dueling at Toulon with shore batteries of 13.4-inch guns taken from French battleships scuttled early in the war. Her gun barrels were relined at New York, and she sailed for the Pacific, arriving off Iwo Jima 16 February 1945 to give marines invading and fighting ashore her massive gunfire support through 7 March.

On 24 March, Nevada massed off Okinawa with the mightiest naval force ever seen in the Pacific, as pre-invasion bombardment began. She pounded Japanese airfields, shore defenses, supply dumps, and troop concentrations through the crucial operation, although 11 men were killed and a main battery turret damaged when she was struck by a suicide plane 27 March. Another 2 men were lost to fire from a shore battery 5 April. Serving off Okinawa until 30 June, from 10 July to 7 August she ranged with the 3rd Fleet which not only bombed the Japanese home islands, but came within range for Nevada’s guns during the closing days of the war.

Returning to Pearl Harbor after a brief occupation duty in Tokyo Bay, Nevada was surveyed and assigned as a target ship for the Bikini atomic experiments. The tough old veteran survived the atom-bomb test of July 1946, returned to Pearl Harbor to decommission 29 August, and was sunk by gunfire and aerial torpedoes off Hawaii 31 July 1948.

Nevada received 7 battle stars for World War II service.

Nevada class battleships - History

U.S. Navy battleship construction began with the keel laying of the Maine in 1888 and ended with the suspension of the incomplete Kentucky (BB-66) in 1947. During this almost six-decade-long era, 59 battleships of 23 different basic designs (or "classes") were completed for the Navy. Another twenty battleships and battle cruisers (three more "classes") were begun or planned, but not completed.

Though the building rate averaged almost exactly one per year, it was not a steady process, but was concentrated in two phases. The first, corresponding to the rise of the United States to first-class naval rank, began in 1888 and came to an abrupt halt with the signing of the Naval Limitations Treaty in 1922. The second building phase began in 1937 and was effectively finished in 1944 with the commissioning of USS Missouri (BB-63), the last of ten battleships completed during this period.

Except for the fast Lexington Class battle cruisers and Iowa Class battleships, these were all relatively slow vessels, as heavily armored as they were armed, intended primarily to steam in formation with their "sisters" and slug it out with similar opponents, using their powerful guns to settle the matter. In their day, they were the "Queens of the Sea", the foundation of national strategic offense and defense. That "day" ended only with the arrival, effectively just before the start of World War II, of aircraft that could not only out-range the big guns, but also deliver blows of equal or greater power. Thereafter, at least in the daylight when the planes could fly, battleships performed as auxiliaries to aircraft carriers.

The Second World War brought another mission, shore-bombardment, in which the fire of heavy guns was precisely directed against enemy facilities ashore, to pave the way for invasion or to simply destroy war-making potential. This justified the retention of the big-gun ships in the post-war era and brought them back to active duty on three different occasions. Until 2006, six decades after the last U.S. Navy battleship was completed, two were kept on the Naval Vessel Register for possible future employment in that role.

This page features selected photographs of U.S. Navy battleships, and provides links to more extensive pictorial coverage of the individual battleship classes.

For images related to specific classes of U.S. Navy battleships, see:

  • Two experimental second-class battleships, of about 6000 tons, begun under the Fiscal Year 1887 program:
    • Texas (Originally classified as a battleship. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.) and
    • Maine (Originally Armored Cruiser #1. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.)
    • Indiana Class (Battleships #s 1 through 3) -- Fiscal Year 1891
    • Iowa (Battleship # 4) -- Fiscal Year 1893
    • Kearsarge Class (Battleships #s 5 & 6) -- Fiscal Year 1896
    • Illinois Class (Battleships #s 7 through 9) -- Fiscal Year 1897
    • Maine Class (Battleships #s 10 through 12) -- Fiscal Year 1899
    • Virginia Class (Battleships #s 13 through 17) -- Fiscal Years 1900 & 1901
    • Connecticut Class (Battleships #s 18 through 22 & 25) -- Fiscal Years 1903, 1904 & 1905
    • Mississippi Class (Battleships #s 23 through 24) -- Fiscal Year 1904
    • South Carolina Class (Battleship #s 26 & 27) -- Fiscal Year 1906
    • Delaware Class (Battleship #s 28 & 29) -- Fiscal Years 1907 and 1908
    • Florida Class (Battleship #s 30 & 31) -- Fiscal Year 1909
    • Wyoming Class (Battleship #s 32 & 33) -- Fiscal Year 1910
    • New York Class (Battleship #s 34 & 35) -- Fiscal Year 1911
    • Nevada Class (Battleship #s 36 & 37) -- Fiscal Year 1912
    • Pennsylvania Class (Battleship #s 38 & 39) -- Fiscal Years 1913-14
    • New Mexico Class (Battleship #s 40 through 42) -- Fiscal Year 1915
    • Tennessee Class (BB-43 & BB-44) -- Fiscal Year 1916
    • Colorado Class (BB-45 through BB-48) -- Fiscal Year 1917
    • South Dakota Class (BB-49 through BB-54) -- Fiscal Years 1918-19
    • Lexington Class (CC-1 through CC-6) -- Fiscal Years 1917-19.
    • North Carolina Class (BB-55 & BB-56) -- Fiscal Year 1937
    • South Dakota Class (BB-57 through BB-60) -- Fiscal Year 1939
    • Iowa Class (BB-61 through BB-66) -- Fiscal Year 1940-41
    • Montana Class (BB-67 through BB-72) -- Fiscal Year 1941.

    Though the Alaska class large cruisers (CB-1 through CB-6) of 1941 are actually part of the cruiser design lineage, some sources persist in (mistakenly) referring to them as "battle cruisers". Accordingly, a link is provided here to their class page.

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Running speed trials off the Maine coast, 1906.
    Photographed by Enrique Muller. Note sailors crowding the rails, watching the photographer's boat, which is about to be swamped by the battleship's bow wave.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 117KB 740 x 620 pixels

    Fully dressed with flags and with her crew manning the rails, during the naval review off New York City, 3 October 1911.

    Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 84KB 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Firing her 14"/45 main battery guns, during long range battle practice, February 1928.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 118KB 740 x 580 pixels

    The United States Battle Fleet

    Steaming in column off the California coast during the middle or later 1920s.
    The three leading ships are (in no particular order) Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46), and West Virginia (BB-48), followed by Tennessee (BB-43) and three older battleships.
    Photograph taken from USS California (BB-44).

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 106KB 590 x 765 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Pitching in heavy seas during the 1930s.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941

    Battleships West Virginia (BB-48) (sunken at left) and Tennessee (BB-43) shrouded in smoke following the Japanese air raid.

    Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photograph Collection.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 87KB 740 x 610 pixels

    In a stiff storm in the western Pacific, 8 November 1944.
    Photographed from USS Intrepid (CV-11).
    USS Hancock (CV-19) is in the background.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 110KB 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Bombardment of Kamaishi, Japan, 14 July 1945

    USS Indiana (BB-58) fires a salvo from her forward 16"/45 guns at the Kamaishi plant of the Japan Iron Company, 250 miles north of Tokyo. A second before, USS South Dakota (BB-57), from which this photograph was taken, fired the initial salvo of the first naval gunfire bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands.
    The superstructure of USS Massachusetts (BB-59) is visible directly behind Indiana . The heavy cruiser in the left center distance is either USS Quincy (CA-71) or USS Chicago (CA-136) .

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 101KB 740 x 505 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Anchored in Sagami Wan or Tokyo Bay, Japan, with other units of the U.S. Third Fleet, 30 August 1945. Mount Fujiyama is faintly visible in the distance.
    Missouri is flying Admiral William F. Halsey's four-star flag.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 69KB 740 x 615 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Fires a salvo of 16-inch shells from turret # 2 while bombarding Chongjin, North Korea, in an effort to cut enemy communications, October 1950.
    Chongjin is only 39 miles from North Korea's northern border.

    This is a color-tinted version of a black & white original. The original photograph is Photo #: 80-G-421049.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 84KB 740 x 605 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

    Fires a full broadside of nine 16"/50 and six 5"/38 guns during a target exercise near Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, 1 July 1984.
    Photographed by PHAN J. Alan Elliott.
    Note concussion effects on the water surface, and 16-inch gun barrels in varying degrees of recoil.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the the Department of Defense Still Media Collection.

    Online Image: 183KB 740 x 605 pixels

    For images related to specific classes of U.S. Navy battleships, see:

    • Two experimental second-class battleships, of about 6000 tons, begun under the Fiscal Year 1887 program:
      • Texas (Originally classified as a battleship. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.) and
      • Maine (Originally Armored Cruiser #1. Reclassified as a second-class battleship about 1894.)
      • Indiana Class (Battleships #s 1 through 3) -- Fiscal Year 1891
      • Iowa (Battleship # 4) -- Fiscal Year 1893
      • Kearsarge Class (Battleships #s 5 & 6) -- Fiscal Year 1896
      • Illinois Class (Battleships #s 7 through 9) -- Fiscal Year 1897
      • Maine Class (Battleships #s 10 through 12) -- Fiscal Year 1899
      • Virginia Class (Battleships #s 13 through 17) -- Fiscal Years 1900 & 1901
      • Connecticut Class (Battleships #s 18 through 22 & 25) -- Fiscal Years 1903, 1904 & 1905
      • Mississippi Class (Battleships #s 23 through 24) -- Fiscal Year 1904
      • South Carolina Class (Battleship #s 26 & 27) -- Fiscal Year 1906
      • Delaware Class (Battleship #s 28 & 29) -- Fiscal Years 1907 and 1908
      • Florida Class (Battleship #s 30 & 31) -- Fiscal Year 1909
      • Wyoming Class (Battleship #s 32 & 33) -- Fiscal Year 1910
      • New York Class (Battleship #s 34 & 35) -- Fiscal Year 1911
      • Nevada Class (Battleship #s 36 & 37) -- Fiscal Year 1912
      • Pennsylvania Class (Battleship #s 38 & 39) -- Fiscal Years 1913-14
      • New Mexico Class (Battleship #s 40 through 42) -- Fiscal Year 1915
      • Tennessee Class (BB-43 & BB-44) -- Fiscal Year 1916
      • Colorado Class (BB-45 through BB-48) -- Fiscal Year 1917
      • South Dakota Class (BB-49 through BB-54) -- Fiscal Years 1918-19
      • Lexington Class (CC-1 through CC-6) -- Fiscal Years 1917-19.
      • North Carolina Class (BB-55 & BB-56) -- Fiscal Year 1937
      • South Dakota Class (BB-57 through BB-60) -- Fiscal Year 1939
      • Iowa Class (BB-61 through BB-66) -- Fiscal Year 1940-41
      • Montana Class (BB-67 through BB-72) -- Fiscal Year 1941.

      Though the Alaska class large cruisers (CB-1 through CB-6) of 1941 are actually part of the cruiser design lineage, some sources persist in (mistakenly) referring to them as "battle cruisers". Accordingly, a link is provided here to their class page.

      If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

      Page made 10 May 2000
      Coding and introductory text updated 11 May 2009

      Turboelectric Drive in American Capital Ships

      Between 1913 and 1919 the United States Navy designed battleships with a unique propulsion system to meet its operational demands for great range and survivability. This highly successful system, turboelectric drive, has gained an undeservedly checkered reputation in recent years and many of its benefits have been forgotten.

      The direct drive steam turbine was introduced into capital ship propulsion by the HMS Dreadnought, the first ship completed with a uniform heavy caliber armament and the namesake of the type. In a direct drive system, the boilers create steam which is routed to turbines acting directly upon the head of the propeller shaft. Waste steam is then run through condensers and returned to the boilers as feed water to complete the cycle. Direct drive turbines transfer mechanical energy very efficiently, but mate the high fuel-efficient rotation rate of a turbine with the low fuel-efficient rotation rate of a propeller very poorly. Running the turbine slowly either wastes fuel or energy is lost through cavitation when the propeller turns too quickly.

      Direct drive turbines were fitted with separate high and low-pressure stages in an effort to provide both fuel-efficient cruising and maximum speed tactical capability. This necessarily expands the footprint of a direct drive turbine system. To make matters worse, the need for backing power requires yet another turbine stage. The extensive steam piping to serve three turbines and the multiple combinations of valves to enable cross connection do much to destroy the simplicity of the system.

      Besides the conflicting efficient rotation speeds at either end of the propeller shaft, the direct drive turbines developed weak backing power and risked damage to the turbine rotors if backing steam was introduced too abruptly. The problems of conflicting efficiency were not solved until the introduction of complex single and then double reduction gearing between the turbine and the propeller shaft. Unfortunately, reduction gearing added further to the footprint of the system and presented yet another mechanical item that could be deranged by physical shock effects.

      As Norman Friedman reports in his seminal design history of US battleships, the General Electric company proposed an alternative to direct drive turbines. Like direct drive steam turbine plants, the turboelectric drive plant uses boilers to generate steam and turn a turbine, then returns waste steam via a condenser for reuse. There the similarity ends. There is only a single turbine, and rather than driving the propeller shaft, it turns one or two electric generators. The electricity created is then routed via a bus bar system to electric motors mounted to the propeller shaft heads. The turbine spins at a single constant, highly efficient rotation rate, while the electric motors, mechanically divorced from the turbines, turn at the rate most efficient for the propellers.

      To achieve full backing power, the electric motors are simply reversed, there being no physical need for a separate reverse stage. This eliminates several redundant pieces of equipment and much steam piping.

      1. There is no mechanical connection between the turbogenerator shaft and the propeller shaft, allowing both to turn at their disparate efficient speeds. This reduces propeller rotation speeds and increases fuel efficiency.
      2. The motor rooms can be placed nearer the stern than can reduction-geared turbines, eliminating the need to lead the propeller shafts farther forward in the ship.
      3. The machinery components are more easily segregated into multiple compartments, and require fewer steam line penetrations of watertight bulkheads.
      4. The turbo-electric drive consumes less beam, allowing more hull breadth to be devoted to the torpedo defense system.
      5. The propeller shafts can be immediately reversed by simply switching the direction of the electric motors without the need to reroute steam to a separate reversing turbine.
      6. Equal power (but not speed) is available for ahead or astern steaming. Astern steaming can also be maintained indefinitely.
      7. The machinery is more easily cross-connected in the event of battle damage through the switching of electrical loads between different turbogenerators and motors, and the elimination of propulsive steam lines.
      8. More steam is available at all power levels for the ship's service turbogenerators (SSTGs), making more power available for ancillary systems (including main battery elevation and training) and electronics.
      9. Most major electrical components are reparable by the ship's company at sea.
      1. It is heavier and more expensive than a direct drive or reduction geared turbine installation.
      2. It is susceptible to turbogenerator room damage.
      3. It is susceptible to damage to the main control compartment containing the bus bar system.
      4. It is susceptible to shorting out from shock damage to the bus bar system.

      Turboelectric drive ships realized fuel economies of as much as 20% compared to comparable turbine ships, according to Freedman's report of the difference in fuel consumption between USS New Mexico (BB-40) and her two direct drive turbine sister ships USS Mississippi (BB-41) and USS Idaho (BB-42).

      In compartmentation, the turboelectric drive was typically twice as segregated as a direct drive plant and four times as segregated as later reduction geared turbine plants in US service. The machinery in the direct drive turbine USS Idaho (BB-42) was divided into eight main spaces, while the machinery in the turboelectric USS Tennessee (BB-43) was divided into fifteen main spaces. This increase in compartmentalization meant that there would be less flooding in the ship in case of battle damage such as from a torpedo. The later reduction geared USS North Carolina (BB-55) had only four main spaces and required each propeller shaft to be led progressively farther forward in the hull.

      Turboelectric machinery also permitted more rapid development of accelerating and decelerating power on the shafts. It made the last ditch maneuver of "twisting" a ship out of a torpedo's path by backing down one side's shafts while running the opposite side full ahead and applying full rudder toward the backing side more effective. It also permitted extended periods of backing. After suffering a torpedo hit in the extreme bow while at anchor off Saipan in 1944, USS Maryland (BB-46) backed to Pearl Harbor at 10 knots so as not to strain the collision bulkhead forward.

      The same ship also escaped two collisions in a matter of minutes during a close order fleet maneuvering exercise between the wars. When USS Oklahoma (BB-37) sheered out of column to avoid running down an errant destroyer, she intruded on the next column of ships, crossing the Maryland's bow. The Maryland performed an immediate "crash back" to avoid the Oklahoma, decelerating and letting the other battleship pass ahead, only to be confronted with the direct drive turbine USS Arizona (BB-39) vainly trying to back down behind her. Maryland's electric motors were immediately thrown back to flank speed ahead and the turboelectric ship accelerated ahead of the less responsive Arizona.

      The Maryland also escaped an aerial torpedo at Leyte Gulf by "twisting" the ship out of the torpedo's path. When the order was given to put the helm over to evade the torpedo, the steering gear shorted out, leaving the rudder amidships. The captain then directed maneuvering by the motors while a damage control team attempted to restore the helm. The ability to maneuver effectively prior to the restoration of helm control saved the ship from being hit. Helm control was restored prior to the weapon crossing Maryland's track and placing the helm hard over near the end of the maneuver may have assisted in moving the ship's stern out of the path of the weapon which passed close aboard. Had the ship not commenced its maneuver under motor control prior to recovering helm control the ship would have been hit.

      The matters of cost and weight led to the demise of the turboelectric drive under Washington Treaty tonnage limitations and Depression Era fiscal stringency. Reduction geared turbines were lighter and less expensive for the horsepower generated.

      The vulnerability of the turbogenerator rooms and main control space was problematic at best. Shielded by the boiler rooms, the torpedo defense system and the vertical armored belt to outboard and by the armored deck, splinter deck and armored uptakes above and by a deep triple bottom beneath, the turbogenerators were nestled protectively in the very center of the ship. If weapons could reach the turbogenerators, then the magazines were also similarly vulnerable, making the point largely moot. However, since the turboelectric system provided large reserves of electric power, virtually all systems, including main battery training, elevation, stabilization and loading gear were run electrically. So, the potential did exist for a ship to be crippled through a total power loss in the event of damage to these compartments. However, no turbogenerator room or main control space was ever penetrated by an enemy weapon during WWII.

      Shorting out of the bus bar system could knock out the turboelectric drive. This occurred only once, as a result of a torpedo hit exactly between the frames of the main control space housing the bus bar system in USS Saratoga (CV-3). The serendipitous location of the hit transmitted the physical shock of the hit in sufficient force to defeat the vibration damping shock mounts of the busbar system which produced a short that took the turboelectric system off-line. Power was restored within minutes and although several more shorts and brief power losses (all lasting less than five minutes) took place, the Saratoga was able to proceed under her own power for three hours. At that time, the engines were deliberately stopped to allow the shorted turbogenerator and a second one that the first one had damaged to be electrically isolated. A third generator was also isolated as it kept overloading the first generator. This shutdown for two and a half hours under tow was only necessary because the fourth, undamaged turbogenerator was not available due to an unrelated condenser casualty. From this single incident the turboelectric system derives its reputation for being dangerous and unreliable. One author goes so far as to describe this as "typical" of the system's vulnerability to battle damage. For a single incident out of 21 to be described as typical is highly questionable.

      US turboelectric ships were battle damaged in 21 separate cases by 16 torpedoes, 13 bombs, 13 Kamikazes and more than 26 medium and light caliber shells. Of these incidents, only seven had the potential to effect the turboelectric drive in any way, and only three actually did. The torpedo hit on the Saratoga on 31 August 1942 succeeded in knocking the system off-line for less than five minutes before damage control measures restored power. The two torpedo hits on USS California (BB-44) at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 contaminated the fuel lines, causing the boiler fires to go out, thus producing a power loss. This would have produced a power loss in any steam-propelled ship and cannot be counted against the turboelectric drive components. The nine torpedo hits on USS West Virginia (BB-48), also at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, so overwhelmed the ship that immediate counterflooding was necessary to prevent capsizing. Between flooding from the torpedo damage and counterflooding, the machinery plant was knocked off line. As this would also have crippled any other steam-propelled ship, this incident, too, cannot be counted against the turboelectric powerplant.

      Four other cases produced sufficiently violent shocks to have potentially effected the turboelectric drive, but all failed to do so. The two torpedo hits on USS Lexington (CV-2) at the Coral Sea battle, 8 May 1942, the torpedo hit on Saratoga on 11 January 1942, the torpedo hit in the extreme bow on Maryland off Saipan on 14 June 1944 and the kamikaze hit on Maryland off Leyte on 29 November 1944, all produced violent shocks, whipping of the hull and/or flooding. However, none of these hits caused any disruption to the turboelectric drive.

      Thus, the system, while repeatedly proven reliable, has been damned for a five-minute failure due to a very lucky torpedo hit on Saratoga on 31 August 1942.

      The US Navy ordered turboelectric drive for the USS New Mexico (BB-40), but not for her sister ships USS Mississippi (BB-41) and USS Idaho (BB-42). This plant was installed in the existing geared turbine subdivision shared with the other two ships, consisting of three boiler rooms from fore to aft, an auxiliary machinery room next aft, and four engine rooms positioned abreast each other. The turbogenerators were probably mounted in the two inboard engine rooms and additional SSTGs in the outboard engine rooms. Electric motors were attached to the propeller shaft heads at the rear of each engine room. When New Mexico was rebuilt in the 1930s, her turboelectric plant was replaced with a geared turbine installation of greater power. This was felt necessary to offset speed lost due to additional weights added during reconstruction, and buying three identical plants saved $300,000 over providing a separate turboelectric plant for New Mexico.

      The next two US Navy battleship classes shared a common plant. USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS California (BB-44) and their near sisters USS Colorado (BB-45), USS Maryland (BB-46) and USS West Virginia (BB-48), subdivided their machinery spaces into fifteen compartments. Two turbogenerator rooms occupied the centerline, each containing one turbine, two generators and three SSTGs. The main control space was also on the centerline immediately aft of the second turbogenerator room and immediately forward of the centerline motor room. Outboard on either side of these compartments were, fore to aft, an evaporator room (to port) or an auxiliary machinery room (to starboard) and four boiler rooms. Immediately aft of the outboard boiler rooms were the outboard motor rooms, driving the outboard shafts. The inboard shafts shared the centerline motor room.

      The two Lexington Class ships were converted from planned battlecruisers (CC-1 and CC-3) and completed as carriers. USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Saratoga (CV-3) had the largest turboelectric plants ever built. The installations were very similar to the Tennessee and Colorado Classes. However, each turbogenerator room contained two turbines, each driving a single generator, versus one turbine driving two generators as in the battleships, and additional SSTGs were fitted. There were sixteen boiler rooms, eight on either side, buffering the two turbogenerator rooms and the main control space. There were also three motor rooms, arranged similarly to the battleship classes, but each shaft had two drive motors versus one. Maximum speed was thus 33 knots, as compared to 21 knots in the battleships.

      The aborted South Dakota Class (BB-49 through BB-54) was also planned for turboelectric drive. The plant would have repeated the Tennessee arrangement, but with six boiler rooms on either side versus four.

      Turboelectric drive was a unique and elegant solution to the propulsion and range problems faced by the US Navy in the 1920s and 1930s. It performed well, and permitted a minute form of subdivision that rendered ships fitted with it highly resistant to torpedo damage. On the whole, it was a success and a good investment, abandoned only because of the cost in weight and money in an environment of Treaty limitations and later in an environment in which no limits mattered.

      More Comments:

      Richard Neumann - 2/6/2007

      It's on the other side of Ford's Island, not next to Arizona. In 1931, Utah ceased to be a battleship. The guns were removed, and it was converted into a radio-controlled target ship. After the conversion, Utah did have a small crew, despite the radio-controlled feature. Its primary function after 1931 was to get shot at during target practice. Its hull number on Dec. 7 was AG-16, having lost the BB-31 designation in 1931.

      Whitney Sprague - 1/28/2007

      You know, that rather large lump in the water next to the Arizona?

      Geoffrey I. Palikar - 12/21/2006

      Professor - you are still 'wiggling' as fast as you can - but it won't help because you can't retract your sensationalistic , snake oil use of the word "sunk". You have taken things out of context to "wiggle" your way out of a very poorly written article - who apparent motive was
      sensationalism. Ships were indeed "sunk" at Pearl Harbor - and there is NO - repeat NO offical
      US Naval history that purports differently.

      And while you may claim that Samuel Elliot was the premier American nautical historian working during the 20th century - he didn't work with an interdiciplinary approach, which more than likely skewed his approach to things as they were happening. So much of military history is being intensely reviewed precisely because the military historians of the day didn't use an interdiciplinary approach. And there are so many military historians who still myopically reject an interdiciplinary approach. In fact, keeping the superiority of an interdiciplinary
      approach in mind - I can't think of a worse thing to do than attempt to write history while its happening - you can't all get the diverse input that you need for a comprehensive view.

      Your 'red herring' reply that the Japanese excelled at torpedo bombing and at night surface fighting - has nothing to do with your original article. Moreover, the notion that the Japanese excelled at torpedo bombing - is a highly realtive issue based upon US technological problems with our torpedo designs - an issue that had not to do with the torpedo bombing skills of our US submariners. Had the R& D community actually listened to US submarine commanders sooner - our US torpedo bombing would have been just as effective and noteworthy as the Japanese - and we eventually outmatched the Japanese torpedo bombing skills once we fixed
      our WW2 torpedo designs.

      Since you bring up the subject of Japanese torpedo bombing - the claim that attacking Pearl Harbor was an abject strategic failure is another superficial hindsight opinion. Using an interdiciplinary approach, we now know that had the WW2 version of Bushido not clouded the minds of the Japanese so severely - the Japanese would have taken a much more aggressive stance of attacking ALL US supply/logistical ships as well as US capital ships right off the West Coast. The fact that the Japanese WW2 version of Bushido would not allow them to torpedo US supply ships played a major part in allowing the US to regain a solid toehold in the
      Pacific. (See comments about the Forgotten War/Aleutian Islands below.)

      It was a total confluence of higly complex events that created an abject strategic failure on the part of the Japanese in WW2. The japanese strategic failure just isn't a simple black & white picture as you present.

      The point, professor, is that the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor was not an abject strategic failure from the gitgo - nor was it destined to be an abject failure. The Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor was simply one of many elements in a highly complex confluence of events that became inexorably intertwined and turned the WW2 Japanese war plan/actions into an abject strategic failure. We were not destined to win WW2 - we were lucky to have had the better military minds at the time. War is unpredictable - and there are innumerable issues where the luck of the draw could have gone against us in WW2.

      The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor turned out to be "part" of an abject strategic mistake from the long view of history - but it wasn't a strategic mistake at the time it
      took place - it was a simple imperfect raid that bought the Japanese strategic time just as they thought it would - because they 'sunk' a majority of the Pacific fleet in one fell swoop - and
      created a strategic time gap. In the Japanese minds, that strategic time gap was going to allow them to conquer the Pacific and plase the US in a position to sue for peace. "IF" the Japanese hadn't blinded themselves with such a dysfunctional culture of warfare - they just
      might have given as much worse run for our money that what they did.

      As far as our 'obsolete' ships in port - isn't it funny how we didn't call them 'obsolete' when Pearl Habor was attacked. They were the only capital ships we had at the time in the Pacific - and there is nothing to suggest that we would not have upgraded and/used them against the Japanese in the Phillipines. Additionally - militaries have been using 'obsolete' equipment for milleniniums with excellent results. Moreover, define "obsolete'. Its not the 'obsoleteness' of the equipment - its how you employ the equipment that matters. Military thinking becomes obsolete long before equipment does. So the issue of 'obsolete' is another highly realtive term than we bandy about indiscriminately as another red herring when we don't really know what we are talking about.

      May I remind you that it was the 'obsolete' Fairey Swordfish
      Mk II torpedo bomber (a simple slow-go 'obsolete' bi-plane) that damaged the Bismark's rudder - which in turn led to the Bismark's demise. In other words, it was an 'obsolete' piece of equipment that allowed a confluence of critical events to occur.

      May I remind you that it was mainly 'obsolete' naval and ground equipment that won back the Aleutian Islands in the Forgotten War. Although the US complained vociferously about the German submarines sinking our merchant marine ships in the Atlantic - but we turned around and did exactly what the Japanese would not do - we agressively torpedoed Japanese supply ships. In the Forgotten war of the Aleutian Islands, Rear Admiral Charles McMorris routinely interdicted Japanese supply convoys. It was only "after" the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, that the Japan abandoned attempts to resupply their Aleutian garrisons by the surface and resorted to submarine resupply instead. And a close srcutiny of the recapture of US Aleutian Islands will reveal that we won that encounter using field expedient methods and a variety of 'obsolete' equipment.

      BTW - US submarines then went on and routinely interdicted ('sunk') Japanese supply ships in droves for the remainder of the war. If any part of WW2 history is highly overlooked - the US -v- Japanese Pacific submarine doctrines are rarely discussed. Now there was an abject strategic Japanese failure!

      And BTW - while WW2 was really the ascendancy of the aircraft carrier - there were plenty of naval battles that relied upon concerted action with other standard capital ships - and aircraft carrier is rather naked without capital ships surrounding it in fleet formation.

      So please stop 'wiggling' about with the red herring issues of capital ships at Pearl Harbor being 'obsolete' and not 'sunk'. Professor, face it, you wrote a very poor superficial article at best.

      Richard Neumann - 12/14/2006

      The 15-volume official Navy history of World War II was written by Samuel Elliot Morison, the premier American nautical historian working during the 20th century. By presidential directive, Morison was commissioned a rear admiral in 1942 so that he could research and observe this history while it was happening and have the widest and deepest possible access to people, places, and documents. Separately, in two other books, The Two-Ocean War and Strategy and Compromise, Morison explained what he had determined to be the bigger picture of the naval war. Because of Morison’s extraordinary skill as an historian, his unparalleled access to top commanders, and his understanding of life at sea (he actually followed Columbus’s Caribbean routes under sail so that he could see and feel what the sailors on Columbus’s decks saw and felt), these books are, among other historians, accorded much respect.

      Morison considered the Pearl Harbor attack to have been a strategic mistake by the Japanese. Actually, the words he used were “stupid and suicidal.” (The Two-Ocean War, p.70) “It was a hit-and-run raid, and the hit was not decisive.” (The Two-Ocean War, p.77)
      “Our three aircraft carriers were safe the repair shops, which did an amazingly quick job on damaged ships, were almost untouched, as was the fuel-oil tank farm, filled to capacity, whose loss would have tied up the fleet for months.” (The Two-Ocean War, p.68) “The Japanese high command, by their idiotic act, had made a strategic present of the first order to the United States they had united the country . . . .” (The Two-Ocean War, p.69) At best, “the Pearl Harbor attack was only a qualified tactical success because no aircraft carrier was sunk, and the installations and fuel tanks at Pearl Harbor were hardly touched. And from a strategic point of view, the thing was idiotic. For if Japan had attacked only British and Dutch possessions, the American Congress might well have refused to declare war and if Japan had attacked the Philippines” and not Pearl, “the Battle Fleet (according to the Rainbow-5 plan) would have gone lumbering across the Pacific, very likely to be sunk in deep water by Japanese bombers based on the Marshall islands.” (Strategy & Compromise, pp. 67-68)

      My period of specialty is 1890-1954, and the heart of that period is the two interwar decades. It is difficult to understand the international behavior of the United States, Britain, and Japan during that time without detailed knowledge of the 15 interwar battleships — their batteries, weight of broadside, speed, cruising and shooting ranges, displacement, etc., in comparison with the capital ships of other navies. National leaders were as aware of these details as current leaders are now of things like nuclear missile capacities. The U.S. had an army equal to that of a small European country together with a tiny army air corps. Because an attacker would have had to cross an ocean to get to us, it was assumed that these ships were our national defense. All that was no longer true by 1941, but it is hard to understand the period without knowing these ships.

      They would — as Morison recognized — have been helpless going to the aid of the Philippines. They were the slowest capital ships on the sea, and had to be because our navy was required to have what naval officers of the time called “long legs,” the ability to travel great distances without refueling. They also had almost completely ineffective antiaircraft capacities, without Bofors guns, twin-mount 5-inchers, or effective fire control. (These capacities were mostly added later.) U.S. antiaircraft fire at sea was so inadequate generally that at Midway one of the cruisers trying to protect Yorktown was reduced to firing its main battery into the sea before approaching torpedo planes, hoping to down them with splashes. The Japanese excelled at torpedo bombing and at night surface fighting. A person with affection for the memory of these ships cringes at what would have happened to them if they had been attacked at sea rather than at Pearl. Think of day torpedoing like what happened to the British off Malaya and night battles like Savo Island — with far greater loss of ships and life than what did happen at Pearl.

      When you read something with which you disagree, the appropriate response is not scorn and ridicule. The appropriate response is to ask the other person why they believe the thing with which you disagree. The answer is often reasonable, even if you still disagree. Here, the answer is that every idea in the original article except one is part of the accepted discourse among historians specializing in this period.

      The exception is my point that the word “sunk” in this context confuses the public. And the first person to post in response proved my point with his dictionary quotation about the battleship taking two hours to sink. After two hours, what would you expect to see where the ship had been? Most people would say empty water, except perhaps for lifeboats. Exploding does not take two hours, but going down like Titanic might. The word evokes an image that is not consistent with what happened at Pearl.

      Mr Palikar in particular might want to read HNN’s rules governing discussion boards. The link appears with the comment menu. Name calling and other forms of ad hominem attack are not permitted on this website. Nor are they acceptable in most other places.

      Geoffrey I. Palikar - 12/10/2006

      The "professor's" common definition of "sunk" is all wrong - no matter how much he attempts to nuance the issue. Its pure demogogic sensationalistic snake oil - nothing more. And now that several folks have called his cards on the definition of 'sunk' - the "professor" wants to wiggle around and claim the the term"sunk" is too fuzzy/elastic. Wiggle all you want "professor" - snake oil by any other name is still snake oil.

      And IF the "professor" attempts to wiggle more by improper use of a nuanced definition in maritime law regarding any legal term for "sunk" - this simply doesn't apply to strategic

      The "professor's" concept of 'Foolishness to attack a ship in Harbor' - is also wholly without

      merit - and reveals his total military incompetence.

      >>>The "professor" is totally out of "time context" - Pearl Harbor attack took place in 1941 -

      not 2001. The "professor" utterly fails to understand the state of the art of war in a WW2

      context. (And its clearly a military subject that is way too complex and detailed for the "professor" to grasp.)

      >>>The "professor" shows no understanding for the concept and necessity of "strategic time"

      with respect to overall strategic, operational and tactical issues. The IJN significantly delayed all US naval 2nd strike capability throughout the entire Pacific. The IJN set the US back significantly with regards to the most irreplaceable strategic element of "TIME"- which all the IJN intended to do. And 'time', my dear "professor" is the most irreplaceable strategic element of war - there is simply never enough time in war.

      >>> The "professor" shows no understanding that the IJN accomplished a major fait accompli and this single air-raid sinking 8 US ships in port is exactly what allowed the IJN to initially conquer the vast majority of the Pacific - and garner its resources to feed the IJN war machine - which is exactly what the IJN intended to do.

      >>>The "professor" shows no understanding of 'military dominoes'. The IJN accomplished a major "air raid" in minimal time with massive enemy damage - with insignificant IJN losses - and significantly disrupted the element of strategic time delaying any immediate US military response. Ergo - Bataan and Corregidor never had a fighting chance to hold out - there were NO US strategic naval reserves to send. The IJN accomplished their intended mission at Pearl Harbor - the IJN "sunk" 8 US ships in port. And, hence, the rest of the Pacific rim was a cakewalk for the IJN.

      Sun Tzu (circa 500BC) said that 'All war is deception' - and if the professor would bother to read up on the basics of war - he would find that deception is a highly prehistoric holdover of 'primitive' warfare . The masterful IJN deception of an air-raid in the middle of the Pacific Ocean simply "sinking" 8 US ships in port >> played a major role in throwing the US totally off strategic balance. Ergo, the established US war plans for the Pacific had to be totally scuttled - the US had to start from strategic scratch because the IJN had already stolen the initiative and the momentum.

      BTW - With respect to any comments regarding issue of any better 'logistical' targets that the IJN supposedly missed at Pearl Habor - such comments reveal complete ignorance regarding the

      IJN-WW2 culture of 'bushido'. (Another subject that is clearly too complex for the "professor"

      The US won back the Pacific from the IJN at great human sacrifice to the US over a period of very bloody years. What the 'professor' doesn't seem to grasp is that the US defeated the IJN with more than a fair share of sheer luck for the US. Many WW2 naval battles could have gone either way. In order for the US to regain the Pacific inititative and momentum, it was NO cakewalk for those who fought and died in the Pacific. Oh yeah. and it all started with a naval air-raid in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that "sunk" 8 US ships in port, which allowed the IJN to steal the inititative and momentum and the etire Pacific rim.

      Once walks away from the "professor's" article asking oneself: Would YOU want the "professor" in charge of military strategy for the current Irak war? Hmmmmmmmm. no, I'd actually rather deal with the highly flawed thinking of Rumsfeld before the massively flawed thinking of the "professor".

      Benj. W. Homestead - 12/9/2006

      Agreed, Mr. Berkowitz. From a purely intellectual or operational standpoint, "sunk" isn't terribly a terribly useful at this point in time, and consequently, a discussion at this point in time of whether or not the battleships were "Sunk" is irrelevant.

      Would you concede, however, that the term had a deeper emotional impact than would "lost in action" or "mission kill" on the average US citizen who, prior to the attack, had been so reluctant to get involved in the crisis in Europe? I further posit that in 1941 a headline of "US Operational Readiness Obliterated by Japanese" lacks the panache and sensationalism as well.

      At THAT time, a discussion of whether the ships were "sunk" may have been slightly more interesting in academic circles but equally irrelevant to the public at large.

      Benj. W. Homestead - 12/9/2006

      Dr. Neumann, it would appear that you're using a quasi-sensational headline around the anniversary of Pearl Harbor to over emphasize a relatively minor technical point.

      Nothing in your article or your follow supports the notion that attacking ships in port was in anyway foolish. I take umbrage to both that bald assessment and your qualification in the follow-up, as each wrongly discredits the true value of the attack: exploiting a weakness of the US destroying the operational readiness of all eight ships, the port and the forces stationed on the base and allowing time to seize control of direction of the war in the Pacific.

      Though I hate to quote Sun Tzu, as he tends to be overused as some ultimate authority on "all things war", it nevertheless seems oddly and directly appropriate here: "Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots." This is nearly a verbatim description of what the IJN did at Pearl Harbor. Precisely in what way is that FOOLISH?

      The attacks disrupted momentum of the US forces. The US lost time in launching a counter attack. This gave the IJN time to establish a foothold in the Philippines and the rest of the Pacific rim with virtually no resistance, making MacArthur's subsequent defeats possible and making the massive bloodshed of US troops all but inevitable.

      Essentially your article appears to quibble over the use of the term "sunk". Regardless of whether the attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in any semblance to that commonly defined term that you appear to be coopting it for use as a "term of art", your analysis would lead some to believe that the attack was somehow not significant to either the soldiers, sailors and civilians who died OR to the operational capacity of US forces.

      Let's leave aside the quality that "8 Battleships SUNK by Japan" would have to rally the emotions of the average Joe Citizen in Waukeegan. Let's leave aside the question of whether all eight ships were "lost in action". clearly not all eight were.

      If you frame the discussion in terms of whether "the Japanese navy deserve[s] credit for destroying half the U.S. battleships", it's a no-brainer! They didn't. But let's leave that debunking to the folks who research urban legends. Ships are tools in war, nothing more. The IJN did much worse than completely destroy some tools, as the legend of Pearl Harbor would have us believe, they took advantage of one of our weaknesses and in doing so restructured the terms of the military "discussion" that ensued. I get the distinct impression that your article is based on a premise similar to a chess historian correcting a statement like "Kasparov took Karpov's queen" when in fact Kasparov forced Karpov to give up his queen.

      If you leave semantics out of the discussion, the fact remains that half the US battleships were destroyed OR incapacitated, directly forcing the strategic decisions of FDR to regroup and focus on the European front first. Time proverbially is money in business, but in war, time is measured in blood and lives lost. The affect on US force readiness was immediate, it was long lasting, and it was nothing but masterful stroke of strategy behalf of the IJN. The subsequent battles in the Pacific were so intractable and bloody that the US ultimately resorted to direct theretofore-unimaginable attacks on the citizens of Japan.

      Let's not forget that subsequent to Pearl Harbor was the Battle of Attu, the first war on American soil since the War of 1812. The Japanese took control of American soil. The Japanese interred its inhabitants, nearly half of whom died of disease and starvation IN JAPAN. Professor, do you seriously believe that any of that would have been possible had the US not been crippled and rather had been ready to respond to the Pearl Harbor attack?

      Sunk, damaged or delayed, it was a brilliant and deadly attack, regardless of whether you or Admiral Yamamoto recognized it or not. Pick bones with feasibility of the notion of "hakko ichiu" at the core of the Japanese vision. Dissect the lack of clarity of vision of the Japanese to take marginally different steps than the ones they chose and directly attack the US's undefended ports and harbors off the California coast.

      However, let's not play games with language or try to reinvent history. Japan came dangerously close to winning WWII against the US before the war even started.

      A few wayward subs off of California, deployment of a few troops here and a few ships there, and you would have had mayhem in a Los Angeles and San Francisco largely unprotected by the US fleet. That would have forced FDR to put troops and resources on the ground IN the US rather than in Europe, and the outcome of WWII would have been very different.

      You point out the facts very well insomuch as you describe the damage to each ship (though I note that you do little to account for the significant loss due to the damage to the port itself) however, your analysis is ultimately irrelevant. Were the ships truly SUNK? Who cares? The damage was done.

      Now, should you care to focus on the lack of follow-through by the IJN and characterize that as FOOLISH. I would have no qualms.

      Richard Neumann - 12/9/2006

      When the public hears or reads in the media that “eight battleships were sunk at Pearl Harbor,” it understands that to mean that eight battleships were destroyed there — which simply is not true. The sloppy use of the word “sunk” combined with ignorance of the facts about most of the ships appear to be the causes of the misunderstanding. For precision and clarity, during the war the Navy used the term “lost in action” to refer to ships that suffered damage rendering them useless. The Navy did not lose eight battleships in action at Pearl Harbor, and it does not deserve blame for having done so. Nor does the Japanese navy deserve credit for destroying half the U.S. battleships in commission at the time (a total of 16 after the delivery of North Carolina). The Japanese attack was bold, clever, and skilled in technique, but it was not the brilliant strategic masterstroke the public assumes it to have been. (Morison criticized the Japanese attack, for reasons similar to the ones I mentioned in the article.) I agree with the posted comments that the survival of the repair facilities was of enormous benefit, that they would have been difficult for the Japanese to destroy, and that the 72-hour turnaround of Yorktown in the Pearl repair yard was essential to the outcome at Midway. Correction of one inaccuracy in the article: I had forgotten that today the top of the barbette that once supported Arizona’s number 3 turret does protrude above the water.

      Geoffrey I. Palikar - 12/8/2006

      Now just which military war college did "Professor" Neumann attend - the School of Imperial Hubris ??
      "Professor" Neumann's military accumen. AIN'T - it's actually more an incompetent attempt at shamanism than bona fide 'military' history. For those of us who are actually bona fide military professionals (w/28+ years active duty and a personal library of 1000+ volumes on military subject), I have never read such poorly researched historical blathering before. In fact "Professor" Neumann's total misapplication of the facts doesn't pass the 2LT test! "Professor" Richard K. Neumann Jr. should refrain from publishing his sad distorted hallucinations - much less purporting them as credible 'military' reading material. And "SHAME" on HNN for allowing "Professor" Neumann to publish such poorly researched garbage - an utter sham from a shaman of history.

      Robert Murphy - 12/7/2006

      Thanks very much for some illuminating feedback, Mr. Berkowitz.

      Howard C Berkowitz - 12/6/2006

      You make valid points. Admiral Nagumo, commanding the Japanese Mobile Fleet, was not especially imaginative. With hindsight, a third strike probably was justified.

      Even more critical than the oil were the major repair facilities (e.g., drydocks) and the submarine base. Remember, the consensus of the postwar debriefings of surviving Japanese commanders were that submarine operations were one of the three things that beat them, the others being island-hopping and fast carrier operations/the seatrain.

      Again confounding the argument is whether they had appropriate weapons to take out major repair, base facilities, and oil tanks. We often forget the inaccuracy and limited effect 1941 ordnance. The Japanese did develop state-of-the-art weapons to hit warships, but their bombs would have been of dubious effect against drydocks -- that took something like the 1944-1945 "earthquake" bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Against the oil farm, they'd need both blast and incendiary munitions.

      Howard C Berkowitz - 12/6/2006

      "Sunk" isn't terribly useful terminology, compared to "mission kill" and "platform kill". USS Arizona was more than mission killed when the ship breaks apart and the pieces rest on the bottom, that ship is as dead as HMS Hood, which was in more pieces in deeper water.

      Robert Murphy - 12/5/2006

      If I may most humbly say, truly a fine article Professor Neumann. I really enjoyed it.

      I do have a question for you, however, regarding the Japanese failure to strike the US Navy's fuel stores at Pearl Harbor. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the IJN left largely intact an even more vital strategic target, and that was the harbor's repair and maintenance facilities. Had the shipyard been destroyed, then surely the raising and restoration of those six battleships would have been delayed for months. Far more significantly, damaged US aircraft carriers would have had to sail all the way to the West Coast for repairs--the Yorktown, need I add, would certainly have had to sit out Midway.

      Then again, at the risk of sounding diffident, perhaps I am missing other factors here. Maybe the shipyard would not have been such an easy target if I am not wrong, the USAAF found during its strategic bombing campaign that industrial targets are not easily destroyed. Certainly the oil tanks would be a far softer target.

      USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was a Nevada-class battleship built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation for the United States Navy, notable for being the first American class of oil-burning dreadnoughts.

      USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was a Nevada-class battleship built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation for the United States Navy , notable for being the first American class of oil-burning dreadnoughts .

      Commissioned in 1916, Oklahoma served in World War I as a part of Battleship Division Six, protecting Allied convoys on their way across the Atlantic. After the war, she served in both the United States Battle Fleet and Scouting Fleet. Oklahoma was modernized between 1927 and 1929. In 1936, she rescued American citizens and refugees from the Spanish Civil War. On returning to the West Coast in August of the same year, Oklahoma spent the rest of her service in the Pacific.

      On 7 December 1941, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, several torpedoes from torpedo-bomber airplanes hit the Oklahoma’s hull and the ship capsized. A total of 429 crew died survivors jumped off the ship 50 feet (15 m) into burning hot water or crawled across mooring lines that connected Oklahoma and Maryland. Some sailors inside escaped when rescuers drilled holes and opened hatches to rescue them. In 1943, Oklahoma was righted and salvaged. Unlike most of the other battleships that were recovered following Pearl Harbor, Oklahoma was too damaged to return to duty. Her wreck was eventually stripped of her remaining armament and superstructure before being sold for scrap in 1946. The hulk sank in a storm in 1947, while being towed from Oahu, Hawaii, to a breakers yard in San Francisco Bay.

      Watch the video: ΕΠΙΧΕΙΡΗΣΙΑΚΗ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΥΣΗ ΜΟΝΑΔΩΝ ΠΝ (December 2022).

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