US Navy Battleships 1886-98: The pre-dreadnoughts and monitors that fought the Spanish-American War

US Navy Battleships 1886-98: The pre-dreadnoughts and monitors that fought the Spanish-American War


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The story of how the US Navy developed its first battleship fleet, their first combat test in the Spanish-American War, and the battleships' careers through World War I.

This fully illustrated study examines the US's first six battleships, a story of political compromises, clean sheet designs, operational experience, and experimental improvements. These ships directly inspired the creation of an embryonic American military-industrial complex, enabled a permanent outward-looking shift in American foreign policy, and laid the foundations of the modern US Navy.

After the American Civil War, the US Navy had been allowed to decay into complete insignificance, yet the commissioning of the modern Brazilian battleship Riachuelo and poor performance against the contemporary Spanish fleet, forced the US out of its isolationist posture towards battleships.

The first true US battleships began with the experimental Maine and Texas, followed by the three-ship Indiana class, and the Iowa class, which incorporated lessons from the previous ships. These initial ships set the enduring US battleship standard of being heavily armed and armored at the expense of speed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472835024
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Series: New Vanguard
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 560,579
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Born in 1981, Brian Lane Herder graduated with a BA in History from the University of Kansas in 2003, and a Masters of Library Science from Emporia State University in 2009. He is a legislative librarian for the Kansas state government and his historical research interests include the US military, naval warfare, and World War II. He lives in Topeka, Kansas.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Design and Development 5

The New Navy


US pre-dreadnought weapons

Large Monitors 1874-1903 11

USS Puritan (1896)

Amphitrite class (1891-96)

USS Monterey (1893)

Arkansas class (1902-03)

Second-Class Battleships 1886-95 17

USS Maine (1895)

USS Texas (1895)

First-Class Battleships 1889-97 24

Indiana class (1895-96)

USS Iowa (1897)

Operational History 32

The Maine disaster, February 15, 1898

The Spanish-American War, April-August 1898

The Pacific and Asiatic 1898-1900

Twilight careers 1903-56

Conclusion 46

Select Bibliography 47

Index 48

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