US CRUISERS 1883-1904 The birth of the steel navy
£f. Independence ff* Seaport Museum
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATORS LAWRENCE BURR has had a life long passion for naval history. He was recently the British specialist on a Channel 4 documentary on Jutland. He has also been part of a team who has conducted underwater explorations of the Battlecruiser wrecks. He now lives in the USA. IAN PALMER is a highly experienced digital artist. A graduate in 3D design,
he currently works as a senior artist for a leading UK games developer. Besides his artistic interests he is also a keen musician and motorcyclist. He lives in West London with his wife and three cats. Ian completed the cutaway and ship profile plates.
JOHN WHITE is a commercial illustrator with manyyears'experience
of working with advertising agencies, design firms, publishers and large corporate accounts. He has received awards from The Broadcast Design Association and The National Naval Aviation Museum, and his paintings have appeared in Aviation Art magazine, Aviation History magazine, and on the History Channel. John and his wife Margery live in Charlotte, North Carolina.
NEW VANGUARD· 143
US CRUISERS 1883-1904 The birth of the steel navy
ILLUSTRATED BY IAN PALMER & JOHN WHITE
First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Osprey Publishing Midland House, West Way, Botley, Oxford 0X2 OPH, UK 443 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016, USA E-mail: [email protected]
© 2008 Osprey Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrical, chemical, mechanical, optical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Inquiries should be addressed to the Publishers. A CIP catalog record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN: 978 1 84603 267 7 Page layout by Melissa Orrom Swan, Oxford Index by Glyn Sutcliffe Typeset in Sabon and Myriad Pro Originated by PPS Grasmeme Ltd., Leeds Printed in China through Worldprint Ltd.
ARTISTS' NOTE Readers may care to note that the original paintings from which the color plates in this book were prepared are available for private sale. All reproduction copyright whatsoever is retained by the Publishers. All inquiries should be addressed to: John White (artist for plates D and E) 5107 C Monroe Road Charlotte NC 28205 USA The Publishers regret that they can enter into no correspondence upon this matter.
AUTHOR'S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author wishes to acknowledge the help and assistance of the following: Megan Fraser, Library Director; Craig Bruns, Curator; Jesse Lebovics, Manager Olympia/Becuna, and Matt Herbison, Curatorial Associate, Independence Seaport Museum; John Hattendorf; Ernest J . King, Professor of Maritime History, Naval War College; Mark Hayes, Naval Historical Center; Chris Havern, US Coast Guard Historical Office; Stephen Davies, Hong Kong Maritime Museum; Jenny Wraight and lain MacKenzie, Royal Navy Historical Branch; Dr Nicholas Lambert; and my wonderful wife, Judi, who first introduced me to the USS Olympia and the Theodore Roosevelt Museum at Sagamore Hill.
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For a catalog of all books published by Osprey Military and Aviation please contact:
To my grandfather, John Fletcher, a professional soldier in the British Army, who served throughout World War I, including service in Murmansk alongside crew members of the USS Olympia.
NORTH AMERICA Osprey Direct, C/o Random House Distribution Centre, 400 Hahn Road,
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For ease of comparison between types, imperial measurements are used almost exclusively throughout this book. The following data will help in converting the imperial measurements to metric:
ALL OTHER REGIONS
1 mile = 1.6km 1 lb = 0.45kg 1 yard = 0.9m 1ft = 0.3m
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1 in. = 2.54cm/25.4mm 1 gal = 4.5 liters 1 ton (US) = 0.9 tonnes
Please note that all uncredited images are courtesy of the US Naval Historical Center.
INDEPENDENCE SEAPORT MUSEUM Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River showcases the region's maritime heritage, with: two floors of exhibition galleries; a working wooden boat shop; the National Historic Landmark 1892 Cruiser Olympia and the World War II Submarine Becuna; a concert hall; children's educational programs and adult tour programs; special events; a research archive and library; and a gift shop. 211 S. Columbus Blvd. & Walnut St. Philadelphia Tel. (001) 215-413-8655 www.phillyseaport.org
A NAVAL RENAISSANCE
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
THE SHIPS Ships Ships Ships Ships Ships Ships Ships Ships Ships Ships Ships
author author author author author author author author author author author
11 zed zed zed zed zed zed zed zed zed zed zed
in 1883 in 1885 in 1886 in 1887 in 1888 from 1890 to 1891 in 1892 from 1893 to 1898 in 1899 in 1900 from 1902 to 1904
CRUISERS IN ACTION
The Spanish-American War, 1898 The battle of Manila Bay The battle of Santiago Naval diplomacy
POINTING THE GUNS
The men behind the guns
US CRUISERS 1883-1904 THE BIRTH OF THE STEEL NAVY INTRODUCTION The modern US Navy, with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines and Aegis cruisers with high-technology combat and communication systems stands in stark contrast to the US Navy as it existed at the beginning of 1883. At that time, the US Navy comprised antiquated wooden hulks and was outclassed by 12 other nations. The authorization of the all-steel cruisers, Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago, on March 3, 1883, marked not only a change in material for warship construction but also the beginning of a change in US naval strategy, and the first stirrings of an expansionary foreign policy. From 1883 to 1904, 39 cruisers were authorized, providing the crucial impetus to the US steel and shipbuilding industries to invest in the new technologies necessary to build a modern steel navy. US cruisers figured prominently in the two naval victories of the 1898 Spanish-American War, with America acquiring a string of new territorial possessions in the Caribbean and Pacific. Thus, the design and development of these cruisers marked the emergence of the US as a global naval power.
A NAVAL RENAISSANCE
OPPOSITE U S S Atlanta
s h o w i n g their c o m b i n a t i o n o f sail p o w e r a n d s t e a m p o w e r . This mix w a s necessary to give t h e s h i p s t h e c r u i s i n g r a n g e in a t i m e of l o w - p o w e r e d s t e a m engines a n d t h e a b s e n c e of overseas coaling stations.
At the conclusion of the American Civil War in April 1865, the US Navy was one of the largest navies in the world, with a fleet in excess of 600 ships. More importantly, it was the most technologically advanced navy. Over the preceding years, the US Navy had been the first to introduce steam engines and the screw propeller and the first to eliminate sails on a steamship. The commissioning of the USS Monitor in February 1862 introduced armored revolving gun turrets on a ship's centerline, revolutionizing warship design. USS Wampanoag was the fastest steamship in the world in 1868. However, during the post-1865 period, the US Navy gave up its technological leadership. In 1 8 7 0 , Navy regulations forbade the use of steam power. In 1874 it stopped ordering new warships. By 1881, the Navy comprised 26 operational ships, only four of which had iron hulls. The coming of peace in 1865 allowed the United States to refocus its national efforts on Manifest Destiny, the settling of the West, and to develop the US's agricultural, mineral, and industrial resources. Waves of immigrants helped fuel the rapid expansion of the US economy. In 1874, US exports exceeded imports by value for the first time, reflecting the global emergence of US manufacturing capability. Reconstruction of the South was finished. By 1880,
government debts incurred for the Civil War had been significantly reduced, and the federal government enjoyed a solid budget surplus. This growing economic strength sparked a national debate on the need for both an army and a navy. European imperialism was seeking new markets and territories in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Recognition that countries with significantly smaller economies were acquiring powerful, modern warships that could readily defeat any ship the US Navy possessed forced the administration of President Chester Arthur to act. In November 1881, Secretary of the Navy William Hunt advised both the President and the US Congress that, "The condition of the navy imperatively demands the prompt and earnest attention of Congress - or - it must soon dwindle into insignificance." A key element in the national debate was provided by Theodore Roosevelt's book The Naval War of 1812, published in early 1882. Roosevelt identified that the United States won the War of 1812 because its navy was efficient and technically advanced. Roosevelt stated, "It is folly for the Republic to rely for defense upon a navy composed partly of antiquated hulks, and partly on new vessels rather more worthless than the old." After significant political and public debate, as well as detailed reports submitted by two Naval Advisory Boards, new Secretary of the Navy William Chandler fi...