1. "[53] Commodore George Dewey, Commander of the Asiatic Squadron, "feared at first that she had been destroyed by the Spanish, which of course meant war, and I was getting ready for it when a later dispatch said it was an accident. The Maine-class battleships, formally Battleship Design Study, BB-55 - Scheme N, were a speculative preliminary series of drawings developed by the US Navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair at the behest of the Wargaming Department of the Naval War College. battleships of the United States navy sent around the world to show American military power. Munition stores do not usually explode when a ship is sunk by a mine. [3][page needed], The Maine-class of three battleships was authorized by Congress on 4 May 1898, 8 days after the start of the Spanish-American War. "[56], The New York Journal and New York World, owned respectively by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, gave Maine intense press coverage, employing tactics that would later be labeled "yellow journalism." [clarification needed]. In 1898, a U.S. Navy board of inquiry ruled that the ship had been sunk by an external explosion from a mine. The pyrites could have provided the ignition capability needed to create an explosion. Great Britain, France and Russia had constructed such ships to serve this purpose and sold others of this type, including Riachuelo, to second-rate navies. see Spanish-American War The explosion came during escalating tensions between the United States and Spain regarding Spain’s maladministration of Cuba, one of its last colonial possessions, and harsh suppression of the island’s independence movement. She was formally launched on November 18th, 1890 and commissioned on September 17th, 1895. Bethlehem Steel Company had promised the navy 300 tons per month by December 1889 and had ordered heavy castings and forging presses from the British firm of Armstrong Whitworth in 1886 to fulfil its contract. They concluded that the photos showed "no plausible evidence of penetration from the outside," and they believed that the explosion originated inside the ship. Armament: 2 x 12 inch (305 mm) (2x1); 6 x 6 inch (152 mm) (6x1); 12 x 6 pounders (2.7 kg) (12x1); 6 x 1 pounders (6x1); 4 then 2 (fore and aft tubes removed 1897) x 14 inch (356 mm) torpedo tubes 3. [11] By 1897, Texas' turrets had been modified with internal rammers to permit much faster reloading. [b][38], The main waterline belt, made of nickel steel, had a maximum thickness of 12 inches (305 mm) and tapered to 7 inches (178 mm) at its lower edge. Jenkins and Merritt Dead", "Annual report of the Surgeon General of the US Navy 1898", "Memorandum to the Secretary of the Navy", "Letter to Captain Charles O'Neil, Chief of the Ordnance Bureau", "What Destroyed the USS MAINE – An opinion", "A Few Spaniards Flee; Not Many Accept Free Transportation from Here to Havana on the Panama. A design contest was held, asking naval architects to submit designs for the two ships: armored cruiser Maine and battleship Texas. The results reached were inconclusive. [17], Melville mounted Maine's engines with the cylinders in vertical mode, a departure from conventional practice. [11], Maine was 324 feet 4 inches (98.9 m) long overall, with a beam of 57 feet (17.4 m), a maximum draft of 22 feet 6 inches (6.9 m) and a displacement of 6,682 long tons (6,789.2 t). Preston, Anthony. [17] This was a very low capacity for a ship of Maine's rating, which limited her time at sea and her ability to run at flank speed, when coal consumption increased dramatically. The author claimed that the U.S. Navy "made little use of its technically trained officers during its investigation of the tragedy." [36] The lighter armament comprised four each 37-millimeter (1.5 in) Hotchkiss and Driggs-Schroeder one-pounder guns. [102], In February 1898, the recovered bodies of sailors who died on Maine were interred in the Colon Cemetery, Havana. Whitney decided instead to ask Congress for two 6,000-ton warships, and they were authorized in August 1886. The battleship MAINE you refer to DID have two sister ships but these ships were laid down 8 days after the armored cruiser MAINE was blown up in Havana harbor. United States Navy, Bureau of Steam Engineering, How Likely was a Coal Bunker Fire Aboard the Battleship, Mass murder of German POWs after World War II (1940s), Allegations of CIA assistance to Osama bin Laden, Free energy suppression conspiracy theory, Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in 1898, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=USS_Maine_(1889)&oldid=985291237, Armored cruisers of the United States Navy, Ships sunk by non-combat internal explosions, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from October 2011, Articles with Spanish-language sources (es), Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Articles using NRISref without a reference number, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from September 2013, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from March 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2020, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from March 2019, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from February 2019, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from February 2018, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the United States Navy, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-LCCN identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Two officers and 251 sailors and marines either killed by the explosion or drowned, Seven others were rescued but soon died of their injuries, One officer later died of "cerebral affection" (shock). The six-pounders located in the bow were positioned more forward than the pair mounted aft which necessitated the far aft single six-pounder. With an increase in the number of steel ships, the Navy switched to bituminous coal, which burned at a hotter temperature than anthracite coal and allowed ships to steam faster. became a rallying cry for action. [13], Maine's building time of nine years was unusually protracted, due to the limits of U.S. industry at the time. The possibility that other combustibles, such as paint or drier[clarification needed] products, had caused the explosion was not discounted. While some on the board supported a strict policy of commerce raiding, others argued it would be ineffective against the potential threat of enemy battleships stationed near the American coast. She was to be named in honor of the 23rd state, and was assigned to the New York Navy Yard. They fired shells that weighed 105 pounds (48 kg) with a muzzle velocity of about 1,950 feet per second (590 m/s). USS Maine was built in 1895 as a battleship, but an explosion while in Havana Harbor destroyed the ship and killed 250 crewmembers on Feb. 15, 1898. The first, Montana, recycled a name that was originally intended for the first South Dakota class of battleships, which were cancelled in the wake of … [101], In 2000, the wreck of Maine was rediscovered by Advanced Digital Communications, a Toronto-based expedition company, in about 3,770 feet (1,150 m) of water roughly 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Havana Harbor. Stroke for all three pistons was 36 inches (910 mm). [23] She had two inverted vertical triple-expansion steam engines, mounted in watertight compartments and separated by a fore-to-aft bulkhead, with a total designed output of 9,293 indicated horsepower (6,930 kW). On February 15, her forward gunpowder magazines exploded, killing 266 sailors and sinking in the harbour. Of the rest, only 62 were known. She was the largest vessel built in a U.S. Navy yard up to that time. According to Dr. Frank Muller-Karger, the hull was not oxidized and the crew could "see all of its structural parts". "[61] Hearst's sources never had to be specifically named because he just needed them to support the narrative that the explosion was caused by an attack by the Spanish. Maine's weight distribution was ill-balanced, which slowed her considerably. Although all three armors shared the same density (about 40 pounds per square foot for a one-inch-thick plate), six inches of Krupp or Harvey steel gave the same protection as 10 inches of nickel. [21] Her machinery, built by the N. F. Palmer Jr. & Company's Quintard Iron Works of New York,[22] was the first designed for a major ship under the direct supervision of Arctic explorer and soon-to-be commodore, George Wallace Melville. [2] Harvey armor, though only in use for a decade, was already obsolete. Painting of USS Maine battleship. [28] This arrangement was limited to "two-thirds" of full sail power, determined by the ship's tonnage and immersed cross-section. (the court's 8th finding). Classes which did not enter service are listed by the date of cancellation or last work on the project. In … [69] Wegner claims that technical opinion among the Geographic team was divided between its younger members, who focused on computer modeling results, and its older ones, who weighed their inspection of photos of the wreck with their own experience. (1979). Operaciones de Falsa Bandera. Further modifications were approved by the Navy Department on 8 October 1898, including adding two more 6 inch/50 caliber guns, moving torpedo tubes from above-water to submerged locations, and dropping the Krupp Cemented armor, returning to the original design with Harvey armor. The lead ship of her pre-Dreadnought battleship class, USS Maine (Battleship #10), was commissioned on December 29, 1902, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "[72] In a cable, the Spanish minister of colonies, Segismundo Moret, had advised Blanco "to gather every fact you can, to prove the Maine catastrophe cannot be attributed to us. The site was explored with an ROV. The rest of the wreck was badly corroded. Pyrites were used to strike sparks to ignite gunpowder in wheellock guns, for example. It took up valuable space in the harbor, and the buildup of silt around her hull threatened to create a shoal. [99][100] During the salvage, remains of 66 more were found, of whom only one, Harry J. Keys (an engineering officer), was identified and returned to his home town; the rest were reburied at Arlington Cemetery, making a total of 229 buried there. [80], Wegner suggests that a combination of naval ship design and a change in the type of coal used to fuel naval ships might have facilitated the explosion postulated by the Rickover study. The Sampson Board produced its findings in two parts: the proceedings, which consisted mainly of testimonies, and the findings, which were the facts, as determined by the court. He had designed a number of other warships for the navy. MAINE took nearly nine years to complete. Although the Maine explosion was not a direct cause, it served as a catalyst that accelerated the events leading up to the war. "[42] In his 1890 annual report to congress, the Secretary of the Navy wrote, "the Maine ... stands in a class by herself" and expected the ship to be commissioned by July 1892. Wegner explains that anthracite coal is not subject to spontaneous combustion, but bituminous coal is considerably more volatile and is known for releasing the largest amounts of firedamp, a dangerous and explosive mixture of gases (chiefly methane). "[6] These developments helped bring to a head a series of discussions that had been taking place at the Naval Advisory Board since 1881. The latter would have increased the speed to 18 knots. She anchored there two days, then proceeded to Newport, Rhode Island, for fitting out and test firing of her torpedoes. This plan and profile view show Maine with eight six-pounder guns (one is not seen on the port part of the bridge but that is due to the bridge being cut away in the drawing). This was also the first US battleship class to use submerged torpedo tubes; this became possible because the hulls were at least 20 feet longer than previous US battleships. Between 20 November and 2 December 1911, a court of inquiry headed by Rear Admiral Charles E. Vreeland inspected the wreck. Officers and Crew of the USS Maine Feburary 15, 1898. [89], Eliades Acosta was the head of the Cuban Communist Party's Committee on Culture and a former director of the José Martí National Library in Havana. [4][page needed], However, the original design was modified by chief engineer George W. Melville to add new technologies. The vessel was originally named "Armored Cruiser #1" ("ACR-1") but renamed as the USS Maine and classified as a "Second-class Battleship". The en echelon arrangement proved problematic. [49] The remaining wreckage rapidly settled to the bottom of the harbor. [64] After the investigation, the newly located dead were buried in Arlington National Cemetery and the hollow, intact portion of the hull of Maine was refloated and ceremoniously scuttled at sea on 16 March 1912. Maine carried two six-pounders forward, two on the bridge and three on the stern section, all one level above the abbreviated gun deck that permitted the ten-inch guns to fire across the deck. The Maine was an armoured cruiser that was sent to Havana, in Cuba, to support US interests when Cuba made a bid for freedom from their colonial masters Spain. However, some U.S. Navy officers disagreed with the board, suggesting that the ship's magazines had been ignited by a spontaneous fire in a coal bunker. A photo of the christening shows Mrs. Wilmerding striking the bow near the plimsoll line depth of 13 which lead to many comments (much later of course) that the ship was "unlucky" from the launching. [59] The American public, already agitated over reported Spanish atrocities in Cuba, was driven to increased hysteria. The Maine was sent to Cuba to demonstrate America's very strong interest in ending the civil war there. [87] The Maine monument in Havana describes Maine's sailors as "victims sacrificed to the imperialist greed in its fervor to seize control of Cuba",[88] which claims that U.S. agents deliberately blew up their own ship. A 6-inch transverse bulkhead closed off the forward end of the armored citadel. [clarification needed][citation needed]. The mill had already weathered one strike in 1882 and a lockout in 1889 in an effort to break the union there. [104][105], In 1926, the Cuban government erected a memorial to the victims of Maine on the Malecon, near the Hotel Nacional, to commemorate United States assistance in acquiring Cuban independence from Spain. [4][page needed]. Some injured sailors were sent to hospitals in Havana and Key West, Florida. [39], Two flaws emerged in Maine's protection, both due to technological developments between her laying-down and her completion. 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