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The History of Battleships

The story of the steel heroes of the sea

What was a battleship, and why aren’t they being used today?

In 1850, the French navy placed the Le Napoleon into its arsenal, this would become the new beginning for an era of battleships.

The Le Napoleon was a steam powered battleships. it had a wooden hull and could travel at almost fourteen knots. With the Le Napoleon came the James watt in 1852, initially it was supposed to be commissioned in 1847 but was put on hold.

The first battleship created by the United States would come sooner in 1914, and this battleship would be the USS Texas. Built in Newport News, Virginia, and weight in at 27000 tons. That is about fourteen adult male elephants. What makes a battleship a battleship is that it was a very mass amount armor and cannons, which the Texas did have.In 1918 the USS Texas crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, where it would stay for the rest of the first world war. Later in 1919 the Texas was assigned to the Pacific fleet, after 5 years the Texas would return to Europe on a training cruise. After a much-needed upgrade in 1925 the USS Texas went back and forth from the Atlantic and Pacific, until 1931 where it served as a fleet flagship for US naval exercises. Then was sent all the way back to Atlantic where it would serve until 1944.Why the Battleship Texas may soon be leaving Harris County for good | The Texas Tribune

During the Second world war the Texas moved troops and supplies to Panama, the British Isles, and West Africa. In 1942 the USS Texas provided cover support during the invasion of North Africa. Like the invasion on North Africa in 1944 the battleship fired its cannons at the Normandy beach starting on June 5. After aiding in a couple more invasion the Texas was moved to Japan where it stayed for the rest of the war before being handed over to the State of Texas, as a memorial in San Jacinto.

Another example of a famous battleship is the USS Arizona. The Arizona was a Pennsylvania class ship that went off to serve in 1915. At the time it was the largest battleship in the US navy at about 608 feet. Including its enormous size the USS Arizona had twelve main battery guns, and eight secondary battery guns. With 6.25 inch think armor protecting it from attacks. Despite this on December 7, 1941, at about 8:10 in the morning, at Pearl Harbor a 1,760-pound armor piercing bomb from a Japanese bomber that struck the Arizona’s fuel and ammunition supply, causing an explosion so large it lifted the 31,400-ton battleship out of the water. This explosion killed about 1,177 US navy sailors, and in those 1,177 were thirty-eight sets of brothers. This tragedy is also one of the reasons that the US military does not put brothers or sibling on the same ship or company. The USS Arizona is one of the most memorialized US battleships, and for good reason. On Memorial Day of 1962, the USS Arizona memorial was open to the public to commemorate the ship and its crew for its bravery.


Though battleships have protected our country for decades why did we decide to decommission them? Well, the reason for this is just like everything else in the world. As time goes on someone out there will create and innovate something making it better and, making the original creation obsolete, and the same is with battleships. Cruisers are like battleships except smaller, cheaper, fast, and more advanced. Cruisers make battleships obsolete, because anything a battleship could do a cruiser could do the same if not better. battleships were vulnerable from all fronts, the bottom, top and sides, could all be hit easily, opposed to something more advanced like a submarine.


Even though battleships no longer exist. We should still commemorate and remember these Giants of the sea that help shape our country.




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