Battlewagon Wednesday — USS Minnesota BB-22

USS Minnesota BB-22

USS Minnesota BB-22

USS Minnesota was a Connecticut-class pre-dreadnought battleship commissioned in 1907. She had a length of 456 feet and displaced 16,000 tons. Top speed was 18 knots.

Compare this battleship to today’s destroyers. The Arleigh Burke DDG-51 class ships are 505 or 509 feet long but displace only 8,100 to 9,600 tons (depending on flight). They have a top speed of 30+ knots.

Battlewagons designed before HMS Dreadnought carried mixed main armament rather than a battery of the heaviest possible. The Connecticut class ships were armed with:
4 × 12 in (305 mm)/45 cal in 2 twin turrets
8 × 8 in (203 mm)/45 cal in 4 twin turrets
12 × 7 in (178 mm)/45 cal in single casemates

Here is a line drawing of the ships showing the gun configuration

Connecticut-class Battleship

Connecticut-class Battleship

UPDATE: Murdoc corrected the line drawing to label the 8″ guns correctly on the wing turrets. Also I found that the 12″ and 8″ turrets were twin rather than double and added that info to the armament list. The guns of twin (or triple or quadruple) turrets elevate in unison. The guns of double, triple, or quadruple turrets can elevate independently.

Though a pre-dreadnought would have been out-gunned in a one-on-one fight with a dreadnought, the ships were still effective capital ships and made up a large part of the world’s battle fleets until newer ships could be built.

The Minnesota was part of the “Great White Fleet” and served in the Caribbean during the Cuban insurrection and the Mexican Revolution. She was finally decommissioned in 1921.

Here is a pic of USS Minnesota after some upgrades:

USS Minnesota BB-22 in 1909.

USS Minnesota BB-22 in 1909.