Military Wiki
Maine-class battleship
Uss maine bb-10.jpg
USS Maine (BB-10)
Class overview
Name: Maine class battleship
Operators: US flag 46 stars.svg United States Navy
Preceded by: Illinois class
Succeeded by: Virginia class
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
Preserved: 0
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Battleship
Displacement: 12,500 tons / 13,500 full load
Length: 394 ft (120 m)
Beam: 72 ft 3 in (22.02 m)
Draft: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 561 officers and men
  • 4 × 12-inch (305 mm) guns
  • 16 × 6-inch (152 mm) guns
  • 6 × 3-inch (76 mm) guns
  • 8 × 3-pounder guns
  • 6 × 1-pounder guns
  • 3 × .30-caliber machine guns
  • 2 × 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes
  • Belt: 5.5–11 in (140–279 mm)
  • Barbettes: 8–12 in (203–305 mm)
  • Turret Mains: 11–12 in (279–305 mm)
  • Turret secondary: 5.5–6 in (140–152 mm)
  • Conning tower: 10 in (254 mm)
Notes: Ships in class:

The three Maine class battleships: Maine, Missouri, and Ohio were launched in the first several years of the 20th century. These were the first US capital ships to use smokeless powder for their main batteries, and the last to use Harvey armor. Smokeless powder allowed a decrease in gun size, with an increase in power and efficiency.[2] Harvey armor, though only in use for a decade, was already obsolete. 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.

The design was influenced by the Russian battleship Retvizan which was also built by William Cramp and Sons in Philadelphia.[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.[4][page needed] The original plans called for an improved version of the USS Iowa, which had been authorized in 1892. The main batteries were to be increased from 12-inch to 13-inch guns and the 4-inch guns with 5-inch guns.[4][page needed]

However, the original design was modified by chief engineer George W. Melville to add new technologies. The planned 13-inch 35 caliber guns were replaced by a smaller but more powerful 12-inch 40 caliber gun, which used the new and more efficient smokeless powder. The new design also specified Krupp cemented armour which would allow the thickness of the belt armor to be reduced from 16.5 to 12 inches.[4][page needed]

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.[4][page needed] Some proposed changes were denied including, additions to the secondary batteries and William Cramp and Sons' offer to expand the ships by 15 feet to accommodate more powerful Niclausse boilers. The latter would have increased the speed to 18 knots.

Ships in class

USS Maine

  • Designation: BB-10
  • Laid down: 15 February 1899
  • Launched: 27 July 1901
  • Commissioned: 29 December 1902
  • Decommissioned: 15 May 1920
  • Fate: Sold for scrap

USS Missouri

  • Designation: BB-11
  • Laid down: 7 February 1900
  • Launched: 28 December 1901
  • Commissioned: 1 December 1903
  • Decommissioned: 8 September 1919
  • Fate: Sold for scrap

USS Ohio

  • Designation: BB-12
  • Laid down: 22 April 1899
  • Launched: 18 May 1901
  • Commissioned: 4 October 1904
  • Decommissioned: 31 May 1922
  • Fate: Sold for scrap

See also



  • Chesneau, Roger; Koleśnik, Eugène M.; Campbell, N.J.M. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-133-5. 
  • Friedman, Norman (1985). U.S. Battleships, An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-715-1. 
  • McLaughlin, Stephen (2000). Preston, Anthony. ed. The Retvizan, an American Battleship for the Czar. Warship. 2000–2001. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-791-0. 
  • Pike, John. "Armor". Retrieved 2011-09-29. 

External links

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