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Empire State Battlewagon - The USS New York BB-34


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By: Harvey M. Biegel


The fifth U.S.S New York (BB-34) was laid down 11 September 1911 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and launched 30 October 1912. The ship was sponsored by Miss Elise Caller ad commissioned on 15 April 1914. The New York and her sister ship Texas were armed with 10-14 inch batteries. They had a top speed of 21 knots. With a displacement of 27,000 tons, they compared favorably with the best the British had and were regarded by some as the most advanced BBs of the time. Yet in the era of worldwide dreadnought competition, the New York’s prowess was overshadowed by press coverage that pronounced that bigger and stronger craft were anticipated in the U.S. and abroad. For example, Sen. Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina proposed the construction of what would be the U.S.S. Pennsylvania (BB-37), which entered service in 1918 at 31,000 tons, armed with 12, 14 inch rifles. There was also some concern in American naval circles when Japan decided to build eight dreadnoughts. The two 32,750 –ton – Negato- class battleships were projected to have eight, 16-inch main batteries. The launching of the New York in 1912 was nevertheless a gala event. The New York represented an attempt to continue Teddy Roosevelt’s energetic ‘big stick’ policy. It was the Democrats who in part held back the outgoing President William Howard Taft in 1912. When the Democrats held up the ship’s funding, Secretary of the Navy George V. Meyer stopped construction for several months at a time when the ship was half-finished. Congress went on to appropriate another one million dollars to finish he job. Invitations to the launching of the New York at the Brooklyn Navy Yard were especially sought after. The presence of the President and Secretary of the Navy and the excitement of viewing of a big ship sliding down in the stocks brought a large crowd of 40,000 to the event. A platform for 1,5000 persons were erected at the head of the ways on the level of the sponsor’s stand. The President and guests of Secretary of the Navy Meyer were placed there. Enclosures on the ship’s starboard side seated station officers, families and guests, clerks, draftsmen and other persons requiring special consideration. The port side of side was reserved for yard workmen, families and friends, enlisted men from nearby ships and the general public.
Empire State Battlewagon - The USS New York BB-34


70 pages, SB.


Empire State Battlewagon - The USS New York BB-34

ISBN Number: 9781575101446

Item Number: 1733

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