Great White Battleship

USS Kearsarge (BB-5) in Boston Harbor, circa 1900, some seven years before she cruised around the world with the Great White Fleet.

The decks of Kearsarge bristled with four 13″/35-cal. guns, four 8″/35-cal. guns, 14 5″/40-cal., 20 Hotchkiss 6-pounders, eight 1-pounders, several torpedo tubes, and four .30-cal. machineguns. While four machineguns sounds pretty light, you have to keep in mind that Kearsarge (the second of five so-named vessels) was commissioned over three years before the Wright Brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. By comparison, a World War II-era, Iowa-class battleship sported over 100 anti-aircraft guns apiece. Kearsarge served as the flagship of the Atlantic Fleet before being replaced by USS Maine in 1905.

Author: Chris Carter

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