Battleships were not just some boats amidst the vast ocean. During conflicts, they were the stronghold of the soldiers who were fighting alongside and onboard these ships.

In the United States, particularly in the US Navy, the construction of its first-ever battleship happened in 1892 with the making of USS Texas, although the first battleship under that designation was the USS Indiana. By the 20th century, the US Navy made the United States the world’s fifth strongest power at sea which rose from its 12th rank in 1870. Also, no American battleship has been lost at sea, although there were four that sank during the Pearl Harbor attack. The last decommissioned battleship for the US Navy was in 1992. With that, let’s have a look at some of the legendary ships that the US built:

The USS Texas

USS Texas
USS Texas, photochrom print c. 1898 (Wikipedia)

As mentioned above, the USS Texas was the first battleship of the United States, just before the USS Maine. In the Spring of 1898, the USS Maine (ACR-1) was destroyed by an explosion after losing a war in Havana Harbor. The United States, at that moment, declared war on Spain. USS Texas was one of the ships sent against the Spanish in the Atlantic Ocean. Together with one other ship, Texas destroyed the Spanish fort located at Cayo del Tore in a span of 75 minutes. The Spanish ships tried to run the American blockade, but Texas worked and attacked four of their ships simultaneously, inflicting heavy damages on each of them and giving them no choice but to run on the ground. After that, USS Texas also assisted against the rest of the Spanish fleet. This helped towards the end of the war.

USS Iowa (BB-61) in WWII, Korean War, and the Persian Gulf War

The USS Iowa entered the scene of World War II in 1943 when she carried President Franklin Roosevelt across the Atlantic to North Algeria to attend a conference with Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. This battleship class comprising Iowa, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Missouri were “Post Treaty” ships made after the restrictions of the Washington Naval Conference treaty were discarded when Japan attacked the U.S. in December 1942.  These were the fastest battleships ever built and arguably the most lethal in terms of their armaments and targeting systems.  The record for the biggest battleships ever built belongs to the Japanese, who built the Yamato and Musashi in secret and in violation of the treaty terms. Size is not everything and if you want to read how the Iowa class ships probably would have trounced the Yamato class battleships in a fight, you can read that here.