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Nevada class battleship
|Nevada class battleship|
|Preceded By||New York-class|
|Ships of the Class:||Nevada, Oklahoma|
The Nevada class battleships carried the United States Navy's first triple gun turrets, a feature that would be seen in all but a few of its future battleship designs. Even more significantly, they introduced the so-called "all or nothing" armor scheme, in which protection of vital areas was optimized against heavy caliber guns, leaving other parts of the ship essentially unprotected. This reflected a growing awareness that improved gunfire controls would drive battleship engagements out to long ranges, where smaller guns would only serve to defend against torpedo and air attack. Thus, armor intended to counter those guns would be, at best, a waste of valuable weight. The basic concept of the Nevadas' armor system was ultimately adopted by all naval powers.
These were also the Navy's first to have oil as their primary fuel and the last to have only two propellers. Oklahoma represented the final use of reciprocating machinery. They originally were completed with a very large battery of five-inch (127 mm) guns to defend against enemy destroyers. However, several of those weapons, mounted near the bow and stern in very wet positions, were removed within a few years.
The Nevadas were active in the Atlantic Ocean before and during World War I, deploying to the European war zone in 1918 to help protect Allied supply lines. Their service continued after the "Great War", though by the early 1920s they were the oldest of the main Battle Fleet units. Both were extensively modernized between 1927 and 1929, receiving greater elevation for their heavy guns, modern gunfire controls in new tripod masts, and two catapults for scouting and observation airplanes. Their five-inch (127 mm) 51-caliber anti-destroyer guns were moved to dryer locations in the superstructure and a battery of five-inch (127 mm) 25-caliber anti-aircraft guns was added. Protection against shellfire, bombs and torpedoes was improved, increasing their width to nearly 33 meters (108 ft).
Both ships were sunk in the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, with Nevada’s experience proving that the watertight integrity of older warships was unlikely to be satisfactory. Oklahoma was a total loss, but Nevada was salvaged and again modernized during 1942, exchanging her old secondary battery for a new one of twin-mounted five-inch (127 mm) 38-caliber guns, plus many 40 mm and 20 mm anti-aircraft machineguns. She served in both the European and Pacific theaters, providing gunfire support for amphibious operations. Nevada’s final mission was as a target for nuclear and conventional weapons from 1946 to 1948.
The Nevada class was part of the "Standard type battleship" concept of the US Navy, a design concept which gave the US Navy a homogenous line of battle (very important, as it allowed the Navy to plan maneuvers for the whole line of battle rather than detaching "fast wing"s and "slow wing"s). The "Standard" concept included long-range gunnery, moderate speed of 21 knots (39 km/h), a tight tactical radius of ~700 yards (640 m) and improved damage control. The other Standards were the Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Tennessee and Colorado classes.
- Displacement: 27,500 tons
- Length: 177.7 m (583 ft)
- Beam: 29 m (95 ft 3 in)
- Powerplant: 26,500 horsepower (20 MW) geared steam turbines in Nevada; 24,800 horsepower (18 MW) triple-expansion steam reciprocating engines in Oklahoma. Both had two propellers
- Speed: 20.5 knots (38 km/h)
- Main battery: 10 x 14 in (356 mm) 45-caliber guns in two triple and two (superfiring) twin turrets
- Secondary battery: 21 x 5 in (127 mm) 51-caliber guns in single casemate mountings (ten guns on each side of the ship, plus one in the stern); soon reduced to 12 x 5 in (127 mm) 51-caliber guns. In the late 1920s, 8 x 5 in (127 mm) 25-caliber anti-aircraft guns were added.
initially based on the public domain article published by the Department of the Navy's Naval Historical Center
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