:: INDIANAPOLIS (1931) ::

USS Indianapolis heavy cruiser (1931) High resolution picture

The USS Indianapolis was an American heavy cruiser launched in 1931, about half year before than her sister USS Portland. Unlike the previous classes of American cruisers, the Pensacola and the Northampton, which were built with a thin and long belt running along the space between the aft and fore turrets, the ships of the Portland class had the armored belt shortened in such a way that it covered only the space occupied by the machinery; this allowed to increase the thickness in 25 millimeters without adding more weight to the hull. The thickness of the armor was increased as well in the deck and the turrets.

In the two preceding classes they had been installed torpedo tubes, but these were discarded for the Portland class because it was thought that the encounters at distances on which the torpedoes could be effective were very improbable. However, the lack of torpedo tubes in the cruisers was severely suffered in the first years of the war, particularly in the Solomon Islands. The Indianapolis spent the largest part of her career as flagship and during the war she had priority in the queue of modifications, so both her antiaircraft armament and electronic equipment were constantly updated. The illustration shows the USS Indianapolis as she was in July 1945, prepared as flagship; note the radars and the powerful antiaircraft battery, as well as the Seahawk seaplane in the catapult.

The USS Indianapolis is probably best known for having transported the first atomic bomb from United States to the base at Tinian, from where it was launched over Hiroshima. When she was torpedoed her loss was not acknowledged until four days after. An American aircraft sighted the remains and the survivors, but because of the delay, of the 880 initial survivors only 316 were saved. The loss of 883 crewmen was the largest one suffered by the United States Navy in a single ship.

Class: Portland (2 units - Indianapolis (CA-35), Portland (CA-33))

Type: Heavy cruiser

Length: 186.3 meters

Beam: 20.2 meters

Draught: 6.4 meters

Displacement (standard): 10110 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 8 x boiler White-Foster, 107000 horsepower

Speed: 32.75 knots (61.4 kilometers/hour)

Range: 10000 nautical miles (18520 kilometers) at 15 knots

Fuel: 2160 tonnes of petrol

Complement: 952

Armament (as built): 9 x 203-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 8 x 127-millimeter 25-caliber cannon, 2 x 47-millimeter cannon, 8 x 12.7-millimeter machine gun, 4 x aircraft

Armament (in 1945): 9 x 203-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 8 x 127-millimeter 25-caliber cannon, 24 x 40-millimeter cannon, 16 x 20-millimeter cannon, 4 x aircraft

Armor: 76-102 millimeters in belt, 51 millimeters in deck, 38-51 millimeters in barbettes, 38-76 millimeters in main turrets, 32 millimeters in conning tower

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