USS South Carolina battleship (1908) High resolution picture

The USS South Carolina, launched in 1908, and her twin USS Michigan were the first dreadnought battleships built for the United States Navy. Albeit they were the first battleships designed with a main armament of single caliber, due to the delays suffered on their authorization and construction they were completed after the British HMS Dreadnought. To reduce expenses, the normal displacement of these ships was limited by decree to 16260 tonnes. Despite of the suppression of the secondary battery from the project, the weight saved was insufficient, so the hull was built with the stern deck at a lower level. The tests with turbines had not been satisfactorily completed when the South Carolina class was designed, so reciprocating engines were installed instead.

The USS South Carolina had a tranquil career, serving in the Atlantic Fleet before and during the First World War as a gunnery training and escort ship. After the war she served as troop transport and training ship for midshipmen until being decommissioned in 1921. The USS Michigan had a similar record and both ships were finally scrapped in 1924. The illustration shows the USS South Carolina as she was in 1918, fitted with the "cage masts" that were typical on the North American battleships of that period.

Class: South Carolina (2 units - Michigan (BB-27), South Carolina (BB-26))

Type: Battleship

Length: 138.2 meters

Beam: 24.5 meters

Draught: 7.5 meters

Displacement (normal): 16256 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, vertical triple-expansion steam engines, 12 x boiler Babcock and Wilcox, 17782 horsepower

Speed: 18.9 knots (35 kilometers/hour)

Range: 4200 nautical miles (7780 kilometers) at 10 knots

Fuel: 914-2418 tonnes of coal

Complement: 869

Armament (as built): 8 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 32 x 76-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 4 x 37-millimeter cannon, 2 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube

Armament (in 1918): 8 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 16 x 76-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 4 x 47-millimeter cannon, 2 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 229-305 millimeters in belt, 38 millimeters in deck ends, 38-76 millimeters in main deck, 254 millimeters in barbettes, 203-305 millimeters in main turrets, 51-305 millimeters in conning tower

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