Saturday, December 18, 2021

Want a Battleship? Bid and Buy One Cheap! -- December 18, 2021

Bismarck Tribune, 15-December-1921

100 years ago this month, diplomats were arguing about a proposed naval arms limitation treaty. The US was already starting to tidy up by offering some pre-dreadnought battleships and other ships for scrap. USS Wisconsin (BB-9), Maine (BB-10) and Missouri (BB-11) all sailed as part of the Great White Fleet. Wisconsin and Maine were built in San Francisco by the Union Iron Works. 

The "famous cruiser Olympia" did not get sold for scrap. She still survives, on display in Philadelphia. She needs much expensive repair work to stay afloat. 


Washington, Dec. 15 — Uncle Sam is offering for sale, to be broken up for junk, 13 navy vessels, totaling 85,189 tons.

A second lot of about 15 probably will be announced for sale before December 20.

The first lot includes three battleships, three cruisers, four monitors, one destroyer and two small auxiliary vessels:

These include the battleship Maine, successor to the ill-fated Maine which was blown up in Havana Harbor, and the cruiser Brooklyn, flagship of Rear Admiral William S. Schley in the battle of Santiago.

The Maine and her sister ship, the Missouri, both built following the Spanish war, were considered marvels of naval design. They each displaced 13,500 tons and carried four 12-inch guns.

So rapid has been naval development that these ships would be virtually impotent' in any major naval engagement.

So, stripped of guns, they are offered at public sale to be broken up, their parts to be made available for peaceful industries.

In advertising, the vessels for sale the navy department suggests they "should be considered from the standpoint of a nucleus to get into the ship breaking-up field far some far-sighted concern."

These vessels constitute about 10 per cent of the total tonnage the United States would scrap under the Hughes proposal to Great Britain and Japan.

The total cost of the 13 vessels now up for sale, $25,00,000, is little more than half the cost of one modern, electrically driven super-dreadnaught.

Exclusive of armament the Maine cost $2,885,000.

No comments: