fighting ships of the world



KEARSARGE 1st class battleships (1900)


Kearsarge 1900

Kearsarge 1917

No Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
BB5 Kearsarge 18 Newport News 30/6/1896 24/3/1898 20/2/1900 crane ship 8/1920
BB6 Kentucky 19 Newport News 30/6/1896 24/3/1898 15/5/1900 stricken 5/1922

Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m


Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 VTE, 5 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1591

Endurance, nm(kts) 5070(10)

Armour, mm

Harvey steel - belt: 419 - 102, bulkheads: 305 - 254, deck: 127 - 70, barbettes: 381 - 318, main turrets: 432 - 89, secondary turrets: 279 - 89, casemates: 152, CT: 254


2 x 2 - 330/35 Mk II, 2 x 2 - 203/37 Mk IV, 14 x 1 - 127/40 Mk III, 20 x 1 - 57/40 Hotchkiss Mk I, 8 x 5 - 37/20 Hotchkiss Mk I, 4 x 1 - 7.6/92, 4 - 450 TT (beam, 6)



Ship project history: Authorized under the Act of 2/3/1895. Flush deck ships with freeboard of 4.4m forward at legend draught. The 203mm turrets were fixed on the roofs of the 330mm and trained with them as one unit, a most unfortunate arrangement: 330m and 203mm guns can not fire simultaneously and very heavy turrets had huge gunports. 127mm guns casemates were cramped and absence of sponsons did not allow to provide good fire angles. Training was electric. These were the first US battleships to make extensive use of electrical auxiliary machinery, the total output of the dynamos being 350kw. They were reputed very bad gun platforms. Freeboard was too low and seaworthiness was poor.

Ship protection: Main belt had 2.29m height (1.07m over and 1.22m under waterline). It was 419mm thick at upper edge, uniformly tapering to 337mm at waterline and 241mm at lower edge from forward bulkhead of boiler room to the centerline of after barbette. Thickness of main belt was gradually reduced to 267-241mm at the centerline of fore barbette. Next 9.1m forward part of belt was 102mm. Fore angled bulkhead was 254mm and aft angled bulkhead was 305mm (between top of belt and deck slopes). There was 127mm upper belt. 70mm armoured deck over citadel was flat and connected with upper edge of main belt. It was sloped and 70mm flat/76mm sloped fore and 70mm flat/127mm sloped aft. Main gun turrets had 432mm sides, 89mm crowns and secondary turrets had 279mm sides and 89mm crowns. 127mm guns were placed in casemates with 152mm armour and 51mm splinter bulkheads between guns. CT had 254mm sides and 51mm roof. Rear parts of main barbettes had 318mm thickness.

Modernizations: 1909 - 1911, both: - 16 x 1 - 57/40, 4 - 450 TT; + 4 x 1 - 127/40 Mk III; cylindrical boilers were replaced by 8 Mosher, cage masts were installed.

1919, both: - 10 x1 - 127/40, 4 x 1 - 57/40; + 2 x 1 - 76/52 Mk X

Naval service: Kearsarge was converted to a crane ship in 1920, stability being increased by bulges and a very large 250t revolving crane was fitted. She was renamed Crane Ship No1 in November 1941.

Kearsarge 1899

Kearsarge (Naval History and Heritage Command)

Kearsarge  1912

Kentucky 1912

Kearsarge as crane ship in Panama Canal 1920s

Navypedia, 2020