USS Maine (ACR-1)

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USS Maine (ACR-1) was the United States Navy's second commissioned battleship and the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after the state of Maine.[a][1] Originally classified as an armored cruiser, she was built in response to the Brazilian battleship Riachuelo and the increase of naval forces in Latin America. Maine and her near-sister ship Texas reflected the latest European naval developments, with the layout of her main armament resembling that of the British ironclad Inflexible and comparable Italian ships. Her two gun turrets were staggered en échelon, one sponsoned out on each side of the ship, with cutaways in the superstructure to allow both to fire ahead, astern or across her deck. She dispensed with full masts thanks to the increased reliability of steam engines by the time of her construction.

The Maine is best known for her catastrophic loss in Havana harbor on the evening of 15 February 1898. Sent to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt against Spain, she exploded suddenly without warning and sank quickly, killing nearly three quarters of her crew. The cause and responsibility for her sinking remained unclear after a board of inquiry. The phrase "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!" became a rallying cry for action, which came with the Spanish–American War later that year.


© Richard Tripp 2012