The Fletcher class was a class of destroyers built by the United States during World War II. The class was designed in 1939, as a result of dissatisfaction with the earlier destroyer leader types of the Porter and Somers classes; some went on to serve into the Vietnam War. The United States Navy commissioned 175 Fletcher-class destroyers between 1942 and 1944, more than any other destroyer class, the design was regarded as successful. Fletchers had a design speed of 38 knots and an armament of five 5" guns in single mounts with 10 21" torpedoes in two quintuple centerline mounts; the Allen M. Sumner and Gearing classes were Fletcher derivatives; the long-range Fletcher-class ships performed every task asked of a destroyer, from anti-submarine warfare and anti-aircraft warfare to surface action. They could cover the vast distances required by fleet actions in the Pacific and served exclusively in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II, during which they accounted for 29 Imperial Japanese Navy submarines sunk.
In a massive effort, the Fletchers were built by shipyards across the United States and, after World War II ended, 11 were sold to countries that they had been built to fight against: Italy and Japan, as well as other countries, where they had longer, distinguished careers. Three have been preserved as museum ships in the U. S. and one in Greece. The Fletcher class was the largest class of destroyer ordered, was one of the most successful and popular with the destroyer men themselves. Compared to earlier classes built for the Navy, they carried a significant increase in anti-aircraft weapons and other weaponry, which caused displacements to rise, their flush deck construction added structural strength, although it did make them rather cramped, as less space was available below decks compared with a raised forecastle. The Fletcher-class was the first generation of destroyers designed after the series of Naval Treaties that had limited ship designs heretofore; the growth in the design was in part to answer a question that always dogged U.
S. Navy designs, they were to carry no less than five 5 in guns and ten deck-mounted torpedo tubes on the centerline, allowing them to meet any foreign design on equal terms. Compared to earlier designs, the Fletchers were large, allowing them to absorb the addition of two 40 mm Bofors quadruple mount AA guns as well as six 20 mm Oerlikon dual AA gun positions; this addition to the AA suite required the deletion of the forward quintuple torpedo mount, a change done under the 4 April 1945 anti-kamikaze program. Fletchers were much less top-heavy than previous classes, allowing them to take on additional equipment and weapons without major redesign, they were fortunate in catching American production at the right moment, becoming "the" destroyer design, only Fletcher-class derivatives, the Sumner and Gearing classes, would follow it. The first design inputs were in the fall of 1939 from questionnaires distributed around design bureaus and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; the design parameters were the armaments desired of the next destroyer.
As such, the questions were of how many guns and depth charges were seen as desirable. Asked was at what point would the design grow large enough to become a torpedo target instead of a torpedo delivery system; the answer that came back was that five 5 in dual purpose guns, twelve torpedoes, twenty-eight depth charges would be ideal, while a return to the 1500-ton designs of the past was seen as undesirable. Speed requirements varied from 35 to 38 kn, shortcomings in the earlier Sims class, which were top heavy and needed lead ballast to correct this fault, caused the Fletcher design to be widened by 18 in of beam; as with other previous U. S. flush deck destroyer designs, seagoing performance suffered. This was mitigated by deployment to the Pacific Ocean, calm. To achieve 38 kn with a 500-ton increase in displacement, shaft horsepower was increased from 50,000 to 60,000 compared to the previous Benson and Gleaves classes; the Fletchers featured air-encased boilers producing steam at 600 psi and 850 °F, with emergency diesel generators providing 80 kW of electric power.
Babcock & Wilcox boilers and General Electric geared steam turbines were equipped, although other designs and manufacturers were used to maximize the rate of production. The main gun armament was five dual-purpose 5 inch/38 caliber guns in single mounts, guided by a Mark 37 Gun Fire Control System, including a Mk 12 fire control radar and a Mk 22 height-finder linked by a Mark 1A Fire Control Computer and stabilized by a Mk 6 8,500 rpm gyro. Ten 21 in torpedo tubes were fitted in firing the Mark 15 torpedo. Initial designed anti-aircraft armament was a quadruple 1.1"/75 caliber gun mount and six.50 caliber machine guns. Anti-submarine armament was two depth charge racks at the stern, augmented by up to six K-gun depth charge throwers as the war progressed. Throughout the course of World War II, the number of anti-aircraft weapons increased resulting in five twin 40 mm Bofors mounts plus seven single 20 mm Oerlikons by 1945. Due to the increasing threat from kamikaze attacks, fifty-one ships received further AA modifications beginning
Bofors 40 mm gun
The Bofors 40 mm gun referred to as the Bofors gun, is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed in the 1930s by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors. It was one of the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft systems during World War II, used by most of the western Allies as well some captured systems being used by the Axis powers. A small number of these weapons remain in service to this day, saw action as late as the Persian Gulf War. In the post-war era, the original design was not suitable for action against jet-powered aircraft, so Bofors introduced a new model of more power, the 40 mm L/70. In spite of sharing nothing with the original design other than the calibre and the distinctive conical flash hider, this weapon is widely known as "the Bofors". Although not as popular as the original L/60 model, the L/70 remains in service as a multi-purpose weapon for light armoured vehicles, as on the CV 90. Bofors has been part of BAE Systems AB since March 2005; the Swedish Navy purchased a number of 2-pounder Pom-Poms from Vickers as anti-aircraft guns in 1922.
The Navy approached Bofors about the development of a more capable replacement. Bofors signed a contract in late 1928. Bofors produced a gun, a smaller version of a 57 mm semi-automatic gun developed as an anti-torpedo boat weapon in the late 19th century by Finspång, their first test gun was a re-barreled Nordenfelt version of the Finspong gun, to, added a semi-automatic loading mechanism. Testing of this gun in 1929 demonstrated that a problem existed feeding the weapon in order to maintain a reasonable rate of fire. A mechanism, strong enough to handle the stresses of moving the large round was too heavy to move enough to fire rapidly. One attempt to solve this problem used zinc shell cases; this proved to leave heavy zinc deposits in the barrel, had to be abandoned. In the summer of 1930 experiments were made with a new test gun that did away with controlled feed and instead flicked the spent casing out the rear whereafter a second mechanism reloaded the gun by "throwing" a fresh round from the magazine into the open breech.
This seemed to be the solution they needed, improving firing rates to an acceptable level, the work on a prototype commenced soon after. During this period Krupp purchased a one-third share of Bofors. Krupp engineers started the process of updating the Bofors factories to use modern equipment and metallurgy, but the 40 mm project was kept secret; the prototype was completed and fired in November 1931, by the middle of the month it was firing strings of two and three rounds. Changes to the feed mechanism were all that remained, by the end of the year it was operating at 130 rounds per minute. Continued development was needed to turn it into a weapon suitable for production, completed in October 1933. Since acceptance trials had been passed the year before, this became known as the "40 mm akan M/32". Most forces referred to it as the "Bofors 40 mm L/60", although the barrel was 56.25 calibres in length, not the 60 calibres that the name implies. The gun fired a 900 g high explosive 40 × 311R shell at 2,960 ft/s.
The rate of fire was about 120 rounds per minute, which improved when the barrels were closer to the horizontal as gravity assisted the feeding from the top-mounted magazine. In practice firing rates were closer to 80–100 rpm, as the rounds were fed into the breech from four round clips which had to be replaced by hand; the maximum attainable ceiling was 7,200 m. The gun was provided with an advanced sighting system; the trainer and layer were both provided with reflector sights for aiming, while a third crew-member standing behind them "adjusted" for lead using a simple mechanical computer. Power for the sights was supplied from a 6V battery. In spite of the successful development, the Swedish Navy changed its mind and decided it needed a smaller hand-traversed weapon of 13 mm-25 mm size, tested various designs from foreign suppliers. With the 40 mm well along in development, Bofors offered a 25 mm version in 1932, selected as the Bofors 25 mm M/32; the first version of the 40 mm the Navy ordered was intended for use on submarines, where the larger calibre allowed the gun to be used for both AA and against smaller ships.
The barrel was shorter at 42 calibers long, with the effect of reducing the muzzle velocity to about 700 m/s. When not in use, the gun retracted into a watertight cylinder; the only known submarines that used this arrangement was the Sjölejonet-class boats. The guns were removed as the subs were modified with streamlined conning towers; the first order for the "real" L/60 was made by the Dutch Navy, who ordered five twin-gun mounts for the cruiser De Ruyter in August 1934. These guns were stabilized using the Hazemeyer mount, in which one set of layers aimed the gun, while a second manually stabilized the platform the gun sat on. All five mounts were operated by one fire control system. Bofors developed a towable carriage which they displayed in April 1935 at a show in Belgium; this mount allowed the gun to be fired from the carriage with no setup required, although with limited accuracy. If time was available for setup, the gunners used the tow-bar and muzzle lock as levers, raising the wheels off the ground and thereby lowering the gun onto supporting pads.
Two additional legs folded out to the sides, the platform was leveled with hand cranks. The entire setup process could be completed in under a minute. Orders for the land based versions were immediate, starting with
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military forces; the ceremonies involved are rooted in centuries old naval tradition. Ship naming and launching endow a ship hull with her identity, but many milestones remain before she is completed and considered ready to be designated a commissioned ship; the engineering plant and electronic systems and multitudinous other equipment required to transform the new hull into an operating and habitable warship are installed and tested. The prospective commanding officer, ship's officers, the petty officers, seamen who will form the crew report for training and intensive familiarization with their new ship. Prior to commissioning, the new ship undergoes sea trials to identify any deficiencies needing correction; the preparation and readiness time between christening-launching and commissioning may be as much as three years for a nuclear powered aircraft carrier to as brief as twenty days for a World War II landing ship.
USS Monitor, of American Civil War fame, was commissioned less than three weeks after launch. Regardless of the type of ship in question, a vessel's journey towards commissioning in its nation's navy begins with a process known as sea trials. Sea trials take place some years after a vessel was laid down, mark the interim step between the completion of a ship's construction and its official acceptance for service with its nation's navy. Sea trials begin when the ship in question is floated out of its dry dock, at which time the initial crew for a ship will assume command of the vessel in question; the ship is sailed in littoral waters for the purpose of testing the design and other ship specific systems to ensure that they work properly and can handle the equipment that they will be using in the coming years. Tests done during this phase can include launching missiles from missile magazines, firing the ship's gun, conducting basic flight tests with rotary and fixed-wing aircraft that will be assigned to the ship in the future, various tests of the electronic and propulsion equipment.
During this phase of testing problems arise relating to the state of the equipment on the ship in question, which can result in the ship returning to the builder's shipyard to address the concerns in question. In addition to problems with a ship's arms and equipment, the sea trial phase a ship undergoes prior to commissioning can identify issues with the ship's design that may need to be addressed before it can be accepted into service with its nation's navy. During her sea trials in 1999 French Naval officials determined that the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was too short to safely operate the E2C Hawkeye, resulting in her return to the builder's shipyard for enlargement. After a ship has cleared its sea trial period, it will be accepted into service with its nation's navy. At this point, the ship in question will undergo a process of degaussing and/or deperming, which will vastly reduce the ship in question's magnetic signature. Once a ship's sea trials are completed plans for the actual commissioning ceremony will take shape.
Depending on the naval traditions of the nation in question, the commissioning ceremony may be an elaborately planned event with guests, the ship's future crew, other persons of interest in attendance, or the nation in question may forgo a ceremony and instead administratively place the ship in commission. At a minimum, on the day on which the ship in question is to be commissioned the crew will report for duty aboard the ship and the commanding officer will read through the orders given for the ship and its personnel. If the ship's ceremony is a public affair the Captain may make a speech to the audience, along with other VIPs as the ceremony dictates. Religious ceremonies, such as blessing the ship or the singing of traditional hymns or songs, may occur. Once a ship has been commissioned its final step toward becoming an active unit of the navy it now serves is to report to its home port and load or accept any remaining equipment. To decommission a ship is to terminate its career in service in the armed forces of a nation.
Unlike wartime ship losses, in which a vessel lost to enemy action is said to be struck, decommissioning confers that the ship has reached the end of its usable life and is being retired from a given country's navy. Depending on the naval traditions of the country in question, a ceremony commemorating the decommissioning of the ship in question may take place, or the vessel may be removed administratively with little to no fanfare; the term "paid off" is alternatively used in British Commonwealth contexts, originating in the age-of-sail practice of ending an officer's commission and paying crew wages once the ship completed its voyage. Ship decommissioning occurs some years after the ship was commissioned and is intended to serve as a means by which a vessel that has become too old or too obsolete can be retired with honor from the operating country's armed force. Decommissioning of the vessel may occur due to treaty agreements or for safety reasons (such as a ship's nuclear reactor and assoc
Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
The Oerlikon 20 mm cannon is a series of autocannons, based on an original German 20 mm Becker design that appeared early in World War I. It was produced by Oerlikon Contraves and others, with various models employed by both Allied and Axis forces during World War II, many versions still in use today. During World War I, the German industrialist Reinhold Becker developed a 20 mm caliber cannon, known now as the 20 mm Becker using the Advanced Primer Ignition blowback method of operation; this had a cyclic rate of fire of 300 rpm. It was used on a limited scale as an aircraft gun on Luftstreitkräfte warplanes, an anti-aircraft gun towards the end of that war; because the Treaty of Versailles banned further production of such weapons in Germany, the patents and design works were transferred in 1919 to the Swiss firm SEMAG based near Zürich. SEMAG continued development of the weapon, in 1924 had produced the SEMAG L, a heavier weapon that fired more powerful 20x100RB ammunition at a higher rate of fire, 350 rpm.
In 1924 SEMAG failed. The Oerlikon firm, named after the Zürich suburb of Oerlikon where it was based acquired all rights to the weapon, plus the manufacturing equipment and the employees of SEMAG. In 1927 the Oerlikon S was added to the existing product line; this fired a still larger cartridge to achieve a muzzle velocity of 830 m/s, at the cost of increased weight and a reduced rate of fire. The purpose of this development was to improve the performance of the gun as an anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapon, which required a higher muzzle velocity. An improved version known as the 1S followed in 1930. Three sizes of gun with their different ammunition and barrel length, but similar mechanisms, continued to be developed in parallel. In 1930 Oerlikon reconsidered the application of its gun in aircraft and introduced the AF and AL, designed to be used in flexible mounts, i.e. manually aimed by a gunner. The 15-round box magazine used by earlier versions of the gun was replaced by drum magazine holding 15 or 30 rounds.
In 1935 it made an important step by introducing a series of guns designed to be mounted in or on the wings of fighter aircraft. Designated with FF for Flügelfest meaning "wing-mounted", these weapons were again available in the three sizes, with designations FF, FFL and FFS; the FF fired a larger cartridge than the AF, 20x72RB, but the major improvement in these weapons was a significant increase in rate of fire. The FF weighed 24 kg and achieved a muzzle velocity of 550 to 600 m/s with a rate of fire of 520 rpm; the FFL of 30 kg fired a projectile at a muzzle velocity of 675 m/s with a rate of fire of 500 rpm. And the FFS, which weighed 39 kg, delivered a high muzzle velocity of 830 m/s at a rate of fire of 470 rpm. Apart from changes to the design of the guns for wing-mounting and remote control, larger drums were introduced as it would not be possible to exchange magazines in flight. For the FF series drum sizes of 45, 60, 75 and 100 rounds were available, but most users chose the 60-round drum.
The 1930s were a period of global re-armament, a number of foreign firms took licenses for the Oerlikon family of aircraft cannon. In France, Hispano-Suiza manufactured development of the FFS as the Hispano-Suiza HS.7 and Hispano-Suiza HS.9, for installation between the cylinder banks of its V-12 engines. In Germany, Ikaria further developed the FF gun as firing 20x80RB ammunition, and the Imperial Japanese Navy, after evaluating all three guns, ordered developments of the FF and FFL as the Type 99-1 and Type 99-2. The incorporation of the improvements of the FFS in a new anti-aircraft gun produced, in 1938, the Oerlikon SS. Oerlikon realized further improvements in rate of fire on the 1SS of 1942, the 2SS of 1945 which achieved 650 rpm. However, it was the original SS gun, adopted as anti-aircraft gun, being widely used by Allied navies during World War II; this gun used a 400-grain charge of IMR 4831 smokeless powder to propel a 2,000-grain projectile at 2,800 feet per second. The Oerlikon FF was installed as armament on some fighters of the 1930s, such as the Polish PZL P.24G.
Locally produced derivatives of the Oerlikon cannon were used much more extensively, on aircraft, on ships and on land. In the air, the Ikaria MG FF was used as armament on a number of German aircraft, of which the most famous is the Messerschmitt Bf 109; the Japanese Navy used their copy of the FF, designated the Type 99 Mark One cannon on a number of types including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. In the war, they equipped fighters including the Zero with the Type 99 Mark Two, a version of the more powerful and faster-firing Oerlikon FFL; the French firm of Hispano-Suiza was a manufacturer of aircraft engines, it marketed the moteur-canon combination of its 12X and 12Y engines with a H. S.7 or H. S.9 cannon installed between the cylinder banks. The gun fired through the hollow propeller hub, this being elevated above the crankcase by the design of the gearing; such armament was installed on the Morane-Saulnier M. S.406 and some other types. Similar German installations of the MG FF were not successful.
The Oerlikon became best known in its naval applications. The Oerlikon was not looked upon favorably by the Royal Navy as a short-range anti-aircraft gun. All through 1937-1938 Lord Louis Mountbatten a Captain in the Royal Navy, waged a lone campaign within the Royal Navy to set up an unprejudiced trial for the Oerlikon 20 mm gun, but it was all in vain, it was not until the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet, Admiral Sir Roger Backhouse, was appointed First Sea Lord tha
USS Houston (CL-81)
USS Houston, a Cleveland-class light cruiser, was the third vessel in the United States Navy named after the city of Houston, Texas. She was active in the Pacific War for several months, survived two separate aerial torpedo hits in October 1944. On 30 May 1942, 1,000 new recruits for the Navy, known as the Houston Volunteers, were sworn in at a dedication ceremony in downtown Houston, to replace those believed lost on the heavy cruiser USS Houston. On 12 October 1942 the light cruiser Vicksburg under construction, was renamed Houston in honor of the old ship, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring: Our enemies have given us the chance to prove that there will be another USS Houston, yet another USS Houston if that becomes necessary, still another USS Houston as long as American ideals are in jeopardy, she was launched by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia on 19 June 1943, sponsored by Mrs. C. B. Hamill. Named Vicksburg, her name had been changed on 12 October 1942 in honor of her predecessor USS Houston, sunk at the Battle of Sunda Strait.
Despite CL-81 being classified as a light cruiser due to her 6-inch main battery as opposed to CA-30's heavy cruiser designation as she carried 8-inch guns, CL-81 had a greater displacement and was better armed and protected than her namesake. The ship was commissioned on 20 December 1943, with Captain William W. Behrens, USN, in command. With a nineteen-month period between the May 1942 enlistment into service of the 1,000 Houston Volunteer sailors and the final December 1943 commissioning into service of the new Houston, only one Houston Volunteer went on to serve aboard the new Houston. Houston departed Norfolk on 1 February 1944 for her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea, after a period of training out of Boston, she steamed for the Pacific on 16 April. Houston arrived at Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and San Diego on 6 May, after more training exercises arrived Majuro Atoll on 31 May to join Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher's huge Fast Carrier Task Force. Houston was to take part in the invasion of the Mariana and Palau Islands, a spectacular amphibious operation and another important step in the drive across the Pacific Islands to Japan.
Departing on 5 June 1944, Houston screened carrier strike units which pounded the Mariana Islands on 12–13 June and the Bonin Islands on 15–16 June. As the forces of Admiral Richmond K. Turner landed on Saipan on 15 June, the Japanese made preparations to close onto that island for a "decisive" naval battle; the great fleets approached each other on 19 June for the largest aircraft carrier battle of the war, as four large air raids hit the American fleet, the covering fighters, with some help from anti-aircraft fire from Houston and the other screening warships, destroyed the attacking Japanese formations. In the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the first phase of, called "The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot", Japan's naval air power was struck a severe blow from which it never recovered, the invasion of the Mariana Islands was secured. After offensive raids had sunk Hiyō, with two Japanese large carriers being sunk by submarines, the battle ended with the task force returning to protect the Marianas.
Houston remained to screen carrier strikes and engaged on 26 June in shore bombardment on Guam and Rota, destroying a radar station, an airstrip, about 10 aircraft on the ground. She returned to Eniwetok on 12 August to prepare for the next operation. Assigned to the newly designated Task Group 38.2 under Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan, Houston steamed on 30 August for air attacks on Palau on 6 September, after which she and a group of destroyers bombarded Peleliu and other islands in preparation for the upcoming amphibious landings by U. S. Marines and Army troops; the carrier group next turned to the Philippines for strikes against airfields and shipping, returned to Peleliu to support the forces ashore from 17 to 19 September. Returning to Ulithi on 1 October 1944, Houston and her task group steamed five days for an important operation into the western Pacific, with preliminary air strikes against Okinawa on 10 October. Two days the task force moved toward its real objective: Formosa. In the Battle of Formosa, the US naval air force did much to destroy Japanese bases for the island battles still to come.
Japanese forces repeated land-based air attacks. Houston splashed about four aircraft in one attack on 12 October, helped repel another attack next day, in which Canberra was hit by an aerial torpedo. Taking Canberra's old station on 14 October and other ships encountered another heavy air raid, her gunners shot down three of the attacking torpedo bombers, but a fourth's torpedo hit her engine room, causing the loss of propulsive power. Captain Behrens requested a tow, undertaken by Boston. By midnight, both Canberra and Houston were under tow toward Ulithi for repairs. Pawnee – a fleet tug – assumed the tow on 16 October. Late that afternoon, one of the Japanese torpedo plane strikes from Formosa, still trying to sink the cruiser, struck Houston directly on her stern from the rear; this flooded the hangar for Houston's scout planes. Evacuating all surplus sailors to the escorting ships, Captain Behrens and his damage control officer, with the aid of Houston's Executive Officer, Captain Clarence J. Broussard, kept the damage control parties working, they managed to keep Houston afloat, traveling toward Ulithi.
Captain Broussard was awarded the Silver Star for his actions. Learning that the Japanese believed "Cripple Division I" – as it was called – was the remnants of Task Force 38, Admiral William F. Halsey hoped to lure them into an attack on the two damaged cruisers. P
A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, can perform several roles; the term has been in use for several hundred years, has had different meanings throughout this period. During the Age of Sail, the term cruising referred to certain kinds of missions – independent scouting, commerce protection, or raiding – fulfilled by a frigate or sloop-of-war, which were the cruising warships of a fleet. In the middle of the 19th century, cruiser came to be a classification for the ships intended for cruising distant waters, commerce raiding, scouting for the battle fleet. Cruisers came in a wide variety of sizes, from the medium-sized protected cruiser to large armored cruisers that were nearly as big as a pre-dreadnought battleship. With the advent of the dreadnought battleship before World War I, the armored cruiser evolved into a vessel of similar scale known as the battlecruiser; the large battlecruisers of the World War I era that succeeded armored cruisers were now classified, along with dreadnought battleships, as capital ships.
By the early 20th century after World War I, the direct successors to protected cruisers could be placed on a consistent scale of warship size, smaller than a battleship but larger than a destroyer. In 1922, the Washington Naval Treaty placed a formal limit on these cruisers, which were defined as warships of up to 10,000 tons displacement carrying guns no larger than 8 inches in calibre; some variations on the Treaty cruiser design included the German Deutschland-class "pocket battleships" which had heavier armament at the expense of speed compared to standard heavy cruisers, the American Alaska class, a scaled-up heavy cruiser design designated as a "cruiser-killer". In the 20th century, the obsolescence of the battleship left the cruiser as the largest and most powerful surface combatant after the aircraft carrier; the role of the cruiser varied according to ship and navy including air defense and shore bombardment. During the Cold War, the Soviet Navy's cruisers had heavy anti-ship missile armament designed to sink NATO carrier task forces via saturation attack.
The U. S. Navy built guided-missile cruisers upon destroyer-style hulls designed to provide air defense while adding anti-submarine capabilities, being larger and having longer-range surface-to-air missiles than early Charles F. Adams guided-missile destroyers tasked with the short-range air defense role. By the end of the Cold War, the line between cruisers and destroyers had blurred, with the Ticonderoga-class cruiser using the hull of the Spruance-class destroyer but receiving the cruiser designation due to their enhanced mission and combat systems. Indeed, the newest U. S. and Chinese destroyers are more armed than some of the cruisers that they succeeded. Only two nations operate cruisers: the United States and Russia, in both cases the vessels are armed with guided missiles. BAP Almirante Grau was the last gun cruiser in service, serving with the Peruvian Navy until 2017; the term "cruiser" or "cruizer" was first used in the 17th century to refer to an independent warship. "Cruiser" meant the mission of a ship, rather than a category of vessel.
However, the term was nonetheless used to mean a faster warship suitable for such a role. In the 17th century, the ship of the line was too large and expensive to be dispatched on long-range missions, too strategically important to be put at risk of fouling and foundering by continual patrol duties; the Dutch navy was noted for its cruisers in the 17th century, while the Royal Navy—and French and Spanish navies—subsequently caught up in terms of their numbers and deployment. The British Cruiser and Convoy Acts were an attempt by mercantile interests in Parliament to focus the Navy on commerce defence and raiding with cruisers, rather than the more scarce and expensive ships of the line. During the 18th century the frigate became the preeminent type of cruiser. A frigate was a small, long range armed ship used for scouting, carrying dispatches, disrupting enemy trade; the other principal type of cruiser was the sloop, but many other miscellaneous types of ship were used as well. During the 19th century, navies began to use steam power for their fleets.
The 1840s sloops. By the middle of the 1850s, the British and U. S. Navies were both building steam frigates with long hulls and a heavy gun armament, for instance USS Merrimack or Mersey; the 1860s saw the introduction of the ironclad. The first ironclads were frigates, in the sense of having one gun deck. In spite of their great speed, they would have been wasted in a cruising role; the French constructed a number of smaller ironclads for overseas cruising duties, starting with the Belliqueuse, commissioned 1865. These "station ironclads" were the beginning of the development of the armored cruisers, a type of ironclad for the traditional cruiser missions of fast, independent raiding and patrol; the first true armored cruiser was the Russian General-Admiral, completed in 1874, followed by the British Shannon a few years later. Until the 1890s armored cr
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U. S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base, it is the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U. S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II. Pearl Harbor was an extensive shallow embayment called Wai Momi or Puʻuloa by the Hawaiians. Puʻuloa was regarded as the home of the shark goddess, Kaʻahupahau, her brother, Kahiʻuka, in Hawaiian legends. According to tradition, the head of the powerful Ewa chiefs, is credited with cutting a navigable channel near the present Puʻuloa saltworks, by which he made the estuary, known as "Pearl River," accessible to navigation.
Making due allowance for legendary amplification, the estuary had an outlet for its waters where the present gap is. During the early 19th century, Pearl Harbor was not used for large ships due to its shallow entrance; the interest of United States in the Hawaiian Islands grew as a result of its whaling and trading activity in the Pacific. As early as 1820, an "Agent of the United States for Commerce and Seamen" was appointed to look after American business in the Port of Honolulu; these commercial ties to the American continent were accompanied by the work of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. American missionaries and their families became an integral part of the Hawaiian political body. Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, many American warships visited Honolulu. In most cases, the commanding officers carried letters from the U. S. Government giving advice on governmental affairs and of the relations of the island nation with foreign powers. In 1841, the newspaper Polynesian, printed in Honolulu, advocated that the U.
S. establish a naval base in Hawaii for protection of American citizens engaged in the whaling industry. The British Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Crichton Wyllie, remarked in 1840 that "... my opinion is that the tide of events rushes on to annexation to the United States." From the conclusion of the Civil War, to the purchase of Alaska, to the increased importance of the Pacific states, the projected trade with countries in Asia and the desire for a duty-free market for Hawaiian staples, Hawaiian trade expanded. In 1865, the North Pacific Squadron was formed to embrace Hawaii. Lackawanna in the following year was assigned to cruise among the islands, "a locality of great and increasing interest and importance." This vessel surveyed the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands toward Japan. As a result, the United States claimed Midway Island; the Secretary of the Navy was able to write in his annual report of 1868, that in November 1867, 42 American flags flew over whaleships and merchant vessels in Honolulu to only six of other nations.
This increased activity caused the permanent assignment of at least one warship to Hawaiian waters. It praised Midway Island as possessing a harbor surpassing Honolulu's. In the following year, Congress approved an appropriation of $50,000 on March 1, 1869, to deepen the approaches to this harbor. After 1868, when the Commander of the Pacific Fleet visited the islands to look after American interests, naval officers played an important role in internal affairs, they served as arbitrators in business disputes, negotiators of trade agreements and defenders of law and order. Periodic voyages among the islands and to the mainland aboard U. S. warships were arranged for members of the Hawaiian royal family and important island government officials. When King Lunalilo died in 1873, negotiations were underway for the cession of Pearl Harbor as a port for the duty-free export of sugar to the U. S. With the election of King Kalākaua in March 1874, riots prompted landing of sailors from USS Tuscarora and Portsmouth.
The British warship, HMS Tenedos landed a token force. During the reign of King Kalākaua the United States was granted exclusive rights to enter Pearl Harbor and to establish "a coaling and repair station." Although this treaty continued in force until August 1898, the U. S. did not fortify Pearl Harbor as a naval base. As it had for 60 years, the shallow entrance constituted a formidable barrier against the use of the deep protected waters of the inner harbor; the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 as supplemented by Convention on December 6, 1884, the Reciprocity Treaty was made by James Carter and ratified it in 1887. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy to exclusive right to maintain a coaling and repair station at Pearl Harbor.. The Spanish–American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision. Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United States Navy established a base on the island in 1899.
On December 7, 1941, the base was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy airplanes and midget submarines, causing the American entry into World War II. One of the main reasons that Pearl Harbor happened was because the United States had major communication breakdowns among several branches of the U. S. armed services and departments of the U. S. government. This led to the surprise Japanese attack at the Hawai