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South Dakota-class battleship (1920)

Cancelled dreadnought battleship class of the United States Navy / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The first South Dakota class was a group of six battleships that were laid down in 1920 for the U.S. Navy, but were never completed; designed to achieve 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph), they represented an attempt to catch up with the increasing fleet speeds of its main rivals, the British Royal Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy.

Quick facts: Class overview, General characteristics...
Artist's concept of the South Dakota class
Class overview
NameSouth Dakota class
OperatorsFlag_of_the_United_States_%281912-1959%29.svg United States Navy
Preceded byColorado class
Succeeded byNorth Carolina class
Cost$21,000,000 (cost limit)
General characteristics
  • 43,200 long tons (43,900 t) (normal)
  • 47,000 long tons (47,800 t) (full load)
Beam106 ft (32.3 m)
Draft33 ft (10.1 m)
Installed power
Propulsion4 × propeller shafts; 4 × turbo-electric generators
Speed23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Range8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement137 officers, 1404 enlisted men, 75 marines
  • Belt: 8–13.5 in (203–343 mm)
  • Barbettes: 4.5–13.5 in (114–343 mm)
  • Turrets: 5–18 in (127–457 mm)
  • Conning tower: 8–16 in (203–406 mm)
  • Decks: 3.5–6 in (89–152 mm)
  • Bulkheads: 8–13.5 in (203–343 mm)
  • Uptakes: 9–13.5 in (229–343 mm)

The South Dakotas were authorized in 1917, but work was postponed so that the U.S. Navy could incorporate information gained from the Battle of Jutland, fought in mid-1916, in their design. Work was further postponed to give destroyers and other small fighting vessels priority as they were needed urgently to fight German U-boats in the North Atlantic. Construction started only in 1920. As the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 both restricted the total battleship tonnage allowed the U.S. Navy, and limited individual ship size to 35,000 long tons (36,000 t), construction was halted in early 1922. The unfinished hulls were scrapped the following year, the guns were transferred to the U.S. Army and their boilers and armor were used to modernize older battleships.