fighting ships of the world



IOWA 1st class battleship (1897)

Iowa 1897

Iowa 1912

No Name Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
BB4, 3/1919- BC4 Iowa, 3/1919- Coast Battleship No 4 Cramp, Philadelphia 5/8/1893 28/3/1896 16/6/1897 target 7/1921

Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m


Breadth, m


Draught, m

7.32 mean

No of shafts



VTE, 5 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1795

Endurance, nm(kts) 5140(10)

Armour, mm

Harvey - belt: 356 - 102, bulkheads: 305, deck: 70 - 76, barbettes: 381 - 313, main turrets: 381 - 51, secondary turrets: 152 - 51, CT: 254


2 x 2 - 305/35 Mk II, 4 x 2 - 203/37 Mk IV, 6 x 1 - 102/40 Mk VI, 20 x 1 - 57/40 Hotchkiss Mk I/II, 4 x 5 - 37/20 Hotchkiss Mk I, 4 - 356 TT (4 beam, 1 bow, 1 stern, 16)



Ship project history: Authorised under the Act of 19/7/1892. A distinct improvement on the Indiana class apart from the 305mm main armament. There was a forecastle deck to just forward of the after turret. The 305mm turrets were balanced and hydraulically trained with axis heights of 7.8m fore and 5.6m aft, above Iwl, while the 203mm turrets, at the same height as the fore 305mm, were closer together and further outboard than in Indiana. Of the 102mm guns four were in sponsons below the forecastle deck and two aft on the superstructure. Iowa was faster than the Indianas and made 17.09kts with 12105ihp and 0.3m forced draught.

    Originally Iowa had only a military foremast but a cage mainmast was added in 1909 when the 305mm mountings were modified, most of the 57mm removed and 4 102mm added (TT previously removed).

Ship protection: The belt was 56.7m long though its depth was 2.28m (0.91m over and 1.37m under waterline), it was tapered from 356mm at 0.3m below the wl to the 178mm at lower edge. There were angled 305mm bulkheads to the barbettes, and the upper belt was only 127mm. The armour deck was flat at the upper edge of the 356mm belt and 70mm but lowered at the ends where it was 76mm. Main guns were installed in turrets with 381mm sides, 51mm crowns and 381mm barbettes, secondary 203mm guns had turrets with 152mm sides, 51mm crowns and 203mm (152mm inboards) barbettes.

Modernizations: 1909: - 20 x 1 - 57/40, 4 x 5 - 37/20, 4 - 356 TT; + 4 x 1 - 102/40 Mk VI, cage mainmast was installed

Naval service: Iowa was engaged at Santiago but not seriously tested. She was renamed Coast Battleship No 4 on 29/3/1919 and was the first radio controlled target ship to be used in a fleet exercise. She was finally sunk by a salvo of 356mm shells.

Iowa 1910

Ivan Gogin, 2014