rwd-table

Montgomery Class Cruisers (1891)

USA (1891) Montgomery, Detroit, Marblehead.

The Montgomery class were ordered in 1888 and commissioned in 1893-94. Of questionable military value, they were slow, lightly armed and protected, to the point it was said the Congress only authorized a class of "glorified patrol gunboats". Therefore they were barely engaged in the war against Spain and left only a footnote in US Naval history as a one-off savvy concept.

USS Montgomery, C9
USS Montgomery, C9

Development of the Montgomery class

The Montgomery class of cruisers were developed at a time the first steel-hulled vessels were created to keep pace with Europe. Also, there was no prospect of war then, the Congress spared funds for three "peace time" vessels on request of the navy department. With the 1888 naval appropriation bill this translated into a lightly-armored (if any) ship designed like a large gunboat for overseas stations. These cruisers called for innovative solutions in order to maximize protection with little was available. In fact the next year in 1889 the Department of the Navy submitted to various yards specifications for a less than 2000 tons, and $700,000 apiece ship. Bath Iron Works and William Cramp & Sons bids were over limits, so new specs were issued, reducing the original optimistic speed from 18 to 17 knots, but still with sanctions for half-a-knot not met in trials, and construction time extended to two years and a half.

Eventually this new bid was more realistic and had more success, with proposals from Union Iron Works (San Francisco), N.F. Palmer Jr. & Co (New York), Quintard Iron Works, Columbian Iron Works (Baltimore), City Point Iron Works (Boston). Eventually Columbian Iron Works won two cruisers at $612,500 apiece (Montgomery, Detroit) and City Point Iron Works (Marblehead) for $674,000.

Design of the Montgomery class

Their tonnage, standard, was 1085t, so less than fleet destroyers of WW1. Their dimensions, 62 meters by 4,66 by 4 (draught) did not allowed much as armament. Indeed they carried six 5 in (120 mm), guns and four 3 in (76mm) plus two 1-pdr (37 mm) QF guns. They were just fast enough to insert in a battle fleet but barely to be used as scouts: With two VTE and Babcock et Wilcox engines for 5400 hp and 17 knots, they were just able to screen battleships. The first cruisers were laid down in February and October 1890, launched in October and December 1891 and Marblehead in August 1892, to see service in late 1893 to 1894.

USS Detroit C10, montgomery class cruisers, circa 1895
USS Detroit (C10), circa 1895

Armament

The ships were not bristling with guns and their artillery was limited to deal with other gunboats and light ships. In cas of an encounter with a modern light cruiser, must faster they would not stand any chance. The main armament initially comprised two 6 in (152 mm)/35 caliber Mark 3 rapid fire guns fore and aft for the ship, plus eight 4 in (102 mm)/40 caliber RF guns on the sides. But this was prior revision, due to suspicion of poor stability, and 5 in (127 mm)/40 caliber Mark 2 RF guns replaced the 4-inch guns on paper while only Detroit was completed with her original 6-inch guns.

The usual specs calls for an all-5 in armament. USS Detroit indeed own 6-in guns were removed in 1894 as stated in a Navy register. In 1895-96 Montgomery and Marblehead each received an additional 5-inch gun on the forward deck. By 1897 finally all ships had an uniform battery of ten 5-inch guns. Secondary armament comprised six 6-pounder (57 mm - 2.2 in) RF guns, and two 1-pounder (37 mm - 1.5 in) RF guns. Not registered in the specs sheets below were also a Gatling gun for land parties, and three 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes.

Machinery

The three ships had the same six coal-fired cylindrical boilers, feeding two vertical triple expansion engines (VTE) for a total of 5,400 ihp (4,000 kW). The contract speed of 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) was met on trials and per ships varied from 18.44 knots (34.15 km/h; 21.22 mph) to 19.05 knots (35.28 km/h; 21.92 mph), thus ensuring contract bonuses for the builders. But it was paid in protection. The ships carried 200 tons of coal, enough for a 3,280 nmi (6,070 km; 3,770 mi) range at 10 knots cruise speed (19 km/h; 12 mph), up to 340 tons (8,952 nmi) in case of war.

Protection

Certainly the most interesting part, protection was designed to meet minimal requirements and maximizing what was available, also choosing rather innovative solutions. Protection was indeed limited to a protected deck and conning towers. The protective deck was identical to most protected cruiser, with 7⁄16 in (11 mm) sloped sides, 5⁄16 in (7.9 mm) on the flat section. It was not compensated by a batle of lower cofferdam heavy steel protection, therefore was detrimental to stability. Indeed, instead of this, coal bunkers were added to a cofferdam of "Woodite" (cellulose) were used, maing these ships "coal-protected". The conning tower on the other hand was protected by 2 in (51 mm) of steel.

USS Detroit, montgomery class cruisers, at anchor
USS Detroit at anchor

Career of the Montgomery class

How this "peace cruiser" concept fared in real life ? These ships has been primarily design for "showing the flag" in distant stations, not for the battle fleet, and in that respect could do little in tims of war. In fact their only wartime actions consisted in shore bombardment in the Spanish–American War when the situation was stabilized of any Spanish threat. Commissioned in July 1893 (Detroit), April 1894 (Marblehead) and June 1894 (Montgomery), they served in the Atlantic, Caribbean and European waters. All three cruisers were decommissioned in 1900, to be recommissioned two years later. Detroit and Marblehead in 1901–02 had their torpedo tubes removed.

USS Detroit
USS Detroit served to protect American citizens and interests during unrest in Brazil. She also was stationed later in the Asiatic Station. She served in the Spanish-American war, shelling San Juan and Puerto Rico. USS Detroit added her guns in support to diplomatic talks, resolving an the Dominican Republic 1904 insurgency. She was decommissioned in August 1905 and sold for scrap in December 1910, the only one not seeing service in WW1.

USS Detroit in the bay of Rio
USS Detroit in the bay of Rio, drawing by M. Bressler

USS Marblehead
USS Marblehead shelled Cuba and blockaded, then captured Guantánamo Bay with other ships. USS Marblehead was later stationed on the Pacific station, mostly showing the flag onthe South-American coast. USS Marblehead was refitted as a training ship for the Oregon Naval Militia in 1915. She carried then eight 4-inch/40 caliber guns. She was eventually decommissioned in August 1919 was ultimately redesignated rightfully as gunboat and redesigned PG-27 in 1920, only to be sold for scrap in 1921.

USS Montgomery
Montgomery blockaded and shelled Cuba, also capturing two Spanish merchant vessels. USS Montgomery was converted to a torpedo test ship 1904–1908. She carried all the torpedo tubes types in use in the Navy until 1914. She was further refitted as a training ship for the Maryland Naval Militia. In this new role she carried four 4-inch (102 mm)/40 caliber guns plus four torpedo tubes, two 18-in and two 21-in and was reboilered with six modern Almy boilers in 1918. Lastly, she was recommissioned for coastal patrol in WW1, renamed USS Anniston. She was eventually sold for scrap on 14 November 1919.

USS Marblehead, montgomery class cruisers, at anchor
USS Marblehead

Montgomery class specs. 1914

Dimensions257 ft (78 m) x 37 ft (11 m) x 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m)
Displacement2000 long tonnes Standard
Crew20 officers and 228 sailors
Propulsion2 shafts, 6 boilers, 2 VTE engines 5,400 ihp (4000 kW)
Speed18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph), Range: 3,280 nm (6070 km)
Armament10× 120, 4× 57, 2× 37 mm, 1x .45 cal (11.4 mm) Gatling, 3 TTs
Armor Protective deck: 5⁄16 in (8 mm) - 7⁄16 in (11 mm), CT 2 in (51 mm), see notes



USS Montgomery class general appareance in 1901, author's profile

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Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990
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Montgomery class on wikipedia

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Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)

WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB
⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskaya Flota
US Navy USN (1990)


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