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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Online Library of Selected Images
Spanish American War:
U.S. NAVY SHIPS -- Cruisers

U.S. Navy cruisers came in great variety in 1898, all armed with medium caliber or smaller guns. Excluding the larger armored cruiser type, these warships were "protected cruisers", with a steel armored deck covering machinery and ammunition magazines. In some smaller cruisers, however, this armor was so thin that the ships really deserved to be called gunboats. Cruiser missions included providing presence throughout the World, fleet scouting, commerce protection and raiding, all vital missions for a maritime nation.

Generally, the Navy's cruisers were fairly fast by the standards of their day and had good seagoing characteristics. While a few still retained sails to enhance operating range, the introduction of triple-expansion engines a decade earlier had made possible a high standard of endurance under steam alone.

During the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Navy actively employed fifteen ships rated as cruisers:

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures provided here are all in the public domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

If better quality reproductions than these digital images are desired, follow this link to "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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28 February 1998