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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 -- Other Ship Types
As the crisis over
Cuba deepened, the U.S. Navy recognized that combat operations
in the Caribbean would be severely restricted without a large
number of support ships. However, there were only a few tugs on
hand, plus some obsolete warships of very limited potential for
auxiliary purposes. Existing cruiser and gunboat forces were also
insufficient for the missions that war would require. Accordingly,
in March and April 1898, with millions of dollars freshly appropriated
by Congress, the Navy scrambled to obtain additional ships and
men for their crews.
yachts and other suitable ships were leased or purchased for conversion
to auxiliary cruisers and gunboats. Revenue cutters and lighthouse
tenders were also taken into Navy service. While by no means as
capable as built-for-the-purpose warships, these converted vessels
could carry guns and serve as scouts, patrol ships and blockaders.
In addition, the Navy bought as many colliers, refrigerator ships,
water-distilling ships, tugs and cargo ships as it could find.
They would be essential to keep the fleet operating effectively
in waters hundreds of miles from its existing bases.
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 higher resolution reproductions than these digital images
are desired, follow this link to "How
to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."
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Historical Center home page.
19 April 1998