CUS Delaware (BB-1911 (BCV-1929))


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The Delaware class were the successors to the Michigan class battleships. While the Michigan type had a speed of 19 knots, this was 2-3 knots slower than the British and German equivalents. To increase the speed and match the armament of the British 12" battleships required an extra turret and a longer hull.

The ships kept with the superfiring turrets but the after turrets had the break between the Q turret and X turret where the engines were fitted with the boiler rooms being forward of the Q turret. The 3" secondary guns of the Michigans were replaced with 6" casemate guns at maindeck level with half a dozen anti-torpedoboat 4" were mounted a deck higher. Two 3" AA were added to the armament in 1917.

Like so many other old 12" battleships, the Delaware class were made excess to the CUA Navy by the GALT treaty limits. With four ships of the class many ideas were put forward as to what could be done to the ships to 'demilitarise' them from battleship status. One idea as shown above was to convert the ships to Battle-carriers (BCV), a hybrid between the new aircraft carrier and the traditional battleship. With the guns reduced to only four 12" the French, British and Italians signed off the conversion as reduced enough to take them out of the battleship class. Two ships of the class were converted in this way. The conversion followed the Washington class for the aft end of the ship. The hangar was only large enough to take 12-14 aircraft depending on size and type. With only a short takeoff area, aircraft with a high lift ratio and low speed stall for landing were required. For all its life the BCV operated biplanes. When the last CUA Navy biplane bombers were retired in the late 1930's the CUA turned to the Australis Navy that was continuing to produce the Fairey Swordfish for its Albatross class escort carriers. The last Boeing biplane fighters were kept in a limited production run for 'training' and use on these two ships. Bothe of these conversions were kept in commission along the eastern seaboard of the CSA and CUA as anti-submarine training ships teaching the escorts how to work in co-operation with escort carriers.

The final two ships were used as trials ships for various armaments trials and while one ended its life in 1938 as a target ship (and being sunk in a full shoot from the Atlantic Fleet) the other ship ended as an auto trials ship (my best description of the ship).


Displacement 22,200 tons std 25,400 tons full load
Length 528.5 ft
Breadth 85 ft
Draught 28 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines 28,000shp
Speed 21 knots
Range 8,000 miles at 12 knots
Armour 11" side armour, 3" deck armour, 12/7/4" turrets
Armament As Battleship 1911

10 x 12" (5x2)

10 x 6" (10x1)

6 x 4" (6x1)

2 x 3" AA (2x1) 1917


As BCV 1929+

4 x 12" (2x2)

8 x 4" (8x1)

4 x 40mm (2x2)

8 x 20mm (8x1)


As Trials Ship 1942

4 x 12" (2x2)

3 x 8" (1x3)

6 x 6" (6x1)

4 x 4.5" (2x2)

8 x 3" (4x2)

Aircraft nil 10-12 nil
Torpedoes nil (removed)
Complement 1100
Notes CUS Delaware




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