CUS Michigan (BB-1909 (TS-1925))


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The Michigan type was the first all big gun battleship laid down by any country. Unfortunately the length of time to complete the ships meant thet the extraordinary time it took to complete the Dreadnought (18 months) meant that forever more the all big gunned battleships would be known as dreadnoughts and not Michigans. The one thing that the ships were first at that cannot be taken away from them is that the superfiring turrets were the first ever fitted to a battleship.

Being of a revolutionary design the Michigan trialled not only superfiring turrets but was also the first CUA Navy ship to have turbine machinery (although the builders of the Washington claim they were first). This made maintaining full speed for days at a time much easier than with the triple-expansion system where full speed could only be maintained for hours. The other usefull thing was to position the secondary casemate guns up one level ito the superstructure decks where they were less interfered with by seaway and spray.

The GALT spelled the end of the Michigan class ships as full battleships. Though they were only 12 years old when the treaty made them excess to requirements, the ships showed their age. In twelve years the size of battleships had gone from 16,000 tons of the Michigans to the 35,000 tons of the Manitoba class, from 12" to 16" guns. With nearly 10 to 15 years of good service still left in these ships the decision was made to spend some money on turning the two ships into training ships. The forward boiler room was removed and the overall horsepower reduced to 10,000shp which reduced the speed to a mere 12 knots. The reduced speed was necessary to keep the ships out of the scrapyard. The reduced speed did not affect the ships use as a training ship. Various armaments were added and subtracted as the ship went through its training regimes. The above drawing depicts Michigan in its final itteration circa mid-1943. The bridge structures (modeled on the latest cruiser class) and aft accomodation decks were added during the initial 1923-25 rebuilding. This rebuilding included the propulsion adjustment, the addition of the single 6", the removal of the old 3", the addition of the 4" AA guns. The 4.5" were added during the mid-1930's  with their director. The light AA guns were added as they became available. The radar was added and improved from 1940 onwards. The Michigans were in a good position to train their crews on all the types of guns that the officers and men may encounter in the CUA Navy.

From 1937 onward the Michigans were paired with the Washington class aircraft carriers to form training groups for the east and west coasts. The additional ships to the groups would be those that were newly completed and going through their acceptance and first commission trials. The ships would be drilled and trained not only for the crew but the officers as well.


Displacement 16,200 tons std 19,400 tons full load
Length 454 ft
Breadth 81 ft
Draught 25 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbine 17,000shp (10,000shp T/S)
Speed 19 knots (12 knots after rebuilding)
Range 5,000 miles at 10 knots
Armour 10" Belt, 12/8/3" Turrets, 2" Deck
Armament As built

8 x 12" (4x2)

22 x 3" (22x1)

4 x 3" AA (4x1)




After rebuild (1923-25)

8 x 12" (4x2)

4 x 6" (4x1)

4 x 4.5" (2x2)

4 x 4" AA (4x1)

8 x 40mm (2x4)

6 x 20 mm (6x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes (2x21") submerged, removed 1917
Complement 950
Notes CUS Michigan


As completed 1909.


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