[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home
previous:

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Chapter 4

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of the Modern Navy

by
Gordon Carpenter O'Gara

published by
Princeton University Press 1943

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

next:

[image ALT: link to next section]
Chapter 6
This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p70  Chapter V

Fleet Organization and Distribution

To accompany the sweeping advances in naval construction and administration from 1901 to 1909, the distribution and internal organization of the American battle fleet underwent a revolutionary change. For the first time the ships of the United States Navy were concentrated in a few heavy units rather than dispersed in small squadrons all over the face of the earth. Here above all was Mahan's influence on Roosevelt apparent, for the former's doctrine of the superiority of the power of a concentrated battle fleet was put into actual practice with the formation of the Atlantic Fleet.

Before reviewing the actual events of the development of fleet organization, it would be well to take a look at the general strategy behind Roosevelt's moves. In his Annual Message to Congress in 1907, just as the fleet was starting out on its world cruise, he clearly outlined his policy.

Recalling the panic that spread along the Atlantic seaboard during the Spanish-American War because of fear of an attack by the Spanish Fleet, he warned Congress that:

"We need always to remember that in time of war the navy is not to be used to defend harbors and sea‑coast cities. . . . The only efficient use for the navy is for offense. The only way in which it can efficiently protect our coast against the possible action of a foreign navy is by destroying that navy. For defense against a hostile fleet which actually attacks them, the coast cities must depend upon their forts, mines, torpedoes, submarines and torpedo  p71 boats and destroyers, . . . but [these] in no way supply the place of a thoroughly efficient navy capable of acting on the offensive. . . . But the forts and the like are necessary so that the navy may be footloose.

In time of war there is sure to be demand, under pressure of fright, for the ships to be scattered so as to defend all kinds of ports. Under penalty of terrible disasters, this demand must be refused. The ships must be kept together, and their object made the enemy's fleet.

". . . Unless there exists such a navy the fortifications are powerless by themselves to secure the victory. For of course the mere deficiency means that any resolute enemy can at his leisure combine all his forces upon one point with the certainty that he can take it."1

Nothing could have presented Roosevelt's case more clearly than these words, in which he summed up the naval strategy of his administration. Furthermore, in January 1907 Mahan wrote the President asking that the battleship fleet be not split between the Atlantic and the Pacific, for it was rumored that this was intended. Roosevelt replied immediately that he had no such idea and that if a fleet were to go to the Pacific it would be the strongest one possible.2

In his 1907 Message to Congress he said the same thing. He urged that the fleet be shifted back and forth between the Atlantic and the Pacific every two or three years, but that "until our battle fleet is much larger than at present it should never be split into detachments so far apart that they could not in event of emergency be speedily united."3

 p72  At the conclusion of the cruise he again resisted a demand from the West Coast for the division of the battleships between the Atlantic and the Pacific,4 and the day before leaving office he wrote a letter to Taft, saying:

"One closing legacy. Under no circumstances divide the battleship fleet between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans prior to the finishing of the Panama Canal. . . . I should obey no direction of Congress and pay heed to no popular sentiment. . . .

". . . There were various factors which brought about Russia's defeat; but most important by all odds was her having divided her fleet between the Baltic and the Pacific. . . ."5

This naval policy has consistently been followed by the United States ever since, although the opening of the Panama Canal made it possible for the fleet to assemble more quickly if it were divided.

Up to Roosevelt's Administration the Navy had never in peacetime, and very inadequately in wartime, provided for drilling the ships in fleet formation. Such drills had been impossible largely because there were too few modern battleships. But in addition the Navy had failed to provide any drills or maneuvers for what ships there were in the squadrons assigned to the various stations of the fleet. The feeling in Congress that such practice was unnecessary before war actually began and was also an extravagant waste of money, was doubtless a factor.

Roosevelt, however, at once tried to disabuse the nation of this fallacious idea. In his first Message to Congress he declared that "even in time of peace a warship should be  p73 used until it wears out" so as to keep it fit for any emergency. Furthermore, the vessels should constantly be maneuvered in squadrons made up of all the necessary types of ships. "A battleship worn out in long training of officers and men is well paid for by the results, while, on the other hand, no matter in how excellent condition, it is useless if the crew be not expert."6

This was the general opinion of the progressive elements within the Navy, though a few of the older officers would not agree to the new methods.7 To carry out this program an adequate number of the various types of warships was necessary. It was agreed that the first requirement for a squadron was similarity of speed and turning circles.8 This was exactly what the American Navy lacked, for many of the older battleships were very slow, for example, the Iowa and the Kentucky.

Although battleships were the backbone of a fleet's power, as shown by the Russo-Japanese War and by naval programs abroad,9 the growing importance of torpedo boats and destroyers was also recognized. In 1905 the President pointed out to Congress that recent naval history had shown that: ". . . seagoing torpedo boats or destroyers are indispensable, not only for making night attacks by surprise upon an enemy, but even in battle for finishing already crippled ships."10

The naval maneuvers and war games in 1907 showed that torpedo boats could get in on the battleships almost  p74 every time, for there were only twenty destroyers for our sixteen battleships.11 Roosevelt saw this lack and every year asked Congress for more of these small ships with large fuel capacity so that they might have a cruising radius great enough to accompany the battle fleet.12 Unfortunately Congress refused to heed the president's requests so that he was followed to sacrifice auxiliary vessels to obtain the capital ships he wanted.13 It was even charged that the only reason we had any submarines at all was that the submarine builders had such a powerful lobby in Washington.14

In 1901 the few battleships that the Navy had were scattered about as flagships for the various overseas stations after their temporary concentration during the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt called all these together in 1902 in the Caribbean for the first large-scale maneuvers in our history under the immediate command of the Admiral of the Navy.15 Furthermore, when the drills were over most of the battleships were not sent back to their original posts. This was a very important decision, for it marked the beginning of the policy of maintaining permanently an effective, united battle fleet.16 It was decided to keep a fleet of eight battleships in the North Atlantic and three in Asiatic waters. Cruisers only were to be used for the other  p75 stations.17 Officials realized that constant training and drill were exceedingly important,18 and that a fleet of eight battleships, such as was assembled in the spring of 1903, was the minimum number possible for effective maneuvers.19 By the beginning of 1903 the North Atlantic and Asiatic Fleets had been created, and by 1905 the South Atlantic and European Stations had been abolished, the ships of these squadrons being reassigned to other units.20

In 1906 it was finally decided to keep all the battleships in the Atlantic Fleet, leaving only the cruisers in the Asiatic Fleet. The only other regularly organized unit was the Pacific squadron based on the West Coast.21 In 1907 our naval forces were further concentrated by merging this squadron with the Asiatic Fleet into a new Pacific Fleet.22 In that same year the strength of the fleet was more than doubled. To the less than 160,000 tons of vessels in December 1906, there were added in one year battleships totaling 139,792 tons, armored cruisers of 29,000 tons and protected cruisers of 19,400 tons. The Atlantic Fleet then had sixteen battleships.23 This concentration made possible really effective drills and games carried out under war conditions.

This powerful new Atlantic Fleet was destined to do much more than merely conduct maneuvers along the coast, for the famous World Cruise began in 1907. In 1906 and  p76 1907 there had been mounting tension between the United States and Japan over discrimination against Japanese on the Pacific Coast. The jingo elements in both countries clamored for war, and it is surprising to note how the threat of a Japanese attack on our Pacific Coast worried the President since no one understood more clearly than he the almost insuperable obstacles to such an offensive at that time.24 Since 1898 the United States had come more and more to face toward the Pacific and its relations with Asia were becoming as important as those with Europe. Roosevelt saw this and was intensely worried about Japanese-American relations, which were taking a more or less permanent turn for the worse. He admired Japan but confessed that he did not trust her fully.

 p77  ". . . I wish I were certain that the Japanese down at bottom did not lump Russians, English, Americans, and Germans, all of us, simply as white devils inferior to themselves not only in what they regard as the essentials of civilization, but in courage and forethought, to be treated politely only so long as would enable the Japanese to take advantage of our various national jealousies, and beat us in turn."25 He managed to reach a temporary solution of the problem by granting slight concessions in the Root-Takahira Agreement and, at the same time, by making a show of force in sending the fleet around the world.

This was not his only object in the cruise of the fleet. He felt the practice would be of great importance, as he explained to Root in a letter dated July 13, 1907, about ten days after the cruise was announced:

"I am more concerned over the Jap situation than almost any other. Thank Heaven we have the navy in good shape. It is high time, however, that it should go on a cruise around the world. In the first place I think it will have a pacific effect to show that it can be done; and in the next place . . . it [is] absolutely necessary for us to try in time of peace to see just what we can do in the way of putting a big battle fleet in the Pacific, and not make the experiment in time of war."26

Since Roosevelt was at this time renewing his drive in Congress for additional battleships, it seems likely that a third reason was to impress the nation with the need for a large navy and to dramatize its might.27 Many people objected to the cruise on the grounds that the United  p78 States would be left open to attack. Furthermore, it was charged, such action would immediately provoke Japan to declare war. The United States was by then the second naval power of the world and Japan the fifth. It was originally announced that the fleet was only being moved to San Francisco, a step in which the Japs could find little legitimate cause for complaint.28 However, such a move to the Pacific was generally taken to mean that the United States was prepared to defend Hawaii and the Philippines at all costs.29

 p79  Although at first the Navy Department opposed the cruise on the grounds that neither the ships nor the men were able to make it, Roosevelt brusquely overrode this opinion and even decided to send along the destroyers, though many people were sure these small vessels could not stand the trip.30

The fleet of sixteen battleships finally left Hampton Roads in December 1907 under the command of Rear-Admiral Robley D. Evans. The story of this trip has often been told, so it need not be repeated here.31 In San Francisco Rear-Admiral Sperry took command for the rest of  p80 the trip since Evans would soon pass the retiring age. The fleet finally returned to Hampton Roads on February 22, 1909, where it was reviewed by the President. It had been gone 432 days and had covered 45,000 miles.32

During the entire trip the ships had taken care of nearly all their own repairs and there had been but little damage.33 Admiral Sperry reported on his return that: ". . . the condition of the ships is better today than when they sailed from Hampton Roads in December of 1907. During these fourteen months the Fleet has been practically self-sustaining in the matter of repairs. . . . The results prove that the ships have been better cared for than when they depended upon the Navy yards."34

 p81  The Secretary of the Navy's report in 1909 agreed with this, stating that the fleet was more efficient than ever in its history and that the morale, efficiency and discipline of the men had all improved.35

One lesson in particular learned by the Navy as a result of the cruise was that the lack of a merchant marine seriously handicapped the fleet. The law required that all coal for the Navy be carried in American ships, but there were not enough of them to supply coal for the entire trip and those that there were charged exorbitant prices. The Navy head requested additional colliers for years, but up to that time Congress had refused to provide them.36 The result was that the fleet had to take more than twenty foreign colliers and supply ships along with it. Still Congress refused to authorize any more naval auxiliaries or to subsidize the merchant marine.37

By the time Roosevelt left office the United States had an Atlantic Fleet of twenty battleships, two armored cruisers and auxiliaries; and a Pacific Fleet of eight armored cruisers, seven protected cruisers and auxiliaries. In addition to these ships there were eight dreadnoughts already building or authorized. This was a far cry from the situation in 1901, when the seven American battleships and the cruisers were divided among five stations. Within this eight-year period the Navy first took on its modern organization and left behind for good the old Jeffersonian idea of passive coast defense and sporadic commerce raiding.

 p82  Gunnery

No matter how well organized strategically or how well drilled in tactics, it was necessary that the fleet be able to outshoot any enemy once the battle was joined. This entailed accurate and rapid long-range gunnery. Although a few people claimed that American naval gunnery had been excellent throughout our entire history,38 and although Admiral Evans even tried to defend the record of the Navy in the Spanish-American War,39 the actual facts did not give a very flattering picture. At the Battle of Manila Bay the glorious American victory was won by making one hit out of every fifty shots.40 At Santiago only three per cent of the shots, or 120 out of about 9,000 were hits. This was at a range of approximately 2,800 feet, and the targets were at least two hundred feet long and from twenty to thirty feet high.41 Fortunately for the United States the war was against the Spanish Navy.

This wretched showing can be partially excused because modern methods of sighting and range finding were still largely in the experimental stage in 1898. It was the introduction of smokeless powder and more powerful guns that spurred the development of this apparatus, for longer battle ranges rendered the old methods obsolete.42

In 1898 Sir Percy Scott of the British Navy devised a new method of gunfire. Before this time the gunners set the open gunsights and fired the guns when the downward  p83 roll of the ship brought the sights on the target. The new system kept the guns continuously aimed at the target by adjusting gun elevation to the motion of the ship. With this new procedure Scott attained on H. M. S. Scylla the hitherto impossible record of 80 per cent of hits, and in 1900 on the cruiser Terrible he bettered even this remarkable record.43

In that same year W. S. Sims, who was destined to play an important part in improving American naval gunnery, landed at Hongkong and met Sir Percy Scott. From him and the other British officer Sims learned all that he could about the new system of continuous‑aim firing. Sims sent back to the Navy Department detailed reports of the amazing target practice record of H. M. S. Terrible. Continuous‑aim firing, he discovered, necessitated an efficient elevating gear, accurate telescopic sights, and long and careful practice on the part of the gunner.44

Between 1890 and 1894 Bradley A. Fiske of the United States Navy had developed a telescopic sight. This instrument had been tested by the Navy, but not until the last years of the century, after much further research, had the Department begun to produce and install such sights. The responses from the officers was divided, many declaring telescopic sights a nuisance and advocating removal of all sights, others insisting that the telescopic sights were not only essential but must be perfected as soon as possible.45 Sims,  p84 studying the success of Scott's firing methods, discovered that the British sights were more powerful than the American sights, that they were mounted right on the guns, and that, unlike the American sights, they were so cushioned that the observer could keep his eye continuously against the eyepiece without being injured by the recoil of the gun.46

In later reports Sims pointed out further inadequacies of the American telescopic sights. The cross-wires of the lens were too coarse, and it was impossible for the gunner to make corrections for speed and wind except by "pointing the sight off the target." In short, our "latest telescope" was a "practically complete failure."47

These endeavors to make the Department aware of the very poor record of American marksmanship were not without effect. A. P. Niblack, a close friend of Sims, was made Inspector of Target Practice, and a number of innovations were introduced.48 Late in 1902 Sims himself was called back to Washington to succeed Niblack.49

His first trip to the fleet convinced Sims that the service sights then being used were quite inadequate for continuous‑aim firing. Early the next year a perfected design was submitted to the Department, along with a full report of the failure of gunnery practice. Nevertheless, a year later the old sights were still in use and nothing had been done. Sims presented a new report on the subject and saw to it that it reached President Roosevelt. Against the opinion of the Department that it would take seven years to replace the old sights, Sims declared that it could be done  p85 in one. The President took a hand, declaring that he would ". . . give the bureaus an alternative. Either they must find the money to re‑sight the Navy with the best possible designs of instruments or I shall take the matter up with Congress and tell them that the Navy's sighting devices are obsolete and inefficient."50 The Navy Department installed new sights within two years.

Because of the extremely long ranges at which the guns had to be fired, it was vitally important that there be an accurate method for determining the range. The usual way was to have observers high up in the mast to see whether the shots were hitting their target or not. By a trial-and‑error method the correct range could finally be determined. One difficulty with such a fire-control system was that a vital part of it had to be exposed in the mast with little or no protective armor, although the use of periscopes for the observers later reduced this danger somewhat.51 Another was the problem of communications between the spotters and the gun crews. The increased rapidity of fire put such a strain on the spotting method and its communication system that the observers did not have enough time to note the fall of the shot and figure the correction. Experiments made in 1904 further demonstrated that a spotter "could control fire up to thirty-five hundred yards with considerable accuracy." At ranges of six thousand yards he could tell by the splashes, although he could not follow the shell. As soon as battle ranges exceeded that  p86 distance improved methods of range-finding were necessary.52

As in the case of the gun sights, the Navy Department long held out against range-finders, even though Fiske and other young officers developed more accurate instruments with much longer bases so that they worked well at long ranges. In 1903 Fiske installed one of his instruments experimentally on the U. S. S. Maine.53 From the lessons learned in this trial, which showed that the range-finder was too delicate to be put on a turret and still not accurate enough, he developed a device that proved completely successful on the Monitor Arkansas in 1907. Although the Bureau of Ordnance agreed that Fiske's invention was a success, its installation on other ships was not recommended because the Bureau thought it unnecessary.54 However, Rear-Admiral Mason, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, appeared before the House Naval Affairs Committee just about a year later asking for the installation of range-finders with long bases on all ships.55 After 1910 all ships authorized had them built into their turrets.56

New methods of target practice were also introduced. Sir Percy Scott of the British Navy had developed the "dotter," a device which moved a small target around in front of the sights. The gunner had to follow this, and when he had the sights all set on the target, he pressed a  p87 button and the hit was scored on the "dotter."57 Shortly after the invention of Scott's device, a group of American officers produced a similar instrument, the Morris tube. The chief difference was that it used a small rifle attached to the gun to record the hits.58 Although Admiral Evans claimed that the development of this method of target practice in China in 1902 was entirely independent of Scott's success, of which he said the American officers in the Far East had not heard,59 it is a fact that Scott made nearly all his experiments on the Terrible while also in Asiatic waters.

W. S. Sims, it will be recalled, had met Scott in China and had studied at first hand Scott's new firing methods. Sims had been naval attaché in Paris and St. Petersburg, and had enjoyed ample opportunities to study foreign navies. He was much impressed with Scott's ideas. He discovered that American ships on the China station were hitting the target less than ten per cent of the time, while H. M. S. Terrible was hitting eighty to eighty-five per cent of the time. By November 1901 he had written over eleven thousand pages of reports which had gone to Washington. Although few visible results had yet appeared in the Department, Sims had in fact convinced many of his colleagues and superiors that something must be done about the poor marksmanship record of the American Navy.60

In November 1901 Sims finally wrote directly to President Roosevelt, pointing out the "present very inefficient  p88 condition" of the fighting forces. He mentioned especially the armament and protection of our battleships, and the "crushingly inferior" marksmanship, as evidenced in a recent target the practice by the North Atlantic Squadron in which five ships fired for 5‑minute at a hulk only twenty-eight hundred yards distant, and only two hits were made.61

The legendary story is that on studying up the actual gunnery record of the United States Navy, Roosevelt took up Sims's case and sent for him to come to Washington immediately, where he was made Director of Target Practice.62 To the Navy Department Roosevelt is supposed to have said: "Give him entire charge of target practice for eighteen months. Do exactly as he says. If he does not accomplish something in that time, cut off his head and try somebody else."63

As a matter of fact, the President actually wrote to Sims that he thought him "unduly pessimistic," especially in view of the American victory over Spain in 1898. Nevertheless he was glad to receive the letter and would welcome further criticisms or suggestions. Roosevelt immediately ordered all of the reports Sims had sent from China condensed and prepared for publication, so that they could be distributed to all officers in the Service.64

Meantime Sims, now Fleet Intelligence Officer and Inspector of Target Practice on the China Station, was trying out the new methods of gunnery. He initiated dotter practice, and held target practice using the larger British targets  p89 and counting only actual hits. The improved gunnery of the squadron soon began to vindicate his contentions. Sims continued to send reports back to Washington, and one on the superiority of British marksmanship created a stir in the Department. In September 1902 he was ordered home where he had been appointed to succeed Niblack as Inspector of Target Practice.65

Back in Washington Sims faced the double job of convincing the Navy Department of the importance of continuous‑aim firing and of putting the new methods into practice. Dotters and Morris Tube Targets were installed on the ships, and crews began daily practice. After three months of this a preliminary practice was held off Pensacola. Conditions were ideal — short ranges, smooth water, slow speeds — and rapidity of fire was not counted. All previous gunnery records were shattered. The large guns scored from forty to seventy-five per cent of hits, the smaller ones averaged fifty-five per cent.66

These results were encouraging but much remained to be done.

Much of the gunnery equipment was poor, or even improvised. There were no uniform regulations for gunnery drill. The story of the struggle for improved gunsights has already been told. A new Drill Book was issued in June 1903. Roosevelt instituted special prizes for excellent gunnery. The best ship in each year's practice was awarded a bronze plaque, and gunners received two to ten dollars a month extra pay, depending on the size of the gun, for making certain scores. To increase the rapidity of loading,  p90 dummy breeches were installed and the men practiced loading as an athletic event.67

Under the old system of target practice the target was a triangular sail floating upright on a raft. It was United States Army hit only by luck, if at all. Shots which would have hit if the target were a full-sized ship were counted as hits. The result was extremely inefficient marksmanship. For example, in 1897 the entire North Atlantic Squadron had steamed by an old target ship at twelve knots and poured broadsides into her at 4,000 yards. Nothing had happened. The performance had even been repeated at half the range, but still no serious damage had been done, even with the 6‑inch guns also in use.68 Under the new system, larger targets were used and only hits were counted.

After the Pensacola trials a new basis for scoring hits was adopted. Previously the number of hits out of the total number of shots fired was the only factor considered. Speed was not counted at all. But Roosevelt realized that what really counted was ". . . the number of large projectiles that can be landed against an enemy's hull in a given time . . ." and not the total volume of fire.69 Under this new system of counting only the hits per gun per minute, some excellent records were made in September 1903 off Martha's Vineyard. The 13‑inch guns averaged a hit a minute. These guns on the Alabama were loaded and fired in thirty-eight seconds. Five years earlier the official time allowance for firing a gun of this caliber had been six  p91 minutes.70 This development made the intermediary batteries largely unnecessary because the only reason for them had been their ability to fire so much more rapidly than the big guns. New rectangular targets were also adopted and only actual hits were counted in scoring.71

The records of the practice of 1903 and of a preliminary practice in 1904 showed such excellent progress that the complete success of the new gunnery methods seemed certain. Then came the terrible accident to the Missouri in which thirty-four mena were killed when a flareback from a gun ignited a powder charge and fire dropped down the hoist into the handling room. This disaster (which is described elsewhere in connection with the design of ammunition hoists) put in jeopardy the whole new system of gunnery.72

Many of the older men took the view that the rapid firing of the guns was to blame. Sims prepared a lengthy paper discussing in detail various technical aspects of the accident, defending the new firing methods, and recommending broken hoist construction to prevent similar accidents in the future. But the opposition continued. A round-robin was circulated in the Department asking that target practice be placed once more back on the old system based on the total percentage of hits.73

Sims carried the matter directly to the President. The two had met personally for the first time only a few months before, although Sims had from the first enjoyed the President's support in his struggle to improve the gunnery of  p92 the Navy. Roosevelt sent a peremptory order to the Navy Department to continue gunnery practice as it was.74

But the battle still was not won. The new gunnery records were attacked on the ground that the conditions — of smooth water, short ranges, and slow speed — in no way approximated battle conditions. Sims explained at length the technical reasons for the use of this short range and small target. The latter was of the exact size, in proportion to the range, to allow for errors of the gun and yet at the same time to test the gunners' accuracy.75 It was not until the target practice of 1906 that attempts were made to simulate battle conditions. Meanwhile, the Report of Autumn Target Practice, 1905 embodied the general principles of fire control as it is practiced today.76

The results of the 1906 target practice, carried on at ranges greater than four thousand yards, were very satisfactory. In 1907 the large guns averaged a hit per minute, and the fleet average, excluding guns smaller than six‑pounders, was 77.6 per cent hits where it had been 40 per cent in 1903. Although by this time great improvements had been made in guns and mechanical firing equipment, most of the fire-control instruments, as Sims wrote to Roosevelt, were still improvised by the officers.77

Even at this date, and in the face of successful practice records, opposition to the new methods continued. In a letter to Sims dated August 29, 1907, Roosevelt deplored the resurrection of arguments ". . . against rapidity in  p93 delivering accurately aimed shots . . ., arguments which one supposed were decently buried a decade ago."78

Roosevelt and Sims were responsible for an improvement in gunnery estimated variously at from three to five hundred per cent in a period of seven years.79 Whatever the exact degree of improvement might have been, Rear-Admiral Mason, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, declared that: "The most striking feature in the history of the Navy during the last few years has been the progress in gunnery. Results of . . . shooting have been such as were thought impossible a few years ago. . . ."80 Actually the percentage of misses in 1909 about equaled the percentage of hits in 1901. Writing to Secretary Newberry, Roosevelt estimated that "our fighting power is at least five times greater than it was before our training had been improved by Commander Sims' methods."81

Modern naval gunnery in the United States was thus born and developed during Roosevelt's Administration. Its rise led to revolutionary changes in battle tactics as well, for close, hand-to‑hand combat became impossible. Battle ranges have ever since been growing greater and greater.


The Author's Notes:

1 Roosevelt, State Papers, pp472‑3.

[decorative delimiter]

2 Bailey, "The World Cruise of the American Battleship Fleet, 1907‑1909," Pacific Historical Review, 1 (1932), p390.

[decorative delimiter]

3 Roosevelt, State Papers, p473.

[decorative delimiter]

4 Bailey, Theodore Roosevelt and the Japanese-American Crises, p298.

[decorative delimiter]

5 Bishop, op. cit., Vol. II, pp119‑20.

[decorative delimiter]

6 Roosevelt, State Papers, pp120‑1.

[decorative delimiter]

7 Fiske, "American Naval Policy," Proceedings of the U. S. Naval Institute, 31 (1905), p36.

[decorative delimiter]

8 ibid., pp38‑9.

[decorative delimiter]

9 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1907, pp7‑8.

[decorative delimiter]

10 Roosevelt, State Papers, p310.

[decorative delimiter]

11 Reuterdahl, "Needs of Our Navy," McClure's, 39 (1908), p257.

[decorative delimiter]

12 e.g. Roosevelt, State Papers, p260 (Annual Message, 1904).

[decorative delimiter]

13 Sprout, op. cit., p269, note 71 (Refers to 63rd Cong. 3rd Sess. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Hearings on Estimates for 1915, p702).

[decorative delimiter]

14 H. A. Evans, op. cit., p158.

[decorative delimiter]

15 J. C. O'Laughlin, "The American Fighting Fleet, Its Strategic Disposition," Cassier's Magazine, 24 (1903), p385.

[decorative delimiter]

16 Fiske, Autobiography, p350.

[decorative delimiter]

17 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1902, p392 (Report of Bureau of Navigation).

[decorative delimiter]

18 ibid., p4.

[decorative delimiter]

19 Converse, Refutation of Alleged Defects, p2 (60th Cong. 1st Sess. Sen. Doc. No. 298)

[decorative delimiter]

20 Sprout, Rise of American Naval Power, p278.

[decorative delimiter]

21 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1906, pp403‑5 (Report of Bureau of Navigation).

[decorative delimiter]

22 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1907, p6.

[decorative delimiter]

23 ibid., p13.

[decorative delimiter]

24 Bailey, Theodore Roosevelt and the Japanese-American Crises, pp277‑8.

[decorative delimiter]

25 Roosevelt to Spring-Rice, 1905, quoted in Dennett, op. cit., pp46‑7.

[decorative delimiter]

26 Bishop, op. cit., Vol. II, p64.

[decorative delimiter]

27 Bailey, "The World Cruise of the American Battleship Fleet," Pacific Historical Review, 1 (1932), p400.

Thayer's Note: p400 doesn't mention that reason specifically; p396, and better yet, Roosevelt's own autobiography (quoted on that page), is the more appropriate link.
[decorative delimiter]

28 ibid., p403.

[decorative delimiter]

29 See, e.g. "Will the U. S. Make a New Declaration of Imperialism?" Baltimore Sun, July 3, 1907, in Roosevelt's Scrapbooks, Editorial Comment Series, Vol. 23, p11. Also "16 Big Battleships for the Pacific," New York Herald, July 2, 1907, in Events of Interest Series, Vol. 27, p43.

[decorative delimiter]

30 Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," Part II, McClure's 54 (1922), pp59‑60.

[decorative delimiter]

31 See, e.g., Bailey, Theodore Roosevelt and the Japanese-American Crises, Chap. XII.

[decorative delimiter]

32 Brassey, Naval Annual, 1909, p34.

[decorative delimiter]

33 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1908, p6.

[decorative delimiter]

34 Quoted in Brassey, Naval Annual, 1909, p35.

[decorative delimiter]

35 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1909, p29.

[decorative delimiter]

36 R. D. Evans, op. cit., p411.

[decorative delimiter]

37 Bailey, "The World Cruise of the American Battleship Fleet," Pacific Historical Review, 1 (1932), pp418‑19.

[decorative delimiter]

38 See, e.g. Gleaves, op. cit., p4895.

[decorative delimiter]

39 R. D. Evans, op. cit., p415.

[decorative delimiter]

40 Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," McClure's, 54 (1922), p33.

[decorative delimiter]

41 Sims, Letter to Naval Personnel Board, Sept. 24, 1906, p22.

[decorative delimiter]

42 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1902, p29.

[decorative delimiter]

43 E. E. Morison, Admiral Sims and the Modern American Navy (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1942), pp82‑3; Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," McClure's, 54 (1922), p34.

[decorative delimiter]

44 Morison, Admiral Sims pp83‑5; Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," McClure's, 54 (1922), p34.

[decorative delimiter]

45 Morison, Admiral Sims pp83‑4, 109‑10; Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," McClure's, 54 (1922), p37.

[decorative delimiter]

46 ibid., p84.

[decorative delimiter]

47 ibid., pp116‑17.

[decorative delimiter]

48 ibid., pp123 ff.

[decorative delimiter]

49 ibid., pp126 ff.

[decorative delimiter]

50 ibid., Chapter IX, especially p137; Hermann Hagedorn, "Theodore Roosevelt and the Navy," The Republican, 7 (1942), p32.

[decorative delimiter]

51 U. S. 60th Cong. 1st Sess. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Hearings and Communications, 1907‑1908, p157 (Testimony of Rear-Admiral N. E. Mason).

[decorative delimiter]

52 ibid., p153. Also "Ten Years' Development of the Battleship," Scientific American, 97 (1907), p406; Morison, Admiral Sims, pp146‑7.

[decorative delimiter]

53 Fiske, Autobiography, p360.

[decorative delimiter]

54 ibid., pp400‑1.

[decorative delimiter]

55 U. S. 60th Cong. 1st Sess. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Hearings and Communications, 1907‑1908, p153.

[decorative delimiter]

56 Fiske, Autobiography, p401.

[decorative delimiter]

57 Gleaves, op. cit., p4897; Morison, Admiral Sims, pp84‑5.

[decorative delimiter]

58 R. D. Evans, An Admiral's Log (D. Appleton, 1910), pp132‑3. Also Fiske, Autobiography, pp352‑3, and Morison, Admiral Sims, p125.

[decorative delimiter]

59 R. D. Evans, An Admiral's Log, p137.

[decorative delimiter]

60 "Admiral Sims Dies of a Heart Attack," New York Times, Sept. 29, 1936, p27; Morison, Admiral Sims, pp83 ff.

[decorative delimiter]

61 "Admiral Sims Dies," cited; Morison, Admiral Sims, pp102‑4.

[decorative delimiter]

62 Morison, op. cit., p104.

[decorative delimiter]

63 "Admiral Sims Dies," cited; Morison, op. cit., p104.

[decorative delimiter]

64 Morison, op. cit., pp104‑5.

[decorative delimiter]

65 ibid., pp122 ff., 126 ff.

[decorative delimiter]

66 ibid., pp131 ff.; Gleaves, op. cit., p4901.

[decorative delimiter]

67 Morison, op. cit., pp134 ff.; Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," Part II, McClure's, 54 (1922), p38; Gleaves, op. cit., pp4900‑1.

[decorative delimiter]

68 Gleaves, op. cit., pp4900‑1.

[decorative delimiter]

69 Roosevelt, Letter to House Naval Affairs Committee, Jan. 11, 1907, quoted in Brassey, Naval Annual, 1907, p388.

[decorative delimiter]

70 Gleaves, op. cit., pp4901‑3.

[decorative delimiter]

71 Navy Department, Annual Report, 1903, p25.

[decorative delimiter]

72 Morison, op. cit., pp135 ff., 138 ff.

[decorative delimiter]

73 ibid., pp139‑41.

[decorative delimiter]

74 Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," Part II, McClure's, 54 (1922), pp58‑9; Morison, op. cit., p141.

[decorative delimiter]

75 Morison, op. cit., pp141‑3.

[decorative delimiter]

76 ibid., pp147, 236.

[decorative delimiter]

77 ibid., pp236 ff.

[decorative delimiter]

78 Sims, "Roosevelt and the Navy," Part II, McClure's, 54 (1922), pp58‑9.

[decorative delimiter]

79 See ibid., p58; Also Roosevelt, Autobiography, p213.

[decorative delimiter]

80 U. S. 60th Cong. 1st Sess., House Committee on Naval Affairs, Hearings and Communications, 1907‑1908, p153.

[decorative delimiter]

81 "Admiral Sims Dies," cited, p1.


Thayer's Note:

a In chapter 4, O'Gara gives the total casualties as 30. Online I find figures varying up to 38.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 1 May 16