You are currently viewing the USN 1912 Battlecruiser Page

  Click this icon to return to the Sea Monographs page


This page provides an overview of an unbuilt 1912 design for a Battlecruiser for the US Navy.  Please click on the artists' impressions to view a 1280 x 640 pixel version.

Boat operations in harbour. (121KB)


The only Battle Cruisers to come close to being completed for the US Navy were the Lexington class, which were altered during construction to be completed as aircraft carriers in 1927.  The USN requested Battle Cruisers in 1913, but financing of the project was not agreed untill 1916.  Dating from 1912, the design presented here would have been just one of many studies conducted to determine the general design characteristics required of a Battle Cruiser in the early 20th Century.

A beauty shot, showing the vast length of the hull. (122KB)

The Design

This 1912 design seems to be dominated by the limited propulsion technology of the era.  In order to propel a vessel mounting 8 14 inch guns, protected by relatively thick armour, at 32 knots a very large number of boilers would have been required.  The early Lexington studies had 24 boilers, only half of which were behind armour.  This design would probably have had even more.  This large machinery fit is reflected in the distinctive row of 7 funnels.  The most obvious indicator of how far the technology and reasonable design space was being stretched is the sheer size of the vessel - no less than 1250 feet long.  This great length, required to accommodate the machinery, armour and weapons whilst reducing resistance at high speed, could have complicated structural design and construction.  A benefit, however would be greatly reduced speed loss in a seaway, and accommodations for the crew that would have been the envy of the fleet.

Sister ships at sea. (98KB)

General Specifications

A summary of the general specifications of the 1912 Battle Cruiser design is given below.  These were generated by CanisD using the Springstyle / Springsharp ship design tool.  A more verbose report is available here.

67,707t / 61420te full load

Length (overall  / waterline)
1,273.47 ft / 1,250.00 ft

106.10 ft

36.20 ft (normal load)

8 * 14 inch / 356mm guns
16 * 6 inch / 152mm guns

14 inch / 356mm belt
18 inch / 457mm gunhouse faces
14 inch / 356mm barbettes
3 inch / 76mm deck
16 inc / 406mm conning tower

32 knots

11,650nm at 10.00 kts

Head on; an imposing sight. (151KB)


A side and plan view used in the construction of the 3D model were produced by CanisD
The vessel was referred to in Friedman's U.S. Cruisers: An Illustrated Design History
A good source of information on unbuilt projects are the Warship Projects Discussion Boards

Battlecruiser at sunset. (127KB)

Rachel Pawling, 2015
Correspondence to

  usn1912bc - v.1