The USS Mississippi was an American pre-dreadnought battleship launched in 1905 which, as other battleships of that time, was already obsolete
before being completed, because of the advent of the British HMS Dreadnought launched in 1906. In a typical mistake
of political assesment, in 1903 the Congress had imposed to the Navy the construction of the Mississippi class, in an attempt to reduce the increase in
costs of the new naval projects. When the two ships were completed in 1908, United States had to quickly obtain dreadnought battleships and also seek
a potential buyer for the obsolescent ships.
This particular type of pre-dreadnought battleship has been called also "semi-dreadnought" because it includes an intermediate caliber between
the main armament and the usual secondary battery; in the Mississippi class this intermediate caliber is represented by the four 203-millimeter turrets.
The commission of these "low cost" ships was not a good investment, but nonetheless the United States managed to sell them to Greece in 1914. This
country, under pression by the neighboring and enemy Turkey, received the ships with enthusiasm, because they were relatively affordable and
regardless of their obsolescency they would be the most powerful vessels in the Greek Navy.
Renamed as Kilkis and Lemnos, both ships would serve unscathed for long years, until being dramatically sunk in their dock in 1941 during an attack by German
dive bombers; they were finally sold for scrap in the 1950s. The illustration shows the USS Mississippi wearing the Greek flag, hence in 1914 or
after; in that time many of the 76-millimeter cannons had been removed.
Class: Mississippi (2 units - Idaho (BB-24), Mississippi (BB-23))
Length: 116 meters
Beam: 23 meters
Draught: 8 meters
Displacement (normal): 13209 tonnes
Propulsion: 2 x shaft, triple-expansion reciprocating steam engines, 8 x boiler Babcock and Wilcox, 13600 horsepower
Speed: 17.1 knots (31.6 kilometers/hour)
Range: 5800 nautical miles (10700 kilometers) at 10 knots
Armament (as built): 4 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 8 x 203-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 8 x 178-millimeter 45-caliber cannon,
12 x 76-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 2 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube
Armament (in 1914): 4 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 8 x 203-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 8 x 178-millimeter 45-caliber cannon,
4 x 76-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 2 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube
Armor: 178-229 millimeters in belt, 152-254 millimeters in barbettes, 203-305 millimeters in primary turrets,
178 millimeters in secondary turrets, 229 millimeters in conning tower