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USS South Dakota

USS South Dakota

The armoured cruiser USS South Dakota belonged to the Pennsylvania-class and is seen here at the beginning of her career, the hull painted overall white.

USS South Dakota (13,900 ts) was launched on July 21st, 1904 by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco and commissioned on Jan. 27th, 1908.

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The USS South Dakota offers an excellent illustration of just how rapidly the state of naval technology advanced in the years between the turn of the century and the beginning of World War I. This ship was a typical example of the turn-of-the-century type of warship know as the armored cruiser, which were considered extremely formidable ships. Like all "pre-dreadnought" warships, the armored cruisers carried guns of a variety of calibers, including 8-inch, 6-inch and 3-inch guns. However, only a year after this ship was commissioned, the appearance of the revolutionary British battle-cruiser HMS Invincible, mounting a uniform armament of 12-inch guns, rendered all existing armored cruisers completely obsolete. The USS South Dakota was later re-named USS Huron in accordance with a change in Navy policy, which stipulated that cruisers should be named after cities and battleships after states.

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