The Full Wiki

Great White Fleet: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of the Great White Fleet's voyage.

The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into four squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability.

Contents

Background

Flagship Connecticut: one of a set of commemorative postcards of the ships of the Great White Fleet

In the twilight of Roosevelt's administration, the president dispatched sixteen U.S. Navy ships of the Atlantic Fleet (4 battleships and their escorts), on a worldwide voyage of circumnavigation from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909. With their hulls painted white except for the gilded scrollwork with a red, white, and blue banner on their bows, these ships would later come to be known as the Great White Fleet.

Voyage

Kansas sails ahead of the Vermont as the fleet leaves Hampton Roads, Virginia on 16 December 1907.
The Fleet Passing Through the Magellan Straits by naval artist Henry Reuterdahl, who traveled with the fleet on the USS Culoga

As the Panama Canal was not yet complete, the fleet would pass through the Straits of Magellan. The scope of such an operation was unprecedented in U.S. history, as ships had to sail from all points of the compass to rendezvous points and proceed according to a carefully-orchestrated, well-conceived plan. It would involve almost the entire operational capability of the U.S. Navy. Unlike the badly coordinated moves of the Russian fleet, which sailed from the Baltic to the Pacific and which eventually led to its destruction by the Japanese in 1905,[1] the U.S. effort would benefit from a peaceful environment which aided the coordination of ship movements.[citation needed] The voyage itself would eventually set a number of world records including, the sheer number of ships simultaneously circumnavigating the earth.[citation needed]

The fleet was greeted with excitement around the world. In port after port, citizens in the thousands turned out to see and greet the fleet. In 1908 The Great White Fleet visited Monterey, California, from 1–4 May. The Hotel Del Monte hosted a grand ball for the officers of the fleet. The Del Monte was later to become the headquarters for the Naval Postgraduate School.

In Australia the arrival of the Great White Fleet on 20 August 1908 was used to encourage support for the forming of Australia's own navy.[2] When the fleet sailed into Yokohama, the Japanese went to extraordinary lengths to show that their country desired peace with the U.S.; thousands of Japanese schoolchildren waved American flags to greet Navy officials as they came ashore.[citation needed] In Sicily, the sailors helped in recovery operations after the 1908 Messina earthquake.

In February 1909, Roosevelt was in Hampton Roads, Virginia, to witness the triumphant return of the fleet and indicating that he saw the fleet's long voyage as a fitting finish for his administration. To the officers and men of the fleet Roosevelt said, "Other nations may do what you have done, but they'll have to follow you." This parting act of grand strategy by Roosevelt greatly expanded the respect with which the United States was held, as well as its role in the international arena.[citation needed]

Fleet composition

President Theodore Roosevelt (on the 12-inch (30 cm) gun turret at right) addresses officers and crewmen on Connecticut, in Hampton Roads, Virginia, upon her return from the Fleet's cruise around the world, 22 February 1909.

The fourteen-month long voyage was a grand pageant of American seapower. The squadrons were manned by 14,000 sailors. They covered some 43,000 nautical miles (80,000 km) and made twenty port calls on six continents. The fleet was impressive, especially as a demonstration of American industrial prowess (all eighteen ships had been constructed since the Spanish-American War), but already the battleships represented the suddenly-outdated 'pre-dreadnought' type of capital ship, as the first battleships of the revolutionary Dreadnought class had just entered service, and the U.S. Navy's first dreadnought, South Carolina, was already fitting out. The two oldest ships in the fleet, Kearsarge and Kentucky, were already obsolescent and unfit for battle; two others, Maine and Alabama, had to be detached at San Francisco, California because of mechanical troubles. (After repairs, Alabama and Maine completed their "own, more direct, circumnavigation of the globe" via Honolulu, Guam, Manila, Singapore, Colombo, Suez, Naples, Gibraltar, the Azores, and finally back to the United States, arriving on 20 October 1908 long before the remainder of the fleet, which had taken a more circuitous route.)

The battleships were accompanied during the first leg of their voyage by a "Torpedo Flotilla" of six early destroyers, as well as by several auxiliary ships. The destroyers and their tender did not actually steam in company with the battleships, but followed their own itinerary from Hampton Roads, Virginia to San Francisco, California. Two battleships were detached from the fleet at San Francisco, and two others substituted.

The fleet gained the nickname "Great White Fleet" due to the white hulls of the ships.

Civil War era leaders

When the fleet left Hampton Roads there were four senior officers who had served during the Civil War. In 1908 the mandatory retirement age was 62. For the fleet this meant Admiral Robley D. Evans, Rear Admiral Thomas, and Rear Admiral Emory were permitted to sail with the fleet even though they were obliged to retire before the cruise would end.[citation needed]

General fleet itinerary

Connecticut leads the way for the Great White Fleet in 1907.
The Great White Fleet arriving to a crowd at the Port of Los Angeles, 1908
A 1908 postcard welcoming the fleet to Australia.
Fleet Week celebrations in Auckland, New Zealand.[3]

With the Connecticut as flagship under the command of Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, the fleet sailed from Hampton Roads on 16 December 1907 for Trinidad, British West Indies, thence to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Punta Arenas, Chile; Callao, Peru; Magdalena Bay, Mexico, and up the West Coast, arriving at San Francisco, 6 May 1908.

At San Francisco, Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry assumed command of the Fleet, owing to the poor health of Admiral Evans. Also at San Francisco, the squadrons were slightly rearranged, bringing the newest and best ships in the fleet up to the First Squadron. The Glacier was detached and later became the supply ship of the Pacific Fleet. At this time also, the Nebraska, Captain Reginald F. Nicholson, and the Wisconsin, Captain Frank E. Beatty, were substituted for the Maine and Alabama. In San Francisco, Minnesota was brought forward into First Squadron, First Division and Louisiana took her place as flagship, Second Squadron.

Leaving that port on 7 July 1908 the U.S. Atlantic Fleet visited Honolulu; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Manila, Philippines; Yokohama, Japan; Colombo, Ceylon; arriving at Suez, Egypt, on 3 January 1909.

As mentioned earlier, while the fleet was in Egypt, word was received of an earthquake in Sicily, thus affording an opportunity for the United States to show its friendship to Italy by offering aid to the sufferers. Connecticut, Illinois, Culgoa, and Yankton were dispatched to Messina, Italy at once. The crew of Illinois recovered the bodies of the American consul and his wife, entombed in the ruins.

Scorpion, the Fleet's station ship at Constantinople, and Celtic, a refrigerator ship fitted out in New York, were hurried to Messina, relieving Connecticut and Illinois, so that they could continue on the cruise.

Leaving Messina on 9 January 1909 the Fleet stopped at Naples, Italy, thence to Gibraltar, arriving at Hampton Roads on 22 February 1909. There President Roosevelt reviewed the Fleet as it passed into the roadstead.

The First Leg

from Hampton Roads to San Francisco, 14,556 nautical miles (26,958 km)

Advertisements

Itinerary

Port Arrival Departure Distance to Next Port
Hampton Roads, Virginia   16 December 1907 1,803 nmi (3,339 km)
Port of Spain, Trinidad 23 December 1907 29 December 1907 3,399 nmi (6,295 km)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 12 January 1908 21 January 1908 2,374 nmi (4,397 km)
Punta Arenas, Chile 1 February 1908 7 February 1908 2,838 nmi (5,256 km)
Callao, Peru 20 February 1908 29 February 1908 3,010 nmi (5,570 km)
Magdalena Bay, Mexico 12 March 1908 11 April 1908 1,132 nmi (2,096 km)
San Francisco, California 6 May 1908    

Ships

The Fleet, First Squadron and First Division, were commanded by Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans. First Division consisted of four ships of the 1906 Connecticut class: Connecticut, the Fleet's flagship, Captain Hugo Osterhaus, Kansas, Captain Charles E. Vreeland, Vermont, Captain William P. Potter, and Louisiana, Captain Richard Wainwright.

Second Division was commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory. Second Division consisted of four ships of the 1904 Virginia class: Georgia, the Division flagship, Captain Henry McCrea, New Jersey, Captain William H. H. Southerland, Rhode Island, Captain Joseph B. Murdock, and Virginia, Captain Seaton Schroeder.

Second Squadron and Third Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles M. Thomas. Third Division consisted of one Connecticut-class ship and the three ships of the 1902 Maine class: Minnesota, the Squadron flagship, Captain John Hubbard, Maine, Captain Giles B. Harber, Missouri, Captain Greenlief A. Merriam, and Ohio, Captain Charles W. Bartlett.

Fourth Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. Fourth Division consisted of two ships of the 1901 Illinois class and the two 1900 Kearsarge class ships: Alabama, the Division flagship, Captain Ten Eyck De Witt Veeder, Illinois, Captain John M. Bowyer, Kearsarge, Captain Hamilton Hutchins, and Kentucky, Captain Walter C. Cowles.

The Fleet Auxiliaries consisted of Culgoa (a storeship), Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, Glacier (a storeship), Commander William S. Hogg, Panther (a repair ship), Commander Valentine S. Nelson, Yankton (a tender), Lieutenant Walter R. Gherardi, and Relief (a hospital ship).

The "Torpedo Flotilla" of destroyers consisted of Hopkins, Lieutenant Alfred G. Howe, Stewart, Lieutenant Julius F. Hellweg, Hull, Lieutenant Frank McCommon, Truxton, Lieutenant Charles S. Kerrick, Lawrence, Lieutenant Ernest Friedrick, Whipple, Lieutenant Hutch I. Cone, and Arethusa (a tender), Commander Albert W. Grant.

Second leg

The second leg of the voyage was from San Francisco to Puget Sound and back

The Fleet, First Squadron, and First Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. First Division consisted of Connecticut, the Fleet's flagship, Captain Hugo Osterhaus Kansas, Captain Charles E. Vreeland Minnesota, Captain John Hubbard Vermont, Captain William P. Potter

Second Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright. Second Division consisted of Georgia, the Division flagship, Captain Edward F. Qualtrough, Nebraska, Captain Reginald F. Nicholson, replacing her sister Virginia, New Jersey, Captain William H.H. Southerland, and Rhode Island, Captain Joseph B. Murdock.

Second Squadron and Third Division were commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory. Third Division consisted of Louisiana, the Squadron's flagship, Captain Kossuth Niles, Virginia, Captain Alexander Sharp, Missouri, Captain Robert M. Doyle, and Ohio, Captain Thomas B. Howard.

Fourth Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder. Fourth Division consisted of Wisconsin, the Division flagship, Captain Frank E. Beatty, which replaced her sister Alabama, Illinois, Captain John M. Bowyer, Kearsarge, Captain Hamilton Hutchins, and Kentucky, Captain Walter C. Cowles.

The Fleet Auxiliaries were Culgoa (a storeship), Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, Yankton (a tender), Lieutenant Commander Charles B. McVay, Glacier (a storeship), Commander William S. Hogg, Relief (a hospital ship), Surgeon Charles F. Stokes, and Panther (a repair ship), Commander Valentine S. Nelson.

Third Leg

from San Francisco to Manila, 16,336 nautical miles (30,254 km)

Itinerary

Port Arrival Departure Distance to Next Port
San Francisco, California   7 July 1908 2,126 nmi (3,937 km)
Honolulu, Hawaii 16 July 1908 22 July 1908 3,870 nmi (7,170 km)
Auckland, New Zealand 9 August 1908 15 August 1908 1,307 nmi (2,421 km)
Sydney, Australia 20 August 1908 28 August 1908   601 nmi (1,113 km)
Melbourne, Australia 29 August 1908 5 September 1908 1,368 nmi (2,534 km)
Albany, Australia 11 September 1908 18 September 1908 3,458 nmi (6,404 km)
Manila, Philippine Islands 2 October 1908 9 October 1908 1,795 nmi (3,324 km)
Yokohama, Japan 18 October 1908 25 October 1908 1,811 nmi (3,354 km)
Amoy, China
(Second Squadron)
29 October 1908 5 November 1908  
Manila, Philippine Islands
(First Squadron)
31 October 1908    
Manila, Philippine Islands
(Second Squadron)
7 November 1908    

Ships

The Fleet, First Squadron, and First Division were commanded by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. First Division consisted of Connecticut, the Fleet's flagship, Captain Hugo Osterhaus, Kansas, Captain Charles E. Vreeland, Minnesota, Captain John Hubbard, and Vermont, Captain William P. Potter.

Second Division consisted of Georgia, the Division flagship, Captain Edward F. Qualtrough, Nebraska, Captain Reginald F. Nicholson, New Jersey, Captain William H.H. Southerland, and Rhode Island, Captain Joseph B. Murdock.

The Second Squadron and Third Division were commanded by Rear Admiral William H. Emory. Third Division consisted of Louisiana, the Squadron flagship, Captain Kossuth Niles, Virginia, Captain Alexander Sharp, Missouri, Captain Robert M. Doyle, and Ohio, Captain Thomas B. Howard.

Fourth Division was commanded by Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder. Fourth Division consisted of Wisconsin, the Division flagship, Captain Frank E. Beatty, Illinois, Captain John M. Bowyer, Kearsarge, Captain Hamilton Hutchins, and Kentucky, Captain Walter C. Cowles.

The Fleet Auxiliaries were Culgoa (a storeship), Lieutenant Commander John B. Patton, Yankton (a tender), Lieutenant Commander Charles B. McVay, Glacier (a storeship), Commander William S. Hogg, Relief (a hospital ship), Surgeon Charles F. Stokes, and Panther (a repair ship), Commander Valentine S. Nelson.

Final Leg

Political cartoon from The New York Herald, February 22, 1909. Illustration shows Uncle Sam, George Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt welcoming the Great White Fleet as it returns to home port at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

The final leg ran from Manila to Hampton Roads, 12,455 nautical miles (23,067 km).

Itinerary

Port Arrival Departure Distance to Next Port
Manila, Philippine Islands   1 December 1908 2,985 nmi (5,528 km)
Colombo, Ceylon 13 December 1908 20 December 1908 3,448 nmi (6,386 km)
Suez, Egypt 3 January 1909 4–6 January 1909 2,443 nmi (4,524 km)
Gibraltar 31 January–1 February 1909 6 February 1909 3,579 nmi (6,628 km)
Hampton Roads, Virginia 22 February 1909    

See also

References

  1. ^ Semenov
  2. ^ "Great White Fleet revisits Sydney Harbour". Afloat (Afloat Publications Pty Ltd): pp. 40. 2008-09-01. 
  3. ^ The US 'Great White Fleet' arrives in Auckland (from the 'NZ History' website, retrieved 3 August 2007)

Bibliography

World Cruise of the Great White Fleet

  • Crawford, M. J., The World Cruise of the Great White Fleet: Honoring 100 Years of Global Partnerships and Security. (2008)
  • Hart, R. A., The Great White Fleet: Its Voyage Around the World, 1907-1909. (1965)
  • Nolte, Carl, "Great White Fleet Visited S.F. 100 Years Ago", San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 2008 pg. B3.
  • Reckner, J. R., Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet: The World Cruise of the American Battlefleet, 1907 - 1909. (1988)
  • Wimmel, K., Theodore Roosevelt and the Great White Fleet: American Sea Power Comes of Age. (1998)

Russo-Japanese War

  • Corbett, Julian, Sir. Maritime Operations in the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905. (1994). Originally classified Secret/Confidential until the 1950s; published in two volumnes. ISBN 1557501297
  • Pleshakov, Constantine. The Tsar's Last Armada: The Epic Voyage to the Battle of Tsushima. (2002). ISBN 0-465-05792-6
  • Semenov, Vladimir, Capt. The Battle of Tsushima. (1912). E.P. Dutton & Co.

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message