New York class battleships

The New York class battleships were the first American dreadnoughts to move away from 12in guns, and were armed with ten 14in guns in five twin turrets. Both members of the class served in the First and Second World Wars, spending much of their time in the European theatres.

USS New York (BB-34) returns to New York, 1945
USS New York (BB-34) returns to New York, 1945

The New York class was designed in response to President Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1908 asked the US Navy to consider moving from 12in to 14in guns. Three designs were considered at the time, two featuring 14in gins and one with twelve 12in guns. The first 14in design, with eight guns, was never built, and the second design, with ten guns, required ships too big for all but two American docks (Pearl Harbor and Puget Sound). The decision was made to build two ships with twelve 12in guns (the Wyoming Class) as an interim measure, and build the ten gun 14in design once more docks had been extended.

The New York class ships were 10ft longer than the Wyoming class. They carried their 14in guns in five twin turrets, with a superfiring pair at each end and the fifth turret carried between the aft superfiring pair and the rear cage mast. Their overall appearance was similar to the Wyoming class ships, with two funnels between two cage masts, and a flush deck arrangement that raised their twenty one 5in guns a few feet higher than on earlier 'stepped' designs. In one respect they were a step backwards - concerned about the lower cruising range offered by turbines, the US Navy reverted to triple expansion engines on the two New York class ships.

Both ships were laid down in 1911, launched in 1912 and commissioned in 1914. They were both involved in the occupation of Veracruz in 1914, and served with the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet late in the First World War. During the Second World War both were used in the Atlantic, at Iwo Jima and at Okinawa. The New York was used as a target ship during the Bikini nuclear tests, survived and was scrapped after two years of studies. The Texas was decommissioned in 1948 and presented to the State of Texas, where she survives as the oldest dreadnought battleship in the world.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



7,060nm at 10kts

Armour – belt


 - lower casemate


 - upper casemate


 - armour deck


 - turret faces


 - turret tops


 - turret sides


 - turret rears


 - barbettes

10in and 12in

 - coning tower


 - coning tower top





95ft 6in


Ten 14in guns in twin turrets
Twenty one 5in guns
Four submerged beam 21in torpedo tubes

Crew complement


Ships in Class


USS New York (BB 34)

Sunk 8 July 1948

USS Texas (BB 35)

Museum Ship

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 September 2011), New York class battleships ,

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