The Tennessee-class armored cruisers were four ships built for the United States Navy between 1903 and 1906. Their main armament of four 10-inch (254 mm) guns in twin turrets was the heaviest carried by any American armored cruiser. Their armor was thinner than that of the six Pennsylvanias which immediately preceded them, a controversial but inevitable decision due to newly imposed congressional restraints on tonnage for armored cruisers and the need for them to be able to steam at 22 knots. However, the fact their armor covered a wider area of the ship than in the Pennsylvanias and their increased firepower caused them to be seen by the Navy as an improvement.
The Tennessees were the largest and last American armored cruisers built, a response to foreign developments and the changing notion of the armored cruiser from fast scout, convoy escort and commerce raider to auxiliary capital ship in a battle line, despite its thin armor protection compared to that of battleships. The Battle of Tsushima in 1905 was seen to validate this concept. While they were being built, questions remained in U.S. naval circles over whether they possessed enough speed, armament or armor to perform their intended duties adequately. They were generally considered armed and protected strongly enough to combat an enemy armored cruiser successfully. Even so, it was generally conceded that with this class a limit had been reached and that the modern armored cruiser no longer exemplified the logical principles of attack and defense in warship design, which meant using the most efficient weapon to its desired end. The appearance of the British Invincible-class battlecruisers, with their greater speed and firepower, ensured their obsolescence as fighting units.
Classified initially as armored cruisers (hull symbol: ACR), all four ships in this class were reclassified as cruisers (CA) and renamed by 1920 so their original names could be used for new battleships. USS Tennessee, renamed Memphis, was wrecked while at anchor in Santa Domingo harbor in 1916. The other three ships served in World War I. The Navy considered modernization in 1922 and 1928 to upgrade their speed and fighting capability but this did not materialize. USS North Carolina, renamed Charlotte, and USS Montana, renamed Missoula, were scrapped under the terms of the London Naval Treaty, which set an aggregate tonnage limit for the Navy's cruisers, and the new heavy cruisers of the Pensacola class and subsequent classes were entering service. USS Washington, renamed Seattle, was declassified in 1931 and served as a receiving ship and floating barracks until scrapped in 1946.
We offer our Tennessee class models in several popular size/scale offerings for easy ordering and selection. However, if you would like your model made in a size other than those sizes listed, please contact us with your request. Custom orders are our specialty!
Our cruiser models are made-to-order, meaning that we do not stock any pre-made models. Only when a customer tells us the size and/or scale desired do we build the model. Each model is exquisitely crafted by our master model builders and comes fully assembled with a solid hull - hand carved from kiln-dried mahogany. Other parts are made from a variety of woods, putty, resin and metals. Every model includes pedestals, mounted on a polished mahogany base board. Options include keel block mounting, waterline models, nameplates, ships seals and ribbons, and weathering paint schemes.
The model build time is generally 16 weeks from receipt of the order and deposit. The normal procedure is a 50% deposit with the commissioning, with the balance due prior to shipping. Note that prior to shipping, we take a series of photos of the model and send them to you for final review and approval – so you know exactly what your model will look like and allow for any necessary modifications. Once you have approved your model, we’ll collect the final balance and she will be shipped in a robust shipping crate and insured for your protection.
We offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: In the unlikely event you are not completely satisfied with your model and wish to return it, notify us within 7 days of the model delivery and we will issue a refund or exchange.
FREE SHIPPING in the USA - Note that our model prices include shipping and insurance within the USA.
Shipping costs outside the USA will depend on the model size ordered and shipping destination. You will be responsible for any applicable taxes or duties, based on the commercial invoice value for the model.
Add a museum-like touch to your model display - Consider our protective display case option. Keep fingers and dust away - forever! Please visit our Display Case page to see our selection.
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