USS Maine (ACR-1), commissioned in 1895, was the first United States Navy ship to be named after the state of Maine. Originally classified as an armored cruiser, she was built in response to the Brazilian battleship Riachuelo and the increase of naval forces in Latin America. Maine and her near-sister ship Texas reflected the latest European naval developments, with the layout of her main armament resembling that of the British ironclad Inflexible and comparable Italian ships. Her two gun turrets were staggered en échelon, one sponsoned out on each side of the ship, with cutaways in the superstructure to allow both to fire ahead, astern or across her deck. She dispensed with full masts thanks to the increased reliability of steam engines by the time of her construction.
Despite these advances, the Maine was out of date by the time she entered service, due to her protracted construction period and changes in the role of ships of her type, naval tactics and technology. The general use of steel in warship construction precluded the use of ramming without danger to the attacking vessel. The potential for blast damage from firing end on or cross-deck discouraged en échelon gun placement. The changing role of the armored cruiser from a small, heavily armored substitute for the battleship to a fast, lightly armored commerce raider also hastened her obsolescence. Despite these disadvantages, Maine was seen as an advance in American warship design.
The Maine is best known for her loss in Havana Harbor on the evening of February 15, 1898. Sent to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt against Spain, she exploded suddenly, without warning, and sank quickly, killing nearly three quarters of her crew. The cause and responsibility for her sinking remained unclear after a board of inquiry investigated. Nevertheless, popular opinion in the U.S., fanned by inflammatory articles printed in the "Yellow Press" by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, blamed Spain. The phrase, "remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain", became a rallying cry for action, which came with the Spanish–American War later that year. While the sinking of the Maine was not a direct cause for action, it served as a catalyst, accelerating the approach to a diplomatic impasse between the U.S. and Spain.
The cause of the Maine 's sinking remains a subject of speculation. In 1898, an investigation of the explosion was carried out by a naval board appointed under the McKinley Administration. The consensus of the board was that the Maine was destroyed by an external explosion from a mine. However, the validity of this investigation has been challenged. George W. Melville, a chief engineer in the Navy proposed that a more likely cause for the sinking was from a magazine explosion within the vessel. The Navy’s leading ordnance expert, Philip R. Alger took this theory further by suggesting that the magazines were ignited by a spontaneous fire in a coal bunker. The coal used in the Maine was bituminous coal. The nature of bituminous is that it burns at high temperatures and is known for releasing firedamp, a gas that is prone to spontaneous explosions. There is stronger evidence that the explosion of the Maine was caused by an internal coal fire which ignited the magazines. This was a likely cause of the explosion, rather than the initial hypothesis of a mine
We offer our USS Maine model 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.
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.
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