The diplomatic dispute of the Ten Years' War known as the "Virginius Affair" between the United States, United Kingdom, and Spain from 1873 until 1875 prompted the American Navy to pursue a new class of fighting surface ships to be known as the Amphitrite-class. The group was to number five though the fifth example, becoming USS Puritan, was revised and finished off as an entirely new design. The four ships-of-the-class became USS Amphritrite, USS Monadnock, USS Terror, and USS Miantonomoh. All four were completed, invariably served their roles from 1891 until 1919, and were retired and scrapped (none being lost to action).
USS Miantonomoh (BM-5) saw her keel laid down under secret during 1874, her funding formed under the guise of post-Civil War monitor repair. She was launched on December 5th, 1876 and commissioned into service with the United States Navy (USN) on October 6th, 1882. By this time, the age of the monitor had all but passed and the vessel proved both slow, inaccurate, and unsteady in rough seas. Nevertheless, the investment was made and the USN made due with the outgoing design.
As built, Miantonomoh had a running length of 263.1 feet, a beam measuring 55.4 feet, and a draught down to 14.5 feet. She displaced 3,990 tons and held a crew of 150 officers and enlisted. The vessel could make headway at speeds near 10.5 knots with range limited by onboard coal stores feeding her steam engine (used to drive twin screws). Well armed, the warship was outfitted with 2 x 10" (250mm) /31 caliber beech-loading main guns, 2 x 10" (250mm) /34 caliber breech-loading main guns, 2 x 4" (100mm) secondary guns, 2 x 6-pounder guns, and (optionally) 2 x Hotchkiss cannons.
She was decommissioned in New York as soon as March 13th, 1883 to have her construction effort finished which took her into 1891. That year, she was recommissioned on October 27th and spent time up and down the American east coast. She was decommissioned once again on November 20th, 1895, this time in Philadelphia waters.
With the sinking of the American battleship USS Maine, Miantonomoh was back in action on March 10th, 1898. War with Spain was eventually declared to begin the Spanish-American War (April-August 1898) which caused the USN to begin an outright blockade of the island of Cuba, then under Spanish rule. Miantonomoh joined the fleet action on May 5th and served in the role until that August as the war drew to a close - though her limitations in action were readily apparent, mainly her poor range due to the limited coal supply. In 1899, she was decommissioned yet again.
She lay in reserve status until 1906 and then served the Maryland Naval Militia for a time, recommissioned in April 1907 only to be decommissioned once more in December of that year. She was used as a target ship from December 1915 on (her name was struck from the Naval Register as a result) and her remains were sold for scrapping in 1922.
USS Amphitrite (BM-2); USS Monadnock (BM-3); USS Terror (BM-4); USS Miantonomoh (BM-5)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
✓Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
✓Flag Ship / Capital Ship
Serving in the fleet Flag Ship role or Capital Ship in older warship designs / terminology.
Vessel's hull design is such that it can operate in close-to-shore / shallow water environments.
Main armament is housed in primary turret(s) arrangement offering enhanced protection.
263.0 ft 80.16 m
55.3 ft 16.86 m
14.5 ft 4.42 m
1 x Coal-fed steam engine driving 2 x Screws under stern.
10.6 kts (12.2 mph)
kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers
1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
2 x 10" (250mm) /31 caliber breech-loading rifled main guns.
2 x 10" (250mm) /34 caliber breech-loading rifled main guns.
2 x 4" (100mm) rifled secondary guns.
2 x 6-pounder tertiary guns.
2 x Hotchkiss cannons (optional).
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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