The Mighty Arsenal: USS Texas BB-35's 14-Inch Guns - Power and Precision
The USS Texas (BB-35), a battleship that served with distinction in both World Wars, was renowned for its formidable main armament of 14-inch guns. These massive weapons were a symbol of American naval power, capable of delivering devastating blows to enemy targets. This article delves into the impressive capabilities of the USS Texas' 14-inch guns, highlighting their power, precision, and the impact they had on the ship's role in naval combat.
A Formidable Arsenal:
The USS Texas boasted ten 14-inch/45 caliber guns, mounted in five twin turrets along the battleship's centerline. These guns were the primary armament of the ship, providing the vessel with tremendous firepower and the ability to engage targets at great distances. Each gun measured over 50 feet in length and weighed a staggering 147,000 pounds, reflecting the immense power they possessed.
Long-Range Engagement:
The range of the USS Texas' 14-inch guns was a testament to their effectiveness. Capable of firing projectiles over 23 miles, these guns could strike targets on land, at sea, or even shore installations with remarkable accuracy. The ability to engage the enemy from a significant distance gave the USS Texas a strategic advantage, allowing it to deliver devastating blows while remaining relatively safe from enemy fire.
Armor-Piercing Precision:
The 14-inch guns of the USS Texas were specifically designed to penetrate enemy armor. Each shell, weighing approximately 1,400 pounds, packed a lethal punch. The guns could fire a variety of ammunition types, including armor-piercing shells, high-explosive projectiles, and even naval mines. The armor-piercing shells were particularly effective against heavily fortified targets, allowing the battleship to cripple enemy vessels or neutralize coastal defenses.
Crew Expertise and Coordination:
Operating the 14-inch guns required a skilled and coordinated crew. From loaders to gunners, each crew member had a specific role to ensure the seamless operation of the weapons. The crew had to load the shells, adjust the gun's elevation and traverse, and fire the weapon with precision timing. Their expertise and efficient teamwork were critical in the heat of battle, where split-second decisions could determine the outcome.
Firepower in Action:
The USS Texas' 14-inch guns saw action in numerous engagements during both World Wars. From shore bombardments to engaging enemy battleships, these guns played a pivotal role in the battleship's missions. Notable examples include the support provided during the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day and the shelling of the French coast during World War I.
Legacy and Preservation:
Today, the USS Texas stands as a museum ship, offering visitors a chance to witness the might of its 14-inch guns firsthand. While no longer in operational use, the preserved guns serve as a testament to the technological advancements and firepower of early 20th-century naval warfare. Visitors can explore the turrets, experience the scale of these impressive weapons, and gain a deeper understanding of the USS Texas' historical significance.
The 14-inch guns of the USS Texas BB-35 battleship were a fearsome force to be reckoned with. Their power, range, and precision made the USS Texas a formidable adversary on the seas. These guns and the skilled crew who operated them played a vital role in the battleship's history, cementing its legacy as a symbol of American naval power. The preserved guns on the museum ship allow visitors to appreciate the immense firepower that defined the USS Texas during its active service and gain a deeper appreciation for the ship's historical significance.

SAN JACINTO WEATHER of the museum where USS Texas is located