USS Texas BB-35's 21 × 5 in (127 mm)/51 Caliber Guns
The USS Texas (BB-35) stands tall as one of the most iconic battleships in American naval history. Armed with a formidable array of weaponry, the ship boasted an impressive battery of 14-inch and 5-inch guns. In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of the USS Texas' 21 × 5 in (127 mm)/51 caliber guns, exploring their specifications, capabilities, and their role in shaping the ship's legacy.
  1. Evolution of Naval Artillery: The development of naval artillery played a pivotal role in naval warfare. As technology advanced, battleships sought to improve their armament to gain an edge in combat. The 5-inch/51 caliber guns on the USS Texas were the result of continuous evolution and refinement in naval artillery design.
  2. Specifications: The 5-inch/51 caliber guns on the USS Texas were characterized by their impressive dimensions and firepower. The "51 caliber" signifies that the barrel length is 51 times the bore diameter, which, in this case, was 5 inches (127 mm). This longer barrel provided improved range and accuracy compared to earlier designs.
  3. Firepower and Ammunition: The 5-inch/51 caliber guns boasted exceptional firepower. They were capable of firing a variety of ammunition, including high-explosive (HE) shells, armor-piercing (AP) shells, and anti-aircraft (AA) rounds. The versatility of these guns made them vital in engaging a wide range of targets.
  4. Range and Accuracy: The 5-inch/51 caliber guns had an impressive range, allowing the USS Texas to engage enemy vessels and shore installations from a considerable distance. The longer barrel length provided a higher muzzle velocity, resulting in greater accuracy and a flatter trajectory for the projectiles.
  5. Anti-Aircraft Defense: One of the primary roles of the 5-inch/51 caliber guns was anti-aircraft defense. The guns were capable of engaging enemy aircraft, providing vital protection to the ship and its crew. Equipped with advanced fire control systems, the USS Texas' 5-inch guns could track and engage fast-moving aerial targets.
  6. Role in Naval Battles: During World War II, the USS Texas saw action in numerous major naval battles, including the D-Day landings at Normandy and the Battle of Iwo Jima. The 5-inch/51 caliber guns played a crucial role in providing fire support to troops on land, engaging enemy shore installations, and contributing to the ship's self-defense against enemy surface vessels and aircraft.
  7. Crew and Training: Behind every powerful naval gun, there is a dedicated crew. The sailors serving on the USS Texas underwent extensive training to operate and maintain the 5-inch/51 caliber guns efficiently. Their expertise ensured the guns were ready for action at a moment's notice.
  8. Legacy and Preservation: The USS Texas, now a museum ship, stands as a testament to the significant role it played in American naval history. The 5-inch/51 caliber guns serve as a reminder of the technological advancements and the bravery of the men who manned them. Preserving the ship allows future generations to experience and appreciate the historical significance of these powerful weapons.
Conclusion: The USS Texas BB-35's 21 × 5 in (127 mm)/51 caliber guns were a critical component of the battleship's arsenal. Their impressive firepower, range, and accuracy made them versatile and formidable weapons. From engaging enemy vessels to providing anti-aircraft defense, these guns played a pivotal role in naval battles during World War II. Today, the USS Texas and its guns stand as a symbol of American naval strength and the brave men who served aboard her.
SAN JACINTO WEATHER of the museum where USS Texas is located