Battleship Texas
Military History - Travel Guide
8.5 x 11, 166 pp.
79 b&w photos., 12 line drawings., Gloss.
Pub Date: 12/01/1992
Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University
Price:        $19.95


Published by Texas A&M University Press

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1994 STC Technical Publications Competition, presented by the Lone Star Chapter STC

Battleship Texas

By Hugh Power

Battleship Texas, visited by thousands of tourists each year at its berth at San Jacinto, is the lone survivor of the first generation of dreadnoughts, the world's most complex and dominating weapon of the early twentieth century. The ship, the only intact vessel of any nation to have survived both world wars, houses the largest surviving reciprocating engines. When the ship was commissioned in 1914, its class of ship was the most powerful in the world—the most complex product of an industrial nation just beginning to become a force in global events. Over the years the ship underwent a series of modifications to fit it for contemporary warfare.

In World War I Texas operated with British battleships in the North Sea and protected troop convoys. In World War II the ship participated in the American landings at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. On April 21, 1948—the anniversary of Texas independence—it was decommissioned and became a state memorial. Beginning in 1988, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sponsored nearly two years of restoration to Texas. The ship was returned to its home dock at San Jacinto in July, 1990, and rededicated in September, 1990. People from around the world can now walk on the decks of this historic vessel.

Photographer-writer Hugh Power, under the auspices of the Parks and Wildlife Department, has photographed virtually every foot of the battleship, both before and after restoration. The resulting book is a thorough walking tour as well as a lively history of the ship. His photographs and accompanying descriptions of Texas appear here in the definitive guide to this amazing relic of old-style sea power.

What Readers Are Saying:

" . . . an excellent overview, well-illustrated with vintage and contemporary photographs. . . . interesting and thoroughly researched."—Austin American-Statesman

" . . . a beautiful tribute to the Texas. . . . Anyone interested in the sea or naval history will find this book a delight." --Review of Texas Books

"Some very fine photographs show the Texas as it changed over the years. . . . This book is the result of the author's admitted long-standing love affair with the Texas. It is not sugary or mawkish, however, and is done in very good taste." --N. Brown (Associated Press, NY)

"Besides its excellent text, this book is filled with photographs, diagrams, statistics, and a glossary." --Military

" . . . a good walk-through guide with its many photographs and brief text." --Texas Books in Review

"Both the well-written text and the author's own excellent photographs emphasize the grandeur and power of that formidable engine of war . . . Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Battleship Texas is the author's coverage of the almost continuous series of modifications incorporated into the vessel during her long career, so extensive that the 1945 battleship is virtually unrecognizable as the dreadnaught of 1914. . . . The state and residents of Texas are to be commended for the magnificent restoration of the 79-year-old battleship. Thanks to their efforts, future historians and maritime buffs will have much more than a few old photographs and historical footnotes at their disposal for studying a fascinating era in naval history." --Military History

"From the starkly bare, cage-masted ship of 1914 to the heavily rebuilt ship that bombarded the Normandy coast in the Allied invasion of 1944, the career and changing profile of this last surviving dreadnought, now on exhibition just outside Houston, is meticulously recorded in this authoritative study. With fascinating photos of the ship herself, views of her men and scenes aboard record the life of the one ship that survives to epitomize the dreadnought era." --Sea History

"This book gives a fine description, and a good background. Having tried it himself, this reviewer can appreciate Hugh Power's photographs, which cover everything from masts to engine rooms." --Mariner's Mirror

"Power does not seem to have missed anything of importance, and his comments indicate that he is well-versed on the ship's equipment and history."—Northern Mariner
"Any battleship fan who cannot visit the Texas in its berth near San Jacinto, Texas, will find that this book is a very good alternative. . . . The visual description of a First World War-era battleship that this book provides is excellent, and ought to be an item of great interest to naval history fans in general, battleship enthusiasts, and friends of the BB-35 in particular." --Warship International, no. 2


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