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The Evolution of the American Battleship - Kansas

Historical Background

In the tumultuous aftermath of World War I, the world bore witness to exponential leaps in technology and militarian advancement. One such design that came to prominence in this era was the American battleship Kansas. This conceptual warship was to be an embodiment of lessons learned and a vision of the future. Interestingly, Kansas was not a real ship but an enhanced blueprint that left an indelible mark on subsequent warship designs.

Inspired by the Colorado Class

Kansas drew much inspiration from the formidable Colorado class. In overall appearance, she bore much resemblance to her predecessor, carrying over the general structure in her hull, funnels, and bridge superstructure. However, she was not just a mere replication; Kansas was a deliberate improvement fortified with amplified armament.

Enhanced Weapons and Armament

Kansas set herself apart primarily with her more powerful weaponry. While details of this theoretical augmentation in firepower remain a subject of interpretation, the natural progression suggests an array of increased-calibre main guns, improved secondary armament, and advanced fire control systems enhancing her overall combat capabilities. In addition, the designers also envisaged a reinforced armour belt and superior torpedo defence, adaptations that would have made Kansas a veritable floating fortress.

The Apex of "Standard" Battleships

Kansas was considered a pinnacle of "standard" American battleships, an impressive statement considering the likes of the Tennessee, Nevada, and Pennsylvania classes were included in this category. The premise of the "standard" type was for a series of warships to have similarities in their tactical capabilities, allowing them to operate as a coherent group. Kansas was meant to elevate this standard, taking into account ongoing technological advancements, thus signifying the U.S. Navy's evolution in battleship design.


Though never realised in steel and rivets, Kansas's influence can be seen in later designs that became the vanguards of the U.S. Navy's battleship fleet. Although World War I had concluded, the increasing tensions leading to World War II demanded continued innovation in naval prowess, and the concept of Kansas paved the way for new class of warships sturdier and fiercer than ever.

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