History of the Nevada-Class Battleship: Oklahoma
Oklahoma was a member of the Nevada-class battleships and belonged to the U.S. Navy's Standard-type battleships' first series. This class of battleships was a response to the rapidly progressing naval warfare technology of the early 20th century, marking a turning point in the history of sea warfare.
Design and Armament
Oklahoma, like her sister ship Nevada, was a pioneer of the revolutionary "all-or-nothing" armor scheme. This design provided a large amount of armor to critical areas of the ship including magazines and engine rooms, meanwhile, less vital areas of the ship were given minimal armor to reduce the ship's total weight.
Her main battery guns were devised for maximum firepower. They were concentrated mostly at the fore and aft ends of the ship—another significant advancement in battleship design of that period—to extend the range and increase the accuracy of her fire power.
Although Oklahoma never engaged in combat during her service period, she holds a unique place in naval history. Primarily used for convoy duties during the First World War, Oklahoma played more of a deterrent role against potential threats.
However, the defining moment in the history of the Oklahoma came during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese fleet on December 7, 1941. During the attack, Oklahoma was hit by multiple torpedoes which caused her to capsize, marking one of the most significant losses for the U.S Navy in World War II.
Despite the tragic fate of the ship, the Oklahoma's spirit lives on in the hearts of American veterans and war historians, serving as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of war, and the bravery shown by soldiers in the face of immense adversity. The revolutionary design of the Oklahoma also set precedence for future battleship designs, marking a significant point in naval history.
The Oklahoma, with its unique design, service, and eventual fate, continues to be a symbol of an era marked by immense technological advancements and warfare upheavals. This iconic ship embodies the transition in naval warfare; indeed, the story of the Oklahoma is the story of a changing world.