USS Mississippi (Battleship No. 23), the lead ship of her class of battleships, was the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the U.S. state of Mississippi. After her career in the USN, she was sold to Greece and renamed Kilkis in 1914. Kilkis was sunk by German bombers in April 1941.
Her keel was laid down on 12 May 1904 by William Cramp & Sons of Philadelphia. She was launched on 30 September 1905 sponsored by Miss Mabel Clare Money, daughter of United States Senator Hernando D. Money of Mississippi, and commissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 1 February 1908, Captain J.C. Fremont in command. Mississippi and her sister Idaho were designed in response to Congressional desire to cap the growth and expense of new battleships, whose size and cost had increased dramatically since the first US battleships, the Indianas of 1893, had been authorized. Displacement was limited to 13,000 tons (13,200 metric tons), a reduction of 3,000 tons (3,000 metric tons) from the prior Connecticut class.In terms of design, the two ships were essentially a reduced version of the Connecticuts which had preceded them, and by comparison with which they sacrificed 1 kn (1.2 mph; 1.9 km/h) of speed, four 7 in (178 mm) guns, eight 3 in (76 mm) guns, two torpedo tubes and some freeboard. They were indifferent sea boats and were obsolete upon commissioning in consequence of the advent of HMS Dreadnought.Though intended to recapitulate in steel and steam the concept of the 74-gun third-rate, which had formed the backbone of the sailing battle fleets of the previous century, the tactical and technical calculus of early 20th century naval warfare had made the third-rate concept obsolete; to be viable, a battle line needed to consist entirely of what could be considered first-rate units.This combination of Congressional displacement restrictions and a flawed tactical premise produced a class that was never satisfactory in US service. They were close to being second-class units at a time and in a navy which could neither afford to tie up tonnage and money in second-tier designs nor place such vessels in its battle line. Wiki
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