Gun from the Infanta Maria Teresa

Contributed by Jerry Doherty

One of the guns of the Spanish Cruiser INFANTA MARIA TERESA is located at Ottumwa, Iowa. The Honotoria 10 centimeter (5.5 inch) gun, one of ten that were aboard the Spanish flagship at the Battle of Santiago , is located at the entrance to the Greater Ottumwa Park's campground. The entrance is located at the intersection of South Wapello Street and Highway 34. The gun is provided with a plaque that reads: "This cannon was taken from the Battleship, the Maria Teresa flagship of Admiral Cervera's fleet in the war with Spain in 1898."
 


A view of the gun, recently repainted by Jerry Doherty and H. Buck Urban. The gun's shield shows damage from the battle.

The gun is apparently the second gun on the port side of the ship - the side of the ship facing the American ships. The charts of hits prepared by the U.S. Navy indicates this gun took a hit to the shield at this location. The steel in the shield is approximately one inch thick. The report on the effects of U.S. gunfire on the INFANTA MARIA TERESA states of this gun:
 

"An 8-inch sheel struck the shield of the second 5.5 inch (14 centimeter) gun, passed through it, ranging aft, and exploded. The effect of the explosion upon almost everything about the decks in that vicinity must have been terrific."

Bibliography:

Howells, Mark Pre-Dreadnought Preservation The Infanta Maria Teresa (this site has images of how the gun looked before repainting and great underwater views of the wreck site.

Clerk of Joint Comittee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. Vol. 4 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899) 576


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