U.S.S. OLYMPIA's Torpedo Room
Dewey's Flagship, OLYMPIA
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This image shows the cew of the Cruiser OLYMPIA
working to maintain its Whitehead torpedoes.
The OLYMPIA had six torpedo
tubes: one in the bow, one in the stern, and two on either side of the
ship. The torpedo was a weapon that was good
in concept, but relatively useless in practice, in spite of the fear
resulting rapid ship redesign it caused. The torpedo mount on the OLYMPIA,
and similar vessels could not swivel or be similarly aimed. The range
less than a thousand yards. Basically, the torpedomen had to wait for
to cross their path at very close range. Of course, if any vessel got
one thousand yards, all of the main and secondary battery would be
at it, and it probably would be destroyed before a torpedo could be
In the the refit of the OLYMPIA, beginning
1899, the torpedo tubes were removed.
(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red
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Alden, Cmdr. John D., USN (Ret.), American
Steel Navy , (Annapolis: United States Naval Institute Press,
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