Spanish American War Website Banner

Cruiser OLYMPIA's Torpedo Room Crew

Dewey's Flagship, OLYMPIA needs your help!! Click here to learn how you can help!
Please Visit our Home Page to learn more about the Spanish American War

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 and resulting rapid ship redesign it caused. The torpedo mount on the OLYMPIA, and similar vessels could not swivel or be similarly aimed. The range was less than a thousand yards. Basically, the torpedomen had to wait for something to cross their path at very close range. Of course, if any vessel got within one thousand yards, all of the main and secondary battery would be directed at it, and it probably would be destroyed before a torpedo could be launched. In the the refit of the OLYMPIA, beginning in 1899, the torpedo tubes were removed.

Olympia's Torpedomen at work


(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red will take you to that book on

Alden, Cmdr. John D., USN (Ret.), American Steel Navy , (Annapolis: United States Naval Institute Press, 1972) 219.

Support this Site by Visiting the Website Store! (help us defray costs!)
We are providing the following service for our readers. If you are interested in books, videos, CD's etc. related to the Spanish American War, simply type in "Spanish American War" (or whatever you are interested in) as the keyword and click on "go" to get a list of titles available through

Visit Main Page for copyright data

Return to Main Page

Return to Olympia Page