Historical Dictionary of the Spanish American War

By Donald H. Dyal; Brian B. Carpenter et al. | Go to book overview

K

KAISERIN AUGUSTA (ship)

Kaiserin Augusta was Admiral Otto von Diedrichs's* flagship, a 6,218-ton cruiser launched in 1892. The arrival of the Kaiserin Augusta caused consternation to Commodore George Dewey,* who was holding Manila Bay* pending the arrival of Eighth Corps* and reinforcements. Diedrichs's arrival increased tensions significantly between Germany* and the United States.


KATAHDIN (ship)

Built by the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine, for the U.S. Navy, Katahdin, of 2,155 tons, was a ship built with one aim in mind: to ram enemy vessels. Antiquated in concept by the time of her commissioning on 20 February 1896, Katahdin was intended for harbor defense. Although the idea of ramming may have been questionable, Katahdin furthered several ideas that came to be associated with another type of vessel, the submarine.

The ram, to do its work, had to strike an enemy below the water line. Katahdin only had five feet of freeboard anyway, but to lower her dish-shaped hull more, the ram employed a double bottom that could be flooded to lower even further the ship's silhouette and ram strike point. As a result of this low profile, in any sea heavier than a calm backwater, Katahdin had to be kept sealed like a submarine. Poor ventilation smothered the crew in 110° F. heat in the wardroom; the engineering spaces were almost uninhabitable. After a fitful year she was decommissioned.

The Spanish American War resuscitated the ram as a putative defense against Spanish marauders on the eastern seaboard. Late in June 1898Katahdin received orders to join the blockade* in Cuba, but before the ram arrived on station, Admiral Pascual Cervera's* fleet was destroyed.

Decommissioned immediately after the war, Katahdin survived until September 1909, when she was sunk as a gunnery target in Virginia.

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Historical Dictionary of the Spanish American War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chronology of the Spanish American War xi
  • A 1
  • B 31
  • C 53
  • D 98
  • E 116
  • F 126
  • G 136
  • H 150
  • I 165
  • J 174
  • K 176
  • L 183
  • M 194
  • N 231
  • O 242
  • P 252
  • Q 272
  • R 273
  • S 286
  • T 316
  • U 331
  • V 334
  • W 341
  • Y 355
  • Z 360
  • Bibliographical Essay 363
  • Index 365
  • About the Editor and Contributors 377
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