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Maine is best known for her loss in Havana Harbor on the evening of 15 February 1898. The cause and responsibility for her sinking remained unclear after a board of inquiry investigated. S., fanned by inflammatory articles printed in the "yellow press" by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, blamed Spain. While the sinking of Maine was not a direct cause for action, it served as a catalyst, accelerating the approach to a diplomatic impasse between the U. In 1898, an investigation of the explosion was carried out by a naval board appointed under the Mc Kinley Administration.
The consensus of the board was that Maine was destroyed by an external explosion from a mine.
However, the validity of this investigation has been challenged. Melville, a chief engineer in the Navy, proposed that a more likely cause for the sinking was from a magazine explosion within the vessel. Alger, took this theory further by suggesting that the magazines were ignited by a spontaneous fire in a coal bunker.
The coal used in Maine was bituminous coal, which is known for releasing firedamp, a gas that is prone to spontaneous explosions.
Despite these advances, Maine was out of date by the time she entered service, due to her protracted construction period and changes in the role of ships of her type, naval tactics and technology.
It took nine years to complete, and nearly three years for the armor plating alone.
The two sides remained essentially deadlocked until Riachuelo manifested.
The chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, Hilary A. Navy could not challenge any major European fleet; at best, it could wear down an opponent's merchant fleet and hope to make some progress through general attrition there.
Not everything over there is fully functional yet, and the internal links still point to this blog, and will for the indefinite future.
So all the old material will be left here for archival purposes, with comments turned off.
There is stronger evidence that the explosion of Maine was caused by an internal coal fire which ignited the magazines.
This was a likely cause of the explosion, rather than the initial hypothesis of a mine.
A year later the Bureau of Construction and Repair (C & R) presented two designs to Secretary of the Navy William Collins Whitney, one for a 7,500-ton battleship and one for a 5,000-ton armored cruiser.