This Navy Day in History

The first USS Cincinnati was a City Class Ironclad, commissioned in Mound City, Illinois January 16, 1862. She served during the War of Northern Aggression/Civil war in the Union Navy. Sunk twice and raised twice.

On this day in history, May 27, 157 years ago in 1863, during the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, the USS Cincinnati was dispatched to destroy two Confederate guns that dominated the Mississippi river and were delaying General William Tecumseh’s army from advancing.

USS Cincinnati

Unaware the Confederates had broken the Union code, the USS Cincinnati sailed into a trap and the first shot the Confederates took penetrated the armor, passed through the magazine, and exited the bottom of the ship. In an effort to save his crew, Lieutenant George Bache, commanding, turned the USS Cincinnati back up river and made best speed towards a piece of land he could beach the ship and disembark the crew.

However, before the ship had been evacuated, she came loose and started to slip back down stream. Landsman Thomas E. Corcoran, Boatswain’s Mate Henery Dow, Seaman Thomas Jenkins, and Seaman Martin Mchugh swam back and forth multiple times between the sinking ship and the shore bringing their Shipmates who could not swim to safety. Six crewman were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.


May 27, 1941, the British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off the coast of France with a loss of 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with the loss of more than 1,400 lives.


The Battle of Tsushima Strait was fought on this day in 1905. It was the decisive battle of the Russo-Japanese War. It was also the first decisive sea battle fought by modern steel battleship fleets and the first battle where radio played a critical war. It was also the last battle in the history of naval warfare where the ships of the line of a beaten fleet surrendered on the high seas.

Japanese battleship Mikasa

During the battle, the Japanese fleet under Admiral Togo Heihachiro destroyed  two thirds of the Russian fleet. The Russian loss led to a peace treaty in September 1905.

Russian battleship Retvizan

The Japanese success against the Russians led to further development of their navy, which was obliterated (at huge cost) during the Second World War.


    • There is also the space launch today – weather permitting. US manned space flight will resume.

        • The Dragon capsule will take up to seven people. There are two on this demonstration flight. It’s good to see that we are Making America Great Again. Since President Trump’s election there hasn’t been talk of NASA’s mission to make Muslims feel good about themselves. Not that I want them to feel bad about who they are. I just see a separation between NASA and the feelings of Mohammedans.

          • Little known fact: The later Apollo capsules were designed for up to 5 or six people for use in low earth orbit. But they were never used for more than 3 people.

            Shame we threw all our collective knowledge of capsules away on the Shuttle.

            Read up on some of the whacky next-gen Apollo and Saturn projects they were working on before the whole program was cancelled. You will be astounded, proud and then pissed royally that all of that went away.

  1. Japan- 37 years. 1868 to 1905. From a feudal society walking around with swords and armed with matchlocks, to an modern navy. This has to be one of the most remarkable transitions in all human history. Think of the industrial backstory here- all the supply sources and design and manufacturing base.

    • The Japanese industrial transformation came with huge social costs and it was still trying to complete that when it attacked the US. Victory disease accompanied early triumphs and it led them to make strategic blunders. The book, “Shattered Sword” (about the Midway Campaign) is a good read. The Japanese aircraft industry turned out replacement airplanes at a snail’s pace through the war. But your comments are certainly on point. The industrialization of Japan is a success story on steroids. Their defeat of the Russians so utterly work the world to their arrival as a true world naval power.

      • The ‘justification’ for fire-bombing Japanese cities was that their ‘industry’ was distributed to basically home workshops who supplied parts to assemblers and then assemblies to final assembly plants.

        Thus… burn down everything. Casualties at that point were just a happy side effect.

        The Pacific Theater was not a happy war.

  2. LSP – No Muslim nation had their own manned space program. As I understand it, Barack thought that they felt somehow diminished because “God’s people” were backwards. And he took it upon himself to do what he could to diminish NASA (in effect) to set things right.

    • Well, that just confirms my belief that he was and is an anti-American, communist, asshole.

      Paul L. Quandt

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