1907 – The American Great White Fleet begins its circumnavigation of the world
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the group of United States Navy battleships which completed a journey around the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of United States President Theodore Roosevelt.
Its mission was to make friendly courtesy visits to numerous countries while displaying new U.S. naval power to the world.
It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts.
Beginning in the 1880s with just 90 small ships, over one-third of them wooden and therefore obsolete, the navy quickly grew to include new steel fighting vessels.
The hulls of these ships were painted a stark white, giving the armada the nickname “Great White Fleet”.
Extra Note: The cruise of the Great White Fleet provided practical experience for US naval personnel in sea duty and ship handling. It also showed the viability of US warships for long-range operations as no major mechanical mishaps occurred.
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