The End of a New Beginning Essay

969 Words 4 Pages
Thunderous booms and bangs sounded the evening of February 15, 1898. The battleship Maine exploded on the harbors in Havana, Cuba. Panicky passengers scurried frightened to safety, while some remained trapped, helplessly, with no possible escape. Startled survivors searched for crew members and friends. The battleship which detonated into several pieces sank to the ocean floor dragging rapt wounded and dead. Two-hundred and sixty-six of the three-hundred and fifty-five officers, crew members, sailors, and Marines on board died or drowned in the explosion or shortly after suffering from injuries or shock. The USS Maine was the United States Navy’s second commission battleship; however, Maine was classified originally as an armored …show more content…
Also, they observed that the wind and water were calm on the date of the explosion, meaning a mine could not have been set off by contact. Finally they discovered no dead fish in the harbor which would be expected after an explosion in water. Another very important inquiry was not investigated until 1974, when Admiral Hyman G. Rickover reopened the case. He concluded through studying newspapers, personal papers, and construction information, that a mine did not cause the explosion. He deduced rather, the cause was from an impulsive incineration of coal in the bunker next to the storehouse. He compiled all his information into his book, How the Battleship Maine Was Destroyed. He inferred, “Instances had occurred in which bituminous coal of the type carried in the Maine bunkers had ignited through spontaneous combustion. Such fires were difficult to detect. Often they smoldered deep below the exposed surface of the coal, giving off no smoke or flames, or raising the temperature in the vicinity of the alarm. The bunker of the Maine had not been inspected for nearly 12 hours before the explosion; a period in which experience had shown was ample time for a bunker fire to begin, heat bulkheads and set fire to contents in adjacent compartments.” (Rickover) Finally, National Geographic Magazine commissioned an investigation on the explosion of the USS Maine to honor the centennial of the sinking of Maine. They reached the
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