Battleship Texas (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University)
Battleship Texas, visited by thousands of tourists each year at its berth at San Jacinto, is the lone survivor of the first generation of dreadnoughts, the world's most complex and dominating weapon of the early twentieth century. The ship, the only intact vessel of any nation to have survived both world wars, houses the largest surviving reciprocating engines. When the ship was commissioned in 1914, its class of ship was the most powerful in the worldthe most complex product of an industrial nation just beginning to become a force in global events. Over the years the ship underwent a series of modifications to fit it for contemporary warfare.In World War I Texas operated with British battleships in the North Sea and protected troop convoys. In World War II the ship participated in the American landings at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. On April 21, 1948the anniversary of Texas independenceit was decommissioned and became a state memorial. Beginning in 1988, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sponsored nearly two years of restoration to Texas. The ship was returned to its home dock at San Jacinto in July, 1990, and rededicated in September, 1990. People from around the world can now walk on the decks of this historic vessel.Photographer-writer Hugh Power, under the auspices of the Parks and Wildlife Department, has photographed virtually every foot of the battleship, both before and after restoration. The resulting book is a thorough walking tour as well as a lively history of the ship. His photographs and accompanying descriptions of Texas appear here in the definitive guide to this amazing relic of old-style sea power.