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Two vessels in the 1908 American Fleet in Sydney

Date: c 1996
Overall: 591 x 500 x 23 mm, 3 kg
Medium: Print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Peter Doyle
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00027940
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    A battleship and another vessel are shown in this photograph from August 1908 in Sydney Harbour. They were part of the American Great White Fleet conducting a peace time world tour. The fleet was made up of 16 battleships which visited 26 countries between 1907 and 1909. The arriving ships generated an enthusiastic welcome from Sydney spectators and became the focus of public receptions, banquets, parades and ceremonies.
    SignificanceThis photograph records the presence of American naval ships in Sydney Harbour, Australia as part of the celebrated Great White Fleet tour in 1908.
    HistoryIn December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    Australia was not originally on the itinerary route of the Great White Fleet, who only decided to visit after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. Vast arrays of souvenirs were produced for a population caught up in the euphoria.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Two vessels of the 1908 American fleet in Sydney

    Primary title: Two vessels in the 1908 American Fleet in Sydney

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