On July 19, 1918, tourists were woven on Long Beach in New York Harbor in the northeastern United States. Although the First World War is still going on, the American people still enjoy the peace brought by the natural barrier of the Atlantic Ocean. The war in Europe seems far away. As a coastal scenic area, Long Beach is attracting many tourists to enjoy the warmth of the sea. At this moment, a large battleship came into people s view. This was the USS large battleship San Diego battlecruiser coming from the Portsmouth Port of New Hampshire in the northern United States.
San Diego was later called. When it was launched in 1904, it was called the California. The ship was officially commissioned in 1907, with a total length of 100 meters and a width of about 23 meters, and its staffing was 829. After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, it officially changed its name to San Diego and became the flagship of the US Navy s Pacific Fleet, cruising on the vast Pacific Ocean. In 1915, the San Diego had to return to the US coastal military port for repairs because of a boiler explosion. After the United States entered the war, it joined the Naval Warfare against Germany. It entered the Atlantic Ocean through the Panama Canal in July 1917 and was responsible for defending US Navy warships.
San Diego is a great pride for the US Navy, with a displacement of up to 15,000 tons. It has both the battleship s body and the cruiser s combat performance. Its biggest advantage is that it has a powerful fire fighting system, equipped with 32 artillery, including 14 150 mm artillery and 18 70 mm artillery. Once in combat, it can violently bombard enemy ships in multiple directions, which can be described as a powerful maritime combat platform.
Now, the San Diego that is entering the crowd s view is escorting a US Navy fleet back to Long Beach New York Harbor, ready to enter the squadron. 183 crew members are excited. However, around 10:00, the sailor in charge of sea observation suddenly found that something on the sea was moving up and down quickly. The warship officers and soldiers believed that this was probably the periscope of a German submarine. All officers and men entered emergency combat status. Captain Christie ordered the artillery to attack. In an instant, each shell flew past, and the water surface set off a huge wave. Soon, the unknown object disappeared. The soldiers immediately felt relaxed. At this time, the danger did not go away.
San Diego continued to drive towards Long Beach. Disaster soon came. At about 11.5 hours, a huge explosion came suddenly under the cruiser. All the sailors were shaken by the huge shock, and some even fell to the ground. Although the explosion occurred underwater, the sound was so loud that nearby islanders and officers at the naval reserve heard it.
The plutonium explosion occurred on the port side of the cruiser s engine compartment. After the huge cave appeared, seawater surged in, and the engine compartment was quickly filled with water. The ship s head began to sink. A sailor recalled afterwards: a huge external explosion exploded the hull below the cruiser s waterline, blasting the bulkhead between the port side engine compartment and the No. 8 boiler room into a twist. Sea water poured in violently and entered the engine room from the boiler room . At the moment of the explosion, three soldiers died immediately.
Other US warships nearby, including destroyers and frigates, saw the accident of the cruiser and hurried over to rescue. However, the cruiser s hole was so large that other warships could not save it from sinking at all. In just 28 minutes, the San Diego sank to the bottom of the sea. Fortunately, other warships carried out timely rescue work. A total of six sailors died and 1,177 officers and men were rescued. In addition, after the cruiser s 28 sailors fell into the water , they swam to the coast. This is a marathon swimming. At a distance of 14 kilometers, the sailors took a long time to swim to the shore. The cruiser captain stayed on the battleship. He was the last to leave until everyone had evacuated when it sank.
After the incident, the US Navy set up an investigation team to investigate the matter. Everyone thinks that the captain is not wrong, he put the warship on alert in time and took effective measures. However, no evidence was obtained on how the cruiser sank . Investigations suggested that the cruiser was likely to encounter a German submarine code-named U-156, or it might have encountered a mine, because the German submarine also later sank. In the end, the US Navy was still unable to determine whether the the San Diego was sunk by a submarine torpedo or was sunk by a submarine-laid mine. Decades have passed and the San Diego has been lying on the ocean floor. Its bizarre sinking is still a mystery. Many people want to know the secret of its sinking, but to date, at least six divers have died while exploring the cruiser underwater. In this way, the cruiser killed 12 people. For a time, the San Diego cruiser became a terrible undersea grave. Perhaps the truth will be revealed to the wo rld as the US Navy has time and energy to salvage the cruiser San Diego in the future.