The 3 July 1898 Battle of Santiago de Cuba resulted in the destruction of a Spanish squadron and virtually ended the Spanish-American War. It also was the impetus for a naval squabble that, at least in historical circles, rages to this day. The two-year-old cruiser Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser No. 3) was at the center of the controversy.
At the time of the battle, the Brooklyn, the greyhound of the U.S. fleet, was the second-most modern ship in the Navy—the six-month-old Iowa (Battleship No. 4) was the first—and was in a number of ways innovative and intriguing. She owed much to French design in displaying extreme tumblehome. This narrowing of her hull above the waterline provided her amidships turrets a theoretical 180-degree arc fore to aft that allowed six of her eight main guns to fire on any bearing. She was the first ship of the “new Navy” to use exclusively U.S. components for her structure. Her secondary battery was upgraded from the 4-inch guns of the earlier New York (Armored Cruiser No. 2) to 5-inch guns, and she featured a raised forecastle and prominent ram bow for better seakeeping.