Come On, Texas - The Biography of Battleship Texas - Personalized Limited Edition
"She was a ship! The smartest man-o’war afloat, and the best. A hard, tough, salty, shootin’, steamin’ fool. A trophy grabber, a fighter, and a he-man battle wagon."
“This biography of a dreadnaught I have put into the mouth of a naval petty officer-your petty officers are closest to a ship's fibre; they work her with their hands, are officer-like in responsibility, yet one with those all important personages, the non-rated sailors of the lower decks.
The characters, while based on actual types and individuals, have been given fictitious names, as to mention names would have taken us into a literal detailing and crediting that hid the main narrative; it is the ship we are dealing with.
Her own name is true, and it is her own adventure that is told.”
Schubert’s biography of Battleship Texas follows her from her commissioning in 1914 to the start of her modernization in 1925.
He even gives a description of her after that was completed, putting her in the form you know today:
“She’s flagship of the Fleet now, modernized until her old hands feel like strangers in her. Stark tripods, supporting box-like armored battle-tops, have replaced her graceful basket masts.
Amidships she's built up into a bulky citadel, abristle with broadside and anti-aircraft guns. One of her old smoke pipes is gone, like a missing tooth. Her hull is "blistered."
She carries airplanes squatting on flat catapults. Her very cranes have changed their shape.
The old Texas.
And she burns oil.
In our day she was a coal burner. Proud of it. The black gang stoked her by hand and sweat, every black shovelful.”
"If you know what it is to love a ship. . ."
Schubert was a Naval Academy grad, and I guess they taught him how to put his feelings down on paper.
It seems he understood what she was designed for. Over ninety years ago, while she was still in active service, Schubert knew she would be remembered and commemorated.
"Seamen have an old subtle sense of mating with their vessels; for many centuries they have regarded them as feminine, almost living creatures, and had a lively awareness of their individual personalities.
If she is badly shaped, a ship is "cranky," or "stiff," or "hell in the tropics," or "cold." Badly built, she's a thing to be feared.
Occasionally some proud vessel of truly superior qualities comes down to sea . . . and proves herself so to all mariners, her own in particular. The land world hears little of these matters.
Usually, if a ship's name penetrates ashore, it is because of a single dramatic moment which by coincidence has captured the public imagination.
But the nautical world, which knows its queens intimately, acknowledges and remembers them. . . and Texas! Oh, Texas was queen of the Navy. "
Schubert also wrote about her trophy grabbing prowess.
"She struck her stride, and there was no stopping her. By the summer of 1916 she had snatched the Battle Efficiency Pennant from the Michigan.
She had won the Gunnery Trophy, and was number two in engineering the following year she added that prize to her collection.
She was covered with decorations - the meat-ball flew at her fore truck, there was an E on her conning tower, another on her forward smoke pipe; she had E's on three turrets and half the guns of her secondary battery.
Her trophy room was full of silver. Her boats' crews and athletic teams had swept the Fleet.
She was the pride and the despair of the Navy. You had to admire the damned tub, but how in hell were you to beat her?
Ship spirit is a curious thing. In war they call it morale, and it's as important as your guns. In peace it wins trophies; it's the life and breath of a battleship.
Our motto was: "Challenge first, and come on, Texas!"
The book is illustrated with hand cut silhouettes of the Texas by artist Arthur Hawkins.
He designed many classic book jackets of the mid 20th century, including those of works by William Faulkner and Arthur C. Clarke.
These illustrations alone are reason to own the book.
This personalized limited edition is limited to 254 hand-numbered copies, which is one for each county in Texas. The jacket will be personalized with your name, or that of your recipient.
The jacket will be personalized with your name (or any name you choose). Here is how it looks.
- Come On, Texas
- Limited Edition of 254 copies
- Each one is hand numbered
- 262 pages
- Jacket personalized with your name (or any name you choose)