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Marshall class: Misc



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The Marshall-class was a type of destroyer which entered service in the Earth Starfleet in 2157. Following the foundation of the United Federation of Planets in 2161, the Marshall-class entered service in the Federation Starfleet and remained in service until 2217. (TOS reference: Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology)


History (Dixon dates adjusted)

The Marshall-class destroyers, or "hammerheads" as it was known due to its distinctive appearance, entered service in the United Earth Starfleet in 2157. The design of these vessels was inspired by the design of the Mars-class sublight destroyers that were in service following Human's wars with the Kzinti.

On October 14 2156 the Marshall-class destroyer, USS Patton was ambushed and destroyed by Romulan forces in the Eta Leonis system. This incident signaled the beginning of hostilities between Earth and the Romulan Star Empire in what became known as the Earth-Romulan War.

Over the next four years, the "hammerheads" were involved in every major battle of the war. In the final engagement of the war at the Battle of Cheron, three over-sized squadrons of "hammerheads" battled the remnants of the Romulan fleets. At the conclusion of the battle, the only spaceworthy vessels were a few remaining "hammerheads". The crippled Romulan vessels were forced to withdraw from the field of battle. Shortly after, both sides began to negotiate a cease fire and peace treaty over subspace radio, and the war was soon at an end. (TOS reference: Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology)

Features and Variants

Over the course of the "hammerheads" service history, three distinct variations of the design came into service. [1] The original Marshall-class destroyers [2] that entered service in 2157, and was well-armed with 22 laser banks, 2 particle beam cannons, and 400 thermonuclear-tipped missiles.

The Marshall-B-class entered service near the end of the Earth-Romulan War and was equipped with more advanced weaponry than the Marshall-class with upgraded particle beam cannons that were mounted on 360° swivel turrets. It was later suggested that the presence of Marshall-B-class destroyers at the Battle of Cheron, including the USS Hannibal, which served as Admiral Alexander Hamilton's flagship, helped Starfleet win the engagement.

The third variant was the Patton-class, named after the USS Patton which was lost at the start of the Earth-Romulan War]], which entered service in the 2180s. This design was brought into service to cover the "technology gap" in starship design, and was equipped with phasers and photon torpedoes. However, the Patton-class still retained the thermonuclear missiles as a contingency measure.

In 2207, Starfleet began decommissioning the aging Marshall and Marshall-B destroyers, with the famed USS Hannibal being the last ship to be decommissioned in 2217. The uprated Patton-class destroyers remained in service to the Starfleet Reserve until the mid-2230s, by which time they were either sold on or scrapped.

The fate of many Marshall-class vessels which were sold remain unknown, but of a few which was known: the class ship, USS Marshall, was sold to a private collector; the USS Hannibal was put on display at the Federation Air and Space Museum on Terra; and a few vessels remained in service with non-Starfleet services in the Federation as police cruisers and planetary defense vessels. (TOS reference: Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology)

Known vessels

Miscellaneous information

  • In all the Marshall-class and her variants were one of the longest serving starship classes, as well as having one of the largest build numbers. [3]
  • By the time they were retired all of the "hammerheads" had upgraded warp engines. The Patton class was built with warp engines and most sources agree that the older Marshalls were built with them as well. They had a normal cruising speed of warp 3.5 and a top emergency speed of warp 3.8.
  • There are two reasons why the "hammerheads" stayed in service with Star Fleet for so long. First, the battle cruiser class that was meant to replace it after the Romulan War failed its acceptance tests and was cancelled. Second, the failure of the Tritium class cruiser in the 2180s meant that Star Fleet had to start its next-generation starship programs at that time over from scratch. The introduction of the uprated Patton class around the same time helped the exiting "hammerheads" cover this four decade Star Fleet "technology gap" until the Baton Rouge-class (and its modular component system) came along.
  • The original Marshall class was named after famous Earth military figures. Ships in the Marshall-B and Patton classes included names of non-Terran military figures as well. Many of these names would be recycled for Star Fleet's Class I destroyer program after the "hammerheads" were decommissioned.
  • The University-class training ship was derived from the Marshall design. (TOS reference: Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology)
  • In their final days as reserve ships several Pattons were used to test weapons, computer systems, and other components for the Baton Rouge program. A few also would up being gunnery training and target ships.
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Notes and references

  1. The dates for the introduction of the variants, vary according to their sources.
  2. As depicted in the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology
  3. Between 260 and 2600, depending on the source


Titan Fleet Yards has a redrawing of the Mashall class (and Mann and other classes) with more standard Starfleet coloration and markings.


This article uses material from the "Marshall class" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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