|Coupled with these advanced features, were some regressive features, required compromises as a result of the displacement limit. At 452 feet in length, Michigan was
only 12 feet longer than then Connecticut Class predreadnought. The maximum speed of the predreadnoughts was 18 knots, so that was the designed speed for the
Michigans that were constructed with Vertical Triple Expansion steam engines instead of the turbines, which gave the Dreadnought a speed of 21 knots. The
displacement limit also gave the amidships superstructure of the Michigan a piled-up look very similar to the USN predreadnoughts. "The two ships when completed
will, in appearance, be distinctly different from any of our other battleships. The most noticeable feature, of course, will be the four 12-in. turrets and their guns,
mounted in pairs on the axial line of the ship, two forward and two aft of the superstructure. The doubling up in the number of 12-in. turrets, and the placing of
them one ahead of the other, has necessarily shortened the length of the superstructure, and crowded the masts, smokestacks, etc., into a shorter space amidships,
a fact which is readily noticeable on looking at the engraving of the new ships. In order to save weight the freeboard of the ship has been reduced by the depth of
one deck, or about 8 ft., from aft of the superstructure to the stern." The Scientific American, reprinted in the Naval Annual 1907 at page 32.
The Scientific American had criticized the superfiring design earlier because of anticipated serious effects of blast of the upper pair but by 1907 had changed its tune.
"We are informed, however, that particular attention has been given by the Navy Department to this difficulty, and that by virtue of the improved sighting ports
and the closely-fitting port shields employed, and other arrangements, it will be possible, in an emergency, to fire any of these 12-in. guns in any position of
training without serious interference with the work of the other gun crews. If this should prove to be the case, our Navy Department will be the subject for
congratulation on having produced, in proportion to their displacement, by far the most powerful fighting ships built or building in the world today; for it must
be remembered that these vessels are of but 16,000 tons displacement, while the latest battleship designs of other Governments are of from 18,000 to 19,000 tons
displacement." The Naval Annual 1907 at pages 33 and 34.