A Conversation for 'The Monitor' and 'The 'Merrimack' Armoured Ships


Post 1

Uncle Ghengis

A good subject, and quite well written.

But I couldn't quite get the bit about "The Monitor had 16 times the deaths of its adversary"... Does that mean The Monitor CAUSED more deaths or SUSTAINED more deaths?

Also, I noticed that there was no metion of some other facts...

The Monitor was perhaps the first ship to use a 'turret' - a rotating structure to enable the 2 guns to come to bear on a target whatever the angle - the precursor of many more modern ships. Indeed she gave her name to a whole class of coastal-defence ships thta were known as 'Monitors'. (Nonetheless, turrets took a long time to become accepted as good design, partly because of the indecisive nature of this very battle - otherwise known as 'the Battle of Hampton Roads'

Merrimack in contrast - had 20 guns which were arranged to fire sideways - as a broadside, a far more conventional design for the day.


Post 2

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

The Monitor sustained more deaths. smiley - ok


Post 3

Uncle Ghengis

Aw. Shame... I hoped that the Monitor (being the more advanced design) would have won...

But as every account I've read says - the battle was pretty indecisive.


Post 4


Sorry it took me too long to respond, I got two entries on the front page the same day smiley - yikes and the other one was a lot worse smiley - smiley and needed some sorting out.

I concur. The monitor should have won, my being from a northern state, I have to admit I was cheering the little guy on from my computer. smiley - biggrin

Some parts of the Monitor were well designed, but others weren't as much. It was like a little raft, in all honesty smiley - biggrin

smiley - blacksheep


Post 5

Uncle Ghengis

I gather the guns were really slow to reload - even for those days!


Post 6


A good article - but a couple of errors. Firstly, Cowper Coles had experimented with turret ships during the Crimean War, continueing to experiment with turret-ship designs from raft form in 1859, through HMS Prince Albert in 1862 until the HMS Captain disaster.


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