Ironclad Ships


The Battle of Hampton Roads changed the course of naval history. This battle marked the first time that two ironclad warships engaged in ship to ship combat. However the USS Monitor and Popov and the Novgorod. These circular monitors were impossible to control and just drifted around (Greene 351-356). The civil wars in South America also saw widespread use of ironclad warships, especially in Chile and Brazil. The revolutionaries of Peru purchased unfinished Confederate ironclads from England and used them in their war for independence against Spain (Greene 263-274).
The use of ironclad warships predated the United States Civil War. In 1592 the Korean Admiral Yi-sun designed an W d @ K n w ﷓
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The Battle of Hampton Roads changed the course of naval history. This battle marked the first time that two ironclad warships engaged in ship to ship combat. However the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia were not the first ironclad warships that were produced.
The use of ironclad warships predated the United States Civil War. In 1592 the Korean Admiral Yi-sun designed and produced an ironclad warship to counter the large Japanese fleet that was attacking Korea. This ship was designed to repel the Japanese arrows and bullets that were fired at the ship. This ship played key roles in many major victories for the Korean Navy. Steam power was used in warships for the first time in 1850 by the French. The Napoleon was the first warship built with steam power used as its main power. The British followed suit later that year with the HMS Agamemnon. Ship builders believed that steam power would provide enough energy to power ironclad warships. When the Crimean War began in 1853 the Allied navies (Britain and France) saw the need for ironclad warships. The French developed a steam powered ironclad battery. These batteries were little more than floating ships with cannons and iron armor. The armor was brittle and often shattered after two direct hits. The conditions on these batteries were poor and they only saw limited action. The British developed similar batteries but they were only used in the Battle of Kinburn. The two navies began developing true ironclads after the Crimean war. The French produced the Gloire in 1858 and the British followed with the HMS Warrior. The Russians joined in with the Prevenetz in 1859. These were the first true ironclads (Greene 15-35).
The beginning of the Civil War in the United States began concerted efforts by both sides to develop ironclad warships. The Confederate States of America first saw the need for ironclad ships at the onset of hostilities in 1861. Stephen Mallory, the Secretary of the Confederate Navy, saw the need for a southern ironclad and ordered one to be built. The Union Navy had abandoned Gosport Navy Yard in Virginia on April 20, 1861, the day after Virginias order of secession. The major steam frigate USS Merrimack was scuttled and left behind. The Confederates immediately raised the sunken ship and renamed it CSS Virgina, this began its conversion to an ironclad (Gibbons 22). On July 23 of that