Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Blaster, Feb 22, 2007.
Talk about any of the ship types mentioned above here.
There were a few still around. The British still had the hulked remains of Warrior acting as a pier. The Americans had Oregon as a museum-type ship, then converted her during the war as a crane ship. Mikasa in Japan remains as a memorial to this day; all the battleships and armored cruisers of the Tsushima battle line were still extant. The Soviets still had some ex-monitor hulls and even an armored cruiser. If you look at the Scandinavian countries and Netherlands, you'll find some Oldies, even some still in active service. The French had Condorcet, a Danton class pre-dreadnought that functioned in the investigation of Richelieu's faulty ammunition. The Italians had an ex-Austrian relic renamed Buttafuoco. The Germans still had a pair of Deutschland class pre-dreads functioning as training ships--in fact, the first naval gunnery of WWII came from one of these ships firing at Polish defenses. Greek's two ex-American pre-dreads. Chile's Huascar. Hm. I'm sure there must have been plenty of other old hulls rusting away, but those are the only ones I can think of offhand.
Yes. Mikasa and Warrior are still around. The rest is new to me. And how did the pre-dreadnoughts, turret ships and ironclads perform, respectively?
By the time of WWII, they weren't performing much at all. Of all the ships listed, only the two German pre-dreads were active combatants in a major fleet, and only because the Germans were so desperate for ships.
The 19th Century saw technology thoroughly revolutionize naval warfare. The advent of steam engines did much to overthrow centuries-old standards of maneuver. Then came iron-cladding, and armor went through a period of fumbling as designers tried to find the best layouts, construction methods, and metallurgy. That was tough enough, but even tougher because at the same time, guns and their mounts were changing. Fire control systems began to appear, meaning that accurate gunnery was possible from a mile away or more.
By the end of the 19th Century, all these things were coming to maturity. Range-finders made their appearance. Armored and roofed turrets were standard, as were shells (as opposed to solid shot). Smaller guns used powder cartridges, and even the largest guns were firing relatively rapidly. Face-hardened armor became a reality.
All these things converged in a new type of battleship, what we now call the dreadnought. This featured a main armament of big guns only, and most dreadnoughts had a new and powerful steam engine called the turbine. When HMS Dreadnought entered service in 1906, all other battleships became obsolescent. Obsolescent in 1906 meant not very useful in 1939, so that's why such ships were rare by then.
A King Edward VII or related pre-dreadnought wouldn't be that useful in 1939 when already rendered obsolete in 1906 by HMS Dreadnought. And seeing that Dreadnought has been surpassed by the QEs, Renowns, etc, anyone in a pre-dreadnought in WW2 may as well surrender upon sight of seeing an enemy battleship.
USS Olympia (Span-Am War) is a museum.
A few of the ACW ironclads can be found in various places in the South. The USS Tecumseh (USN monitor) was sunk in the Battle of Mobile Bay and still sits at it's resting place. Artifacts from it are on display at Fort Morgan at the mouth of Mobile Bay. Come to think of it, I don't know of any ironclad that survived the war that still exists. The only ones that can be viewed are wrecks. As far as I know anyway.
Olympia is a protected cruiser. That means she had no belt armor but only a protective deck to secure her buoyancy. I know of one other protected cruiser still extant, the Avrora serving as a museum at St Petersburg (?), Russia.
It wasn't until the 1890's that advanced steels (Harvey and Krupp types) made armor efficient enough for a fast ship like a cruiser to carry worthwhile belt armor. That's why you see an explosion of armored cruiser construction in the ten-year period of c1896-1906.
The purpose of a battleship is to challenge enemy battleships for control of the sea. For obvious reasons, no one attempted to use pre-dreads in that role during WWII.
If you want a board where these issues are on-topic and you can get more details than a WWII board would allow, you can try the Navweaps site:
De Dutch still have the Zr.Ms Buffel and Zr.Ms Schorpioen (both are museums and were turreted ramming ships or ramtorenschepen).
Schorpioen here at Middelbutg (she now lies in Den Helder)
Here you can find some pics of the Buffel (you have to see the captain's quarters!)
Perfectly true. There are what remains of a couple of Confederate ironclads, mostly what survived of their hulls, on display along with such artifacts as have been recovered as well. One of them, CSS NEUSE, is here in North Carolina, at Kinston. There is also a full-scale replica of her on dry land in the same city.
A Federal river ironclad, USS CAIRO, which was sunk in the Yazoo River in 1862, was raised a hundred years later and partially restored. She can be seen at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The web site for the National Battlefield Park at Vicksburg has some nice photos of her. Someone is building a complete replica of this type of ironclad somewhere in the Midwest. When completed, she will be fully capable of steaming up and down the rivers to whatever destination her owners may have in mind.
It would be so cool to see an operational ironclad!
A few of the ironclads and gunboats built at the yards here and in Selma are still in the Mobile River delta where they were scuttled in 1864/5 before the US Army surrounded Mobile. The only parts that remain are deep in the mud and silt.
Agreed, that would be something to see. I wonder if the Pook Turtle Project has a web site?
There was a group trying to raise money to build a full-scale replica of a Confederate ironclad (probably CSS TENNESSEE) a few years ago, but they seem to have faded from the scene.