The Monitor and Merrimac - The First Fight Between Ironclads (1886)

The Monitor and Merrimac – The First Fight Between Ironclads (1886)

“Ironclads were steam-propelled warships protected by armor plates. The rapid pace of change in the ironclad period meant that many ships were obsolete as soon as they were complete”

- Wikipedia

Ironclads, 1859-1899

About The Author

Avatar of Chris

Goggles aficionado. Retronaut’s founder and curator.

5 Responses

  1. Pyro

    Good stuff. Needs more Russian and French pre-dreadnoughts, though – they were some really bizarre ships.

    • qka

      Similar appearance, true. But reduced radar signature was hardly a concern in the 1860s.

      The true antecedents of modern warships were the monitors (the USS Monitor was the first, on the right in the last picture). They introduced the rotating gun turret, still in use, even on the Zumwalt-class destroyers.

  2. qka

    Larger versions of the photos, with details, here:

    More American Civil War photos:

    American Civil War stereographs:

    PS – Properly speaking, the first Confederate ironclad wasn’t the Merrimack, but rather was the CSS Virginia. The USS Merrimack was a wooden steam and sail frigate. It was burned and sunk by Union forces while at the Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia, when Virginia seceded from the United States. The Confederates raised the hull and converted it to the CSS Virginia.

  3. Paul Boos

    I’d like to correct one photo’s caption:
    “The Monitor and Virginia – The First Fight Between Ironclads”

    The Merrimac was salvaged by the Confederacy and put into working order as the Virginia. The Merrimac was the Federal name for it.

    Nice collection and I’d love to see some Turkish, Russian, and other nationalities in this collection.



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