Jump to content
You need to play a total of 5 battles to post in this section.
InventedThought

Hampton Roads

26 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

40
[WOLFD]
[WOLFD]
Members
344 posts
3,704 battles

Today is the anniversary of the first Ironclad The USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia at the battle of Hampton Roads in 1862. RIP:cap_old:

Edited by InventedThought
  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,459
[REVY]
Members
6,104 posts
5,104 battles

The most famous US draw since Bunker Hill.  Or that one World Cup Match against the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
6 minutes ago, Sventex said:

The most famous US draw since Bunker Hill.  Or that one World Cup Match against the UK.

Well, the British did win at Bunker Hill but at a very high cost because of the frontal assault. The battle itself was tactical victory for the Union because they saved the Minnesota and a strategic victory for the Union because the Virginia never came out again. The Virginia was loaded with shell and the Monitor was firing reduced charges. If the Monitor had been using full charges in her guns and the Virginia had been loaded with shot the battle would have been much different.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
335
[TOG]
Members
2,484 posts
14,960 battles
12 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

If the Monitor had been using full charges in her guns and the Virginia had been loaded with shot the battle would have been much different.

I believe they were worried about the guns bursting from a full charge. The Dahlgrens had a nasty habit of bursting. Inside a turret when that happens? Brrr!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
Just now, Bill_Halsey said:

I believe they were worried about the guns bursting from a full charge. The Dahlgrens had a nasty habit of bursting. Inside a turret when that happens? Brrr!

That was why the lowered charges but the bursting was because of overcharging. At the standard charge they were an excellent naval weapon.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
971
Members
4,545 posts
6,437 battles
2 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

That was why the lowered charges but the bursting was because of overcharging. At the standard charge they were an excellent naval weapon.

Yes they were. Standard charge was safe and dependable. As for the fight being a draw I guess that would be accurate in that neither ship was sunk but the presence of the Monitor did prevent any more of the Northern blockade ships suffering the fate of the Cumberland so I guess you could say she fulfilled her mission.  I got a book I recommend about all this. Monitor by James Tertius dekay. Best I have ever read. Excellent details. I highly recommend it.

Monitor sank in a storm but that was due to the crew foolishly raising the turret and putting caulking under it (they did not know better) where as Ericsson had "specifically designed the Monitor's turret to fit snugly into a watertight brass ring set into the deck, and no packing was necessary".  As a result of this packing, which was not effective, water flooded in at the base of the turret. Details like this are in the book. I never knew the navy screwed up and the Monitor probably sank due to this misguided effort by the crew to seal the base of the turret.... until I read this book.  Good book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
8 minutes ago, dmckay said:

Yes they were. Standard charge was safe and dependable. As for the fight being a draw I guess that would be accurate in that neither ship was sunk but the presence of the Monitor did prevent any more of the Northern blockade ships suffering the fate of the Cumberland so I guess you could say she fulfilled her mission.  I got a book I recommend about all this. Monitor by James Tertius dekay. Best I have ever read. Excellent details. I highly recommend it.

Monitor sank in a storm but that was due to the crew foolishly raising the turret and putting caulking under it (they did not know better) where as Ericsson had "specifically designed the Monitor's turret to fit snugly into a watertight brass ring set into the deck, and no packing was necessary".  As a result of this packing, which was not effective, water flooded in at the base of the turret. Details like this are in the book. I never knew the navy screwed up and the Monitor probably sank due to this misguided effort by the crew to seal the base of the turret.... until I read this book.  Good book.

There are lots of battles through history where the strategic effect was either far greater than the tactical battle would imply or even the opposite of the result. I feel that The Battle of Valcour Island during the American Revolution is an excellent example of losing the tactical battle and winning on the strategic level. Benedict Arnold got creamed in the battle but he delayed the British forced them to hold off their land attack out of Canada for the season.

The sailors and officers of the Monitor brought wooden ship thinking with them and it wouldn't be the last time in the coming years that wooden ship thinking would cause the loss or damage of an ironclad ship.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
971
Members
4,545 posts
6,437 battles
30 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

There are lots of battles through history where the strategic effect was either far greater than the tactical battle would imply or even the opposite of the result. I feel that The Battle of Valcour Island during the American Revolution is an excellent example of losing the tactical battle and winning on the strategic level. Benedict Arnold got creamed in the battle but he delayed the British forced them to hold off their land attack out of Canada for the season.

The sailors and officers of the Monitor brought wooden ship thinking with them and it wouldn't be the last time in the coming years that wooden ship thinking would cause the loss or damage of an ironclad ship.

YUP.  She was so technologically advanced for her day that her crew was just not hip to many of the innovations of  Ericsson's design. Understandable I do reckon.  She was brand new and thrown into that fight pretty quick. That said the crew and the ship did put up a hell of a fight as did Virginia. That battle has fascinated me since I was a kid.  HUGE game changer in the history of naval warfare. Marked the beginning of the end of the long era of fighting sail and that happened pretty quick by the end of the Civil War. 

Oh, as you probably know, those big Parrot guns were the dangerous ones not the Dahlgrens but the one thing was that the Parrot's were rifled but the Dahlgrens were not...smooth bores. 

Edited by dmckay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
4 minutes ago, dmckay said:

YUP.  She was so technologically advanced for her day that her crew was just not hip to many of the innovations of  Ericsson's design. Understandable I do reckon.  She was brand new and thrown into that fight pretty quick. That said the crew and the ship did put up a hell of a fight as did Virginia. That battle has fascinated me since I was a kid.  HUGE game changer in the history of naval warfare. Marked the beginning of the end of the long era of fighting sail and that happened pretty quick by the end of the Civil War. 

A British newspaper corespondent said after witnessing the fight, "Yesterday we had a fleet of 100 ships." which pretty well summed up the drastic change that just dropped on warship design.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles

At least somewhat ironically self propelled armored batteries had been used in the Crimea and both the armored ships HMS Warrior and the MN Gloire had been in service for several years before the fight but the admirals just didn't see their benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
971
Members
4,545 posts
6,437 battles
2 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

At least somewhat ironically self propelled armored batteries had been used in the Crimea and both the armored ships HMS Warrior and the MN Gloire had been in service for several years before the fight but the admirals just didn't see their benefit.

But they did not have revolving turrets correct? That was a huge innovation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
3 minutes ago, dmckay said:

But they did not have revolving turrets correct? That was a huge innovation. 

True but the armor was at least as innovative and the turret didn't completely catch on until the late 19th century. Hampton Roads triggered a see saw competition between the gun maker(offense) and the armorer(defense) that is still going on today with one side or the other coming out ahead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
971
Members
4,545 posts
6,437 battles
2 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

True but the armor was at least as innovative and the turret didn't completely catch on until the late 19th century. Hampton Roads triggered a see saw competition between the gun maker(offense) and the armorer(defense) that is still going on today with one side or the other coming out ahead.

Good informative exchange. Tks.  Now lunch for me and then a nap and then my pub....I am off this week. Take care and fair seas. :Smile_honoring:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
41 minutes ago, dmckay said:

Good informative exchange. Tks.  Now lunch for me and then a nap and then my pub....I am off this week. Take care and fair seas. :Smile_honoring:

Have one for me. I am semi retired and have to work this afternoon. Once I am back home a couple of Summit IPA's will go down good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
156
[RTXN]
Beta Testers
615 posts
4 hours ago, InventedThought said:

Today is the anniversary of the first Ironclad The USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia at the battle of Hampton Roads in 1862. RIP:cap_old:

And John Ericsson - inventor of the Monitor (among other naval innovations) died March 8th, 1889.  

So yesterday was the 129th anniversary.  Hope someone mentioned that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ericsson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
971
Members
4,545 posts
6,437 battles
1 hour ago, BrushWolf said:

Have one for me. I am semi retired and have to work this afternoon. Once I am back home a couple of Summit IPA's will go down good.

Woke up. I teach history at a community college but I may retire this year. I am semi-part time now. 2 days a week I am done by noon and I don't schedule classes on Fridays. It's been a good gig over the years. I mention this because I wrapped up the Civil War last week before this Spring Break. Sadly few of my students have ever heard of the Monitor and Virginia so I showed them that clip that was posted in this thread. Honestly I don't know what is going on in the public schools but they are sure not getting any quality history taught to them. Very little anyway. Most will never earn a living with history but it imparts wisdom and enriches ones life IMO. Moreover, you do not know where you are going if you do not know where you have been.  One good thing is that older former students I see out and about often tell me that now they love history and appreciate it,  but could have cared less at 18-19 years old, and they thank me for sparking their interest in it. 

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,459
[REVY]
Members
6,104 posts
5,104 battles
2 hours ago, dmckay said:

Woke up. I teach history at a community college but I may retire this year. I am semi-part time now. 2 days a week I am done by noon and I don't schedule classes on Fridays. It's been a good gig over the years. I mention this because I wrapped up the Civil War last week before this Spring Break. Sadly few of my students have ever heard of the Monitor and Virginia so I showed them that clip that was posted in this thread. Honestly I don't know what is going on in the public schools but they are sure not getting any quality history taught to them. Very little anyway. Most will never earn a living with history but it imparts wisdom and enriches ones life IMO. Moreover, you do not know where you are going if you do not know where you have been.  One good thing is that older former students I see out and about often tell me that now they love history and appreciate it,  but could have cared less at 18-19 years old, and they thank me for sparking their interest in it. 

I do tear into the reputation of the USS Monitor here.  I found her undeserving of “rendering all wooden navies of the world obsolete”.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
31 minutes ago, Sventex said:

I do tear into the reputation of the USS Monitor here.  I found her undeserving of “rendering all wooden navies of the world obsolete”.

 

She didn't make the obsolete in the same way that the Dreadnought did but after that battle every navy in the world knew that their wooden ships were defenseless against an armored ship. I would say that is obsolete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,459
[REVY]
Members
6,104 posts
5,104 battles
26 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

She didn't make the obsolete in the same way that the Dreadnought did but after that battle every navy in the world knew that their wooden ships were defenseless against an armored ship. I would say that is obsolete.

In some sense the CSS Virginia accomplished that, not the USS Monitor which only made for a handy punching bag as it flailed about during “historic duel”.  The USS Monitor had so many problems, it arrived at the battle a day late and couldn’t stop the carnage of the first day.

Edited by Sventex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
3 minutes ago, Sventex said:

In some sense the CSS Virginia accomplished that, not the USS Monitor which only made for a handy punching bag as it flailed about during “historic duel”.  The USS Monitor had so many problems, it arrived at the battle a day late and couldn’t stop the carnage of the first day.

The two ships did that together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
971
Members
4,545 posts
6,437 battles
2 hours ago, Sventex said:

In some sense the CSS Virginia accomplished that, not the USS Monitor which only made for a handy punching bag as it flailed about during “historic duel”.  The USS Monitor had so many problems, it arrived at the battle a day late and couldn’t stop the carnage of the first day.

DUH................she was not at Hampton Roads the fist day. I mean like ....duh. Have you ever taken a history course?  She did not flail about. Nor was she a punching bag.The Virginia had problems.  Big time.  That is why she broke off the fight. Also, how do you stop sinkings if you are not there yet?  No sinking's after Monitor arrived.  Foolish post..sorry.

Edited by dmckay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,459
[REVY]
Members
6,104 posts
5,104 battles
7 hours ago, dmckay said:

DUH................she was not at Hampton Roads the fist day. I mean like ....duh. Have you ever taken a history course?  She did not flail about. Nor was she a punching bag.The Virginia had problems.  Big time.  That is why she broke off the fight. Also, how do you stop sinkings if you are not there yet?  No sinking's after Monitor arrived.  Foolish post..sorry.

The USS Monitor was the Wunderwaffe of the Civil War, and a lesson as to why you shouldn't build such weapons and rush them into combat.  Designed by madman John Ericsson, the USS Monitor was a revolutionary design, rejected by the Ironclad Board and overruled personally by President Lincoln.  Her sea trials on February 19th were a failure, and she needed to be towed to Brooklyn.  She was commissioned a week later anyway and ordered to Hampton Roads to engage the CSS Virginia.  However, during the journey, the ship proved all but unsteerable as it was discovered that the steering gear was improperly installed.  On March 6th, she left New York for Virginia, where the rising sea caused water to leak into her turret, as well as through the hawsepipe, various hatches, ventilation pipes, and the two funnels, so that the belts for the ventilation and boiler fans loosened and fell off and the fires in the boilers were nearly extinguished over the course of the next day; this created a toxic atmosphere in the engine room that knocked out most of the engine-room crew.  First Assistant Engineer Isaac Newton ordered the engine room abandoned and had the able-bodied crew drag the afflicted engine room hands to the top of the turret where the fresh air could revive them.  Both Newton and Stimers worked desperately to get the blowers to work, but they too succumbed to the noxious fumes and were taken above.  One fireman was able to punch a hole in the fan box, drain the water, and restart the fan. Later that night, the wheel ropes controlling the ship's rudder jammed, making it near impossible to control the ship's heading in the rough seas. Monitor was now in danger of foundering, so Worden signaled Seth Low for help and had Monitor towed to calmer waters closer to shore so she was able to restart her engines later that evening. It was in this terrible condition, that she limped into the Battle of Hampton Roads, after the first day had already concluded. 

 

During the Battle of Hampton Roads, the USS Monitor achieved an astonishing firing rate of 0.125 salvos per minute, using solid shot that failed to cause any damage to the CSS Virginia. The speaking tube used to communicate between the pilothouse and the turret had broken early in the action so Keeler and captain's clerk had to manually relay orders.  As the battle progressed, the Monitor's turret malfunctioned, unable to stop at a given position, so it was left to freely spin around as the crew fired "on the fly".  Her 11" guns were also firing on reduced charges, because her guns were not yet tested enough to risk higher charges.  The greatest success the USS Monitor enjoyed happened when CSS Virginia rammed her, causing more damage to herself then to the Monitor.  By 11:00am, one of her gun ports jammed, causing a catastrophic 50% lost in her firepower and had run out of ammunition, forcing her to retreat.  While rearming, the CSS Virginia was free to set fire to the USS Minnesota.  When USS Monitor return to battle, the pilothouse was struck, blinding the ship's CO.  Around this point, the CSS Virginia's powder was running low, and retreated, while the XO on Monitor did not pursue.

 

"Flailing about" is a generous way to describe the disaster that was this ship.  This ship is so famed for being shot at, since if failed to win any duel before it sunk because it was "too new" for the crew to understand.  We would not celebrate the Apollo program if Neil and Buzz got themselves killed because the LEM was too complicated to understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
5 hours ago, Sventex said:

The USS Monitor was the Wunderwaffe of the Civil War, and a lesson as to why you shouldn't build such weapons and rush them into combat.  Designed by madman John Ericsson, the USS Monitor was a revolutionary design, rejected by the Ironclad Board and overruled personally by President Lincoln.  Her sea trials on February 19th were a failure, and she needed to be towed to Brooklyn.  She was commissioned a week later anyway and ordered to Hampton Roads to engage the CSS Virginia.  However, during the journey, the ship proved all but unsteerable as it was discovered that the steering gear was improperly installed.  On March 6th, she left New York for Virginia, where the rising sea caused water to leak into her turret, as well as through the hawsepipe, various hatches, ventilation pipes, and the two funnels, so that the belts for the ventilation and boiler fans loosened and fell off and the fires in the boilers were nearly extinguished over the course of the next day; this created a toxic atmosphere in the engine room that knocked out most of the engine-room crew.  First Assistant Engineer Isaac Newton ordered the engine room abandoned and had the able-bodied crew drag the afflicted engine room hands to the top of the turret where the fresh air could revive them.  Both Newton and Stimers worked desperately to get the blowers to work, but they too succumbed to the noxious fumes and were taken above.  One fireman was able to punch a hole in the fan box, drain the water, and restart the fan. Later that night, the wheel ropes controlling the ship's rudder jammed, making it near impossible to control the ship's heading in the rough seas. Monitor was now in danger of foundering, so Worden signaled Seth Low for help and had Monitor towed to calmer waters closer to shore so she was able to restart her engines later that evening. It was in this terrible condition, that she limped into the Battle of Hampton Roads, after the first day had already concluded. 

 

During the Battle of Hampton Roads, the USS Monitor achieved an astonishing firing rate of 0.125 salvos per minute, using solid shot that failed to cause any damage to the CSS Virginia. The speaking tube used to communicate between the pilothouse and the turret had broken early in the action so Keeler and captain's clerk had to manually relay orders.  As the battle progressed, the Monitor's turret malfunctioned, unable to stop at a given position, so it was left to freely spin around as the crew fired "on the fly".  Her 11" guns were also firing on reduced charges, because her guns were not yet tested enough to risk higher charges.  The greatest success the USS Monitor enjoyed happened when CSS Virginia rammed her, causing more damage to herself then to the Monitor.  By 11:00am, one of her gun ports jammed, causing a catastrophic 50% lost in her firepower and had run out of ammunition, forcing her to retreat.  While rearming, the CSS Virginia was free to set fire to the USS Minnesota.  When USS Monitor return to battle, the pilothouse was struck, blinding the ship's CO.  Around this point, the CSS Virginia's powder was running low, and retreated, while the XO on Monitor did not pursue.

 

"Flailing about" is a generous way to describe the disaster that was this ship.  This ship is so famed for being shot at, since if failed to win any duel before it sunk because it was "too new" for the crew to understand.  We would not celebrate the Apollo program if Neil and Buzz got themselves killed because the LEM was too complicated to understand.

It was effectively a prototype and more of a proof of concept and was obviously not a sea going vessel. If she hadn't been rushed to Hampton Roads the results of the battle would have been far different.The ROF was normal for large caliber naval guns of the era and the Virginia wasn't limited to about the same. The Monitor's Dalgren guns didn't penetrate the Virginia because they were firing reduced charges in the false belief that the guns were prone to bursting, at full charge they would have been penetrating. Both ships flailed about and the Virginia's only effective hit was a lucky hit on the pilot house of the monitor. Tactically it was a draw but strategically it was a Union victory. The Monitor sunk because the crew treated her like a normal ship. They had raised the turret to put packing between it and the hull not realizing that the turret was designed to be water tight by sitting down into the deck. The packing failed and she went down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,459
[REVY]
Members
6,104 posts
5,104 battles
2 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

It was effectively a prototype and more of a proof of concept and was obviously not a sea going vessel. If she hadn't been rushed to Hampton Roads the results of the battle would have been far different.The ROF was normal for large caliber naval guns of the era and the Virginia wasn't limited to about the same. The Monitor's Dalgren guns didn't penetrate the Virginia because they were firing reduced charges in the false belief that the guns were prone to bursting, at full charge they would have been penetrating. Both ships flailed about and the Virginia's only effective hit was a lucky hit on the pilot house of the monitor. Tactically it was a draw but strategically it was a Union victory. The Monitor sunk because the crew treated her like a normal ship. They had raised the turret to put packing between it and the hull not realizing that the turret was designed to be water tight by sitting down into the deck. The packing failed and she went down.

Yes, both ships flailed about in their duel, but at least the CSS Virginia could claim to have achieved victory on the first day of Hampton Roads, and to have completely terrorized the Union with her existence.  For USS Monitor, options were limited because it was a national emergency, but few ships in history have gotten so many accolades for merely being shot at.  While the USS Constitution bounced shots of her hull, she at least won 2 duels against warships of the most powerful navy in the world, and thus deserving of accolades.  The USS Monitor got into fight before she was properly tested and it was a comedy of disasters until she was finally sunk because of ineptitude.  RIP Monitor 1862 - 1862

Cumberland_rammed_by_Merrimac.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,198
[GWG]
[GWG]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
15,597 posts
9,000 battles
6 minutes ago, Sventex said:

Yes, both ships flailed about in their duel, but at least the CSS Virginia could claim to have achieved victory on the first day of Hampton Roads, and to have completely terrorized the Union with her existence.  For USS Monitor, options were limited because it was a national emergency, but few ships in history have gotten so many accolades for merely being shot at.  While the USS Constitution bounced shots of her hull, she at least won 2 duels against warships of the most powerful navy in the world, and thus deserving of accolades.  The USS Monitor got into fight before she was properly tested and it was a comedy of disasters until she was finally sunk because of ineptitude.  RIP Monitor 1862 - 1862

Cumberland_rammed_by_Merrimac.png

The Virginia definitely won the first day but the second day they didn't accomplish their mission because of the Monitor which had been tasked with defending the Minnesota. The Minnesota survived so the Monitor accomplished its mission. Neither ship was properly tested before going into combat and both had a plethora of flaws. A lot was learned during the short service life of the Monitor which was put to good use in later monitors which were mostly kept to the rivers where they excelled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×