Ironclad warship

The first battle between ironclads: (left) vs. USS Monitor, in the March 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads
, the first steam battleship
A Paixhans naval shell gun. 1860 engraving.
French Navy ironclad floating battery, 1854. This ironclad, together with the similar Tonnante and Dévastation, vanquished Russian land batteries at the Battle of Kinburn (1855).
Mexican frigate Guadalupe 1842
Model of the French (1858), the first ocean-going ironclad
(1860), Britain's first seagoing ironclad warship
Officers of a monitor-class warship, probably USS Patapsco (1862), photographed during the American Civil War.
United States Navy ironclads off Cairo, Illinois, during the American Civil War.
USS Cairo, an example of a City-class ironclad gunboat
The fleets engaging for the Battle of Lissa
Punch cartoon from May 1876 showing Britannia dressed in the armor of an ironclad with the word Inflexible around her collar and addressing the sea god Neptune. Note the ram sticking out of Britannia's breast plate. The caption reads: OVER-WEIGHTED. Britannia. "Look here, Father Nep! I can't stand it much longer!  Who's to 'rule the waves' in this sort of thing?"
Breech-loading 110-pounder Armstrong gun on HMS Warrior
The reloading mechanism onboard HMS Inflexible
The obturator invented by de Bange allowed the effective sealing of breeches in breech-loading guns.
The conventional broadside of 68-pounders on of 1860
A barbette of
Barbette of the French ironclad Vauban (1882–1905)
The French (1876), the first battleship to use steel as the main building material
The iron-and-wood armor of
under sail
French armored floating battery.
, after the replacement of her sailing masts with 'military masts'
The Battle of Iquique, where Peruvian ironclad sunk the Chilean wooden corvette Esmeralda
Loa being fitted after its conversion in the Callao harbour, 1864
The Confederacy's French-built last ironclad was also Japan's first: Stonewall was later renamed Kōtetsu
1904 illustration of H.G. Wells' December 1903 The Land Ironclads, showing huge armored land vessels, equipped with Pedrail wheels.

Steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates, constructed from 1859 to the early 1890s.

- Ironclad warship

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French Navy

Maritime arm of the French Armed Forces and one of the five military service branches of France.

Logo of the French Navy since 1990
The historic "Golden Anchor" symbol
Armament of a frigate in Brest, 1773
Napoleon inspecting the fleet of Cherbourg in May 1811 (by Rougeron and Vignerot)
Battleship, 1943
A Cassard-class frigate
French navy facilities in metropolitan France (status 2015)
La Capricieuse
The in 2005
A French Navy AS365 F Dauphin helicopter
The Toulon band in Brest.
A FREMM multipurpose frigate
EDA-R landing craft
Barracuda-class submarine
Winter Uniform (22)
Summer Uniform (26)
Overseas (25)
Light Duty Firefighter Suit
Gendarmerie Maritime personnel

The French Navy pioneered several innovations in naval technology, including the first steam-powered ship of the line, first seagoing ironclad warship, first mechanically propelled submarine, first steel-hulled warship, and first armoured cruiser.

Wrought iron

Iron alloy with a very low carbon content in contrast to that of cast iron (2.1% to 4%).

The puddling process of smelting iron ore to make wrought iron from pig iron, illustrated in the Tiangong Kaiwu encyclopedia by Song Yingxing, published in 1637.
Schematic drawing of a puddling furnace
The microstructure of wrought iron, showing dark slag inclusions in ferrite

The demand for wrought iron reached its peak in the 1860s, being in high demand for ironclad warships and railway use.

Ship of the line

Type of naval warship constructed during the Age of Sail from the 17th century to the mid-19th century.

as depicted in her fight against the frigate Poursuivante
The carrack Henri Grace à Dieu, from the Anthony Roll
Sovereign of the Seas, a contemporaneous engraving by J. Payne
The Cannon Shot, 1707, by Willem van de Velde the Younger depicts an early 18th-century Dutch man-of-war
(1850), the first steam battleship
Turner's depiction of, hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, ignominiously towed by a little steamship.
HMS Victory in 1884, the only surviving example of a ship of the line
{{HMS|Victory}} at drydock in Portsmouth Harbour, 2007
A contemporary diagram illustrating a first- and a third-rate ship
Mahmudiye (1829)
{{ship|French ship|Valmy|1847|2}} (1847)
Weight growth of RN first-rate ships of the line 1630–1861, including for comparison large early ironclads. Note the way steam allowed an increase in the rate of growth

However, the rise of the ironclad frigate, starting in 1859, made steam-assisted ships of the line obsolete.


Type of warship.

Light frigate, circa 1675–1680
, of Louis Antoine de Bougainville
Gun deck of the frigate
(1817) a restored British 18-pounder, 38-gun heavy frigate
USS Constitution.
, the first iron-hulled armoured steam frigate – the hull survived as an oil terminal dock and was restored to its original appearance in the late 20th century
French paddle frigate
The U.S. Navy patrol frigate USS Gallup (PF-47) at San Pedro, California, on 30 May 1944
Royal Canadian Navy escorting the American aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) across the Pacific Ocean in 2008
The Ecuadorian Navy BAE Morán Valverde, formerly the Chilean Navy's
USS Leahy (DLG-16) departing San Diego, California, in May 1978. She was classified as a guided-missile frigate (DLG-16) until 1975, when she was reclassified as a guided-missile cruiser (CG-16).
of the Royal Navy. Type 23 frigates were built for anti-submarine warfare but are capable multi-purpose ships.
The stealthy of the Indian Navy
The stealthy of the French Navy that introduced the Stealth Technology in the early 1990s
Baden-Württemberg, an of the German Navy; currently the biggest frigates worldwide.
USS Independence (LCS-2), an of the United States Navy
Italian FREMM multipurpose frigates Luigi Rizzo
UMS King Sin Phyu Shin, the second ship of of Myanmar Navy.

In the late 19th century (beginning about 1858 with the construction of prototypes by the British and French navies), the armoured frigate was a type of ironclad warship that for a time was the most powerful type of vessel afloat.

Armored cruiser

Type of warship of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Russian armored cruiser is an example of an armored cruiser.
Schematic of an armored cruiser. Red lines: armored upper and middle decks and side belt. Grey areas: lateral protective coal bunkers. The machinery was arranged in the protected internal void above the double-bottom.
Russian armored cruiser.
Plan and section of from Harpers Monthly Magazine, February 1886.
Schematic of a protected cruiser. Red lines: armored deck and gun shield. Grey areas: protective coal bunkers.
French armored cruiser
Alfred Thayer Mahan, whose book The Influence of Sea Power upon History triggered a resurgence of the armored cruiser.
in 1911
in 1905
USS Maine (ACR-1)
USS Brooklyn (ACR-3) (1898)
USS South Dakota (ACR-9), one of the Pennsylvania class
Japanese armored cruiser Tsukuba
Stern view of, one of the Minotaur class
Battle of the Falkland Islands by W.L. Wyllie

The armored cruiser was developed in the 1870s as an attempt to combine the virtues of the armored ironclad warship and the fast and long-ranged, but unarmored, cruisers of the time.

American Civil War

Civil war in the United States between the Union (states that remained loyal to the federal union, or "the North") and the Confederacy (states that voted to secede, or "the South").

Clockwise from top: Battle of Gettysburg

Union Captain John Tidball's artillery

Confederate prisoners

ironclad USS Atlanta (1861)

Ruins of Richmond, Virginia

Battle of Franklin
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, aroused public opinion about the evils of slavery. According to legend, when Lincoln was introduced to her at the White House, his first words were, "So this is the little lady who started this Great War."
Frederick Douglass, a former slave, was a leading abolitionist
Marais des Cygnes massacre of anti-slavery Kansans, May 19, 1858
Mathew Brady, Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, 1860
The first published imprint of secession, a broadside issued by the Charleston Mercury, December 20, 1860
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America (1861–1865)
Bombardment of the Fort by the Confederates
Rioters attacking a building during the New York anti-draft riots of 1863
Clashes on the rivers were melees of ironclads, cottonclads, gunboats and rams, complicated by naval mines and fire rafts.
Battle between the USS Monitor and USS Merrimack (1855)
General Scott's "Anaconda Plan" 1861. Tightening naval blockade, forcing rebels out of Missouri along the Mississippi River, Kentucky Unionists sit on the fence, idled cotton industry illustrated in Georgia.
Gunline of nine Union ironclads. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston. Continuous blockade of all major ports was sustained by North's overwhelming war production.
A December 1861 cartoon in Punch magazine in London ridicules American aggressiveness in the Trent Affair. John Bull, at right, warns Uncle Sam, "You do what's right, my son, or I'll blow you out of the water."
County map of Civil War battles by theater and year
Robert E. Lee
"Stonewall" Jackson got his nickname at Bull Run.
George B. McClellan
The Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's deadliest one-day fight.
Confederate dead overrun at Marye's Heights, reoccupied next day May 4, 1863
Pickett's Charge
Ulysses S. Grant
Albert Sidney Johnston died at Shiloh
By 1863, the Union controlled large portions of the Western Theater, especially areas surrounding the Mississippi River
The Battle of Chickamauga, the highest two-day losses
Nathaniel Lyon secured St. Louis docks and arsenal, led Union forces to expel Missouri Confederate forces and government.
New Orleans captured
William Tecumseh Sherman
These dead soldiers—from Ewell's May 1864 attack at Spotsylvania—delayed Grant's advance on Richmond in the Overland Campaign.
Philip Sheridan
Map of Confederate territory losses year by year
Burying Union dead on the Antietam battlefield, 1862
Through the supervision of the Freedmen's Bureau, northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Beginning in 1961 the U.S. Post Office released commemorative stamps for five famous battles, each issued on the 100th anniversary of the respective battle.
The Battle of Fort Sumter, as depicted by Currier and Ives.

Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, the ironclad warship, and mass-produced weapons saw wide use.


Naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare.

The Cannon Shot (1670) by Willem van de Velde the Younger, showing a late Dutch 17th-century ship of the line
Assyrian warship, a bireme with pointed bow circa 700 BC
Trireme, a warship used by the Romans and Greeks in ancient times.
Diagrams of first and third rate warships, England, 1728
The French ironclad under sail
The all-big-gun steam-turbine-driven battleship
USS Enterprise (CVN-65) (1961) and escorts
Magdeburg, a German (2008)
Indian Navy destroyer
A German (2006)

The first ironclad warships, the French and British, made wooden vessels obsolete.


Type of warship.

USS Port Royal (CG-73), a guided missile cruiser, launched in 1992
Russian Varyag in the Pacific Ocean
, the Royal Navy's first armored cruiser.
The Russian protected cruiser
HMS Lion (1910)
, a World War I era light cruiser, served as a headquarters and training vessel in Belfast until 2011.
Romanian coastguard cruiser Grivița
Italian cruiser.
USS Atlanta (CL-51).
Russian Navy battlecruiser of the ,
China's latest Type 055 destroyer has been classified by the United States Department of Defense as a cruiser because of its large size and armament.
One cruiser alternative studied in the late 1980s by the United States was variously entitled a Mission Essential Unit (MEU) or CG V/STOL.
of the French Navy, launched in 1961, decommissioned in 2010

The 1860s saw the introduction of the ironclad.

USS Monitor

John Ericsson, designer of the USS Monitor
Model of USS Monitor
Inboard plans of USS Monitor
Transverse hull section through the turret
Side view of the cutaway replica of the turret in the Mariners' Museum, with only one 11 in Dahlgren gun mounted
Launch of USS Monitor, 1862
Commander Worden in 1862
USS Monitor Officers on deck, posed by her armored gun turret, while the ship was in the James River, Virginia, 9 July 1862. The US Navy Library identifies them as, Top row, left to right: Second Assistant Engineer Albert B. Campbell; Third Assistant Engineer Mark Trueman Sunstrom; Acting Assistant Paymaster William F. Keeler; and Lieutenant L. Howard Newman (Executive Officer of USS Galena). Middle Row, left to right: Acting Master Louis N. Stodder; Master's Mate George Frederickson; Acting Volunteer Lieutenant William Flye; Acting Assistant Surgeon Daniel C. Logue; and Lieutenant Samuel Greene. Seated on deck in front, left to right: Third Assistant Engineer Robinson W. Hands and Acting Master E.V. Gager. A similar photograph shows Monitor officer First Assistant Engineer Isaac Newton
USS Monitor engaging, 9 March 1862
Officers at right are (left to right): Third Assistant Engineer Robinson W. Hands, Acting Master Louis N. Stodder, Second Assistant Engineer Albert B. Campbell and Acting Volunteer Lieutenant William Flye (with binoculars).Monitor on the James River, Virginia, 9 July 1862
[Top photo] picture of the USS Monitor crew; [Bottom Picture] Lieutenant Jeffers, second commander of the USS Monitor four months after the fight at Hampton Roads in 1862
Engraving of Battle of Drewry's Bluff
1862 picture of USS Monitor crew; the African American crewman in the right foreground is Siah Carter
Engraving of USS Monitor sinking, with USS Rhode Island (1860) in the background
USS Monitor anchor at the Mariners' Museum
Replica of Monitors turret in the Mariners' Museum as it was recovered
A Navy diver prepares "the spider"
The turret, moments after it reached the surface, secure in the "spider" lifting frame
Funeral of the Unknowns of the USS Monitor at Arlington National Cemetery (8 March 2013)
The USS Monitor Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery marks the grave of the two unknowns
Greenpoint Monitor Monument

USS Monitor was an ironclad warship built for the Union Navy during the American Civil War and completed in early 1862, the first such ship commissioned by the Navy.

Line of battle

Tactic in which a naval fleet of ships forms a line end to end.

A French squadron forming line of battle circa 1840. Drawing by Antoine Morel-Fatio.
British and Danish ships in line of battle at the Battle of Copenhagen (1801)
A contemporary depiction of the Battle of Öland between an allied Danish-Dutch fleet under Cornelis Tromp and a Swedish fleet. The Swedish ships were initially arrayed in line of battle, but became disorganized and were defeated. Copper engraving by Romeyn de Hooghe, 1676.

For a period in the late 19th century, naval tactics became chaotic as ironclad warships were introduced.