Fact of the Day: USS Monitor

469030-uss-monitor-public-domain-imageToday we consider the USS Monitor, an ironclad warship built to counter the CSS Virginia.  The Monitor (  designed by John Ericson ) displaced 987 tons and had  dimensions of 172 x 41.5 x 10.5 feet Propulsion was provided by Ericsson VL engines, using 2 boilers, producing 320 horsepower. The ship had one shaft and could make 6 knots. She carried a crew of 49. Her armor  was iron, 2-4.5 inch on the sides with  1 inch deck armor.  But what was most revolutionary was her turret ( seen above ). Carrying 8-9 inches of armor, the turret contained two 11-inch Dahlgren smoothbore cannons.

Over two days, March 8-9, 1862, the Monitor fought the CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, VA,. The battle was indecisive, the two ships essentially returned to home ports and the blockade remained in place. The Virginia was burned by the Confederates in May 1862, the Monitor sank in a storm while under tow off Cape Hatteras on December 31, 1862.   ( source US Navy )

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