Laird Rams and the CSS Stonewall

ebg12

Corporal
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#81
We really don't know how the Fawcett & Preston guns would have been mounted, but I'm guessing on Captain Blakely's patent iron carriages. They worked well on land, and I think off the top of my head either Alabama and or Shenandoah had them at sea. Incidentally Dawson's comments on the 95cwt 68pdr at sea are totally at variance with the accounts by HMS Warrior's gunnery officer.
I think if the lairds rams were commissioned in the Confederate Navy they would have been able to "close in" on any Union Wooden Ship and "blast it to pieces" without really having to aim. But the Shenandoah was efficient in sinking ships with its guns, so I imagine the laird rams would be too.
 

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rebelatsea

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#82
I think if the lairds rams were commissioned in the Confederate Navy they would have been able to "close in" on any Union Wooden Ship and "blast it to pieces" without really having to aim. But the Shenandoah was efficient in sinking ships with its guns, so I imagine the laird rams would be too.
Well the Blakely's were pretty good guns ,but a gun is only as good as it's crew.
 
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#83
Further to the above it appears that Bulloch was responsible for the basic idea for all these vessels
CDR Bulloch’s ironclad

One night in England, Bulloch sat down with paper, pencil and a ruler and designed a warship the likes of which the world had never seen. Bulloch drew a combat vessel that could sink the entire U.S. Navy, then sail unopposed to New York City and Philadelphia, blasting those ports at will. The vessel would have two revolving gun turrets in the style of the Union's Monitor, a few rifled British cannons along her sides, and steel armor 4.5 inches thick along the hull and 10 inches thick for the gun turrets. Gatling guns would be added later. Some 250 feet long, the iron ship was to be powered by two 350 horsepower steam engines, giving it a speed of over 10 knots. Sail masts and rigging were added, in case she ran out of coal. For her bow, Bulloch placed a reinforced wrought-iron battering ram just at water level. Indeed the ship was soon aptly referred to as a Ram. "I designed these ships for something more than harbor or even coastal defense, and I confidently believe, if ready for sea now, they could sweep away the entire blockading fleet of enemy vessels," Bulloch wrote in 1863.
This projected vessel is the link between what Mallory wanted, North’s ironclad and the Laird rams.
The plan below by the author gives some idea of it’s appearance had it been constructed..
View attachment 110471
Hi Rebel - as drawn are these vessels using an ironed "belt" on the water line and vertically in the area of the broadside fixed guns? It almost seems to me it is a citadel design protecting the machinery and ordnance, but accepting the proposition of damage fore and aft of the citadel and above the belt. I'm wondering about such a trade-off with damage above the belt and in heavy seas. Is the whole hull of metal and compartmented?
 
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#84
So, did some reading on this, as I found I had a Ph.D. thesis about the Laird Rams on my HD. (Online? Yes, here)
Very many thanks for that .That thesis is very, very interesting and contains a lot if information that neither I not I reckon most authors I've read have never seen. I have skimmed through once, and will have a detailed read later on.
Thank you very much for the Thesis also.
I too found this thesis very interesting.

Normally . . . no matter the topic . . . even an abstract or 'intro' to such, put's me to sleep.
 

rebelatsea

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#85
Hi Rebel - as drawn are these vessels using an ironed "belt" on the water line and vertically in the area of the broadside fixed guns? It almost seems to me it is a citadel design protecting the machinery and ordnance, but accepting the proposition of damage fore and aft of the citadel and above the belt. I'm wondering about such a trade-off with damage above the belt and in heavy seas. Is the whole hull of metal and compartmented?
Yes they were iron hulled, divided into six main compartments amidships with smaller ones at bow and stern, wing passages and a double bottom form turret to turret. The armour was a complete belt extending from bow to stern, four feet deep below water and extending to the weather deck.
 

Carronade

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#86
I think if the lairds rams were commissioned in the Confederate Navy they would have been able to "close in" on any Union Wooden Ship and "blast it to pieces" without really having to aim. But the Shenandoah was efficient in sinking ships with its guns, so I imagine the laird rams would be too.
Shenandoah's sinkings and captures were all merchant ships or whalers, needing no more than a warning shot. Did she ever have to actually fire to hit anything?

Alabama sank the gunboat Hatteras; Alabama had more firepower, but it was a creditable action nonetheless.
 

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