Laird Rams in the Mersey

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
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Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#21
Found a weird one. Today guys.
Reading a letter from bullocks to Mallory (July 1 1862) ...have contracted for 3armored ships, the first to be ready in March, the second 2months later......

Later in Dec 1862, bullock reports.....reducing 2 fixed turrets from 3.......

Then...further down.....
I have determined not to contract ......for a 3rd varmored vessel , although Messrs, Fraser, Trenton + co. Still hold to their officer....bullock .."not agree with style of ship...+ novel arrangement...
You usually only hear about the 1st two...nothing about the third???

Grizz
The change from three fixed gunhouses to two rotating turrets relates to Laird's having obtained rights to construct Coles patent, of the third vessel - not a clue. This is one of those tantalising hints in CSN correspondance I have not been able to answer.
 

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#22
HI John,
Thanks. Was kind of afraid of that.

Wouldn't,t you love it if some. Old Dusty bank vault would pull out the private papers of bullocks, with the message only open 150 years after the war was over.....well can dream. Was joining over his book, the conf ssh in Europe the other day...Have not read in years...But
noticed a lot more of those hints this time around......what ever happened to his waterways?

Grizz
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#23
HI John,
Thanks. Was kind of afraid of that.

Wouldn't,t you love it if some. Old Dusty bank vault would pull out the private papers of bullocks, with the message only open 150 years after the war was over.....well can dream. Was joining over his book, the conf ssh in Europe the other day...Have not read in years...But
noticed a lot more of those hints this time around......what ever happened to his waterways?

Grizz
I would indeed Grizz, Unfortunately that is less likely over here than in the USA, due to the work of the Luftwaffe on our port cities, Liverpool in particular with reference to the ACW. Between them and the arsonist who set fire to the Mechanics Institute in Richmond, they did a good job - too good a job.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
New Hampshire
#24
That's right.........funny have never thought about it that way.............understand the samething happened when post war, people were searching for american sailing ship plans in there Fr naval ports. Only a hand full werefound. because shipplans were spread through out all the shipyards. and all of them took quite a beating from the allies when they returned to europe.

Guess it is a typical american reaction, sinc e so far the last magor war fought over here was the civil war. The last minor one was at wounded knee in 1899 or 1899. In WW II a sub launched seaplane dropped a bomb on a Orgeon forrest and a japanese sub fired a few shells against a oil refrinery. And forget the twin towers. every one has just about forgotton about that. Welcom to the brain dead generation. A psychologist I onse wort with used to say that all the time. Mostily after trying to work with a teen............Well off the soapbox........old habbets die hard, I guess..............


GRIZZ
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
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Location
Massachusetts
#27
Hello Gentlemen,

Let me share a few thoughts about the Laird Rams. Back in the early 1990s I tried to obtain copies of any Civil War ship plans that were available. This of course included those built for the Confederates in the UK. At that time I was informed by the NMM that the Laird Ram plans 'should be' available, but were not. I inquired again a few years later and was told their status was the same, unavailable.

Now, moving forward, I spent a few days at the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus about 5 years ago and obtained copies of their collection of ship plans. Guess what they had? Yes, they had copies of Laird's original plans, plus the 'as fitted' plans of the rams after they entered RN service. The NCWNM had obtained their copies from the Smithsonian back in the early 1970s. The Smithsonian had gotten them from the NMM in the 1960s through the efforts of William Geoghegan. I made an extra set of copies and sent them back to the NMM to add to their existing 'Confederate Ships Plan List'.

Shortly thereafter I received a gracious reply from the NMM curator and an enthusiastic response. It would seem that not only had the Laird Rams plans been misfiled, but also those of other RN coastal ironclads. The NMM had been trying to locate this portion of their collection for some time. By sending them copies of their original plans, they found the correct filing numbers on the drawings which led them to the proper location. The plans had come full circle and were once again available for public use.

What is interesting about these drawings is that all accounts indicate that the RN was not very enthusiastic about acquiring the rams and that they had to 'undergo extensive alterations' to meet RN standards of service. If you carefully examine the original plans and the 'as fitted' RN plans there are very, very few differences, and certainly no major structural changes in the vessels. Whatever alterations were made must have been done to change certain storage capacities or crew arrangements. Honestly, I could not find any major changes in the pair.

As an aside, when the Danes acquired No. 61, later renamed Danmark, they were surprised by her poor seakeeping (excessive rolling) in the voyage from Scotland to Denmark. After arriving, she was docked and plans were made to improve her. This involved rearranging some her internal storage to alter the weight distribution, reducing her total armament, and fitting fore and aft cut outs in the hull to allow fore and aft fire. She had one or two commissions after that, but was kept in reserve most of her service life. During that early era of ironclad construction, it was a challenge to produce a well balanced, efficient vessel. All nations struggled with this emerging technology.

All the best,
Bil
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#28
Hello Gentlemen,

Let me share a few thoughts about the Laird Rams. Back in the early 1990s I tried to obtain copies of any Civil War ship plans that were available. This of course included those built for the Confederates in the UK. At that time I was informed by the NMM that the Laird Ram plans 'should be' available, but were not. I inquired again a few years later and was told their status was the same, unavailable.

Now, moving forward, I spent a few days at the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus about 5 years ago and obtained copies of their collection of ship plans. Guess what they had? Yes, they had copies of Laird's original plans, plus the 'as fitted' plans of the rams after they entered RN service. The NCWNM had obtained their copies from the Smithsonian back in the early 1970s. The Smithsonian had gotten them from the NMM in the 1960s through the efforts of William Geoghegan. I made an extra set of copies and sent them back to the NMM to add to their existing 'Confederate Ships Plan List'.

Shortly thereafter I received a gracious reply from the NMM curator and an enthusiastic response. It would seem that not only had the Laird Rams plans been misfiled, but also those of other RN coastal ironclads. The NMM had been trying to locate this portion of their collection for some time. By sending them copies of their original plans, they found the correct filing numbers on the drawings which led them to the proper location. The plans had come full circle and were once again available for public use.

What is interesting about these drawings is that all accounts indicate that the RN was not very enthusiastic about acquiring the rams and that they had to 'undergo extensive alterations' to meet RN standards of service. If you carefully examine the original plans and the 'as fitted' RN plans there are very, very few differences, and certainly no major structural changes in the vessels. Whatever alterations were made must have been done to change certain storage capacities or crew arrangements. Honestly, I could not find any major changes in the pair.

As an aside, when the Danes acquired No. 61, later renamed Danmark, they were surprised by her poor seakeeping (excessive rolling) in the voyage from Scotland to Denmark. After arriving, she was docked and plans were made to improve her. This involved rearranging some her internal storage to alter the weight distribution, reducing her total armament, and fitting fore and aft cut outs in the hull to allow fore and aft fire. She had one or two commissions after that, but was kept in reserve most of her service life. During that early era of ironclad construction, it was a challenge to produce a well balanced, efficient vessel. All nations struggled with this emerging technology.

All the best,
Bil
The Laird archive is held by Liverpool University, but was inaccessible to the public until late January this year. I assume (hope) that will include the original drawings.
Neither Oscar Parkes nor Admiral Ballard make mention of changes to fit them for RN service, apart from the guns of course so it's good to see that confirmed. They were good, if wet seaboats, but had a decided tendancy to roll. Scorpion registered over 30 degrees off Dover (the pendulum went off the scale so the true angle isn't known). From personal experience to be fair, the Channel between Dover and Calais can do some uncomfortable tricks to even a modern 10,000ton ferry !
The Danmark was altered so many times in construction from conception to completion I would have been surprised if she hadn't given trouble and J & G Thompsons had never built a large warship before.
 

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