Royal Navy Order of Battle 1861

USS ALASKA

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#1
http://www.naval-history.net/xGW-RNOrganisation1861.htm

A Note on Sources by Graham Watson

I have used the Navy List, dated 20 June 1861 to illustrate the strength and distribution of the Royal Navy on that date. In contrast to other lists, I have included two types of listings

(1) ship types with an alphabetical list in each, and

(2) the usual geographic distribution list.


This is because of the inability to associate particular ship names with a particular class or type of ship.

Cheers!
USS ALASKA
 

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USS ALASKA

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At least we have good source of data for all "Trent-war" and "Post-Trent-war" speculations... :smile:
Indeed sir.

I have to admit - the list is impressive. Yeah, I know they had a world-wide commitment but upset them and put them into a position where they start concentrating those forces...

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USS ALASKA
 

WJC

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#6
http://www.naval-history.net/xGW-RNOrganisation1861.htm

A Note on Sources by Graham Watson

I have used the Navy List, dated 20 June 1861 to illustrate the strength and distribution of the Royal Navy on that date. In contrast to other lists, I have included two types of listings

(1) ship types with an alphabetical list in each, and

(2) the usual geographic distribution list.


This is because of the inability to associate particular ship names with a particular class or type of ship.

Cheers!
USS ALASKA
Thanks for posting this. Easy to see why Britain was the world's greatest Naval power at the time....
 

Dilandu

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#7
Thanks for posting this. Easy to see why Britain was the world's greatest Naval power at the time....
Well, it would definitely be interesting to find similar data about Britain's most dangerous rival of XIX century - the France. Granted, France have less warships, but French warships were more concentrated... and in ironclads France was able to create initial superiority.

http://www.shipscribe.com/marvap/classes.html
 

Saphroneth

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#8
At least we have good source of data for all "Trent-war" and "Post-Trent-war" speculations... :smile:
Sadly no, it's not an accurate reflection of the positions of the ships. For example two steam liners are marked as being on NA&WI station (Nile and St George), where the real figure was four as of the end of the crisis (Nile, Donegal, St George, Sans Pareil, and Conqueror had just been wrecked in the West Indies) and several more on the way (Hero, Agamemnon and Aboukir had already been despatched by the time the Trent affair was resolved).

A fellow on a blog I work with has done some sterling work in identifying the location and status of (just about) every single British and Union ship on the most important dates for a Trent war, with references.

RN:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VYmMtveoLPgA6P9EwmLnUu1iuNORsvju5MINNbGWM5U/edit

Union Navy:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZNsJM8g-RVff5-MmOsadXkpQ6GDh6Q_H0mIRrFm_1fQ
 
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Saphroneth

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#9
Well, it would definitely be interesting to find similar data about Britain's most dangerous rival of XIX century - the France. Granted, France have less warships, but French warships were more concentrated... and in ironclads France was able to create initial superiority.
The site you linked actually provides evidence of something very interesting to a Trent war, which is the screw sectional floating batteries of 1859. The Royal Navy could build some equivalent ships to these in Britain (or send the parts over to be assembled in Canada) and get an ironclad presence up the Welland Canal onto the Great Lakes, because such small ironclads could be built astonishingly fast - the first French one took less than four weeks from order to delivery.
 

Saphroneth

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#10
I have to admit - the list is impressive. Yeah, I know they had a world-wide commitment but upset them and put them into a position where they start concentrating those forces...
Actually, the site linked above and the google doc I've linked provide an illustration - the NA&WI station gets dramatically stronger between mid-1861 and early 1862, and is considerably more powerful than the entire USN by the climbdown.
What's also interesting is what was concentrating at the Tagus to go over as a reinforcement echelon if the climb-down hadn't happened.


'Had the news been hostile, Admiral Dacres would have taken under his command the screw ships, Algiers... Queen... Doris... Amphion... Scylla... Alacrity... and Flying Fish... assembled at Gibraltar, and sailed direct to Halifax'. (United Service Magazine, February 1862 pp.215-6)

Algiers and Queen are two more ships of the line. In addition, I understand Dacres was going to get the Warrior, and frankly Warrior could chew up the entire US Navy at once and spit out the pieces. She was the world's most powerful single warship as of Trent, and any American ship that faced her would be dealing with armoured sides able to resist pretty much any American weapon in service (the 11" Dahlgren with overcharge might penetrate with the right cannonball, but the 8" Parrott which is the only other weapon with a chance hasn't been deployed yet) and facing return fire from Martin's shell (a genuine secret weapon, shells full of molten iron!)

Monitor would be able to at least stand up to a broadside, but as of the resolution of the Trent affair Monitor hadn't been launched yet...
 

Dilandu

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#11
The site you linked actually provides evidence of something very interesting to a Trent war, which is the screw sectional floating batteries of 1859. The Royal Navy could build some equivalent ships to these in Britain (or send the parts over to be assembled in Canada) and get an ironclad presence up the Welland Canal onto the Great Lakes, because such small ironclads could be built astonishingly fast - the first French one took less than four weeks from order to delivery.
Well, yes, but they were fairly small and protected by only 2-inch armor. And they were pretty weakly armed, with just two guns. Basically, they were more like "self-propelled river guns" than ironclads. I really doubt that even a squadron of them could took out a pair of Pook turtles.
 

Dilandu

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#12
Algiers and Queen are two more ships of the line. In addition, I understand Dacres was going to get the Warrior, and frankly Warrior could chew up the entire US Navy at once and spit out the pieces.
Actually no. In open combat in sea, quite probably, but in coastal warfare the great "Warrior" was exactly the most useless kind of warship that RN could deploy. She was hard to maneuvre, she have enormous turning radius, her ends weren't protected at all, and moreover her artillery was only partially capable (thanks to mr. Armstrong ultra-modern-futuristic-guns-of-tomorrow :smile: ). If they tried to use her against Hampton-Roads or something like that... "Extra, extra! The best Royal Navy ironclad frigate grounded near american coast and surrendered to yankees! First and second sea lords already offered their resignations!"

Monitor would be able to at least stand up to a broadside, but as of the resolution of the Trent affair Monitor hadn't been launched yet...
Well, up until the June 1862, the RN engineers were still buisy rectifiying all defects that were found during her trials... So, frankly, I doubt that she really may participate in Trent crysis. The war would not start up until January 1862 simply because of time lag for communications.
 

Saphroneth

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#13
Well, yes, but they were fairly small and protected by only 2-inch armor. And they were pretty weakly armed, with just two guns. Basically, they were more like "self-propelled river guns" than ironclads. I really doubt that even a squadron of them could took out a pair of Pook turtles.
Well, that's the thing.

Firstly... the British didn't have much 2" armour around, but they had a heck of a lot of 4.5" armour and they knew the dimensions of the canals. I once used Springsharp to determine that you could build an ironclad along the lines of a Aetna which could fit through the canals quite comfortably with backed 4.5" end-to-end armour and about six to eight 68 pounder guns, and I'd take one of those against two Pook Turtles (as the backed 4.5" wrought is basically invulnerable to anything the US has in service).

Secondly, the Pook Turtles were not actually very good ships. They only had 2.5" armour themselves (not a huge difference to the French ships) and at least one Pook Turtle, the Mound City, was penetrated by a 32 pounder smoothbore (the French sectional batteries had 6.4" rifles, same bore). Since any British ships of this size would be armed with a pair of 68 pounder high velocity guns with far more penetration, it rather looks like the City-class ships would be in trouble...
 

Dilandu

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#14
Firstly... the British didn't have much 2" armour around, but they had a heck of a lot of 4.5" armour and they knew the dimensions of the canals.
Actually, they haven't got a lot of 4.5" armor around in early 1860s. And if they tried to put 4.5-inch armor on the 142-ton vessel, it would hardly be able to float. And if they build them bigger... they wouldn't be able to build them fast, and they would have problems with channels.

I once used Springsharp to determine that you could build an ironclad along the lines of a Aetna which could fit through the canals quite comfortably with backed 4.5" end-to-end armour and about six to eight 68 pounder guns, and I'd take one of those against two Pook Turtles (as the backed 4.5" wrought is basically invulnerable to anything the US has in service).
We are still talking about the small French sectional floating batteries, right? :wink:
 

Saphroneth

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#15
Actually no. In open combat in sea, quite probably, but in coastal warfare the great "Warrior" was exactly the most useless kind of warship that RN could deploy. She was hard to maneuvre, she have enormous turning radius, her ends weren't protected at all, and moreover her artillery was only partially capable (thanks to mr. Armstrong ultra-modern-futuristic-guns-of-tomorrow :smile: ). If they tried to use her against Hampton-Roads or something like that... "Extra, extra! The best Royal Navy ironclad frigate grounded near american coast and surrendered to yankees! First and second sea lords already offered their resignations!"
This is very much a fantasy.

The Warrior's turning radius was measured at maximum speed. Of course her turning radius is higher at high speed than at manoeuvring speed, and as it happens she did a 180 rather quicker than many of the monitor-types (which had a smaller radius but went around it a lot slower).

The Armstrong guns were quite capable, the British just wanted perfection. They're more reliable than the Parrott, certainly (having not killed any gunners) and much more accurate and powerful than anything in US shipboard service at the time - but then the Warrior had 26 68-pounder smoothbore guns as well as her rifles.

The ends of the Warrior were not protected, but that's fine - there was nothing of fighting value there, and she could still fight and float with her ends completely waterlogged.


Hampton Roads is under Confederate control as of the Trent affair. If the US ships want to run upriver into the James, they're welcome to it and will probably have to surrender since they're now trapped - though I wouldn't want to say she couldn't fit in the channel, her draft wasn't ridiculous (it was less than 27 feet) and I can't find a good chart of the narrows.
 

Saphroneth

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#16
Actually, they haven't got a lot of 4.5" armor around in early 1860s.
They rather do. They don't have a lot of A1 quality plate of the type used on the Warrior, but that's because they were testing batches and rejecting them if they weren't up to par.
Put some of the subpar plate on these new ironclads, there you go. As it happens the British were at this point building quite large numbers of ironclads, with four already being launched using 4.5" armour.


And if they tried to put 4.5-inch armor on the 142-ton vessel, it would hardly be able to float. And if they build them bigger... they wouldn't be able to build them fast, and they would have problems with channels.
Certainly they wouldn't be able to build them quite as fast... but the nr.6 sectional batteries had 3" armour and were 88ft 7in x 29ft 6in x 5ft 7in. First in class went from ordering to launching in two months, which is still plenty fast to have them in Canada before the St Lawrence thaws.

We are still talking about the small French sectional floating batteries, right? :wink:
I'm considering two possibilities - one of them the larger designs along the lines of Aetna (the first ironclads not built in France) and one of them the smaller ones along the line of the screw sectional floating batteries of nr.1 class (which would be quite capable against most Great Lakes boats and would AFAICT fit in the Richelieu river).
 

Dilandu

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#17
The Armstrong guns were quite capable,
According to the actual british battle records (in Japan), those guns never actually were able to hit anything, and the only reason why they don't killed anyone was because they were used very sporadically (especially after some of them burst in relatively short engagement).

The Warrior's turning radius was measured at maximum speed. Of course her turning radius is higher at high speed than at manoeuvring speed, and as it happens she did a 180 rather quicker than many of the monitor-types (which had a smaller radius but went around it a lot slower).
Which does not take away the fact, that she was VERY long, and have a VERY deep draft. Nobody ever suggested to use semi-armored frigates against coastlines, as far as I knew. She was initially designed as sort-of "armored fast vanguard" for liner's column.

The ends of the Warrior were not protected, but that's fine - there was nothing of fighting value there, and she could still fight and float with her ends completely waterlogged.
Er, there was rudder here.
 

Saphroneth

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#18
According to the actual british battle records (in Japan), those guns never actually were able to hit anything, and the only reason why they don't killed anyone was because they were used very sporadically (especially after some of them burst in relatively short engagement).
You're misreading. They did not actually burst.
While the vent pieces of some of them failed, that was expected to happen (indeed they carried spares) and a large number of shots were fired. To quote someone from another site:


Between 5 July 1861 and 20 Feb 1863, the gunnery training ship HMS Cambridge fired 316 shot and 81 shell with the 110pdr. Over these 397 shots, they encountered 8 jams, or an average of 49.6 shots per jam, none of which rendered the gun inoperable. You may protest that a training establishment would naturally be more adept with the gun than the average sailor, but see below.

It should also be noted that the results of the bombardment at Kagoshima bear out this approximate 50 round per failure figure. The Euryalus fired 67 rounds and encountered one vent piece broken off; the Racehorse fired 50 rounds and encountered 3 jams, one which delayed firing for 25 minutes and another for 10 minutes; the Coquette fired 37 rounds and the Argus 22. None of the guns were rendered completely inoperable, only temporarily so.



Which does not take away the fact, that she was VERY long, and have a VERY deep draft. Nobody ever suggested to use semi-armored frigates against coastlines, as far as I knew. She was initially designed as sort-of "armored fast vanguard" for liner's column.
If she sails slowly up to the southern or western face of Fort Monroe, drops anchor, and opens fire - what exactly can the Union do to stop her? She's impervious to every gun mounted there.


Er, there was rudder here.
The rudder's underwater at normal fighting draft, that's sort of how a rudder works. In any case, the rudder is at most as exposed as on every other ship in the world - how often did rudder damage disable wooden ships in battles? (The answer is - not very often.)

That's actually a minor peeve of mine. For some reason, when the Warrior gets into an alternate-history battle, every shot homes in on the rudder - even when facing an enemy which, based on observed historical gunnery, would be lucky to hit the frigate...
 
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Dilandu

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#19
If she sails slowly up to the southern or western face of Fort Monroe, drops anchor, and opens fire - what exactly can the Union do to stop her? She's impervious to every gun mounted there.
In theory, the "Formidabile" was also impervious for any guns that Austrian have on Lissa. And she was even better protected, with her complete belt without exposed ends. The results... weren't so good, decpite she weren't penetrated. It's a common misconception, that bigger, ocean-capable ships are able to dealt with coastal fortifications better than smaller, coastal designes.

The rudder's underwater at normal fighting draft, that's sort of how a rudder works.
Problem is, parts of the rudder is above water...

In any case, the rudder is at most as exposed as on every other ship in the world - how often did rudder damage disable wooden ships in battles? (The answer is - not very often.)
"Re D'Italia" beg to differ.
 

Saphroneth

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#20
I feel that in the interests of fairness I should clarify. I've been giving the impression that the Warrior would be preferentially used in engaging forts; in fact, if she was doing this it would be because there was nothing better for her to do. She could be used as a covering force for ships attempting to bombard forts, however, and historically the RN did indeed see nothing wrong with using their biggest and heaviest ships to shell forts if nothing better was forthcoming - attacks from Sevastopol to Kinburn to Bomarsund to Alexandria show this.


The likeliest ships used to engage forts are in fact the British "Crimean gunboats" and armoured batteries such as the Terror (the only ironclad in the western hemisphere at the opening of the Civil War). While not quite as well armoured as the Warrior, these were still very tough and much, much shallower in draft - in fact, none of the surviving British floating batteries had a draft greater than nine feet.
 



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