Royal Navy Order of Battle 1861


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Saphroneth

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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.
What do you mean "common misconception"? Why would a smaller coastal design be better able to deal with coastal forts?

In any case, the British mounted successful bombardments with battleships in the Crimean War and at Alexandria (1882).

Problem is, parts of the rudder is above water...
Not much at all, not at design load. The rudder's almost entirely submerged.

As you can see from here:

7766429080_9bd1f07580.jpg


the rudder is mostly red, with only a very small portion black. This matters because:

hms_warrior5.jpg


...if you examine the roman numerals at her bow, you can see that the white line is actually her historical load line. She's several feet higher out of the water as a museum ship than her design draft.


"Re D'Italia" beg to differ.
That's an armoured ship that lost her rudder to a ramming attempt, not a wooden ship with her rudder destroyed by shot. You may need to find a better example.
 

67th Tigers

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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 Formidable (one of those "small coastal designs") closed to 320 yards from Battery Madonna and anchored there. It was so close that Austrian infantryman (No. 10 company of the Marine Infantry) with their Lorenz rifles were shooting the men on the spar deck battery. She acted as a shield allowing the other three attacking ironclads to pass Battery Madonna. With 58 casualties and her rigging gone she certainly needed repair.

Problem is, parts of the rudder is above water...
Nope, her rudder is obviously below the water or how does it work?

The part of the rudder post above the waterline is about the size of a gunport. Do warships ignore each others armour by unerringly putting shells in each others gunports? No? Then begone with this nonsense. Of course fluke hits happen, but no ship with a "full belt" has better protected steering the Warrior.

"Re D'Italia" beg to differ.
She was rammed in the stern by Ferdinand Max, a glancing blow which destroyed her rudder, as indeed it would destroy the rudder of any ship. The Ferdinand Max circled back at the exact moment the Re d'Italia captain realised the rudder was gone and reversed engines to come to a full stop. The FM hit her squarely amidships with her second ram.

Yes, I know some lazy modern authors miss the first pass ram by FM.

The number of warships of the period losing a rudder by gunfire is vanishingly small. IFS Redoutable at Trafalgar is the exception that proves the rule that rudder hits don't really happen.
 

Saphroneth

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The number of warships of the period losing a rudder by gunfire is vanishingly small. IFS Redoutable at Trafalgar is the exception that proves the rule that rudder hits don't really happen.
Indeed - Redoutable had been engaged with the Victory for an hour and the Victory and Temeraire combined for half an hour (plus Tonnant for at least some of the battle, sitting off her stern and firing into her at close range), and was down to 99 unwounded crew out of 643 (300 were dead, 222 severely wounded, and the balance were lightly wounded.) She'd been totally shot to bits, and in fact the next day her stern collapsed completely and she sank.

That's the kind of thing which can (but does not always) disable the rudder.
 

rebelatsea

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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.
Not only that ,but there was a project to build wooden copies of the Laird rams in Canada too, Whether they would have been delivered as kits ,or just the guns and armour and machinery, for wooden hulls built somewhere I have never been able to find out.
 

Dilandu

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What do you mean "common misconception"? Why would a smaller coastal design be better able to deal with coastal forts?
Because it is smaller. :smile: Less vunerable, more maneuvrable on shallows, have a less draft.

In any case, the British mounted successful bombardments with battleships in the Crimean War
Well, if you consider "sucsessfull" the bombardment where the ships suffered much more than opposing fortresses without any significant effects on the latter... Then yes, this was "sucsessfull". :smile:

and at Alexandria (1882).
Where basically the opposing side was poorly trained and disciplined, and the forts themselves were outdated. And, as Biritsh themselves stated, the bombardment actually do little to reduce the fighting abilities of forts. The whole bombardment destroyed less than 10 rifled guns. With better guncrews of Egyptean side, the ships would exaust their ammunition supplies without actually reducing forts.
 

rebelatsea

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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!"



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.
Absolutely right! I have always said that March 1862 would be the most likely time for commencement of hostilities. Incidentally Dacre's ship Algiers would probably have been a liability, as her machinery wasn't the best.
When looking at the RN wooden battlefleet, people tend to forget ,or ignore that most of the ships were conversions, some not very good. I would thoroughly recommend "Battleships in Transition" by Andrew Lambert and "Before the Ironclad" by David K Brown for an understanding of both the RN and French wooden battlefleets.
 

rebelatsea

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But the
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.
The Armstrong BLR were not capable of piercing armour and. they would have been good for wooden targets, but the gun crews were afraid of the 110pdrs, and the firing charges had been reduced drastically. the 40pdr was a better weapon, with the drawback that as the gun heated up the breech screw jammed.
 

Dilandu

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When looking at the RN wooden battlefleet, people tend to forget ,or ignore that most of the ships were conversions, some not very good. I would thoroughly recommend "Battleships in Transition" by Andrew Lambert and "Before the Ironclad" by David K Brown for an understanding of both the RN and French wooden battlefleets.
Exactly!

Rebelatsea, I have a question: it seems to me that while the French understood the tactical capabilities of independently maneuvering "fast" and usual ships-of-the-line, the RN tended just to put all ships into the line without much consideration of their tactical speed. I.e. the RN mostly considered their fast ships-of-the-lines not as "fast", but as "powerfull" (with great towing capabilities). Am I right here?
 

rebelatsea

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What do you mean "common misconception"? Why would a smaller coastal design be better able to deal with coastal forts?

In any case, the British mounted successful bombardments with battleships in the Crimean War and at Alexandria (1882).



Not much at all, not at design load. The rudder's almost entirely submerged.

As you can see from here:

View attachment 160643

the rudder is mostly red, with only a very small portion black. This matters because:

View attachment 160644

...if you examine the roman numerals at her bow, you can see that the white line is actually her historical load line. She's everal feet higher out of the water as a museum ship than her design draft.



That's an armoured ship that lost her rudder to a ramming attempt, not a wooden ship with her rudder destroyed by shot. You may need to find a better example.
Remember that Warrior is not at full fighting load draft. In fighting trim even the white line would / should only just be visible in calm waters.
 

rebelatsea

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Exactly!

Rebelatsea, I have a question: it seems to me that while the French understood the tactical capabilities of independently maneuvering "fast" and usual ships-of-the-line, the RN tended just to put all ships into the line without much consideration of their tactical speed. I.e. the RN mostly considered their fast ships-of-the-lines not as "fast", but as "powerfull" (with great towing capabilities). Am I right here?
Yes ,you are, The French built homogenous squadrons of ironclads, but in reality,no one knew how to handle a stem battlefleet under power - The French Navy probably had a better idea than the RN, but the first commander to take a steam battlefleet into action, as opposed to a small squadron, was Farragut at New Orleans, but again that was against forts ,not a fleet at sea.
If Britain and the US had gone to war, the first people to experience full steam fleet action would most likely have been RN Commodore Dunlop with the squadron of Mexico, and Farragut with the West Gulf blockading Squadron.
 

Dilandu

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If Britain and the US had gone to war, the first people to experience full steam fleet action would most likely have been RN Commodore Dunlop with the squadron of Mexico, and Farragut with the West Gulf blockading Squadron.
Assuming that the Farragut would stay concentrated and meet Dunlop in fleet action, instead of dispercing his forces, of course. His "Colorado" was able to fight most of RN ship-of-the-line on even therms, but his other ships was much smaller.
 

67th Tigers

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Assuming that the Farragut would stay concentrated and meet Dunlop in fleet action, instead of dispercing his forces, of course. His "Colorado" was able to fight most of RN ship-of-the-line on even therms, but his other ships was much smaller.
This nonsense again?

Colorado was outgunned with a broadside of 14x 9" shell guns, 7x 8" shell guns and a pair of 10" shell guns as chasers (23 guns), which makes her slightly outgunned by a 51 gun British frigate, and about 40% of the firepower of a two decker.

Colorado made 9 knots when clean (the same as Algiers before her new engine received in 1857 which made her a 12 knotter). She is slower than all the British steam battleships.

The armour of Colorado was less than a British steam battleship, with 24" of wood vs 30-36".

So you claim the Colorado is equal to a faster, better protected ship with more than twice the firepower?
 

67th Tigers

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Absolutely right! I have always said that March 1862 would be the most likely time for commencement of hostilities. Incidentally Dacre's ship Algiers would probably have been a liability, as her machinery wasn't the best.
Which is why it was replaced in 1857. The new Maudslay machinery developed 2,516 ihp vs her old Fairbairn machinery which developed 1,117 ihp. Speed went from 9 kts to 12.2 kts. Even at 9 knots she'd outrun a US heavy frigate.

When looking at the RN wooden battlefleet, people tend to forget ,or ignore that most of the ships were conversions, some not very good. I would thoroughly recommend "Battleships in Transition" by Andrew Lambert and "Before the Ironclad" by David K Brown for an understanding of both the RN and French wooden battlefleets.
Indeed, but the number of ships with poor engines was small. The nine blockships of course only ever had small engines because of their role. A handful of other ships needed new engines, but only Algiers and Sans Pareil were reengined. The ships that really could have benefited were Nile and Cressy.
 

Saphroneth

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Because it is smaller. :smile: Less vunerable, more maneuvrable on shallows, have a less draft.
None of that explains why a small ship would be better in a shootout with a fort. It explains why a small ship might be more able to reach the fort, but not why it would be better able to sustain an engagement.

Well, if you consider "sucsessfull" the bombardment where the ships suffered much more than opposing fortresses without any significant effects on the latter... Then yes, this was "sucsessfull". :smile:
Bomarsund was totally wrecked, and no ships were lost in any bombardments in the Crimea or the Baltic. The key problem was the lack of weapons able to do serious damage to forts, and in the Armstrong guns the British have exactly the weapon they need.

Where basically the opposing side was poorly trained and disciplined, and the forts themselves were outdated. And, as Biritsh themselves stated, the bombardment actually do little to reduce the fighting abilities of forts. The whole bombardment destroyed less than 10 rifled guns. With better guncrews of Egyptean side, the ships would exaust their ammunition supplies without actually reducing forts.
There were more guns on the forts than on the ships, firing started at 7am, and by 5pm every fort was in the possession of a landing party. No ships suffered serious damage, despite several taking large numbers of hits.
(There were 37 rifled guns at Alexandria and 43 on the right broadside of the British ships, many small, but there were also over 200 smoothbores and some 31 mortars)

As for "outdated", this is a good description of many of the forts in the US. Actually "unarmed" is a good description of many of the forts in the US, but we'll be charitable and assume they manage to ship some actual guns to places like Boston...


The Armstrong BLR were not capable of piercing armour and. they would have been good for wooden targets, but the gun crews were afraid of the 110pdrs, and the firing charges had been reduced drastically. the 40pdr was a better weapon, with the drawback that as the gun heated up the breech screw jammed.
The Armstrong is not a good anti-armour weapon, yes, but it's phenomenal against forts and very good against wooden ships. As of March 1862 this means it's good against all but one American ship.

The 110 pounder's charge was 11 lbs once reduced (from 12 lbs), for a 7" bore weapon. This is certainly smaller than the 68 pounder (which had a 16 lb charge or 20 lbs with the "far" or "battering" charge, for an 8" weapon) but it's quite comparable to American weapons (the 9" Dahlgren had only a 10lb charge authorized).

It's important not to confuse a relative change with an absolute difference, or say that going from 12lb to 11lb is a "drastic" reduction.
 

Saphroneth

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Assuming that the Farragut would stay concentrated and meet Dunlop in fleet action, instead of dispercing his forces, of course. His "Colorado" was able to fight most of RN ship-of-the-line on even therms, but his other ships was much smaller.
The RN strategy was to attack Farragut while he was still on blockade station. None of his ships are faster than the slowest RN vessel in Dunlop's squadron, so his choice is basically to concentrate as best he can or lose ships piecemeal.

Absolutely right! I have always said that March 1862 would be the most likely time for commencement of hostilities.
Why would the war not start until March? The British cabinet would get the news of any non-compliance with their ultimatum on or before the 9th of January, and a declaration could be made on the 10th even allowing for time to reach the Queen and convene the full cabinet.

The news would most likely reach the North American continent on the 26th January. What gain would the British get from another two months delay?
 

Saphroneth

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Not only that ,but there was a project to build wooden copies of the Laird rams in Canada too, Whether they would have been delivered as kits ,or just the guns and armour and machinery, for wooden hulls built somewhere I have never been able to find out.
I suspect that's a later thing as the Laird Rams were only just being ordered at this time. But we do know there was plenty of wooden shipbuilding in Canada - Quebec employed between 2,000 and 4,000 workers.


When looking at the RN wooden battlefleet, people tend to forget ,or ignore that most of the ships were conversions, some not very good. I would thoroughly recommend "Battleships in Transition" by Andrew Lambert and "Before the Ironclad" by David K Brown for an understanding of both the RN and French wooden battlefleets.
In Before the Ironclad DK Brown makes the point that the British converted ships were on the whole newer and more sound than the French conversions, and that they had more guns on average as well. This is on top of the British building more new-build vessels than the French did.

These two tables make it clear that the Royal Navy had a higher proportion of new construction and of major conversions and that they carried many more guns. There is a marked difference between the two navies in the proportion of older ships, a difference which would have had a major effect on maintenance costs and on availability had not all these ships become obsolete so quickly. The NHP of the French engines tended to be greater but, as discussed in the context of Agamemnon and Napoleon, this is not a good guide. Despite the British concept of engines as an auxiliary, in practice there was little or nothing between the actual power installed. With only one or two exceptions the British engines were very reliable.
Brown , David K. Before the Ironclad: Warship Design and Development 1815-1860 (Kindle Locations 5138-5143). Seaforth Publishing. Kindle Edition.

The value of some of the older and smaller ships was questionable but they were as good as, or better than, many similar French ships.
Brown , David K. Before the Ironclad: Warship Design and Development 1815-1860 (Kindle Locations 5329-5330). Seaforth Publishing. Kindle Edition.



It's also important to notice that some of the British ships that were technically "conversions" were converted on the slipways, and were both lengthened and widened - at which point little can have been left of the original ship.



The counts are as follows for 1858:

New construction

British 18 (average age 5.8 years, average number of guns 96)
French 9 (average age 10.2 years, average number of guns 94)

Lenghtened on slip

British 22 (average age 24.4 years, average number of guns 98)
French 4 (average age 15.8 years, average number of guns 90)

Engines added only

British 18 (average age 18.3 years, average number of guns 88)
French 25 (average age 34.1 years, average number of guns 89)

Blockships
British 9 (average age 50.2 years, all 60 guns)

The British ships are biased newer and more powerful. There are forty British ships which were either built for steam or lengthened on the slipway (about 2/3 of the steam liner fleet), as opposed to 13 French (about 1/3 of the French steam liner fleet).
 
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67th Tigers

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The Armstrong BLR were not capable of piercing armour and. they would have been good for wooden targets, but the gun crews were afraid of the 110pdrs, and the firing charges had been reduced drastically. the 40pdr was a better weapon, with the drawback that as the gun heated up the breech screw jammed.
The use in action does not corroborate the 40 pdr being better. If we remove the accidents which were damage to he deck, ropes etc., then the accidents that occurred on the Japan station 1863-4 were:

Euryalus: with 5x 110 pdrs and 10x 40pdrs of the gun accidents one was the vent piece of 110 pdr ser. 96 breaking and the next, and six were cracked (or in one case broken) vent pieces on the 40 pdrs. The 110 pdrs averaged 1 failure in 170 rounds, and the 40 pdrs 6 failures in 281 rounds.

Coquette: 87 rounds fired from a 110 pdr with no gun accidents.

Perseus: with 5x 40 pdrs, there were 2 vent piece failures in 181 rounds

Argus: the 110 pdr blew all three vent pieces with 22 rounds. The problem was traced to a bad batch of fuses which were supposed to be destroyed, but was issued to Argus. The fuses kept detonating prematurely, including in the barrel.

Racehorse: the 110 pdr vent pieces jammed twice in 59 rounds.

Average

110 pdr: 6 accidents in 338 rounds = 1.8% accident rate
40 pdr: 8 accidents in 462 rounds = 1.7% accident rate

Statistically insignificant.
 

Saphroneth

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Statistically insignificant.
And seeing no casualties. Conversely, at the bombardment of Fort Fisher six Parrotts burst in the course of about an hour's firing and 43 men were killed or wounded.

I'd rather have the Armstrong guns, certainly.
 

Talos

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This nonsense again?

Colorado was outgunned with a broadside of 14x 9" shell guns, 7x 8" shell guns and a pair of 10" shell guns as chasers (23 guns), which makes her slightly outgunned by a 51 gun British frigate, and about 40% of the firepower of a two decker.

Colorado made 9 knots when clean (the same as Algiers before her new engine received in 1857 which made her a 12 knotter). She is slower than all the British steam battleships.

The armour of Colorado was less than a British steam battleship, with 24" of wood vs 30-36".

So you claim the Colorado is equal to a faster, better protected ship with more than twice the firepower?
Colorado might make 9 knots under steam alone (really 8.8 kts is the highest I've seen, in a calm sea, more usually 6.4kts, dropping to 2-4kts in a headwind), but she could do 10-13 under sail alone.

Colorado's broadside was not outgunned by the 51-gun frigates like Shannon though, which have 15 x 8"/65cwt guns and 10 32-pdr/56cwt guns per side, and a single of the mighty 68-pdrs on pivot. The 51-gun frigate's main deck armament is essentially the same size gun as Colorado's spar deck. Straight up broadside weight is higher by a few hundred pounds (~1,167 to Colorado's 1,424), but the main deck armament is heavier-hitting and longer-ranged. Obviously she's not going to stand up against any ship of the line for long, but her firepower is comfortably higher than the 51-gun frigates. Now Walker's 32, 26, etc gun "Big Frigates" with their 10-inch broadsides, that's the interesting matchup.
 

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