What would've been the consequences of England and France handing the CSN Ironclad cruisers?

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There were six Ironclad cruisers made in France and England for the CSN, but they were blocked at the will of the American government. If France and England did give said ships to the Confederacy would it have triggerd a war by proxy?

HMS Wivern.
Wyvern-Colorized.jpg


CSS Stonewall.
CSS stone wall 2-Colorized.jpg
 
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leftyhunter

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There were six Ironclad cruisers made in France and England for the CSN, but they were blocked at the will of the American government. If France and England did give said ships to the Confederacy would it have triggerd a war by proxy?
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It would of led to a trade embargo especially on American wheat which was very important to Western Europe although less so by 1864 as the Ukrainian drought lessened. Not sure of a war but obviously the government's of France and Great Britain didn't think bit was worth selling the ships to the CSN.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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There were six Ironclad cruisers made in France and England for the CSN, but they were blocked at the will of the American government. If France and England did give said ships to the Confederacy would it have triggerd a war by proxy?

HMS Wivern.
View attachment 353895

CSS Stonewall.
View attachment 353896
Also we have to think about the long term consequences of angering the US government by selling sophisticated warships to the Confederacy.
If the Confederacy looses but inflicts serious damage on the USN or trade routes by the sophisticated warships maybe the US will join a military alliance with Russia or Prussia.
Certainly the US can retaliate against the French in Mexico which is sort of what happened as the US was not a neutral player in ousting France from Mexico post ACW.
 
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Also we have to think about the long term consequences of angering the US government by selling sophisticated warships to the Confederacy.
If the Confederacy looses but inflicts serious damage on the USN or trade routes by the sophisticated warships maybe the US will join a military alliance with Russia or Prussia.
Certainly the US can retaliate against the French in Mexico which is sort of what happened as the US was not a neutral player in ousting France from Mexico post ACW.
I have a feeling that conversation was definitely had. I remember reading that Napolean III almost let one of the cruisers go, but then Lee lost at Antietam, and after Gettysburg any hope of getting those ships was dead.
 

leftyhunter

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I have a feeling that conversation was definitely had. I remember reading that Napolean III almost let one of the cruisers go, but then Lee lost at Antietam, and after Gettysburg any hope of getting those ships was dead.
My understanding is the CSS Stonewall was on its way to the Confederacy just bey the end of the war.
Leftyhunter
 

CanadianCanuck

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It would of led to a trade embargo especially on American wheat which was very important to Western Europe although less so by 1864 as the Ukrainian drought lessened. Not sure of a war but obviously the government's of France and Great Britain didn't think bit was worth selling the ships to the CSN.
Leftyhunter

A trade embargo by who?
 

CanadianCanuck

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All told, the Wivern class ironclad would have been a huge problem for Britain and the US. Both the Florida and the Alabama were wreaking havoc on the Northern merchant marine already causing bad blood, turret ironclad would have been another matter entirely.

However, they wouldn't have changed the course of the war, and maybe just made the Federal fleet more cautious about assaulting Mobile or Wilmington.
 
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All told, the Wivern class ironclad would have been a huge problem for Britain and the US. Both the Florida and the Alabama were wreaking havoc on the Northern merchant marine already causing bad blood, turret ironclad would have been another matter entirely.

However, they wouldn't have changed the course of the war, and maybe just made the Federal fleet more cautious about assaulting Mobile or Wilmington.
Even if they get all six? I definetely think that it's a toss up at that point, the South would have one of the most modern fleets in the world.
 
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thomas aagaard

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The French were gonna give it to the CSN, then they sold it to another country, then that country sold it to the South under the table.
It was transferred to Denmark. And named Stærkodder.
The navy tested is but it did not preform up to specs...
and/or the fact that the war against Prussia and Austria ended so there was no need for it resulted in the danish navy refusing to buy it.

In the end it left Copenhagen with a CSA crew.

an article about it can be found here:
 

CanadianCanuck

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Even if they get all six? I definetely think that it's a toss up at that point, the South would have one of the most modern fleets in the world.

I'm not sure of the specs on most of them, but for all their modernity I dont think they would change the war that much. Even all six most likely wouldn't break the blockade.

I'm not entirely sure of how they would perform in combat.

Us against any nation that sold warships to the CSN.
Leftyhunter

That would be a very self defeating idea. The US couldn't really afford to embargo its foreign trading partners.
 

leftyhunter

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I'm not sure of the specs on most of them, but for all their modernity I dont think they would change the war that much. Even all six most likely wouldn't break the blockade.

I'm not entirely sure of how they would perform in combat.



That would be a very self defeating idea. The US couldn't really afford to embargo its foreign trading partners.
If they supply sophisticated war ships to the Confederacy the Union has to do something.
Leftyhunter
 

Lubliner

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From what I have read, the diplomacy in 1864 was a bit sketchy between the U. S. and France and England. Two confederate pirate ships, the Rappahannock and another were over in a port on the English Channel, and strict rules were made to keep the hostilities out of the roadway. No lingering at the mouth of ports for more than 24 hours, no putting into ports without proper cause for safety, etc. The strain was already present, and any further advancement for supporting the confederacy may have ruptured the peace.
Lubliner.
 

jackt62

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Confederate agents in England went to great lengths to deceive the British and American governments about ship building activities on behalf of the south. Charles Francis Adams Sr., the American envoy to Great Britain did a credible job at this cat and mouse game even though a number of raiders were surreptitiously built in English ports but outfitted and flagged outside their territorial waters. The British could not credibly claim "plausible deniability" about the ship building activity forever, and their strict neutrality guidelines would have caused them to come down on the side of their own interests, which did not extend to aiding the Confederacy beyond a certain point.
 

CanadianCanuck

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A trade embargo is the only action short of war the US can use to pressure a nation to change its behavior.
Leftyhunter

But it would be self defeating in a time of war. The same was tried in 1807 and it was not remotely effective. Charles Adams reminding the British government that releasing the raiders sets the precedent for the US to build them for similar reasons in a potential future war would be both far more influential, and was the very thinking in the British Cabinet which caused them to seize the ironclads.
 

Dilandu

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Most probable nothing significant. It's not only the ships; it's crews that matters also. Confederacy simply was unable to man those European-build ships in Europe (at best they may find some mercenaries, but as "Kearsarge" vs "Alabama" experience demonstrated - Union sailors would make short work out of them), and even in Confederacy ports, it would be hard to find enough sailors, mechanics and officers to serve on them.
 

Dilandu

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It should also be noted, that all those ships weren't designed to operate together at all. They have different design, different tactical purpose, different speed and weaponry. To compose a squadron out of them would be an utter pain even for tactical competent officers - and Confederacy Navy wasn't especially competent in therms of fleet action (actually, they were almost completely incompetent in this matters - almost every time they tried to operate any significant number of ships, it ends with horrible mess).

Also, most of those ships would not be completed till at least 1864, most likely - 1865. At this point, they literally could change nothing; Union fleet have enough numerical superiority to simply destroy them, even if - somehow - they would be adequately handled.
 
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