An examination of the naval warfare during the civil war

Polygonal fort Model of city with polygonal fortifications The period from — saw a rapid advance in techniques of fortification in Europe. Whereas medieval castles had relied on high walls to keep out attackers, early modern fortifications had to withstand artillery bombardments.

An examination of the naval warfare during the civil war

In many respects this description is open to argument as many of the innovations such as rifles, breach loaders, telegraphs, railways, etc. Without doubt however the war at sea marked a turning point in naval history marking the end of the "wooden wall" line of battleships which had held sway since the Spanish Armada and laying out the design of the armoured, turreted, steam powered ship which dominated naval strategy until the coming of age of the aircraft carrier in This article will cover the technological changes and the operational aspects that made the war so unique and also, in my opinion, make it a perfect period for wargaming, whether you want to have an accurate recreation of a certain battle or just a straight "set 'em up and go for it" game.

It is also a period where the wargamer's habit of mixing his hobby with alcoholic beverages is not amiss since a fair proportion of the participants in the real thing seem to An examination of the naval warfare during the civil war done much the same. Technology By the start of the ACW steam power as a means of naval propulsion had been around for over 40 years, but it had always been regarded as an auxiliary to sail power, either in the form of a small engine to keep a sailing ship going in a calm or of steam powered tugs to tow sailing ships in harbours and coastal waters.

The reason for this was that early engines were so inefficient that no ship could carry the amount of coal necessary to steam large distances. Thus navies were still tied to the strategy and tactics of sail power.

For instance, the British fleets that dominated the Baltic and Black Seas in the Crimean War, although consisting in the main of steam-engined ships, were still sailing fleets at heart and would have been familiar to Nelson or Drake.

By the s however engines were rapidly becoming more efficient and it was possible for relatively small ships to carry enough coal to get themselves across large distances with a decent cargo.

An examination of the naval warfare during the civil war

Most ships still retained a full sailing rig but now it was the sails that provided the auxiliary power. Not having to rely on the wind gave admirals much more tactical freedom but there was a strategic price to pay. In previous wars ships could stay at sea as long as their food, water and ammunition held out.

An examination of the naval warfare during the civil war

From now on ships would require refuelling too, either at friendly ports or from supply ships, thus the fleet train of supply vessels to keep the fighting fleet going was born, a naval development to which the USN has always since paid the most attention of' any major power.

The use of steam power now made it possible to provide armour for ships to keep out shot and shell. In the war all armour was iron and only the North had the industrial capability to roll armour plate. The South armoured its warships by using old railroad tracks, but as the war progressed and the Southern railways became more and more dilapidated, even old rails were better than none and railroad iron for warships became like gold.

Although the ACW is remembered as being the first naval war between armoured ships it must be said that most of the ships on both sides were unarmoured and unarmoured ships could, occasionally, take out armoured vessels.

Early modern warfare Jump to of government functions caused a series of revolts across Europe such as the Fronde in France and the English Civil War. musket, cannons, and the arquebus over traditional weapons. Imam Ahmed was the first African commander to use cannon warfare on the continent during the Adal's conquest of the. Scrutinizing Naval Warfare during the Civil War: The Ironclad In April , after Fort Sumter, Union navy personnel hurriedly attempted to destroy its most important facility in Norfolk, Virginia, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the newly seceded state of Virginia. MODIFIED CIVIL WAR EXAM Name:_____ MULTIPLE CHOICE: Choose the statement that best answers each question. D. Ironclad used by Union in naval warfare Formed field hospitals and Red Cross How did the Union aim to maintain control of the sea during the Civil War? a. Asking the British for naval help along the Atlantic b. .

The South also used what I supposed would today be called "organic" armour in that, having no shortage of King Cotton they took to armouring their ships with bales of the stuff. These "cotton clads" had at least some protection against shot, but of course the cotton was highly inflammable, no small consideration when all ships were still made of wood.

USS Monitor - watercolour by Oscar Parkes Improved casting techniques had, throughout the 19th Century, made it possible to cast bigger and bigger guns. Thus whilst Nelson 's wooden walls would be armed with 6. Thus, for instance, David Farragut's flagship, a sloop of 21 guns, fired a heavier weight of shot than did Nelson's "Victory" of guns.

Submarine Warfare in the Civil W

As on land many of the naval guns were also rifled. This gave improvement in accuracy but, more importantly, the higher muzzle velocities gave much better penetration than smoothbores. It must be stressed that much of this technology was new and untested.

The gunners were working at "the edge of the envelope" and only trial and error could determine the optimum charge for a gun.

The "trials" often took place in the heat of battle as gunners seeing their shot bounce off armoured opponents desperately increased the charge. An "error" however would mean a burst gun and dead gunners, a not infrequent occurrence. Finally we turn to the underwater menace.

The term "torpedo" was used in the ACW to describe any naval explosive device and ought not to be confused with the modern, self propelled, explosive "fish" which was not invented then. There were basically two types of torpedo, firstly there were the sort of things that we would now call mines, containers of explosives moored underwater and set off by contact detonators or, again a first for the ACW, command detonated by electricity.

Since ships of the period had little, if any, internal, water tight sub-dividing, any hole below the waterline could prove fatal and since most of the armoured ships had very little reserve buoyancy anyway, they could sink in seconds as a result of a mine explosion.

At best the torpedoes were unreliable and there are several recorded incidents of ships crews hearing the snapping of detonators as they hit a mine but no explosion resulting. Even so, such an experience probably did little for the colour of one's underpants.

USS Housatonic - as portrayed by R. Skerrett in Spar torpedoes were explosive charges placed on a spar clear of the bow of the ship, the idea being to drive your ship at his and detonate the charge against his hull.

The search for constants

Again the effect seems to have been very variable - sometimes devastating, frequently ineffectual.MODIFIED CIVIL WAR EXAM Name:_____ MULTIPLE CHOICE: Choose the statement that best answers each question. D. Ironclad used by Union in naval warfare Formed field hospitals and Red Cross How did the Union aim to maintain control of the sea during the Civil War?

a. Asking the British for naval help along the Atlantic b. . Military Innovations of the Civil War term papers state that the two greatest military innovations of the Civil War occurred, not on land, but on the sea.

The well-known story of the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimack on March 9, introduced armor plating to naval warfare and made every other navy on the planet obsolete overnight. An examination of the American Civil War sea battle fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March After the Confederacy built an iron fort atop a captured frigate, the Union developed a revolutionary iron warship that changed the course of naval warfare worldwide.

This book covers the entire range of naval warfare during The Great War, including many arenas not normally considered important.

While most histories concentrate on the British struggles with the German Imperial Navy in the North Sea, Halpern broadens his scope to include all of the basic naval events. Naval warfare: Naval warfare, the tactics of military operations conducted on, under, or over the sea.

Being the activities of battle itself, tactics are conceived and executed at the literal and metaphoric centre of war’s violence.

Tactical science is an orderly description of these activities, and tactical art. A Naval History of World War I - Kindle edition by Paul G. Halpern. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading A Naval History of World War I/5(11).

Early modern warfare - Wikipedia