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MONITOR vs MERRIMACK | US Civil War Ironclads in Battle

Updated on December 30, 2012

The USS Monitor vs CSS Virginia

Monitor vs Merrimack

I think that the CSS Virginia (Merrimack) was the better fighting machine. Although the initial meeting was a tie, I think the CSS Virginia held its own. The Monitor was just a single gun turret on a raft. The CSS Virginia was a fighting machine. The CSS Virginia had a total of 12 guns compared to the USS Monitor's 2.

Which One do you Think Won in this Mighty Battle?

Monitor vs Merrimack

Meet the Contenders

CSS Virginia

CSS Virginia's info:

Displacement: approx. 3200 tons

Length: 275 ft (84 m)

Beam: 38.6 ft (11.8 m)

Draft: 22 ft (6.7 m)

Speed: 9 knots (17 km/h)

Complement: 320 officers and men

Armament: 2Ã7 inch (178 mm) rifles

2Ã6 inch (152 mm) rifles

6Ã9 inch (229 mm) Dahlgren smoothbores

2Ã12-pounder (5 kg) howitzers

Armor: Double iron plating; 2 inch (51 mm) thick

In this Corner USS Monitor

Cheesebox on a Raft

Displacement: 987 tons (1,003 metric tons)

Length: 172 ft (52 m)

Beam: 41 ft 6 in (12.6 m)

Draught: 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m)

Speed: 8 knots (15 km/h)

Complement: 59 officers and men

Armament: 2 Ã 11 in (279 mm) Dahlgren smoothbores

Armor: iron

Union Monitors 1861-65

New Vanguard

Union Monitors 1861-65

The first seagoing ironclad was the USS Monitor, and its profile has made it one of the most easily recognised warships of all time. Following her inconclusive battle with the Confederate ironclad Virginia on March 9, 1862, the production of Union monitors was accelerated. By the end of the year a powerful squadron of monitor vessels protected the blockading squadrons off the Southern coastline, and were able to challenge Confederate control of her ports and estuaries. Further technological advancements were included in subsequent monitor designs, and by the end of the war the US Navy possessed a modern coastal fleet carrying the most powerful artillery afloat. This book covers the design, development and operational history of the Union's Monitor fleet.

Monitor vs Merrimac - Books on Ironclads

Some of my favorite books all about Civil War Ironclads

CSS NEUSE | US Civil War Ironclad
The CSS Neuse was a sister ship to the CSS Albemarle. The CSS Neuse was one of 22 ironclads commissioned by the Confederate navy. Having a wide, flat bottom,...

CSS ALBEMARLE | Ironclad of The Roanoke | US Civil War Armorclad
CSS Albemarle was an ironclad ram of the Confederate Navy named for a town and a sound in North Carolina and a county in Virginia. All three locations were n...

The battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, (formerly the USS Merrimack) two of the Civil War Ironclads, started one of the biggest changes in N...

CSS TEXAS | US Civil War Ironclad
The keel for the CSS Texas was laid down at Richmond, Virginia. She was launched in January 1865. At the time of Robert E. Lee's evacuation of Richmond on ...

CSS ATLANTA | US Civil War Ironclad
CSS Atlanta was originally the English blockade runner Fingal, built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1861. She was procured by the Confederate Government in 1862 an...

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What Do You Think About This Meeting of Titans?

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      BrassFittings 6 years ago

      Great display of Iron Side war ships!