View single post by barrydancer
 Posted: Fri Jun 5th, 2009 07:32 pm
 PM  Quote  Reply  Full Topic 

Joined: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008
Location: Norwalk, Connecticut USA
Posts: 135

  back to top

James Nelson postulated in his Reign of Iron that Virginia was able to withstand Monitor's attack in part due to the latter ship being under orders not to use a full charge of powder in her guns.  Had they been allowed to operate at full power, those 11" Dahlgren's could have been able to punch holes in Virginia's armor. 

Does anyone know what kind of armament Fortress Monroe was sporting at the time?  They certainly had more, and likely larger, guns than Monitor and would have been under no compunction to lower their powder charges.  A few well-placed hits from those large seacoast guns could possibly have ended Virginia's day fairly quickly.

Plus, as previously mentioned Merrimac wasn't a very swift vessel when she was in service.  Throw tons of iron on her, and her small engine is barely adequate to move the ship.  Place a few obstacles in her path and she ain't going nowhere. 

Her real power lay in the fear she engendered, which was enormously out of proportion to her actual capabilities.

Last edited on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 07:33 pm by barrydancer

 Close Window