Posts Tagged ‘Warships’

MGB 81

Posted: March 1, 2019 in History, Post medieval history
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Motor gunboat 81 was built for the Royal Navy in 1942. It is believed to be the only gunboat in World War II restored to her original condition. These gunboats were fast with speeds up to 45 knots and were designed for the protection of shipping in UK coastal waters, particularly to guard against the threat of German E-boats, groups of which would cross over the Channel and attack merchant shipping.

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In 1945 MGB 81 passed into private ownership. It was involved in a smuggling operation in 1958 and was subsequently sold for scrap, but ended up as a permanent mooring in the sailing school. In 1968 it was bought by a boat preservation trust and restored to its wartime condition.

MGB 81 is currently berthed at the Portsmouth historic dockyard.

HMS Warrior had a crew of 705 which comprised three groups – the engineering staff (98), the Royal Marines who responsible for the gunnery (115) and the Royal Navy crew. The conditions under which the crew lived were very similar to those of their counterparts 100 years earlier. They shared their mess deck with the main battery of guns and slept in hammocks strung from the superstructure of the ship

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in the middle of the mess deck is the galley where all the food was prepared for the crew and the officers. The main meal of the day would be taken at noon and each seaman took it in turn to do a week’s duty as a mess Cook. This meant that he had to collect and prepare the days food for his mess and take it to the galley where it would be cooked by the seaman who worked there.

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The galley also provided the food for the captain’s cabin, which was at the rear of the mess deck and the officers quarters and wardroom which were immediately below it.

Captains day room

Captains day room

Captains dining room

Captains dining room

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HMS Warrior is an unique ship within the history of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1860, having been built as a response to recent developments in the French Navy. As the first ship built of iron, rather than using metal cladding she represented a major step forward in the evolution of fighting ships. When she was launched she attracted much more attention than any other preceding ship had ever had.
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She was a hybrid between the first modern battleships and the classical ships of the line from the preceding Napoleonic period. She had the capability both sailing under her engines and under sail. Her unique features include retractable steam funnels, so that when she was under sail power the profile of the funnels did not interfere with the flow of the wind. Her gun layout and her facilities were still very reminiscent of ships of the Napoleonic era.
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HMS Warrior remained in active naval service for 22 years during which time her guns never fired in anger. By the time he was retired from service ship design had already moved on and the turn-of-the-century would see the dispensing with the gun arrangements of the previous era and the introduction of deck based pivot guns as on modern battleships. Indeed even in 1860 Warrior has a very early prototype of these guns in the arrangements of her bow and stern chases, the direction of file which could be changed through 100° arc home side to side by mechanical means.

The trackway on the deck enabled quick change of direction of fire

The trackway on the deck enabled quick change of direction of fire

After active service, HMS Warrior used by the Navy in a number of different roles with in ports. Because of her construction, the hull lasted very well and eventually she was sold by the Navy for use as a floating jetty. She ended her working life as a floating oil jetty in Milford Haven in south-west Wales. In 1979, recognising the importance that the ship had played in the development of warships she was purchased, towed to Hartlepool and underwent restoration to her original 1860s condition. She is now on permanent display at the Portsmouth historic dockyard not far from that other great Royal Naval vessel HMS Victory.

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MGB 81

Posted: June 27, 2013 in History, Post medieval history
Tags: , ,

Motor gunboat 81 was built for the Royal Navy in 1942. It is believed to be the only gunboat in World War II restored to her original condition. These gunboats were fast with speeds up to 45 knots and were designed for the protection of shipping in UK coastal waters, particularly to guard against the threat of German E-boats, groups of which would cross over the Channel and attack merchant shipping.

DSC00906

In 1945 MGB 81 passed into private ownership. It was involved in a smuggling operation in 1958 and was subsequently sold for scrap, but ended up as a permanent mooring in the sailing school. In 1968 it was bought by a boat preservation trust and restored to its wartime condition.

MGB 81 is currently berthed at the Portsmouth historic dockyard.

HSL 102

Posted: June 10, 2013 in History, Post medieval history
Tags: , ,

High-speed launch number 102 was built at the Hythe in Kent in 1936 for the Royal Air Force. She is the only surviving example of the launches used by the RAF in World War II to rescue a man who had to ditch over the Channel. During the Battle of Britain HSL 102 rescued 38 aircrew in two months including the crews of two German bombers. Transferred to the Royal Navy in 1943 she was used to tow gunnery targets and was subsequently sold and used as a private house boat. She was purchased by a boat preservation trust in 1993 and restored to her World War II condition.

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HSL 102 is currently berthed at the Portsmouth historic dockyard

Monitor 33 is a First World War gunship, built to bombard coastal positions from the sea. She is one of the few such vessels surviving. One interesting aspect is her camouflage, which is not designed to render her ‘invisible’ but specifically to confuse the range finding systems of the day so that land and sea-based artillery would find it difficult to fix her and accurately direct directly there gunfire.

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Monitor 33 is currently on display at the Portsmouth historic dockyard

Sword rack

Sword rack

The Rum casket

The Rum casket

HMS Warrior had retractable funnels so that when under sail the funnels did not block the wind

HMS Warrior had retractable funnels so that when under sail the funnels did not block the wind

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The upper deck armaments of HMS Warrior consisted of a number of side orientated cannons, together with manoeuvrable stern and bow chasers. The chasers could be manoeuvred on mechanical trackway to increase the arc of fire in front of and behind the ship.

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The trackway on the deck enabled quick change of direction of fire

The trackway on the deck enabled quick change of direction of fire

The main armaments were found on the gun deck. They were contained within an armoured citadel which also held the armoury, ammunition, fresh water, fuel and engines as well as the crew mess hall. Within the citadel were 22 68 pound cannons and 4 110 pound cannons. The armoured citadel was 213 foot long and 22 foot deep and when tested against the most powerful guns of the day withstood damage even at point-blank range.

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