floating battery

Quick Reference

Originally a razed sailing warship with guns on board for bombarding installations ashore, but in its better-known connotation, the first attempt to use armour in warships. They evolved from the abortive attack by British and French wooden ships of the line against the Russian naval base of Sebastopol in 1854 during the Crimean War (1854–6), when the attack had to be hurriedly abandoned because of the damage the ships were receiving. Floating batteries, with their hulls protected by iron plates to the waterline and fitted with small steam engines, were constructed in Britain and France and reached the Crimea in 1855. Their first action was the bombardment of the Kinburn forts, where they created a great impression, inflicting great damage on the forts and receiving very little themselves. The ultimate development of the floating battery was the monitor.

See also warfare at sea.

See also warfare at sea.

Subjects: Maritime History.

Reference entries