Saturday, September 3, 2011

USS Monitor's Turret Tank Drained-- Part 2

I am still not sure whether they just kept the tank drained for the two months or if they drained it and refilled it each day.

This turret was significant as it marked the first time in history that a warship could fire in any direction without turning the whole ship. Ships up until then relied on cannons in mass along the sides (broadsides) of the vessel. Any change of direction required the whole ship to move. Plus, the guns on the other side could not be made to bear on the enemy.

Even the first Confederate ironclad the Monitor fought, the CSS Virginia, relied on guns in broadside.

The turret and other parts of the Monitor (the hull was left in place as it was determined to be too fragile to attempt moving it) were raised in 2002 and immediately moved to the Mariners Museum where it was kept in the giant tank of water ever since.

Had the salt-soaked iron been allowed to dry out quickly, it would rust and disintegrate. Officials estimate that it will be another 15 years before it can be permanently dry displayed.

More to Come. --Old B-R'er

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