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Civil War - Monitor vs Merrimack- The battle on March 9 1862 between the USS Monitor and the CSS Merrimack officially the CSS Virginia is one of the most revolutionary naval battles in world history Up until that point all battles had been waged between wooden ships This was the first battle in maritime history that two ironclad ships waged war The USS Merrimack was a Union frigate throughout most of its existence up until the Union Navy abandoned the Norfolk Naval Yard To prevent the Confederate Navy from using her against them the Union Navy scuttled her The Confederates however raised the ship from the shallow floor of the ocean and began making some major modifications Confederate engineers cut the hull down to the water line and built a slanted top on it Then they bolted four layers of iron sheets each two inches thick to the entire structure Also added was a huge battering ram to the bow of the ship to be used in ramming maneuvers The ship was then fitted with ten twelve-pound cannons There were four guns placed on the starboard and port sides and one on the bow and stern sides Due to its massive nature the ships draft was enormous it stretched twenty-two feet to the bottom The ship was so slow and long that it required a turning radius of about one mile Likened to a floating barn roof DesJardien 2 and not predicted to float the only individual willing to take command of the ship was Captain Franklin Buchanan After all the modifications were complete the ship was rechristened the CSS Virginia but the original name the CSS Merrimack is the preferred name The USS Monitor was the creation of Swedish-American
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