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RadoJavor's avatar

Monitor vs Warrior

By RadoJavor
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I like to think about history and alternative history also. This is a vision of different historical line. British empire is intervening in American civil war on the side of Confederation. The first ironclads in the world fight against each other. The biggest ships in the world at time British HMS Warrior and Black Prince against smaller heavy armored American Monitors. I've read many articles about this fictional battle, still its not clear which ship can win.
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Emilion-3's avatar

Very nice peace.

annemaria48's avatar
Love he painting, BTW...
I know this is going to sound like a pussy answer, but it would depend on the wind (or weather gauge).  If it favors the HMS Warrior and HMS Black Prince, they would prevail.  Otherwise the USA monitors would be able to stay in the 'blind' spots of the British ships (Directly in front, back or on any of the quarters, were the big guns were hard to aim.)  Even though the British ships had steam power, they were not as fast under power and the smaller, lighter, monitors. I suspect if a monitors got close enough, the British would be unable to depress their guns enough to hit the much lower ships.

  There were a number of influential English who thought the British Should side with the CSA (Confederate States of America) to weaken the rising power.  In the end, The issue of slavery was the deciding factor.
AriesRCN's avatar
USS Monitor had a low profile which helped making her a small target, yet because of the low freeboard she could be swamped easily.
nixops's avatar
If Warrior got close enough she would land marines on Monitor and that would be the end of that. She would also probably be able to swamp Monitor with her prop wash. She is an amazing ship, a good solid pieces of engineering, I think she would have come out on top, but may have taken a pounding if Monitor had gotten under her guns. 
yereverluvinuncleber's avatar
Your style is at its best when working with Naval subjects.
SteamPoweredWolf's avatar
This is incredible artwork, one of my favorite warship paintings.  You really captured HMS Warrior well and the whole scene is breathtaking.
scarred-one's avatar
clunker12's avatar
All warrior has to do is ram monitor, bye bye stars and stripes.
Crimson-Quill-086's avatar
I've seen HMS Warrior up Close. I haven't been on board yet, but you can see it in all its glory from the Spinnaker Tower, and the decks of HMS Victory.
TheTimezarehard's avatar
Would love to see this in a total war game
Filanwizard's avatar
The turreted guns are likely the greatest advantage for Monitors they could avoid the brutal broadsides of the Warrior class.

Despite the first one being very crude being a first model and all the world did take notice when a turreted ship hit the waves,  Even if it maybe was a tad undergunned compared to blue water navy ships the ability to shoot independent of maneuver was huge.
Saphroneth's avatar
So far as I'm aware, the 11" guns on the Monitor were incapable of penetrating Warrior's armour - the inventor of the 11" guns tried, and discovered that the guns burst before they could actually fully penetrate the armour (that is, any such 11" guns loaded with enough powder to penetrate Warrior would explode.)

Nice picture, though.
RelativeEquinox's avatar
Really depends on quite a few things, I'd say. The Monitors probably have a pretty good advantage near to the coast where it can maneuver, and at longer range where its low profile would be advantageous. For the Warrior, the opposite. 

People often say that the Warrior outguns the Monitor, but one thing that people tend to forget is that the Monitors always carried an extremely large main gun. In the right spot, well-aimed, it may have a good chance of breaking the Warrior's famous armor.

Greetings RadoJavor,


I built a 1:96 scale, RC’ed model of the USS Kearsarge, and am currently constructing a 1:96 scale RC model of the ironclad USS Monadnock, a twin turret ‘monitor’ launched in 1863.  Furthermore, I have, but have not yet begun construction on a 1:96 model of the CSS Alabama.


While there are no 1:96 scale models of the HMS Warrior, I’ve imagined how a battle between these ships might have unfolded, had Great Britain entered the war on the side of the CSA, possibly as a result of the ‘Trent Affair’…

While I’ll ‘only’ be able to act-out a single naval battel in this expanded Civil War, I can’t see things going well for Brittan, given her previous two defeats at the hands of the US, and think that such a war would end with the US taking possession of much, if not all, of Canada, in addition to re-taking the ‘States-in-Rebellion’….

nixops's avatar
If monitor can get in close enough under Warriors guns she will pound her to shreds. Monitor has a low profile and at really close range was an at advantage, she was a slo a much smaller target, but then having such a low freeboard made her vulnerable to heavy seas too. Warror is an impressive ship, but I am not sure how she would have stood up in a fight.
Topaz172's avatar
simple answer...

Warrior is the world's first Battleship. She is designed for combat in the open ocean armed with 26 muzzle loading 68 pdr (32kg) guns - together with 10 of the new breech loading Armstrong 110 pdr (50kg) weapons.

The Monitor Class is a gunboat designed for river and coastal conditions and armed with two 136-pound (61.7 kg)  guns and has a (relatively) limited Ammunition supply.

Warrior out guns Montor by a factor of x6 and Monitor is really only seaworthy in flat-calm conditions. The only thing in Monitor's favour is her small size and wide angle of fire (turret).

romansiii's avatar
You have to realize that the Monitor is practically Cannon Proof. 
Topaz172's avatar
According to Brown's book Warrior was also cannon-proof and was still cannon proof a decade later.

In order to get penetration the test cannon had to strike in the crater of the previous shot. So assuming that Monitor's armour is roughly equivelent and that the skill of the crews is comparible then its a case of which ship gets a shot that hits a previous crater. Warrior's rate of fire is 6x greater therefore it hass more chances of getting a penetration.

Obviously Warrior is a bigger target, but that also means that a penetrating hit his less critical. hit the gun deck on Warrior and it might lose 4 guns and have 8 left, take out the turret on Monitor and its game over.

In this era 'Ramming' was a valid tactic and Warrior was considered capable of ramming.... against something as small and unseaworthy as Monitor, this flawed tactic might even work.
Ramming would be difficult for such a large ship in the ports where the engagement would most likely take place. Besides, I sure that the Monitor crews would attempt to hit vital areas, such as the rudder or magazine.
Tonkin72's avatar
See the June 2015 issue of Naval History magazine for your answer. Warrior was a better seagoing ship, and better at attacking forts. But against other ships in confined spaces (like a harbor) the monitors were vastly superior.
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