Floating battery


Floating battery

A floating battery is a kind of armed watercraft, often improvised or experimental, which carries a heavy armament but has few other qualities as a warship.

The most notable floating batteries were built or designed in the 1800s, and are related to the development of first the steam warship and the ironclad warship.

"Demologos", the first steam-propelled warship, was a floating battery designed for the protection of New York Harbor in the War of 1812.

In the 1850s, the British and French navies deployed iron-armored floating batteries as a supplement to the wooden steam battlefleet in the Crimean War. The role of the battery was to assist unarmored mortar and gunboats bombarding shore fortifications. The French used their batteries in 1855 against the defenses at Kinburn on the Black Sea, where they were effective against Russian shore defences. The British planned to use theirs in the Baltic Sea against Kronstadt, and were influential in causing the Russians to sue for peace.Lambert A. "Iron Hulls and Armour Plate"; Gardiner "Steam, Steel and Shellfire" p. 47-55] The development of such iron-armored batteries was step towards the development of ironclad warships.

Floating batteries were popularly implemented by both the Union and the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The first was the Confederate Floating Battery of Charleston Harbor which which took an active part in the bombardment of Fort Sumter in April 1861. Experimental ironclad vessels that proved too cumbersome or were underpowered were often converted into floating batteries and posted for river and coastal waterway control.

A modern concept of the floating battery which never reached the water is the arsenal ship concept explored by the US Navy during the 1990s, the Arsenal Ship would have been an unmanned "stealth" vessel armed solely with a large number of VLS cells, all loaded with ship-to-shore cruise missiles.

Notes


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