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By Philip MacDougall

Based in 1570, Chatham Dockyard fast turned probably the most very important naval yards for the fix and development of warships, keeping a pre-eminent place for the following four hundred years. situated at the River Medway, the backyard used to be liable for the development of over 500 warships in all, those starting from basic naval pinnaces to first-rates that fought at Trafalgar, and concluding with the hunter-killer submarines of the nuclear age.

during this precise new background of the backyard from skilled neighborhood and maritime writer Philip MacDougall, specific cognizance is given to the ultimate 2 hundred years of the yard’s heritage, the artisans and labourers who labored ther,e and the altering equipment utilized in the development of a few of the best warships to go into naval carrier. Coinciding with the dockyard’s looking prestige as a global historical past website, this interesting background areas Chatham firmly in its total ancient context.

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Extra info for Chatham Dockyard: The Rise and Fall of a Military Industrial Complex

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This weaponry was far greater than that of Wampanoag. 2 knots. Although this speed was still fast by standards of the day, it was not enough to match the threat that had necessitated the construction of this ship. The Inconstant’s speed was supplemented by its full sailing rig, retained partially from the entrenchment of sails in the naval circles of Britain. They were also absolutely necessary, however, as the ship’s range was limited. Although the ship’s radius under steam was 1,170 miles, a great improvement over Wampanoag, sails had to be used whenever possible because of the lack of overseas refueling facilities.

Given these advantages, iron was subsequently applied to warship construction following these early craft as naval officials took note of the strength of iron and its potential to withstand enemy fire. The first application of iron to warship construction was the British gunboat Nemesis. Laid down in 1839 and completed in January 1840, the iron hull of the Nemesis measured 184 feet by 29 feet and displaced 660 tons. This structure was revolutionary for its composition and for the fact that it incorporated watertight compartments, making it the first warship fitted with this innovation.

These vessels were the five-ship Wampanoag class. Specifically designed for the traditional cruiser role of commerce protection, these vessels are commonly seen as the first purpose-built cruisers. Construction began on all five in 1863, and although the hulls were constructed entirely of wood reminiscent of the high point of the Age of Fighting Sail, the ships were all equipped with a steam engine whose design called for a maximum speed of 17 knots. The Wampanoag’s hull measured 335 feet by 44 feet and displaced 4,215 tons.

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