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"The U.S. Navy's Three Headed Monster-USS Roanoke" Topic

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1,483 hits since 21 Jan 2013
©1994-2016 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 8:07 p.m. PST

"One perceived flaw in the design of the original USS Monitor was its lack of firepower. With only two XI-inch guns, many in the U.S. Navy felt the need to upgrade the design. Many engineers felt this could be solved by putting a bigger gun in the turret, or by adding a second turret. USS Monitor's original designer, John Ericsson, was not in favor of a second turret as he saw no need for it. He also believed the turrets would get in the way of the line of fire.
John Lenthall, the Navy's long time chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, decided that two turrets were insufficient. Shortly after the Battle of Hampton Roads, Lenthall got the idea in his head that if the Confederacy could convert a ship like Merrimack into an ironclad, the U.S. Navy could do the same.

With the Secretary's approval, Lenthall sent shipyards and ironworks in New York City plans to convert Roanoke into an ironclad monitor-type warship with three turrets. Lenthall's design called for the turrets to be armored with single iron plates each twenty-two feet long, 4 1/2-inches thick, and weighing four tons. Each turret housed either XV-inch Dahlghrens or a 150-pounder Parrott Rifle. If that was not enough firepower, Lenthall wanted a "huge axe" on the bow of the ship in order to ram…"
Full article here.



Are there a miniature of this ship?

Hope you enjoy!.


Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian21 Jan 2013 8:12 p.m. PST

Thoroughbred makes it in 1:600. link


Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian21 Jan 2013 8:16 p.m. PST

Panzerschiffe makes it in 1:2400 scale. link


Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 8:23 p.m. PST

Thoroughbred models cannot be beat!


Parzival21 Jan 2013 8:23 p.m. PST

Okay, but what would you do with the thing?
Can barely do 5 knots, rolls too much to shoot the guns, and sat at Hampton Roads for the duration, never seeing battle, if it could have even fought.
So while a neat miniature, it's not much use in a battle scenario, which would be ahistorical (not that there's anything wrong with tható I like fictional battles).
So to actually use the Roanoke in a game, you'd either have to make it little more than a floating battery, or fictionalize an engineering refit that never happened (and possibly couldn't happen). So, it definitely wouldn't be a historical fight.

Charlie 1221 Jan 2013 8:31 p.m. PST

And to top it off, the exposed freeboard was completely unarmored. Nice looking, but talk about an Achilles Heel.

Glengarry521 Jan 2013 11:23 p.m. PST

I knew there was a three turreted Union monitor! Years ago I had a silly arguement over the existence of this ship and I was right! I'm right! You hear me world!?! I was right! Hahahahahahah!!!!
Damn that's sad…

Streitax21 Jan 2013 11:49 p.m. PST

I agree with Florida Tory, those Thoroghbred models are fantastic! So, are there ironclad rules in 1:600? This is how new gamers are tempted into new periods.

Belisarius22 Jan 2013 5:26 a.m. PST

I have one it is a fantastic model. Used it river battle on the Mississippi. It against every thing the Confederation could throw at it bloody but interesting. There was a lot of wrecked ships but it limped home.

SgtPain22 Jan 2013 8:43 a.m. PST

Thanks for the link to the article, I enjoyed reading it. Very interesting!

flicking wargamer Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 8:43 a.m. PST

Sail and Steam is good for 1/600. It is basically a simplified (slightly) version of the Yaquinto boardgame Ironclads. Plays reasonably fast once you get the rules down.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 9:39 a.m. PST

I've got this in 1/600 (Toby's lovely model) and 1/1200 (from Navwar – turned out nice after some careful detailing). For rules you could do a lot worse than try Iron and Fire from A&AGE (but then i would say that!) :)

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 9:41 a.m. PST

Many thanks for your guidance boys!.
Agree with my friend Rick.


EJNashIII22 Jan 2013 3:54 p.m. PST

Out of her many flaws, the worse was her draft. The point of a monitor with low free-board is coastal work. However, she drew over 24 feet! Interestingly, her only real chance at a fight was before the conversion. She was at Hampton Roads When the Virginia sailed forth, but drew so much water that it was feared she would have run aground if she engaged the ironclad. While a failure, the experiment did lead to the more successful 2 turret monitors.

jowady Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 6:47 p.m. PST

Langton makes her as both a frigate and a Monitor in 1/1200

Bye Bye TMP Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 4:05 a.m. PST

Navwar do the Roanoke in 1/1200th. I have it. I think I used it in a game once, about 25 years ago :)

Captain Crunch Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2013 7:26 p.m. PST

If you want 1/600 Thoroughbred can't be beat. I have at least 20 of his models and they are all fantastic.


Chouan Inactive Member14 Feb 2013 12:36 p.m. PST

Classic "experimental" or transitional warship. Turrets too heavy for the hull, so unseaworthy, engines not powerful enough, so too slow, draught too great, so no good as a monitor. Add desperately slow firing, and inaccurate guns and appalling conditions onboard for the crew; not much of a ship really, except to establish what not to build!

deephorse15 Feb 2013 7:06 a.m. PST

So, are there ironclad rules in 1:600?

And 'Smoke on the Water', which I find can give a very enjoyable game (provided that the scenario has been properly considered).

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