early history of ironclads

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					Early history notes – other countries

EUROPE
   In Greece, merchant ships were fitted with lead sheets to protect against
     wood-eating worms by the 5th century BC.
   Huge Syracusia, built by Greek tyrant Hiero II of Syracuse around 240 B.C.
     featured bronze-tipped mast tops and an iron palisade on its fighting deck to
     ward off enemy boarding attempts, hull covered in lead plates studded with
     bronze nails
   Roman ships such as the Nemi Ships had hulls covered by a thin layer of lead
   (Practice continued by Spanish, Portuguese explorers during the Age of
     Exploration)
   Roman warships had a layer of tarred and lead sheathing on their sides,
     protecting against sea damage but not ramming from other ships
   Norse longships reinforced with strips of iron armor as early as the 11th
     century AD.
   Peter IV of Aragon protected his ships against missile fire with animal hides
     in the mid-fourteenth century
   Ship with iron plating commissioned 1505 by an admiral in the Spanish Fleet
   Santa Anna, lead-sheathed carrack or huge ship, viewed by many as one of
     the earliest examples of an ironclad. It successfully sailed against the Turks in
     the Mediterranean 1522-1540.
   More examples of iron-plated ships are the Galleon of Venice, Venetian
     flagship which crippled the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Preveza in 1538,
     the Dutch Finis Bellis man-of-war at the siege of Antwerp in 1585, and the
     floating batteries that attacked Gibraltar in 1782.
  ASIA
   Asian ship armor likely began with thin sheets of metal applied to the
     undersides of ships to preserve them.
   Battle of Red Cliff, 207, warships covered with wetted hides as protection
     against weapons of fire.
   By 1130, Jin sailors were building protective bulwarks of an unknown metal.
   The introduction of paddle-boats led Song dynasty general Qin Shifu to build
     two new prototypes of warships, which had their sides protected with iron
     plates.
   1578, Japanese lord Oda Nobunaga made six Atakebune (large Japanese
     warships), allegedly called Tekkōsen, literally “iron ships”. More floating
     batteries than ships, armed with multiple cannons and large-caliber firearms,
     and described as being protected by iron plates two to three inches thick.
   Dispute over if Korean turtle ships were iron-plated or simply fitted with
     iron spikes.

				
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posted:9/17/2012
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