Early history notes – other countries
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
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
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
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.
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
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