The second part of our voyage to discover some of the most famous ships in history crashes through the waves to look at some of the most famous warships that have sailed the seas in search of conflict. They include HMS Dreadnought, USS Monitor and the Potemkin.
His Majesty’s Ship Dreadnought was launched in 1906 and inspired a whole new class of warships that were classed as Dreadnought’s. For the time HMS Dreadnought was incredibly fast and was capable of 21 knots. This is quite amazing considering she was laden with 12-inch guns.
HMS Dreadnought was the first all-big-gun warship the world had ever seen, and all the warships that were built before she was launched became instantly obsolete. Battleships today are often referred to as Dreadnoughts and another first for warships was that it was powered by a steam turbine engine.
The USS Monitor was made famous by a sea battle involving the CSS Virginia in the American Civil War. The Monitor was powered by steam and had a revolving turret with cannon to fire on enemy ships. The epic sea battle is written in naval history as the first conflict involving ironclad warships.
Before Dreadnoughts were invented, the warships that sailed the seas were far different, and Potemkin is a prime example of the warships that went before. Potemkin is famous on several counts, the first that it was the place of a famous mutiny in 1905 between the crew and the ship’s officers, and the second as it was a film star. The epic 1925 film The Battleship Potemkin is highly regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time.
In the 18th Century the lifespan of a warship was around ten years, but the USS Constitution changed all that when it became one of the longest serving warships in history. In 2012 it actually sailed once more, which is an incredible 215 years after it was first commissioned.
She was nicknamed Old Ironsides after an Oliver Wendell Holmes poem that described her in battle with cannon balls bouncing off her sides. It is quite amazing that the USS Constitution lasted as long as she did as she fought in numerous campaigns, including the 1812 War.
Possibly the most famous mutiny in history is the one that happened on The Bounty in 1789. Three films have been made of the event all major motion pictures featuring top movie stars of their day. A replica of the original Bounty was made for the 1960 MGM Hollywood movie, and then it became an educational aid ship.
For all the wrong reasons possibly the most famous ship in the world was the Royal Merchant Ship Titanic. Everybody knows the story of the ill-fated, and supposedly unsinkable ship of the White Star Line registered in Liverpool.
The tragic loss of over 1,200 passengers and crew served to change ship regulations for the future and to make it far safer for every person traveling on the oceans. Without doubt more movies, books, documentaries have been made about RMS Titanic than any other ship that ever set sail.