British Battleships of 1870 Part VIII The Captain

By G.A. Ballard, published August 1931


Following on from the author’s previous account of the Monarch, this considers the Captain. Proposed by Cowper Coles, this was also an attempt at a centre-line armed ship. However, Cole’s design was fundamentally flawed, and was rejected by profession opinion as dangerous for an ocean going vessel owing to defective stability. Due to press and public pressure, the ship was nevertheless built, by Laird Brothers of Birkenhead. The height of side when loaded was found to be 2ft less than the predicted 8.5ft. Initial sailing seemed satisfactory but during the night of September 6th, in rough weather, the Captain rolled over and sank taking 472 men out of 490 to their deaths. An account of the subsequent Court of Inquiry confirming the professional views is given.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Navies | Shipbuilding & Design | Weapons

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