The First Mastless Capital Ship HMS Devastation

By G. A. Ballard, published February 1946

Abstract

The transitional period of the mid to late nineteenth century affected all aspects of shipbuilding and design, with the advances in naval weapons being no less marked than the changes to propulsion and armour. Ballard explains these advances in artillery, the change from mounting guns inside the hull to the top-deck centreline and the consequential disappearance of sails and masts. HMS Devastation, of 1871, was the first capital ship to achieve this leap forward and, not only did the sailing rig disappear, she carried four 35 ton guns in two centreline turrets, making her the world’s most powerful warship.

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

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