The Royal Navy’s Difficulties with Implementing Iron Water Tanks, about 1815 to 1840

By Andy Plumbly, published November 2020


It would appear logical to assume that the introduction of iron water tanks into the Royal Navy during and after the Napoleonic War facilitated better water quality by using containers that were cheaper and more reliable than wooden casks, provided accessible storage for the output from distillation plant and thereby enabled the abolition of the beer ration. In fact, these themes did not coalesce until much later than 1815. This article traces the haphazard implementation of iron water tanks through the 1820s and 1830s and identifies operational problems that have not previously been examined.

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Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Administration | Logistics | Navies

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