An insight into owning, operating, maintaining and restoring the Royal Navy’s first armoured iron warship
Designed and built to challenge an aggressive French shipbuilding programme in the late 1850s, when commissioned the 40-gun steam-powered ironclad HMS Warrior was the largest warship in the world. The revolutionary design housed the main guns, 10 boilers and steam engine inside an impregnable armoured ‘box’ or citadel made from 4½in thick wrought iron plates. Warrior is the only surviving example of Britain’s ‘Black Battlefleet’ – the 45 iron hulls built for the Royal Navy between 1861 and 1877. She was restored in the 1980s and is now on public display at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Warrior’s Richard May revisits the life and times of this surviving example of Britain’s Victorian ‘Black Battlefleet’. With the support of more than 300 illustrations he gives vivid insights into her construction and operation, including her hull, armour, propulsion and armament. He also describes Warrior’s renovation at Hartlepool in the 1970s and 80s and her homecoming to Portsmouth in 1987.
Author: Richard May MRINA has spent his career in shipbuilding. He has been involved in the design and construction of all types of vessels from sophisticated warships to square rigged sailing ships. Richard now spends time as a volunteer guide on HMS Warrior 1860. He lives in Hampshire.