Just over 150 years ago there was a battle between two small warships which has been regarded by many as a turning point in warfare at sea and in warship design. That battle, between the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia during the American Civil War, was largely a draw but it proved to be a remarkable demonstration of the effectiveness of armour plate in protecting a warship from her enemy’s guns. This presentation traces the development of the armoured battleship from the earliest use of armour during Crimean War to the arms race of the early 20th Century and the ultimate gunships of World War II. Whilst the development of the aircraft and submarine heralded the end of the great battle fleets one important role of the battleship, that of naval gunfire support, has continued and the gun still has a role in naval forces today.
John is a graduate in naval architecture from the University of New South Wales. He spent most of his career at Cockatoo Dockyard in Sydney and held a number of positions in the planning and technical area before being appointed Technical Director of the company in 1976. In 1978 he also took responsibility for all production activities. John was Managing Director/Chief Executive of Cockatoo Dockyard Pty Limited from 1981 to 1991.
He is currently editor-in-chief of The Australian Naval Architect. John is Senior Vice President of the Navy League of Australia and Vice President of the Naval Historical Society of Australia. He has written three books on the history of Cockatoo Dockyard.
Date and Time: 1100, Wednesday 15th September 2021 (Sydney time)
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