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Ironclad: The Monitor and the Merrimack by…

Ironclad: The Monitor and the Merrimack

by Arthur Mokin

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Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, was Lincoln's "Father Neptune," despite never being a sailor or seafaring type. But he did have an absolute dedication to his work. As he got into his new job, he realized what a chore he had cut out for himself. Many of their most experienced officers were Southerners. Most of the ships themselves were in the South. And the department was out of date, underfunded, and spread much too thin. It was his job to come up with something, anything, that could be crafted into a navy and prevent the Europeans from sending aid to the Confederacy.

The ships themselves were a huge part of this story. The Merrimack had been badly damaged and was awaiting repairs in Roanoke. If the South could get her fixed up, she was going to be the biggest threat to the blockade. So the North better come up with something to fight with and fast. They found Captain Ericsson. Ericsson, a native Swede, had designed a revolutionary ship, but he had a difficult reputation and prickly manner. Many were convinced this ship would never even float, much less win a battle. Lifelong sailors had a huge trouble making the shift first from sail to steam, and now they needed to shift from wood to steel. It was a huge gamble, and one the North had to win or the war would be lost and soon.

I really enjoyed this story. The only part I didn't love was that there was a little too much speculation in parts, which was distracting. I also wish there had been pictures. The only pictures were the ones on the cover. I had to go online to see what the ships had looked like.

If you are interested in naval history or the Civil War, I recommend this one. There are several books on the subject, but this was one even I, a complete landlubber, could enjoy. 4 stars. ( )
  cmbohn | Apr 27, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0891414053, Hardcover)

With a novelist's eye and the historian's devotion to research, Arthur Mokin recreates the early years of the Civil War, immersing the reader in this place and time. Readers will witness the birth of technology that revolutionized navies around the world--proven in the historic battle of the Merrimack and the Monitor. Ironclad is immensely readable--popular history at its best.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:14 -0400)

History of the ironclads--the Monitor and the Merrimack during the Civil War and how their technology revolutionized navies around the world.

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