That the ironclad came to early and spectacular prominence in the shape of the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor in Hampton Roads on 8 and 9 March 1862 is common knowledge in naval history. Less well known is that this multifaceted expression of technology—and the revolutionary alteration wrought by it on littoral, riverine, and eventually oceanic operations—in most respects originated far from America’s shores and, as it turned out, was destined to be refined by foreign powers on distant waters. As with everything else in naval history, the reasons for this rest on an admixture of strategic requirement, tactical necessity, financial expediency, technical capability, and the wider political and diplomatic conjuncture.
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David K. Brown, Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development, 1860–1905 (London: Chatham Publishing, 1997).
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Bruce Taylor, ed., The World of the Battleship: The Design and Careers of Twenty-One Capital Ships of the World’s Navies, 1880–1990 (Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing, 2018).
H. W. Wilson, Ironclads in Action: A Sketch of Naval Warfare, 1855–1895, 2 vols. (London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1896).