Into the Lions Den - A Scenario for Broadside and Ram?

Into the Lions Den – A Scenario for Broadside and Ram?

Here’s a really fascinating bit of ironclad naval history and a potential ‚what if?‘ scenario for my Anglo-French War of 1870. In 1866 the US Navy twin turret monitor USS Miantonomoh paid a visit to Portsmouth, where she demonstrated the power of her 15“ smoothbore armament to the British government, the Admiralty and the assembled press. You can read all about the impression this made in this excellent online article:

From Hampton Roads to Spithead | Naval History Magazine – June 2015 Volume 29, Number 3 (

Anyway, this gave me an idea for a scenario for Broadside and Ram, in which a strike force of US monitors manages to steam into Spithead and opens fire on the British fleet at anchor, possibly backed up by one of the second hand monitors of their French allies. It sounds a bit ridiculous but it could have been done, assuming the Lord Palmerston’s forts and gun batteries were still under construction, as they were at the time, and that the Royal Navy is taken by surprise. In fact, I may make this a night action to give the monitors the chance to penetrate the anchorage without being detected until the last minute. 

I quite like this as an idea…time to get planning!

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Autor: Jim Jackaman / Jim’s Wargames Workbench

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