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Turret ship

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USSMonitor1862.2.ws.jpg
USS Monitor, the first turret ship to see combat.

Turret ships were a 19th-century type of warship, the earliest to have their guns mounted in a revolving gun turret, instead of a broadside arrangement.

The first experiment was the addition of a turntable-mounted shielded gun to HMS Trusty (a floating battery) in 1861. The USS Monitor, built in 1862, is more famous, being the first ship mounted with only a turret to take part in battle. Pressure from the Royal Navy's proponent of turrets, Captain Cowper Phipps Coles, led to the building of HMS Captain to his design in 1869. She was a low freeboard design and capsized during a heavy gale while under sail. HMS Monarch and HMVS Cerberus built at the same time proved more durable and HMS Devastation of 1871 led directly to the modern battleship. Mostly turret ships were monitors, oceangoing and coastal. Ships like the Zhenyuan were used in the Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War.

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