History Podcasts

Blood and Iron: Letters from the Western Front, Hugh Montagu Butterworth, ed. Jon Cooksey

Blood and Iron: Letters from the Western Front, Hugh Montagu Butterworth, ed. Jon Cooksey

Blood & Iron: Letters from the Western Front, Hugh Montagu Butterworth, ed. Jon Cooksey

Blood & Iron: Letters from the Western Front, Hugh Montagu Butterworth, ed. Jon Cooksey

This book is built around a series of letters written by Hugh Montagu Butterworth during his short time in France, which lasted from late May 1915 until his death in the Ypres salient on 25 September 1915. These letters were originally published in New Zealand early in 1916. Butterworth was the cousin of the famous composer George Butterworth and his earlier life had been typical of many young men of his generation - a sports mad school career followed by an equally sports dominated period at Oxford. Things changed just before he would have graduated - his father lost his money and decided to emigrate to New Zealand. Hugh abandoned his studies and followed his father around the world, becoming a teacher at Wanganui School. After the outbreak of the First World War he decided to volunteer for the British Army and returned to the United Kingdom.

The letters make up about a quarter of the book. The first three quarters are a biography of Hugh, tracing his life from his sport's mad childhood, through an apparently sport dominated education (which ended just before he would have taken his final exams at Oxford). The family then emigrated to New Zealand where Hugh became a teacher at Wanganui. This part of his life takes up about a third of the biography. We then move onto his military career, starting with his decision to volunteer and his service in the Rifle Brigade, then follow him to the Ypres salient before finally examining the attack in which he died in some detail. The biographical section provides and interesting picture of a much loved teacher.

We then move onto the letters themselves. These are the true purpose of the book, and they don’t disappoint. Butterworth is a thoughtful companion, and we can clearly see the impact of the fighting on his attitudes and on the general tone of his writing. We start with his first letter after reaching the vicinity of the front, at a famous town he can't name (Ypres). We end with a short letter that he wrote just before his final attack, only to be delivered in the event of his death. This was one of a series of late letters written with this battle in mind, all of which suggest that Butterworth didn't think he had a very high chance of surviving intact. Given the obvious difficulties of his task that isn't entirely surprising and the matter-of-fact tone of this final letter is thus particularly impressive. The entire collection of letters is fascinating and gives a good idea of how the brutality of trench warfare impacted on Butterworth.

Chapters
1 - Born into Sport
2 - 'Fairly Useful' - School Days
3 - 'Univ' and New Zealand - A New Start
4 - The Rifle Brigade
5 - Into the Salient
6 - 'Such a Scene of Blood and Iron' - The Attack
7 - In Memoriam
Letters

Appendix 1: 9th (Service) Battalion the Rifle Brigade Killed in Action or Died of Wounds, 25 September-12 October 1915
Appendix 2: German Reserve Infantry Regiment 248 Verlustlisten No.289, 25 October 1915

Author: Hugh Montagu Butterworth, ed. Jon Cooksey
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2011



Blood And Iron: Letters From The Western Front by Hugh Montagu Butterworth / 2012 / English / EPUB


Until now Hugh Butterworth was just one of the millions of lost soldiers of the Great War, and the extraordinary letters he sent home from the Western Front have been forgotten. But after more than ninety years of obscurity, these letters, which describe his experience of war in poignant detail, have been rediscovered, and they are published here in full. They are a moving, intensely personal and beautifully written record by an articulate and observant man who witnessed at first hand one of the darkest episodes in European history. In civilian life Butterworth was a dedicated and much-loved schoolmaster and a gifted cricketer, who served with distinction as an officer in the Rifle Brigade from the spring of 1915. His letters give us a telling insight into the thoughts and reactions of a highly educated, sensitive and perceptive individual confronted by the horrors of modern warfare. He was killed on the Bellewaarde ridge near Ypres on 25 September 1915, and his last letter was written on the eve of the action in which he died.

Until now Hugh Butterworth was just one of the millions of lost soldiers of the Great War, and the extraordinary letters he sent home from the Western Front have been forgotten. But after more than ninety years of obscurity, these letters, which describe his experience of war in poignant detail, have been rediscovered, and they are published here in full. They are a moving, intensely personal and beautifully written record by an articulate and observant man who witnessed at first hand one of the darkest episodes in European history. In civilian life Butterworth was a dedicated and much-loved schoolmaster and a gifted cricketer, who served with distinction as an officer in the Rifle Brigade from the spring of 1915. His letters give us a telling insight into the thoughts and reactions of a highly educated, sensitive and perceptive individual confronted by the horrors of modern warfare. He was killed on the Bellewaarde ridge near Ypres on 25 September 1915, and his last letter was written on the eve of the action in which he died. REVIEWS

REVIEWS Jon Cooksey has produced a splendid work and produced a detailed account of the build up to the attack, the assault itself and the aftermath. The Long, Long Trail 7/2015

Jon Cooksey has produced a splendid work and produced a detailed account of the build up to the attack, the assault itself and the aftermath. The Long, Long Trail 7/2015


Blood and Iron: Letters from the Western Front, Hugh Montagu Butterworth, ed. Jon Cooksey - History

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Until now Hugh Butterworth was just one of the millions of lost soldiers of the Great War, and the extraordinary letters he sent home from the Western Front have been largely forgotten. But, after more than ninety years of obscurity, these letters, which describe his experience of war in poignant detail, have been rediscovered, and they are published here in full. They are a moving, intensely personal and beautifully written record by an articulate and observant man who witnessed at first hand one of the darkest episodes in European history.

Butterworth, a first cousin of the composer George Butterworth who lost his life on the Somme in 1916, was in civilian
life a dedicated and much-loved schoolmaster and a gifted cricketer, who served with distinction as an officer in the Rifle Brigade from the spring of 1915. His letters give us a telling insight into the thoughts and reactions of a highly educated, sensitive and perceptive individual confronted by the horrors of modern warfare.

Butterworth was killed on the Bellewaarde Ridge near Ypres on 25 September 1915 during one of the disastrous diversionary attacks launched to distract German attention from the Battle of Loos, and his last letter was written on the eve of the action in which he died.

For this full edition of his letters Jon Cooksey has edited and illustrated the text and provided an introduction, describing Butterworth's family background, his pre-war career, the battles on the Western Front in which he took part, and the final engagement in which he lost his life.

The letters themselves are wonderful: well written, insightful, intelligent and amusing. As such it is a credit to Cooksey's own writing style that the qualities of his subject's prose have not left him embarassed.

Western Front Association

Jon Cooksey has produced a splendid work and produced a detailed account of the build up to the attack, the assault itself and the aftermath.

The Long, Long Trail

This book was an absolute pleasure to read thanks to Jon Cooksey's well written narrative and they way he uses Butterworth's extraordinary letters to tell his story.

An absolute must have 10/10

The Great War Magazine

Based upon the remarkable letters written from the trenches by Hugh Butterworth, a British officer who was killed during a diversionary attack on Bellewaarde Ridge in the Ypres Salient on the 25th September 1915. Blood & Iron traces Butterworth's life, from his pre-war days in New Zealand, where he was a schoolmaster and a talented cricketer, to his final hours taking part in the courageous but ultimately disastrous attack by the 9th Battalion The Rifle Brigade. Although it cannot be known how Butterworth met his fate, Jon Cooksey vividly reconstructs the events of that day and describes the savage and unforgiving carnage that unfolded as the Battalion succeeded in taking its objectives, only to be evicted from them by a series of fierce and relentless counter-attacks, suffering 90% casualties as they were driven back to their start point. All of Butterworth's letters are reprinted as an appendix, describing life on the front line in unfettered detail and occasionally with humour, but his final, intensely poignant despatches are the words of a man who is certain but seemingly at ease with the belief that he only has hours to live. Most highly recommended.

Pegasus Archive

The full story of Hugh Butterworth's war, as recounted in his own words in his letters, had not been heard for many decades. But now, in a new book containing the complete text of his letters, and carrying a Foreword by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, historian, author and broadcaster Jon Cooksey has edited and illustrated the text and provided an introduction describing Butterworth's family background, his pre-war career, the battles on the Western Front in which he took part, and the final engagement in which he lost his life.

Best of British

This book is a valuable addition to the story of the great war, but it is also a very human story that delights, saddens, uplifts, and challenges. This affordable book has been produced with quality and attention to detail.

Firetrench reviews

About Hugh Montagu Butterworth

JON COOKSEY is a leading military historian who takes a special interest in the history of the world wars and the Falklands War. He is the former editor of Battlefields Review and the current editor of Stand To!, and his articles have appeared in many of the foremost military magazines and in national newspapers. As an experienced battlefield guide, he regularly leads tours to the battlefields of both world wars as well as the Falkland Islands. His TV and radio appearances include the Channel 5 programme on the 1914 Christmas Truce and and Great War soldier Ronald Poulton Palmer and Gallipoli Victoria Cross winner Frederick Potts for the BBC. His books include The Barnsley Pals, Flanders 1915, Calais: A Fight to the Finish and 3 Para Mount Longdon – The Bloodiest Battle.

The late Jon Cooksey was a leading military historian who took a special interest in the history of the world wars. He was the editor of Stand To!, the journal of the Western Front Association, and an experienced battlefield guide. His many books included The Barnsley Pals, Calais, Harry&rsquos War and, as editor, Blood and Iron.


Contents

Edward was born on 10 March 1964, at Buckingham Palace, London, [4] as the third son, and the fourth and youngest child of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was christened on 2 May 1964 in the private chapel at Windsor Castle [5] by the Dean of Windsor, Robin Woods. [b]

As with his older siblings, a governess was appointed to look after Edward and was responsible for his early education at Buckingham Palace before he attended Gibbs School in Kensington. In September 1972, he joined Heatherdown School, near Ascot in Berkshire. Later, as his father and elder brothers had done before him, he moved to Gordonstoun, in northern Scotland and was appointed head boy in his last term. Edward obtained a C-grade and two D-grades at A-level, [7] and after leaving school spent a gap year abroad, working as a house tutor and junior master for two terms at the Wanganui Collegiate School in New Zealand. [8] [9]

Upon his return to Britain, Edward studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read History. His admission to Cambridge caused some controversy. [10] Edward graduated in 1986 with a BA (lower second class honours). [11]

Royal Marines Edit

Upon leaving university in 1986, Prince Edward joined the Royal Marines, who had reportedly sponsored his tuition at Cambridge University on condition of future service. [12] In January 1987, Edward dropped out of the gruelling commando course after having completed one-third of the 12-month training. Media reported that the move prompted a berating from Prince Philip, who was the Captain General Royal Marines at that time and "reduced his son to prolonged tears", [13] while others stated that Philip was the most sympathetic family member toward his son's decision. [14]

Theatre and television Edit

After leaving the Marines, Edward opted for a career in entertainment. He commissioned the 1986 musical Cricket from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, for his mother's 60th birthday celebration, which led to a job offer at Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatre Company, where he worked as a production assistant on musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express, and Cats. [15] While there he met actress Ruthie Henshall, whom he dated for three years.

Edward's first foray into television production was the programme The Grand Knockout Tournament, informally known as It's a Royal Knockout, on 15 June 1987, in which four teams sponsored by him, the Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of York competed for charity. The programme was criticised by the media and the public, and it was later reported that the Queen was not in favour of the event, with her courtiers having advised against it. [16] The programme raised over £1,000,000 for its selected charities.

Ardent Productions Edit

In 1993, Edward formed the television production company Ardent Productions. [17] Ardent was involved in the production of a number of documentaries and dramas, [18] but Edward was accused in the media of using his royal connections for financial gain, [19] and the company was referred to by some industry insiders as "a sad joke" due to a perceived lack of professionalism in its operations. Andy Beckett, writing in The Guardian, opined that "to watch Ardent's few dozen hours of broadcast output is to enter a strange kingdom where every man in Britain still wears a tie, where pieces to camera are done in cricket jumpers, where people clasp their hands behind their backs like guardsmen. Commercial breaks are filled with army recruiting advertisements". [20]

Ardent's productions were better received in the United States [21] and a documentary Edward made about his great uncle, Edward VIII (the late Duke of Windsor) in 1996, sold well worldwide. [18] [22] Nonetheless, the company reported losses every year it operated, with the exception of one when Edward did not draw a salary. [17] An Ardent two-man film crew later allegedly invaded the privacy of Edward's nephew, Prince William, in September 2001, when he was studying at the University of St Andrews, which went against industry guidelines regarding the privacy of members of the royal family [23] William's father, Charles, Prince of Wales, was reportedly angered by the incident. [24] In March 2002, Edward announced that he would step down as production director and joint managing director of Ardent [17] to concentrate on his public duties and to support the Queen during her Golden Jubilee year. Ardent Productions was voluntarily dissolved in June 2009, with assets reduced to just £40. [25]

Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones, then a public relations executive with her own firm, in 1994. [26] Their engagement was announced on 6 January 1999. Edward proposed to Sophie with an Asprey and Garrard engagement ring worth an estimated £105,000: a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white gold. [27]

Their wedding took place on 19 June 1999 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. This was a departure from the weddings of his elder brothers, which were large, formal events at Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral, and had ended in divorce. On his wedding day, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, with the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn (derived from the Welsh roots of the Countess's family), [28] [29] breaking from a tradition whereby sons of the sovereign were created royal dukes. However, on the wishes of the Queen, he will be made Duke of Edinburgh (the title held by Edward's father, Prince Philip, between 1947 and his death in 2021) after that dukedom reverts to the Crown, upon the death of the Queen. His children are styled as the children of an Earl, rather than as prince/ss and royal highness. [2] [30] [31]

He and his wife have two children: Lady Louise Windsor, born 8 November 2003, and James, Viscount Severn, born 17 December 2007. They were born at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. They reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey. While their country residence is Bagshot Park, their office and official London residence is based at Buckingham Palace. [32]

The Earl and Countess of Wessex established their foundation, The Wessex Youth Trust, in 1999, with a focus on helping, supporting and advancing registered charities which provide opportunities specifically for children and young people. [33] His patronages include: the British Paralympic Association, [34] the International Real Tennis Professionals Association, [35] the Commonwealth Games Federation, [36] [37] BadmintonScotland, [38] the Tennis and Rackets Association, [39] City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, [40] [41] London Mozart Players, [42] Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society, [43] Northern Ballet, [44] [45] the Edinburgh International Festival, [46] and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. [47]

The Earl of Wessex assumed many duties from his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as the Duke reduced his commitments and retired from royal duties. Prince Edward succeeded the Duke as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (vice-patron since 2006) and opened the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. He has also taken over the duke's role in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, attending Gold Award ceremonies around the world. [48]

In September 2007, the Earl visited Israel in his capacity as chair of the International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award to attend a number of events organised by the Israel Youth Award program, an affiliate of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award which was founded by his father to recognise adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises. [49] Edward was himself a recipient of the award's gold medal in 1986 for "a 60-mile, four-day trek from Blair Atholl to Tomintoul" that he had planned. [50] Edward later went on to become the chair of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, [51] and has promoted its work on different occasions. [52] [53] [54] [55] Edward is also a trustee of the International Award Association, which "encompasses the DofE UK and all its other 61 National Award Authorities across the globe". [56] He was also chair of its international council and in 1999 founded the International Special Projects Group "to provide a capital fund to broaden the reach of the Award". [57]

In June 2011, Edward visited Baltimore to meet the students and staff of the Living Classrooms Foundation and encourage them to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award's programme. [58] In December 2011, the Earl and Countess of Wessex visited troops in Afghanistan. On the same trip, the royal couple visited Bahrain, and received two gifts of jewels from the Bahraini royal family and Prime Minister. Given concern about human rights abuses in Bahrain, this gift attracted controversy, with calls for the jewels to be sold, and the proceeds used for the benefit of the Bahraini people. [59] In February and March 2012, the couple visited the Caribbean for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The itinerary consisted of Saint Lucia Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Grenada Trinidad and Tobago Montserrat Saint Kitts and Nevis Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda. Highlights included Independence Day celebrations in Saint Lucia, [60] addressing Senate and Assembly of Barbados jointly, [61] and a visit to sites affected by the volcanic eruptions in Montserrat.

In 2013, the couple visited South Africa. [62] The Queen appointed the Earl of Wessex as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2014. [63] [64] In 2015, for his contributions to projects associated with badminton, Edward was awarded the President's Medal by the Badminton World Federation President Poul-Erik Høyer. [65] In May 2016, the Earl visited Ghana. Alongside President Mahama, he presented young people with the Head of State Awards for their participation in the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme. [66] In September 2016, Edward travelled to Chile as a part of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award's diamond anniversary, and visited projects by British and Commonwealth Fire and Rescue Company and Chilean-British Culture University, of which he is an honorary member and patron respectively. [67] The Earl and Countess of Wessex represented the Queen at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's Accession to the Throne of Brunei in October 2017. [68] In February 2018, the Earl and Countess toured Sri Lanka, participating in the 70th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo. [69] [70] In April 2018, the Earl visited Australia to attend the XXI Commonwealth Games and attend fundraising events for those participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award challenges. [71] [72]

Twenty years after its inception, the Wessex Youth Trust changed its name to The Earl and Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust, managed by the private office of the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The trust will continue to develop sustainable relationships with a range of selected partner charities, and will expand its remit beyond supporting children and young people. [73]

In July 2019, the Earl and Countess visited Forfar on their first official visit to the town since the Queen granted the Earl the additional title Earl of Forfar in March 2019. [74] The Earl was presented with 'Earl of Forfar' tartan, which has been designed to celebrate their new titles by town firm the Strathmore Woollen Company. The weave is based on the existing Forfar tartan, which the company designed in 2004 around the colours on the Forfar coat of arms. The geometry remains virtually the same, but the colours have been strengthened, with Azure blue replaced by the St Andrew's blue of the Scottish flag, and white yarns replaced by a brown to reflect the rich agriculture of the surrounding area. [75] [76] [77]

Titles and styles Edit

  • 10 March 1964 – 19 June 1999: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward
  • 19 June 1999 – present: His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex [78]
  • in Scotland: 10 March 2019 – present: His Royal Highness The Earl of Forfar [79][80]

Before Edward's marriage in 1999, royal commentators conjectured that former royal dukedoms such as Cambridge or Sussex might be granted to him. Instead, the Palace announced the intention that Prince Edward would eventually be created Duke of Edinburgh, once that title had reverted to The Crown upon the death of both his parents. [81] [c]

On his marriage in 1999, the prince was ennobled in keeping with tradition, however he was the first prince since the Tudors to be made an earl rather than a duke (while reserving the rank of duke for the future). [82] The Sunday Telegraph reported that he was drawn to the Earldom of Wessex after watching the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, in which a character with that title is played by Colin Firth. [83] The prince was also given the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn, which subsequently became the courtesy title of his son and heir.

On 10 March 2019, on his 55th birthday, the Earl of Wessex was granted the additional title of Earl of Forfar for use in Scotland. [79] [80] [84]

Honours Edit

    6 February 1977: Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 6 February 2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 23 April 2006: Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG) [85] 10 March 2011: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) [86]
    • 2 June 2003 – 10 March 2011: Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) [87]
    • 10 March 1989 – 2 June 2003: Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) [88]

    Commonwealth Edit

      9 February 1990: New Zealand Commemorative Medal 11 May 2005: Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (SOM) [89] 7 June 2005: Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan 29 October 2015: Canadian Forces' Decoration[90] 5 October 2017: Sultan of Brunei Golden Jubilee Medal [91][68]

    Military appointments Edit

    Honorary military appointments Edit
    • 2002: Colonel-in-Chief of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment
    • 2003: Colonel-in-Chief of the Saskatchewan Dragoons
    • 2005: Colonel-in-Chief of the Prince Edward Island Regiment
    • 2007: Honorary Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    • 19 August 2003: Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry[92]
    • 2006: Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary
    • 2007: Royal Colonel of 2nd Battalion, The Rifles
    • 2008: Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Waddington
    • 1 May 2011: Royal Honorary Colonel of the London Regiment[93]

    Civic appointments Edit

    • 2008: LiverymanHonoris Causa, Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
    • 2008: LiverymanHonoris Causa, Worshipful Company of Gardeners
    • 2011: Freeman of the City of London
    • 2011: Member, Court of Assistants, Worshipful Company of Haberdashers[94]
    • 2011: Member, Court of Assistants, Worshipful Company of Gardeners
    • 2013: Master, Worshipful Company of Gardeners
    • 2014: Lord High Commissioner, General Assembly of the Church of Scotland[95]

    Academic appointments Edit

    • 2013 – present: Chancellor of the University of Bath[96]
    • 1994: Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Victoria
    • 2007: Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Prince Edward Island[97]
    • 2013: Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Bath[96]

    Arms Edit

    Coat of arms of the Earl of Wessex
    Notes The Earl's personal coat of arms is that of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with a label for difference Adopted 1983 Coronet The coronet of a son of the sovereign Proper, thereon a lion statant gardant Or crowned of the same coronet charged with a label as in the arms. Escutcheon Quarterly, 1st and 4th Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or armed and langed Azure, 2nd Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory counterflory of the Second, 3rd Azure a harp Or stringed Argent Supporters Dexter, a lion rampant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper Sinister, a unicorn Argent, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses pattées and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or Motto The Order of the Garter circlet.
    Honi soit qui mal y pense
    (Shame be to him who thinks evil of it) Other elements The whole differenced by a label of three points Argent the central point charged with a Tudor rose. Banner The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom labelled for difference as in his arms. (In Scotland: ) Symbolism As with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. The first and fourth quarters are the arms of England, the second of Scotland, the third of Ireland.

    Personal flag for Canada Edit

    Since 2014, the Earl of Wessex has a personal heraldic flag for use in Canada. It is the Royal Arms of Canada in banner form defaced with a blue roundel surrounded by a wreath of gold maple leaves, within which is a depiction of an "E" surmounted by a coronet. Above the roundel is a white label of three points, the centre one charged with a Tudor rose. [98] [99]


    Blood & Iron: Letters from the Western Front (English Edition) Kindle Edition

    The subject of this book was born in 1885 to a well to do family , educated at Marlborough College and
    Oxford he was a keen and accomplished sportsman . Living in New Zealand when war broke out he returned
    home and joined the 9th battalion Rifle Brigade ( D Company ) in March 1915 . He arrived in France in May 1915
    and saw action in the Ypres sector , where he was killed on 25th September 1915 during a diversionary attack
    which was launched to coincide with the major offensive at Loos. The letters he wrote home were put into book
    form and published in New Zealand in 1916 , that book now is very scarce.

    Part of the title of this book is 'Letters from the Western Front ' and it does indeed contain the letters included in the
    original book . However those letters only make up some 44 pages in a book of 233 pages . The rest of the book is
    made up of a biography of Hugh's short life with much detail of his sporting achievements, his battalions time in the
    Salient from May till September and a fairly detailed analysis of the battle in which Hugh died . There is also a list of
    Hugh's cricket scores and the soldiers of the 9th who died during Sept/Oct 1915 with a list of the Germans who also
    died in the battle. There is also a In Memoriam chapter with tributes to Hugh.

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as i thought i would , i think that it is because the letters are at the end of the book and
    these are the real key to Hugh's personality so reading through the 145 pages beforehand i found was rather hard going .
    I am glad i purchased the book however , it is worth it for the letters alone which convey the horrors and futility of war from
    a young man who so wanted to live but knew that his days on earth were numbered .

    This is an interesting, moving and sometimes humorous account of a young man's initiation into the horrors of World War One in the Flanders mud.

    Hugh Butterworth and his fellow men retained their humanity, love for life and sense of humour through the incredible carnage of 1915 in the Ypres Salient. Jon Cooksey does a great job of helping you understand Hugh's character and context and then the finer detail of the incredible battle in which he played a part and lost his life.

    To all the fine young men of Britain who gave their all for their country this edited collection of letters is a remarkable tribute.


    Blood & Iron: Letters from the Western Front (English Edition) eBook Kindle

    The subject of this book was born in 1885 to a well to do family , educated at Marlborough College and
    Oxford he was a keen and accomplished sportsman . Living in New Zealand when war broke out he returned
    home and joined the 9th battalion Rifle Brigade ( D Company ) in March 1915 . He arrived in France in May 1915
    and saw action in the Ypres sector , where he was killed on 25th September 1915 during a diversionary attack
    which was launched to coincide with the major offensive at Loos. The letters he wrote home were put into book
    form and published in New Zealand in 1916 , that book now is very scarce.

    Part of the title of this book is 'Letters from the Western Front ' and it does indeed contain the letters included in the
    original book . However those letters only make up some 44 pages in a book of 233 pages . The rest of the book is
    made up of a biography of Hugh's short life with much detail of his sporting achievements, his battalions time in the
    Salient from May till September and a fairly detailed analysis of the battle in which Hugh died . There is also a list of
    Hugh's cricket scores and the soldiers of the 9th who died during Sept/Oct 1915 with a list of the Germans who also
    died in the battle. There is also a In Memoriam chapter with tributes to Hugh.

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as i thought i would , i think that it is because the letters are at the end of the book and
    these are the real key to Hugh's personality so reading through the 145 pages beforehand i found was rather hard going .
    I am glad i purchased the book however , it is worth it for the letters alone which convey the horrors and futility of war from
    a young man who so wanted to live but knew that his days on earth were numbered .

    This is an interesting, moving and sometimes humorous account of a young man's initiation into the horrors of World War One in the Flanders mud.

    Hugh Butterworth and his fellow men retained their humanity, love for life and sense of humour through the incredible carnage of 1915 in the Ypres Salient. Jon Cooksey does a great job of helping you understand Hugh's character and context and then the finer detail of the incredible battle in which he played a part and lost his life.

    To all the fine young men of Britain who gave their all for their country this edited collection of letters is a remarkable tribute.


    Contents

    Edward was born on 10 March 1964, at Buckingham Palace, London, [4] as the third son, and the fourth and youngest child of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was christened on 2 May 1964 in the private chapel at Windsor Castle [5] by the Dean of Windsor, Robin Woods. [b]

    As with his older siblings, a governess was appointed to look after Edward and was responsible for his early education at Buckingham Palace before he attended Gibbs School in Kensington. In September 1972, he joined Heatherdown School, near Ascot in Berkshire. Later, as his father and elder brothers had done before him, he moved to Gordonstoun, in northern Scotland and was appointed head boy in his last term. Edward obtained a C-grade and two D-grades at A-level, [7] and after leaving school spent a gap year abroad, working as a house tutor and junior master for two terms at the Wanganui Collegiate School in New Zealand. [8] [9]

    Upon his return to Britain, Edward studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read History. His admission to Cambridge caused some controversy. [10] Edward graduated in 1986 with a BA (lower second class honours). [11]

    Royal Marines Edit

    Upon leaving university in 1986, Prince Edward joined the Royal Marines, who had reportedly sponsored his tuition at Cambridge University on condition of future service. [12] In January 1987, Edward dropped out of the gruelling commando course after having completed one-third of the 12-month training. Media reported that the move prompted a berating from Prince Philip, who was the Captain General Royal Marines at that time and "reduced his son to prolonged tears", [13] while others stated that Philip was the most sympathetic family member toward his son's decision. [14]

    Theatre and television Edit

    After leaving the Marines, Edward opted for a career in entertainment. He commissioned the 1986 musical Cricket from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, for his mother's 60th birthday celebration, which led to a job offer at Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatre Company, where he worked as a production assistant on musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express, and Cats. [15] While there he met actress Ruthie Henshall, whom he dated for three years.

    Edward's first foray into television production was the programme The Grand Knockout Tournament, informally known as It's a Royal Knockout, on 15 June 1987, in which four teams sponsored by him, the Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of York competed for charity. The programme was criticised by the media and the public, and it was later reported that the Queen was not in favour of the event, with her courtiers having advised against it. [16] The programme raised over £1,000,000 for its selected charities.

    Ardent Productions Edit

    In 1993, Edward formed the television production company Ardent Productions. [17] Ardent was involved in the production of a number of documentaries and dramas, [18] but Edward was accused in the media of using his royal connections for financial gain, [19] and the company was referred to by some industry insiders as "a sad joke" due to a perceived lack of professionalism in its operations. Andy Beckett, writing in The Guardian, opined that "to watch Ardent's few dozen hours of broadcast output is to enter a strange kingdom where every man in Britain still wears a tie, where pieces to camera are done in cricket jumpers, where people clasp their hands behind their backs like guardsmen. Commercial breaks are filled with army recruiting advertisements". [20]

    Ardent's productions were better received in the United States [21] and a documentary Edward made about his great uncle, Edward VIII (the late Duke of Windsor) in 1996, sold well worldwide. [18] [22] Nonetheless, the company reported losses every year it operated, with the exception of one when Edward did not draw a salary. [17] An Ardent two-man film crew later allegedly invaded the privacy of Edward's nephew, Prince William, in September 2001, when he was studying at the University of St Andrews, which went against industry guidelines regarding the privacy of members of the royal family [23] William's father, Charles, Prince of Wales, was reportedly angered by the incident. [24] In March 2002, Edward announced that he would step down as production director and joint managing director of Ardent [17] to concentrate on his public duties and to support the Queen during her Golden Jubilee year. Ardent Productions was voluntarily dissolved in June 2009, with assets reduced to just £40. [25]

    Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones, then a public relations executive with her own firm, in 1994. [26] Their engagement was announced on 6 January 1999. Edward proposed to Sophie with an Asprey and Garrard engagement ring worth an estimated £105,000: a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white gold. [27]

    Their wedding took place on 19 June 1999 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. This was a departure from the weddings of his elder brothers, which were large, formal events at Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral, and had ended in divorce. On his wedding day, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, with the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn (derived from the Welsh roots of the Countess's family), [28] [29] breaking from a tradition whereby sons of the sovereign were created royal dukes. However, on the wishes of the Queen, he will be made Duke of Edinburgh (the title held by Edward's father, Prince Philip, between 1947 and his death in 2021) after that dukedom reverts to the Crown, upon the death of the Queen. His children are styled as the children of an Earl, rather than as prince/ss and royal highness. [2] [30] [31]

    He and his wife have two children: Lady Louise Windsor, born 8 November 2003, and James, Viscount Severn, born 17 December 2007. They were born at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. They reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey. While their country residence is Bagshot Park, their office and official London residence is based at Buckingham Palace. [32]

    The Earl and Countess of Wessex established their foundation, The Wessex Youth Trust, in 1999, with a focus on helping, supporting and advancing registered charities which provide opportunities specifically for children and young people. [33] His patronages include: the British Paralympic Association, [34] the International Real Tennis Professionals Association, [35] the Commonwealth Games Federation, [36] [37] BadmintonScotland, [38] the Tennis and Rackets Association, [39] City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, [40] [41] London Mozart Players, [42] Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society, [43] Northern Ballet, [44] [45] the Edinburgh International Festival, [46] and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. [47]

    The Earl of Wessex assumed many duties from his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as the Duke reduced his commitments and retired from royal duties. Prince Edward succeeded the Duke as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (vice-patron since 2006) and opened the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. He has also taken over the duke's role in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, attending Gold Award ceremonies around the world. [48]

    In September 2007, the Earl visited Israel in his capacity as chair of the International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award to attend a number of events organised by the Israel Youth Award program, an affiliate of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award which was founded by his father to recognise adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises. [49] Edward was himself a recipient of the award's gold medal in 1986 for "a 60-mile, four-day trek from Blair Atholl to Tomintoul" that he had planned. [50] Edward later went on to become the chair of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, [51] and has promoted its work on different occasions. [52] [53] [54] [55] Edward is also a trustee of the International Award Association, which "encompasses the DofE UK and all its other 61 National Award Authorities across the globe". [56] He was also chair of its international council and in 1999 founded the International Special Projects Group "to provide a capital fund to broaden the reach of the Award". [57]

    In June 2011, Edward visited Baltimore to meet the students and staff of the Living Classrooms Foundation and encourage them to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award's programme. [58] In December 2011, the Earl and Countess of Wessex visited troops in Afghanistan. On the same trip, the royal couple visited Bahrain, and received two gifts of jewels from the Bahraini royal family and Prime Minister. Given concern about human rights abuses in Bahrain, this gift attracted controversy, with calls for the jewels to be sold, and the proceeds used for the benefit of the Bahraini people. [59] In February and March 2012, the couple visited the Caribbean for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The itinerary consisted of Saint Lucia Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Grenada Trinidad and Tobago Montserrat Saint Kitts and Nevis Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda. Highlights included Independence Day celebrations in Saint Lucia, [60] addressing Senate and Assembly of Barbados jointly, [61] and a visit to sites affected by the volcanic eruptions in Montserrat.

    In 2013, the couple visited South Africa. [62] The Queen appointed the Earl of Wessex as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2014. [63] [64] In 2015, for his contributions to projects associated with badminton, Edward was awarded the President's Medal by the Badminton World Federation President Poul-Erik Høyer. [65] In May 2016, the Earl visited Ghana. Alongside President Mahama, he presented young people with the Head of State Awards for their participation in the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme. [66] In September 2016, Edward travelled to Chile as a part of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award's diamond anniversary, and visited projects by British and Commonwealth Fire and Rescue Company and Chilean-British Culture University, of which he is an honorary member and patron respectively. [67] The Earl and Countess of Wessex represented the Queen at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's Accession to the Throne of Brunei in October 2017. [68] In February 2018, the Earl and Countess toured Sri Lanka, participating in the 70th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo. [69] [70] In April 2018, the Earl visited Australia to attend the XXI Commonwealth Games and attend fundraising events for those participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award challenges. [71] [72]

    Twenty years after its inception, the Wessex Youth Trust changed its name to The Earl and Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust, managed by the private office of the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The trust will continue to develop sustainable relationships with a range of selected partner charities, and will expand its remit beyond supporting children and young people. [73]

    In July 2019, the Earl and Countess visited Forfar on their first official visit to the town since the Queen granted the Earl the additional title Earl of Forfar in March 2019. [74] The Earl was presented with 'Earl of Forfar' tartan, which has been designed to celebrate their new titles by town firm the Strathmore Woollen Company. The weave is based on the existing Forfar tartan, which the company designed in 2004 around the colours on the Forfar coat of arms. The geometry remains virtually the same, but the colours have been strengthened, with Azure blue replaced by the St Andrew's blue of the Scottish flag, and white yarns replaced by a brown to reflect the rich agriculture of the surrounding area. [75] [76] [77]

    Titles and styles Edit

    • 10 March 1964 – 19 June 1999: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward
    • 19 June 1999 – present: His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex [78]
    • in Scotland: 10 March 2019 – present: His Royal Highness The Earl of Forfar [79][80]

    Before Edward's marriage in 1999, royal commentators conjectured that former royal dukedoms such as Cambridge or Sussex might be granted to him. Instead, the Palace announced the intention that Prince Edward would eventually be created Duke of Edinburgh, once that title had reverted to The Crown upon the death of both his parents. [81] [c]

    On his marriage in 1999, the prince was ennobled in keeping with tradition, however he was the first prince since the Tudors to be made an earl rather than a duke (while reserving the rank of duke for the future). [82] The Sunday Telegraph reported that he was drawn to the Earldom of Wessex after watching the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, in which a character with that title is played by Colin Firth. [83] The prince was also given the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn, which subsequently became the courtesy title of his son and heir.

    On 10 March 2019, on his 55th birthday, the Earl of Wessex was granted the additional title of Earl of Forfar for use in Scotland. [79] [80] [84]

    Honours Edit

      6 February 1977: Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 6 February 2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 23 April 2006: Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG) [85] 10 March 2011: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) [86]
      • 2 June 2003 – 10 March 2011: Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) [87]
      • 10 March 1989 – 2 June 2003: Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) [88]

      Commonwealth Edit

        9 February 1990: New Zealand Commemorative Medal 11 May 2005: Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (SOM) [89] 7 June 2005: Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan 29 October 2015: Canadian Forces' Decoration[90] 5 October 2017: Sultan of Brunei Golden Jubilee Medal [91][68]

      Military appointments Edit

      Honorary military appointments Edit
      • 2002: Colonel-in-Chief of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment
      • 2003: Colonel-in-Chief of the Saskatchewan Dragoons
      • 2005: Colonel-in-Chief of the Prince Edward Island Regiment
      • 2007: Honorary Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
      • 19 August 2003: Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry[92]
      • 2006: Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary
      • 2007: Royal Colonel of 2nd Battalion, The Rifles
      • 2008: Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Waddington
      • 1 May 2011: Royal Honorary Colonel of the London Regiment[93]

      Civic appointments Edit

      • 2008: LiverymanHonoris Causa, Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
      • 2008: LiverymanHonoris Causa, Worshipful Company of Gardeners
      • 2011: Freeman of the City of London
      • 2011: Member, Court of Assistants, Worshipful Company of Haberdashers[94]
      • 2011: Member, Court of Assistants, Worshipful Company of Gardeners
      • 2013: Master, Worshipful Company of Gardeners
      • 2014: Lord High Commissioner, General Assembly of the Church of Scotland[95]

      Academic appointments Edit

      • 2013 – present: Chancellor of the University of Bath[96]
      • 1994: Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Victoria
      • 2007: Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Prince Edward Island[97]
      • 2013: Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Bath[96]

      Arms Edit

      Coat of arms of the Earl of Wessex
      Notes The Earl's personal coat of arms is that of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with a label for difference Adopted 1983 Coronet The coronet of a son of the sovereign Proper, thereon a lion statant gardant Or crowned of the same coronet charged with a label as in the arms. Escutcheon Quarterly, 1st and 4th Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or armed and langed Azure, 2nd Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory counterflory of the Second, 3rd Azure a harp Or stringed Argent Supporters Dexter, a lion rampant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper Sinister, a unicorn Argent, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses pattées and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or Motto The Order of the Garter circlet.
      Honi soit qui mal y pense
      (Shame be to him who thinks evil of it) Other elements The whole differenced by a label of three points Argent the central point charged with a Tudor rose. Banner The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom labelled for difference as in his arms. (In Scotland: ) Symbolism As with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. The first and fourth quarters are the arms of England, the second of Scotland, the third of Ireland.

      Personal flag for Canada Edit

      Since 2014, the Earl of Wessex has a personal heraldic flag for use in Canada. It is the Royal Arms of Canada in banner form defaced with a blue roundel surrounded by a wreath of gold maple leaves, within which is a depiction of an "E" surmounted by a coronet. Above the roundel is a white label of three points, the centre one charged with a Tudor rose. [98] [99]


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                Books on European History

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                November 2nd

                EVENTS

                676 – Donus begins his reign as Catholic Pope replacing Pope Adeodatus II
                1327 – King Alfonso IV of Aragon crowned
                1355 – English invasion army under king Edward lands at Calais
                1418 – Utrecht conquerors Ijsselstein
                1642 – 2nd Battle of Breitenfeld, aka First Battle of Leipzig victory for the Swedish army under Field Marshal Lennart Torstenson over Holy Roman Empire army under Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria
                1648 – 12,000 Jews massacred by Chmielnicki hordes in Narol Podlia
                1675 – A combined attack by the Plymouth, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut colonies attacks the Great Swamp Fort, owned by the Narragansetts during King Philip’s War.
                1698 – Scottish settlers make landfall in Panama, establishing the ill-fated ‘Darien Venture’ colony.
                1712 – Suriname government gives French hijacker Jacques Cassard, ƒ682,800
                1722 – Willem KH Friso (11) appointed viceroy of Gelderland
                1749 – English Ohio Trade Company forms first trading post
                1772 – Boston: anti-English Committee of Correspondence forms
                1783 – General George Washington, later 1st US President, bids farewell to his army after the American Revolutionary War
                First US President George Washington

                1813 – Treaty of Fulda signed in Germany after Battle of Leipzig
                1824 – Popular presidential vote 1st recorded Andrew Jackson beats J Q Adams
                1835 – 2nd Seminole War begins in Osceola
                1841 – Akbar Khan successfully revolts against Shah Shuja in Afghanistan
                1852 – Franklin Pierce elected as president of US
                1854 – Cobblestone paving of Washington St between Dupont & Kearny starts
                1861 – American Civil War: Western Department Union General John C. Fremont is relieved of command and replaced by David Hunter.
                1868 – Time zone: New Zealand officially adopts a standard time to be observed nationally
                1875 – Verney Cameroon reaches Benguela Angola, from Africa’s east coast
                1879 – In a 6-day footrace a Mr Weston loses to a horse, 900 to 885 km
                1880 – James A Garfield (R) elected 20th US President
                1881 – Dutch New-Malthusiaanse Union forms
                20th US President James Garfield

                1889 – North Dakota becomes 39th & South Dakota becomes 40th state in the United States
                1892 – French poet Paul Verlaine visits Netherlands
                1895 – 29th Belmont: Fred Taral aboard Belmar wins in 2:11½
                1898 – French government of Dupuy forms
                1898 – Theodor Herzl arrives in Jerusalem
                1898 – Cheerleading is started at the University of Minnesota with Johnny Campbell leading the crowd in cheering on the football team.
                1899 – Boers begin siege of Ladysmith, Natal
                1903 – Lyceum Theater (New Lyceum) opens at 149 W 45th St NYC
                1903 – New Amsterdam Theater opens at 214 W 42nd St NYC
                1904 – British newspaper “Daily Mirror” begins publishing
                1907 – Ottawa Mint Proclamation is published
                1913 – St Louis Browns mgr George Stovall is 1st to jump to Federal League
                1914 – Great Britain annexes Cyprus
                1914 – Great Britain declares the entire North Sea a military area: neutral ships will transit it at their own risk
                1914 – V Herbert & H Blossoms “Only Girl” premieres in NYC
                1914 – Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire
                1915 – First US election by proportional representation, Ashtabula, Ohio
                1916 – Ft Vaux, Verdun, reconquered by France
                1917 – Balfour Declaration proclaims support for a Jewish state in Palestine
                1917 – Lansing-Ishii Agreement US recognizes Japan’s privileges in China
                1920 – Warren G. Harding elected 29th US President
                1921 – Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie” premieres in NYC
                1922 – Allies deliberate over German mark
                1923 – Bloody street fights in Aachen led to establishment of the ill-fated Rhenish Republic
                1923 – Stresemann’s SPD-ministers in Germany, step down
                1924 – Sunday Express publishes first British crossword puzzle
                1928 – Dmitri Shostakovitch’s 1st Symphony, L Stokovski premieres in Phila
                1930 – Ras (euqiv. Duke) Tafari Makonnen is crowned Haile Selassie I, 225th emperor of Solmonic Dynasty in Ethiopia
                1931 – Warren, Dixon & Young’s musical “Laugh Parade” premieres in NYC
                Baseball Legend Babe Ruth

                1934 – Babe Ruth tours Tokyo, Japan
                1936 – First high-definition TV broadcast service, by BBC in London
                1936 – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is established.
                1937 – AL batting champ Charlie Gehringer wins MVP
                1938 – Babe Ruth applies for job of St Louis Browns’ manager
                1938 – Jimmie Foxx wins his 3rd AL MVP
                1941 – German troops occupy Rostov
                1942 – 11th day of battle at El Alamein: British assault on Tel el Aqqaqir
                1943 – Jewish ghetto of Riga Latvia is destroyed
                1944 – Auschwitz begins gassing inmates
                1944 – Canadian troops occupy Knokke
                1944 – US 28th Infantry division opens assault on Schmidt Hurtgenwald
                1947 – 7th Ryder Cup: US wins 11-1 at Portland Golf Club (Portland, Oregon, US)
                1947 – Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” flies for 1st (& last) time
                33rd US President Harry Truman

                1948 – Pres Harry Truman re-elected in an upset over Republican Thomas Dewey
                1948 – WJZ TV channel 13 in Baltimore, MD (ABC) begins broadcasting
                1949 – Netherland recognizes Indonesia as a sovereign state
                1949 – NL scheme for national distribution of textiles, meat and cheese disbands
                1950 – “Barrier” opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 4 performances
                1950 – Phillies reliever Jim Konstanty wins NL MVP
                1950 – The Clover Dairy Company test-market the first concentrated milk (Sealtest) in the U.S. in Wilmington, Delaware
                1953 – Pakistan becomes islamic republic
                1954 – Charles C Diggs Jr elected Michigan’s 1st black congressman
                1954 – JS Thurmond is 1st senator elected by write-in vote (SC)
                1954 – Taiwan & US sign military pact
                1955 – Clarton-Schwerdt & Schaffer discover polio virus
                First Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion

                1955 – David Ben-Gurion forms Israeli government
                1956 – Hungary appeals for UN assistance against Soviet invasion
                1956 – Israel captures Gaza & Sheham
                1957 – 1st titanium mill opened, Toronto, Ohio
                1957 – The Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas, generates national publicity, and remains one of the most impressive UFO cases in American history.
                1959 – “Girls against the Boys” opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 16 perfs
                1959 – Charles Van Doren confesses that TV quiz show 󈬅” was fixed
                1959 – The first section of the M1 motorway, the first inter-urban motorway in the United Kingdom, is opened between the present junctions 5 and 18, along with the M10 motorway and M45 motorway
                1960 – Dmitri Sjostakovitch’s 8th String quartet premieres in Leningrad
                1960 – George Weiss, at 66, resigns as GM of NY Yankees
                1960 – Penguin Books cleared of obscenity for publishing DH Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”
                American Baseball Player Roger Maris

                1960 – Roger Maris nips Mickey Mantle as AL MVP, 225-222
                1960 – Mary Leakey and her team discover the first fossils of Homo habilis, an early human ancestor, at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Homo habilis is thought to be one of the earliest species to make stone tools and lived between 1.4 and 2.3 million years ago.
                1961 – “Kean” opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 92 performances
                1961 – Max Frisch’s “Andorra” premieres in Zurich
                1963 – “Tambourines to Glory” opens at Little Theater NYC for 24 performances
                1963 – Only 1st-class cricket game played in Uganda, MCC v E African XI
                1964 – CBS purchases 80% of Yanks for $11,200,000, later buys remaining 20%
                1964 – Faisal succeeds Saud as king of Saudi Arabia
                1966 – KHSD TV channel 11 in Lead, SD (ABC) begins broadcasting
                1966 – The Cuban Adjustment Act enters force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the United States.
                Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey

                1968 – “Her First Roman” closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 17 perfs
                1968 – A banned march in Derry, North Ireland, by members of the Derry Citizen’s Action Committee (DCAC) is joined by thousands due to the number of people taking part, the Royal Ulster Constabulary is unable to prevent it
                1969 – Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA River Plantation Women’s Golf Open
                1969 – NFL record of 12 passing touchdowns, New Orleans Billy Kilmer & St L Charlie Johnson pass for 6 touchdowns each
                1970 – Cleveland Cavaliers lose by biggest margin-54 pts (Phila 141-87)
                1971 – “Great Harp” opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 7 performances
                1971 – Orioles Pat Dobson no-hits Yomiuri Giants, 2-0
                1972 – Construction begins on Kingdome, Seattle
                1972 – Phillies’ Steve Carlton wins unanimous NL Cy Young Award
                1972 – USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
                1972 – Goverment of the Republic of Ireland introduce a bill to remove the special position of the Catholic Church from the Irish Constitution
                Singer-songwriter & Actress Barbra Streisand

                1973 – “Barbra Streisand …and Other Musical Instruments” airs on CBS TV
                1973 – OLADE (Latin American Energy Organization) forms
                1974 – Art Modell gets snowed in & misses his 1st Cleve Brown game in 33 yrs
                1974 – Braves trade Hank Aaron to Milwaukee Brewers for OF Dave May
                1974 – USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
                1974 – 78 die when the Time Go-Go Club in Seoul, South Korea burns down. Six of the victims jumped to their deaths from the seventh floor after a club official barred the doors after the fire started.
                1975 – Ed Giacomin as a Red Wing returns to Mad Sq Garden beats Rangers 6-4
                1975 – Summit in Houston opens – Rockets beat Milwaukee Bucks, 104-89
                1976 – Jimmy Carter (D) defeats Gerald Ford (R) for US President
                1976 – NJ voters approve gambling for Atlantic City
                1976 – SD Padre Randy Jones wins NL Cy Young
                1977 – Phillies’ Steve Carlton wins 2nd Cy Young Award
                39th US President Jimmy Carter

                1977 – Microbiologist Carl R. Woese and scientists from the University of Illinois announce the identification of methanogens, a form of microbial life (Archaea) dating back some 3.5 billion years
                1978 – Crew of Soyuz 29 returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 31
                1978 – France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
                1978 – US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
                1978 – Arnold Shapiro’s TV documentary “Scared Straight”, narrated by Peter Falk as a controversial and questionable deterrent to juvenile delinquency, debuts on Los Angeles’ KTLA-TV
                1979 – Peter Shaffer’s musical “Amadeus” premieres in London
                1979 – Studio 54’s owners are arrested for tax evasion
                1982 – Fire in Salung tunnel, Afghanistan, 1,000+ Russians die
                1982 – Nayoko Yoshikawa wins LPGA Pioneer Cup Golf Tournament
                1983 – US President Ronald Reagan signs bill establishing Dr Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
                Clergyman and Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.

                1983 – Abp Hickey conducts papal investigation of Abp Hunthausen, Seattle
                1984 – France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
                1984 – Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962.
                1985 – Horse Racing Breeders’ Cup Champs: Cozzene, Life’s Magic, Pebbles, Precisionist, Proud Truth, Tasso, Twilight Ridge
                1986 – 16th NYC Women’s Marathon won by Grete Waitz in 2:28:06
                1986 – 17th NYC Marathon won by Gianni Poli in 2:11:06
                1986 – Ayako Okamoto wins Nichirei Ladies Cup US-Japan Team Golf Championship
                1987 – Entertainer Lola Falona is diagnosed with multiple schlerosis
                1987 – George Harrison releases “Cloud 9” & McCartney releases “All the Best”
                1988 – Computers virus strikes Pentagon, SDI research lab & 6 universities
                1988 – Mexican radio station erronously reports Mike Tyson dies in car crash
                1988 – Walt Weiss wins AL rookie of year (3rd straight for Oakland A’s)
                1988 – The Morris worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, is launched from MIT.
                Singer-Songwriter George Harrison

                1989 – “Meet Me in St Louis” opens at Gershwin Theater NYC for 253 perfs
                1990 – 1st NBA game at Target Center, Minn Timberwolves beat Mavericks 98-85
                1991 – Jermaine Jackson releases “Word to the Badd!!” anti Michael song
                1991 – Nevada makes biggest comeback in NCAA football history, overcoming a 35-pt deficit in the 3rd quarter & rallying to beat Weber State 55-49
                1991 – Horse Racing Breeders’ Cup Champs: Arazi, Black Tie Affair, Dance Smartly, Miss Alleged, Opening Verse, Pleasant Stage, Sheikh Albadou
                1991 – Bartholomew I becomes the Patriarch of Constantinople.
                1991 – 2nd Rugby World Cup: Australia beats England 12-6 in London
                1992 – First test flight of Airbus A330
                1993 – First commemorative bricks are laid at Bob Feller Memorial
                1993 – Actor Roger Moore (James Bond) has his enlarged prostate removed
                1993 – Christie Todd Whitman (R) elected 1st woman governor of NJ
                1993 – Dow Jones hits record 3697.64
                1993 – Ehud Olmert elected mayor of Jerusalem
                1993 – Rudolph Guliani (R) elected 107th mayor of NYC
                1994 – Benzine explosion in Dronka Egypt, 400+ killed
                1995 – “Busker Alley” premieres at St James Theatre, NY
                1995 – “Sacrilege” opens at Belasco Theater NYC for 21 performances
                1995 – Spanish Broadcasting System buys NY radio station WPAT-FM for $83.5M
                1996 – “Hughie” closes at Circle in Sq Theater NYC
                1997 – “Barrymore” closes at Music Box Theater NYC after 240 performances
                1997 – 27th NYC Women Marathon won by Franziska Rochat-Moser of Switz 2:28:43
                1997 – 28th NYC Marathon won by John Kagwe of Kenya in 2:08:12
                1997 – Typhoon Linda kills at least 208 in southern Vietnam
                1997 – USA beats Japan 23-13 at LPGA Nichirei International
                2000 – The first crew arrives at the International Space Station.
                2002 – 14th College Football Holy War: Boston College beats Notre Dame 14-7 in South Bend
                NHL Goalie Grant Fuhr

                2003 – Grant Fuhr is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame
                2008 – 59th Formula One WDC: Lewis Hamilton wins by one point
                2014 – 60 people were killed and 110 injured by a suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan

                BIRTHDAYS

                1082 – Emperor Huizong of China (d. 1135)
                1475 – Princess Anne of York (d. 1511)
                1528 – Peter S Lotichius, [Peter Lotz], Neo latin poet (Collected Works)
                1636 – Edward Colston, English merchant and philanthropist (d. 1721)
                1667 – James Sobieski, Crown Prince of Poland (d. 1737)
                1692 – Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer, Dutch composer (d. 1766)
                1696 – Conrad Weiser, Pennsylvania’s ambassador to the Native Americans (d. 1760)
                1699 – Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, French painter (d. 1779)
                1709 – Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (d. 1759)
                1734 – Daniel Boone, Oley Valley, Pennsylvania, frontiersman/explorer (US Hall of Fame-1915), (d. 182)
                1739 – Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, composer
                1741 – Joan Derk van Capellen, leader of Neth Democratic Patriots
                1755 – Marie Antoinette, Queen of France(1774-1792), “let them eat cake”, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1793)
                1766 – Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, Austrian field marshal (d. 1858)
                1777 – Fortunat Alojzy Gonzaga Żółkowski, Polish actor (d. 1822)
                Queen of France Marie Antoinette (1755)

                1777 – Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom (d. 1848)
                1785 – Frederic Kalkbrenner, composer
                1785 – Johann Leopold Fuchs, composer
                1795 – James Knox Polk, NC, 11th American President (D) (1845-1849)
                1808 – Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, French writer (d. 1889)
                1810 – Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, Major General (Union volunteers), (d. 1883)
                1812 – Abraham I van Lier, theater director (Gran Theatre-van Lier)
                1815 – George Boole, mathematician (Boolean algebra)
                1821 – Sir George Bowen, British provincial governor (d. 1899)
                1822 – James Byron Gordon, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1864)
                1826 – Robert Hopkins Hatton, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1862)
                1826 – William Haines Lytle, Brigadier General (Union volunteers), (d. 1863)
                1828 – Byron Grimes, Major General (Confederate Army), (d. 1880)
                1833 – Mahendralal Sarkar, Indian doctor (d. 1904)
                11th US President James Knox Polk (1795)

                1837 – Émile Bayard, French artist, illustrator (d. (1891)
                1842 – Otto Reubke, composer
                1843 – Caryl Florio, composer, Pen-name of William James Rob John
                1843 – Elek Erkel, composer
                1846 – Antonio Pena y Goni, composer
                1847 – George Sorel, French Socialist thinker/author (violent revolutions)
                1857 – Joseph F F Babinski, Polish/French neurologist (Babinski reflex)
                1865 – Warren Gamaliel Harding, Ohio, (R) 29th pres (1921-23)
                1865 – Warren G. Harding, Blooming Grove Ohio, American President (1921-1923)
                1876 – Eugeniusz Morawsky-Dabrowa, composer
                1877 – Claire McDowell, actress (Big Parade), born in NYC, New York
                1877 – Victor Trumper, cricketer (Australia batsman 1899-1912)
                1877 – Aga Khan III, Karachi, Shia Imam (1885-1932), (d. 1957)
                1877 – Joseph De Piro, Maltese founder of the Missionary Society of St. Paul (d. 1933)
                48th Shia Imam Aga Khan III (1877)

                1879 – Jean Gilbert, [Max Winterfield], German composer (Prince Regent)
                1880 – John Foulds, composer
                1882 – Leo Perutz, writer
                1883 – Frico Kafenda, composer
                1883 – Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve, cardinal and archbishop of Quebec (d. 1947)
                1885 – Harlow Shapley, US, astronomer (studied the galaxies)
                1886 – Philip Merivale, Rehutia India, actor (Nothing But Trouble)
                1886 – Dhirendranath Datta, Bangladeshi politician (d. 1971)
                1890 – Henry Borginon, Flemish nationalist/senator
                1892 – Alice Brady, actress (My Man Godfrey, Gay Divorcee, Zenobia), born in NYC, New York
                1892 – Paul Abraham, Hungarian composer (Viktoria und ihr Huzar)
                1893 – Battista Farina, founder of Pininfarina company (d. 1966)
                1894 – William Johnston, tennis champ (US Open-1915)
                1894 – Alexander Lippisch, German scientist (d. 1976)
                1897 – Dennis King, Coventry England, comedian (Devil’s Brother)
                1897 – Jacob A B “Jack” Bjerknes, Norwegian/US meteorologist (USAF in London)
                1899 – Eddy [Charles E] du Perron, Dutch author/poet
                1901 – James Dunn, actor (Tree Grows in Brooklyn, It’s a Great Life), born in NYC, New York
                1901 – Paul Ford, Balt Md, actor (Phil Silvers Show)
                1902 – Gyula Illyes, Hungarian author/poet (Az Ismertlen Illyes)
                1902 – Marius W Holtrop, economist/president (Netherlands Bank)
                1903 – Travis Jackson, American baseball player (d. 1987)
                1905 – Fred Lipmann, watchmaker
                1905 – James Dunn, American actor (d. 1967)
                1906 – Luchino Visconti, Milan Italy, director (Damned, Death in Venice)
                1906 – Daniil Andreev, Russian poet (d. 1959)
                1906 – Bengt Edlén, Swedish Astrophysicist who specialized in spectroscopy and discovered the source of unidentified emission lines in solar spectrum
                1908 – Reginald Beckwith, York England, actor (Genevieve, Doctor in Love)
                1910 – Fouad Serageddin, Egyptian politician (d. 1999)
                1911 – Odysseus Elytis Alepoudellis, Greece, poet (Nobel 1979)
                1911 – Raphael Robinson, US mathematician (d. 1995)
                1912 – Jouko Paavo Kalervo Tolonen, composer
                1913 – Burt Lancaster, actor (From Here to Eternity, Elmer Gantry), born in NYC, New York
                1913 – Ivor Roberts-Jones, sculptor
                1914 – Ray Walston, actor (My Favorite Martian, Damn Yankees), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
                1914 – Johnny Vander Meer, baseball player (d. 1997)
                1915 – Douglas Gordon Lilburn, composer
                1915 – Beryl McBurnie, Trinidadian dancer (d. 2000)
                1915 – Sidney Luft, American movie director (d. 2005)
                1917 – Durward Knowles, England, yachtsman (Olympic-gold-1968-Bahamas)
                1919 – Jorge de Sena, Portuguese engineer/poet (Reino da Estupidez)
                1919 – Warren Stevens, Clark’s Summit Pa, actor (Richard Boone Show), (d. 2012)
                1920 – Fabio Gonzalez-Zuleta, composer
                1920 – Lewis Charles, actor (Feather & Father Gang), born in NYC, New York
                1920 – Ann Rutherford, Canadian actress, born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2012)
                1921 – Fernando Correia de Oliveira, composer
                1921 – Willaim D Schaefer, Maryland, (Gov-D-Md)
                1921 – Shepard Menken, American voice actor (d. 1999)
                1921 – Bill Mosienko, National Hockey League player (d. 1994)
                1922 – John Pinsent, classical scholar
                1924 – Father David Bauer, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1988)
                1924 – Rudy Van Gelder, American recording engineer
                1927 – John Sainsbury, English billionaire
                1927 – Steve Ditko, American artist
                1928 – Geoffrey Pardoe, engineer
                1928 – Paul Johnson, British historian
                1929 – Harold Farberman, conductor/composer (Medea), born in NYC, New York
                1929 – Milan Stibilj, composer
                1929 – Rachel Ames, Portland Oregon, actress (Line Up, Audrey-Gen Hospital)
                1930 – Denis Gerald Barrington, artist
                1931 – Phil Woods, Jazz saxophonist and composer, born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 2015)
                1932 – Melvin Schwartz, New York City, American Physicist and Nobel Laureate (neutrinos – subatomic particles with no electric charge and virtually no mass)
                1932 – Henri Namphy, Cap Hatien Haiti, President of Haiti (1986-88)
                1932 – Romano L Mazzoli, (Rep-D-KY, 1971- )
                Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ken Rosewall (1934)

                1934 – Ken Rosewall, Australian tennis star (US Open 1956), born in Sydney, New South Wales
                1934 – Bill Gothard, American speaker
                1935 – Mohammad Munaf, cricketer (Pakistani pace bowler in 4 Tests 1959-62)
                1936 – Rose Elizabeth Bird, California Supreme Court Justice
                1936 – Abdullah the Butcher, wrestler
                1937 – Earl “Speedoo” Carroll, rocker (Cadillacs, Coasters), born in NYC, New York
                1938 – Jay Traynor, rocker (Jay & The Americans)
                1938 – Patrick Buchanan, conservative political columnist
                1938 – Ria Beckers-de Bruijn, Dutch MP (PPR)
                1938 – Jay Black, American singer (Jay and the Americans)
                1938 – Queen Sofia of Spain
                1939 – Howard Wolpe, (Rep-D-MI, 1979- )
                1939 – Pauline Neville-Jones, English diplomat
                1939 – Richard Serra, American sculptor and video artist
                1940 – Gigi Proletti, Italian entertainer
                1941 – Bruce Welch, [Cripps], rocker (Shadows Bognor Regis)
                1941 – David Knapp Stockton, San Bernardino CA, PGA golfer (1970 PGA)
                Golfer and Two-Time PGA Champion Dave Stockton(1941)

                1941 – Dave Stockton, San Bernardino California, golfer and two-time PGA Champion (1970, 1976)
                1942 – Shere Hite, St Joseph Missouri, sex therapist (Hite Report)
                1942 – Stefanie Powers, Hollywood Ca, actress (Girl From UNCLE, Hart to Hart)
                1943 – Oldrich Pelcak, Czechoslovakia, cosmonaut
                1944 – Keith Emerson, England (Emerson, Lake & Palmer-Brain Salad Surgery)
                1944 – Jeffrey Alan Hoffman, Bkln, PhD/astronaut (STS 51-D, 35, 46, 61, 75)
                1944 – Liesel Westermann, German FR, discus thrower (Olympic-silver-1968)
                1944 – Patrice Chereau, actress (Danton), (d. 2013)
                1946 – Alan Jones, Australia, auto racer (1980 World Champion)
                1946 – Giuseppe Sinopoli, Venice Italy, conductor/composer (Sunnyata)
                1947 – Dave Pegg, British pop bassist (Jethro Tull-Crest of a Wave)
                1947 – David Anthony Ahern, composer
                1948 – Rich Gooch, rock bassist (Quarterflash)
                1949 – Simon Augustini, Albanian politician
                1951 – Kathy Hammond, US, 400m runner (Olympics-bronze-1972)
                1951 – Thomas Mallon, American novelist and critic
                1951 – Lindy Morrison, Australian musician (The Go-Betweens)
                1952 – Kate Linder, Pasadena Ca, actress (Esther Valentine–Young & Restless)
                1952 – Maxine Nightingale, English soul singer
                1954 – Pat Croce, American entrepreneur
                1955 – Frank Gilligan, singer (Mason Dixon-Karen Comes Around), born in Queens, New York
                1955 – Mark Reynolds, star yachter (Olymp-8th-1988, 92, 96), born in San Diego, California
                1955 – Chris Burnett, American musician
                1957 – Rita Crockett, volleyball player (Olympic-silver-1984), born in San Antonio, Texas
                1957 – Carter Beauford, American drummer (Dave Matthews Band)
                1958 – Willie McGee, SF CA, outfielder (St Louis Cardinals, NL MVP-1985)
                1959 – Peter Mullan, Scottish actor and film maker
                1960 – Adam Lingner, NFL center (Buffalo Bills)
                1960 – Bruce Baumgartner, Haledon NJ, wrestler (Oly-gold/br-84, 88, 92, 96)
                1960 – Mardi Jacquet, Chateauroux California, playmate (October, 1980)
                1960 – Robert Harold Lohr, Cincinnati OH, PGA golfer (1988 Walt Disney)
                1960 – Rosalyn Nideffer, Durban South Africa, tennis star (1993 Futures-Midland MI)
                1960 – Saïd Aquita, Morocco, 5K runner (Olympic-gold-1984)
                1960 – Tihomir Blaškić, Croatian war criminal
                1961 – K.D. Lang [Kathy Dawn], Consort Alberta, Canadian country singer
                1962 – Andrew Elt, singer (Sleeze Beez)
                1962 – Donna Spangler, wrestler (Coal Miner’s Daughter-GLOW), born in Los Angeles, California
                1962 – David Brock, American political commentator, pundit
                1962 – Mireille Delunsch, French soprano
                1962 – Simon Hill, English-Australian Football commentator
                1963 – Ines Diers, German DR, 400m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1980)
                1963 – Susie Scott, playmate (May, 1983), born in San Diego, California
                1963 – Bobby Dall American rocker (Poison-Every Rose Has a Thorn)
                1963 – Craig Saavedra, American filmmaker
                1964 – Kevin Gogan, NFL guard (Oakland Raiders, SF 49ers)
                1964 – Michael D’Asaro II, American fencer-sabre, born in Brooklyn, New York
                1964 – Britta Lejon, Swedish politician
                1965 – Chuck Klingbeil, NFL nose tackle (Miami Dolphins)
                1965 – Shahrukh Khan, Indian actor
                1966 – Orlando Merced, Hato Rey Puerto Rico, outfielder (Pittsburgh Pirates)
                1966 – Rosalyn Fairbank, South Africa, tennis player
                1966 – Sean Kanan, actor (AJ-Gen Hospital, Rich Girl, Karate Kid Part 3)
                1966 – Tim Kirkman, American filmmaker
                1966 – Khaled Abol Naga, Egyptian actor
                1967 – Chris Port, NFL guard/tackle (NO Saints)
                1967 – Darla Michele Pruett, Canton Georgia, Miss Georgia-America (1991)
                1967 – Derek Porter, Belfast Ireland, Canadian rower (Oly-gold/silver-92/96)
                1967 – Marc van Roon, Dutch improvising musician
                1967 – Scott Walker, US politician (Governor of Wisconsin 2011-), born in Colorado Springs, Colorado
                1968 – Brandi Brandt, Santa Clara California, playmate (October, 1987)
                1968 – Helle Michaelsen, Alborg Denmark, playmate (Aug, 1988)
                1968 – Melissa Evridge, Lexington Ky, playmate (Aug, 1990)
                1968 – Ultra Naté, American musician
                1969 – Dwayne Gordon, NFL linebacker (San Diego Chargers, NY Jets)
                1969 – Reginald Arvizu, American bassist (KoЯn)
                1970 – Corbin Lacina, NFL guard (Buffalo Bills)
                1970 – Sharmell Sullivan, American professional wrestling valet
                1971 – Pete Vordenberg, Rota Spain, US cross country skier (Olympics-1994)
                1972 – Alfred Schreuders, soccer player (RKC)
                1972 – Jeni Stephens, Miss America-Tennessee (1997), born in Memphis, Tennessee
                1972 – Marie Josee Gibeau, Lachine Quebec, kayaker (Olympics-96)
                1972 – Samantha Janus, British entertainer
                1972 – Darío Silva, Uruguayan footballer
                1973 – Jason Smith, Calgary, NHL defenseman (NJ Devils)
                1973 – Marisol Nichols, American actress
                1974 – Alex Tanaka, actor (Saja-Swan’s Crossing)
                1974 – Jaroslav Spacek, NHL defenseman (Team Czech Oly-Gold-1998, (Sweden)
                1974 – Ruslan Salei, NHL defenseman (Belarus, Oly-98, Anaheim)
                1974 – Orlando Cabrera, Colombian baseball player
                1974 – Nelly, American rapper
                1974 – Prodigy, American rapper (Mobb Deep)
                1975 – Danny Cooksey, Moore Oklahoma, actor (Sam-Diff’rent Strokes)
                1975 – Stéphane Sarrazin, French rally driver
                1975 – Chris Walla, American musician (Death Cab for Cutie)
                1976 – Sidney Ponson, Aruban baseball player
                1977 – Jason Cerbone, American actor (The Sopranos)
                1977 – Randy Harrison, American actor
                1978 – Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Brazilian mixed-martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion
                1979 – Julie Lund, Danish actress
                1980 – Kim So-yeon, South Korean actress
                1981 – Wilson Betemit, Dominican baseball player
                1981 – Avy Scott, American actress
                1982 – Kyoko Fukada, Japanese actress, model and singer
                1982 – Charles Itandje, French footballer
                1984 – Tamara Hope, Canadian actress
                1984 – Julia Stegner, German supermodel
                1986 – Erika Jo, American musician
                1986 – Lara Sacher, Australian actress
                1987 – Danny Cipriani English rugby union player.
                1988 – Lindze Letherman, American actress (General Hospital)
                1989 – Katelyn Tarver, American singer
                1990 – Natasha Smirnoff, daughter of Yakov Smirnov

                WEDDINGS

                1887 – Baseball legend Connie Mack (24) weds Margaret Hogan
                1896 – Nizari Imam Aga Khan III (19) weds first cousin Shahzadi Begum in Pune, India
                2005 – Irish TV and radio presenter Sile Seoige (26) weds Glen Mulcahy at St. Brendan’s Church in County Offaly
                2009 – “Sex and the City” actor Ron Livingston (41) weds actress Rosemarie DeWitt (34) in San Francisco
                2012 – BMX icon TJ Lavin weds longtime fiancee Roxanne Siordia (32) in Las Vegas
                2013 – ‘N Sync founding member Chris Kirkpatrick (42) weds his girlfriend Karly Skladany in Orlando, Florida
                2013 – “Smash” actress Megan Hilty (32) weds Brian Gallagher at a chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada

                DIVORCES

                2006 – Rocker Rod Stewart (58) divorces model Rachel Hunter (33) due to irreconcilable differences

                DEATHS

                943 – Queen Emma of France, (b. 894)
                1083 – Matilda of Flanders, Queen consort (b. 1031)
                1171 – Baudouin IV, count of Henegouwen (1120-71), dies
                1171 – Dionysius bar Salibi, author (Diarbekir), dies
                1285 – King Peter III of Aragon (b. 1239)
                1327 – King James II of Aragon (b. 1267)
                1483 – Henry Stafford, earl of Buckingham/constable of Engl, beheaded at 49
                1588 – Wilhelmus Damasi, theologist/1st bishop of Roermond, dies at 63
                1610 – Richard Bancroft, archbishop of Canterbury (1604-10), dies at 66
                1618 – Archduke Maximilian III of Austria (b. 1568)
                1635 – Aurelio Signoretti, composer, dies at 68
                1697 – Constantine Huygens Jr, Poet/painter/cartoonist, buried
                1716 – Engelbert Kaempfer, German physician and traveler (b. 1651)
                1717 – Johann Jacob Walther, composer, dies
                1731 – Johann Matthias Leffloth, composer, dies at 26
                1781 – Jose F de Isla, Spanish Jesuit/author, dies at 78
                1804 – Armand-Gaston Camus, French chairman of Council of 500, dies at 64
                1807 – Baron de Breteuil, French statesman (b. 1730)
                1845 – Chretien Urhan, composer, dies at 55
                1852 – Pyotr Kotlyarevsky, Russian general (b. 1782)
                1863 – Theodore Judah, American railroad engineer (b. 1826)
                1874 – Thomas Anderson, Scottish Chemist (discovered pyridine), dies at 55
                1875 – James W. W. Birch, 1st British resident in Perak, Malaysia is speared to death while in the bath-house of his boat, SS Dragon at 49
                1877 – Friedrich Graf von Wrangel, Prussian field marshal (b. 1784)
                1882 – Cenobio Paniagua y Vasques, composer, dies at 61
                1884 – Auguste Emmanuel Vaucorbeil, composer, dies at 62
                1887 – Jenny Lind, [Swedish Nightingale], soprano, dies at 67
                1898 – George Goyder, English-born surveyor-general of South Australia (b. 1826)
                1905 – Albert von Kölliker, Swiss anatomist (b. 1817)
                1909 – Theodor W Ahlwardt, German orientalist, dies at 81
                1920 – Andre Dumont, Belgian mine engineer (Limburgs coal basin), dies at 73
                1925 – Antonius J Derkinderen, Dutch painter/etcher, dies at 65
                1930 – Oliver Perry Hay, American Paleontologist, dies at 84
                1931 – Arthur James Cook, union leader (coal miners), dies at 47
                1931 – Harry Musgrove, cricketer (Test for Australia 1885), dies
                1935 – H B “Jock” Cameron, South African cricket captain (v England 1935, age 30), dies
                1937 – Maude Valerie White, composer, dies at 82
                1944 – Thomas Midgley, American chemist and inventor (b. 1889)
                1945 – Princess Thyra, daughter of Frederick VIII of Denmark (b. 1880)
                1949 – Jerome F. Donovan, American politician (b. 1872)
                Playwright George Bernard Shaw (1950)

                1950 – George Bernard Shaw, Irish author (Pygmalion), dies at 94
                1952 – Maire O’Neill, actress (Juno & the Paycock, Glamorous Night), dies
                1956 – Jacob Weinberg, composer, dies at 77
                1956 – Leo Baeck, Pres of World Union for Progressive Judaism, dies at 83
                1958 – Adam von Ahn Carse, composer, dies at 80
                1960 – Dimitri Mitropoulos, Greek/US conductor/composer, dies at 64
                1961 – James Thurber, humorist (The Male Animal), dies at 66
                1962 – Felice Lattuada, composer, dies at 80
                1963 – Ngo Dinh Diem, president of South Vietnam (1955-63), murdered at 62
                1966 – Mississippi John Hurt, rocker, dies at 73
                1966 – Sadao Araki, Japanese general/minister of War (1931-34), dies at 89
                1966 – Peter Debye, Dutch-American Physical Chemist (Nobel 1936), dies at 82
                1968 – Ernst Hess, composer, dies at 56
                1969 – Marion Lloyd Vince, fencer (National champ 1928, 31), dies at 63
                1970 – Richard Cushing, US cardinal to Boston, dies at 75
                1971 – Martha Vickers, actress (Alimony), dies after long illness at 46
                1977 – H E Nossak, writer, dies at 76
                1979 – Jacques Mesrine, French “enemy of the state”, shot to death
                1980 – Edith Bunker, character on “All in the Family”, dies
                Bank Robber Willie Sutton(1980)

                1980 – Willie Sutton, American bank robber, dies at 79
                1981 – Kenneth Oakley, English Anthropologist, Palaeontologist, and Geologist whose method for the relative dating of fossils using fluorine content was instrumental in exposing the Piltdown Man hoax, dies at 70
                1982 – Lester Roloff, Man of God, preacher.
                1984 – Margie V Barfield, US murderer, 1st woman electricuted in 22 years
                1986 – Paul Frees, cartoon voice (Boris Badenov), dies at 66
                1991 – Fran Stevens, singer, dies of cancer in Bronx NY at 72
                1991 – Irwin Allen, dir (Land of the Giants, Poseidon Adventure), dies at 75
                1992 – Hal Roach, producer (Keystone Kops), dies of pneumonia at 100
                1993 – P A Jacob Mees, Dutch banker (Mees & Hope), dies at about 86
                1994 – David Feinberg, AIDS activist/author, dies at 37
                1994 – Egbert George “Pete” Pitterson, trumpeter, dies at 73
                1994 – Noah Beery Jr, US actor (Gung Ho!, Heaven With a Gun), dies at 81
                1995 – Alun Edward Islwyn Pask, rugby International, dies at 58
                1995 – Alvaro Gomez Hurtado, VP of Columbia (1982-84), assassinated
                1995 – Florence Greenberg, record company founder, dies at 82
                1995 – Ivan Metropolitan Ioann Snychev, russion Orthodox Priest, dies at 68
                1995 – Oliver Wendell Harrington, cartoonist, dies at 83
                1995 – Sal Gliatto, baseball player, dies at 93
                1996 – Alvaro Gomez Hurtado, Colombian politician, dies
                1996 – Christopher Prater, screen printer, dies at 72
                1996 – Eva Cassidy, American singer (b. 1963)
                Baseball Player Toni Stone(1996)

                1996 – Toni Stone, first woman to play professional baseball in a men’s league, dies at 75
                1997 – G Harry Stine, writer, dies at 69
                1997 – Roy McMillan, baseball player (Reds), dies of heart failure at 68
                1998 – Vincent Winter, British actor (b. 1957)
                2002 – Tonio Selwart, German actor (b. 1896)
                2002 – Charles Sheffield, American author and physicist (b. 1935)
                2003 – Frank McCloskey, American politician (b. 1939)
                2004 – Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, dies at 85
                2004 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch filmmaker (b. 1957)
                2004 – Gerrie Knetemann, Dutch cyclist (b. 1951)
                2005 – Ferruccio Valcareggi, Italian football player and coach.
                2007 – Charmaine Dragun, Australian journalist (b. 1978)

                President of the United Arab Emirates Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (2004)

                2007 – Witold Kiełtyka, Polish metal drummer (Decapitated) (b. 1984)
                2007 – Igor Moiseyev, Russian choreographer (b. 1906)
                2007 – Lillian Ellison, American professional wrestler (b. 1923)
                2007 – Henry Cele, South African Actor best known for his onscreen portrayal of the legendary Shaka Zulu
                2010 – Andy Irons, American professional surfer (b. 1978)
                2010 – Clyde King, American baseball player and manager (b. 1924)
                2011 – Sickan Carlsson, Swedish actress and singer (b. 1915)
                2012 – Milt Campbell, American hurdler/decathlete, dies from prostate cancer and diabetes at 78
                2013 – Walt Bellamy, American HOF basketball player, dies at 74

                ALSO ON THIS DAY


                The Wrong Ship at the Right Time: The Technology of USS Monitor and its Impact on Naval Warfare

                Introduction: “Forty patentable contrivances”

                Among the many myths that grew up around USS Monitor was that she not only represented a revolutionary concept in naval warfare, marrying steam, armor and a revolving turret, but that her inventor, John Ericsson, had stuffed the ship chock-full of new technologies. This legend started with John S.C. Abbott’s The History of the Civil War in America, first published in the spring of 1863 even as the battles of Vicksburg and Chancellorsville were raging, and Gettysburg was still a lively manufacturing town untouched by war. Abbott described Monitor as not “merely an iron-clad vessel, with a turret but there are, in fact, between thirty and forty patentable inventions upon her, and the turret is by no means the most important one. Very properly, what these inventions are, is not proclaimed to the public”. A generation later, Ericsson’s biographer, William Conant Church, writing just a year after his subject’s death, attributed the statement to Monitor’s first assistant engineer Isaac Newton, who “estimated…that she contained at least forty patentable contrivances. Ericsson was urged by Mr. Newton to secure patents for these, but he declined to do so”. These statements were quickly picked up by journals and magazines around the country celebrating the life of John Ericsson, and have been uncritically quoted ever since. 1

                These widely-believed statements about the novelty of USS Monitor and the selflessness of her designer are patently false. John Ericsson was far too experienced an engineer to laden his project with untried and untested technologies. He knew that he could not deliver such a novel ship as Monitor in one hundred days while simultaneously creating forty new devices that other men would have to learn how to build and install. Instead, Ericsson reached back to tried-and-tested technologies that he and others had developed over the previous quarter-century. An account written just a few days after the Monitor-Virginia duel had it right: “The Monitor is no new invention of Mr. Ericsson’s, but that she is the result of 25 years’ study toward an invulnerable siege battery.” 2

                This was shown by the technologies both used and not used aboard Monitor. The screw propeller used on the ironclad, which Ericsson pioneered back in 1838, was now standard equipment on both commercial and military ships. Monitor’s engine, his patented, double-trunk design that was more compact than the more widespread, single-trunk engine, was installed on the frigate USS Minnesota back in 1855 and had been operating for over six years without difficulty. “These engines were of what has ever since been called the ‘Monitor type’, and many have supposed that they were, like the vessel itself, of wholly novel and untried design,” as Charles MacCord, one of Ericsson’s most trusted draftsmen, explained. “This, however, was not the case… this form of engine had already demonstrated its practical working qualities, otherwise the captain would probably have given the first trials at the dock his personal supervision.” Ericsson, himself, reassured Monitor’s supervisor of contracts, Commodore Joseph Smith, “Nothing is attempted not already well tried, or of so strictly a mechanical a nature as to be susceptible of previous determination.” In keeping with his philosophy of using only tried-and-tested technologies on Monitor, Ericsson did not make use of his own patented fresh-water distiller, still unproven in operational use. 3

                John Ericsson (NHHC Photo # NH 305)

                The claim that “the inventions are… not proclaimed to the public” was decidedly wrong. Neither John Ericsson nor Isaac Newton were self-effacing when it came to publicizing the militarily-sensitive technologies and tactics employed by the ship. Even as Monitor was under construction in January 1862, Newton gave a talk, printed in the Journal of the Franklin Institute a few weeks later, which detailed the armor scheme of the turret, decks, and hull. A few days after the Battle of Hampton Roads, at a meeting of the New York Chamber of Commerce, that was soon reported in papers nationwide, Ericsson explained that Monitor’s cannon shot did not penetrate the armor of Virginia because the guns were slightly elevated, but at the next encounter “they will leave the guns level, and they won’t mind if the ball strikes the water, because the ricochet will take it where they want it. The next time they go out, I predict the third round will sink the Merrimac [Virginia].” 4 All this strategic intelligence undoubtedly found its way almost immediately to the Confederate Navy.

                Ericsson was clearly not the selfless inventor that Church portrayed. In addition to using many of his already-existing patents on Monitor, he made certain that the most important ideas for his new ship would be protected under patent law. The most novel feature of Monitor was its revolving gun turret, the first operational one in the world. However, as the US Commissioner of Patents explained in 1863, Ericsson’s turret by itself was not a unique idea: “the improvements in this respect propose no change of general principle or mode of structure they have reference to the perfecting of the details of construction, to additional or different supports, to facilities of rotation and to greater conveniences in working the guns. Port-hole stoppers have received much attention, and, apparently, with valuable results”. Indeed, a year after Monitor’s loss, Ericsson went on to take out patents on improved designs for his unique gun-carriage (designed to limit recoil in a confined space) and port-hole stopper (which protected the gunports from cannon fire when not in use) based on battle experience at Hampton Roads and elsewhere. 5

                Perhaps Ericsson’s greatest “contrivance” with the respect to Monitor was the invention of the need for a slow, shallow-draft, mobile coastal battery. That requirement had not existed prior to Monitor’s construction and subsequent duel with Virginia. The US Navy had, from the start, been a blue-water force, capable of bringing the fight to distant shores. That had been as true for John Paul Jones’ Bonhomme Richard in 1779 as it was for the latest screw frigates and sloops launched just a few years before the outbreak of the Civil War indeed, the only concession that the US Navy made to shallow-draft requirements was that the ocean-going 1859 Hartford class sloops drew ten feet less water than the Merrimack class frigates, in order to enter southern ports. 6 In fact, at the onset of the Civil War, the House Chairman of Naval Affairs, Charles Sedgwick, suggested that “Gun Sloops [were] a class of vessel more needed in the Navy than any other.” 7 The Union Navy had to carry out a close blockade along almost 3,500 miles of coastline, from Virginia to Texas. In addition, it had to contend with the potential threat of British and French vessels breaking neutrality. These conditions all pointed to the requirement for ocean-going vessels. In fact, the Union Navy’s original request for bids for ironclad ships, dated April 7, 1861, called for vessels “to be rigged…to navigate at sea.” 8

                Ericsson’s Monitor changed all that. She was the wrong ship at the right time, a brown-water ship designed for a blue-water navy. By confronting CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads just in the nick of time to avert a naval catastrophe, she changed the course of maritime strategy for a generation by shifting the focus to littoral defense, not just in the United States but around the world.

                International technology transfer and the origins of USS Monitor in the Crimean War

                Like many of the advanced weapons used during the Civil War, the technology of USS Monitor was largely transferred from abroad. International technology transfer during the war generally took two distinct forms: direct purchase or knowledge transfer. In the South, which was short on industrial capability, direct purchase was the more common avenue for quickly obtaining major weapons. Confederate officers were sent abroad to purchase ships from Britain and France, such as the steam sloop CSS Alabama from Laird in Birkenhead and the ironclad ram CSS Stonewall from Arman in Bordeaux. In the North, knowledge transfer was more widely used, as when the concept and general plans for USS New Ironsides were derived from the French ironclad Gloire.

                One of the primary sources of overseas knowledge transfer came from the large immigrant community in the North, particularly around the major cities of Philadelphia and New York. The United States was always a nation of immigrants, and those immigrants often brought their skills and ideas into service for the US military. Ericsson’s younger countryman, John W. Nystrom, had emigrated from Sweden to the United States in 1849, developing a novel screw propeller and various mathematical instruments. During the Civil War, he served in Philadelphia as a naval engineer under Engineer-in-Chief, Benjamin Isherwood.

                Ericsson, himself, had lived in Britain for many years and brought with him the concepts he had developed there while exposed to other similar inventions, including the screw propeller, revolving turret and forced draft-blowers. 9 He had conceived of Monitor long before the Civil War, not as a solution to the American needs for blockade and preventing overseas interference, but rather as the answer to a problem from a foreign conflict fought just a few years earlier: the Crimean War.

                The Crimean War (1853-1856), between Russia and an alliance of Britain, France, and Turkey, was in many ways the first industrial war that presaged many of the technologies and tactics used during the American Civil War, including: telegraph and railroads field hospitals photography trench warfare steamships and armored vessels. In 1855, Secretary of War (later Confederate President), Jefferson Davis, sent observers to the Crimean War under the Delafield Commission, which included then-Captain George McClellan (later General-in-Chief of the Union Army), who returned with a deeper understanding and acceptance of how to use these new technologies on the battlefield and behind the lines.

                The armies of both North and South adopted several weapons that were developed for, or saw service in, the Crimean War. The Minié ball, originally invented by a French army officer, provided more reliable and had longer-range hitting power than previous bullets, and was used widely by French and British troops during the Crimean War. It was brought to the United States in 1855, and within a few years an improved version became standard issue for all American soldiers just prior to, and during, the Civil War. The 1853 British Enfield rifle-musket, which fired the Minié ball, also became standard American issue. The French canon obusier de 12 cm, developed in 1853 and which could fire a wide range of ammunition, was adopted as the “12-pounder Napoleon” by both North and South.

                The Crimean War also provided the impetus for American naval developments in the Civil War. In 1855, the Russian Navy approached the French inventor Brutus Villeroi to build a submarine that could destroy French and British warships. Villeroi had previously developed submarines for salvage work, but it is doubtful that he answered Russia’s call, as the following year he emigrated to Philadelphia where he continued his work on submarines. In 1861, as the crisis with CSS Virginia loomed, he proposed his newly-built submarine Alligator to the Union Navy “to blow up one or more vessels of war at the Norfolk Navy Yard for a sum equivalent to the damage inflicted upon the enemy, to be paid… on the destruction of the property.” Although the bids for three ironclad warships were already being prepared to accomplish exactly the same task, the Union Navy accepted his proposal as an alternate plan. As it happened, Villeroi delivered his submarine two months after the Battle of Hampton Roads, so the Union Navy found other uses for the vessel. 10

                The Crimean War was most notably the birthplace of the shallow-draft armored steam battery, which was the direct ancestor of Monitor. By 1854, both France and Britain had recognized that existing wooden warships were inadequate to attack heavily-defended Russian forts, as warships were too deep to closely approach the fortifications, and vulnerable to shore batteries. The French Emperor Napoleon III, himself a student of artillery, prodded his naval constructors to develop a fleet of steam-powered, heavily-armored, shallow-draft ships that could closely approach Russian forts in the Baltic and the Black Sea. Napoleon III wanted ten ships available for the 1855 campaign, but the French shipyards could build only five in that short a time. Undeterred, the French Navy contacted their British allies and provided drawings and specifications for British shipyards to build another five. In the event, only three French batteries were completed in time for the 1855 attack on the fortress at Kinburn on the Black Sea.

                Bombardment of Kinburn (Weapons and Warfare)

                Fort Kinburn guarded the entrance to the Bug and Dnieper rivers, and the access to the critical shipbuilding port of Nikolayev. In the summer of 1855, the three available French batteries were towed into position before the fort. Enclosed by 4 inches of wrought iron plate, each battery could maneuver slowly at about 4 knots to deploy sixteen heavy broadside guns at their target. During the battle on October 17, 1855, the three batteries fought at a range of about 800-1,000 yards, and unleashed over 3,000 shell and shot which, combined with the shelling from rest of the fleet, caused the Russians to surrender in less than eight hours. In return, the ironclad batteries were struck repeatedly with little damage except for dents and furrows in the armor. The French Navy attributed the prompt victory “to the fire of the floating batteries which… opened breaches in the ramparts and with remarkable precision was able to knock down the solidest walls.” 11

                At the same time the siege of Kinburn was being planned in 1855, a young naval lieutenant named Cowper Phipps Coles built an armed raft that bombarded a Russian town near the city of Rostov-on-Don. Flush with success and aware of the recent action at Kinburn, Coles drew up plans for an armored raft fitted with a hemispherical cupola that could be used to attack other Russian forts. The great British civil engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, suggested to Coles some improvements regarding a revolving turntable, so that one would “turn the gun, not the ship.” In 1859 and 1860, Coles drew up patents for a revolving, armored, cone-shaped cupola. In the autumn of 1861, just as Ericsson was designing Monitor, the British Navy built and tested a model of Cole’s cupola on the steam battery HMS Trusty. Trusty successfully fired her 40-pound gun and received close-range shots from cannon ranging up to 100 pounds with few ill effects. 12 (April 5, 1862), p. 5 Stanley Sandler, The Emergence of the Modern Capital Ship (Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press, 1979), p. 179. For the cupola trials on HMS Trusty, see Coles’ testimony in Report from the Select Committee on Ordnance (London: House of Commons, 1863), pp. 66-67.]

                While the Crimean War was raging, Ericsson was making a comfortable living as an engineer in New York City, while also developing his caloric engine and testing it aboard his paddlewheel ship Ericsson. Ever since the disastrous affair with USS Princeton in 1844 (where he was wrongly blamed for a gun explosion that killed the Secretaries of State and Navy) he had largely given up military work. 13 However, apparently intrigued by the nature of the Crimean War as the first industrial conflict, on September 26, 1854, he dashed off a proposal to Napoleon III that described “a new system of naval attack”: a short-range, steam-powered, iron-hulled vessel with curved decks and a hemispherical armored turret [that] would not show any right angle to an incoming shell, thus deflecting it away from the guns and machinery. The turret would turn on a single, central spindle. The hull was designed with a long overhang to protect the rudder and propeller. The engines and internal compartments would be supplied with air by forced-draft blowers. 14 Although the French Navy never made use of this concept, it would turn out that Ericsson’s 1854 Crimean War proposal would become the template from which Monitor would be created.

                The Union Navy Department issues requirements for ocean-going ironclads, but John Ericsson and the Ironclad Board ignore them

                News that a Confederate ironclad was rising from the burned-out hulk of USS Merrimack was the spur for the construction of Monitor. Merrimack had been burned and sunk in April 1861 when Union troops abandoned the Gosport naval base. By May, the Confederate Navy had raised the hulk and placed it in drydock, and in June, design work began on the conversion to the armored CSS Virginia. The Union Navy received word of the new ironclad even before the work had actually commenced, and on July 4, Secretary of Navy, Gideon Welles, requested Congress to authorize construction of ironclad steamers. Welles subsequently enlisted the help of Connecticut businessman Cornelius Bushnell to get a bill onto the floor and round up the votes. 15

                The Union already had one ironclad steamer on the ways, but it had lain unfinished in Hoboken, New Jersey since 1856 and could not be completed in any reasonable time. The Stevens Battery had been ordered by the Navy in 1841 at the urging of two prominent railroad engineers, Edwin and Robert Stevens, who conceived of a fast, heavily armed and armored, semisubmersible, ocean-going steamer that could reinforce the Port of New York. Over the course of fifteen years, the ship grew in size and complexity but without ever being launched, even as the brothers continued to receive navy funding. By 1861, it was a 420-foot-long hull resting on open ground, having no decks, armor or guns fitted, with boilers and machinery in place but no propellers. Naval experts who examined the ship in her unfinished state determined that she would be of “doubtful success,” and recommended against the “expenditure of important sums of money” to complete the work. 16

                USS Monitor Plans (Wikimedia Commons)

                On August 3, Congress authorized $1.5 million (the equivalent of $6 billion in 2018) to order “iron or steel-clad steamships or floating steam batteries” and an Ironclad Board to examine industry proposals. 17 Although the currently-building CSS Virginia had been the catalyst for the construction of ironclads, it was not, in the view of the Union Navy, their primary adversary. The Civil War was, to that point, primarily a conflict between two land powers, North and South, and therefore mainly under the Army’s purview. The Union Navy, by contrast, had to plan against a spillover of the American conflict into a wider war with Britain and France, which had already demonstrated their preference for the Confederacy. The Union Navy could only do this by exhibiting American naval strength on the high seas: “A foreign war must be waged almost exclusively upon the ocean…in view of the settled hostility of England and France, we ought to prepare ourselves to cope with their navies, through which alone they can strike us.” 18 With the French ironclad Gloire and the British ironclad Warrior already in the water, the Union Navy had to continue its time-honored blue-water posture in order to meet current and future threats.

                For this reason, the Union Navy Department issued the request for bids on August 7, 1861 – less than a week after Congress established the Ironclad Board — ignored Congress’ allowance for coastal “floating steam batteries” and specifically called for ocean-going ships: 19

                The Navy Department will receive offers from parties who are able to execute work of this kind, and who are engaged in it, of which they will furnish evidence with their offer, for the construction of one or more iron-clad steam vessels of war, either of iron or of wood and iron combined, for sea or river service, to be of not less than ten nor over sixteen feet draught of water to carry an armament of from eighty to one hundred and twenty tons weight, with provisions and stores for from one hundred and sixty-five to three hundred persons, according to armament, for sixty days, with coal for eight days. The smaller draught of water, compatible with other requisites, will be preferred. The vessel to be rigged with two masts, with wire-rope standing rigging, to navigate at sea.

                The advertisement appeared in the New York Times, Boston Daily Journal, Philadelphia Evening Journal and many others across the Northeast, as well as being spread by word of mouth. 20 By the third week of September, the Navy Board had 16 proposals in hand, from which they selected three widely different concepts for construction that the Union Navy would then evaluate for further use. 21 In effect, the Union Navy was relying on the shipbuilding industry to perform, on its behalf, the experimentation (today we would call it research and development) for this new breed of vessel. This was, in fact, the normal course of action during the mid-nineteenth century. At that time, the only navy-led experimentation was focused on gunnery, at John Dahlgren’s “Experimental Battery” in the Ordnance Establishment at the Washington Navy Yard. 22

                For hull and machinery developments, the US Navy, as with most European navies, looked to civilian manufacturers to take the lead. In the mid-1800s, commercial firms were quickly developing new types of engines and propellers, as well as improvements in iron shipbuilding, for a rapidly expanding transatlantic and global trade. It was quite common for the US Navy to buy two or more competing technologies and compare them side-by-side. For example, when Congress authorized the Navy to build six steam frigates in 1854, a special board was convened that decided the ships should be outfitted with different types of engines manufactured by several builders, in order to evaluate the varying engine types and to encourage competition. Four of the ships were fitted with single-trunk engines, one with a steeple engine and one, USS Minnesota, was built with Ericsson’s double-trunk engine. 23

                This pattern held true for the Union’s ironclad program. The first concept selected had been submitted by the Philadelphia firms of Merrick & Sons (engine manufactures) and William Cramp & Sons (shipbuilders) for a 4,000-ton, ocean-going, casemate (i.e., broadside battery) ironclad. The ship, later named New Ironsides, was roughly based on the new French ironclad frigate Gloire, though considerably smaller, slower and with fewer guns, but still the largest warship the United States had built to date. Her wooden hull, carrying 14 Dahlgren smoothbore guns and four others, would be protected by hammered iron plate 4.5 inches thick. This type of ship, more than any of the other ironclad concepts selected, was closest to the concept of an ocean-going warship that could provide some deterrence against the ironclads now on the building ways in Britain and France. 24

                The second concept, later named Galena, was proposed by Cornelius Bushnell and his consortium of shipbuilders and designed by Samuel Hartt Pook. Much closer to the “gun sloops …more needed in the Navy than any other” advocated by Sedgwick, Galena was a small (950 tons), slow, narrow casemate ironclad with six guns and just 3 inches of side iron plating. The Ironclad Board worried that the ship “would not float her armor and load sufficiently high, and have sufficient stability for a sea vessel” so required a “guarantee that it could do these.” Bushnell, on the advice of his colleague, Cornelius Delamater, owner of the Delamater Iron Works in New York City, called on John Ericsson in order to help him provide this “guarantee.” Ericsson, in addition to verifying Galena’s stability, showed Bushnell a copy of his own long-dormant “new system of naval attack” that he had sent to Napoleon III. Bushnell, convinced of the utility of this novel ship, took Ericsson’s plans to Gideon Welles, and within a few days, the Ironclad Board approved this third concept for construction. Ericsson, who claimed he could finish the vessel in ninety days, began work on his vessel, which he later named Monitor, even before the contracts were signed. 25

                Whereas the proposals for New Ironsides and Galena more or less hewed to the Navy’s request for ocean-going ships of long endurance, the third concept — Ericsson’s Monitor — met none of the Navy’s stipulated demands for weight of armament, number of crew, or seaworthiness. He had simply ignored them in favor of presenting the small, shallow-draft battery that he had formulated seven years earlier for the Crimean War. He later justified this total disregard for the Navy’s requirements by citing the more pressing need to stop CSS Virginia: 26

                • The work on the Merrimac [sic, i.e., Virginia] had progressed so far that no structure of large dimensions could possibly be completed in time to meet her.
                • The well-matured plan of erecting a citadel of considerable dimensions on the ample deck of the razed Merrimac admitted of a battery of heavy ordnance so formidable that no vessel of the ordinary type, of small dimensions, could withstand its fire.
                • The shallow waters on the coast of the Southern States called for very light draught hence the upper circumference of the propeller of the battery would be exposed to the enemy’s fire unless thoroughly protected against shot of heavy caliber. A difficulty was thus presented, which apparently could not be met by any device that would not seriously impair the efficiency of the propeller.

                Ericsson’s argument for shallow draft was questionable he certainly would have known that Virginia drew over 20 feet of water, so Monitor could have been just as deep and still operated successfully. On the other hand, his justification for building a small ship “in time to meet” the Confederate ironclad was completely correct. Even as the proposals were being read in September 1861, Virginia was already being refurbished in the Gosport dockyard, while the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond was busy rolling out its iron cladding.

                For its part, the Ironclad Board was complicit in overlooking the original requirements for an oceangoing vessel, albeit with some reservations: “we are somewhat apprehensive that her properties at sea are not such as a seagoing vessel should possess,” and could only be moved along the coast in smooth water. Nevertheless, given the urgent need to have a ship ready in just four months, the members recommended funding Ericsson’s “experiment,” as they dubbed it, and Welles agreed. 27 Nevertheless, the contract with Ericsson, signed on October 4, contained a clause calling for “masts, spars, sails and rigging” that could propel the vessel at six knots in a “fair breeze of wind.” 28 Thus, the Navy continued to maintain (as its August request for bids stipulated) that it still wanted an ocean-going vessel instead of a mobile, coastal battery designed for the littorals. Ericsson simply ignored this part of the contract, and it appears that he was never pressed on this matter. And for good reason the Union Navy was now in a race to complete its ironclad before the Confederate Navy, already with a 3-month head start, could complete its own.

                Design, build and control mechanisms for USS Monitor

                Ericsson claimed that he could build the vessel in 90 days, but the Navy gave him 100 days, and his contract held him to that schedule. In order to accomplish this, Ericsson had to ensure three things: his design had to be easily producible he had to have reliable sources of manufacture for all armor, engines and equipment and he required strong control mechanisms to be certain that each piece of equipment fit into place and worked as intended, without prototypes or testing.

                Ericsson quickly modified his 1854 proposal to make the ironclad easier to build. The hemispherical turret, with curves in three dimensions that would have had to be hand-crafted, was jettisoned in favor of a cylindrical turret whose armor could be machine-rolled in two dimensions from flat plates. Likewise, a flat the deck replaced the curved one. The hull itself divided in two sections, and unlike Ericsson’s 1854 all-iron concept, was a composite iron and wood structure. The lower hull was essentially a 124-foot-long, 6-foot-deep iron bathtub divided in half by a main transverse bulkhead. Engines and machinery were aft of the bulkhead, accommodations forward, and the turret sat atop it. The flat upper “raft” was of standard warship oak-beam-and-pine-deck construction, to which iron plate was bolted on the deck and sides. The upper raft fitted snugly over the lower bathtub, strengthened with heavy brackets and riveted together. 29 Ericsson chose standard thicknesses for the iron plating, typically 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch thick. Armor plates were limited to 1-inch thickness to ensure that existing mills and factories could quickly produce and bend them with no time-consuming modifications to the plants. As described earlier, all the machine technology was well-proven and known to manufacturers.

                The second necessity to meet the 100-day construction period was reliable manufacturers. The signers on the Navy’s contract to build Monitor were Ericsson, Bushnell and two other individuals – John F. Winslow, co-owner of the Albany Iron Works, and John A. Griswold, owner of the Rensselaer Iron Works in Troy. These four men formed the core of a close-knit network of ironworks, foundries and machinery builders, based almost exclusively in New York State, which together would create the various parts that became Monitor. The mutual levels of trust that had already existed between these manufacturers allowed them to quickly dole out work and plan deliveries accordingly, without resorting to time-consuming contractual negotiations, and also ensured that the quality of work would be at the highest levels.

                The group contracted with the Continental Iron Works in Green Point, Brooklyn to actually assemble the vessel. Most of the individual parts were subcontracted out. It was already understood that the Delamater Iron Works, which had built many engines for Ericsson, would supply the main engines, boiler and propeller, while Albany Iron Works and Rensselaer Iron Works would supply the plate iron, angles, columns and brackets. Smaller companies in New York City and Green Point would supply additional material or furnish and install fittings and equipment, such as E.W Barstow for the anchor chain, H.R. Worthington for the bilge pumps, and the broker Holdane and Company for timber and angle iron. 30

                Monitor Turret (Wikimedia Commons)

                The turret, by far the most unique and complicated assembly on the ship, was further subcontracted. The only Northern mill that was both within reasonable transport distance of New York City, and which could roll large sheets of 1-inch plate, was H. Abbott & Sons of Baltimore, Maryland. These sheets were transported to Novelty Iron Works in New York City, which rolled the plates into semicircles and assembled them to form the turret. The steam engines that turned the turret, as well as the gun carriages inside, were manufactured by the Clute Brothers Foundry in Schenectady. The iron “port stoppers,” which were 8-inch-thick slabs of hammered iron that swung like pendulums to protect the guns when not in use, were forged at the Niagara Steam Forge in Buffalo. 31 The Dahlgren guns themselves, which had been manufactured in 1859 at the West Point Foundry at Cold Spring, New York, were transferred from the sloop USS Dacotah.

                By keeping almost all of the subcontracted iron work within New York State, the builders were making use of reliable transport by rail, barge, and canal to ensure rapid delivery of finished parts. Another reason for “buying local” was that Monitor was not the only ironclad under construction at that time, and iron supplies were still relatively scarce. Indeed, the Albany Iron Works and Rensselaer Iron Works were already furnishing iron parts for both Monitor and the armor system for USS Galena, then on the ways in Mystic, Connecticut. The William Cramp & Sons shipyard in Philadelphia was already building USS New Ironsides, whose armor (4.5 inches thick) was produced using the Pennsylvania network of forges in Pittsburgh and Bristol. 32 Meanwhile, forges in the West were supplying iron for the Union Army’s seven City class armored gunboats under construction in James B. Eads’ shipyards in St. Louis, Missouri (they were also known as “Pook’s Turtles” after their designer Samuel Moore Pook, the father of Galena’s designer). This sudden rush of ironclad construction, coupled with the increased demand for such wartime materiel as railroad rolling stock and fixed stock, put a strain on the iron supply network.

                The third necessity to deliver the ship in 100 days was a strong set of control mechanisms over the actual construction of the ship. Ericsson had the central role in this, for, by all accounts, the entire design – right down to the individual plates, girders, pumps and pipes – came from the drawing room he had specially built in the Continental Iron Works, where he could also oversee the assembly and construction. His output was prodigious – he produced somewhere between 150 and 300 drawings over the space of 152 days, or between one and two complete drawings per day. In addition to these drawings, Ericsson was also continuously calculating and recalculating bills of material, weight of equipment, transverse stability, etc. as the design evolved. 33

                The extensive subcontracting of individual equipment, and the short timeframe for construction, meant that the usual methods for ensuring proper fit between components — which usually meant creating full-sized templates from existing equipment and extensive rework – could not be used. A pump manufacturer in Schenectady would never see the mounting bracket or pipe their pump was connected to, so each factory had to build each part exactly according to the drawings, and the drawings themselves could allow no room for error. Ericsson, having been an artillery officer and surveyor in Sweden and an engineer in Britain, was a consummate draftsman in his own right and expressed himself eloquently through his drawings. Machinists who built the engines of USS Princeton to his drawings recalled they were “marvels of neatness and accuracy to scale.” 34

                Ericsson’s biographers (and indeed, Ericsson himself) often portrayed the building of Monitor as a one-man show, with himself overseeing every aspect of design and construction. In fact, his original drawings had to be painstakingly reproduced with complete accuracy in order to be sent to the various subcontractors. Ericsson employed a number of draftsmen like Charles MacCord, whose job was to take the original drawings, usually ink on heavy drawing paper, and copy them in pencil to a linen tracing cloth that could be easily transported to other factories. Navy men on-site performed oversight of the contract and construction. Navy oversight of the ironclads was not administered, as was normally the case for shipbuilding, through the Bureau of Construction, Equipment and Repair – they had their hands full building and maintaining conventional wooden warships. Instead, for Monitor, oversight was split between Commodore Joseph Smith of the Bureau of Yards and Docks for contracts, and Alban Stimers of the Engineer Corps (which was nominally in charge of all steam machinery) for construction. 35

                Thus, despite every appearance of being a rush job, the construction of USS Monitor was actually a carefully orchestrated affair that came about through long years of preparation. Ericsson had already thought about and planned the ship for seven years, so when the call came, it was more akin to filling in the details than starting afresh. He made use of tried-and-tested engines, machinery and equipment, and simplified his design so the vessel could be quickly built of iron and wood using existing manufacturing processes. His long collaboration with a tightly-knit network of factories and foundries meant they could plan and deliver the required machinery and equipment in a steady stream. His own skill as a draftsman, and the skills of his subordinate draftsmen and Navy overseers, meant that each step of the design and build process went relatively smoothly. The one area of uncertainty, the performance of Monitor’s unique armor, was addressed in the contract by stipulating that the Navy would not have to accept the ship until “the impregnable battery” was tested “under the enemy’s fire” Ericsson himself agreed that “if the structure cannot stand this test, then it is useless.” 36 Although the ship would be finished almost two months later than the promised 100 days, it turned out to be a “just-in-time” delivery.

                USS Monitor as an integrated weapon system avant la lettre

                John Ericsson’s careful planning of Monitor’s construction was part and parcel of his ability to clearly envision the ship as a complete system. He consciously used that word to describe his ship and its associated equipment, in an era when “system” more commonly described a philosophy of utility (“system of education”) than a collection of machinery. 37 Ericsson conceived of his turret ship as a “sub-aquatic system of naval warfare… an impregnable and partially submerged instrument for destroying ships of war.” 38 Every part of the ship’s design was bent to bringing its primary weapons, the guns, to close range with an enemy. The revolving turret allowed the ship to engage the enemy at almost any angle, not just broadsides, so it could fight even in confined waters. The small, heavily-armored turret would be just about the only thing enemy vessels could reliably fire upon except at close range, for the extremely low freeboard – Ericsson understood that the deck would frequently be awash – meant that the hull itself presented almost no target to long-range shells. The “sub-aquatic” nature of the design demanded novel layouts and features for the machinery and crew, including forced ventilation for the engines and accommodations, a protected propeller, an anchor that could be raised and lowered from within the ship, and even toilets that could drain while underwater. USS Monitor was, in today’s terms, a fully integrated weapon system.

                The guns, however, which were the keystones in this integrated weapon system, were the only parts over which Ericsson had no control. American naval guns on the eve of the Civil War were, in fact, state-of-the-art worldwide. Although breech-loaders and rifled guns were in use at the time, navies still relied on smoothbore muzzle-loaders for larger caliber guns like those installed on Monitor. Developments by US Navy and Army artillery officers, notably John Dahlgren, Robert Parrott, and Thomas Rodman, had greatly increased both the safety and hitting power of American guns over their predecessors, so that they were comparable in performance to Britain’s Armstrong and France’s Paixhans guns. 39

                Ericsson had originally designed Monitor to carry two 12-inch guns, and his initial drawings showed the guns firing in opposite directions within the turret. However, no 12-inch naval guns existed at the time in the United States. The only comparable weapon was the Union Army’s single experimental 12-inch Rodman rifle gun, which at the time, was sitting idly at Fort Monroe in Virginia, at the entrance to Hampton Roads. Therefore, Ericsson was forced to employ the largest naval gun then in use, the XI-inch (11-inch) Dahlgren gun, a pair of which would be mounted side-by-side in the turret. Alban Stimers proposed a shortened version to more easily fit within the turret’s confined space, but there was no time to cast such a specialized weapon. Instead, Ericsson had to rely upon the 44-year-old Lieutenant John L. Worden, recently placed in command of Monitor, to secure its XI-inch guns. The only ones available in New York were aboard the steam sloop USS Dacotah, which had just arrived from the East Indian Squadron patrolling off China. Worden requested the Brooklyn Navy Yard to remove Dacotah’s guns and have them brought to the Continental Iron Works for installation aboard Monitor. 40

                Ericsson, meanwhile, had designed a pair of gun carriages that employed a unique braking system to check the recoil of the guns within the tight confines of the turret, although the basic concept was not very different from carriages then used aboard British warships. The braking system used a friction gear (also called a compressor) tightened by a rotary hand-wheel. The guns themselves were run in and out using a block-and-tackle system. The braking system was sometimes ineffective or incorrectly used, for as archeological evidence would later show, the rear wall of Monitor’s recovered turret was dented by repeated strikes of the guns’ cascabels (the protruding knobs at the rear of the gun, used to tie off the tackle). Although a similar carriage design was employed on the subsequent Passaic class monitors, Ericsson himself was apparently dissatisfied with this arrangement, for the following year he patented a newer, much different gun carriage that used a lever instead of a hand-wheel to tighten the friction gear, and employed a rack-and-pinion system instead of block and tackle to run the guns in and out. 41

                In January and February 1862, with the ship now afloat, the guns and carriages were placed inside the most novel feature of the ship – the rotating armored turret. The name of its builder, Novelty Iron Works, only underscored how unique it was. Just over 21 feet in diameter, it was built up of eight layers of 1-inch plate that had been carefully rolled at Novelty and assembled for fit. Weighing almost 120 tons, it was too heavy to lift by crane, so it was disassembled for shipment across the East River to Continental Iron Works. Once aboard ship, the turret was reassembled around the guns and carriages (the armor was bolted through) and the gunports carefully cut out. The two teardrop-shaped port stoppers were hinged at the top of the turret, normally covering the gunports, but would be swung inboard, out of the way when the guns were fired. As it happened, the stoppers interfered with one another when swung open, so only one stopper could be opened at a time, halving the ship’s effective firepower. The outside structure of the turret normally rested on a brass ring embedded in the deck, which was intended to create a watertight seal when the turret was not in use. The turret was turned by a single 12-inch diameter central spindle connected at the base of the turret, which was rotated via gears by two small single-piston steam engines. To allow free rotation during battle, the entire turret was lifted off the deck by hand-screwing a wedge-shaped key under the spindle. 42

                Though Ericsson’s concept of mounting the guns inside a rotating structure dated to the Crimean War, other inventors had come up with similar ideas at about the same time. Cowper Coles in Britain, as mentioned, had designed, patented, and tested a rotating cupola even while Monitor was under construction. Coles’ turret differed from Ericsson’s primarily in that, while Ericsson’s turret was supported on a central spindle, Cole’s was supported on roller bearings under the turret’s circumference. (As it would turn out, all later turret designs, including those built by James B. Eads, would use Coles’ approach, which was more efficient and gave greater stability to the turret.) Although Coles claimed paternity over the rotating turret, it presented no threat to Ericsson’s invention as Coles was in Britain. In the United States, however, an inventor named Timothy Timby had submitted a patent caveat (similar to a provisional application, but short of a full patent) for a land-based rotating battery. Although Timby’s two-story 100-foot diameter tower bore no resemblance to a sea-going turret, Ericsson’s partners –against Ericsson’s own wishes — decided pre-emptively to award Timby a royalty on Monitor’s turret to prevent further claims. 43

                Compared with artillery developments, which were quite on par with those of Europe, American armor lagged significantly behind that of France and Britain. The Crimean War had convinced both nations of the utility of armored ships, but that first-hand experience was of course lacking in the United States. Both France and Britain conducted extensive testing of armor against shell and shot, generally agreeing that about 4.5 inches solid plate was sufficient against the heaviest shells. Of perhaps equal importance was the finding that armor effectiveness varied as the square of the thickness. Therefore, by the logic of the day, simply laminating two sheets of 2.25-inch plate would be half as effective as a single 4.5-inch plate (2.25 2 + 2.25 2 = 10, 4.5 2 = 20), while even five laminated 1-inch plates would be only a quarter as effective. 44

                Although Ericsson was well aware of these findings, it would have been impossible to build a ship in 100 days with such thick plates. As mentioned, H. Abbott & Sons of Baltimore, Maryland was the only East Coast factory that could roll even 1-inch plates when queried about turning out 4-inch-thick plates, Abbott had replied that it would have required two additional months to alter the machinery, an unacceptable delay. The other two factories that could turn out such plates, Bailey, Brown and Company of Pittsburgh and Bristol Forge of Bristol, Pennsylvania, were already fully engaged in producing armor for USS New Ironsides. Ericsson used the 1-inch plate to build the turret and to cover the deck and sides for protection. Reminded at regular intervals by Commodore Smith that the vessel “was much needed now,” Ericsson fretted about the freeboard and was continuously adjusting the thickness of the armor to ensure the ship floated properly at its design waterline. 45 He maintained the turret thickness at the original 8 inches, but reduced the deck armor from 2 inches to an inch, and side armor from 6 inches to 5, tapering to 3 inches below the waterline. 46

                The ship’s boilers and propulsion machinery had to be adapted to their “sub-aquatic” existence, and suffered accordingly. The two double-furnace, horizontal-tube Martin boilers (named for their inventor Daniel B. Martin) were entirely below the waterline, so had to draw air through the engine room via a pair of steam-powered, centrifugal forced-draft blowers, known at the time as “air pumps.” Forced-draft ventilation was already in wide use — Ericsson had employed it on USS Princeton almost twenty years earlier — but Monitor’s arrangements made its use particularly troublesome. Since the blowers were steam-driven, they could not operate until steam was raised, and this was a very slow process on Monitor because there was little natural air circulation through the boilers. Boilers in conventional steamships developed this circulation by drawing in air low, near the level of the boilers, and exhausting it through a high smokestack or funnel (called a “chimney” at that time). On Monitor, both the intakes and exhaust were at the same deck level, so there was little natural draw. Worse, both the intakes and exhausts were simple grates through the deck, which were protected from flooding by short iron boxes. These boxes were removed before battle, making the system certain to flood in all but the calmest water. (In November 1862, when the ship was brought to the Washington Navy Yard for overhaul, it was fitted with a telescoping funnel that successfully addressed this problem.). 47

                There were also problems with Ericsson’s patented horizontal double-trunk engine, also called a “vibrating lever” engine, as the piston rods oscillated in a semicircular motion instead of a fully circular rotation. He chose this design in order to fit within the protected below-deck space required for “sub-aquatic” warfare. It was more compact than conventional engines and reasonably reliable, but as Engineer-in-Chief, Benjamin Isherwood, later determined, quite inefficient. The primary difficulty was excessive steam condensation inside the cylinders with the two cylinders having an adjoining wall, they experienced large temperature changes, which caused steam to prematurely condense and rob the engines of power. Isherwood determined that Ericsson’s engine was about 12 percent less efficient than engines more commonly in use, which meant lower delivered horsepower and higher fuel consumption. 48

                Monitor had a very standard machinery system, with several steam pumps and motors driven from the main boilers: two blower motors, two turret motors, a bilge pump and a feed pump. Most navy and commercial ships, by 1861, had steam-driven bilge pumps, blowers and feed pumps. HMS Warrior, for example, had a single steam-driven blower, two boiler feed pumps, ash hoists and bilge pumps, while Cunard and Collins line passenger ships were fitted with various bilge pumps, blowers and feed pumps. 49 All other machinery was hand-driven. The semi-balanced rudder, for example, was moved by a standard wheel-and-rope system from inside the pilot house forward. The four-fluked anchor, located in a well just aft of the bow, was raised and lowered from inside the ship by a hand-driven capstan.

                Monitor’s propeller was a fairly standard 9 foot diameter, four-bladed model, quite different from the six-bladed propeller Ericsson installed on Princeton. Given that the ship had a 10 foot draft and that Ericsson did not want the propeller protruding below the keel, the hull around the propeller had to be shaped to form a sort of upside-down well. This created serious impediments to the flow into the propeller, which undoubtedly contributed to later problems with speed (the ship could make only 6-7 knots, instead of the promised 9 knots) and maneuverability. Immediately above the propeller, the hull and deck opened to a removable iron grate which could be used to access the propeller for repair.

                Forward of the machinery were the accommodation spaces and the heavily-armored pilot house, which extended above the deck. As mentioned previously, a single transverse bulkhead divided the ship into machinery spaces aft and accommodations forward. Unlike previous naval and merchant ships which berthed crew forward and officers aft, on Monitor all officers and crew (generally between 58 and 63 men total) had to be squeezed into the forward section of the ship. The accommodation spaces, entirely below the waterline, were supplied with air through the starboard, forced-draft ventilator, a situation that Joseph Smith found untenable: “Your plan of ventilation appears plausible,” he wrote Ericsson, “but sailors do not fancy living underwater.” 50 Yet underwater living is what Ericsson had in mind even the toilets (four of them) had to be specially rigged with two valves and an air pump in order to flush while submerged. The operation was a bit tricky – the sea valve had to be closed when actually using the toilet, but to flush, the upper valve first had to be closed and the sea valve opened before engaging the (presumably hand-powered) air pump. According to Ericsson’s biographer, William Church, a ship’s surgeon who had forgotten to close one valve, presumably while sitting on the toilet, “found himself suddenly projected into the air at the end of a column of water rushing up from the depths of the ocean and pouring into the ship.” 51

                Line engraving published in Harper’s Monthly, Volume 25, September 1862, page 433, depicting the launching of the ship at the Continental Iron Works, Greenpoint, New York, on 30 January 1862. (NHHC Photo # NH 604)

                By mid-February the various pieces of the hull, turret, and machinery had been brought together and assembled at the Green Point shipyard. But before Monitor could be called an integrated weapon system, the crew had to bring those separate parts to life and make them work as one unit.

                Performance of USS Monitor during her ten-month service life

                Monitor was launched on January 30, 1862. Construction of the turret and other fitting out took another two weeks. On February 19, the commanding officer, Lieutenant Worden, took possession of the ship for trials. That same day, Worden received orders from Gideon Welles to proceed with his ship, not even completed, to Hampton Roads. The haste was due to the fact that Welles received intelligence that two days earlier, Merrimack (sic, CSS Virginia, though Welles and most of the Union apparently did not learn of the name change until much later) had been launched and now threatened the Union port of Newport News.

                The ship trials uncovered a number of teething problems inherent in almost any new design. The first shakedown cruise, a 2-mile trip down the East River to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, did not go well. The Delamater Iron Works, in its haste to get the engines finished, had made the serious but easily reparable mistake of setting the steam cutoff valves for backing instead of ahead, so that the ship only made 3.5 knots instead of its promised 9 knots. On February 25, Worden put the ship into commission and promptly ran into different troubles. The rudder was of a balanced design that was still fairly new to iron shipbuilding. Sailing ship rudders were typically attached directly to the sternpost and hinged at their forward edge, a practice still common in newer steamships. Like all balanced rudders, Monitor’s rudder was hinged some distance aft of the forward edge, so that it could be turned more easily. However, rudder theory was almost non-existent in 1861, so there was little guidance on how to do this effectively. Ericsson had placed the hinge post too far aft, with the result that it was over-balanced and swung wildly at the slightest command. Ericsson imperiously but correctly decided against drydocking the ship to fit a new or modified rudder, as this would take several days — an eternity given that Virginia was already afloat and posing a grave threat to the Union navy. He instead devised a different arrangement of the steering cables and pulleys to increase the leverage of the helmsman over the rudder. In a second trial run on March 3, the ship made 7 knots and handled reasonably well, but the gunnery trials were marred by a misunderstanding by Alban Stimers of how the friction gear worked (he turned the handwheel on each gun the wrong way, loosening instead of tightening the compressor), so that both guns recoiled violently and bounced off the rear of the turret. 52

                Far worse problems befell the ship on its maiden sea voyage. On March 6, Monitor was taken under tow to Hampton Roads to meet CSS Virginia. Stimers rode as a passenger, while Isaac Newton filled the position of engineer. In calm water on the first day, the ship rode smooth and dry. By the following day, heavy seas were pouring over the deck and into the ship. The worst flooding came from the gap between the hull and turret. While Ericsson had designed the base of the heavy turret to create a metal-to-metal seal with the embedded brass ring on the deck, Stimers had ordered the turret jacked up and the gap stuffed with oakum caulking (a wooden ship practice), much of which promptly washed away under the pounding of the waves. The pumps labored to dewater the ship, but their power source was also in danger of flooding. Waves washed over the ventilation intakes and boiler funnel, so that the blowers became flooded and the leather drive belts slipped. Starved of air, the boilers soon lost steam and acrid fumes filled the air throughout the ship. The ship’s executive officer, Lieutenant Samuel Greene, signaled the tug to pull towards to shore. Five hours later, in calmer waters, Stimers, Newton and the engineering crew repaired the blowers and brought up steam to recommence the trip to Hampton Roads. It was now apparent that the ship’s Achilles heels were the ventilation and funnel arrangements, but there was nothing to be done before the upcoming battle. 53

                Monitor arrived in Hampton Roads the evening of March 8. Worden soon learned that Virginia had already destroyed the Union sail frigates Cumberland and Congress, while the steam frigate Minnesota ran aground early in the battle and remained stranded throughout. Virginia could not attack Minnesota before nightfall because of the tides, so withdrew shoreside to await the dawn and the chance to destroy Minnesota. In the middle of the night, however, Worden brought Monitor alongside the steam frigate to stand guard. About 8:30 am the next morning, Sunday March 9, as CSS Virginia approached USS Minnesota, Worden brought USS Monitor to intercept and fired the first shots of the running duel. With political figures like Gustavus Fox (Assistant Secretary of the Union Navy) looking on, the two ships exchanged gunfire for almost four hours. Monitor fired solid shot while Virginia fired shells, though neither shot nor shell had much effect on either ship. Monitor was more maneuverable and avoided a ramming attack, while Worden was able to bring her guns to bear on Virginia’s vulnerable stern (but missed the screw and rudder).

                As a completely new, never-before-tried weapon system, Monitor and its crew performed reasonably well during battle. Operational command was hampered by the fact that the speaking tube between the pilot house and the turret was disabled early on, so runners had to carry messages back and forth, which took precious time. The turret itself was hard to control, its inertia making it slow to start turning and difficult to stop. Moreover, sighting the guns was made difficult by the enclosed arrangements with only a tiny line of sight through the gunports or a tiny viewing port. The gun crew lost its bearings and did not always know which way the turret was aimed. They could not point the guns directly forward or aft as the blast could disable the pilot house or ventilation intakes. The pendulated gunport stoppers were hard to manhandle and interfered with the guns, so that only one gun could be run out at a time. Nevertheless, the crew quickly adapted to the circumstances, and after only a brief lull to resupply with ammunition, Monitor fought Virginia to a draw. By noon, both ships had sustained minor damage, which forced their commanders to temporarily sheer off to assess the situation. Each commander then assumed the other ship had withdrawn from battle, and the fighting stopped. Worden was the only casualty, temporarily blinded from a shell that struck the pilothouse and exploded. Monitor herself was dented and scarred, but otherwise still battle-ready. Although tactically a draw, the battle prevented the Confederate Navy from fully occupying Hampton Roads and the James River, and was generally seen as a strategic victory for the Union Navy. 54

                Battle of Hampton Roads (NHHC Photo # 1053)

                Both Virginia and Monitor remained in the Hampton Roads area, both sides itching for a rematch. Neither side knew it at the time, but the March 9 battle would be the last ship-to-ship battle they ever fought. On April 11, Virginia sortied into the roadstead, but Monitor stayed near Fort Monroe and the two simply exchanged a few desultory rounds. On May 8, as part of a larger Union assault on the Confederate positions in Norfolk, Monitor and several other Union warships bombarded the Confederate battery at Sewell’s Point. Virginia sortied to confront them, but the Union warships retreated. Several days later, as Union troops occupied Norfolk, CSS Virginia was burned and sunk by its own crew to avoid falling into enemy hands.

                The destruction of CSS Virginia and capture of Norfolk meant that Monitor could be released for other duties. On May 15, a squadron of ships, including the ironclads USS Monitor, USS Galena (recently put into service) and USRC Naugatuck (originally built as a proof-of-concept ship for the Stevens Battery) steamed up the James River to test the defense of the Confederate capitol, Richmond. At a bend in the river several miles outside the city, the fort at Drewry’s Bluff defended the river. The flotilla could not negotiate the turn, and anchored near the base while shot and rifle fire rained down upon them. Monitor’s gun mounts, which were designed and built to aim at other ships and coastal batteries in near-flat trajectories, could not elevate sufficiently to hit the batteries on the bluffs 90 feet above the water. When she backed off to decrease the angle of fire, the guns were unable to reach the batteries. Monitor’s 1-inch deck armor protected it from damage, while Galena, with just .5-inch deck armor, suffered greatly from the falling shot. After this, the flotilla retreated downriver. 55

                For most of the summer of 1862, Monitor lay idle while defending the James River, its boiler continually making steam in case of a fight. The combination of the boiler’s heat and the summer sun baking down upon the black iron hull made conditions inside unbearable, reaching 150 degrees Fahrenheit in some spaces. In September, the ship was ordered to the Washington Navy Yard for an overhaul. While in drydock, the hull was scraped and the engines repaired, after which (as noted earlier) Isherwood ran tests on their efficiency. A permanent smokestack and taller ventilation boxes were fitted, which improved efficiency and reduced the potential for downflooding. By November, the ship was back in Hampton Roads for guard duty.

                Monitor’s final voyage began under tow on December 29, 1862 with the destination of Beaufort, North Carolina to assist in the blockade of Wilmington. Lieutenant Samuel Greene, who had experienced the harrowing trip from New York to Hampton Roads back in March, was appalled at the idea of another ocean voyage: “I do not consider this steamer a seagoing vessel,” he said, complaining about its lack of horsepower and continued trouble with steering. Those issues, however, would not be Monitor’s undoing. Once again, the problems lay in the turret and ventilation arrangement. Although every opening was sealed, once again the turret was jacked up and oakum caulking stuffed underneath, where Ericsson specifically designed the turret / deck mating seal to be watertight. On the second day, the ships were off the coast of Cape Hatteras when the seas began to rise. The ship yawed and rolled sickeningly, as waves swept over the deck and washed away portions of the oakum. Water poured into the gaps between the turret and hull, dampening the coal and furnaces. The pumps could not keep up with the inrush, and water now entered the ventilation ducts, disabling the blowers as well. By midnight the boilers gave out, and the order was given to abandon ship. Around 1:00 am the morning of December 31, 1862, the ship foundered with sixteen men lost. 56 From commissioning to sinking, USS Monitor was in active service only ten months. During that short existence, Monitor and her crew had accomplished more than many warships achieve in ten or even thirty years. By stopping CSS Virginia’s attacks and holding her at bay through the spring and summer of 1862, USS Monitor also stopped the Confederate advance through Hampton Roads and made possible the Peninsular Campaign. She also changed the face of naval warfare for a generation.

                The influence of Monitor on warship design and construction, 1862-1898

                As stated earlier, Ericsson’s greatest “contrivance” with the respect to Monitor was the invention of the need for a slow, shallow-draft, mobile coastal battery in a previously blue-water navy. That perceived need had not existed before Monitor demonstrated her performance at Hampton Roads not only the original request for bids, but even the Union Navy’s contract with Ericsson, stipulated that the vessel should be rigged for ocean cruising. After the battle with Virginia, that viewpoint completely changed. Gideon Welles, Gustavus Fox, and the Union Navy’s political establishment, as well as the wider public, saw Monitor as “completely invincible,” believing that the victory at Hampton Roads was the decisive battle that pointed the way to the design of the future fleet. Charles Cramp, builder of New Ironsides, bitterly referred to this as the “Monitor Craze” and argued that by fixating on the turreted shallow-draft monitor, it put a stop to any further developments in Union naval ship design. In the years 1862 and 1863, the Union Navy contracted for fifty-seven monitors, of which fewer than half actually served during the war. At the same time, the Union Navy constructed only a handful of casemate ironclads similar to New Ironsides and Galena. 57

                Immediately after Hampton Roads, Gustavus Fox ordered Ericsson to design new classes of monitors. The first was the Passaic class, whose lead ship was commissioned in November 1862. Though most of the major systems were similar to those of Monitor (e.g., spindle turret, double-trunk engine), Ericsson incorporated lessons learned from the battle: larger-caliber guns (XV-inch vis XI-inch), pilot house atop the turret for easier communication with the gun crew, rotating vice pendulated gunport stoppers (which he patented), and better steering. However, Ericsson and the Union Navy did not fully recognize the downflooding problems until after Monitor sank, so it was not until Ericsson’s next designs, the Canonicus class (single turret) and Miantonomoh class (double turret), that improved ventilation and funnel arrangements were incorporated. Meanwhile, Alban Stimers took charge of the shallow-draft Casco-class monitors, which were widely seen as failures. 58

                The rapid naval drawdown after the Civil War reduced the US Navy to a primarily coastal presence, in which monitors fit perfectly. One of the few shipbuilding programs in the 1870s produced the Amphitrite class of breastwork (i.e., raised central deckhouse) monitors, whose ships still had muzzle loading guns and Ericsson’s central-spindle turrets, but which were equipped with the latest engines designed by Benjamin Isherwood. By 1883, the widespread adoption of breech-loading guns put paid to Ericsson’s central-spindle turret, and all future American turrets were built along the Coles roller bearing design. 59 Just at this time, the new American fleet of steel cruisers (the ABCD ships) was being laid down in Philadelphia, which signaled the ended of the coastal fleet and the beginning of a more muscular ocean-going presence. The last of the US coastal monitors, the Arkansas class, was built in 1898 for the Spanish American War.

                The “Monitor Craze” was not confined to the United States. After the Battle of Hampton Roads, Monitor-type turreted ironclads were widely sought for coastal defense in European and Latin American nations. Britain and France, the two major naval powers, weighed the merits of seagoing versus coastal ironclads. In Parliament, the debates were fierce advocates of the former pointed out that Monitor barely survived its maiden voyage, while devotees of the latter pointed out that Britain could build six Monitors for the price and schedule of one Warrior. In the end, both Britain and France hedged their bets by continuing to build oceangoing armored warships, while also investing in coastal defense in the twenty years after Hampton Roads, they constructed twenty-eight coastal defense vessels and rams, including ten monitors, compared with fifty-three oceangoing ships. For the smaller naval powers, Monitor proved the model for the relatively inexpensive, cost-effective alternative to the conventional battleship. 60

                Most ironclad monitors built for smaller Europe and Latin America navies were constructed in Britain and France, and all had Coles-type turrets. The first to enter service was the British-built ironclads Rolf Krake (to Denmark) in 1863 and Huáscar (to Peru) in 1865. These were followed in 1868 by a pair of breastwork monitors (Cerberus class) for British colonies, and the Schorpioen and Buffel, both built in France for the Netherlands. Ironically, John Ericsson benefitted very little from the Monitor craze. Only Russia and his mother country of Sweden ordered ships from him, both of which were versions of the Passaic class. In Russia, the ship became known as the Uragan class. In Sweden, they were named the John Ericsson class after their designer. Ericsson supervised the designs while in the United States, and the plans were brought back to their nations by naval attachés who also oversaw their construction. 61

                At the same time that Britain was building coastal monitors, the Royal Navy also launched the first ocean-going turreted warship, HMS Monarch (1868), which set the stage for the modern battleship. The construction of Monarch did not sit well with Cowper Coles, as the Royal Navy had selected it over his own design. Coles successfully lobbied Parliament to fund construction of his own low-freeboard turret monitor, which was commissioned as HMS Captain in April 1870. Five months later, Captain foundered and sank in a storm due to inadequate stability, taking Coles and almost 500 other men with her.

                The Monitor craze did not of course end all at once after the sinking of HMS Captain, but the growing belief that long-range oceanic capability was imperative for both established and emerging naval powers led to the rise of the ocean-going battleship and pushed coastal monitors to eventual extinction.

                During the desperate beginnings of the Civil War, USS Monitor was designed, built and delivered in less than six months, just in time to stop CSS Virginia, an existential threat to the Union Navy. Ericsson had envisioned his ship for the Crimean War, yet he convinced the Washington establishment that it would be the right ship for the Hampton Roads campaign. In fact, USS Monitor was, as stated, the wrong ship at the right time, a brown-water ship designed for a blue-water navy.

                The fact that Ericsson had been thinking about this new system of naval warfare for so long meant that he had a clear vision of what it should be almost as soon as the request crossed his desk. He conceived of the ship and its components as part of an integrated system, everything bent to the purpose of ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore warfare. His great genius, however, was to understand that such a novel ship could be built only with tried-and-tested technology and a trusted network of collaborators. Contrary to legend, almost nothing aboard Monitor had not previously been built and tested in service. Ericsson limited the suppliers to men he knew or knew he could trust to obtain vital resources, notably iron, in a time of war-driven scarcity.

                Monitor’s success at Hampton Roads resonated across the globe, convincing not only the Americans but also many Europeans that turreted coastal ironclads were the ships of the future. This mindset lasted almost a generation, before the battleship replaced the monitor in the popular and professional imagination.


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