This Day in History – December 29th, 1860

HMS_Warrior_1872

HMS Warrior was the name ship of her class of two 40-gun steam-powered armored frigates built for the Royal Navy in 1859 and launched on December 29th, 1860. She and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armor-plated, iron-hulled warships, and were built in response to France’s launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire. Warrior conducted a publicity tour of Great Britain in 1863 and spent her active career with the Channel Squadron. She became obsolescent following the 1871 launching of the mastless and more capable HMS Devastation, was placed in reserve in 1875, and was paid off in 1883.

HMS Warrior

She subsequently served as a storeship and depot ship, and in 1904 was assigned to the Royal Navy’s torpedo training school. The ship was converted into an oil jetty in 1927 and remained in that role until 1979, at which point she was donated by the Navy to the Maritime Trust for restoration. The restoration process took eight years, during which many of her features and fittings were either restored or recreated. When this was finished she returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Warrior has been based in Portsmouth since 1987.

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