On March 9, 1862, the “battle of the century” took place at Hampton Roads. The U.S.S. Monitor, the world’s first all-iron fighting ship, repulsed the Confederate ironclad Merrimack. In so doing, the Yankee vessel demolished forever the “wooden walls” of the fleet’s oak and billowing canvas and helped ensure a Northern victory in the Civil War.
Thunder at Hampton Roads is the only book that covers the entire story of the Monitor, from its inception to its rediscovery in 1973. Drawing on personal accounts and old logs, Hoehling describes the life and times of the famous ship. Ridiculed as a freak of its day, the Monitor was specifically designed to combat the indestructible Merrimack. But is was such an odd-looking craft that one Union officer told the Swedish inventor, John Ericsson, to take his model home “and worship it, as it would not be idolatry, because it was in the image of nothing in the heavens above, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth.”
Hoehling brings to life the exciting race between North and South to achieve naval supremacy. He vividly re-creates the Monitor‘s famous clash with the Merrimack and gives a dramatic account of how a team of marine scientists rediscovered the Monitor twelve miles off Cape Hatteras, resting on the ocean floor. Thunder at Hampton Roads is the complete story of one of the world’s greatest fighting ships.
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