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Ramming Speed: Reintroduction of the Ram as a Naval Offensive Weapon

Friday, February 2, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

In Person | Virtual

Attend this Event

painting. The Sinking of the Cumberland by the Iron Clad Merrimac


John V. Quarstein
Director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

About the Lecture

Perhaps the major naval battle technique was smashing into an enemy’s vessel to sink it. This was popular throughout the Greco-Roman era. The October 1571 Battle of Lepanto was the last major battle to feature ramming techniques. This tactical action was achieved by oared galleries; however, the use of ship-mounted cannons would not allow an enemy’s vessel to make contact. On March 8, 1862, the shot-proof ironclad ram CSS Virginia reintroduced this naval tactic when the Confederate ironclad sank USS Cumberland.

John V. Quarstein

Registration information:

Location: Explorers Theater
Seating is limited. Advance registration is required.

In person

Free for Museum Members.
Included in $1 admission.


This lecture is livestreamed
and free to watch online.

Contact Us

For additional assistance, questions, or support:

Guest Relations
[email protected]
(757) 596-2222

Image credit: Sinking of the Cumberland by the Iron Clad Merrimac, off Newport News, VA March 8th, 1862. The Mariners’ Museum and Park, 1933.0460.000001.

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