The HMS Devastation was the first exponent of the latter generation of ironclad battleships. Albeit in the decade of 1870 steam propulsion had consolidated among the main world naval powers, the warships were also fitted with a full rigging of masts and sails as auxiliary propulsion; this was because in that time the steam machinery was still not considered reliable. In a ship rigged in that way the armament has to be installed in the sides of the hull. By removing the rigging, the armament can be installed in the centerline, with the advantage that this disposition entails regarding firing arcs. The suppression of the rigging and the adoption of rotatory turrets placed in the centerline are good reasons to consider the HMS Devastation as the first modern warship on History.

Devastation ironclad

British ironclad DEVASTATION circa 1873

Andrea Doria ironclad

Italian ironclad ANDREA DORIA circa 1890

Caio Duilio ironclad

Italian ironclad CAIO DUILIO circa 1880

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