Algerine Class (1857)
Algerine Class of wooden screw gunboats were the sixth of seven classes of
gunboats produced as a result of operational difficulties experienced during
the 1854 campaign of the Crimean War in the Baltic and Black Seas. The first
Pelter Class (1854).
The problem was that the Russian Navy would not leave port, which meant a large increase in coastal bombardment vessels was needed. In addition existing gunvessels drew too much water to effectively bombard the Russian Ships inside their ports.
The solution was to built about 156 specially designed shallow draught vessels being flat bottomed, slab sided, drawing about 6ft 6in. They were constructed in haste out of unseasoned timber which meant many had only short service lives. The contractors (several of whom were new to warship construction) only completed the hull, and the machinery was then installed by the engine builders. They were then taken to Haslar Creek, Gosport (opposite Portsmouth) to a new Gunboat Yard to be fitted out by being coppered, rigged, armed and stores loaded. This primitive assembly line type sequence was intended to speed their entry into service.
Despite all these measures many were not finished until too late to see Crimean War service.
Enlarged versions of the earlier Albacore Class (1856), the six ships of this class were designed in 1856 and ordered 22-September of that year. They were launched during February and March 1857 and completed with four being completed in April and two in September 1857.
Classified as gunvessels 08-Jun-1859 and the last one sold 21-Jul-1873.
This page last edited -
22 January, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.