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Ironclad: The Epic Battle, Calamitous Loss, and Historic Recovery of the USS Monitor

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Item description for Ironclad: The Epic Battle, Calamitous Loss, and Historic Recovery of the USS Monitor by Paul R. Clancy...

Ironclad tells the story of the warship USS Monitor and its salvage, one of the most complex and dangerous in history. The Monitor is followed through its maiden voyage from New York to its battle with the Merrimack, and its loss off Cape Hatteras, Paul Clancy takes readers behind the scenes of divers and archaeologists working 240 feet deep.

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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.25"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Nov 25, 2006
Publisher   American Media International
ISBN  1932378987  
ISBN13  9781932378986  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul R. Clancy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Clancy has been a journalist for over forty years, part of the time in Washington where he covered national politics and wrote biographies about Watergate Chairman Sam Ervin and House Speaker Tip O'Neill. He worked for The Charlotte Observer, USA Today and The Washington Star. When the Star folded in 1981, Clancy co-founded a weekly newspaper, The Reston Connection, which expanded into a small chain of Fairfax County weeklies that survives today. In 1993, Clancy moved to Norfolk and became editor of Calypso Log, the magazine of the Cousteau Society. He wrote extensively for the magazine, from coral reefs in the Florida Keys to crushing poverty in Haiti. He traveled with Jacques Cousteau to Madagascar and wrote about conditions there. In the mid-nineties Clancy went to work for The Virginian-Pilot, covering water-related issues - sailing adventures, diving, sunken treasure and sunken ships, to mention a few. His coverage of the excavation of the turret of the ironclad ship Monitor led to his writing Ironclad: The Epic Battle, Calamitous Loss, and Historic Recovery of the USS Monitor. In 2007, he began writing Our Stories, a weekly column on local history for the newspaper. He touched on the history of just about everything, from the first settlement at Jamestown to the last burlesque house in Norfolk, from naval heroes to prize fighters. Recently, History Press published Hampton Roads Chronicles, a collection of these columns. He has also written Historic Hampton Roads: Where America Began. Paul Clancy works and lives in Norfolk Virginia with his wife, Barbara.

Paul Clancy has an academic affiliation as follows - European Space Agency.

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > History > Military
2Books > Audio CDs > History > United States
3Books > Bargain Books
4Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > Naval Operations
6Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
7Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > North Carolina
8Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
9Books > Subjects > History > Military > Naval
10Books > Subjects > History > Military > United States > General
11Books > Subjects > History > World > Transportation > Ships > Ships & Shipwrecks

Reviews - What do customers think about Ironclad: The Epic Battle, Calamitous Loss, and Historic Recovery of the USS Monitor?

The _Monitor_'s History and Recovery  May 25, 2006
Anyone who knows a little bit about the Civil War knows something about the battle between the _Monitor_ and the _Merrimack_, the novel ironclad ships that dueled in the waters off Norfolk in 1862. The story has been told many times, but recently there was a high tech twist as the _Monitor_'s turret and other artifacts were reclaimed from the sea bottom. The story of the ship and of the successful salvage operation 140 years later are told in _Ironclad: The Epic Battle, Calamitous Loss, and Historic Recovery of the USS Monitor_ (International Marine / McGraw-Hill) by Paul Clancy. Clancy is a journalist who was a witness to the recovery of _Monitor_ artifacts, and thus can tell of the excitement and dangers of the dives, as well as of the large egos involved, but his look back at the revolutionary ironclads is equally fascinating. He has cleverly combined the stories, devoting alternating chapters to each, so that there is a satisfying build up to the paired climaxes of the sinking of the _Monitor_ and it's re-arising.

The Union answer to the challenge of the _Merrimack_ was found through the inventor John Ericsson, who presented his invention to the Navy's "Ironclad Board" in 1861, which approved the strange vessel. It was really more of submarine, with only thirteen inches of freeboard. A Confederate sailor eventually confronted with the _Monitor_ gave a description that stuck: "an immense shingle floating in the water, with a giant cheesebox rising from its center." That cheesebox was Ericsson's chief innovation (of possibly forty patentable gadgets on the ship). It was the 120-ton turret, a cylinder 22 feet in diameter, wrapped in iron plates, and able to pivot so that its two eleven-inch cannons could fire 168 pound shot at will. Its four-hour battle with the _Merrimack_ was a stalemate; no sailors were killed, and the armor kept either vessel from being seriously damaged, but all navies thereupon realized the advantage of iron over wood. The ship was sunk in transport to the Carolinas, but was found in 1973. The modern part of Clancy's book has to do with the effort to bring up the turret, mostly by skilled Navy divers in saturation diving, breathing just the right combination of oxygen and helium. The area of the dive is one of cold, silt, and fast currents, and there is the constant threat of rough weather, as well as running out of funds, that make the recovery, even if we know the result, exciting.

A wealth of artifacts were brought up, as well as two skeletons which are being treated to the best identification procedures government pathologists can muster. The turret would have slowly and gracefully continued its deterioration in the sea, but in sunlight and air, the salt crystals within the metal were ready to expand and cause the iron to break away; it has had to be bathed in an electrolytic solution to leach out the salt crystals. It and the silverware, guns, engine parts, and more are to be shown in a special hall for the _Monitor_ at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, opening next year. Clancy's book is a satisfying recounting of the _Monitor_'s important history within the Civil War and within naval history, as well as an exciting tale of a technologically advanced mission to bring the artifacts of that history back for research and display.
Warning; once you start this book cancel your other plans  Nov 9, 2005
Warning; once you start this book cancel your other plans. This is definitely a cover to cover read. Clancy skillfully weaves the tale of Monitor from its conception to the Battle of Hampton Roads, through its untimely demise to its remarkable recovery. His approach it unusual in that he weaves the two tales of the 19th century Monitor against the drama of the recovery of the ironclad's turret.

While Clancy is admittedly not an engineer he is an accomplished sailor with a sense of history. He draws extensively on this knowledge to explain the Battle of Hampton Roads, why the ironclad sunk and how it was recovered (not salvaged). His descriptions of the rising seas and pending storm off Cape Hatteras and how the 19th century sailors judged the weather gave one an insight as to why this area is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Equally as insightful is the story of the recovery which was woven directly in with the history. This part too is a tribute to brave and dedicated sailors and archeologists whose willingness to commit everything to the task made you race through one chapter if for no other reason than to find out how the "other" story was unfolding.

It's a masterful book, full of information well told. Look out Tom, there's another Clancy on the radar screen.

A Welcome Addition to Civil War Naval Literature  Oct 18, 2005
I really liked this book except for two things.

First the title. Ironclad is to me a basically wooden ship that is clad in iron. 'Merrimac' was an ironclad. 'Monitor,' in my mind was not. It's turret, was all iron. This book is mostly about the Monitor. 'Monitor' would have been a better title.

Second is the comment that bringing up the 200 ton turret was the largest, most complex and hazardous ocean salvage operation in history. Bigger and more complex than the 'Glomar Explorer' bringing up the Soviet Golf-II sub in the mid seventies. The Glomar Explorer venture cost in excess of $200 million. I can't believe that we spent that much on the Monitor turret. As for hazardous, what about the rescue of the crew of the 'Squalus?'

Now having finished bitching, this is a great book. Paul Claney has been involved with naval writing, naval history and underwater operations for a very long time. He knows whereof he writes. Living in the Virginia area, he was in the area where the story was happening so he had some personal insite. And finally he is a good writer, able to make this story almost read like a novel.

Anyone interested in the Civil War should find this of interest.

Now, one question I've never even seen asked. During the middle of the battle between the two giants it should have become clear that it was unlikely that they would be able to hurt each other. Why didn't the Confederates simply ignore the 'Cheesebox on a raft' and go sink some more yankee ships?

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