''Rocket'' Ships

  • Warships Of History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Experimented with by The Royal British Navy, Rocket Ships were modified Warships designed to fire multiple batteries of Congreve Rockets. Removing all cannons, many of the cannon Ports were widened. Lines of Launching frames were mounted and stabilized. Often the 1st Deck (Quarter) was used primarily (however 2nd Decks were tried as well). Not very accurate (and misfires could cause severe damage and fire), Rocket Ships were more of a “psychological weapon”. One well documented Rocket Ship – HMS “Erebus”, had 32-pound rockets (150 count) and was used somewhat effectively at The Battle of Copenhagen (1807) and Basque Roads (1809). Some versions were much smaller than their Warship modification (being about as long as a Skiff). Some versions had 1 to 2 small sails and steerage. In some cases, several of these ships could be lowered from a larger ship. It was a Fleet of Rocket Ships that bombarded American Fortress Fort Hamilton (during The War of 1812) – which spurred the writing of Francis Scott Keys “Star Spangled Banner”.