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HMS Warrior: 'A black snake among rabbits'?

Why was the 'Warrior' built?
Launch and impact of the 'Warrior'
Career of the 'Warrior'
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Career of the Warrior

'Warrior' on patrol

HMS Warrior
View full size imageHMS Warrior, c. 1863. 
The Warrior joined the Channel Fleet in June 1862. She spent nearly all of her seagoing life guarding Britain and the eastern Atlantic against potential threats.

Crowds of up to 6000 people turned out to see the Warrior as she visited British ports. She never once fired a shot in anger. Her strength was her ability to keep the peace.

Foreign competitors

HMS Warrior
View full size imageHMS Warrior was a revolution in warship design. 
The Warrior advanced existing ideas about shipbuilding by leaps and bounds. Foreign governments quickly copied her advanced features.

Armour-plated vessels with even greater firepower were soon challenging her as the world's greatest warship. Warrior became out of date within 10 years. She was relegated to the Reserve Fleet ranks and in 1883 she was withdrawn from sea service.

New role in retirement

Vernon Torpedo School 1910, Donegal, Marlborough, Warrior, Ariadne.
View full size imageVernon Torpedo School in 1910. 
By the beginning of the 20th century, under the name Vernon III, the Warrior had become a floating storage and depot ship for torpedo vessels at Portsmouth. 

The Warrior at Pembroke drydock.
View full size imageWarrior in dry-dock at Pembroke Dock, Wales. 

In 1924 Warrior was turned into a floating pontoon for oil tankers at Pembroke Dock in Wales.

She spent the next 50 years at the dock, refuelling thousands of ships.

The Warrior fell into disrepair until a full restoration program began during the 1980s.

The Warrior at Pembroke Dock.
View full size imageThe Warrior next to a British Petroleum (BP) tanker at Pembroke Dock. 

She was taken to Gray's Shipyard in Hartlepool and after a £8 million refit was opened to the public. Her permanent mooring is now at Portsmouth Navy Yard.





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