Ramming

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Ramming was often used as a desperation tactic. In the early days of ironclads, commanders of ships-of-the-line believed ramming was a viable tactic. Fleet commanders studied the Battle of Lissa in 1866 and drew the incorrect conclusion that ramming could defeat ironclads. However, weapons development eventually made closing to point-blank range a suicide tactic.
 
Ramming was often used as a desperation tactic. In the early days of ironclads, commanders of ships-of-the-line believed ramming was a viable tactic. Fleet commanders studied the Battle of Lissa in 1866 and drew the incorrect conclusion that ramming could defeat ironclads. However, weapons development eventually made closing to point-blank range a suicide tactic.
  
Attempting to ram or even closing the distance to point-blank often ends in failure with more modern warships. The ''HMS Hood'' attempted to close the distance between herself and the ''Bismarck'' in World War II. The British knew the Germans had the advantage at greater range due to accurate plunging fire, and wished to limit exposure to the ''Bismarck's'' powerful guns. However, the ''Bismarck's'' weapons were sufficiently accurate and the Hood was sunk before it could close to its optimal distance.
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Attempting to ram or even closing the distance to point-blank often ends in failure with more modern warships. The ''HMS Hood'' attempted to close the distance between herself and the ''Bismarck'' in World War II. The British knew the Germans had the advantage at greater range due to accurate plunging fire, and wished to limit exposure to the ''Bismarck's'' powerful guns. However, the ''Bismarck's'' weapons were sufficiently accurate that the Hood was sunk before it could close to its optimal distance.
  
 
Ramming is often used by inferior opponents to catch unprepared superior opponents by surprise. For example, the suicide bombers which damaged ''USS Cole'' closed to point-blank range, and in WWII Japanese kamakazie pilots rammed US naval ships. However, ramming has not been a decisive factor in any major naval engagement since the development of layered defenses. Modern warships have sufficient [[point defense]] to discourage suicide attacks, such as the Phalanx CIWS on US warships.
 
Ramming is often used by inferior opponents to catch unprepared superior opponents by surprise. For example, the suicide bombers which damaged ''USS Cole'' closed to point-blank range, and in WWII Japanese kamakazie pilots rammed US naval ships. However, ramming has not been a decisive factor in any major naval engagement since the development of layered defenses. Modern warships have sufficient [[point defense]] to discourage suicide attacks, such as the Phalanx CIWS on US warships.

Revision as of 20:53, 5 August 2013

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