HMS Warrior was the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warship, built for the Royal Navy in response to the French ship Gloire, launched a year earlier.
When completed in October 1861, Warrior was the largest, fastest, most heavily armed and most heavily armoured warship the world had seen. She was almost twice the size of Gloire and thoroughly outclassed the French ship in speed, armour, and gunnery.
Warrior did not introduce any radical new technology, but for the first time combined steam engines, rifled breech-loading guns, iron construction, iron armour, and the propeller in one ship, and all built to an unprecedented scale.
Her construction started a competition between guns and armour that did not end until air power made battleships obsolete in the Second World War. Warrior became an early example of the trend towards rapid battleship obsolescence and was withdrawn as a fighting unit in May 1883. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection, she is now a museum ship in Portsmouth, Hampshire, United Kingdom.
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