Length of Gundeck183' 0"Imperial Feet55.7784
1842Broadside Weight = 64 Imperial Pound ( 29.024 kg)
| ||Gun Deck2 British 68-Pounder Shell Gun||Gun Deck2 British 32-Pounder|
Notes on Ship
Building and carreer
In 1842, the first iron-clad ships came into American waters in the form of two Mexican ironclad frigates; the "Montezuma" and the "Guadalupe." These ships were built by the British to a French design and sold to the Mexican Navy in retaliation (in probability) for the U.S. vs. British "Oregon" dispute. These ironclads were paddle-driven steamships mounting heavy ordnance. The "Montezuma" (1,164 tons) carried a 68pdr. pivot gun and six 32pdrs. The "Guadalupe" (775 tons) carried two 68pdrs. Both ships were manned by English crews and commanded by British Officers "on leave" from the British Royal Navy. Although these ironclads had the attention of the naval authorities in Washington D.C. and caused a great deal of worry at that place, Commodore Moore did not seem overly concerned with their presence.
According to Commodore Moore they were still the Texas Navy when on April 30, 1843 they attacked the Mexican Fleet then lying off Campeche, Yucatan. This Mexican Fleet was commanded by Don Thomas Marin and featured two schooners, two brigs, the armed steamer "Regenerator" and the two previously described ironclads under the command of Captains Cleaveland, and Charlewood (RN). This first attack was a draw and the fleets separated.
The next event was orchestrated by the Moore and his "Texians" who lured the Mexican Forces into a narrow roadstead, and used his forces to pound the Mexican Ironclads to junk. The battle toll came out as; "Austin" (three dead), "Wharton" (two dead), "Montezuma" (forty dead), and "Guadalupe" (forty-seven dead). The Mexican Fleet was effectively destroyed
Building and carreer
The first ship of this dual threat, by name the "Guadeloupe", was being constructed from French Naval Plans in the British shipyard of Jonathan Laird in Birkenhead, England and was specifically designed to operate in the shallow waters of the Gulf. She drew only 10 feet of water and was further designed to be fully dependent upon steam power for movement, and her weapons battery was as modern as her propulsion. She was of 788 tons displacement, 183 feet in length, and had the means within her propulsion system to develop a full 180 HP.1 She had two 32 pdr. long guns and two 68 pdr swivel Paixhan's pivots--"the guns with the explosive shells as large as good-size pumpkins."2 Ultimately this was armament that would render all other weapons of the period obsolete. "Guadeloupe" was the first iron steam warship in the world to be launched and when she was launched, the largest iron vessel ever built. A further feature that was unusual for the period was her construction in the use of watertight compartmentation throughout. Although not accepted into the Royal Navy, the British Admiralty maintained a careful surveillance of this vessel and her performance throughout her seafaring career and added many of her particular features to later vessels built for seaborne warfare.