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It was believed that an armoured warship could not be seriously damaged by the naval artillery in existence at the time, even at close range.
To achieve a decisive result in a naval engagement, therefore, alternative methods of action were believed to be necessary.
As early as 1840, the French admiral Nicolas Hippolyte Labrousse proposed building a ram steamship, and by 1860, Dupuy de Lôme had designed an ironclad with a ram.
of CSS Virginia's ramming attack on USS Cumberland at the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862, attracted much attention and caused many navies to re-think the ram.
This is the area of the ram that makes contact with enemy vessels in battle.
700 BC, and the Athlit ram's construction implies advanced technology that was developed over a long period of time.
Heavy timbers were shaped and attached to the hull, and then the bronze ram was created to fit around the timbers for added strength.
The evidence for this lies in the remnants of timbers found inside the Athlit ram when it was discovered.
As it followed, from the same belief, that a ship armed with a ram could not be seriously damaged by the gunfire of its intended victim, the ram became, for a brief period, the main armament of many battleships.
It was observed that the guns placed on the Taureau were there "with the sole function of preparing the way for the ram." The frequent use of ramming as a tactic in the Battle of Lissa (1866) and, to a lesser extent, at the Battle of Iquique also led to many late 19th-century naval designers equipping their warships with ram bows.
The first coastal battleship, France's Taureau, was built in 1863, for the purpose of attacking warships at anchor or in narrow straits, and was armed with a ram.