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The Greatest Warship of All Time? [Survey Says…]

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USNI News asked its readers, “What is the greatest warship of all time and why?” Though what makes a warship great is highly subjective, our readers offered their education and expertise to put forth their ideas as to what the answer to that question should be. And with nearly 900 reader-generated answers and more than 26,000 votes, the results are in.

The results are interesting, and this one amazed me.

turtleship

Readers also held particular esteem for the uniquely Korean “turtle boats” that came into form under Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, who in 1591 resurrected and modified the best features from designs from nearly two centuries prior to produce the Kohbukson — “turtle ship” — whose convex-covered decks resembled a turtle shell. Averaging in length from 70-110 feet, these flat-bottomed, boats, studded with spikes to prevent board and spaced with gunports, loopholes for muskets, and sporting a a powerful psychological weapon — a smoke-spewing dragon’s head at the bow — were not only virtually impenetrable, but also fast and maneuverable. The ships played a decisive role in defeating regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s numerically-superior fleets during Japan’s invasion of the Korean peninsula of the Imjin War of 1592-1598. The ramifications of that defeat still resonate to this day.

More on the Turtle Ships (including a link to a History Channel vid) here. See the rest of the poll winners here.

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