In 1861, at the onset of the American Civil War, the Union forces stationed in Gosport, Virginia, prepare to leave. The Confederate forces are poised to take Gosport. Before departing Gosport, the Union forces destroy the port facilities, docks, warehouses and a few ships that cannot sail. One of these ships is U.S.S. Merrimack, a 40-gun steam frigate. However, the Union forces fail to destroy the dry dock. The Confederates use the dry dock to repair the Merrimack and cover it with iron plates in order to turn it into an Ironclad. The Confederates intend to use the ironclad ship, re-named C.S.S. Virginia, to attack the Union wooden warships blockading the Confederacy. Washington D.C. gets wind of these Confederate plans and decides to send two spies, one man and a Southern belle, to Virginia to steal the exact specs of the new Confederate ironclad ship. This information is vital for the Union in order to allow it to build a more powerful ironclad ship than the Confederate one. While ...
Men of steel in ships of iron clash in the fiercest naval battle of the Civil War.
Did You Know?
The Monitor and the Merrimack were re-created in models one third of their actual size, and the battle scenes between them were filmed in the big tank at Pinewood Studios, England. See more
The U.S. sloop Cumberland is shown being destroyed by gunfire. In the actual battle it was sunk by ramming. See more
At the beginning of the American Civil War, when Virginia voted to secede from the Union, the United States Navy was forced to abandon Gosport, its finest naval facility. The U.S.S. Pawnee arrived with orders to make certain that nothing of any value was left to fall into Confederate hands, including the pride of the Navy: the 40-gun steam frigate Merrimack.
Burn every ship that can't be towed! Burn the machine shops, the storehouses...
Lt. Joe Smith Jr.
What about the drydock, sir?
Destroy it, ...