Model of CSS Alabama

Contributed by Williamson AGM Birkenhead

Model of CSS Alabama, Confederate Navy, American Civil War; © Wirral Museums Service

The Alabama sank 55 ships in a career of only 18 monthsThis model is from the shipbuilder's own collection, thought to have been made within a few years of building the actual ship, the Alabama. It is one of two contemporary models of high quality, the other being in the USA.

Built at Laird Brothers, Birkenhead, the Alabama and vessels like it broke the neutrality that Britain was keeping during the American Civil War, which led to a £3 million compensation payment - the first such payment ever made, decided by international arbitration.

The building of the Alabama was the first time that the name of Birkenhead became known around the world, though Laird's had been building ships of significance for nearly 40 years. The Alabama became the most audacious Confederate raider, capturing and sinking 55 ships and raising nearly $5 million towards the Confederate war effort. She circumnavigated the globe and was sunk after a sea battle with the USS Kearsage in the English Channel off Cherbourg.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.