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.
The Alabama sank 55 ships in a career of only 18 months