HMS Terror, Bomb Vessel, 1812


Warships of the Royal Navy Sail 1765-1838

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Built over 2 years at Topsham, Devon, England, Terror was a bomb vessel of the Vesuvius Class. Bomb vessels were so called because their main armament was one or two mortars of large calibre capable of firing a very heavy projectile on a high curving trajectory. They were used mainly for bombardment of shore facilities and defensive positions. However, as heavy vessels with unconventional rigging they were poor sailers and had only a brief existence, the last one, Sulphur, scrapped in 1857. Terror participated in the War of 1812 at the bombardment of Fort McHenry at Baltimore (inspiring Francis Scott Key to write the poem that eventually became the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner”). Later converted into a polar exploration ship, she participated in the Arctic expedition of 1836 – 1837, the Ross Expedition of 1839, and the attempt to force the Northwest Passage in 1845, during which she was lost with all hands. In 1854 a few relics and the Captain’s rough log alone were found. On 12 September 2016, the Arctic Research Foundation announced that the wreck of Terror had been found in Nunavut’s Terror Bay, off the southwest coast of King William Island.

Additional information

Weight 0.022 kg
Dimensions 43.1 × 35.6 cm