Naval Encyclopedia

Note: This is a static portal, naval encyclopedia is undergoing maintenance and moving on a new server

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The History

Naval strategy and related technology, like naval fortifications, naval aviation, weapons and tactics

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The ships

Ships types (for the most ancient) to ship's class or individual vessel full history, specifications and career

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The Medias

Many photos, blueprints and dedicated illustrations, also check the merchandising and support this site !

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He who controls the sea controls everything (Themistocles)

About Naval Encyclopedia

Naval Encyclopedia is the first online warship museum (1997). Dedicated to the history of all ships of the industrial era, roughly since 1820 to this day. Although the main scope is about the XXth century through four main eras (WW1 and second world war, cold war and modern-day fleets), the website also covers (and will cover) civilian liners, first steamers, ships from the age of sail from the ancient ships of classical antiquity to medieval ships and renaissance vessels up to the enlightenment era ships which ambition also to cover most main types of ships of the time and famous examples.

first naval online museum

Definition of Naval History

Naval History is indeed quite old and warships has been a constant evolution, just as tactics which adapted to existing sources of power. The wind and human power (rows) and from the XIXth century, steam power and the rule of fossil fuels, up to the dominance of nuclear energy for the most valuable assets. There has been path of divergence and convergence also between civilian ships and their navy counterparts, like the famous Galleons of the XVI-XVIIth century that blended the role of cargo and warship. This survived well into the twentieth on civilian ships, first as a precaution (like fake ports) then as a tradition on mixed and tall ships.

Nowadays the most complex hand-built moving crafts ever designed by mankind, arguably, are nuclear submarines. Specialization and optimization helped global trade in the last XXth century, and especially the XXIth one frequently called “globalized”, based on the consumer society. The challenges world’s fleets are facing are huge, traducing like always the shifting weight of nations in geopolitics. The rise of the Chinese Navy is a perfect example of this.

naval history

How Naval Encyclopedia was created

Naval Encyclopedia was reborn in english in 2010, by the same creator as tanks encyclopedia. It integrated previous age of sail topics, and is mirroring tanks encyclopedia for everything related to warships...

But not only. Civilian ships has always been an interesting part of naval history, almost as exciting when thinking of huge container ships, race boats, clippers or the romance of blue ribbon luxury liners. Tanks and aviation emerged in 1915, whereas warships were already there in the Bronze age, empires makers, and are still to this day the largest, costliest, mightiest, and sometimes most complex vehicles ever designed.

history of the site