Naval Encyclopedia

The First Online Warship Museum What it is about ?

Naval Encyclopedia is the first online warship museum. Dedicated to the history of all ships of the industrial era, roughly since 1820 to this day. It is focusing on the 20th century through until the end of the cold war. It covers also the classical antiquity, medieval, renaissance and enlightenment eras.
Naval History is indeed very ancient, warships constantly evolving, just as tactics adapting to existing sources of power. Wind and human power first, and from the 19th 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 16-17th century that blended the role of cargo and warship. This survived well into the 20th century 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, in ever growing tensions born from dwindling resources.

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⚒ Tech

Naval-related technology, and associated tactics & statistics
Naval Tech
naval battles from the XIX to WW1, WW2 and cold war sea fights

⚔ Battles

Full history of naval battles, strategies, tactics, fleets and ships
Naval Battles
merchandisiding, plans, photos, illustrations

☘ Medias

Photos, blueprints and dedicated illustrations, also some merchandising to support this site !
All Posters

Recenty Published

♆ 18/08/2022
HMS Audacity (1941)

HMS Audacity was the first British escort aircraft carrier. She was converted in mid-1940 from a captured merchantman, SS Hannover, renamed Sinbad, and then Empire Audacity. The conversion, completed in June 1941 was instructive for future conversion, as she only carried 6 operational aircraft. She escorted 4 convoys before being sunk in December by U-751.

♆ 15/08/2022
Tone class cruisers (1937)

Weekly Update ! The #Tone class cruisers (1937): The last prewar #IJN cruisers, follow up of the #Mogami were no longer bound by the treaty of London or heavy artillery cap for cruisers. They were rebuilt as Japan retired from all treaties. For the first time, an all forward artillery with twin 8-in guns was tried, freeing the aft section for extra reconnaissance aviation. Tone and Chikuma would be the last completed IJN heavy cruisers, commissioned in 1938-39. They saw heavy action in #WW2, being sunk in 1944 and 1945. #imperialjapanesenavy #japanesenavy #pacificwar

✈ Blackburn Skua (1937)

The Blackburn Skua was developed as the first Fleet Air Arm all-metal monoplane dive bomber. Innovative for its time, it was however slow and vulnerable, but very active until its gradual retirement from 1941, completely obsolete. In practice the Skua, less doubtful as the related Roc, was replaced in the Navy by the Fairey Barracuda from 1943, a long gap for which no modern dive bomber was in service. #fleetairarm #royalnavy #navalaviation #ww2

♆ 11/08/2022
Admiral Charner class Armored Cruisers (1894)

The French Jeune Ecole, assuming the success of the Dupy de Lôme armored cruiser design, ordered in 1889, even before the first entered service, a class of four vessels usable as commerce raiders. They were the Amiral Charner, Bruix, Chanzy and Latouche-Tréville. Their post-completion trials were marred by problems and they barely reached their contracted speed while having also stability problems. Chanzy aground and was lost off China in 1907, but the other three actively took part in WWI, Amiral Charner being sunk by U-21 in 1916. #frenchnavy #marinenationale #WW1

♆ 08/08/2022
Nelson class Battleships (1925)

HMS Nelson and Rodney derived from the cancelled N3 class battleships. They were the first British battleships testing novel solutions for capital ships, exceptionally authorized by the treaty of Washington, but constrained in tonnage. They famously shown a new armor scheme dictacting the placement of the main artillery forward. Both fought actively during WW2 in Europe, the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean. This is complete rewrite and expansion of the old 2007 article.

♆ 04/08/2022
Wiesbaden class cruisers (1915)

These two light cruisers built for the Hochseeflotte to screen for its capital ships were closely derived from the previous Graudenz class, but for the first time upgraded with a 15 cm armament (6 inches) to face British cruisers and notably those of the 'Town' class. They fought at Jutland, in which Wiesbaden was sunk, and Frakfurt took part in more operations. #germannavy #hochseeflotte #kaiserlichesmarine #ww1 #jutland

About Naval Encyclopedia

Naval Encyclopedia is the first online warship museum (1997), with 2,600+ pages for now, and counting. Dedicated to the history of all ships of the industrial era and 20th century, so 1820 to 1990, but also earlier times. The main difference for this early period is to study ships types through some famous examples. The latter is a work in progress since more than twenty years. This current version is #5. After its last refit in 2021, the present website is:

  • ☑ SNAPPIER: Faster website all across the board due to its new structure
  • ☑ SECURE: No database nor plugins, almost no attack surface left for hackers: Far more secure.
  • ☑ PRETTIER: Although it's a matter of subjectivity, the new site is more identifiable now.
  • ☑ WITH MORE FEATURES: Using javascript, bootstrap features and a new, better search engine
  • ☑ AND BETTER MENUS: Mega menu with spoilers in column (on desktop)/bottom (mobile) accessible anywhere.
  • ☑ BUT ALSO BETTER FOCUS: Era page now encompass Fleets, Classes, Battles, Tactics/strategy, and Biopics.
  • ☀ MORE PAST-FOCUSED: Focus on the XIXth century and earlier naval warfare (1700s, 1850, 1870 and 1898 world's fleets).

Other sites of the Portal

first naval online museum

He who controls the sea controls everything
A smooth sea never made a skilful Sailor
F.D. Roosevelt
Don't give up the ship!
Captain James Lawrence
Sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover
Mark Twain
There are three kinds of beings: the living, the dead and the sailors.
Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead !
Adm. David. G. Farragut
We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail
Thomas S. Monson
When the sea is calm, every boat has a good captain
Swedish Proverb