Admiral Souchon's Escape (3-8 August 1914)

German Navy 3-8 August 1914

goeben-escape

Prelude to War: The Mediterranean Squadron

On 2 August 1914, the declaration of war was taking aback all the German units stationed outside the metropolis. The battlecruiser Goeben and the light cruiser Breslau then formed the Mediterranean squadron, usually stationed in Port Said, controlling strategic roadways from the Red Sea to the Suez Canal. However the Goeben, freshly introduced into service since 1912 accumulated after trials a few teething problems with its boiler tubes. She could not reach 18 knots for safety reasons and had to be replaced in October 1914 by its sister ship Moltke upon return to Germany for further changes.

So far her role in peacetime was to escort the Kaiser when cruising on his yacht the Hohenzollern to his summer residence in Corfu. Just after the attack in Sarajevo, the Goeben was at Pola and Breslau in Durazzo (Austria-Hungary, south of Montenegro). Killing time, sailors of Breslau disputed a friendly party of water polo with fellow men of the battleship King Edward VII anchored right next to them.

SMSGoeben-colorizedphoto
SMS Goeben, rear view, colorized photo.

Souchon's options

Von souchon rear admiral That's when the fateful messages fell by wireless telegraph. Hostilities were imminent. Rear-Admiral Wilhelm Souchon was leaning over a large map of the Mediterranean. Several options were open to him, notwithstanding the orders that could come from Tirpitz.

There was one certainty indeed: If he remains in Pola, he would be locked up in the Adriatic and probably subject to the decisions of the Austro-Hungarian Admiralty, judged too timorous. He could try to rally the Hochseeflotte, but this required to run throughout western Mediterranean and especially pass Gibraltar where the Royal Navy in force was blocking the way, not to mention the French fleet, the bulk of which was within range from Toulon and the entire North African coast.

Souchon was to play all his thinking to go unnoticed, perhaps showing a Russian flag for example, or a false smokestack and canvas to disguise his silhouette. Moreover, once out on the Atlantic, he still had to join the motherland through either the Arctic Circle and bypassing Great Britain by the northwest, which also bring his ships "within range" of Scapa Flow. He could also attempt launch a raiding party across the Atlantic, even attempting to join Von Spee squadron in the south... By August 2, Germany was likely to be at war against France shortly, still not against England. It would therefore pragmatically decide initially to attack convoys of French North Africa. Thus he sailed after completing his preparations hastily and sailed to Algeria by midnight.

Goeben-fullspeed
The Goeben at full speed

Leaving the Adriatic, the Goeben was joined by the Breslau. On 3 August, Souchon was traveling nearby Bonifacio, but changed course at 20 knots, to rampage the Algerian coast. French Admiral Augustin Boué Lapeyrière, French Commander of the Naval Forces in the Mediterranean, was aware of the departure of the Germans ships. He had only one obsession, protect his convoys. He was to sail from Toulon in three line towards Philippeville, Bone and Bougie. In total 89 ships carrying 49,000 men and 11,800 horses. At 18:45 a new message came down from the staff: The war was officially declared this time; But Lapeyrère was not informed. The English Admiral Milne knew, but there was no communication code between French and English fleets.

Still, Admiral Milne send his subordinate Troubridge in the Adriatic with two armoured cruisers while reaching himself Malta, hoisting his mark on the HMS Inflexible. He received at 12:45 a Churchill order to follow the two Germans ships. Meanwhile, they had forced the pace. Contrary to Admial Bouré de Lapeyrière fears, the German ships had neither the scope nor the speed to intercept the French, so all the convoys passed safely. But Souchon went also unnoticed. By August 3, at the evening 8:30 PM, Milne sent HMS Indefatigable and Indomitable in Gibraltar.

The night of August 4, at 5 am, Souchon was off Philippeville, passing through the berths. His gunners gave all their heart to the task and comprehensively pounded the harbor, one hour after the Breslau who had separated from the Goeben evening, and had won Bône to believe they moved westward. The Goeben received meantime an urgent message by wireless telegraphy from Berlin for more: "Alliance concluded with Turkey, Join Constantinople, stop." Souchon therefore first sailed northwest to fool observers from the coast. He had passed through the French fleet, but the Royal Navy was now on full alert, and he had to re-cross the entire Mediterranean in the opposite direction! On his way he transmitted his orders to Breslau and then headed for Messina to complete its provision of coal. Breslau however side was heading directly east.

North of Goeben position at around 100 kilometers was sailing the first French squadron. Meanwhile the British battlecruisers were coming from the east at full speed, accompanied by the light cruiser HMS Dublin. The Goeben veered east at 6:30. At that time, the first French squadron commander believed on the basis of coastal observations that the German ship rallied Algiers and divided his forces into two wings, one heading west with the big battleships, while the other continued southeast with three armoured cruisers, Jules Michelet, Ernest Renan and Edgar Quinet.

JulesmicheletCruiser
French Armoured Cruiser Jules Michelet. It would need bad coordination between allies, official hostilities dates release, and Turkish alliance to avoid the Goeben be cornered and sunk.

At 8:00 am, the weather was execrable and reduced visibility, but French ships were just 40 nautic miles (74 km) from the Goeben. The latter spotted them, but it was not mutual. When the British battlecruisers saw in turn the German battlecruiser steaming full speed eastward they changed headings and started a hot chase. The Goeben now catch in the open was making hell of its machines to reach nominal 24.5 knots, gradually seeing the English ships approaching at 9000 meters, well within gun range, although UK was still not officially at war, but Milne was unable to contact his French counterpart to close the trap. Only HMS Dublin followed Goeben to Sicily, then veered course is 21:50. Both English battle cruisers already had abandoned pursuit since 7:05 p.m due to their lack of coil. Although UK was now officially at war since 21:00, the Dublin also started to run out of fuel and could anyway not face the battle cruiser, and breaks off. Breslau arrived at Messina before the Goeben.

Rear-Admiral Souchon was annoyed to see that since the cruiser arrived supplies operations still were not started. Kettner, Breslau Commander, then claimed that the Italians had categorically refused to tap into their reserves, claiming neutrality. Souchon then requisitioned by authority all Germans steamers present in the bay, asking their captains to give their stocks of coal, laboriously transported with barges, boats, man's backs and arms strength. At dawn, the operation was still ongoing. All sailors were committed into the task.
rare-photo-yavuz-goeben-drydock
Rare photo of the Yavuz (Ex-Goeben) in drydock

Few had slept for 48 hours. This transfer to feed the steel ogre took 36 hours in total, well above the regulatory 24-hour presence of belligerent ships in neutral ports, which raised official protests from the Italian ambassador in Berlin. Authorities of the port in the morning signaled the government's presence in the port of the two Germans ships, but it was only 18 hours later on August 5, that the Italian Ambassador in London informed the naval British attaché.

Messina-1914
Messina harbour, circa 1914.

At the dawn of August 6, the laborious refuelling/coiling had ended. While many sailors, exhausted, collapsed in corridors, Souchon, also tired, met Kettner and Doenitz (later Admiral of the Kriegsmarine but then a mere lieutenant in the Breslau) to decide the way forward. He suspected that the English, who remained quietly outside Italian territorial waters, waiting for them. The orders from Berlin were to reach Constantinople and avoid confrontation but Souchon could not see any way off. At 17 hours, the two ships lifted anchor and headed for the pier, and then steamed full speed.

Goeben-Breslau-enteringDardanelles
The Goeben ad Breslau entering the Dardanelles

There were first tracked at reasonable distance (out of reach of the 280 mm guns of Goeben) by HMS Gloucester. She promply signalled: "Incoming!". Again, Souchon had to speed up his pace. The Gloucester clung knowing that Admiral Troubridge came from the east with the HMS Defence, three other armoured cruisers and 8 destroyers, but he arrived too late to intercept the German ships. He finally understood that the final destination of Souchon was probably Turkey and veered north, starting the pursuit.

But it was Dublin that took the first hit. The Germans ships arrived off Malta rapidly. Two destroyers and HMS Gloucester closed in, the destroyers trying to launch their torpedoes, but were greeted with precise volleys and had to break off their approach. The Goucester, commanded by Capt. Kelly, then engaged the Breslau.

A 11,300 meters, at 12:35, she opened fire. Breslau had already requested Souchon if he could attack the English cruiser, but Souchon refused, preferring not to waste time. When the German cruiser took a 150 mm hit, she replied anyway, scoring two on Gloucester in reply. The latter was preparing his next salvo, but watchers saw the Goeben closed in with the Breslau, therefore having the British Cruiser within range. Kelly therefore decided to leave safely.

HMS_Gloucester_(1909)
British Cruiser HMS Gloucester

Now nothing could stand in the way of the Mediterranean squadron. Both ships anchored August 7, in the bay of Denusa Island, at the entrance to the Dardanelles, under protection of Turkish Forts and waiting for instructions or authorization from Berlin. Both ships were still on high alert, waiting for a possible fight against the Royal Navy, but nothing came. August 10, Souchon was allowed to proceed at the entrance of the strait. A Turkish destroyer approached and the Goeben signalled in morse "I want a pilot." The captain of the Turkish torpedo boat replied "follow me." Both ships then crossed the nets, mines, under the reassuring shadow of the many forts and batteries posted along the high cliffs.

amiral_Souchon_and-staff_in_Turkish-Uniforms
Amiral_Souchon_and-staff_in_Turkish-Uniforms

The Turkish navy back then had a rather poor navy, but they had fortified the Dardanelles in order to make the only access to Constantinople and the Black Sea unassailable. But the British did not gave up: The close ships, the cruiser HMS Weymouth, burst at the entrance to the Dardanelles, determined to follow the Germans ships. But the Turks, although still officially neutral, barred his way with several destroyers.

On the evening of 10 August, two German ships anchored safely in Constantinople. Berlin, to show its good will to the "Sublime Door", donated the squadron to the Turkish government. The German pavilion was downed and changed for the crescent on purple, and Souchon, wearing the fez, was appointed by the Sultan "Commander of the Ottoman Navy". It was the beginning of the "triple alliance", and opening of a third front in the middle East.

TurkishOttomanFleet1914_Postcard
Postcard of the Turkish Fleet in 1914

The Story of the Goeben and Breslau did not stop there however. Their rampage against the Russians will see them for the duration of the war raiding the coast and attacking convoys throughout the black sea. The Goeben will be eventually after the war renamed Yavuz Sultan Selim and stayed in service not only in the interwar, but also world war two and even until the late 1950s. It is a shame that such ships was not preserved, as it would be today the sole example of a German Battlecruiser, and even the sole ship of this type preserved anywhere. The Breslau was renamed Midilli.

Turkish-Battleship-YavuzSultanSelim1945
Battlecruiser Yavuz Sultan Selim, Turkish flagship until the 1950s (here in 1945).

Naval History

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautoko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Haiti Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
Adder class Monitors (1870)
A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
Djambi class corvettes (1860)
Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

Marine Française 1870 Marine Nationale
Screw 3-deckers (1850-58)
Screw 2-deckers (1852-59)
Screw Frigates (1849-59)
Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
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Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
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Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
Taureau arm. ram (1865)
Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)
French converted sailing frigates (1860)
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Desaix cruiser (1866)
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Linois cruiser (1867)
Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

Curieux class sloops (1860)
Adonis class sloops (1863)
Guichen class sloops (1865)
Sloop Renard (1866)
Bruix class sloops (1867)
Pique class gunboats (1862)
Hache class gunboats (1862)
Arbalete class gunboats (1866)
Etendard class gunboats (1868)
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Marinha do Brasil 1870 Marinha do Brasil
Barrozo class (1864)
Brasil (1864)
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Rio de Janeiro (1865)
Silvado (1866)
Mariz E Barros class (1866)
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Turkish Ottoman navy 1870 Osmanlı Donanması
Osmanieh class Bd.Ironclads (1864) Assari Tewfik (1868) Assari Shevket class Ct. Ironclads (1868)
Lufti Djelil class CDS (1868)
Avni Illah class cas.ironclads (1869)
Fethi Bulend class cas.ironclads (1870)
Barbette ironclad Idjalleh (1870)
Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
Hamidieh Ct.Bat.Ironclads (1885)
Abdul Kadir Batleships (project)

Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
Selimieh (1865)
Rehberi Tewkik (1875)
Mehmet Selim (1876)
Sloops & despatch vessels

Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
Monitor Atahualpa (1865)
CT. Bat Independencia (1865)
Turret ship Huascar (1865)
Frigate Apurimac (1855)
Corvette America (1865)
Corvette Union (1865)

Regia Marina 1870 Regia Marina 1870 Imperial Japanese navy 1870 Nihhon Kaigun Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine Russian mperial Navy 1870 Russkiy Flot Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
⚑ 1898 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class Gunboats (1873)
La Plata class Coast Battleships (1875)
Pilcomayo class Gunboats (1875)
Ferre class Gunboats (1880)

Austro-Hungarian Navy 1898 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy
Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne
Koninklije Marine 1898 Koninklije Marine
Konigin der Netherland (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class CDS (1894)
Atjeh class cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
Banda class Gunboats (1872)
Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
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Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
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Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
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Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
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Amiral Duperre barbette ship (1879)
Terrible class barbette ships (1883)
Amiral Baudin class barbette ships (1883)
Barbette ship Hoche (1886)
Marceau class barbette ships (1888)
Cerbere class arm. rams (1870)
Tonnerre class Br. Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br. Monitors (1876)
Tonnant Barbette ship (1880)
Furieux Barbette ship (1883)
Fusee class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class C.Defense ships (1890)

La Galissonière Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1872)
Bayard class barbette ships (1879)
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Prot. Cruiser Sfax (1884)
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Forbin class Cruisers (1888)
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Alger class Cruisers (1891)
Friant class Cruisers (1893)
Prot. Cruiser Suchet (1893)
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Linois class Cruisers (1896)
D'Assas class Cruisers (1896)
Catinat class Cruisers (1896)

R. de Genouilly class Cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Duquesne (1876)
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Cruiser Iphigenie (1881)
Cruiser Naiade (1881)
Cruiser Arethuse (1882)
Cruiser Dubourdieu (1884)
Cruiser Milan (1884)

Parseval class sloops (1876)
Bisson class sloops (1874)
Epee class gunboats (1873)
Crocodile class gunboats (1874)
Tromblon class gunboats (1875)
Condor class Torpedo Cruisers (1885)
G. Charmes class gunboats (1886)
Inconstant class sloops (1887)
Bombe class Torpedo Cruisers (1887)
Wattignies class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)
Levrier class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)

Marinha do Brasil 1898 Marinha do Brasil
Siete de Setembro class (1874)
Riachuleo class (1883)
Aquidaban class (1885)

Marina de Mexico 1898 Mexico
GB Indipendencia (1874)
GB Democrata (1875)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
Cruiser Heibtnuma (1890)
Cruiser Lufti Humayun (1892)
Cruiser Hadevendighar (1892)
Shadieh class cruisers (1893)
Turkish TBs (1885-94)

Regia Marina 1898 Regia Marina Pr. Amadeo class (1871)
Caio Duilio class (1879)
Italia class (1885)
Ruggero di Lauria class (1884)
Carracciolo (1869)
Vettor Pisani (1869)
Cristoforo Colombo (1875)
Flavio Goia (1881)
Amerigo Vespucci (1882)
C. Colombo (ii) (1892)
Pietro Micca (1876)
Tripoli (1886)
Goito class (1887)
Folgore class (1887)
Partenope class (1889)
Giovanni Bausan (1883)
Etna class (1885)
Dogali (1885)
Piemonte (1888)
Staffeta (1876)
Rapido (1876)
Barbarigo class (1879)
Messagero (1885)
Archimede class (1887)
Guardiano class GB (1874)
Scilla class GB (1874)
Provana class GB (1884)
Curtatone class GB (1887)
Castore class GB (1888)

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Glatton (1871)
Devastation classs (1871)
Cyclops class (1871)
HMS Rupert (1874)
Neptune class (1874)
HMS Dreadnought (1875)
HMS Inflexible (1876)
Agamemnon class (1879)
Conqueror class (1881)
Colossus class (1882)
Admiral class (1882)
Trafalgar class (1887)
Victoria class (1890)
Royal Sovereign class (1891)
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HMS Renown (1895)

HMS Shannon (1875)
Nelson class (1876)
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Leander class (1882)
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Orlando class (1886)
Medea class (1888)
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Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

Infanta Maria Teresa class (1890)
Emperador Carlos V (1895)
Cristobal Colon (1897)
Princesa de Asturias (1896)
Aragon class (1879)
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Isla de Luzon (1886)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Reina Regentes class (1887)

Destructor class (1886)
Temerario class (1891)
TGunboat Filipinas (1892)
De Molina class (1896)
Furor class (1896)
Audaz class (1897)
Spanish TBs (1878-87)
Fernando class gunboats (1875)
Concha class gunboats (1883)

US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
USS Maine (1889)
USS Texas (1892)
Indiana class (1893)
USS Iowa (1896)

Amphitrite class (1876)
USS Puritan (1882)
USS Monterey (1891)

Atlanta class (1884)
USS Chicago (1885)
USS Charleston (1888)
USS Baltimore (1888)
USS Philadelphia (1889)
USS San Francisco (1889)
USS Newark (1890)
USS New York (1891)
USS Olympia (1892)
Cincinatti class (1892)
Montgomery class (1893)
Columbia class (1893)
USS Brooklyn (1895)

USS Vesuvius (1888)
USS Katahdin (1893)
USN Torpedo Boats (1886-1901)
GB USS Dolphin (1884)
Yorktown class GB (1888)
GB USS Petrel (1888)
GB USS Bancroft (1892)
Machias class GB (1891)
GB USS Nashville (1895)
Wilmington class GB (1895)
Annapolis class GB (1896)
Wheeling class GB (1897)
Small gunboats (1886-95)
St Louis class AMC (1894)
Harvard class AMC (1888)
USN Armoured Merchant Cruisers
USN Armed Yachts

WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
B3 class (1918)

WW1 British Battlecruisers
Invincible class (1907)
Indefatigable class (1909)
Lion class (1910)
HMS Tiger (1913)
Renown class (1916)
Courageous class (1916)
G3 class (1918)

ww1 British cruisers
Blake class (1889)
Edgar class (1890)
Powerful class (1895)
Diadem class (1896)
Cressy class (1900)
Drake class (1901)
Monmouth class (1901)
Devonshire class (1903)
Duke of Edinburgh class (1904)
Warrior class (1905)
Minotaur class (1906)
Hawkins class (1917)

Apollo class (1890)
Astraea class (1893)
Eclipse class (1894)
Arrogant class (1896)
Pelorus class (1896)
Highflyer class (1898)
Gem class (1903)
Adventure class (1904)
Forward class (1904)
Pathfinder class (1904)
Sentinel class (1904)
Boadicea class (1908)
Blonde class (1910)
Active class (1911)
'Town' class (1909-1913)
Arethusa class (1913)
'C' class series (1914-1922)
'D' class (1918)
'E' class (1918)

WW1 British Seaplane Carriers
HMS Ark Royal (1914)
HMS Campania (1893)
HMS Argus (1917)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Vindictive (1918)
HMS Hermes (1919)

WW1 British Destroyers
River class (1903)
Cricket class (1906)
Tribal class (1907)
HMS Swift (1907)
Beagle class (1909)
Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
Acasta class (1912)
Laforey class (1913)
M/repeat M class (1914)
Faulknor class FL (1914)
T class (1915)
Parker class FL (1916)
R/mod R class (1916)
V class (1917)
V class FL (1917)
Shakespeare class FL (1917)
Scott class FL (1917)
W/mod W class (1917)
S class (1918)

WW1 British Torpedo Boats
125ft series (1885)
140ft series (1892)
160ft series (1901)
27-knotters (1894)
30-knotters (1896)
33-knotters (1896)

WW1 British Submarines
Nordenfelt Submarines (1885)
Flower class sloops
British Gunboats of WWI
British P-Boats (1915)
Kil class (1917)
British ww1 Minesweepers
Z-Whaler class patrol crafts
British ww1 CMB
British ww1 Auxiliaries

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Europe
Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Greek Royal Navy Greece

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spain Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden


WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
Wyoming class (1911)
New York class (1912)
Nevada class (1914)
Pennsylvania class (1915)
New Mexico class (1917)
Tennessee Class (1919)
Colorado class (1921)
North Carolina class (1940)
South Dakota class (1941)
Iowa class (1942)
Montana class (cancelled)

WW2 American Cruisers
Omaha class cruisers (1920)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
New Orleans class cruisers (1933)
Brooklyn class cruisers (1936)
USS Wichita (1937)
Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1943)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies

naval aviation Naval Aviation
Latest entries

USN aviation
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Brewster F2A Buffalo
Curtiss SOC seagull
Douglas SBD Dauntless
Douglas TBD Devastator
Grumman J2F Duck
Grumman F3F
Vought SB2U Vindicator
Vought Kingfisher
Curtiss VE-7 (1918)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)

Japanese WW2 naval aviation
Mitsubishi 1MF
Nakajima A1N
Nakajima A2N
Mitsubishi A5M
Nakajima A4N
Mitsubishi A6M "zeke"

Mitsubishi B1M
Aichi D3A Navy Type 99 "Val" (1940)
Aichi B7A Ryusei "Grace" (1942)
Mitsubishi B5M (1937)
Nakajima B5N Navy Type 97 "Kate" (1937)
Nakajima B6N Tenzan "Jill" (1941)
Yokosuka B4Y Navy Type 96 "Jean" (1935)
Yokosuka D4Y Suisei "Judy" (1942)
Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka "Baka" (1944)
Mitsubishi G3M Navy Type 96 "Nell" (1935)
Mitsubishi G4M Navy Type 1 "Betty" (1941)
Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu Type 4 "Peggy" (1942)
Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga "Frances" (1943)

Aichi M6A1-K Nanzan (1943)
Kyushu K10W1 Type 2 "Oak" (1941)
Kyushu K11W1 Shiragiku (1942)
Kyushu Q1W1-K Tokai-Ren "Lorna" (1943)
Mitsubishi K3M Navy Type 90 "Pine" (1930)
Yokosuka K5Y1 "Willow" (1933)
Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka Model 43 K-1 "Kai" (1944)
Yokosuka MXY-8 Akigusa

Yokosho Rogou Kougata
Aichi Type 15-Ko Mi-go
Aichi H9A
Aichi E13A "pete"
Aichi E16A "Zuiun"
Aichi E13A "pete"
Aichi M6A1 Seiran
Aichi E11A "Laura"
Hiro H4H
Nakajima E2N
Nakajima E3A
Nakajima E4N
Nakajima E14Y
Nakajima E8N "Dave"
Mitsubishi F1M "pete"
Kawanishi E7K
Kawanishi H6K
Kawanishi E11K
Kawanishi K6K
Kawanishi K8K
Kawanishi E15K Shiun
Kawanishi H8K "Emily"
Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu "Rex"
Watanabe E9W
Watanabe K8W
Yokosuka K1Y
Yokosuka E1Y
Yokosuka K4Y
Yokosuka H5Y

Italian WW2 air arm CANT 6
CANT 18
CANT 25
CANT 25
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano
CANT Z.506 Airone
CANT Z.515
CANT Z.511
CANT Z.515
Caproni Ca.316
Fiat CR.20 Idro
Fiat RS.14
IMAM Ro.43
IMAM Ro.44
Macchi M3
Macchi M5
Macchi M18
Macchi M24
Macchi M41
Macchi M53
Macchi M71
Piaggio P6
Piaggio P8
Savoia-Marchetti S.55
Savoia-Marchetti S.56
Savoia-Marchetti S.57
Savoia-Marchetti S.59
Savoia-Marchetti SM.62
SIAI S.13
SIAI S.16
SIAI S.67

British Fleet Air Arm
Fairey Swordfish
Fairey III

The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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