Hospital Ships

World's navies (1863 to today)
As these lines are written, the world would remember medical personal and nurses involved in the present COVID19 pandemic. But ships dedicated to the care of the wounded existed almost since the red cross was invented: By Swiss businessman Henri Dunant, horrified to see casualties at the battle of Solférino in 1859. The movement was founded in 1863. Now headed by an international committee based in Geneva its symbol was based on the national flag, just with colors inverted. Now the red cross and red crescent (for obvious reasons in the Muslim world) is a movement strong of 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide. They used ships, as well, but the Navy grew its own class of specialized vessel over time as well: The Hospital Ships.

Here are the questions this article would pay attention to. How these ships worked, their histories, countries that used them, conflicts...

Origins of Hospital ships

These vessels are probably much older than most thinks. Antiquity: In the ancient world, an Athenian Navy ship was named Therapia (used during the long Peloponesian war), and the Roman Navy had another named Aesculapius, both obvious medical names, which indicated a possible use for that purpose.

Timeline of hospital ships

HMS Melbourne, second Opium war HMS Melbourne, second Opium war

The question of naval quarantine

Since the great black plague has been carried in Europe by a boat from the Byzantine Empire, ports are known centers and starting points of infection. Globalization was an ancient concept. The quarantine was invented and applied at first to avoid contamination of ports if an arriving ship declared illness cases, and as a general practice of the time, a 40 days confinement of the crew, even if the ship was anchored in the harbor area; Hence the "quarantine" from the French "quarante", forty (days).
The term was also used as a means of blocus, applied for example in the case of Cuba during the missile crisis in 1962. There was no more treatment on board than on any regular ship, so this was only a safety measure, not a conversion or change in use.

Famous Hospital ships in WW1

HMHS Aquitania During the first world war, a legion of hospital ships, converted from liners and packet boats, big and small, are used on many fronts, but in particular in the Mediterranean, Black sea and the Dardanelles. Prestigious and massive ships of the transatlantic lines were used, such as the imposing RMS Aquitania and HMHS Britannic. The Royal Navy alone had 77 Hospital ships on service by 1918. They usually had the task of carrying the wounded to large field hospitals far from the front, but had the medical staff to care for the wounded during the trip.



HMHS Britannic and Mauretania

Regulation and warfare

Hospital Ships, to be spared by all belligerents needed to comply with a set of largely accepted international rules, which added to the existing conventions of La Haye and Geneva. The original document was signed by powers of the time in 1907, called the Hague Convention X.

As follows, there were the conditions to stay out of harm for an hospital ship:
-Ship must be clearly marked and lighted as a hospital ship
-Ship should give medical assistance to wounded personnel of all nationalities
-Ship must not be used for any military purpose
-Ship must not interfere with or hamper enemy combatant vessels
-Belligerents, as designated by the Hague Convention, can search any hospital ship to investigate violations of the above restrictions
-Belligerents will establish the location of a hospital ship

U-Boat warfare and Hospital Ships

When WW1 broke out, the rules of war clearly forbade any shelling or attack on field hospitals, and this was true for hospital ships too. According to the Hague Convention X of 1907, hospital ships of that era to be spared by enemy attacks, needed to give medical assistance to all belligerents, having strictly no weaponry nor military crew on board (outside the wounded), never interfere with the operations of other vessels and free to be inspected at will if violating one of the above.
Authorities clearly showed the ship's purpose by a visible color and symbolic code:
-A white hull as it needed to be well visible at sea (and not grey or camouflaged)
-Large, red crosses painted on the hull, as least at two places either side of the hull, in order to be spotted by any ship from any angle from afar.
Often crosses were separated by long red stripes.
At the end of WW1 as planes were commonplaces, the decks and roofs were also clearly marked y red crosses on a white background.
In case also, the ship's denomination, visible at the poop and bow integrated the letter "H", such as HMHS or USHS.

Despite of all this, 26 hospital ships were sunk during the war.
The first, HMHS Anglia, was torpedoed in November 1915. She was followed by HMHS Asturias, Huntley, Dover Castle, Donegal, Galeka, Glenart castle, Gloucester castle, Lanfranc, Rewa, Rohilla, Salta, but also the Australian Warilda, the Russian Vpered and Portugal, the Dutch Konigin Regentes, the Canadian Letitia and Llandovery Castle, and the Greek SS India.

The fourth condition seen above left the German high command, when launching its unrestricted submarine warfare, to consider allied hospital ships as violating the Hague Convention. U-Boats were given free range with them. They also considered that these ships carried able-bodied soldiers in the mix and therefore should be considered partly as troop transports.

Llandovery Castle
HMCHS Llandovery castle. War crimes were not proper to nazi fanatics in WW2: Kapitan Helmut Patzig and his lieutenants were hunted after the war for war crimes, after perpetrating the massacre of the survivors of the hospital ship they just torpedoed. This was gift for allied propaganda at the time.

By far, the most spectacular hospital ship loss was HMHS Britannic, sister of the Olympic and famous Titanic. She likely hit a mine on November 21, 1916 but sank slowly as to only claim 30 , whereas the rest of the crew managed to evacuate and be rescued. This was the opposite of the dreadful sinking of the Lusitania.
However what really triggered opinions further against the German Empire was the scandal of the sinking of HMHS Llandovery Castle. Torpedoed by U-boat U-86 on June 27, 1918, survivors were gunned down with gun, machine guns and rifle fire after the submarine emerged. Only 24 were rescued. Captain Lieutenant Helmut Patzig escape charges of war crimes after the war by taking refuge in Dantzig. His two lieutenants also escaped after their conviction.

Nevertheless, the German hospital ship Ophelia was seized by British naval forces (alleged to be a spy ship), whereas the Austro-Hungarian Baron Call was near-missed but Oceania and Tirol were sunk.

The British Navy during WW1 operated 92 Hospital ships. They were of the early non-specialized types, transport vessels with a personal of nurse to care for the wounded and limited equipment and could double as troopships. Thee also operated during the Russian civil war, the HMHS Braemar Castle, Garth Castle and Kalyan.

asie hospital ship
The French operated far less hospital ships. Mostly in the Mediterranean for external theatre of operations, around the Aegean, Greece and the Balkans. These were the requisitioned Sphinx, launched 1914, the Duguay-Trouin and Asie. During the interwar, the Sphinx served again as liner, and was requisitioned in 1939 and converted once more. She evacuated allied troops at Narvik after their brave showdown in late April 1940.

war bonds llandovery castle
A gift for propaganda: The image of German submariners machine-gunning nurses in the Atlantic revolted the allied press. It was used as here to boost the war bonds campaign.

Hospital Ships in WW2

USN ww2 Hospital Ships

Of course during the interwar, Hospital ship activity dwindled back to proper navy dedicated vessels. All previously converted ships were rendered to their former use. The USN launched its first dedicated hospital ship in 1921: This was the USS Relief. She was followed by the USS Comfort, USS Hope, and USS Mercy (1944), essentially transport ships to hospital, whereas USS Relief was a proper floating hospital, provided with state-of-the-art equipment and staff.

She could be moored close to the operation area instead of just carrying the wounded to other areas. The USN deployed a dozen of dedicated hospital ships, but much more were converted. They were well served by a fleet of "evacuation ships" which were just reset troopships, escaping the Gevena Convention (they were not covered by it and could be targeted by the enemy). These were the USS Tryon (APH-1), USS Pinkney (APH-2), USS Rixey (APH-3) of the Tryon-class, and USS Haven (APH-112) and USS Tranquillity (APH-114).

Converted LSTH

LSTH
Wounded American soldiers and Marines are evacuated from Munda on the tank deck of a LST (Landing Ship - Tank), in the Solomon Islands, 1943. USMC photo. (Photo by Interim Archives/Getty Images)

Landing Ship, Tank (Hospital) were a conversion not protected by the Geneva convention as they retained their armament. This appeared after the very first engagements, the roomy LSTs spontaneously served as makeshift hospitals. They offered a shelter to enemy fire thanks to their large, armoured holds, and plenty of supplies, water and accomodation for regular pharmacy mates, not surgeons and nurses. On D-Day alone, 41,035 wounded were evacuated to UK on approx. 150 LSTs, twice their troop capacity. The trend started in 1943, as Vice Admiral Daniel E. Barbey, USN, Commander 7th Amphibious Force during 1943, ordered the conversion of one LST to "first aid ship".

The USS LST-464 was completely refitted at Sydney with modified tank deck for a fixed hospital facility, three storey, new water tight doors on port and starboard sides, a triage area, 78 hospital beds, full accommodations such as washrooms, toilets, increased galley, refrigerators, and complete surgical suite. Facilities were capable of performing radiology, pharmacy, laboratory, eye refractions, dental care. There was even a blood bank and stores for 25 tons of medical supplies. The medical staff comprised 6 physicians, one dentist and corpsmen. She was still not protected by the Geneva convention because of her LST appearance and despite the lack of armament and a big "464" painted on her hull amidships to be easily spotted. She became LST(H)-464 after the war.



In the latter part of the Pacific campaign, LSTs received surgical teams to treat unstable patients and thus were known as hospital LSTs. Nevertheless, they carried troops and landing them at the start of the operation, but soon after the team set up the well deck into an organized hospital, staffed with five physicians as well as 35 Pharmacist Mates. They served at Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Philippines, and Okinawa. This was still not really standard practice.

In preparation of Operation Olympic, the Navy decided to convert 36 LSTs as hospital ships from the start and to be redesignated LSTHs. They had facilities and a larger medical staff, in order to take care of the thousands of wounded awaited. This was planned for November 1945 and the war ended before. Three of these served in May 1946 during the Magic Carpet operation, while others repatriated troops home.

USS Rixey APH-3

USS Rixey (APH-3) was an armed evacuation vessel (with one 5"/38 DP and twelve 40 mm guns AA - she won two battle stars). Not a true hospital ship as the medical staff was just her to care for the wounded during the time of their evacuation. In this guise, she had a capacity for 700 beds, but a troop capacity of 1,166 if needed.

British ww2 Hospital Ships

The British Navy during WW2 operated 41 Hospital ships. This was far less than in WW1, but by that time, progresses has been made in the military mobile medical units and field hospital were better equipped. Most of these hospital ships were requisitioned and setup for their new task, some sunk during the war. In all, 25 hospital ships were lost to axis or allied aviation, rarely other causes: Seven british HS were lost, one Australian, one Soviet (HS Armenia in the black sea, 1941), three Greek, one Norwegian and for the axis, four Japanese (sank by sub USS Queenfish), seven Italian, and two German.

Axis Hospital ships

Germany, Italy and Japan all operated Hospital ships. Especially Japan, which area of operation was mostly accessible by sea and of a very large span.

W. Gustloff German Hospital ships such as the Wilhelm Gustloff (left) were called Lazarettschiff. These were requisitioned and converted vessels, also used as troopships. The latter was infamously sunk by Soviet submarine S-13 on 30 January 1945. The act was condemned postwar, as the Gustloff was jam-packed mainly with German civilians fleeing Soviet advance in Eastern Prussia, and wounded Wehrmacht infantry, the Soviet arguing she was carrying troops as well. This would remain the worst human tragedy at sea, as 9,400 people drawn, far worse than any other maritime disaster in history so far.

Means of proper identification

The need to use radio communications to advertise and identify medical transport became a vital one, as most were sunk by air attacks. In addition to 45 hospital ships, 4 ships chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were also sunk or damaged. Some used the international distress frequencies of 500 kHz and 1 650 kHz (ex 2 182 kHz) but attacking planes could not receive it. Therefore from 1944, hospital ships (as well as neutral vessels) sailing in the Mediterranean sent a message every four hours on the international distress call frequency in Morse at 500 kHz. In the Atlantic, this was once a day. This, this could be caught up by any belligerent.

Hospital ships in the cold war:


USS Comfort (AH-6) at Hollandia, 1945

The Korean war saw the use of the three sister-ship USS Comfort, USS Hope, and USS Mercy, ordered in 1943 and completed in late 1944 to 1945 (AH-6 to AH-8), and were well used during the Pacific war, close to the fighting. They were attacked by the Japanese several time, a Kamikaze even crashing into the Comfort. They were active during the Korean war as well, an Vietnam. The Comfort class has been followed by the USS Bountiful (AH-9), USS Samaritan (AH-10), USS Refuge (AH-11), and the Haven class, commissioned at the end of WW2. A proper Hospital ship, during the cold war, she could deploy floating helipads (photo), allowing the standard Hiller helicopters made famous by the 1980s serie MASH, to carry two from the battleline directly at the hospital ship's gate. Countless lives were preserved by this ingenious shortcut.

USS Haven, completed and commissioned in May 1945
USS Haven with helipads.

USS Haven with helipads
USS Haven, completed and commissioned in May 1945, in action in Korea.

USS Haven and the following ships, USS Benevolence (AH-13), USS Tranquillity (AH-14), USS Consolation (AH-15), USS Repose (AH-16), USS Sanctuary (AH-17) and USS Rescue (AH-18) were based on Type C4-class ships, much in demand by the civilian market and was sold in 1967 and converted as a cargo ship. They displaced 15,000 tonnes, for a top speed of 17.5 knots, a range 12,000 miles. The nursing staff includes 21 doctors and 270 nurses for a crew of 61 officers and 230 sailors. The were designed to support 802 injured, equipped with three operating rooms, radiology facilities, and laboratories. The crew was trained to disembark and setup in less than a day, a field hospital with 100 beds.

The British had the British royal yacht HMY Britannia, convertible in wartime as an hospital ships, but which also doubled as a refuge ships for the Royal Family, which would have been evacuated to the Scottish loch in case of nuclear war. During the Falklands war, the Royal Navy deployed four hospital ships, the HMS Hecla, HMS Herald, HMS Hydra and the liner SS Uganda. The Hecla class were designed as combined hydrographic and oceanographic survey ships and built on civilian standards.

During the Vietnam conflict USS Saginaw (LST-1188) carried a MUST (Medical Unit Self-contained Transportable). This was to allow the vessel to set up a complete hospital after unloading troops and provide in-close support hospital facilities in a combat area.

It should be noted that the German hospital ship "Helgoland," treated civilians from both sides during this war as well.

Modernized identification means

In a combat zone, announcing and identifying a medical transport needed the person in charge of the ship to transmit specific emergency signals, three "PAN PAN" groups followed by the "MEDICAL" group by radio. “medical transport” was defined in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols. It covers any means of transport, by land, water or air, military or civilian permanent or temporary for the exclusive medical transport use, and under the direction of a competent authority of a belligerent or neutral country.

For these purposes of identification, signals must be sent on international distress frequencies such as:
-2 182 kHz, 156 800 MHz
-If failing to do so, on backup distress frequencies 4 125 kHz and 6,215 kHz
-The aeronautical emergency frequency 121,500 MHz
-The military frequency 243 MHz 12 (or any other frequency which can be used).
The commnunication must contain:
-Identification as medical transport
-Its Position
-The number and type of medical transport
-The planned route
-Estimated duration of the trip
-Planned departure and arrival times, as applicable;
-Ans specific informations such as the flight altitude, standby radio frequencies, languages, modes and radar codes.

Hospital ships today

USNS Comfort
USNS Comfort - The largest hospital ship in service worldwide.

Others than Assault ships also have medical facilities, in the USN for example such as:
Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier (full lab, pharmacy, operating room, 3-bed intensive care unit, 2-bed emergency room, and 41-bed hospital ward, 11 medical officers, 30 hospital corpsmen), all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers have a 53-bed hospital ward, three-bed ICU, and each is the hospital for the entire carrier strike group. Wasp-class amphibious assault ship (LHD), America-class amphibious assault ship (LHA), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD), Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship (LSD) and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship (LSD) also had considerable facilities.
-The British Navy has no dedicated hospital ship. However the Auxiliary vessel HMS Argus, used to train air crews and be used as an helicopter carrier for various duties, amphibious assault or ASW warfare, also was well equipped with its medical facilities and can be used as an hospital ship with a quick set of modifications.
In fact most assault ships today integrates hospital facilities. The idea is that ships could provide quick emergency assistance in disaster zones, were all infrastructures are destroyed.

-The Chinese converted some of their Qiongsha-class cargo ships as hospital ship, as well as the multirole training vessel Shichang.
-In Europe, the French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship were given from the start an on board hospital facility NATO Echelon level-3. In Italy, both the Cavour aircraft carrier and logistic ship Etna are well provided, with NATO level-2 facilities, as well as the Spanish Juan Carlos I.
-The Argentinian icebreaker ARA Almirante Irízar, RAN Canberra-class landing helicopter dock, and the Japanese Izumo-class and Hyūga-class helicopter destroyers are also equipped.

Read more
//www.icrc.org/en
//www.thinkdefence.co.uk/a-uk-hospital-ship/
//www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/uks-floating-hospital-ship-could-21715912
Video: History of hospital ships by the history guy

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)
Paddle Frigates
Paddle Corvettes
screw sloops
screw gunboats
Sailing ships of the line
Sailing frigates
Sailing corvettes
Sailing bricks

Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
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)
Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
Talisman cruisers (1862)
Resolue cruisers (1863)
Venus class cruisers (1864)
Decres cruiser (1866)
Desaix cruiser (1866)
Limier class cruisers (1867)
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)
Revolver class gunboats (1869)

Marinha do Brasil 1870 Marinha do Brasil
Barrozo class (1864)
Brasil (1864)
Tamandare (1865)
Lima Barros (1865)
Rio de Janeiro (1865)
Silvado (1866)
Mariz E Barros class (1866)
Carbal class (1866)

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)
Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
Combok class Gunboats (1891)
Borneo Gunboat (1892)
Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
Colbert class CT Battery ships (1875)
Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
Courbet class CT Battery ships (1879)
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)
Vauban class barbette ships (1882)
Prot. Cruiser Sfax (1884)
Prot. Cruiser Tage (1886)
Prot. Cruiser Amiral Cécille (1888)
Prot. Cruiser Davout (1889)
Forbin class Cruisers (1888)
Troude class Cruisers (1888)
Alger class Cruisers (1891)
Friant class Cruisers (1893)
Prot. Cruiser Suchet (1893)
Descartes class Cruisers (1893)
Linois class Cruisers (1896)
D'Assas class Cruisers (1896)
Catinat class Cruisers (1896)

R. de Genouilly class Cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Duquesne (1876)
Cruiser Tourville (1876)
Cruiser Duguay-Trouin (1877)
Laperouse class Cruisers (1877)
Villars class Cruisers (1879)
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)
Centurion class (1892)
HMS Renown (1895)

HMS Shannon (1875)
Nelson class (1876)
Iris class (1877)
Leander class (1882)
Imperieuse class (1883)
Mersey class (1885)
Surprise class (1885)
Scout class (1885)
Archer class (1885)
Orlando class (1886)
Medea class (1888)
Barracouta class (1889)
Barham class (1889)
Pearl class (1889)

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)
Velasco class (1881)
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


The Cold War

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


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