The Bundesmarine: Guarding the Baltic

The German Navy is one of these institutions that passed through an exceptionally tumultuous history linked to the country's creation, which began with the Prussians in the 1700s as the Preußische Marine, became the Reichsflotte in 1850, the North German Federal Navy until 1870, then the Kaiserliche Marine until 1919, the Reichmarine until 1933, then the Kriegsmarine until 1945, the German Mine Sweeping Administration until 1948, and with the decision to let Germany rearm inside NATO, the Bundesmarine from 1956 until 1990. It's part of the Bundeswehr at large, the German federal army.

type 205 UBoat
Capitalizing on its ww2 expertise in submarines, Federal Germany built far more of this type for export than any other country to date German shipyards are in fact world champions in exporting conventional submarines, with more than 120 sold to 17 countries, on four continents. In comparison, the Bundesmarine had at all times in the cold war about 15 at sea. Here, the U-1 of the Type 205.

Today the Marine is a shadow of its past self, especially the humongus Kaiserliches Marine that almost became the second world's largest, compounded by NATO's strict missions and policies for the Baltic and budget cuts following the end of the cold war. Nevertheless, what the Bundesmarine could not do in terms of domestic needs, more than compensated in exports, especially through the very successful line of diesel-eletric submarines, MEKO frigates, Lürssen's FACs and numerous weaponry and detection, mine warfare systems which allowed the domestic German naval industry to punch well above its weight.

Bundesmarine 1955-90
The Bundesmarine in 1990, an attempt to stack in the standard 50x65 cm format all types of ships used since 1955.

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The Bundesmarine at its peak in 1990

Before the fall of USSR and reunion with East Germany, the Bundesmarine reached its zenith, with seven destroyers (Four Hamburg and three Lutjens class), thirteen frigates (Köln and Bremen class), one more being completed, a destroyer-size training ship (Deutschland), 23 submarines, six corvettes, 40 FACs, and a hundred miscellaneous ships, from mine transport to mine warfare, landing and support ships. Certainly, the minesweepers fleet aligned at that time was arguably one of the best and largest worldwide.

Mines in the shallow waters of the baltic has been a hinderance, having been largely used during WW2 by several belligerents and even neutrals like Sweden, to the point mine warfare was ongoing until the 1960s through a specific organization that preceded the Bundesmarine. Germany became NATO's specialist of mine warfare.

Baltic sea lanes were officially "cleaned" of all threat quite late indeed and it's not rare even to this day ww2 era deriving mines are found and neutralized in these waters.

History: Before the Bundesmarine (1945-55)

Most people would assume a new German Navy was built right when the cold war flared up in 1947. But for some time, rearming Germany was seen as quite an issue in Europe until realpolitik, facing Eastern ambitions and postures readily imposed it. In 1945 the Kriegsmarine had to surrender unconditionally.

In fact, Admiral Dönitz was the last Reich's legitimate, designated as such by Hitler, head of state, which signed the capitulation almost as his first act.

The fate of the Kriegsmarine: War prizes


The Prinz Eugen, American war prize was comprehensively studied before ending in the atomic test of Bikini Atoll (Flickr)

After peace in Europe was signed, a question soon arose about the fate of surviving Kriegsmarine ships, including a large fleet of state-of-the art U-Bootes. USSR was adamant right from the start about obtaining half of this lot. Fact is indeed, that the Soviet Navy had suffered badly during the war, loosing most of its surface fleet without wartime replacements. In addition, both the US and Great Britain did not saw the use of German war prizes other than for reverse-engineering some innovative submarines.

After Postdam was signed, a third of the fleet was eventually allocated to the USSR, the remainder being distributed among allied Nations. Shipping was placed under a common organism, the Combined Shipping and Adjustment Board and United Maritime Authority, when the war was still ongoing with Japan. There was a concern the Germans would keep a substantial coastal and riverine force to help them clear waterways to traffic and regenerate industry after the war, in views of the Marshall plan. For detailed postwar attributions, see each respective navy.

Admiral Hipper Kiel 1945KMS Admiral Hipper captured at Kiel in 1945.

A threat for reconstruction: Mines

Extensive minefields in existence soon also rose also as a major issue. Clearing sea lanes and help local countries to trade and recuperate was a priority alongside the Marshall plan. As soon as June 1945 the Berlin declaration charged Germany of this task. Therefore not only a new organization was soon set up, but it was allocated all means in ships, materials and men as possible. The GMSA at its peak counted 755 active vessels, including 440 ex-German Kriegsmarine minesweepers, and many converted trawlers and auxiliaries. Personal coumprised mainly ex-Kriegsmarine sailors including some nazi officers, in total 16,000 men under the supervision of British officers. This was seen as a necessary evil in a transition phase.



German M-Boote being demilitarized at Kiel in 1949. These were by far the most common German navy ships in service during the first decade postwar (440, including many R-Boote) with the ingrate and dangerous task to clear the Baltic and north sea coast of minefields of several nationalities.

Over the years they will clear up effectively some 580,000 mines. In 1947, the GMSA was disbanded and replaced by the minesweeping unit of the Customs inspection based in Cuxhaven, dependent of the British FIS (Frontier inspection Service) attached to the Royal Navy, which went on its minesweeping tasks until being disbanded in 1951. By March of the same year a new German independent organism called the German Frontier Inspection Authority replaced it, including in addition to the last fleet, four new patrol boats, three fast attack crafts (Former S-Boote), ten converted trawlers supported by a tanker, a tug two tenders, and small crafts. This embryo of a Navy coincided with the creation of the Federal Republic.

The long road to NATO's integrated naval policy

despite this political step, the renaissance of a fully-fledged navy capable of taking of at least part of the Soviet naval might in the area followed a long and arduous path. In 1949 already they were talks of rearming Germany, which proceeded faster than the naval arm.

Only by May 1955 Germany was integrated into NATO and on 7 June 1955 the new federal defence ministry was created, and its first order dated from 1st January 1956 was to create a naval instruction division, first step for a larger scale naval force. This new organism that replaced the FIA started with just four officers, 24 NCOs, and 140 ratings.


Zestorer class, modernized Fletcher class destroyers

BMS Deutschland (A69) probably the most famous ship of the Bundesmarine in the cold war, symbol of its renaissance, here in New York.

Started in 1957 as a multi-purpose ship able to perform other missions in wartime, she was built at Nobiskrug, Rendsburg and launched in November 1960, only decommissioned in June 1990.

The new force counted in addition to the former ships, ten patrol boats, six MMs boats while many older ships were discarded. To meet new requirements as soon as personal was trained and available, ships were obtained by various sources: Some ex-war prizes were returned, and US and British ships obtained, in particular, 6 frigates and 6 destroyers whereas 14 landing ships were purchased. The 1950 naval projection plan asked for 12 large attack crafts, 36 MTBs, 24 submarines, 12 ASW escorts, 36 LSIs, 36 minehunters, 12 sub-chasers, 36 patrol boats, 24 minesweepers and a support fleet plus a cover of 114 naval planes, mostly patrollers.


Jaguar class FACs

Of course, it was difficult in the fifties for the new fledgling fleet to manage the great diversity of her ships, maintenance and supply-wise, despite support from allied partners. Time for the German industry and naval yards to catch-up. In effect, the Bundestag ratified the first naval expansion plan in May 1956, followed by another in 1958, and a third in 1960, which included domestic constructions in larger numbers. This programme enforced in 1961 was to comprise 12 destroyers, 6 frigates, 40 MTBs (future FACs), 12 submarines, 52 minesweepers and 120 auxiliaries plus 58 naval planes.

Although technically American-built, modernized copies of the well-known Charles F Adams class (1958), the Lutjens, Molders and Rommel (Type 103 DD) launched at Bath Iron Works in 1967-69 formed the "AA division" of German destroyers during the cold war, whereas the German-built Hamburg class (Type 101) were more anti-ship/ASW oriented. All three were deactivated well after the end of the cold war, in 1998 and 2008 for the last two.

In 1965 the Bundesmarine took its final cold war shape for the 25 years to come, with six Type 119 and four Type 101 destroyers, six Type 120 frigates, 50 FACs of various types, 30 submarines and 60 minesweepers of various types plus many tenders, tankers and training ships. In fact, only part of the plan was concluded (like the cancellation of the six landing ships), although increases took place, in particular for FACs. In the 1970s the Bundesmarine was integrated in the North Atlantic command (STANAVFORLANT) and in the 1990s even in the Mediterranean standing force, in addition to the Channel force.


Lürssen-built S71 class Gepard (1981) armed with MM38 exocet missiles.

Within NATO, the Bundesmarine was to operate under a "forward defence" doctrine and multiplied bi- and multi-national naval exercises, especially in the 1980s as the cold war heated again. The goal of these combined operations was to maintain a high degree of standardization in practices in the most likely scenario of combined operations in the Baltic, and the North sea entrance as the Soviet North sea could have been poised to join the Baltic fleet. As for standards, the fleet used diesel-electric scheme (CODOG) with considerable expertise dating back from the Kriegsmarine days, and used NATO armaments like the French 100mm/55 or Italian 76mm/62 OTO Melara system, and US Missiles. In addition to minesweepers, all German ships could carry mines and are equipped and trained for the task if the need arose.

Schleswig-Holstein_D-182_refuelled_by_USS_Iowa
Schleswig-Holstein (D-182) of the hamburg class Type 101 DDs refuelled at sea by USS Iowa
Schleswig-Holstein class destroyers
Schleswig-Holstein of the Hamburg class destroyers

The 1960-70s Bundesmarine

The renaissance of German naval industry

With the war, all major shipyards and facilities has been comprehensively destroyed, either by allied bombings, or willfull sabotage and destructions by orders of Hitler himself in 1945 in his radical "scorched earth" policy. In short, there was no industry capable of undertaking the building of domestic ships for years, at least until the mid-1950s for small ships, and gradually the industrial network was renewed, with as main objective, to secure the building of a commercial fleet, before any military venture.

However in 1953 already, the reputed yard of Lürssen werft was authorized to launch the Plejad class FACs for the Swedish Navy, in order to sharpen its skills. The yard would delivered more than fifty other exports and the Jaguar-class for the Bundesmarine. Lürssen designs became extremely successful and many licence were also granted, not counting boats assembly kits and later upgrades.

Another yard that emerged was Abeking & Rassmussen, which provided R-Boats types early on for Indonesia. It was not hard to capitalize on older blueprints, and Brazil received some as well, whereas the Schütze-class minesweepers were delivered for the BDM. This lineage went on with the successful SAR serie, like the SAR-33 for Turkey. A large, old and famous yard that was wrecked by the war will be also rapidly recovered and modernized.

It was the only one with large drydocks and basins able to built and deliver all sizes of warships. They will finance a considerable amount of R&D which will benefit in the end of the BDR with modern Frigates, thanks to the export market. One name stood alone in this: MEKO. These frigates, highly modular, became another tremendous commercial success, with Frigates built Nigeria, Argentina, Turkey and many others.

MEKO - Casco da Gama
The very modular design of the MEKO family of frigates helped the German Industry to export far more of these ships than those in service with the BDR: Whereas 56 has been built (or in completion) for the export Market, only 16 were delivered for the BDR, all after the cold war. The MEKO family started in 1981 and really stepped-up after the end of the cold war. It's a winning formula à la carte, that has never been surpassed in Europe.

The old Howaldswerke-Deutche Werft from Kiel was also modernized and concentrated rather on the large FS1500 Corvettes, but will also design German submarines, in particular under supervision of Prof. Gabler of the IKL of Lübeck. The 205, 207, 209 and following have all found dozens of customers. Oddly enough, there were limits still imposed on tonnage, that were lifted in 1980s, allowing Germany to built larger models for India (SSK 1500) or the TR 1400/1700 for Argentina.

In the 2010s, proud of this expertise, the yard promoted the image of the "world's quieter submarine", using the latest advances in construction also seen on the new generation of SNA/SSBN in the 1990s. Added to this, many smaller yards also produced dozens of patrol boats, mainly for export. This was all due to the well-cultivated image of excellence of German engineering.

LM-36 FAC
LM-36 FAC

The new cold: 1980s Bundesmarine

From its original integration wihin NATO, The BundesMarine had a mission of coastal defense and Baltic operations and cooperation in sea-control operations in the North Sea. This mission rose to a new level in 1980 when West Germany lifted self-imposed restrictions on naval operations, north of 616 parallel. German control of the western Baltic and its approaches was integrated into the main NATO scheme of naval battles in the North Atlantic, in coordinations with operations in central Europe.

The Warsaw Pact forces coukd stilloutflank allied land forces by attempting a massive amphibious assault in Germany and split their advancing forces in two and capture main NATO Danish and German air bases. They can also close the Denmark strait and secure the Baltic to ensure the success of the Soviet North Fleet with an isolated and virtuallt surrounded Germany.


FGS Emden of the Bremen class

In accordance to the Protocol III of the October 1954 Paris Agreements, combat surface vessels over 3,000 tons and submarines of over 350 tons were forbidden, as well as any class of fighting ships nuclear-propelled. However there was the exception of 8 antimissile destroyers of 6,000 tons each and 6 submarines of about 1,000 tons. For these indeed these restrictions were lifted, tonnage granted for destroyers authorized up to 6,000 tons, and more than 1000 for submarines to authorize the purchase. In 1980, revising the Paris Agreements was an ongoing process, as in September 1973 already submarines were authorized with a tonnage of 1,800 tons.

But the last barrier fell when in July 1980, all limitations were lifted altogether. The Bundesmarine then started to rebuilt the will and capabilities to better secure control of the Baltic. In the 1980s, despite budget constraints they claimed this capability trhough a new generation of ships and structure.

To control the Norwegian waterways a German mission was created, but associated with NATO's blue water navies, to assert naval superiority, protect reinforcement and supplies, as well as ASW and mine warfare. The German Navy developed and maintained for this area a mixed force of destroyers and frigates, submarines, plus long range maritime patrol aircraft and auxiliary ships to ensure the German North Sea SLOC terminals remained open. Strategy for this area was dependent on other European navies and the USN carrier battle group (CVBG) operations.

In 1980 the new commander of the Bundesmarine Vice Admiral A. Betge announced new plans for the Bundesmarine that "should be ready for such a development of events which would force the Western industrial nations to ensure an organized naval presence in those areas which ordinarily are not included in the sphere of operations of NATO.

Köln 1982
Köln (F-220) underway in 1982

By 1980 at least 10 destroyers and frigates needed replacement and therefore the construction of six Bremen-class frigates with an option for two more was started. German FACs also needed upgrades, as the 40 in service dated back from the 1960s. Therefore 10 Type-143A vessels were started in 1980. The submarine force comprised 25 U-boats through the construction of the Type-210 submarine also needed replacement. The 18 coastal minesweepers were updated, converted as minehunters and control ships for "Troika" drone minesweepers. There was no minelaying force however, as it was seen as aggressive.

The two squadrons of F-104 fighter bombers were aptly replaced by Tornados, while the North Atlantic maritime patrol aircraft park underwent comprehensive modernization of their weaponry and sensors. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the Bundesmarine took a greater part in the Norwegian Sea operations. But it was clear to anyone at NATO that the commitment of three US CVBGs were critical for this area. Because of USN redeployments (notably in the Mediterranean) a critical delaying role was to be played by European navies, waiting for reinforcements notably through minelaying actions. The Bundesmarine played her role in this expansionist naval policy, but by weakening her Baltic commitment.


Tiger class Elster FAC (P6154).


Movie of a 1980s German submarine - By Periscope films

Constitution and modernization of the Marineflieger

Bundesmarine Marineflieger F104G
Marineflieger F104G in formation. They can carry and operate the Exocet missile.

The Marineflieger is the naval air arm of the Bundesmarine. while during ww1 it was part of the Kaiserliche Marine, the interwar Seeflieger was absorbed by the Luftwaffe in 1935. The abandon of the Graf Zeppelin and reluctance of the Luftwaffe over the matter eventually made the Seeflieger redundant and eliminated in 1943. Anti-ship warfare missions were now all transferred to the Luftwaffe. From 1955 within NATO and the creation of the Bundesmarine, the Marineflieger was created under some preventions but recoignizing the need of a dedicated air cover, in particular over long range areas in the context of a possible attack in the baltic or from the Northern fleet off Norway.

The Marineflieger Command was responsible for five squadrons, operating nearly 200 aircraft and helicopters. This comprised a force of 121 fighter bombers (of the F104G Starfighter type) but also British-buuilt Hawker Sea Hawks Mk100/101s, and from 1980 the Panavia Tornado. Helicopters were of the Saunders Roe Skeeter and Bristol 171 Sycamore 52 at first, and later the Sikorsky H-34G, Westland Mk41 Sea King and Westland Mk88 Sea Lynx used for SAR and ASW missions.

SAR missions however were mostly performed by the Grumman HU-16 Albatross. Martime Patrols, depending of the range required, could be performed either by the Fairey Gannet AS Mk4, the Dassault-Breguet BR1150 Atlantique, or the Lockheed P-3 Orion. The Transport branch took delivery of the locally-built Dornier Do-27, Hunting Percival Pembroke C. 54, Dornier Do-28 D2 Skyservant and Dornier Do-228 LM aircraft.

Fairey Gannet
A Fairey Gannet in service with the Bundesmarine

Nomenclature of Bundesmarine ships

Destroyers

'Zestörer' class (1958-70s)

Z4 1981
Z4 (D 178) in 1981, through the Kiel canal, on her way to be sold to Greece. The four remaining ships were under leasing but has been bought by the Federal German Navy in 1976. This was just the name of MDAP program ex-Fletcher class DDs transferred in 1958, 1959 and 1960. Previously the USS Anthony, Rigold, Waldsworth, Claxton, Dyson, and Charles Ausburne. Named "Zestörer 1" to 6 and D170-180, they had been leased for five years and comprehensively modernized: New electronics, and upon arrival, German controls and communication systems. During the late 1960s, their brige structure was modified.

From 1941, Z4 (D 178) was given an OTO-Melara 76mm/62 gun for testings, in a modular container. From 1973 onwards, the quintuple TTs were removed from all ships. D 180 was already sold for BU in 1968, followed by the D170 sunk as target, while the there four were transferred to Greece in 1980-82. Read More >

Work in progress…

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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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