Battle of Tsushima 1905

Tikhookeanskiy flot vs Nihhon Kaigun

The great seism in naval matters

Painting the battle of Tushima strait 1905 The battle of Tsushima is certainly one of the most significant battles of the XXth Century. In terms of size and scope, it was only comparable to Jutland, in May 1916, and the British compared it to Trafalgar. Its consequences, direct and indirect, were as dramatic and far-reaching into the XXth Century. For the first time, a non-European power defeated one in a standard naval engagement. This gave a new level of confidence to the Imperialists on the path of hegemon in Asia, right to the Pacific campaign during WW2. On the other side, this total, unmitigated disaster, was blamed by the Russian population on their elites, triggering a mutiny (Potemkine), mass public demonstrations, and a situation of growing unrest which will boil over in 1917 with the Revolution. The cold war arguably found Tsushima in one of its roots causes.

The roots of tensions with Russia

Kisaburō Ohara - Europe and Asia - Russian Octopus Map 1904, Japanese perception about Russia (Cornell University)

On the far East, only one major power stood to the growing local influence of Japan, after the defeat of the Chinese at Yalu. This was Imperial Russia, a giant present in three strategic areas, with three fleets: The Baltic, the Black sea, and the Pacific, from Vladivostok and Port Arthur. A name that will resonate around the world in the following events. A point of tension already in 1895-96 in Korea, was that King Gojong and his court fled to the Russian legation in Seoul after the murder by the Japanese of Queen Min of Korea, the leader of the anti-Japanese and pro-Chinese faction. Shortly after a popular uprising overthrew the pro-Japanese government. In Korea, after the peace treaty signed with Russia, France and UK on one part and Japan on the other, attempts to try to attach Korea in the Japanese sphere of influence were compromised. Eventually, in 1897, Russia has occupied the Liaodong Peninsula and built the Port Arthur fortress, which became the main naval base for the Russian Pacific Fleet.

Reddition of the Chinese Generals at Pyongyang, October 1894 - Migita Toshihide
Reddition of the Chinese Generals at Pyongyang, October 1894 - Migita Toshihide[/caption]

The Russian occupation of Port Arthur was at first an anti-British move to balance the occupation of Wei-hai-Wei. Japan, perceived it as anti-Japanese. Soon after, Germany entered the fray, annexing Jiaozhou Bay, and created the Tsingtao fortress dominating the naval base dedicated to the German East Asia Squadron. Until 1903, Russia not only invested and built the Chinese Eastern Railway in Manchuria, on Russian gauge and with Russian troops stationed in Manchuria, but the headquarters were located in the new city of Harbin, the "Moscow of the Orient". This attitude and the development of the railway did much to fuel anger which erupted in the Boxer Rebellion. The Russians also made inroads into Korea, contained many concessions near the Yalu and Tumen rivers, and started the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway which could have been used to carry masses of reinforcing troops. The clock was ticking for the Japanese interests in that area. Indeed after the end of the Boxer rebellion, the Russians massed 100,000 troops in Manchuria, which in 1903 occupied the territory without any plan for withdrawing.

Peace attempts and alliances game

Minister Itō Hirobumi did not believe Japan had the necessary strength to take on the Russians militarily and therefore started negotiations, agreeing to officially recognise Russia control over Manchuria in exchange for Japanese control of northern Korea. He was back by old Meiji nobility members including the influent Count Inoue Kaoru while another faction was favourable to war. This hard-line position has its supporters like Katsura Tarō, Komura Jutarō, and Field Marshal Yamagata Aritomo. They were comforted by the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance which was created to balance Russian influence over the area.

Since it was likely neither France or Germany would support Russia at war on two Fronts, and in the West, to UK, the hard-liners gained more support over time. On the other hand, Germany seemed favorable to Russia's positions, praising the Tsar as the "savior of the white race" facing the "yellow peril" even before the Sino-Japanese war. Wilhelm indeed aggressively encouraged Russia's ambitions in Asia while France, which was Russia's closest ally showed great caution in that matter. Indochina was now indeed part of the French colonial Empire and towards this new competition, rather joined the British position. Officially, however, France declared their alliance with Russia was bound to Europe, and France would remain neutral if Japan attacked Russia. On the other hand, Russian authorities believed that they had the full support of the Reich in case of war.

The path to war

Extract from the 2008 TV serie clouds over the hill - japan best seller
Extract from the 2008 TV serie clouds over the hill - japan's best seller

By 8 April 1903, Russian troops still occupied Mandchuria and ambassador Kurino Shin'ichirō expressed the wish of the government in July to negotiate their stay or departure under return conditions. This was answered by Roman Rosen in Japan on 3 October. During negotiations, Russia scaled back its demands and claims regarding Korea. But the largest contributor to the degradation of relations and ultimately war was the fact the Korean and Manchurian issues had become linked. On Mandchuria, Japan expressed the will to open the country to free trade (seeking approval by Britain and the USA) as opposed to a Russian takeover. During this, Emperor Gojong of Korea cautiously chosen neutrality. On 4 February 1904 no answer was given to the last Japanese proposal, authorities there thinking Russia was not serious about seeking a peaceful solution. The Tarō cabinet already voted on 21 December 1903 to go to war against Russia and on 08 February, a declaration of war was issued while four hours before, the Russians experienced their own "pearl harbor".

Clouds over the Hill

Attack on Port Arthur

Port Arthur TB attack
Exactly like in December 1941, the Japanese decided to strike first before negotiations were officially over, by an all-out attack on the Pacific fleet base at Port Arthur. This came as a shock for the Tsar, which only declared war in turn eight days after. In this struggle, the Qing Empire was favorable to the Japanese and offered support and goods. Locally, Mandchurian irregulars and levies joined both sides. For Japan, Port Arthur on the Liaodong Peninsula in the south of Manchuria was the key objective to take before any invasion of Mandchuria. The port-city was well-fortified and a naval assault was risky.

attack night 1904
However, during the night of 8 February 1904, Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō ordered only his light ships to take the initiative. His torpedo boat destroyers penetrated the loosely guarded harbor at full speed, torpedoes several ships and almost sank the battleships Tsesarevich and Retvizan, and the cruiser Pallada. At dawn, the rest of the Japanese came at gunnery range to engage remaining ships, but was repelled by Russian fortified coastal artillery. Fire was imprecise and the result largely indecisive.

Composite map showing he location of port Arthur

Geographic situation of Port Arthur
Geographic situation of Port Arthur and respective spheres of influences

The naval siege

This situation dragged on until April, 16, and the death of Stepan Osipovich Makarov, the admiral. before that, Makarov received the command of the fleet in March and had the will to break the blockade. He sent the battleships Petropavlovsk and Pobeda out at sea, only to be caught in Japanese minefields and while the first sank with all hands including Makarov, the second was towed back to the port and left for repairs. From then, the fleet was even less enthusiastic about the idea to sail in open sea and engage the Japanese.

However this Japanese naval siege successfully locked in the Russians, which allowed and landing near Incheon in Korea to take place unopposed. In the end of April, Kuroki Tamemoto's army was ready to cross the Yalu River, in Russian-occupied Manchuria. Meanwhile admiral Togo gave orders to block completely the port entrance by sending on 13–14 February concrete-filled steamers, which failed, as another attempt during the night of 3–4 May. The Russian in turn laid mines which claimed on 15 May 1904, the IJN battleships, Yashima and Hatsuse. The second survived but was towed in Korea for extensive repairs.

Breakout attempt: The battle of the Yellow sea

Battle Yellow sea 1904

On 23 June 1904 the Russian fleet now under the command of Admiral Wilgelm Vitgeft which prepared a new breakout. The goal was to break through and join Vladivostok he would wait for reinforcement and stay in a better defended and better supplied position. He sailed with his flagship, the Tsessarevitch, in all six battleships, four cruisers, and 14 torpedo boat destroyers at dawn, 10 August 1904. Admiral Tōgō deployed four battleships, 10 cruisers, and 18 torpedo boat destroyers.

Battle of the Yellow sea IJN, squadron
Batle of the yellow sea, Varyag damaged

At 12:15 mutual visual contact was followed by artillery duels 8 miles away, a long distance at that time. Togo successfully crossed Vitgeft's T, pounded the Russian line for 30 minutes and managed to hit the Tssessarevitch's bridge, killing the admiral instantly. Confusion among her fleet soon arose and the flagship was only saved by the intervention of Retvizan, which drew the Japanese fire on him. He took command of the crippled fleet and decided to turn back home to port Arthur. he was then given the insurance of the reinforcement from the redeployed baltic fleet.

Delaying battles

Two other events showed the Russian trying to delay Japanese the advance: First was the battle of Yalu River on 1 May 1904, when Japanese troops stormed a Russian position after crossing the river, inflicting a decisive defeat and gaining a foothold, whereas the Russians were unable to sent reinforcements. At that time indeed, the trans-siberian railway was still stuck in Irkutsk. This feat which had no comparison gave immense confidence to the Japanese, perhaps explaining their losses later like the Battle of Nanshan on 25 May 1904, trying to force their way through well-entrenched Russian troops defending Port Arthur perimeter.

The siege turned to land

The siege, December 1904 Russian ships sunk

By then the Japanese Army had managed to approach Port Arthur on land, less well defended, and after a grinding trench and mortar battle since the end of April, managed to be close enough in December to bring heavy artillery (11-inch or 280 mm Armstrong howitzers) to bear on key positions on nearby hills. From then on the Russian position became untenable: The Pacific fleet was decimated, four Russian battleships and two cruisers were sunk in succession. The last battleship, badly damaged, was scuttled to prevent capture a few weeks later. This feat was unique in the annals of warfare and never repeated. Attempts to relieve the city failed: The Russian northern army was defeated at the Battle of Liaoyang in late August. After the Japanese detonated several underground mines to further damage the fortifications and closing the grip on the base, Major General Anatoly Stessel, the garrison commander, decided to surrender on 2 January 1905, without any approval of his staff and the Tsar.

Second phase: The intervention of the Baltic fleet

A seven month odyssey

Russian fleet trip Having three fleets, the Russian could send reinforcements of one of these, despite the huge distances to travel. The easiest solution was to send the Black sea fleet, but poisonous relations with the Ottoman Empire prevented its passage through the Bosphorus. There was less risk of a war with its immediate neighbours in the Baltic, so the Tsar and his staff decided to redeploy the Baltic fleet to the Pacific. That was not a small trip, since Russia had not that many allies but a reluctant France along the way. In addition, the fleet under the command of Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky had problems with engines and supplies and only departed 15 October 1904. The Baltic fleet was to pass via the Cape of Good Hope in the course of a seven-month odyssey. The Suez canal was at first avoided as tensions were high with UK, allied with Japan.

Batleship Borodino Battleship Borodino

Indeed, right at the beginning of the trip near the Dogger Bank, believing they faced British TBs, Russians TBs fired on British fishing boats on 21 October 1904. Needless to say this triggered official vigorous protestations and the Royal Navy was mobilized. War was avoided (and perhaps the world war would have erupted in 1905 instead of 1914, again, for the sake of alliances and global spheres of influence). The Russian Baltic fleet's seven-month journey across the globe was a feat that drew a lot of media attention, making headlines as she progressed. The fleet split up when arrived near Gibraltar as the situation permitted it, cruisers and TBs making it through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal while Battleships, which had more coal reserve and did not need frequent resupplies along the coat of Africa, went by the cape.

The land war (Jan-Feb 1905)

Yalu river battle Meanwhile, Russian land forces attempted to drive out the invading Japanese in Mandchuria. The Second Army under General Oskar Gripenberg, arrived in 25-29 January at Sandepu and attacked Japanese positions by surprise, almost succeeding to get through. However the battle was inconclusive and ultimately he was held back by Kuropatkin which sent reinforcements. Both sides tried to beat each other, but the Japanese, in particular, were eager to get to a conclusion soon as for them the completion of the trans-siberian railway could be their undoing.

The second large battle erupted nearly a month after on 20 February 1905. This was the battle of Mukden, a Russian-built city, well fortified and a garrison. Kuropatkin had arrived, joined force with Gripenberg and was attacked by the Japanese on his right and left flanks around Mukden, along a 50-mile (80 km) front. About one million men in total participated in this major battle which lasted for three weeks in icy cold conditions. Eventually, the Russian front crumbled and eventually gave way, Kuropatkin ordering a fighting retreat to avoid being completely surrounded, having lost 90,000 men already. The Japanese failed to beat completely the Russians scattered in small groups and their Mandchurian auxiliaries while all eyes turned back to the sea for the decisive hour.

The battle of Tsushima

Prelude: The end of the Odyssey

The fleet made a several weeks stop at the small port of Nossi-Bé (Madagascar) then belonging to neutral France. The port lacked infrastructures but the Russian Baltic fleet was able to coal, resupply, and proceeded to Cam Ranh Bay, again an allied port, possession of French Indochina. The fleet arrived in Singapore Strait between 7 and 10 April 1905 and reached the Sea of Japan in May 1905. The squadron required 500,000 tons of coal to complete the journey and was not allowed to coal at neutral ports. So to achieve this feat the Russian admiralty had to improvise a fleet of colliers along the way, to supply the ships at sea. The fleet was eventually renamed "Second Pacific Squadron" upon arrival after 18,000 nautical miles (33,000 km). But they only had news that Port Arthur has fallen already in Madagascar. So Admiral Rozhestvensky plan was now to reach Vladivostok, resupply, have the crews rested and prepare for battle. However the shortest and most direct route passed through Tsushima Strait between Korea and Japan, surrounded by Japanese bases and home Islands.

Admiral Tōgō was not long to understand the only logical choice of his future opponent, and that he was heading to Vladivostok by the shortest route. He had plenty of time to have the ships drydocks, maintained repaired and resupplied and the crews rested when he was devising plans with his staff. He was to intercept the Russian fleet using apparently a medieval tactic he knew from his past of Samurai in the Boshin war.

Battle of the japan sea (1969) - starting clip

The Japanese Combined Fleet was down to four battleships, completed by a largely intact force of cruisers, destroyers, and torpedo boats. With eight battleships, including the recent Borodino class, and smaller ships for a total of 38 fighting vessels and auxiliaries, had an advantage on paper. In the end of May, the Second Pacific Squadron was travelling at night to avoid being spotted, which was betrayed by the two trailing hospital ships which had their lights open in compliance to international law, and were spotted by the Shinano Maru, equipped for wireless communication. Togo's headquarters ordered a sortie and later received more informations from his scouting forces.

The fleet was able to be placed in order to "cross the T" of the Russian fleet, bearing al their broadsides on the column. On 27–28 May 1905, the battle began. This was to be the largest naval battle so far with modern, steel warships, made world headlines, and would attract postwar a lot of attention from naval experts. The Royal Navy was not long to take the lessons of this event and this was a determining factor in choosing to develop the monocaliber battleship concept.

Respective Forces

The Russian side: Needless to say such enormous trip, never done before by a modern military fleet, was astonishing by itself. But fighting just at arrival was just the same as an infantry corps wiped to exhaustion in forced marched in order to enter the battle immediately on arrival without rest. That was the same for the Russian fleet. The ships lacked maintenance, having no serious halt on their way during all these monthes (half a year voyage !) to be in shape, the crews were tired, as the clock was ticking in order to save Port Arthur, at least until they reached Madagascar. The rest of the trip was gloomy, with a plummeted morale.

Discipline was still there on the surface, but discontent was brewing among the crew already. Only the four new Borodino-class battleships were still in relative good shape. The other battleships led by Admiral Nebogatov's 3rd Division were barely able to follow the line and were not able to put a good show. All the ships were heavily fouled, their speed of 14 knots barely maintained for short period while the Japanese were well above 15 knots, giving them some advantage in agility. Above that, the deficiencies in training and lack of budget were exposed, as well as Russian naval tests on torpedoes that showed grave malfunctions.

The Japanese side:
The victor was not obvious on paper at first. The IJN combined fleet was on paper inferior, half the number of battleships. However the ships were recent and in almost pristine condition despite an intensive service. Admiral Tōgō was himself already an aged, veteran captain with battle experience aplenty, at sea recently. His fleet comprised 5 battleships, 27 cruisers, 21 destroyers, 37 torpedo boats and gunboats plus auxiliary vessels for a total of 89, but the latter did not took part in the battle proper, being too slow and vulnerable for the task. The Russian fleet was more battle-oriented, with more battleships, 8 "regular ones", 3 coastal battleships, but also less cruisers, only 6, and far less destroyers, only 9. Anyway they played little roles on both sides, which gunned themselves to oblivion, although torpedoes were aggressively used.

The battle

Afternoon action

Way before even spotting the Russian directly admiral Togo placed his fleet in order to block the column, or "cross the T" of his opponent. This classic tactic that was repeated at Jutland and other occasions allowed the whole Japanese line to open fire concentrated on the first ship, generally the admiral's flagship. Not only it could cut the head of the staff and disorganise the fleet but also allowed to engage targets as they went maximizing firepower while the opponent only had its front guns to answer. The next move was for the targeted fleet was in general to turn and form an opposing broadside column. Needless to say these manoeuvers were extensively drilled and required precision. When the stage was set, as Togo remarked, the weather was fine, with a clear sky allowing long range sighting but high waves. All along, wireless reports came from scouts that shadowed the Russian formation.

At 13:40, both fleets sighted each other and 15 minutes after Tōgō hoisted of the Z flag on Mikasa, famously ordering to the fleet "The Empire's fate depends on the result of this battle, let every man do his utmost duty." Fire commenced on the Japanese side at 14:45. The Russians were sailing to north northeast while the Japanese were steaming from northeast to west and turned in sequence, take the same course as the Russians in classic parallel lines. Tōgō's U-turn was masterful but Russian gunnery was good. Mikasa was hit 15 times in five minutes and later 15 more times, all by large caliber. Admiral Rozhestvensky choosed the formal pitched battle option, based on his superior numbers of heavy guns. At 14:08, the range fell to 7,000 metres, and then 6,400 meters but eventually Superior Japanese gunnery skills and sights took their toll on the Russian battle line. Formed by, and equipped as, the Royal Navy, gunnery accuracy was the order of the day.

Vladimir Semenoff, on his flagship Knyaz ("count") Suvorov, vividly remembered the carnage of Japanese guns "Shells seemed to be pouring upon us incessantly one after another. (...) In addition to this, there was the unusually high temperature and liquid flame of the explosion, which seemed to spread over everything". Indeed this pounding, rather than a fair duel, raged on for another 90 minutes, until the first loss, Russian battleship Oslyabya (Rozhestvensky's 2nd Battleship division flagship). Fuji managed to hit the ammunition magazines of Borodino, causing her to explode. She quickly sank with all hands but her billowing smoke engulfed the scene and reduced fire accuracy a bit. When the evening came, Rear Admiral Nebogatov took command, but soon the Knyaz Suvorov, Imperator Aleksandr III and Borodino added to the losses while the Japanese ships suffered less. Only a few light ships were lost.

Phase 3 of the battle
Phase 3 of the battle

Night action

Since the Russian fleet still hold some major ships it was by then unthinkable to surrender. The plan was still to reach Vladivostok. That was precisely the Japanese wanted to avoid. Togo despatched at 20:00, twenty-one destroyers and 37 torpedo boats to hunt down and finish off the Russians. The vanguard was struck by destroyers while the flanks were attacked by the torpedo boats (east and south). Torpedo attacked went on for three hours without a break. Obscurity and some confusion caused several collisions but this succeeded in scattering the Russians, all trying to break northwards. They disappeared shortly, only to be betrayed by their searchlights. Navarin struck a mine, stopped and was torpedoed like a sitting duck. Sissoi Veliky was torpedoed and was scuttled the morning. Armoured cruisers Admiral Nakhimov was torpedoed but survived, while Vladimir Monomakh collided with a Japanese destroyer and were scuttled also the next morning. The Japanese only lost three torpedo boats during this fateful night. Japan will prove its mastery of night fighting in future engagements in WW2, like at Savo.

The end of the chase

At 09:30, 28 May, the crippled remnants of Nebogatov's Russian fleet was spotted, sluggishly escaping, allowing Tōgō's battleships to catch up and surround it south of Takeshima island. Like at the Yellow sea, fire opened at12,000 meters. By then it was clear to the Russian admiral that he was out-ranged by a safe margin and that his six remaining ships were condemned. Rather than having these destroyed without being able to replicate he ordered them to surrender, hoisting the XGE signal of surrender. However unfortunately for the Russians, this signal was absent from the Japanese code books and continued pounding the fleet.

Amazingly, Nebogatov had white table cloths sent up the mastheads. However, Tōgō did not trusted this new signal an still resumed fire. When it was clear nothing will prevent total destruction, Russian cruiser Izumrud broke formation and attempted to flee. A desperate Nebogatov then hoisted the Imperial Japanese Navy flag and stopped, trying to be understood. This was spotted by Togo, which ordered to cease fire. Both fleet stopped, and Nebogatov embarked in a yowl to negotiate his surrender. As stated to his crews, he knew that for disobeying orders he could have been shot, but wanted to avoid useless slaughter, pleading his men to one day "retrieve the honour and glory of the Russian Navy".

Upon their return in Russia both admirals faced trial, Rozhestvensky (which survived his wounds but was unconscious during the battle) claimed full responsibility. Their reputations were ruined although the second was pardoned by the Tsar and the first saw prison. The remainder of the Russian squadron, only three ships, reached Vladivostok. Many of these ships had been captured by the Japanese, in addition to those scuttled or damaged in Port Arthur. Not only Togo secured an impressive tonnage of new battleships and cruisers, but he won against two fleets, having lost only two battleships and three destroyers during the whole campaign.

Epilogue: The battle and its consequences

Illustration of the Great Naval Battle at the Harbor Entrance to Port Arthur
Illustration of the Great Naval Battle at the Harbor Entrance to Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese War (Nichiro Ryojunkô daikaisen no zu)

The Russians lost their entire second pacific fleet, that is to say their entire Baltic fleet, the spearhead of their maritime might. Eight battleships, numerous smaller vessels, and more than 5,000 men, while the Japanese lost three torpedo boats and 116 men. Three Russian vessels made it to Vladivostok. Immediately after, a combined naval amphibious assault allowed Japan to occupy Sakhalin Island, to force the Russians to sue for peace. The war was lost, with 2/3 of her fleet for the Russian Empire. This nailed down any possibility of future expansion and gravely impacted the country's morale at all levels.

Towards the Europeans, this further demolished any credibility the Russians built, including towards traditional allies like France, or potential ally like the German Empire, and comforted great Britain on its choice of Japan as an Asiatic ally. At home, the resentment of the crews towards their elites would boil down to open mutiny in the remaining black sea fleet (Potemkine), mirrored by popular bread revolts, brutally suppressed. It contained the germs from which the revolution would blossom, with the court's reputation as a primer, and the Great war as a catalyzer.

In Japan, the result of Tsushima was diametrally opposed. It gave a supreme confidence to the head of staff, the Emperor and the shut the moderates about Japan's aspirations to a natural leadership in Asia, even against other European powers, like Great Britain, the Netherlands or France. The militarism of the post-WW1 years further fuelled by the anger caused by limitations by the 1922 Washington treaty, would see the hard-liners ruling the country, pursuing an aggressive agenda over China, after annexing Korea and Mandchuria. Tsushima's date entered the calendar and was made a national holiday, and still is, while Battleship Mikasa has been preserved and can be visited today. This event was commemorated in many books over the years, like the bestseller "clouds over the hill", made into a TV serie in 2008, or a 1969 high budget film starring Toshiro Mifune as Togo and an international crew and casting.

On naval standpoint alone, the battle showed that long-range gunnery, as demonstrated already in the Yellow sea in 1904, was the order of the day, secondary artillery playing no significant role, nor light ships like destroyers and TBs. This confirmed many British heads of staff, including admiral Fisher (not mentioning the rest of the world) that only the monocaliber type battleship was the way forward. With twice the budget required for such ships, it triggered a European arms race which had few precedents in history, that is the "dreadnought fever". Tsushima did not exactly spawn the Dreadnought out of the blue. The idea was Fisher's already since 1900 and in 1904 he was finalizing a design, also inspired by Cuniberti's new armoured cruiser types revealed in Jane's.

But the first modern battleship's final design was approved, on 22 February 1905 containing indeed several observations from the recent war, including one related to ASW protection on the Russian battleship Tsesarevich. In fact both the Battle of the Yellow Sea and the Battle of Tsushima were carefully analyzed by Fisher's Committee, Captain William Pakenham's remark about 12-inch gunfire demonstrating hitting power and accuracy was a justification for a dispensable secondary artillery as "it went unnoticed". The Yellow sea battle on its part confirmed that long-range (13,000 metres or 14,000 yd) fire was possible and even desirable with the right sights and calculators.

Among other factors it was observed that, gunnery training paid off -on the Japanese side- and the choice of using HE shells also versus the Russian AP shells, which in addition used small guncotton bursting charges and unreliable fuses. Also for the Russian ships bad accuracy, fire smoke was to blame, as easily burning paintwork and the large quantities of coal stored on the decks for the trip were to blame. Japanese accuracy was compounded by the use of recent (1903) Barr and Stroud FA3 coincidence rangefinder while the Russian trusted a variety of older models (their ships were built in several foreign shipyards, like 1880s to 1890s Liuzhol rangefinders which conceded 2000 yards to the Japanese.

About Admiral Togo

Togo Togo was a Samurai fighting during the Tokugawa conflicts (1863–1869). He was aged 15 and part of a gun crew defending the port of Kagoshima, shelled by the Royal Navy. The Satsuma faction soon created a navy and he enlisted to served during the during the Boshin War on the Kasuga. He studied English at Yokohama after the war and perfected himself with Daisuke Shibata and Charles Wagman form The Illustrated London News. In February 1871, Tōgō was one of the selected officer cadets to travel to Britain, perfecting their naval studies.

Battleship Mikasa as preserved
Additional photos of the Mikasa

He gained later a commission in the training vessel HMS Worcester, completed his gunnery training onboard HMS Victory, and he returned home on 22 May 1878 as a Lieutenant onboard IJN Hiei, freshly built in UK. He will first had combat experience during the Imo Incident in Korea, commanding a landing party. Promoted captain in 1884 he used to interact often with the British, American, and German fleets, thanks to his mastery of English. He will further learn in combat onboard Amagi as a closely observed during the Franco-Chinese War (1884–1885) and the French fleet operations by Admiral Courbet and observed Joseph Joffre troops in Formose. He was captain of the cruiser Naniwa in 1894, when the First Sino-Japanese War broke out. He sank a British transport ship, Kowshing, operating with the Beiyang fleet, and took part in the Battle of the Yalu River under orders of Admiral Tsuboi Kōzō, helping sinking the cruisers Jingyuan and Zhiyuan. He was promoted in 1895 rear admiral.

Togo's triumphal return

He became for a time the commandant of the Naval War College in Tokyo, commander of the Sasebo Naval College and later was recalled as admiral on May 20, 1900, patrolling along the coast during the Boxer rebellion. Afterwards he will supervise naval construction at the naval base at Maizuru. Navy Minister Yamamoto Gonnohyōe, when appointing Togo, was asked so by the Emperor, answering "the man has luck". Luck he has, but certainly skills as well, masterfully using his meager forces to defeat two Russian squadrons, loosing only three torpedo boats. He became a war hero at his return to Japan, kept his journals in English, believing he was the reincarnation of Horatio Nelson. Being fluent in English he was invited to the USA and in UK, honored guest of the coronation celebration. He was made Marshal-Admiral of the IJN and was ho,nored by the Emperor koshaku (marquis) in 1934 just before passing out. He was accorded a state funeral, with naval attachés of many nations in the attendance and a naval parade was held in his honour in Tokyo Bay.

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Naval History

❢ Abbrev. & acronyms
AAW// warfare
AASAmphibious Assault Ship
AEWAirbone early warning
AGAir Group
AFVArmored Fighting Vehicle
AMGBarmoured motor gunboat
APArmor Piercing
APCArmored Personal Carrier
ASMAir-to-surface Missile
ASMDAnti Ship Missile Defence
ASW// Warfare
ASWRL/// rocket launcher
ATWahead thrown weapon
avgasAviation Gasoline
awAbove Waterline
AWACSAirborne warning & control system
bhpbrake horsepower
BLBreach-loader (gun)
BLRBreach-loading, Rifled (gun)
BUBroken Up
CAArmoured/Heavy cruiser
CalCaliber or "/"
CGMissile Cruiser
CICCombat Information Center
C-in-CCommander in Chief
CIWSClose-in weapon system
CECompound Expansion (engine)
ChChantiers ("Yard", FR)
CLCruiser, Light
CMBCoastal Motor Boat
CMSCoastal Minesweeper
CNOChief of Naval Operations
CpCompound (armor)
COBCompound Overhad Beam
CODAGCombined Diesel & Gas
CODOGCombined Diesel/Gas
COGAGCombined Gas and Gas
COGOGCombined Gas/Gas
COSAGCombined Steam & Gas
CRCompound Reciprocating
CRCRSame, connecting rod
CruDivCruiser Division
CPControlled Pitch
CTConning Tower
CTLconstructive total loss
CTOLConv. Take off & landing
CTpCompound Trunk
CVAircraft Carrier
CVA// Attack
CVE// Escort
CVL// Light
CVS// ASW support
DADirect Action
DASHDrone ASW Helicopter
DCDepht Charge
DCT// Track
DCR// Rack
DCT// Thrower
DEDouble Expansion
DEDestroyer Escort
DDE// Converted
DesRonDestroyer Squadron
DFDouble Flux
DPDual Purpose
DUKWAmphibious truck
EOCElswick Ordnance Co.
ECMElectronic Warfare
ESMElectronic support measure
FCSFire Control System
fpsFeet Per Second
FYFiscal Year
GMMetacentric Height
GPMGGeneral Purpose Machine-gun
GRTGross Tonnage
GUPPYGreater Underwater Prop.Pow.
HAHigh Angle
HCHorizontal Compound
HCR// Reciprocating
HCDA// Direct Acting
HCDCR// connecting rod
HDA// direct acting
HDAC// acting compound
HDAG// acting geared
HDAR// acting reciprocating
HDMLHarbor def. Motor Launch
H/FHigh Frequency
HF/DF// Directional Finding
HMSHer Majesty Ship
HNHarvey Nickel
HNCHorizontal non-condensing hp
HPHigh Pressure
HRHorizontal reciprocating
HRCR// connecting rod
HSHarbor Service
HS(E)Horizontal single (expansion)
HSET// trunk
HTHorizontal trunk
HTE// expansion
ICInverted Compound
IDAInverted direct acting
IFFIdentification Friend or Foe
ihpindicated horsepower
IMFInshore Minesweeper
KCKrupp, cemented
KNC// non cemented
LALow Angle
LCLanding Craft
LCA// Assault
LCAC// Air Cushion
LFC// Flak (AA)
LCG// Gunboat
LCG(L)/// Large
LCG(M)/// Medium
LCG(S)/// Small
LCI// Infantry
LCM// Mechanized
LCP// Personel
LCP(R)/// Rocket
LCS// Support
LCT// Tanks
LCV// Vehicles
LCVP/// Personal
LCU// Utility
locolocomotive (boiler)
LSCLanding ship, support
LSD// Dock
LSF// Fighter (direction)
LSM// Medium
LSS// Stern chute
LST// Tank
LSV// Vehicle
LPlow pressure
lwllenght waterline
MA/SBmotor AS boat
MGMachine Gun
MGBMotor Gunboat
MLMotor Launch
MMSMotor Minesweper
MTMilitary Transport
MTBMotor Torpedo Boat
HMGHeavy Machine Gun
MCM(V)Mine countermeasure Vessel
MLMuzzle loading
MLR// rifled
MSOOcean Minesweeper
NCnon condensing
nhpnominal horsepower
nmNautical miles
NBC/ABCNuc. Bact. Nuclear
NSNickel steel
NTDSNav.Tactical Def.System
NyDNaval Yard
OPVOffshore Patrol Vessel
PCPatrol Craft
PDMSPoint Defence Missile System
psipounds per square inch
PVDSPropelled variable-depth sonar
QFQuick Fire
QFC// converted
RAdmRear Admiral
RCRreturn connecting rod
RFRapid Fire
RPCRemote Control
rpgRound per gun
SAMSurface to air Missile
SARSearch Air Rescue
SBShip Builder
SCSub-chaser (hunter)
SSBNBallistic Missile sub.Nuclear
SESimple Expansion
SET// trunk
shpShaft horsepower
SHsimple horizontal
SOSUSSound Surv. System
SPRsimple pressure horiz.
SSSubmarine (Conv.)
SSMSurface-surface Missile
sfsteam frigate
SLBMSub.Launched Ballistic Missile
spfsteam paddle frigate
STOVLShort Take off/landing
SUBROCSub.Fired ASW Rocket
tton, long (short in bracket)
TACANTactical Air Nav.
TBTorpedo Boat
TBD// destroyer
TCTorpedo carriage
TETriple expansion
TER// reciprocating
TFTask Force
TGBTorpedo gunboat
TGTask Group
TLTorpedo launcher
TLC// carriage
TSTraining Ship
TTTorpedo Tube
UDTUnderwater Demolition Team
UHFUltra High Frequency
VadmVice Admiral
VCVertical compound
VCE// expansion
VDE/ double expansion
VDSVariable Depth Sonar
VIC/ inverted compound
VLFVery Low Frequency
VQL/ quadruple expansion
VSTOLVertical/short take off/landing
VTE/ triple expansion
VTOLVertical take off/landing
VSE/ Simple Expansion
WTWireless Telegraphy
xnumber of
BuShipsBureau of Ships
DBMGerman Navy League
GBGreat Britain
DNCDirectorate of Naval Construction
EEZExclusive Economic Zone
FAAFleet Air Arm
FNFLFree French Navy
MDAPMutual Def.Assistance Prog.
MSAMaritime Safety Agency
RAFRoyal Air Force
RANRoyal Australian Navy
RCNRoyal Canadian Navy
R&DResearch & Development
RNRoyal Navy
RNZNRoyal New Zealand Navy
USSRUnion of Socialist Republics
UE/EECEuropean Union/Comunity
UNUnited Nations Org.
USNUnited States Navy
WaPacWarsaw Pact

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautiko 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.Ram (1870)
Tonnerre class Br.Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br.Monitors (1876)
Tonnant ironclad (1880)
Furieux ironclad (1883)
Fusee class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class (1892)
Bouvines class (1892)

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


☉ 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

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


✪ 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)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
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 (1942)
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
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
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

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 (1921)
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
IJN Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1940)
Zuiho class (1937)
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 CBBs (1918)
Interwar Swedish CBB 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
Boeing model 2/3/5 (1916)
Aeromarine 39 (1917)
Curtiss VE-7 (1918)
Aeromarine 40 (1919)
Douglas DT (1921)
Naval Aircraft Factory PT (1922)
Loening OL (1923)
Huff-Daland TW-5 (1923)
Martin MO (1924)
Consolidated NY (1926)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U/O3U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)
Curtiss SOC seagull (1934)
Grumman FF (1931)
Grumman F2F (1933)
Grumman F3F (1935)
Northrop BT-1 (1935)
Vultee V-11 (1935)
Grumman J2F Duck (1936)
Curtiss SBC Helldiver (1936)
Vought SB2U Vindicator (1936)
Brewster F2A Buffalo (1937)
Douglas TBD Devastator (1937)
Vought Kingfisher (1938)
Curtiss SO3C Seamew (1939)
Cessna AT-17 Bobcat (1939)
Douglas SBD Dauntless (1939) Grumman F4F Wildcat (1940)
Northrop N-3PB Nomad (1941)
Brewster SB2A Buccaneer (1941)
Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger (1941)
Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf (1941)
Grumman F6F Hellcat (1942)
Vought F4U Corsair (1942)
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (1942)
Curtiss SC Seahawk (1944)
Douglas BTD Destroyer (1944)
Grumman F7F Tigercat (1943)
Grumman F8F Bearcat (1944)

Curtiss H (1917)
Curtiss F5L (1918)
Curtiss NC (1919)
Curtiss NC4 (1918)
Naval Aircraft Factory PN (1925)
Douglas T2D (1927)
Consolidated P2Y (1929)
Hall PH (1929)
Douglas PD (1929)
Douglas Dolphin (1931)
General Aviation PJ (1933)
Consolidated PBY Catalina (1935)
Fleetwings Sea Bird (1936)
Sikorsky VS-44 (1937)
Grumman G-21 Goose (1937)
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado (1937)
Beechcraft M18 (1937)
Sikorsky JRS (1938)
Boeing 314 Clipper (1938)
Martin PBM Mariner (1939)
Grumman G-44 Wigeon (1940)
Martin Mars (1943)
Goodyear GA-2 Duck (1944)
Edo Ose (1946)
Hugues Hercules (1947)

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

Mitsubishi B1M
Aichi D1A "Susie" (1934)
Aichi D3A "Val" (1940)
Aichi B7A "Grace" (1942)
Mitsubishi B5M (1937)
Nakajima B5N "Kate" (1937)
Nakajima B6N "Jill" (1941)
Yokosuka B4Y "Jean" (1935)
Yokosuka D4Y "Judy" (1942)
Yokosuka MXY-7 "Baka" (1944)
Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" (1935)
Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" (1941)
Yokosuka P1Y1 "Frances" (1943)

Aichi M6A1-K Nanzan (1943)
Kyushu K10W1 "Oak" (1941)
Kyushu K11W1 Shiragiku (1942)
Kyushu Q1W1-K "Lorna" (1943)
Mitsubishi K3M "Pine" (1930)
Yokosuka K5Y1 "Willow" (1933)
Yokosuka MXY-7K-1 "Kai" (1944)
Yokosuka MXY-8 Akigusa

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 "Rex"

Italian WW2 air arm
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano
CANT Z.506 Airone
Fiat RS.14
IMAM Ro.43
IMAM Ro.44
Macchi M5

British Fleet Air Arm
Carrier planes
Fairey Flycatcher (1922)
Blackburn Backburn (1923)
Blackburn Dart (1924)
Fairey IIIF (1927)
Fairey Seal (1930)
Blackburn Shark (1931)
Blackburn Baffin (1934)
Vickers Vildebeest (1933)
Blackburn Ripon (1934)
Fairey Swordfish (1934)
Gloster Gladiator (1938)
Fairey Albacore (1940)
Fairey Fulmar (1940)
Grumman Martlet (1941)
Hawker sea Hurricane (1941)
Brewster Bermuda (1942)
Fairey Barracuda (1943)
Grumman Tarpon (1943)
Grumman Gannet (1943)
Supermarine seafire (1943)
Fairey Firefly (1943)
Blackburn Firebrand (1944)

Supermarine Southampton (1925)
Blackburn Iris (1926)
Hawker Osprey (1930)
Short Rangoon (1930)
Short Valetta (1930)
Fairey Seal (1930)
Supermarine Scapa (1935)
Supermarine Stranraer (1936)
Supermarine Walrus (1936)
Fairey Seafox (1936)
Short Sunderland (1937)
Saro Lerwick (1940)
Short Shetland (1944)

The Cold War

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

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