♖ Naval Fortifications

Harbour defences, sea forts and fortresses, naval batteries and naval sieges in history.
Introduction: Naval Fortifications is quite a wide topic, spanning centuries and even millenia. When defenders saw a strongpoint on the coast to defend the entrance of a bay or harbor, the reflex was often to create a fort. The sea is the best moat available, perfect in combination with cliffs and solid walls on top.

The first naval forts went back to the antiquity and even the bronze age. The ancient Mycenanean dotted the coast with forts. The Greeks and later Romans built castra (forts) to deal with piracy for example after General Pompeio Magno (Pompey the Great) "cleaned up" the Mediterranean in 60 BC; notably the Adriatic, Aegean sea, and Asia minor, down to the Syrian coast. Many of these strongholds were later converted into medieval forts.

The medieval era is well known for its castles, like those William I of England built to rule his newly conquered island after 1066, but it's really when the age of gunpowder commenced before the Renaissance, that gunnery started to appear on coastal forts, seen as a way to sink or repel ships better than past catapults, ballistae, mangonels or trebuchets.

The idea was to use these "unsinkable man-o-war" to defend restricted access to harbours and coastal cities, often created in naturally protected bays. A couple of well-placed naval fortifications indeed could interdict an entire area to whole fleets, the gateway to a country, or its trade.

In the XVIIth Century when fortifications became a science (and the art of building them and taking them), naval fortifications multiplied as well, at an age of global empires and fleets in being. When better guns in the XIXth Century (Industrial era) outmatched fortifications, naval forts were refined and never completely lost their potential.

The American Secession war in 1860 started by the assault of Fort Sumter, and the Crimean war was mostly a naval assault on fortifications (Russians), as well as in WWI, the same allies assaulted Turkish Ottoman forts... to be defeated by mines.

In the interwar, fortifications were still relevant and still built or modernized, just as the Maginot line or Eben Emael and many other modern forts were constructed at great cost and ingenuity. At sea, the USN invested much in naval fortifications and perhaps reached the pinnacle of the genre with its "concrete battleships" of the Philippines. Fortifications stayed active even in the age of the atom, during the cold war, but today, they are definitely seen as a relic of a bygone era, after being in service for a thousand years in some places.

Antique fortifications:


Archimedes directing the siege of Syracuse

Before the age of gunpowder, forts were just coastal garrison cities, but could offer some protection against an aggressors with their slings, bow and arrow, and later and ballistae and catapults when they appeared in the Vth Century BC. The Greek and Phoenicians built commercial empires and harbors all around the Mediterranean, placed on the best covered bays, often using narrow entrances. The latter were the best places to built at least an observation tower, to warn the defenders of the city state of an approaching fleet, such as Troy when the unified Greeks arrived on their shores. Famous city-states of the classical era drove their wealth and power from trade, and affirmed their mastery not only by their fleets, but their high walls. Like Athens which created a whole "fortified corridor" between the city and the Piraeus harbor also fortified. It was so feared by the Lacedemonians that peace conditions at the issue of the Pelopponesian wars included their dismantling.

When Alexander the Great tried to conquer the Persians, he tried to eliminate the all-powerful Persian fleet by taking coastal cities by land, one by one. The siege of Tyre (332 BC) showed how far a coastal fortified city of that era could withstand and assault. Later, Rhodes was also besieged and held off all attackers. The diadochi era saw a flurry of siege and fortifications building, with sometimes continuity between a coastal city and harbour, like the long walls running from ancient Athens and the Piraeus, destroyed by treaty at the end of the Peloponnesian wars, won by Sparta backed by Persia. One of these prominent warlord was even called Demetrios "poliorcete", the "city taker", and the size and capabilities of siege engineering reached an all-out summit. The Romans would later leanr a great deal about these technologies and improve them.


The "hand-claw" allegedly designed by Syracuse to defeat Roman ships

In between the second and third Punic war, naval fortifications reached perhaps an all-out peak with the fortified harbour of Carthage: The famous round harbour which protected the fleet, virtually impossible to take for any assaulting force. A wonder of construction of the antiquity, it was completely embedded on the city walls itself, the only access by sea was through a narrow passage that could be blocked by a chain, fortifications with archers and ballistae on both sides, and then the civilian port, and the military port inside a circular precinct. During the same era, the siege of Syracuse (214–212 bce) showed how far could be pushed the defense of a besieged coastal city, led by Archimedes himself. Although a part of the Roman tale is dubious at best, we can wonder how Archimedes contraptions were effective. Fact is, they were never repeated anywhere else.




The military port of Carthage in 147 BC.

Medieval Sea fort:

Roche Goyon Fort
The Roche Goyon Fort in Britanny (1340). Its location made it impregnable and it played an important role during the hundred years war.

Preventing sea invasions involved two types of forts: Primitive "castra" partly in wood close to the coast or back to a cliff corner, in order to reduce the land surface to defend, and river forts, that can defend an inland city. Such forts were built upstream near Paris during the Viking invasions and contributed to repelling these. But another way to defend the land was to have a major fort deep inland and coastal outposts with a string of alarm fires along the way. Once an invasion was detected, the alarm fire was the quickest way to mobilize the army. Well before the Vikings, the Aegean sea "sea peoples" became a nuisance and coastal defences probably erected by civilizations neighbouring the Mediterranean.

The main problem of riverine or coastal forts was with bow and arrows only, it was difficult to interdict a sea invasion of any sort. Ballistae and Catapults were probably required to get the extra reach to do some harm to the approaching ships. The idea of using a chain to block access in a natural bottleneck is another fairly old idea, as well as using a boat barrage across the river. At sea however, there was little ways to block the access of a fleet. The Fort La Latte (1340) was an interesting fort of the late medieval period, in stone and built over granite in a spectacular location, more usable to see the surroundings and defend itself than to prevent a fleet to pass by. Other examples includes the Crusaders's 1228 Sidon Sea Castle in Lebanon, Mt St. Michel in Normandy, Bodrum castle in Turkey, Mackenzie castle in Scotland and others.

XVII-XIXth Cent. Naval Fortifications:

Vauban fort
A Vauban fort: The typical close quarter fortification built from the XVII to the early XIXth centuries.

Around 1327 the first cannons appeared in Western Europe, and in time, they not only revolutionized naval warfare, but also land warfare, and naturally they became the main reason why naval fortification mattered again, and this until WW2. For once, cannons could reach ships at a distance no other medieval weapon was capable of, including a trebuchet. There was a newly-found interest to fortify specific points protecting a bay, an island, a natural passage towards a port or cove. This came in addition to another benefit: Contrary to a ship, a castle cannot sink. Al long as technology allowed forts artillery to stay relevant against ship-borne artillery, this was an even match.


The spectacular Fort Louvois (1690), protecting the Charentes inlet, main way to Bordeaux. It was opposite to the Oleron island citadel for a crossfire, and one of the many first build under Louis XIV. Louvois was replaced by Vauban which dotted the coast with more citadels and sea forts, protecting the entrance to the seine river.


A late 1880s naval fortification: Heavy guns are using an hydraulic recoil system allowing them to be quickly back in position after loading, the latter made just as the barrel ended its recoil course. It allowed to quick fire heavy guns, but the installation was too extensive to be installed in a cramped turret or even barbette, so better suited for naval fortifications. The British had two such guns defending Gibraltar in case of an attack by the Italians, which in 1882 had the largest naval guns ever on a ship, the barbette ironclads Italia and Lepanto.

siege of constantinople

Naval fortifications played their role at multiple occasions, especially when the Ottoman Navy was head and shoulders in one of the most fantastic and decisive sieges in history: The Fall of Constantinople. Naval fortifications played a huge part in this, especially as the city was basically split in two, controlling access to the black sea. For once, the walls were nearly impregnable, and the Byzantine created a chain barrage at the entry of the golden horn. Further below, on reclaimed Turkish-held shores, the Ottomans built two forts, one on either side, with powerful artillery to impose a blockade. To circumvent the problem of the barrage, ships were hailed outside the walls of Pera, on the Asiatic side, across wooden ways, and to the gold horn, and a boat bridge was bridge further north. After the fall of the city, largely due to the land siege, the Ottomans learned their lessons and fortified not only the golden horn but also the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) peninsula. Old forts were rebuilt and modernized with German Krupp guns before 1914 (see later).

Siege_of_La_Rochelle

The siege of La Rochelle, in 1627. Painting by Henri Motte in 1881. The protestant stronghold, bolstered by British forces, held the French Catholics led by Cardinal Richelieu (which plays a large part in the funding and organization of the French Navy), lasted for about a year, from 10 september 1627 to 28 october 1628. To prevent supplies by sea, Richelieu started on November, 30 the construction by 4,000 workers of a dike 1,500 meters long and 20 meters high with foundations on sunken, backfilled ships and guns positons pointed towards the sea were to counter any reinforcements. Meanwhile a French fleet led by admiral Marino Torre blocked the harbour entrance. That was basically a repeat of the siege of Alesia by Caesar, but at sea. Indeed, the british soon sent reinforcements, 80 ships under command of George Villiers, 1st Lord of Buckingham, which took the nearby Island of Re, and later a second force by William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh, in April 1628, arriving in May with 60 ships and 6 armored barges. Both failed and the last was sent in August by admiral Robert Bertie, 1st count of Lindsey with 29 warships and et 31 merchant vessels. He battled against the Dike and withdrawn in September. The city capitulated one month later. Richelieu showned a fortfied, gun-armed dike could hold its own against fleet assaults. The lessons were well laerned.

During the The Russo-Swedish War of 1741–1743, naval fortifications also played their part. Vyborg and St Petserburg were not only strategic harbors and arsenals, their approaches were also riddled with Vauban-style fortifications. For the Russians, the waterways in the Gulf of Finland became of strategic importance and small islands constituted unsinkable battleships, trigerring the construction of specialized artillery forts during the XIXth century (see later). The Fort Alexander I, defending the access to St Petersrburg was one of these Kronstadt string of fortifications, quite important at the time, built 1838-45. It was active during the Crimean war, which took place both in the baltic and black sea (sevastopol).

Scandinavian Fortifications

Sweden's naval fortifications


Fort Frogn Kaholmen, Oscarborg

In 1901 was created the Kustartilleriet, born from traditionsgoing back to the old coastal fortresses in use around Sweden since the 15th century. The command structure subordonated until then to the fortress artillery department. This became an independent branch, starting with the Vaxholm Artillery Corps in 1889. Both coastal defence fortresses and city fortresses were formerly under command of Artillery branch. But with the arrival of the fixed mine defence units the question of an independent branch returned to manage both mines, torpedo and artillery in coastal fortifications, ending with the constitution of the Coastal Artillery in 1902, the fusion of the Vaxholm Artillery Corps, Karlskrona Artillery Corps and fixed mine defence units.

Reforms were numerous but mostly followed a simple rule: Early fortifications were created in the 14th-16th centuries for self-governed provinces and later as Sweden became independent, redundant forst were simply closed and decommissioned. Among these were the oldest, like Bulverket, Visborg and Vyborg Castle, the latter deactivated as embedded in a dense urban landscape. In the tense 17th Century and conflict with Russia, the Kalmar war and 30 years war, New Älvsborg was rebuilt, Carlsten, Dalarö, Gothenburg, Karlsvärd, Kastellet, Nyenschantz, Skansen Kronan and Skansen Lejonet and the Varberg Fortress was ebuilt to new standard of artillery and as star forts. In the 18th Century, Sweden concentrated on new modern fortresses like Suomenlinna and Svartholm.

With the cost of new technologies to assume in the XIXth Century, Fårösund, Karlsborg, Vaberget were built and Vaxholm rebuilt. The last fortifications were erected in the early 20th century: The Boden Fortress, Femöre battery, Järflotta, Kastellet (rebuilt, definding stockholm) the Skåne Line and the Älvsborg Fortress. Reforms were applied to the Swedish Coastal Artillery, and now this patrimony is managed by the Swedish Fortifications Agency. The largest of these was the Skåne Line, erected in WW2 against both Germany and USSR. It was called the "Maginot line of the north" and comprised some 1063 fortifications. The last were discarded in 1990.

Norway's naval fortifications


40,6 cm Adolph gun at Harstad Battery

With numerous narrows and fjords, Norway was almost impossible to attack by sea and the topography naturally the best place to install fortresses, since 1600, with perhaps the oldest being Akershus Fortress in Oslo. All major ports were towered by their own fortress and artillery battery. With time, artillery positions were installed alongside Fjord entries, well hidden in the landscape. From the XVIth to the XIXth centuries, new constructions were done more specifically to interdict fjords: Fredriksberg, Fredriksholm, Fredriksta, Fredriksværn, Kongsvinger, Basmo, Blaker, Christiansfjeld, Munkholmen, Staverns, Christiansholm, Christiansø, Kristiansten, Altenhus Fortress.

With modern lighting and lectric power a new generation of modern fortifications appeared in the late XIXth century to the 20th century. They will be covered more in detail as contrary to Sweden, these would play an important wartime role with the German invasion: Operation Weserübung:

Hegra Fortress (1908-10):

Built to block Swedish advances into Central Norway: 2x 7.5-cm (3.0 in), 4x 10.5-cm (4.1 in) in pits. Reserve WWI, deactivated 1939.

Helgøya Fortress (1942):

German-built fort to protect coastal traffic and the west entrance to Kristiansand. 4x 10.5-centimetre (4.1 in) coastal artillery.

Kvarven Fort (1895-1902):

Built to defend Bergen harbour and naval installations at Marineholmen and Wallemsviken. The fort was completed in 1899 with four 21 cm St. Chamond cannons and three 24 cm St. Chamond howitzers, three 75 mm QF guns and two machine guns. Later was installed a torpedo battery, fired from above ground. This positions was shelled by the cruisers Königsberg and Köln and assaulted by 1900 troops during Operations Weserübung on April, 9, 1940.


Kvarven Fort, June 11, 2006

Odderøya Fortress (1815):

It was situated on a natural island which creates a division between the eastern and western parts of the port of Kristiansand. This strategic post was attacked by sea, with KMS Karsruhe (which was hit by its defense), the Luftwaffe and 2000 men by land.

Oscarsborg Fortress (1846):

Certainly the most famous. Built in Drøbak Sound, Oslofjord, and thus protecting the entry to Oslo harbor in natural narrows, it was preceded by another fort dating back to 1644, and was rebuilt and modernized the last time from 1890. This "uninkable battleship" had three Krupp 28 cm (11 inch), batteries of 15 cm and QF 57 mm, two underwater barriers and a torpedo battery, dating back from 1890. It was kept "in its juice" until 1940. Unknown the Germans there was also an underground torpedo facility built in 1898–1901. The torpedo battery wasn encased in a concrete construction, inside a natural cave, on the north Kaholmen island. Two torpedoes turbes side by side in open steel frames could be lowered lowered like an elevator, down into the water. The battery has three torpedo tunnels and thus could six torpedoes without reloading, nine torpedoes being stored, made ready for use, with a 100 kg TNT warhead. Targeting was done from three observation bunkers above the battery. The Fort played a vital part in the defense of Oslo at the Battle of Drøbak Sound, by sinking the heavy cruiser Blücher at the head of a convoy. This was the most serious loss of the Kriegsmarine for the whole campaign, except the destroyers savaged by HMS Warspite. This efficient defense, despite being 40 years old equipments, threw back the German naval force heading for Oslo and saved the capital for some time.

Trondenes Fort (1943):

Built by the Germans as part as the "northern atlantic wall", in the Finnmark, and certainly the most potent close to Harstad. It was equipped by the largest coastal guns at the time, four 40.6 centimetres (16.0 in) Schnelladekanone C/34, also colloquially "adolf guns", with a range of about 56,000 metres (35 mi).

Meløyvær Fortress (1983):

Basically among the very last naval fortifications in Europe: It defended the entrance of the Andfjorden from a possible Soviet attack. It cosisted in three turreted 120 mm Bofors guns. The whole installation was deactivated and turned into a museum.

Møvik Fortress (1941-44):

Built by the Germans as part of the northern Atlantic wall: This coastal artillery fortress on the Skagerrak was named Batterie Vara (MAB 6./502 Vara), armed by four guns, including a single 38 cm SK C/34 gun (same as a Bismarck class battleship). It was turned into a museum, now called the Kristiansand Cannon Museum.

Russian/Soviet Fortifications


Shlisselburg Fortress, one of a series of fortifications built on Orekhovy Island, Lake Ladoga, well before St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great. The first fortress was built in 1323, the scene of many conflicts between Russia and Sweden, changing hands many times.

The history of Russian naval forts and fortresses is linked to the development of the Russian Navy under the impulsion of Peter the Great in the XVIIth Century for the Baltic, an initiative pushed forward in the black sea by Queen Catherine the Great in the next century and compounded all along the XIX century. They played a great role in the Crimean war, but also the Russo-Turkish wars, the Russo-Japanese war, making Port Arthur seemingly impregnable, or also the civil war between the red army and the Russian "whites" supported by Western powers. They even played a role in WW2, notably with the long attrition war at Sevastopol, fixing substantial axis forces for more than a year.

Although the story of medieval and renaissance Russia, wether concerning the principate of Kiev and Moskow, great rivers were also part of the way the country was shaped. The "Rus" Vikings which came from the sea settled there. Their later successors also travelled by rivers down south, and reach Byzantium, becoming the famed Varangian Guard and the trade between the Mediterranean and Baltic spawned dozens of cities along the Dniepr and further Est, the Don, country of the Cossaks. Many large fortresses were built there, including main Cossaks strongholds called "Siech". They played their part in the XVI-XVIIIth Century. Moskow itself was smack-bang between the Volga and the Oka, used also as mean of fast transportation and trade lanes and controlled by many forts.


Sviyazhsk, built in 1525 to control the Tatarstan

Boyars built small fortresses on some topographical features giving them some advantages. In particular, Sviyazhsk, located in the confluence of three rivers, the Volga, the Sviyaga and the Schuka. In 1586 for example, was constructed the “Samara township” fortress on the Volga. Large Cities like Kazan and Nizhni Novgorod were themslves originally strong fortresses along the Volga, but Saratov (1590) was specifically designed to control trade; the large and fearsome Porkhov Fortress had a whole trading city developing around. As for the middle Volga, a whole serie of Cossack fortresses were erected in the 18th century, armed with cannons to control the river, something older forts can't do. The famed Ivan the Terrible Sviyazhsk castle proved instrumental in securing Moscow's victory over the Golden Horde, but so was Wozdwizhenskaya Fortress.

Peter the Great's Naval Fortress



Fast forward and the founder of the Russian Navy, Peter the Great, started with a fortress, but not a Russian one. Instead, Swedish colonists built Nyenskans at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611. Later called Ingermanland it was also inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians and the town of Nyen grew up around it. On 12 May 1703 (Great Northern War), Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and considerably improved and enlarged the fortress.

On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary on Zayachy (Hare) Island, he create the massive Peter and Paul Fortress, the first brick and stone building of the new city, which was drawn using a rectangular grid of canals, based on later renaissance plans. In fact the whole city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. Later a military port and yards were added, and so new forts were installed to protect the approaches of the new city.

Peter and Paul was obsolete and in XIXth cent. used as prison and attacked during the Revolution of 1917. Taken by the Bolsheviks and after the signal blank salvo of Aurora at 21.00, her guns fired 30 shells at the Winter Palace and later returned to her role as prison. In 1924 she was mostly converted to a museum.

Kronstadt Fortress


Demidov Battery Today

On 5 April 1784, Admiral Greig signed a plan for the Admiralty in Kronstadt and under Catherine II, transferred it from Saint Petersburg due to the development of the city manwhile. Kronstadt was an island and it was planned, in addition to a fortress, to raise there an office and residential buildings, warehouses and hospitals. The harbor was also dredged. It was catastrophically flooded, fortifications destroyed, cannons washed away in 1824. But she was rebuilt on a new, more modern plan under engineer–lieutenant colonel Lvov.

It took the shape of an irregular quadrangle, protected on the Kotlin Island side by a wall with towers and escarpment. The rest also had an escarpment wall partially replaced by walls of the 1st Western defensive barracks and half–tower rebuilt in 1903–1906, plus the 2nd Western defensive barracks built 1826–1829 also in 1906. The Kronverksky canal was dug and northern city defenses were formed by four Defensive Barracks built from 1831 to 1871, some with semi–towers. There was also the east fifth Eastern Defense Barracks. Breakwaters with platforms for cannons on the sea side were completed by the Knyaz Menshikov battery, protecting the entrance to Srednaya and Kupecheskaya harbors. In 1856, a largely Britsh fleet shelled Kronstadt but was forced to retire, as part of the Crimean war.

In 1904-1905, Kronstadt joined the general uprising after the Russo-Japanese war. The fortress was still troublesome in 1915 but Russians sailors were still patriots and held their position. The fortress was not worried by developing events, the German fleet being busy securing the gulf or Riga; So close to St Persburg, the revolution in Kronstadt in February 1917 was rapid and violent. It was soon claimed by the Bolsheviks and also fought in 1919 against a Royal Navy incursion in support to the white Russians. It was put in the front line of the civil war by Yudenich's White North-Western Army in May 1919. During the interwar, modernization was limited to the addition of more modern guns, and some AA batteries. But the original fortifications were ill-prepared to sustain modern heavuy artillery or bombs above 500 kgs.


Kronstadt under attack by the Luftwaffe, 1st June 1942

In the late 1930s, the city was the base of the Soviet Baltic Fleet, an important training centre while its dockyard overhauled and repaired surface ships and submarines. Forts and batteries were reconstructed with modern reinforced concrete and the process was still ongoing in 1941. At 23:37 on June 21, 1941, Baltic Fleet Commander Vice Admiral V. Tributs, on order of the People's Commissar of the Navy Admiral N.G. Kuznetsov mobilized the fortress, hours before the Luftwaffe started to dropp mines into the canal. First lieutenant S. Kushnerev commanded the anti-aircraft batteries and shot down three and damaged several other on 27. The 1st Air regiment of the southern forts would have to repel more raids by the Luftwaffe in August 1941. Stuka ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel took part in it and famously sank the battleship Marat anchored nearby.

To prevent landings, 13 artillery batteries were established and nine more outside the city on Kotlin Island, manned by two infantry regiments. Tallinn was evacuated later and a submarine subdivision organized in Kronstadt, leading 82 naval operations and the Germans tries to block them with anti-submarine nets and mines. by In 1942, the Kronstadt sub fleet sank 29 German vessels and they cooperated with reconnaissance aircraft. Later for the protection of Leningrad, 10 brigades of naval infantry, four regiments, and 40 separate battalions and companies were formed in Kronstadt. The fortress continued to be pounded by field artillery and the Luftwaffe, especially by September 1941 when the dockyard wa ravaged, whereas workers were still on duty 18–20 hours a day. Kronstadt avoided the the destruction of Leningrad, and obtained postwar the title of "City of Military Glory" by Dmitriy Medvedev on April 27, 2009.

Sevastopol Fortress


The 1854-55 siege of Sevastopol

Since the humiliation of the Crimean War, Russia had extended the defences of Sevastopol, the main arsenal and base of the Black sea fleet established by Catherine the Great. It was founded already on February 10, 1784. An admiralty and a military settlement were erected first on the deserted shores of the Akhtiarskaya Bay. In 1830, two forts were built, bristling with guns, and completed in 1854. Approaches were defended by two "stone battleships", the Konstantinovsky and Mikhailovsky forts, erected in 1840 and 1846. Located on both sides of the entrance to the Sevastopol Bay, protecting it from approaching enemy ships.

The Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) carried out by the British, French, Piedmontese, and Turkish troops during the Crimean War lasted for 11 months and saw pre-ironclad vessels duelling with forts, a distant prologue to the Dardanelles. Decision however was obtained when main forts were taken, and after Malakoff fell, the Russian retired. The following humiliating peace treaty led to severe measures to enhance the defences of the whole area.

In WWI Sevastopol played little role during WWI, apart for the 29 October 1914 back sea raid when the ex-Goeben and Breslau (Yavuz and Midilli) came to bombard the coast. Yavuz shelled the port for 15 minutes, exchanging fire with the pre-dreadnought Georgii Pobedonosets and shore batteries before retiring.

The Black sea in 1905 and Odessa already had been the scene of a famous revolution and the Potemkine mutiny, and naturally was not long to take arms after the 15 March 1917 abdication. It did not fell in the hands of the Bolsheviks however and on contrary, sailors committees were formed on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet commanded by Vice Admiral Alexander Kolchak, later failing to maintan discipline, was recalled by the Kerensky's provisional government. The city became a "red" stronghold in November-December 1917, the start of the "red terror" with all officers on sight rounded up and shot on 28 December 1917 on Sevastopol’s Malakhov Hill. It was followed by the civil war and fierce fighting with monarchist Whites, lasting until November 1920.

In the interwar, the Soviet naval base was beefed up for more than 15 years and became perhaps the strongest naval fortification in the world. The site presented already a deeply eroded, bare limestone promontory which formed a naturally ideally placed to built fortifications at the southwestern tip of the Crimea. Approach by land forces was very difficult, far more than Port Arthur. High cliffs overlooked Severnaya Bay and protected the anchorage. The Navy modernized the port and placed heavy coastal batteries armed with 12-in and 7-in (180mm) re-purposed battleship and cruiser guns. With their fully revolving turrets they could fire inland as well. Emplacements were protected by a ring of reinforced concrete fortifications for their approaches, plus 9.8-inch thick armored turrets.


A ravaged Sevastopol in 1942

The axis attack started in October 1941 and the battle would rage until 4 July 1942. The fortress was manned by the "Separate Coastal Army" under Ivan Yefimovich Petrov, already reinforced by evacuees from the the siege of Odessa while the The Black Sea Fleet sent 49,372 personnel to fight as infantry. The defence of the city was really a Navy affair through and through, and the blmack sea fleet (One battleship, two heavy cruisers and a Light Cruiser, two Flotilla Leaders and six Destroyers, nine Minesweepers and a Guardship plus 24 Submarines) played little role but AA defense, being sunk with few exceptions by the Luftwaffe. This became one of the largest battle of attrition of WW2, with more than 320,000 losses on the Soviet side, most wounded, and 36,000 on the axis side, including 8,400 Romanians. Even the regia Marine played a role in it, trrying to intercept reinforcements from the Kola Peninsula (which was also attacked).

Maxim Gorky turret

The attack proper on the fortifications was the fiercest from 16 June 1942, the Wehrmacht committed its largest artillery pieces of the war, between giant mortars and the massive 800 mm "Schwerer Gustav" (Dora) special railway gun, concrete-busting special bombs, sappers and special remotelly operated demolition vehicles like the Goliath. In this grinding match, Forts Maxim Gorky, Molotov, Schishkova, Volga and Siberia were eventually overrun. The fall was completed on 30 June-4 July by the Wehrmacht taking forts Oktyabrsky and Petrov. On this last leg, for the June 1942 alone, German field artillery claimed to have spent 67,278 tons of ammunition. The defence os sevastopol gained after WW2 an aura of desperate heroism that still echoes today especially in the Russian-Ukrainian context today.

Vladivostok Fortress


Vladivostock fortress main turret,

Long dubbed the "most powerful sea fortress of all times", was a the complex of long-term defensive works constructed at the end of XIXth century, expanded and modernized at the the beginning of the XX century. Its construction was 2/3 completed when WWI broke out, and long stopped due to the October revolution. This was indeed a gigantic asset, a complex network over 400 square kilometer territory, with some 130 fortifications, strongholds and shore batteries. In the interwarn, they boasted 1,400 heavy guns alone, absorbing a significant portion of what Obukhoff and other manufacturers was able to produce.

In WWI they never fired a shrt, but for sure deterred any approach from the sea. In 1923, the fortress was sidelined under the terms of the agreement with Japan and permanently abandoned. By the early 1930s however under the impulsion of Stalin the formation of the Marine forces of the Far East had the fortress considered an important linchpin of Soviet defense on the area and the Pacific fleet as a whole. Import efforts were made to rapidly modernize and improve the quarters and installations. Quality and durability of constructions and modernization made it still relevant in WW2.

The Japanese government in fact was deter to not enter war against the Soviet Union outright. In 1934, the Voroshilov battery was built on Russky island after two years of construction. It was largely underground, with state of the art reinforced concrete domes and buried turrets. Two towers were supported by an underground support base under 15 meters. The concrete vault was 3.5 meters thick, bomb proof for almost a ton. The towers were connected also by an underground passage of 200 meters. The massive 12-inches naval guns (305 mm) weighted 51 tons apiece, but traverse was manual; No power generator or steam engine was installed. The battery fired its first shot in 1939. It should be noted that, being over 63 years on action station, the battery fired only practice shots.

In 1941, the fortress boasted on the land front 1290 guns, 268 machine guns, 572 ranged weapons, 64 mortars and 36 rocket launcher, and for the coastal front 316 guns, 56 machine guns and 36 rocket launchers. Until 1997, the Voroshilov battery was still listed as active, now part of a museum, the Voroshilovskaya Batareya Museum which exposes a full triple turret, and the three other salvaged barrels. The other turret was removed and recycled.

Port Arthur

Map_of_Port_Arthur

After seeing Kronstadt (Baltic), Sevastopol (Black sea), and Vladivostock (Pacific), the defensive assets of each Russian Imperial Fleet was covered. Or so it was ? Due to the peculiarities of epilogue of the 1st Sino-Japanese war in 1895, Russia seems to reap the fruit of Victory from Japan, obtaining concessions and eventually four years later, signed a 25-year lease on the Liaodong Peninsula. There was a natural anchorage there, on which a new naval base, ideally placed to control Korea and the sea of Japan, was placed. Thus place, with the old fortified city of Lushun, became the naval station named "Port Arthur" (Оборона Порт-Артура, Oborona Port-Artura), turned into the southern dependency of the Pacific Fleet.

Needless to say, it contained, in addition to the 1902 alliance of Japan with Great Britain to counterbalance the growing weight of Russia in the far east, the germs of war. Between 1898 and 1904, so just six years, not a lot in terms opf fortification contruction helped by the first railways lines established to this region, Port Arthur was beeffed up in a matter of a few years with fortifications of a level never seen in Asia, using the latest technologies of reinforced concrete and pillbox, blockhaus bristling with guns of all caliber, 506 in all.

On the other hand, the city was basically a garrison of around 87,000 souls, whereas in 1904, the Russians amassed there 50,000 professional troops, 44,000 volunteers mostly from the nearby city, 12,000 sailors from the Pacific fleet, and 7,000 recruits, mostly Korean and Chinese auxiliaries. The latter made the largest construction effort and to make progresses, troops were commited to the works.


Russian Battery in open air


Ishunkou Fortifications


Tiger's tail promontory main fort


The main Port arthur Fortress. Most of the gun emplacements are in open air. No turrets were present. Large batteries turned towards the sea were installed first to protect the approach by sea. However these heavy guns, mostly or 10 inches and 8 inches caliber, were still not covered by casemates. They were in open air at the time of the Japanese attack, unfinished. However the major weakness was access by land behind. Russian improvements therefore included a multi-perimeter layout, with overlapping fields of fire to protect the approaches erected in hill ridges, making the best possible use of the natural terrain.

Many of the redoubts and fortifications were still unfinished in 1904 whereas efforts has been made to improve the fortifications at Dalny further north, for little gain as history shows. Nevertheless some of these hills of the inner perimeter were the best prepared, with a few heavy caliver guns on top, mostly 6 and 4 inches plus mortars, and entire concrete walls along the ridges dotted with embrasures all along bristling with Maxim machine guns. In all perhaps 2,000 of them had been deployed on these approaches.

The main fortress, backing the harbour was buried with a large ditch in front of it, called the "Keekwanshan break", and the whole facade was dotted with machine gun emplacements. In fact, 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) behind this hills defensive lines, the original stone Chinese wall encircling Lushun from the south, to the Lun-ho River (northwest). The Chinese wall was extended to the west and south to completely enclose the approaches to the harbor and New Town of Port Arthur. It was all dotted with with concrete forts with many machine gun emplacements and connecting trenches.

The natural approaches of the hills were barren, featurlesss and devoid of any tree, enhanced by barb wire, for the first time used in a massive way. Mines, whenever possible, were also used. Without any protection, attackers would have to simply charge the Russian defences, which had a perfect arc of fire. For the first time, the Russians turned modified naval mines into land weapons. To avoid surprises by night, electric fences were combined with arc lamp and searchlights. To bolster the land defence at some point, Major-General Baron Anatoly Stoessel decided to strip the damaged Russian vessels in the port of their guns during the siege.



However they underestimated the Japanese response: In addition to Admiral Togo's night attack of Port Arthur which started the war on 25 July 1894, the Japanese Third Army, about 150,000 strong, backed by 474 artillery guns under the command of General Baron Nogi Maresuke soon landed and started its advance to besiege port arthur by land, on August, 1st. It proceeded first with the Battle of the Orphan Hills from August, 7, to the Battle of 174 Meter Hill on the 13th, and the siege itself, with the Battle of 203 Meter Hill which proved decisive for the Japanese as they could bring on top of the hills their heavy 28 cm mortars, overlooking the port. From there, they destroyed the remnants of the Pacific fleet, which failed to pierce the blocklade and join the rest of the fleet in Vladisvostock. Then, they proceeded to bombard the new city and port installations into submission. Soon after the remainder of Russian forces surrendered. See the Russo-Japanese war in detail and battle of Tsushima for more.

Lessons of the conflict, in many ways determined what a modern fortification could achieve, but also how much modern artillery could be deadly. For the first time also, the conflict saw tactical radio signalling and, in response, radio jamming. Grenades were used very liberally in assaults, and would the siege last a bit longer, the Japanese worked on an early flamethrower and even a portative machine gun. In comparaison the war in the Balkans and the Italo-Turkish only saw more primitive defenses involved, but the concepts elaborated at Port Arthur were well studied by the French Military engineers given reports as per the Franco-Russian alliance, and lessons were passed onto the design of Verdun's ring of fortifications back in France...

All in all, the assault indeed cost the Japanese far more they had anticipated: They lost 57,780 casualties plus 33,769 sick over a total of 150,000 engaged, thrice the number of Russian defender, according to the old and well-known rule about the prortion of troops needed to overcome a well entrenched enemy. Losses were such that chief commander, Baron Nogi Maresuke wept when explaining his losses at the Emperor, and when the latter passed out, committed seppuku the very day of his funerals, as he was denied to do so as long as the Mikado was alive. Nevertheless it was a painful souvenir for the Chinese too, as the whole population was massacred. A stark anticipation of atrocities to come in the second Sino-Japanese war, 32 years afterwards. The place is now the port and arsenal of Dalian, well known by US analysts. Read more and this.

Naval Forts in the Americas


(In writing)

⚠ Note: This post is in continuous expansion, with more sections planned in 2023-24 and beyond. Stay tuned !

Italian Naval Fortificationss

Modern harbour defence





Typical harbour the the early XXth century. Yards, cranes, warfs, rail, were all interconnected, large hangars were used for smaller ships construction, large storehouses for provisional bulk storage, large fuel tanks, oil tanks, captain's shack and administrative buildings, were all part of the landscape, but no fortifications. Since these vulnerable installations were located inside a cove or bay, the field of fire would have been less than optimal, and if the ship reached that point, that was over already.

But this was only due to the development of long range artillery during the late industrial era. At the start of the XIXth Century, cannonballs and smoothbore muzzle-loaded cannons were the norm and both accuracy and range were limited to 5 kilometres at best. This made harbour fortifications useful, and most of the old coastal cities of Europe were both walls, and fortified on the seaside as well. Ships went into anchorage literally "under the guns" of the harbour in that case. In the Caribbean, at the height of the piracy in the XVIth Century, pirate fleets went duelling with such fortifications, or pound the city itself.

Most of colonial outpost, when grown enough, gained such fortress battery towering over the harbor, this was pretty current in the Carribean, and the Empire-builders of the XVI-XVIIIth Centiry dotted their new possession with these ans a good measure of deterrence, even though artillery progress made a 3 battery strong warship plenty of arguments -starting the number of guns- to silence them.

Fortified Lighthouses



The lighthouse is another specific site narrowly linked, and strategic to coastal operations. We will not go back to the "pharos" of alexandria, perhaps the most illustrious of all, but concentrate here of strategic and tactical considerations about the use of lighthouses. There are currently 21,600 lighthouse today, most still in use, but a large part are being decommissioned and/or converted for touristic purposes. Originally these structures had a specific functions, of marking dangerous coastlines, alerting on nearby hazardous shoals and reefs or rocks, as well as providing a safe entries to harbors in heavy weather and poor visbility. Today they even play a role in modern digital and satellite guided navigation, by ptoviding beacons and assisting in aerial navigation, like auxiliary ACTs.

fortified-lightouse-drawing-bruegel




The Punta San Raineri fortified lighthouse, controlling the strait of Messina (Charles Quint)

The idea of blasting out a lighthouse, or just capturing it in wartime was seen as a way to cripple enemy navigation and could enter in the set of blockade strategy in any Navy. There were thousands of "fortfied" lighthouses, but the immense majority were just part of an existing fortification, rather than a self-contained fortfied site. Placed on strategic rocks, often controlling bays or entrances, they were also a tempting site to place artillery. In some cases, they were just the tipping top of an artillery tower, although the blast of artillery could be sufficient to topple over or break the fragile mirror components used.


The Torre del Oro in Seville (painting by David Roberts)


The Torre de Belem, a landmark of Portugal.


Closer to the XIXth Century, the fortified lighthouse of Wisłoujście Fortress was a regular tower with a permanent fire on top. In Northern France also, Dunkirk, Gravelines and Calais lighthouses were all fortified in the Vauban-style fortess.



Here a late XXth century Lighthouse

In more modern times, and both world wars, lighthouse were soon found in strategic place surrounded by batteries to prevent their capture. The "fortfication" were merely posterior additions of blockhaus and trenches, with barb wire, light projectors, machine guns nests and artillery batteries. Their only goal was to prevent an enemy landing.

During WW2 the the White Cliffs of Dover covered themselves with naval guns batteries, AA batteries, acoustic detectors, and anti-aicraft projectors. One site in particular, the South Foreland lighthouse complex, was found itself at the forefront of this "Channel war". It should be nother that the Geneva Convention stopped lighthouses being used for military means. The grounds of South Foreland as a result became an island surrounded by batteries, its light turned off to prevent German shipping direction the tower itself being camouflaged. It was known by the Germans however, well reported in maps, and therefore fired upon at several occasions. Heavy batteries on both sides of the Channel were not only able to criplle any ship passing by, but also to fire almost on the other shore. This particular battery also fired on the escaping German battleships during the ‘The channel dash’ in 1942, with little success due to poor weather. In all the white cliff batteries in the Channel sank or seriously damaged 29 enemy vessels during WW2.

Hanko Lighthouse
The Hanko Lighthouse, surrounded by fortifications was a focal point in the baltic, between the Finns and Soviets, for the control of the Gulf of Finland during WW2.

Famous Naval Fortifications of WW1


A Typical fortified bunker and associated AA. This was a widespread type or naval fortifications, especially in Scandinavia.

Heligoland

(In writing)

The Dardanelles Forts

(In writing)

Famous Naval Fortifications of WW2

Singapore, the Gibraltar of the Pacific

The Philippine's "concrete Battleship"

Fort Drum - cutout drawing, Osprey
The famous "concrete battleship", Fort drum (diagram), built on the island of El Fraile, already used as a base of artillery by the Spaniards in 1898.

Located south of Corregidor, between the peninsulae of Cavite (south) and Corregidor (north), which protected the outskirts of Manila Bay, was one of three concrete forts by the Americans in the 1910-1917 years, with Fort Hugues (Caballo) to the north and Fort Frank (Carabao) to the south, equipped with firing positions and firing direction, heavy artillery turrets (Turrets with 356 mm gun pairs).

Fort Drum, begun in 1909, was completed only with the replacement of its old 12-inches (305 mm) cannons by 13 in (356 mm) gun turrets in 1916. The Fort was shaped like a ship and had a "crew" of 320 men with complete living quarters, electric generators, forge, bunkers And stores that allowed him a near-autonomy.


Fort Drum (photo).

Fort Mills and Fort Hughes were built on Caballo just south of Corregidor, a quarter of the island rising to a height of 116 meters on its western side, armed with 17 pieces ranging from 12 to 3in (305 to 76 mm). Four miles south of Fort Hughes was located Fort Drum.

To build Fort Drum, the engineers cut the entire summit of the island of El Fraile to the level of the water; Using rock as a foundation, they built a massive 106.70 m long by 44 meters wide bunker, battled with concrete walls up to 11 meters thick. This giant blockhouse was armed with four 305 mm (from reformed battleships) guns in two double turrets, four 152 mm, and a three-piece anti-aircraft defense of 76 mm.

The southernmost of the fortified islands was Fort Frank on the island of Carabao, just 500 meters from the shore of the province of Cavite. Carabao was 30 meters high, straight out of the sea and was armed with 12 and 3 inches guns, covering the beach of Cavite. And sout of the Bataan peninsula was Corregidor.

On paper, Corregidor looked formidable. Fifty-six coastal guns ranging from 3 to 12 inches (75 to 305 mm), all in fortified bunkers or positions. Two 12-in guns covered 15 miles, twelve 6-in were deadly accurate at 2 miles, and the area was also covered by ten mortars of the same caliber. Nineteen other 5.5 in (155 mm guns) the "long tom", also had a reach of 17,000 meters. AA artillery consisted of twenty four 3in (76 mm)/48 caliber, many 0.5 in cal. (12.7 mm) heavy machine guns cal, and five 3in night projectors.

The Westwall

(In writing)

Naval Fortifications of the cold war

(In writing)

Read More/Src

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_artillery_in_the_Middle_Ages
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastal_defence_and_fortification
https://www.ancient.eu/article/1231/artillery-in-medieval-europe/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Device_Forts
http://worldofbehind.blogspot.com/2014/02/7-magnificent-forts-on-french-coast.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Coastal_Artillery https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/south-foreland-lighthouse/features/lighthouse-at-war

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcCrD4euekU

Naval History

❢ Abbrev. & acronyms
AAAnti-Aircraft
AAW// warfare
AASAmphibious Assault Ship
AdmAdmiral
AEWAirbone early warning
AGAir Group
AFVArmored Fighting Vehicle
AMGBarmoured motor gunboat
APArmor Piercing
APCArmored Personal Carrier
ASAntisubmarine
ASMAir-to-surface Missile
ASMDAnti Ship Missile Defence
ASROCASW Rockets
ASW// Warfare
ASWRL/// rocket launcher
ATWahead thrown weapon
avgasAviation Gasoline
awAbove Waterline
AWACSAirborne warning & control system
BBBattleship
bhpbrake horsepower
BLBreach-loader (gun)
BLRBreach-loading, Rifled (gun)
BUBroken Up
ccirca
CAArmoured/Heavy cruiser
Capt.Captain
CalCaliber or ".php"
CGMissile Cruiser
CICCombat Information Center
C-in-CCommander in Chief
CIWSClose-in weapon system
CECompound Expansion (engine)
ChChantiers ("Yard", FR)
CLCruiser, Light
cmcentimeter(s)
CMBCoastal Motor Boat
CMSCoastal Minesweeper
CNOChief of Naval Operations
CpCompound (armor)
CoCompany
COBCompound Overhad Beam
CODAGCombined Diesel & Gas
CODOGCombined Diesel/Gas
COGAGCombined Gas and Gas
COGOGCombined Gas/Gas
commcommissioned
compcompleted
convconverted
convlconventional
COSAGCombined Steam & Gas
CRCompound Reciprocating
CRCRSame, connecting rod
CruDivCruiser Division
CPControlled Pitch
CTConning Tower
CTLconstructive total loss
CTOLConv. Take off & landing
CTpCompound Trunk
cucubic
CylCylinder(s)
CVAircraft Carrier
CVA// Attack
CVE// Escort
CVL// Light
CVS// ASW support
cwtHundredweight
DADirect Action
DASHDrone ASW Helicopter
DCDepht Charge
DCT// Track
DCR// Rack
DCT// Thrower
DDDestroyer/drydock
DEDouble Expansion
DEDestroyer Escort
DDE// Converted
DesRonDestroyer Squadron
DFDouble Flux
D/FDirection(finding)
DPDual Purpose
DUKWAmphibious truck
DyDDockyard
EOCElswick Ordnance Co.
ECMElectronic Warfare
ESMElectronic support measure
FFarenheit
FCSFire Control System
FFFrigate
fpsFeet Per Second
ftFeets
FYFiscal Year
galgallons
GMMetacentric Height
GPMGGeneral Purpose Machine-gun
GRPFiberglass
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
hphorizontal
HQHeadquarter
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
inInche(s)
ircironclad
KCKrupp, cemented
kgKilogram
KNC// non cemented
kmKilometer
kt(s)Knot(s)
kwkilowatt
ibpound(s)
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
mmetre(s)
MModel
MA/SBmotor AS boat
maxmaximum
MGMachine Gun
MGBMotor Gunboat
MLSMinelayer/Sweeper
MLMotor Launch
MMSMotor Minesweper
MTMilitary Transport
MTBMotor Torpedo Boat
HMGHeavy Machine Gun
MCM(V)Mine countermeasure Vessel
minminute(s)
MkMark
MLMuzzle loading
MLR// rifled
MSOOcean Minesweeper
mmmillimetre
NCnon condensing
nhpnominal horsepower
nmNautical miles
Number
NBC/ABCNuc. Bact. Nuclear
NSNickel steel
NTDSNav.Tactical Def.System
NyDNaval Yard
oaOverall
OPVOffshore Patrol Vessel
PCPatrol Craft
PDMSPoint Defence Missile System
pdrpounder
ppperpendicular
psipounds per square inch
PVDSPropelled variable-depth sonar
QFQuick Fire
QFC// converted
RAdmRear Admiral
RCRadio-control/led
RCRreturn connecting rod
recRectangular
revRevolver
RFRapid Fire
RPCRemote Control
rpgRound per gun
SAMSurface to air Missile
SARSearch Air Rescue
sbSmoothbore
SBShip Builder
SCSub-chaser (hunter)
SSBNBallistic Missile sub.Nuclear
SESimple Expansion
SET// trunk
SGSteeple-geared
shpShaft horsepower
SHsimple horizontal
SOSUSSound Surv. System
SPRsimple pressure horiz.
sqsquare
SSSubmarine (Conv.)
SSMSurface-surface Missile
subsubmerged
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
TNTTrinitroluene
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
wksWorks
wlwaterline
WTWireless Telegraphy
xnumber of
YdYard
Organizations
GIUKGreenland-Iceland-UK
BuShipsBureau of Ships
DBMGerman Navy League
GBGreat Britain
DNCDirectorate of Naval Construction
EEZExclusive Economic Zone
FAAFleet Air Arm
FNFLFree French Navy
JMSDFJap.Mar.Self-Def.Force
MDAPMutual Def.Assistance Prog.
MSAMaritime Safety Agency
NATO
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
Numancia (1863)
Tetuan (1863)
Vitoria (1865)
Arapiles (1864)
Zaragosa (1867)
Sagunto (1869)
Mendez Nunez (1869)

Spanish wooden s. frigates (1861-65)
Frigate Tornado (1865)
Frigate Maria de Molina (1868)
Spanish sail gunboats (1861-65)

Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Ironclad Kaiser (1850-70)
Drache class BD. Ironclads (1861)
Kaiser Max class BD. Ironclads (1862)
Erzherzog F. Max class BD. Ironclads (1865)
SMS Lissa Ct. Bat. Ships (1869)

SMS Novara Frigate (1850)
SMS Schwarzenberg Frigate (1853)
Radetzky class frigates (1854)
SMS Helgoland Sloop (1867)

Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Lindormen (1868)

Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautiko Hellenon
Basileos Giorgios (1867)
Basilisa Olga (1869)
Sloop Hellas (1861)

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
Formidabile class (1861)
Pr. de Carignano class (1863)
Re d'Italia class (1864)
Regina maria Pia class (1863)
Roma class (1865)
Affondatore turret ram (1865)
Palestro class (1865)
Guerriera class (1866)
Cappelini class (1868)
Sesia DV (1862)
Esploratore class DV (1863)
Vedetta DV (1866)
Imperial Japanese navy 1870 Nihhon Kaigun
Ironclad Ruyjo (1864)
Ironclad Kotetsu (1868)
Frigate Fujiyama (1864)
Frigate Kasuga (1863)
Corvette Asama (1869)
Gunboat Raiden (1856)
Gunboat Chiyodogata (1863)
Teibo class GB (1866)
Gunboat Mushun (1865)
Gunboat Hosho (1868)
Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine
Prinz Adalbert (1864)
Arminius (1864)
Friedrich Carl (1867)
Kronprinz (1867)
K.Whilhelm (1868)
Arcona class Frigates (1858)
Nymphe class Frigates (1863)
Augusta class Frigates (1864)
Jäger class gunboats (1860)
Chamaleon class gunboats (1860)
Russian mperial Navy 1870 Russkiy Flot
Ironclad Sevastopol (1864)
Ironclad Petropavlovsk (1864)
Ironclad Smerch (1864)
Pervenetz class (1863)
Charodeika class (1867)
Admiral Lazarev class (1867)
Ironclad Kniaz Pojarski (1867)
Bronenosetz class monitors (1867)
Admiral Chichagov class (1868)
S3D Imperator Nicolai I (1860)
S3D Sinop (1860)
S3D Tsessarevich (1860)
Russian screw two-deckers (1856-59)
Russian screw frigates (1854-61)
Russian screw corvettes (1856-60)
Russian screw sloops (1856-60)
Varyag class Corvettes (1862)
Almaz class Sloops (1861)
Opyt TGBT (1861)
Sobol class TGBT (1863)
Pishtchal class TGBT (1866)
Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Ericsson class monitors (1865)
Frigate Karl XIV (1854)
Frigate Stockholm (1856)
Corvette Gefle (1848)
Corvette Orädd (1853)
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
Skorpionen class (1866)
Frigate Stolaf (1856)
Frigate Kong Sverre (1860)
Frigate Nordstjerna (1862)
Frigate Vanadis (1862)
Glommen class gunboats (1863)
⚑ 1890 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class (1873)
La Plata class (1875)
Pilcomayo class (1875)
Ferre class (1880)

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

Custoza (1872)
Erzherzog Albrecht (1872)
Kaiser (1871)
Kaiser Max class (1875)
Tegetthoff (1878)

Radetzky(ii) class (1872)
SMS Donau(ii) (1874)
SMS Donau(iii) (1893)

Erzherzog Friedrich class (1878)
Saida (1878)
Fasana (1870)
Aurora class (1873)

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy

Hai An class frigates (1872)
Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

Tordenskjold (1880)
Iver Hvitfeldt (1886)
Skjold (1896)
Cruiser Fyen (1882)
Cruiser Valkyrien (1888)

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne

Gunboat St Michael (1970)
Gunboat "1804" (1875)
Gunboat Dessalines (1883)
Gunboat Toussaint Louverture (1886)
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
Ironclad Fuso (1877)
Kongo class Ironclads (1877)

Cruiser Tsukushi (1880)
Cruiser Takao (1888)
Cruiser Yaeyama (1889)
Cruiser Chishima (1890)
Cruiser Tatsuta (1894)
Cruiser Miyako (1898)

Frigate Nisshin (1869)
Frigate Tsukuba (acq.1870)
Kaimon class CVT (1882)
Katsuragi class SCVT (1885)
Sloop Seiki (1875)
Sloop Amagi (1877)
Corvette Jingei (1876)
Gunboat Banjo (1878)
Maya class GB (1886)
Gunboat Oshima (1891)
German Navy 1898 Kaiserliche Marine

Ironclad Hansa (1872)
G.Kurfürst class (1873)
Kaiser class (1874)
Sachsen class (1877)
Ironclad Oldenburg (1884)

Ariadne class CVT (1871)
Leipzig class CVT (1875)
Bismarck class CVT (1877)
Carola class CVT (1880)
Corvette Nixe (1885)
Corvette Charlotte (1885)
Schwalbe class Cruisers (1887)
Bussard class (1890)

Aviso Zieten (1876)
Blitz class Avisos (1882)
Aviso Greif (1886)
Wacht class Avisos (1887)
Meteor class Avisos (1890)
Albatross class GBT (1871)
Cyclop GBT (1874)
Otter GBT (1877)
Wolf class GBT (1878)
Habitch class GBT (1879)
Hay GBT (1881)
Eber GBT (1881)
Rhein class Monitors (1872)
Wespe class Monitors (1876)
Brummer class Arm.Steamers (1884)
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot

Petr Velikiy (1872)
Ekaterina class ICL (1886)
Imperator Alexander class ICL (1887)
Ironclad Gangut (1890)
Admiral Ushakov class (1893)
Navarin (1893)
Petropavlovsk class (1894)
Sissoi Veliky (1896)

Minin (1866)
G.Admiral class (1875)
Pamiat Merkuria (1879)
V.Monomakh (1882)
D.Donskoi (1883)
Adm.Nakhimov (1883)
Vitiaz class (1884)
Pamiat Azova (1886)
Adm.Kornilov (1887)
Rurik (1895)
Svetlana (1896)

Gunboat Ersh (1874)
Kreiser class sloops (1875)
Gunboat Nerpa (1877)
Burun class Gunboats (1879)
Sivuch class Gunboats (1884)
Korietz class Gunboats (1886)
Kubanetz class Gunboats (1887)
TGBT Lt.Ilin (1886)
TGBT Kp.Saken (1889)
Kazarski class TGBT (1889)
Grozyaschi class AGBT (1890)
Gunboat Khrabri (1895)
T.Gunboat Abrek (1896)
Amur class minelayers (1898)
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Lima class Cruisers (1880)
Chilean TBs (1879)

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen
Monitor Loke (1871)
Svea class CDS (1886)
Berserk class (1873)
Sloop Balder (1870)
Blenda class GB (1874)
Urd class GB (1877)
Gunboat Edda (1885)
Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Lindormen (1868)
Gorm (1870)
Odin (1872)
Helgoland (1878)
Tordenskjold (1880)
Iver Hvitfeldt (1886)

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
Centurion class (1892)
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)
N3 class (1920)

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)
WW1 British Monitors
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
Cruiser Nadezhda (1898)
Drski class TBs (1906)
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Skjold class (1896)
Herluf Trolle class (1899)
Herluf Trolle (1908)
Niels Iuel (1918)
Hekla class cruisers (1890)
Valkyrien class cruisers (1888)
Fyen class crusiers (1882)
Danish TBs (1879-1918)
Danish Submarines (1909-1920)
Danish Minelayer/sweepers

Greek Royal Navy Greece
Kilkis class
Giorgios Averof class

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Eversten class (1894)
Konigin Regentes class (1900)
De Zeven Provincien (1909)
Dutch dreadnought (project)

Holland class cruisers (1896)
Fret class destroyers
Dutch Torpedo boats
Dutch gunboats
Dutch submarines
Dutch minelayers

Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway
Almirante Grau class (1906)
Ferre class subs. (1912)

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal
Coastal Battleship Vasco da Gama (1875)
Cruiser Adamastor (1896)
Sao Gabriel class (1898)
Cruiser Dom Carlos I (1898)
Cruiser Rainha Dona Amelia (1899)
Portuguese ww1 Destroyers
Portuguese ww1 Submersibles
Portuguese ww1 Gunboats

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania

Elisabeta (1885)
Spanish Armada Spain
España class Battleships (1912)
Velasco class (1885)
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Cataluna class (1896)
Plata class (1898)
Estramadura class (1900)
Reina Regentes class (1906)
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Torpedo Boats
Spanish Sloops/Gunboats
Spanish Submarines
Spanish Armada 1898
Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden
Svea classs (1886)
Oden class (1896)
Dristigheten (1900)
Äran class (1901)
Oscar II (1905)
Sverige class (1915)
J. Ericsson class (1865)
Gerda class (1871)
Berserk (1873)
HMS Fylgia (1905)
Clas Fleming class (1912)
Swedish Torpedo cruisers
Swedish destroyers
Swedish Torpedo Boats
Swedish gunboats
Swedish submarines


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)
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
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
WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British Gunboats

WW2 British Sloops
WW2 British Frigates
WW2 British Corvettes
WW2 British Misc.
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 (1934)
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)
Hiyo class (1941)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Taiho (1944)
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 AMCs
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 Navies

✈ Naval Aviation

Latest entries WW1 CW
naval aviation USN aviation
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)
Ryan FR-1 Fireball (1944)
Douglas XTB2D-1 Skypirate (1945)
Douglas AD-1 Skyraider (1945)

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 (1945)
Hugues Hercules (1947)

⚔ WW2 Naval Battles


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Cold War Aircraft Carriers
Centaur class (1947)
HMS Victorious (1950)
HMS Eagle (1946)
HMS Ark Royal (1950)
HMS Hermes (1953)
CVA-01 class (1966 project)
Invincible class (1977)

Cold War Cruisers
Tiger class (1945)

Destroyers
Daring class (1949)
1953 design (project)
Cavendish class (1944)
Weapon class (1945)
Battle class (1945)
FADEP program (1946)
County class GMD (1959)
Bristol class GMD (1969)
Sheffield class GMD (1971)
Manchester class GMD (1980)
Type 43 GMD (1974)

British cold-war Frigates
Rapid class (1942)
Tenacious class (1941)
Whitby class (1954)
Blackwood class (1953)
Leopard class (1954)
Salisbury class (1953)
Tribal class (1959)
Rothesay class (1957)
Leander class (1961)
BB Leander class (1967)
HMS Mermaid (1966)
Amazon class (1971)
Broadsword class (1976)
Boxer class (1981)
Cornwall class (1985)
Duke class (1987)

British cold war Submarines
T (conv.) class (1944)
T (Stream) class (1945)
A (Mod.) class (1944)
Explorer class (1954)
Strickleback class (1954)
Porpoise class (1956)
Oberon class (1959)
HMS Dreanought SSN (1960)
Valiant class SSN (1963)
Resolution class SSBN (1966)
Swiftsure class SSN (1971)
Trafalgar class SSN (1981)
Upholder class (1986)
Vanguard class SSBN (started)

Assault ships
Fearless class (1963)
HMS Ocean (started)
Sir Lancelot LLS (1963)
Sir Galahad (1986)
Ardennes/Avon class (1976)
Brit. LCVPs (1963)
Brit. LCM(9) (1980)

Minesweepers/layers
Ton class (1952)
Ham class (1947)
Ley class (1952)
HMS Abdiel (1967)
HMS Wilton (1972)
Hunt class (1978)
Venturer class (1979)
River class (1983)
Sandown class (1988)

Misc. ships
HMS Argus ATS (1988)
Ford class SDF (1951)
Cormorant class (1985)
Kingfisger class (1974)
HMS Jura OPV (1975)
Island class OPVs (1976)
HMS Speedy PHDF (1979)
Castle class OPVs (1980)
Peacock class OPVs (1982)
MBT 538 class (1948)
Gay class FACs (1952)
Dark class FACs (1954)
Bold class FACs (1955)
Brave class FACs (1957)
Tenacity class PCs (1967)
Brave class FPCs (1969)
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
Cold War Soviet Cruisers (1947-90)
Chapayev class (1945)
Kynda class (1961)
Kresta I class (1964)
Kresta II class (1968)
Kara class (1969)
Kirov class (1977)
Slava class (1979)

Moksva class (1965)
Kiev class (1975)
Kusnetsov class aircraft carriers (1988)

Cold War Soviet Destroyers
Skoryi class destroyers (1948)
Neustrashimyy (1951)
Kotlin class (1953)
Krupny class (1959)
Kashin class (1963)
Sovremenny class (1978)
Udaloy class (1980)
Project Anchar DDN (1988)

Soviet Frigates
Kola class (1951)
Riga class (1954)
Petya class (1960)
Mirka class (1964)
Grisha class (1968)
Krivak class (1970)
Koni class (1976)
Neustrashimyy class (1988)

Soviet Missile Corvettes
Poti class (1962)
Nanuchka class (1968)
Pauk class (1978)
Tarantul class (1981)
Dergach class (1987)
Svetlyak class (1989)

Cold War Soviet Submarines
Whiskey SSK (1948)
Zulu SSK (1950)
Quebec SSK (1950)
Romeo SSK (1957)
Foxtrot SSK (1963)
Tango class (1972)
November SSN (1957)
Golf SSB (1958)
Hotel SSBN (1959)
Echo I SSGN (1959)
Echo II SSGN (1961)
Juliett SSG (1962)
Yankee SSBN (1966)
Victor SSN I (1965)
Alfa SSN (1967)
Charlie SSGN (1968)
Papa SSGN (1968)
Delta I SSBN (1972)
Delta II SSBN (1975)
Delta III SSBN (1976)
Delta IV SSBN (1980)
Typhoon SSBN (1980)
Victor II SSN (1971)
Victor III SSN (1977)
Oscar SSGN (1980)
Sierra SSN (1982)
Mike SSN (1983)
Akula SSN (1984)
Kilo SSK (1986)

Soviet Naval Air Force
Kamov Ka-10 Hat
Kamov Ka-15 Hen
Kamov Ka-18 Hog
Kamov Ka-25 Hormone
Kamov Ka-27 Helix
Mil Mi-8 Hip
Mil Mi-14 H?
Mil Mi-4 Hound

Yakovlev Yak-38
Sukhoi Su-17
Sukhoi Su-24

Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle
Myasishchev M-4 Bison
Tupolev Tu-14 Bosun
Tupolev Tu-142
Ilyushin Il-38
Tupolev Tu-16
Antonov An-12
Tupolev Tu-22
Tupolev Tu-95
Tupolev Tu-22M
Tupolev Tu-16
Tupolev Tu-22

Beriev Be-6 Madge
Beriev Be-10 Mallow
Beriev Be-12
Lun class Ekranoplanes
A90 Orlan Ekranoplanes

Soviet MTBs/PBs/FACs
P2 class FACs
P4 class FACs
P6 class FACs
P8 class FACs
P10 class FACs
Komar class FACs (1960)
Project 184 FACs
OSA class FACs
Shershen class FACs
Mol class FACs
Turya class HFL
Matka class HFL
Pchela class FACs
Sarancha class HFL
Babochka class HFL
Mukha class HFL
Muravey class HFL

MO-V sub-chasers
MO-VI sub-chasers
Stenka class sub-chasers
kronstadt class PBs
SO-I class PBs
Poluchat class PBs
Zhuk clas PBs
MO-105 sub-chasers

Project 191 River Gunboats
Shmel class river GB
Yaz class river GB
Piyavka class river GB
Vosh class river GB
Saygak class river GB

Soviet Minesweepers
T43 class
T58 class
Yurka class
Gorya class
T301 class
Project 255 class
Sasha class
Vanya class
Zhenya class
Almaz class
Sonya class
TR40 class
K8 class
Yevgenya class
Olya class
Lida class
Andryusha class
Ilyusha class
Alesha class
Rybak class
Baltika class
SChS-150 class
Project 696 class

Soviet Amphibious ships
MP 2 class
MP 4 class
MP 6 class
MP 8 class
MP 10 class
Polocny class
Ropucha class
Alligator class
Ivan Rogov class
Aist class HVC
Pomornik class HVC
Gus class HVC
T-4 class LC
Ondatra class LC
Lebed class HVC
Tsaplya class HVC
Utenov class
US Navy USN (1990)
Aircraft carriers
United States class (1950)
Essex SBC-27 (1950s)
Midway class (mod)
Forrestal class (1954)
Kitty Hawk class (1960)
USS Enterprise (1960)
Nimitz Class (1972)

Cruisers
Salem Class (1947)
Worcester Class (1948)
USS Norfolk (1953)
Boston Class (1955)
Galveston Class (1958)
Albany Class (1962)
USS Long Beach (1960)
Leahy Class (1961)
USS Bainbridge (1961)
Belknap Class (1963)
USS Truxtun (1964)
California Class (1971)
Virginia Class (1974)
CSGN Class (1976)
Ticonderoga Class (1981)

Destroyers
Mitscher class (1952)
Fletcher DDE class (1950s)
Gearing DDE class (1950s)
F. Sherman class (1956)
Farragut class (1958)
Charles s. Adams class (1958)
Gearing FRAM I class (1960s)
Sumner FRAM II class (1970s)
Spruance class (1975)

Frigates
Dealey class (1953)
Claud Jones class (1958)
Bronstein class (1962)
Garcia class (1963)
Brooke class (1963)
Knox class (1966)
OH Perry class (1976)

Submarines
Guppy class Submarines (1946-59)
Barracuda class SSK (1951)
Tang class SSK (1951)
USS Darter SSK (1956)
Mackerel class SSK (1953)
USS Albacore SSK (1953)
USS X1 Midget subs (1955)
Barbel class SSK (1958)

USS Nautilus SSN (1954)
USS Seawolf SSN (1955)
Skate class SSN (1957)
Skipjack class SSN (1958)
USS Tullibee SSN (1960)
Tresher/Permit class SSN (1960)
Sturgeon class SSN (1963)
Los Angeles class SSN (1974)
Seawolf class SSN (1989)

USS Grayback SSBN (1954)
USS Growler SSBN (1957)
USS Halibut SSBN (1959)
Gato SSG (1960s)
E. Allen class SSBN (1960)
G. Washington class SSBN (1969)
Lafayette class SSBN (1962)
Ohio class SSBN (1979)

Migraine class RP (1950s)
Sailfish class RP (1955)
USS Triton class RP (1958)

Amphibious/assault ships
Iwo Jima class HC (1960)
Tarawa class LHD (1973)
Wasp class LHD (1987)
Thomaston class LSD (1954)
Raleigh class LSD (1962)
Austin class LSD (1964)
Anchorage class LSD (1968)
Whibdey Island class LSD (1983)
Parish class LST (1952)
County class LST (1957)
Newport class LST (1968)
Tulare class APA (1953)
Charleston class APA (1967)
USS Carronade support ship (1953)

Mine warfare ships
Agile class (1952)
Ability (1956)
Avenger (1987)
USS Cardinal (1983)
Adjutant class (1953)
USS Cove (1958)
USS Bittern (1957)
Minesweeping boats/launches

Misc. ships
USS Northampton CS (1951)
Blue Ridge class CS (1969)
Wright class CS (1969)
PT812 class (1950)
Nasty class FAC (1962)
Osprey class FAC (1967)
Asheville class FACs (1966)
USN Hydrofoils (1962-81)
Vietnam Patrol Boats (1965-73)

Coastguard
Hamilton class (1965)
Reliance class (1963)
Bear class (1979)
cold war CG PBs


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