The Royal Navy in WW1

The Grand Fleet in the firth of forth. The very image of absolute confidence in its superiority.

Rule Britannia

The Royal Navy in 1914 represented the absolute naval superpower worldwide, uncontested, unbeatable both by numbers and quality of the ships and crews, the absolute reference. It was moreover the central instrument that helped shaping an immense colonial empire, and a strong symbol of worldwide supremacy. It marked so deeply the young "Willy" that the future Kaiser Whilhelm II made it its personal obsession. For him Germany deserved better, and the only way to gain a colonial empire was to build a powerful navy, a rival for the Royal Navy. Knowing this since 1905, as well as the rise of the "new" US Navy impregnated by the expansionist ideas of Alfred T.Mahan, supported by the "Falcons" as well as the Japanese Navy.

Royal Navy 1914
POSTER: All the classes of ships in service with the Royal Navy in 1914-18.

Ships of the RN in WW1

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)


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

Armoured Cruisers

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)

Light Cruisers

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)

British Aicraft Carriers

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

British Destroyers

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)

British TBs

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

British Misc. ships

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

A global naval superpower

Since the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria, the Royal Navy was left without any rival on the seas. Its vast empire needed a "fleet in being" a force capable of showing the flag responding to any threat to its commerce or colonies, rebellions or anything endangering coherence of the empire. If in 1960 French navy has been its most serious rival, since the invention of the Dreadnought in 1904, Great Britain once again denied any conservatism and widely assumed a technological leadership, showing new paths to follow.

In 1914, the Royal Navy is divided among various operating theatres. Squadrons available in its most distant stations are only of elderly units for the most, and through alliances could keep the bulk of its forces and most modern units into the "Grand fleet", chiefly based at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland. This fleet was at the peak of new constructions to answer the growing threat of the Hochseeflotte led by Tirpitz. In fact, the Mediterranean security and precious Suez Canal are assumed by a reduced force in 1914, as agreed with the French Navy and (later) the Italian Navy ensuring the forced inactivity of the Austro-Hungarian navy, and ineptitude of the Ottoman Empire navy.

Russia, allied through France, guaranteed routes to the Far East through its presence in the Pacific, she also could neutralize the Turkish navy in the Black Sea. In Asia, the Chinese fleet was a forgettable entity while the Japanese Navy (also allied) provided security against the few ships of the Kaiser in this area (Von Spee's pacific squadron). Also the eastern Pacific and western Atlantic were guaranteed in theory by the American States neutrality, backed by a powerful fleet. Therefore, all the British naval might could be concentrated in the North Sea.

Technological edge ?

The rise of the Hochseeflotte seriously disturbed the Admiralty. However, under the guidance of Sir John Fisher, First Lord of the Admiralty, the British navy secured a clear-cut superiority in 1914. British shipbuilding programme led by William White until 1901 was internationally recognized.

A number of arsenals, including the heavyweight Armstrong Vickers-Barrow in Furness, were receiving orders and cranking up cruisers for all the world's navies at a very competitive cost. Fisher's motto 'built first and built fast, each one better than the last', had allowed homogeneous series of modern battleships in a short time, allowed the Royal Navy to keep a majority of recent, updated ships. The Dreadnought was indeed a revolution in more ways than one. The first battleship "monocaliber" retaining only 305 mm cannons as a standard, in ten turrets, more than doubling the firepower of previous battleships, and the first to use steam turbines (Parsons), almost matching cruiser speed, they suddenly made obsolete all the battleships in service worldwide. The irony of it was Cuniberti (An Italian Engineer) first expressed this idea in Jane's in 1903, but it was rejected by its native country, but not lost to the British staff.

It is certain that the will of the brash Admiral Fisher (photo) was a driving force to revolutionize the British shipbuilding Industry in no time, immediately following the Dreadnought by other developments: Bellerophon and St Vincent classes were already ordered even though the Dreadnought was not completed, their design not taking into account lessons learned from the prototype. Similarly, British shipbuilding rate was still seen as the decisive factor for Fisher, for decreasing costs, but showing also some sacrifices and shortcuts for the hull protection, and structural weaknesses inherent to the new constraints imposed by this standard of speed and size.

Furthermore, Fisher did not believe in cruisers and lighter ships, since battles theories relied on battleships only, an idea also strongly advocated by Alfred Thayer Mahan, religiously studied by those favorable to an imperialist vision. The RN in 1914 therefore, relegated all its near-obsolete dreadnought to secondary stations throughout the Empire, keeping the edge at home both in quantity and quality. However, this shipbuilding fever was also compounded by the poor quality of  bagged propellants and sometimes the shells themselves. In particular, if protection of munitions stores was adequate at least on paper, shortcuts in operations (where speed overruled safety) resulted in several devastating explosions and tragic losses at Jutland in may 1916. At the contrary, the quality of British rangefinders had reached an enviable level. Accuracy was excellent although often not always effective because of shells not exploding on impact.

Quite a formidable force indeed

To judge the importance of the matter, it is useful to compare the RN to other navies at that time: 82 battleships, 136 cruisers, 142 destroyers, 80 torpedo-boats and 80 submarines.

82 Battleships

Covering dreadnoughts, pre-dreadnoughts and battle cruisers.

51 Pre-dreadnought battleships:

All have been in service before the HMS Dreadnought was launched in 1906 (some were still under completion). Indeed, more or less experimental, two pre-dreadnoughts, the Nelson and Howe, were launched at the same time that the revolutionary new ship.

These 51 battleships were divided into 9 classes, and an extremely homogeneous force (in contrast with the French "navy of prototypes" produced by the "young school"). They derived from a standard that imposed itself in 1890. The oldest still in service were the 8 Royal Sovereign (1891-92), followed by 10 Majestic (1895-96), the 6 Canopus (1897-98), 3 Formidable (1898) of 6 London (1899-1902 ), 6 Duncan (1901), 8 King Edward VII (1903-1905), 2 Swiftsure (1903), and 2 Nelson (1906).

FOCUS The famous HMS dreadnought started a battleship revolution in 1906, spawned imitations worldwide, set a new standard and made classic ironclads obsolete overnight. Her name became a whole type of battleships She was fast and carried 2,5 time more artillery than the average battleship of the time (2x2 305mm cannons in turrets). But she was also costly and drawn even more budget strain into the navy.

22 Dreadnoughts:

This lineage started with the HMS Dreadnought itself, in 1906. She was followed the 3 Bellorophon (1907), 3 St Vincent (1908), HMS Neptune (1909) 2 Collossus (1910), 4 Orion (1911), 4 King George IV (1911-1912), 2 Iron Duke (two others in completion), plus five of the Queen Elizabeth and five of the Revenge class under construction. Moreover, British shipyards have been issued with foreign orders, requisitioned in 1914. These were the HMS Erin (1913, Turkish order), HMS Agincourt (1913, Brazil order), and two Chileans battleships (Almirante Cochrane) still in construction.

Some of these dreadnoughts were worth two or three times the cost and military effectiveness of a pre-dreadnought battleship (see the Agincourt impressive firepower to be convinced). This was also the beginning of an arms race which ended with the treaty of Washington in 1922.

Battlecruiser HMS Princess Royal

9 Battle Cruisers:

The "splendid cats", dear to Sir John Fisher, were characterized by their high speed, traded for protection. There were the three Invincible class in 1907, and 3 Indefatigable class of 1909-1911 followed by the HMS Lion and Queen Mary in 1912-13. Just being completed in august 1914, was the HMS Tiger.

136 Cruisers

The term encompassed cruisers (thee rates), armoured cruisers, protected cruisers, and scout/light cruisers.

60 Armoured Cruisers

The oldest were the two Blake class (1889), held in reserve. They were followed by nine Edgar class (1893-1896), the two Powerful class (1895), designed to outperform all cruisers and answers the Russian Rurik and Rossiya, the eight Diadem class (1898), the six Cressy class (1899), four Drake class (1901), ten smaller Monmouth class (1903-04), six Devonshire class (1905), Two Duke of Edinburgh class (1904), four Warrior class (1905), and three Minotaur class (1906-1907). None of this kind was built after this, only light cruisers until the end of the Great War.

49 Protected cruisers

These ships were generally ancient and ranked as second-class cruisers by the Admiralty. Descending from frigates, thes were among the oldest in service, the eight Apollo class (21 ships originally), already pre-reserve in 1914, the eight Astraea class, nine Eclipse class four Arrogant class, six Highflyer class, five Bristol class, four Weymouth class, and five Chatham class plus the HMAS Brisbane for Australia.

15 Light cruisers (scouts)

The most ancient were fast third class cruisers, four Adventure class, Forward class, Pathfinder class and Sentinel class (1904). There were also two Blonde class (1906) tow Boadicea class (1907),three Active class (1911-1913) which formed the base for wartime cruisers characterized by a better protection.

11 Third Class Cruisers

These antediluvian vessels were hardly in service but still enlisted and maintained active. They were also more or less assimilated to large gunboats intended for isolated colonial stations. These were the eight Pelorus class (two in disarmament), and four Gem class (1903).

142 Destroyers

This was through studying different torpedo carrier and first-class torpedo gunboats that Great Britain knew what was best suited to counter to the numerous torpedo boats aligned by the other European powers, including France. Let start with denominations: "Destroyer" was a simplification of language, derived from the exact "torpedo boat destroyer" a sort of "torpedo boat hunter". The "Destroyer" denomination would remain true until today, but essentially for ocean-capable ships, equipped with an imposing artillery and scores of torpedo tubes in banks. However, the first TBDs from 1892 to 1903 was just derived from torpedo boats, therefore quite small and flimsy, coastal in nature, and usually provided with a "turtleback" bridge, to deal with pouring water in rough seas. The "River" class in 1903 will constitute a small revolution in permanently adopting the forecastle, an innovation followed by all other destroyers to date as it was the best way to deal with the North sea conditions. This also was a trusted way to distinguish them from the torpedo.

Thereafter, the Royal Navy will also introduce the concept of "super-destroyer", an inflation of tonnage leading to unique units, called "flotilla leaders", designed to lead destroyer squadrons. By size, armament, and capabilities, these leaders formed the basic blueprint for British 1930s destroyer designs.

HMS Swift, destroyer leader. In fact this experimental ship of 1906, another brainchild of Admiral Fisher was largely a failure, never followed.

Although roughly similar, a hundred early destroyers were built in many shipyards under orders from the Admiralty. These manufacturers were Yarrow, Laird, Thornycroft, Doxford, Palmer, White, Earle, Fairfield, Hawthorn Leslie Armstrong, Thames Iron Works, Vickers, Donald & Wilson, Brown & Thomson. All shared similar characteristics, having a similar armament, same triple expansion steam engines, but specifications and arrangements varied from one manufacturer to another. They are classified for more practicality as "26 knotters" (5 units, 26 knots, 1893-1894), "27 knotters" (38 units, 1894-1896), "30 knotters" (61 units 1897- 1900), "33 knotters" (3 units, called "special") and revolutionary prototypes of turbine destroyers, the Viper, Cobra and Velox (1899-1902).

From 1903, the "Rivers" class of forecastle ships entered the fray with 33 units built between 1903 and 1905. These were the ancestors of the mass-produced classes of the Great War, and also the ancestors of standard destroyers worldwide. We can only explain this dispersion as a way for the Admiralty to test configurations before deciding of a standard to follow.

British 27-knotter HMS Daring

With the arrival of Lord Fisher as head of the Admiralty, a new standard for destroyers was defined: It started with the "Tribal" series, 12 rather disparate ships (1907-1909). They were followed by the great squadron leader HMS Swift, then 16 Beagle-class, 20 Acorn-class, 29 Acheron class, 20 Acasta class, and some of the Laforey class, completed by August 1914. All of these could trace their origins back to the Rivers and Tribal-class but were much more standardized.

80 Torpedo-Boats

Although this weapon was regarded with disdain by the old high-rank officers of the Royal Navy, no one could at that time remain indifferent to the threat they posed too much larger capital ships. So when Robert Whitehead presented his torpedo concept and brought it to the production stage, he crossed the path of John Thornycroft, who previously excelled in the production of small, fast turbine ships. He was later coined as the alleged inventor of the torpedo boat, and later its own countermeasure, the destroyer. Who owns the authorship of this type of vessel? The British unveiled theirs in 1877, the French in 1876, the Italians in 1878, the Germans in 1871, the Austro-Hungarians in 1875, but all bought British units built by Thornycroft or Yarrow. Only Germany in 1871 had units designed locally with Devrient, equipped with a spar with an explosive charge much like Americans Civil War Spuyten Duyvil and David, respectively from the Union and the Confederacy.

TB1, also called Lightning (lightning), was, therefore, one of the first "standards" torpedo boats (using crude torpedo launchers). The Lightning was followed in 1878 by eleven sister ships. Then came a series of 7 meters TB13-TB18 (from different shipyards), then four "113 footers" (1884-1886), 29 "125 footers" (1885-1886), the TB39 (1882), the TB80 (first class) and TB81-82 series (6 units), and the ten "140-footers" (1892-95), eight "160 footers"(1900-1905). Only a small number of the oldest above TBs participated in the Great War. At their side were also held in coastal reserve a kind of lightweight TB denominated "second class", that could be carried in theory by a battleship or a cruiser, acting as a mother ship. The HMS Vulcan was built specialized for this role.
The concept of mother ship for TBs was popular in the years 1878-1885. The series concerned the TB51 (1879), TB64 to 100 (Thornycroft and Yarrow), TB1-12 (White, 1883) Yarrow TB39-50 (1888-1889). Some colonial TBs were also built in 1879-1890 for cheap harbor defense. These second-class boats were obsolete in 1914 but kept in service nevertheless. The Latest were 36 former coastal destroyers of the Cricket class (1906-1909), reclassified as TBs.

Light cruiser HMS Undaunted (1914)


Bramble class HMS Thistle in Africa
"Gunboat diplomacy" has been practiced extensively by the Royal Navy, first to meet the needs of the Crimean war, and to ensure the presence of the crown in all the colonial cities of the empire. One can appreciate the contribution of these ships in the number of units that were fielded, often of a remarkable quality, as armed masted barque which formed the bulk of these forces. In 1914, however, most of these surviving ships were quite old. There vessels of the Bramble (1886), Pigmy (1888) and Redbreast (1889) classes, namely 6 units, but also 4 Bramble (ii) steam only ships from 1898; colonial gunboat Lady Loch (1886), converted to steam, and the old colonial "cruiser" HMS Protector (1884). Great Britain had also developed torpedo gunboats, the Grasshopper, Sharpshooter, Alarm, and Dryad. The first dated from 1887, the last in 1895. 13 surviving ships were retired in 1914.

80 Submersibles

Like torpedo-boats these were despised by conservative navy officers in the Admiralty, considering these a "despicable", "odious", "dishonorable," way to wage war at sea, considerably delaying any real signs of progress in this area. The most advanced was indeed the Americans and the French at the end of the XIXth century.

British submarines WW1
Failing to start effective submarine series, Great Britain studied the use of foreign designs. However, both the language barrier and visceral rejection of a collaboration with French engineers led to adopt of the American patent from John Holland instead. This, therefore, provided the first British submersible series in 1903, pursued by Vickers under license, constantly improving models. The No. 1, built by Vickers Barrow under Holland license was the first series. These 5 units from 1901 to 1902 served shortly: In 1913, three of them had been already scrapped, and one lost in 1912. Only No.4 was left, virtually inactive during the war. The next series, called "A" will include 13 boats, ordered in 1903-1905. The first, unsatisfactory prototype served as a target and sank in 1911. The A7 was lost at sea (purge accident) in January 1914. What followed was "B" class from 1904 to 1906 (10 in 1914) less the B2, lost in October 1912. Considerably larger they began to differ to the US units of the "Holland" type. The 38 "C" (1906-1910) were coastal units, quite successful.

HMS E9, rear view
The C11 was lost at sea for unknown causes in 1909. The subsequent eight boats of D-Type were much larger, followed by the first group (pre-war) Class E, 10 boats. Only three of the second group will be operational in time in August 1914.

6 Miscellaneous

There was also a considerable number of miscellaneous ships of all tonnage in service. Not included are depot ships and school ships (unarmed). Torpedo gunboats like HMS Vulcan (1889), and Hecla (1878). The latter was converted into that role in 1889. Both became submersible tankers and destroyers in 1915.

War shipbuilding (1914-18)

21 Battleships:

-Accepted into service was the battlecruiser HMS Tiger in 1914, the two Renown class in August 1916 and the two "light" battlecruisers of the Courageous class in January 1917. The related HMS Furious which followed was completed as a hybrid aircraft carrier.

They were also four dreadnoughts of the Iron Duke class, five Queen Elizabeth (1915-16), five Revenge (1916-1917) whereas other dreadnoughts in construction for foreign navies were requisitioned and incorporated into the RN, such as HMS Erin in August 1914 (formerly a Turkish order), HMS Agincourt in August 1914 (ex-Brazilian, also former Turkish order), and HMS Canada in September 1915 (ex-Chilean). Its sister ship was later converted into an aircraft carrier (HMS Eagle).

40 Monitors:

-For Its naval operations near the Belgian coast, among others, she used the monitors armed with reformed battleships naval guns, such as the four Abercrombie  (1915), eight Lord Clive (1915), two Marshal Soult (1915) two Erebus (1916), two Gorgon (1918), six coastal light monitors of the M29 class (1915) and those smaller, class M1. They were also the three former river monitors Brazilians requisitioned Humber class (1914), who served in Africa.

The "Grand Fleet" in its last review, 1914.

15 aircraft "carriers"

Whether proper "aircraft carrier" or ships capable of operating seaplanes, most were converted 1916-1918. One of the earliest was the Ben-My-Chree. A 1908 Liner, it was requisitioned and converted in 1915, operating 4 Short S184 seaplanes in the Mediterranean, and was sunk in 1917 by Turkish coastal artillery.

She was followed by the HMS Vindex, a fast steamer from 1907, converted in 1915, and the HMS Manxman. Both were given a flight deck and therefore were able to operate a large variety of aircraft. They were also equipped with early "catapults". Later, in 1917, the HMS Nairana followed. The Ark Royal, Empress, Riviera, Engadine, Anne, Raven II, Pegasus, were also later converted from cargo ships and bulk carriers (coal and grain). Two more will be converted in 1919 for the Caspian Sea to support the "whites" during the Russian civil war.

The most famous of these ships were unquestionably the old Campania (1893), a former Cunard luxury liner for the Atlantic, "Blue Ribbon" winner, which was given a broad flight deck but was lost by collision in 1918. The other was the HMS Argus, converted from the Italian liner Conte Rosso, then under construction in Beardmore and requisitioned. It was not accepted into service until September 1918. The sole Real military aircraft carrier on plans was the HMS Furious which trained the first generation of sea airmen. It will be used during the Second World War as an aviation transport. The fastest of these were two conversions from cruisers of the Grand Fleet: HMS Vindictive, (former heavy cruiser Cavendish) operational in October 1918. This former light cruiser battle was converted aircraft carrier fleet following the failure of the Battle of Jutland. Operational in March 1918, she was the best school for the Royal Navy who served operationally in and changed it to was go. At the end of the war it had conducted several raids successfully and had a continuous and complete with flight deck elevators, shed and catapults.

HMS Argus in November 1918.

She pursued her career after two redesigns during the Second World War. Other conversions of this style were planned in 1916: The HMS Eagle was one of them: Dreadnought controlled by Chile under the name of Almirante Cochrane, it was taken over and completed as an aircraft carrier of Wing in 1920. He served in the second World war. The HMS Hermes on her side was the first of an extensive program to tackle the Hochseeflotte in its hideouts in the North Sea. The first aircraft designed from the outset as such, it will be launched in September 1919 and finished in February 1924. she will be lost in the Indian Ocean in 1942.

32 Cruisers

These ships were rather light in the standards of the time. The "heavy" ones has been armoured cruisers last dating back from 1906 and battle cruisers which were assimilated to the battleship class. First, these new cruisers were ships of the Arethusa class, eight vessels whose last was completed in March 1915.
They were followed closely by the six Caroline class (1915), the two Calliope class (1915), two Birkenhead (or "B" -1915-16), four Cambrian, the first "C" clss (1915-1916), followed by two Centaur (1916), four Caledon 1917), and five Ceres 1917-1918. The series will continue shortly before the November armistice with five Capetown (1918-1922) whose lead ship just made her trials when the war ended, and the twelve Danae, or "D" class from 1918 to 1922, HMS Danae being the only one of her class to see the last days of the great war.
HMS Cavendish, the most advanced of a new series of heavy cruisers was operational in October 1918, not as a cruiser, but an aircraft carrier, under the new name of HMS Vindictive (see above). She will be followed by four other sister ships in 1919-25.
All ships from the Caledon class participated in the Second World War, mostly for escort duties.

232 Destroyers

The yards have not rested during the conflict and cranked up 230 ships, often responsible for ensuring convoys protection. These were the twelve "M" (1914), seven destroyer leaders of the Lightfoot (1915-1916) class, four Faulknor (1914-1915), and later six Parker, five  Valentine and eight Shakespeare/Scott, who served as a model later for the new interwar British destroyers, but also of international standard after the Treaty of Washington.

They were also the four Medea class, former Greek orders requisitioned in 1914 and completed in 1915, the 4 Talisman, former Turkish DDs (1915-1916), the "M" for "mobilization", 89 units strong, the first major series of the war, followed by 62 "R" (1916-1917), 26 "V" (1917-1918), 28 "W" (1917-1918), the 69 "S" of which 24 saw the war. Following were in 1919-20, 15 destroyers type "W-bis" which served in the interwar period. Many who are cited as S, V and W were of great help during the Second World War as escort ships in the Atlantic. All these destroyers will form the bulk of the British fleet to the mid 1930s. The most singular of these destroyers was not built in Great Britain (although inspired largely of "Rivers"), the HMS Arno, built by Ansaldo in Genoa for Portugal under the name of Liz and bought in March 1915 to serve as an escort ship in the Mediterranean. She was also used in the Dardanelles.

156 Submersibles

M class submersible cruisers

The first submersible series of war were the "E", in fact the continuation of a class that started in 1913 including forty-seven units in total, operational between 1914 and 1916. Inspired by Italian submersibles of the double-hull Laurenti type, three "S" in 1915 were followed by the four "V" from 1915, the four "W" of 1915-16, the three "F" from 1915 to 1917, HMS Nautilus (1915) and HMS Swordfish (1916) all prototypes, but operational during the war and the K26 (postwar).

They were also the fourteen "G" in 1915-1916, the seventeen large "K" in 1916-1917, ocean, seven "J" from 1915 to 1917, the twenty "H" from 1917 to 1919 and thirty-four "Ha" from 1917 to 1919, of which more than half will not see the service during the great war, unlike the twelve "R" of 1918 to height "L" 1917 and nineteen "L-bis" half of these entered service before the armistice. Five of the L50 class will be completed only after the war, amidst mass cancellations. The largest British submarines were "sub cruisers of the "M" class. Three equipped with a 12 in (305 mm) gun, intended for shore bombardment. Only M1 was operational before the armistice.

865 miscellaneous (+580 transferred from USA)

During the conflict, one of the major threats quickly appeared as the submarine blockade orchestrated by German U-Boats. Battleships, cruisers and destroyers being not very effective in this role, the Admiralty quickly chooses to launch a series of dedicated ships, quite new in the English naval hierarchy, an, crucially in the war effort, built by civilian shipyards, naval yards being saturated with orders and already short in manpower.

Thus was born the famous escorts sloops of the "Flower" class, including subclasses Acacia (1915), Azalea (1915), Arabis (1915-1916), Aubretia (1916-1917) and Anchusa (1917) , respectively 24, 12, 36, 12, 28 ships. The 21 type "24" were only operational, for some, in the fall of 1918, and notorious for their totally symmetrical hull shape to fool U-boats on their direction. The 20 units (1917 to 1918) of the type "PC-Boat" were "decoys", "boat traps" specially constructed alongside the many conversions of cargo, and for disclosing their artillery, previously hidden under the submersible German guard vessel at the last moment, leaving no chance.

With "unrestricted submarine warfare", German submariners increasingly skipped the boarding phase of cargo ships and sanks them without warning, making the decoy ships obsolete overnight. The idea was nevertheless applied during the next war... by the Germans. Finally, naval yards which ususally delivered destroyers were ordered 43 "P-Boats", specialized patrol lightweight coastal dedicated submarine hunters. mimicking the shape of submarines, they were quickly supported by an armada of American-built SC-Boats and Eagle Boats in 1918. In the same spirit, and next to a large number of trawler conversions, eighteen "Kil", patrol boats were pressed into service. They were civilian-built, inspired by whalers and quickly found more efficient than converted trawler, as well as 15 smaller Z-Whaler. They had the range, ruggedness in heavy seas, high prow, range and observation features that were perfectly fit to the task of tracking submarines in the north sea.

In mine warfare, the twenty-four paddle-steamer Ascot class, followed by height Banbury and seven Fulmar classes, put an end to this type of propulsion. The more modern Hunt (20 vessels) and Aberdare (32 vessels) were soon preferred. The fourteen Dance-class were coastal units. In order to serve on Chinese rivers, the Royal Navy also ordered the construction of sixteen "Fly", and twelve "Insect" to serve on the Danube. These were armed with reformed cruiser's guns and armored.

Including the Dardanelles, the RN built and operated its first dedicated landings barges, called the type X-Lighter, 250 units followed by 90 Y-Lighter, and 20 barges to serve the Middle East.

Coastal defense units, adapted to U-boat and light ships hunting in patrols were deployed in large numbers from 1917, inspired by the Italian MAS boats: These were the CMB series 40, 55 and 70 feet, respectively 38, 87 and 7 units, and no less than 580 ML, light gunboats, constructed  by Elco in the USA on british specs.

Historical Poster - Centennial of the Royal Navy "The Real Thing"

The Grand Fleet

The Grand fleet, HD Illustration. Order

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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