HMS Hermes (1919)

United Kingdom - Aircraft Carrier

HMS Hermes - Irootoko Jr. HMS Hermes was the first (or second depending on the authors) purpose-built aircraft carrier. Indeed the Imperial Japanese Navy claimed to have the first, IJN Hosho. However, the latter was started AFTER the British carrier, but launched and completed before. Engineers and yard's team were in a rush as a matter of prestige. Since the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902, indeed, the IJN naval staff was always the best informed of the latest innovations by the Royal Navy.




Anyway, the HMS Hermes was a formidable achievement. At a time the aircraft carrier was an idea pioneered and pursued almost solely by Great Britain, being the first to use an operational aircraft carrier, the HMS Furious alongside a collection of converted seaplane and aircraft carriers. Even before the Furious launched her first missions, the admiralty thought of developing a ship tailored for the task, better suited than converted ships it had until there. Unfortunately, from the laying down of the keel in February 1918 to completion, world war one was over. It was no longer required, but already the Admiralty went too far to back up.

She was a too interesting experimentation alongside the HMS Eagle to drop, moreover the Washington treaty soon gave almost free hands to further develop the concept. Launched way sooner than the Eagle (1919 vs. 1924), HMS Hermes had a long interwar career and was still (almost) in her unmodified form when WW2 broke out.

This proved a problem as many innovations has seen the light of day in between, notably the size and power of the planes themselves of the little us of secondary artillery. The ship appeared too cramped to possess an effective air group in WW2 standards. Nevertheless, she served in the Mediterranean, Near East, and Indian Ocean, and died while trying to join Force Z en route for Singapore. She was intercepted by a wave of Japanese Bombers, taking more than 40 bomb hits before sinking.

First draft of HMS Hermes, second design in in 1918 First draft of HMS Hermes, second design in in 1918

Design genesis of HMS Hermes

The first draft of the ship called for a mixed wheeled aircraft/seaplanes carrier, but based on a cruiser-type hull as reflecting by war experience since 1914. The IJN arrived at the same conclusion and the IJN Hosho proceeded from the same basic principle. The basis went back to 1916 seaplane carrier design by Gerard Holmes and Sir John Biles.

1916-17 first drafts

Sir_Eustace_Tennyson_dEyncourt However as the war progressed and returns from various seaplane carrier conversions arrived, Sir Eustace d'Eyncourt, the Director of Naval Construction (DNC), took back the project and enlarged it considerable.

Indeed the first drafts thought to use the hull of one of the Hawkins class heavy cruisers just started. His design was finalized in April 1917. His most prominent feature were a split section seaplane slipway. There were indeed quite a unique arrangement to track and guide the planes to their deployment area from the hangar storage to launch position. A feature found in many other early aircraft carrier designs but dropped out of practicality and moreover versatility.

D'Eyncourt rigid submerged portion aft had a trolley to carry the aircraft into the hangar and flexible submerged portion, separating the rear section from the forward portion of the slipway. This was to prevent the submerged part from rolling with the ship and this slipway could be retracted into the ship. A massive gantry crane ran all along to recover seaplanes. Also like for the Eagle, two islands were drafted and the full-length flight deck ran in between.

Each island had one funnel and they tended for a large net to recover planes. The latter were lifted from the hangar via two cross-shaped elevators. The forward one made 30 by 30 feet (9.1 by 9.1 m) and aft 60 by 18 feet (18.3 by 5.5 m). The DNC design displaced 9,000 long tons (9,100 t). The aircraft complement comprised only six large Short Type 184 recce seaplanes and six Sopwith Baby seaplanes while the armament comprised six 4-inch (102 mm) guns for close defence.

1918 second draft and blueprints

Final blueprint of HMS Hermes in 1918, hangar and hull sectionsFinal blueprint of HMS Hermes in 1918, hangar and hull sections

A more detailed design was submitted by the DNC to the admiralty in January 1918, and approved for construction. Changes included and amazing idea of a rotating bow catapult (to launch planes regardless of wind direction). To start construction however, the yard accumulated delays. Resources at Armstrong Whitworth shipyard were however used to complete conversion of HMS Eagle, and despite the keel was laid down this month, little work has been done in weeks.

This slow pace of construction however allowed the design to be refined and by mid-June the slipway had been eliminated ans judge impractical. The armament also has been revised for eleven 6-inch (152 mm) guns, quite an increase, perhaps to make align it on the Eagle, while a single anti-aircraft gun was retained. The admiralty seemed visibly lost in conjectures about the best configuration for an aircraft carrier.

It went so far as forbidding the builder from doing any work above the hangar deck without express permission. In the year's nearing end, more revisions showed the adoption of a single island while the lifts were changed to a single model, 44 by 20 feet (13.4 by 6.1 m). The armament was revised to an even more powerful ten 6-inch guns and, more fortunately, four 4-inch anti-aircraft guns. Planned displacement rose to 10,110 long tons (10,270 t).

Blueprint of HMS Hermes - island and flying deck
Blueprint of HMS Hermes - island and flying deck

Construction was suspended again just after launch in September 1919. The the Admiralty waited for reports of flight trials on HMS Eagle and Argus. So actually Eagle started operated planed before her custom-built little sister. The design was therefore modified again in March 1920. The island superstructure ad embedded funnel was enlarged and moved to starboard, while the forward catapult was eliminated completely. Like for other carriers, the positioning of the island meant pilots preferred to turn to port after recovering from an aborted landing. The prominent tripod mast integrated fire-control systems for the main guns, same system adopted on the Eagle. In fact both island were really similar in that aspect.

Last revisions came out in May 1921, two years after launch, further delaying completion. Lifts were moved further apart, freeing space for an enlarged arresting gear, and enlarged for next-gen aircraft without folded wings. The main armament was revised down to six 5.5-inch (140 mm) guns to save weight and space, while the flight deck was faired into the bow, just like the Eagle, which made both carriers instantly recognisable to all others to their "gothic" deck, ogival end.

Blueprints of HMS Hermes - side view, last revision in 1918
Blueprints of HMS Hermes - side view, last revision in 1918.

Final design of HMS Hermes

As completed, HMS Hermes ws 600 feet (182.9 m) overall, from the stern to the prow, for a beam of 70 feet 3 inches (21.4 m), and a draught of 23 feet 3 inches (7.1 m) deeply loaded. Her lines were fine and there was a steep slope leading to the deck, with the hangar in between. He flight deck was 570 feet (173.7 m) long with 36 by 36.6 feet (11.0 by 11.2 m) lifts, rectangular and not cross-shaped. The hangar was 400 feet (121.9 m) long, but quite narrow, only 50 feet (15.2 m) wide. It was also 16 feet (4.9 m) high, just enough for most planes tails to fit into, but this was a very cramped place.

Hermes displaced 10,850 long tons (11,020 t) standard. The fine line, narrow hull at the waterline and much larger deck proved a liability for stability, and was not repeated. Instead, hulls became larger to accomodate extra ASW protection. However, Hermes had a metacentric height of 2.9 feet (0.9 m). She handled well in heavy weather but with such a large surface area exposed to the wind she required less 25-30° of weather helm at low speed when blowing longitudinally.

Propulsion

The ship was propelled by a cruiser powerplant basically. Her engine rooms accomodated two sets of Parsons geared steam turbines. Each drove one propeller shaft while steam came from six Yarrow boilers at a working pressure of 235 psi (1,620 kPa; 17 kgf/cm2). Total horsepower as designed was 40,000 shp (30,000 kW), and during her sea trials in 1924, Hermes reached 41,318 shaft horsepower (30,811 kW). While her desined speed was to be 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph), she reached on trials 26.178 knots (48.482 km/h; 30.125 mph). For autonomy, Hermes carried 2,000 long tons (2,000 t) of fuel oil, enough for 4,480 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,160 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph).

Protection

Hermes' waterline belt was plated over by 3 inches (76 mm) thick plates. Due to the narrow beam, there was limited compartimentation but no room for extra bulk. Her flight deck doubled as strength deck just 1 inch (25 mm) thick in order to avoid stability problems. There was no armour at lower levels, this proved fatal as she was sunk by aviation.

Armament

-Intended for self-defence against enemy warships, Hermes had six BL 5.5-inch Mk I guns, three on either of the hull in sponsons. Thei traverse and arc of fire was about 180°. The BL 5.5 in (140 mm) was a "classic" introduced in 1913 and equipped with a Welin breech block and Holmstrom mechanism. Elevation was -7 degrees to +30 degrees maximal (figures of the mount unknown). Its rate of fire was 12 rounds per minute at a muzzle velocity of 2,790 f/s (850 m/s), and effective range was 16,250 m at max elevation.

-For AA defense, Hermes was given four QF Mk V 4-inch guns (102 mm) positioned on the flight deck, either side of the island. They were unprotected. The Ordnance QF 4 inch gun Mk V used a Breech horizontal sliding-block with an hydro-pneumatic or hydro-spring 15 in system. It fired a 31 lb (14.1 kg) fixed QF rojectile at a muzzle velocity of 2,350 ft/s (716 m/s), and maximum firing range of 16,300 yd (15,000 m) over the surface and ceiling at 28,750 ft (8,800 m). In 1930, this was no longer relevant and the ship's AA was modernized (see later) several times.

On board aviation

The air complement changed over time in relation to the size of planes and activities. From 1938 she was classed as a training vessel and carried a traning air crew and planes. She would also serve during WW2 as aicraft transport, stacked on the deck. On average it was established to twenty aircraft. Her first 1920s complement comprised Fairey Flycatcher fighters and Fairey IIIDs and later IIIFs. In the mid-1930s whe operated the Hawker Osprey. From 1935 she operated Fairey Seal torpedo bombers. Later she embarked Fairey Swordfish planes when WW2 broke out, to be exact twelve Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers of 814 Squadron. They could manage reconnaissance, artillery spotting, torpedo and bomb attacks, and in addition carry deep charges.

Fairey Flycatcher Fairey Flycatcher

Fairey IIID Fairey IIID

Hawker Osprey Hawker Osprey

Fairey Seal Fairey Seal

Hermes had a longitudinal arresting gear and a large crane was placed behind the island at the origin. The latter was intended to operate seaplanes, which never happened. Afterwards, she was used to lift onboard crates, planes and heavy loads from supply barges or a jetty. Bulk petrol storage for the air group consisted of 7,000 imperial gallons (32,000 l; 8,400 US gal). Her crew comprised 33 officers and 533 men, while the air group, added about 150-200 more in 1939, and even more in wartime.

Links - Read More

Gardiner, Robert and Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–21 & 1922-47
Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record
Friedman, Norman (1988). British Carrier Aviation: The Evolution of the Ships and Their Aircraft.
Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Rev ed.).
Sturtivant, Ray (1984). The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
google books - British CVs design, development and service ww2
//www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/great_britain/pages/aircraft_carriers/
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Hermes_(95)
//dreadnoughtproject.org/tfs/index.php/H.M.S._Hermes_(1919)
//againstallodds.fandom.com/wiki/HMS_Hermes_(1919)
//thomo.coldie.net/tag/ww1/
//www.worldnavalships.com/hms_hermes.htm
//samilhistory.com/2017/12/07/dantes-inferno-recounting-south-african-sacrifice-on-the-hms-hermes/
//www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-04CV-Hermes.htm
//www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/21/a4171321.shtml
//ww2db.com/ship_spec.php?ship_id=160

Video


HMS Hermes by Drachinfels
The models corner: HMS Hermes Aoshima 1/700 wl kit Water Line Series HMS Hermes
-Aoshima 1/700 wl kit Water Line Series HMS Hermes Indian Ocean 1942 livery
-HMS Hermes 1937 (Coronation Fleet Review) FlyHawk Model No. FH1126 1:700
Review of the latter kit

Wartime career HMS Hermes

HMS Hermes was christened on 11 September 1919 by Mrs. A. Cooper, daughter of Sir Walter Long (First Lord of the Admiralty). The shipyard was scheduled to close at the end of the year so the hull was towed to Devonport, where completion started in January 1920. Hermes was completed gradually. In February 1923n Captain Arthur Stopford took command for the sea trials. She was fitted out, modified and eventually commissioned on 19 February 1924.

Name: Hermes has been the ninth ship called that way, after a 1796 12-gun brig-sloop, 1798 22-gun ship, 1803 16-gun sloop, 1811 20-gun sixth rate, wooden paddle packet, 1835 wooden paddle sloop 74-gun third rate of 1816 renamed in 1866 and 1898-launched Highflyer-class cruiser. The latter became an experimental seaplane tender in 1913 and was sunk in 1914. The name referred to the mythological Greek messenger of the gods, recoignisable to its winged sandals.

It therefore seemed appropriate. After the loss, the name was given to a keel just laid down, future postwar HMS Hermes, R12, modern carrier of the Centaur class in service as flagship during the 1982 Falklands war. Hermes motto was Altiora Peto (Latin for "I Seek Higher Things").

Interwar years:

The first campaign of the new aicraft career started with flying trials with the Fairey IIID reconnaissance biplane. Still in 1924, HMS Hermes participated in King George V's fleet review in Spithead, 26 July. These early trials stressed the need of a short refit until November. Mediterranean 1925 She was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet, arrived at Malta on 22 November, and undergone repairs after storm damage en route. She carried her full operarational complement, with No. 403 Flight (Fairey Flycatcher fighters) and 441 Flight (Fairey IIIDs). Hermes conducted flying exercises with HMS Eagle and the rest of the Mediterranean Fleet in early 1925. She then started refit in Malta from 27 March, and afterwards sailed for Portsmouth, arriving on 29 May 1925.

Hermes in Honolulu, circa 1924
Hermes in Honolulu, circa 1924

China Station (1925-1926): Hermes spend most of her interwar career in the far east. She sailed for the British China Station on 17 June, together with 403 and 441 Flights and stopped in the Mediterranean, while Captain C. P. Talbot took command for the trip. She arrived at Hong Kong on 10 August 1925 and visit Amoy the next month.

Mediterranean (1926): She returned to the Mediterranean in early 1926. She was refitted in Malta April-June 1926. 441 Flight departed for HMS Eagle swapping for 440 Flight and 442 Flight joined in in September, both with Fairey IIIs. After her refit, Captain R. Elliot took command on 14 August. She returned to Hong Kong on 11 October, conducted routine training and then sailed to Wei Hai Wei naval base where she arrived on 27 July 1927.

Hermes in obervation of the IJN fleet in Hong Kong, 1928
HMS Hermes and the IJN fleet in Hong Kong, 1928

China Station (1927-1929): The ship arrived in September and met Argus on the China Station, but soon both departed to attacked a large pirate base at Bias Bay, the planes strafing and bombing to oblivion a fleet of junks and sampans. HMS Hermes ws back in the United Kingdom on 26 October for a short refit at Chatham Dockyard. One of her 4-inch guns was removed and two single 1.57-inch (40 mm) 2-pounder "pom-pom" AA guns were added, bolstering the AA.

Captain G. Hopwood took command on 2 December as Hermes returned to the China Station on 21 January 1928 and 440 Flight obtained new Fairey IIIFs planes. En route to Hong Kong (reached 18 March), Hermes stopped at Bangkok, inspected by an interested by King Rama VII. Upon arrival she replaced HMS Argus, and then spent time in Chefoo in May 1928 and in Wei Hai Wei, and in July sailed to Chinwangtao. During an exercize, one Fairey IIIF seaplane force landed y the pilot and plane were recused and retrieved by the Italian destroyer Muggia. Hermes also visited Shanghai, Manila, and Kudat and Jesselton in Borneo. Her refit in Hong Kong started in January 1929, and Captain J. D. Campbell took command on 28 March. In April, the British aicraft carrier conducted flying training and sailed the Yangtze River, stopping at Nanking in August. She was back at Wei Hei Wei, visited Tsingtao and Japan and was back to Hong Kong on 29 October until December 1929.



China Station (1930-1937): From 28 January 1930, Hermes carried the British Minister Sir Miles Lampson to Nanking for talks over the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. She then moved to Shanghai on 2 March 1930 and later this month, was back to Hong Kong. In June she departed for Wei Hai Wei as each summer. She briefly returned to Hong Kong and then sailed to Great Britain by 7 August, and moved to Portsmouth on 23 September, then to Sheerness. Captain E. J. G. MacKinnon took command and after a brief refit at Chatham, Hermes returned to the China Station with the 403 and 440 Flights. She carried in addition on her deck six Blackburn Ripons, planned to be delivered to Malta and HMS Eagle. She was in Hong Kong by 2 January 1931 and departed for Wei Hai Wei for her summer season. She tried to located and rescue the submarine HMS Poseidon but could only save six of the crew, two dying later.

wow Hermes

In Wei Hai Wei until late August 1931, she sailed up the Yangtze River, reaching Hankow's inland port on 5 September, helping the Chinese government's survey of a massive flooding. Charles Lindbergh and his wife had their own Lockheed Sirius floatplanes parked at the Hermes as a base during the event. They were however damaged by th strong current. Captain MacKinnon carried them to Shanghai for repairs, and departed for Hong Kong. She would rescue survivors of the Japanese merchantman SS Ryinjin Maru lost off Tan Rocks (Taiwan Strait), saving nine crew members. She was then based in Hong Kong from 7 November 1931 to April 1932.

Captain MacKinnon was relieved by Captain W. B. Mackenzie in February 1932, and after a refit, Hermes and HMS Whitehall visited Amoy and joined Wei Hai Wei, staying there until 17 September, sailing to Nagasaki and then to Shanghai, back to Hong Kong in October. In January 1933, Hermes visited the Philippines and was back to Hong Kong for a brief refit, visited Tsingtao and stayed in Wei Hai Wei, before finally departing Hong Kong and sailing for home, reaching Sheerness on 22 July and then Chatham Dockyard. This summer she was opened to the public, and departed for Devonport Dockyard and a major refit: A transverse arresting gear was fitted, machinery overhauled with modernized boilers, two single 2-pdr replaced by two quad 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Mark III machine guns.

hms hermes, yantau china 1930
hms hermes, in yantau china 1930

Hermes in 1934 - NH
Hermes in 1934 - NH

Captain G. Fraser took command of HMS Hermes 15 August 1934, and the ship made post-refit trials in November. Her air complement arrived soon: 824 Squadron wih nine Fairey Seal torpedo bombers, and she left Portsmouth on 18 November for the usual trip for the China Station, Hong Kong. By January 1935 she was operational with Hawker Osprey of 803 Squadron, transferred from HMS Eagle before leaving Hong Kong to hunt down pirates which captured the British-owned merchant ship, SS Tungchow taking 90 British and American hostages. Hermes' Seals spotted her in Bias Bay and this was sufficient for the pirates to abandon the ship. Hermes operated off Hong Kong until mid-May and sailed to Wei Hai Wei, remaining there until 12 September, then departed to Singapore and sailed to East Africa as an observer in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia from 19 September.

Hermes in 1938
Hermes in 1938

Her aircraft searched for the ships Lady Southern Cross (Sir Charles Kingsford Smith) awaited at Singapore in November in an attempted speed record. Both the aircraft and crew disappeared, no trace was found after one month research. Hermes joined Hong Kong in March 1936 and the next month toured Japan with HMS Duncan and Delight as escorts. As usual she stayed in Wei Hai Wei and was back in HK in October. From January 1937 she accompanied the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire and destroyers Duncan and Diana, and the fleet made a good will tour of the Dutch East Indies.

Her torpedo bombers multiplied exercises of mock torpedo attacks on HMS Cumberland and Dorsetshire in February in conjunction with the air group RAF Seletar in Singapore. She left on 17 March for Plymouth and participated in the Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead before joining the Reserve Fleet and training ship at Devonport in the summer. Already in 1937 her remaining single 4-inch guns were planned for replacement with two twin 4-inch and two octuple 2-pdr assisted by a single High-Angle Control System and 13,000 imperial gallons of aviation fuel. But the dockyard was too busy and the changes were postponed from July 1938 until September 1939, but war broke out and she was dispatched for her first war mission. These changes however would not have prevented her demise since the Japanese attack was overwhelming.

HMS Swordfish -Hms Eagle
HMS Swordfish -Hms Eagle

1939 ASW patrols, western approaches:
Hermes was given a short refit in early August 1939 while Captain F. E. P. Hutton assumed command recommissioned on 24 August, and starting for her last prewar mission with 12 Fairey Swordfish TBs in board, of 814 Squadron. They arrived on the 1st of September, just as the war broke out. HMS Hermes started by conducting ASW patrols in the Western Approaches and from 18 September, as HMS Courageous was sunk, she located an U-Boat soon chased by her escorting DDs, HMS Isis and Imogen, but they failed to destroy it. Back to Devonport Hermes was fitted with a degaussing gear

Dakar, Force X, South Atlantic: Chasing blockade runners & commerce raiders:
On 7 October she joined the French battleship Strasbourg and sailed to Dakar (West Africa) on 16 October in what became the Franco-British Force X searching for German commerce raiders in the south Atlantic. She met no such threat until the end of December, escorting a convoy from South Africa back home where she was refitted from 9 January to 10 February 1940, and sailed back to to Dakar, resuming patrols and also looking for blockade runners, but without success.

Captain Richard F. J. Onslow took command of the ship on 25 May 1940. Hermes still made these patrols while in 29 June, the fall of France came here to modify plans, nine hours after the arrival of the new Governor of French Senegal, declaring his allegiance to the new Vichy French regime. Hermes was ordered to start of blockade of Dakar. On 7/8 July during the night, a boat from Hermes tried to drop four depth charges underneath French battleship Richelieu's stern while Swordfish of 814 Squadron would attack by day. If the commando operation was successful as the boat indeed reached the battleship, the depth charges failed to explode, but the air torpedo attack was successful: One of the battleship's propellers was badly damaged.

French aviation from Dakar would start a retaliatory attacks of Hermes several times, but scoring no hits. Back to Freetown, Hermes rammed en route the AMC HMS Corfu during a rainstorm in low visibility on 10 July. Three were injured, one would die later but Corfu's men were unharmed, and the force of the collision was such both ships were locked together, eventually pulling apart. Hermes had 30 feet (9.1 m) of her bow squashed, but no lower hull damage, and she was able to sail to Freetown at 12 knots while Corfu was towed stern first by another ship. Hermes stayed in SAF for repairs at Simonstown dock from 17 August to 2 November and was back at Freetown on 29 November.

HMS Hermes and Dorsetshire, June 1940
HMS Hermes and Dorsetshire, June 1940

St Helena, South Atlantic: Chasing commerce raiders: Light cruiser HMS Dragon joined the carrier on 2 December to resume their commerce raiders hunt in the South Atlantic operating from Saint Helena. Later they were joined by the armed merchant cruiser (AMC) HMS Pretoria Castle (later converted to a carrier) to search for KMS Admiral Scheer.

Eastern Africa: Blockading Vichy French: Back to Simonstown on 31 December, the force was sent due east, off the South African coast this time to hunt for Vichy French blockade runners. One was spotted on 26 January but made it safely in Madagascar. On 4 February she joined the heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire and HMS Hawkins to blockade Kismayo, Mali, a Vichy French-held port. Soon Commonwealth forces joined the siege while Hawkins would later captured three Italian merchantmen, Hermes one (12 February). From 22 February, Hermes joined a fleet searching for KMS Admiral Scheer eventually spotted by an aircraft from HMS Glasgow. However she escaped. Hermes was then based in Colombo, Ceylon in March, still searching for Axis shipping, and sent to the Persian Gulf to cover the British attack on Basra in Iraq. She stayed there until mid-June and back to the Indian Ocean, patrolling between Ceylon and Seychelles Islands until 19 November.

Eastern Fleet: She made it back to Simonstown for a refit. She left the dockyard on 31 January 1942 to join the Eastern Fleet, based in Colombo from 14 February. Swordfish of 814 Squadron flew onboard, and she started her first mission with the destroyer HMAS Vampire for ASW patrols. In Trincomalee her squadron flew off and both ships sailed to Freemantle in Australia by mid-March. The Allied naval forces HQ was base there, but she departed once again to join Force B, Eastern Fleet. The greatest threat of course was the Japanese, and after the raid on Colombo Hermes and Vampire left Colombo for Trincomalee, preparing for Operation Ironclad, the British invasion of Madagascar.

The sinking of Hermes
Warning came of a Japanese air raid on 9 April 1942 while the ships were underway off Ceylon coast when they were spotted off Batticaloa by a Japanese reconnaissance plane from IJN Haruna. The radio spotting report was intercepted by British intelligence and both ships were ordered to return to Trincomalee fast. Meanwhile the fighter were scrambled to provide cover: These were six Fairey Fulmar II fighters of No. 273 Squadron RAF, and six other would arrive later from 803 and 806 Sqn, but their presence did not changed the outcome. This was the "British Pearl Harbour".

Aichi D3A dive bomber Aichi D3A dive bomber from IJN Kaga - colorized by Irootoko Jr. Meanwhile indeed, 85 Aichi D3A dive bombers took off escorted by nine A6M Zero, and eventually 32 spotted both ships, while soon a furious battle started. Despite a deluge of AA, the dive bombers were really precise. Just like Stukas pilots, IJN pilots were already die-hard veterans of previous campaign, skillful and aggressive, and said to be able to place a bomb inside a funnel exhaust. Both the destroyers and carrier was relatively agile, and they manoeuvred wildly. But against a constant swarm of 32 planes which started they dive almost out of AA range, this was hopeless.

hermes and vampire
hermes sinking
The sinking, shots by IJN planes: Both ships manoeuvering, trying to escape (Australian War Memorial), and the Hermes slowly sinking and burning.

As testified Stan Curtiss, an eyewitness account of "Dante's inferno": "Suddenly there was an almighty explosion that seemed to lift us out of the water, the after magazine had gone up, then another, this time above us on the starboard side, from that moment onwards we had no further communication with the bridge which had received a direct hit, as a result of that our Captain and all bridge personnel were killed. Only about fifteen minutes had passed since the start of the action and the ship was already listing to port, fires were raging in the hanger, she was on fire from stem to stern, just aft of my gun position was the galley, that received a direct hit also, minutes later we had a near miss alongside our gun, talk about a tidal wave coming aboard, our crew were flung yards, tossed like corks on a pond. Picking myself up and finding no bones broken, I called out to each number of our crew and got an answer from all of them (no-one washed overboard), we were lucky; our gun was the only one that did not get hit. At this stage Hermes had a very heavy list to port and it was obvious that she was about to sink. As the sea was now only feet below our gun deck I gave the order “over the side lads, every man for himself, good luck to you all".

The rest of the IJN air attack went further north and sunk also the RFA Athelstone (5,571 GRT), the corvette HMS Hollyhock (which exploded), oil tanker SS British Sergeant, Norwegian SS Norviken (2,924 GRT), and the carrier sank with the loss of 307 men and her Captain. HMS Vampire was also sunk and survivors were later picked up by the hospital ship Vita. In all the Japanese lost in this raid four D3As lost and two Fulmars were shot down by Zero fighters.

hms hermes sinking 1942

HMS Eagle (1924)

Dimensions203.5 x 35.1 m x 8.1 m (667 x 115 x 26 ft)
Displacement21,850 long tons standard, ? long tons FL
Crew791
Propulsion4 shafts Parsons geared steam turbines, 24 Yarrow WT boilers
Speed24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)
ArmorBelt: 4.5 in (114 mm), Deck: 1–1.5 in (25–38 mm), Bulkheads: 4 in (102 mm)
Armament9 × 6-in (152 mm), 5 × 4-in (102 mm) Mk V AA
AviationVariable over time: 30 1924, 25 1942


HMS Hermes in 1942
Author's profile of the Hermes in 1940

Decoy Hermes
HMS Hermes II, Fleet Tender C or "Decoy Hermes". SS Zealandic, the Marmari III, resold to the admiralty in 1939. She was taken in hands and converted in 1940 to make believe German intelligence that HMS Hermes was anchored at some place on the east coast of England. Both a fake flying deck was built in wood over the main deck, and a false island built in wooden frames and canvas on the side. When this was mission accomplished she was redesignated and on 4 June 1941, was due to join Chatham Dockyard in Kent to be converted back when she hit en route a submerged wreck off Norfolk. This did not happened by accident as she trained to manoeuver during a German aerial attack. Ships were sent there to tow her out of harm after being refloated, but E-boat got there first and crippled her. The damage was so intensive she was left there until the end of the war. This was a 8,090 GRT, 145.5 m long vessel by 19.2 m.

Another view of Fleet Tender C sunk, Shot from HMS Whaddon escorting a Convoy from 3 to 10 October 1941 to Sheerness
Another view of Fleet Tender C sunk, Shot from HMS Whaddon escorting a Convoy from 3 to 10 October 1941 to Sheerness.

Naval History

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautoko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Haiti Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
Adder class Monitors (1870)
A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
Djambi class corvettes (1860)
Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

Marine Française 1870 Marine Nationale
Screw 3-deckers (1850-58)
Screw 2-deckers (1852-59)
Screw Frigates (1849-59)
Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
Paddle Frigates
Paddle Corvettes
screw sloops
screw gunboats
Sailing ships of the line
Sailing frigates
Sailing corvettes
Sailing bricks

Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
Taureau arm. ram (1865)
Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)
French converted sailing frigates (1860)
Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
Talisman cruisers (1862)
Resolue cruisers (1863)
Venus class cruisers (1864)
Decres cruiser (1866)
Desaix cruiser (1866)
Limier class cruisers (1867)
Linois cruiser (1867)
Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

Curieux class sloops (1860)
Adonis class sloops (1863)
Guichen class sloops (1865)
Sloop Renard (1866)
Bruix class sloops (1867)
Pique class gunboats (1862)
Hache class gunboats (1862)
Arbalete class gunboats (1866)
Etendard class gunboats (1868)
Revolver class gunboats (1869)

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

Turkish Ottoman navy 1870 Osmanlı Donanması
Osmanieh class Bd.Ironclads (1864) Assari Tewfik (1868) Assari Shevket class Ct. Ironclads (1868)
Lufti Djelil class CDS (1868)
Avni Illah class cas.ironclads (1869)
Fethi Bulend class cas.ironclads (1870)
Barbette ironclad Idjalleh (1870)
Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
Hamidieh Ct.Bat.Ironclads (1885)
Abdul Kadir Batleships (project)

Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
Selimieh (1865)
Rehberi Tewkik (1875)
Mehmet Selim (1876)
Sloops & despatch vessels

Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
Monitor Atahualpa (1865)
CT. Bat Independencia (1865)
Turret ship Huascar (1865)
Frigate Apurimac (1855)
Corvette America (1865)
Corvette Union (1865)

Regia Marina 1870 Regia Marina 1870 Imperial Japanese navy 1870 Nihhon Kaigun Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine Russian mperial Navy 1870 Russkiy Flot Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
⚑ 1898 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class Gunboats (1873)
La Plata class Coast Battleships (1875)
Pilcomayo class Gunboats (1875)
Ferre class Gunboats (1880)

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

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy
Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne
Koninklije Marine 1898 Koninklije Marine
Konigin der Netherland (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class CDS (1894)
Atjeh class cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
Banda class Gunboats (1872)
Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
Combok class Gunboats (1891)
Borneo Gunboat (1892)
Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
Colbert class CT Battery ships (1875)
Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
Courbet class CT Battery ships (1879)
Amiral Duperre barbette ship (1879)
Terrible class barbette ships (1883)
Amiral Baudin class barbette ships (1883)
Barbette ship Hoche (1886)
Marceau class barbette ships (1888)
Cerbere class arm. rams (1870)
Tonnerre class Br. Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br. Monitors (1876)
Tonnant Barbette ship (1880)
Furieux Barbette ship (1883)
Fusee class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class C.Defense ships (1890)

La Galissonière Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1872)
Bayard class barbette ships (1879)
Vauban class barbette ships (1882)
Prot. Cruiser Sfax (1884)
Prot. Cruiser Tage (1886)
Prot. Cruiser Amiral Cécille (1888)
Prot. Cruiser Davout (1889)
Forbin class Cruisers (1888)
Troude class Cruisers (1888)
Alger class Cruisers (1891)
Friant class Cruisers (1893)
Prot. Cruiser Suchet (1893)
Descartes class Cruisers (1893)
Linois class Cruisers (1896)
D'Assas class Cruisers (1896)
Catinat class Cruisers (1896)

R. de Genouilly class Cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Duquesne (1876)
Cruiser Tourville (1876)
Cruiser Duguay-Trouin (1877)
Laperouse class Cruisers (1877)
Villars class Cruisers (1879)
Cruiser Iphigenie (1881)
Cruiser Naiade (1881)
Cruiser Arethuse (1882)
Cruiser Dubourdieu (1884)
Cruiser Milan (1884)

Parseval class sloops (1876)
Bisson class sloops (1874)
Epee class gunboats (1873)
Crocodile class gunboats (1874)
Tromblon class gunboats (1875)
Condor class Torpedo Cruisers (1885)
G. Charmes class gunboats (1886)
Inconstant class sloops (1887)
Bombe class Torpedo Cruisers (1887)
Wattignies class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)
Levrier class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)

Marinha do Brasil 1898 Marinha do Brasil
Siete de Setembro class (1874)
Riachuleo class (1883)
Aquidaban class (1885)

Marina de Mexico 1898 Mexico
GB Indipendencia (1874)
GB Democrata (1875)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
Cruiser Heibtnuma (1890)
Cruiser Lufti Humayun (1892)
Cruiser Hadevendighar (1892)
Shadieh class cruisers (1893)
Turkish TBs (1885-94)

Regia Marina 1898 Regia Marina Pr. Amadeo class (1871)
Caio Duilio class (1879)
Italia class (1885)
Ruggero di Lauria class (1884)
Carracciolo (1869)
Vettor Pisani (1869)
Cristoforo Colombo (1875)
Flavio Goia (1881)
Amerigo Vespucci (1882)
C. Colombo (ii) (1892)
Pietro Micca (1876)
Tripoli (1886)
Goito class (1887)
Folgore class (1887)
Partenope class (1889)
Giovanni Bausan (1883)
Etna class (1885)
Dogali (1885)
Piemonte (1888)
Staffeta (1876)
Rapido (1876)
Barbarigo class (1879)
Messagero (1885)
Archimede class (1887)
Guardiano class GB (1874)
Scilla class GB (1874)
Provana class GB (1884)
Curtatone class GB (1887)
Castore class GB (1888)

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Glatton (1871)
Devastation classs (1871)
Cyclops class (1871)
HMS Rupert (1874)
Neptune class (1874)
HMS Dreadnought (1875)
HMS Inflexible (1876)
Agamemnon class (1879)
Conqueror class (1881)
Colossus class (1882)
Admiral class (1882)
Trafalgar class (1887)
Victoria class (1890)
Royal Sovereign class (1891)
Centurion class (1892)
HMS Renown (1895)

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

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

Infanta Maria Teresa class (1890)
Emperador Carlos V (1895)
Cristobal Colon (1897)
Princesa de Asturias (1896)
Aragon class (1879)
Velasco class (1881)
Isla de Luzon (1886)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Reina Regentes class (1887)

Destructor class (1886)
Temerario class (1891)
TGunboat Filipinas (1892)
De Molina class (1896)
Furor class (1896)
Audaz class (1897)
Spanish TBs (1878-87)
Fernando class gunboats (1875)
Concha class gunboats (1883)

US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
USS Maine (1889)
USS Texas (1892)
Indiana class (1893)
USS Iowa (1896)

Amphitrite class (1876)
USS Puritan (1882)
USS Monterey (1891)

Atlanta class (1884)
USS Chicago (1885)
USS Charleston (1888)
USS Baltimore (1888)
USS Philadelphia (1889)
USS San Francisco (1889)
USS Newark (1890)
USS New York (1891)
USS Olympia (1892)
Cincinatti class (1892)
Montgomery class (1893)
Columbia class (1893)
USS Brooklyn (1895)

USS Vesuvius (1888)
USS Katahdin (1893)
USN Torpedo Boats (1886-1901)
GB USS Dolphin (1884)
Yorktown class GB (1888)
GB USS Petrel (1888)
GB USS Bancroft (1892)
Machias class GB (1891)
GB USS Nashville (1895)
Wilmington class GB (1895)
Annapolis class GB (1896)
Wheeling class GB (1897)
Small gunboats (1886-95)
St Louis class AMC (1894)
Harvard class AMC (1888)
USN Armoured Merchant Cruisers
USN Armed Yachts

WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
B3 class (1918)

WW1 British Battlecruisers
Invincible class (1907)
Indefatigable class (1909)
Lion class (1910)
HMS Tiger (1913)
Renown class (1916)
Courageous class (1916)
G3 class (1918)

ww1 British cruisers
Blake class (1889)
Edgar class (1890)
Powerful class (1895)
Diadem class (1896)
Cressy class (1900)
Drake class (1901)
Monmouth class (1901)
Devonshire class (1903)
Duke of Edinburgh class (1904)
Warrior class (1905)
Minotaur class (1906)
Hawkins class (1917)

Apollo class (1890)
Astraea class (1893)
Eclipse class (1894)
Arrogant class (1896)
Pelorus class (1896)
Highflyer class (1898)
Gem class (1903)
Adventure class (1904)
Forward class (1904)
Pathfinder class (1904)
Sentinel class (1904)
Boadicea class (1908)
Blonde class (1910)
Active class (1911)
'Town' class (1909-1913)
Arethusa class (1913)
'C' class series (1914-1922)
'D' class (1918)
'E' class (1918)

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

WW1 British Destroyers
River class (1903)
Cricket class (1906)
Tribal class (1907)
HMS Swift (1907)
Beagle class (1909)
Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
Acasta class (1912)
Laforey class (1913)
M/repeat M class (1914)
Faulknor class FL (1914)
T class (1915)
Parker class FL (1916)
R/mod R class (1916)
V class (1917)
V class FL (1917)
Shakespeare class FL (1917)
Scott class FL (1917)
W/mod W class (1917)
S class (1918)

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

WW1 British Submarines
Nordenfelt Submarines (1885)
Flower class sloops
British Gunboats of WWI
British P-Boats (1915)
Kil class (1917)
British ww1 Minesweepers
Z-Whaler class patrol crafts
British ww1 CMB
British ww1 Auxiliaries

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Europe
Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Greek Royal Navy Greece

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spain Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden


WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
Wyoming class (1911)
New York class (1912)
Nevada class (1914)
Pennsylvania class (1915)
New Mexico class (1917)
Tennessee Class (1919)
Colorado class (1921)
North Carolina class (1940)
South Dakota class (1941)
Iowa class (1942)
Montana class (cancelled)

WW2 American Cruisers
Omaha class cruisers (1920)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
New Orleans class cruisers (1933)
Brooklyn class cruisers (1936)
USS Wichita (1937)
Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1943)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

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


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