Delaware class battleships (1909)

USA (1909) USS Delaware, North Dakota

USS North Dakota
USS North Dakota

The Delaware class in short

Dreadnought battleships of the Delaware class were launched in 1909 and completed in 1910, and can be seen as the first "true" dreadnoughts of the American Navy, since the preceding South Carolina were a bit of compromise between the old and new designs.

They were in tonnage, dimensions, and especially speed, more in line with this type of modern battleship.

-The USS Delaware (BB-28) was laid down at Newport News Shipbuilding, 11 November 1907, launched 6 February 1909 commissioned 4 April 1910, and decommissioned on 10 November 1923, Broken up at Boston the next year.

-The USS North Dakota (BB-29) was laid down 16 December 1907 at Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, launched 10 November 1908 and commissioned 11 April 1910. It was decommissioned 22 November 1923 and Broken up at Baltimore, 1931.

Design

In 1908 indeed, the 16,000 long tons (16,257 t) limit imposed on capital ships by the United States Congress was waived, allowing new designs to be built (although still with a budget capped to 6 million USD).

The Bureau of Construction and Repair undergone a serie of modifications and by 1909, the ships were the first in US naval history to exceed 20,000 long tons (20,321 t). Outside a length allowing an extra pair of 12 in cannons (305 mm), the Delawares reintroduced a full-fledged medium-caliber weapon for anti-torpedo boat defense, another critic of the previous design.


Blueprint of the class

This secondary artillery however was of 5-inch (127 mm), less than 152 to 160 mm adopted by European navies, but the guns were faster, and will imposed themselves as a standard throughout the XXth century. The Delawares were also capable of 21 kn (24 mph; 39 km/h) versus 18.5 kn (21 mph; 34 km/h) on the previous ships, more in line with modern dreadnoughts.

At first drawn with classical simple masts, the latter were converted to their completion in cranes for lifeboats. Their "corbel" type masts were a recurring feature of American BBs until the 1940s.

Protection

This was probably the less revolutionary of the three aspects: The armored belt ranged was 9 to 11 in (229 to 279 mm) thick, on the more important areas of the ship (from A turret to Z turret). Barbettes had between 8 and 10 in (203 and 254 mm) of armor.

Main gun turrets base and "well" was armored with 4 to 10 in (102 and 254 mm). The front and rear sections of the main barbette received thinner armor to save weight. The gun turrets were 12 in (305 mm) thick, conning tower 11.5 in (292 mm) thick but deck armor was quite thin at 1.5 in (38 mm) but 2 in (51 mm) over the engines and ammo magazines.

Indeed engagements were thought to be less than 10,000 yd (9,144 m). At such distances, high angles deck impacts would be rare.


USS North Dakota firing a broadside

Propulsion

Long story short, North Dakota was fitted with steam turbines, whereas Delaware retained triple-expansion engines. US turbines the did not bring frank advantages in output or speed over triple-expansion (TE) systems. They were also much less fuel-efficient, a crucial flaw for the Pacific, as the US lacked an extended network of coaling stations, unlike Great Britain.

Armament

They also received two additional 305 mm pieces (one more turret), bringing the total to 10 as the British HMS Dreadnought, but crucially, all the turrets were in the centerline, allowing a better broadside, with all guns to bear, but at the cost of chase and retreat firepower.

These 12-inch/45 caliber Mark 5 guns had a rate of fire of 2-3 rpm, with 870 lb (395 kg) shells, of AP or HE types declared obsolete by 1915. Propellant charge was 310 lb (141 kg) in silk bags, muzzle velocity was 2,700 ft/s (823 m/s).

Like the previous class, the front artillery was mounted fore in a superfiring pair, while the rear turrets were disposed in such a way that one in-between was sacrificed and cannot fire in retreat but in high angle only, and with care, its blast knocking the Z turret each time. This center-line disposition was optimized for broadsides. There was another design challenge imposed by the weight of the artillery, 437 long tons (444 t) per turret, imposing some hull stress management. This was partly solved by deepening the hull.

5in (127 mm) casemate

However, they were also critics about their 5-inch/50 caliber Mark 6 barbettes, far too low, putting the efficiency of these secondary guns at the mercy of gales. In fact they were extremely wet at all times. These guns however compensated by a rate of fire of 6 to 8 rounds per minute. Three types of ammo were in store: "light" AP shell of 50 lb, "heavy" AP round of 60 lb and the common Mark 15 shell of 50 lb.

The latter had a muzzle velocity of 3,000 ft/s (914 m/s), vs 2,700 ft/s (823 m/s) for the heavy AP ones. The Bliss-Leavitt 21-inch Mark 3 Model 1 torpedo were installed underwater on both sides, and had an explosive charge of 210 lb (95 kg) of TNT, and could achieve a range of 9,000 yd (8,230 m) at 27 kn (31 mph; 50 km/h).

Later in wartime, an anti-aircraft artillery was installed, two 3-inch/50 caliber anti-aircraft (AA) guns in Mark 11 mounts in 1917. Maximum ceiling 30,400 ft (9,266 m) at 85 degrees.

The Delaware class in action

Prior to the war, the Delaware shown it could run at full speed for 24h, and endure the stress of it during trials, the first American warship to do so. She spend her career in fleet exercises with the US Atlantic Fleet, and did trips to Europe, South America, the Caribbeans, taking part in the Second battle of Vera Cruz in April–May 1914.

The North Dakota also served with the Atlantic Fleet and her sister-ship, paid a visit to Europe in 1910, took part in the invasion of Vera Cruz in 1914.


USS North Dakota in the Panama canal

USS Delaware and North Dakota in 1914-18

Both ships served in the Atlantic during the war, however the North Dakota remained stateside, barely leaving the coastal waters. This was due probably to its somewhat unreliable turbines and ordered by rear admiral Hugh Rodman, the naval commander of the American expeditionary force.
She started in 1917 a new mission of training gunners and naval engineers. When the war started for the US in April 1917, USS Delaware trained on the eastern coast before eventually join the US Navy's Battleship Division Nine deployed in Europe, under the command of Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman. She then was assigned on 7 December to the 6th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. She eventually returned to the US on July 1918.

Postwar

The Delaware made only two more cruises, in 1922 and 1923 (a long trio to Europe, and up to Gibraltar) before returning and being decommissioned and disarmed in Boston Navy Yard in November. North Dakota made a second trip to Europe, mostly in the Mediterranean Sea.

She was tasked with the return of the remains of the Italian ambassador, Vincenzo Macchi di Cellere (died 20 October 1919 in Washington, DC). She then returned and participated in aerial bombing demonstrations off the Virginia Capes in 1921. In 1923, she made a third trip to Europe with midshipmen from the Naval Academy aboard, stopping in Spain, Scotland, and Scandinavia.

But like her sistership she was relegated to the surplus naval forces targeted by the Washington Naval Treaty. Unlike the Delaware after being disarmed in 1923 she was converted into a target ship, redesignated as "unclassified", and used as a target until 1931, scrapped afterwards.

USS North Dakota
USS North Dakota in Malta

Delaware class (1909)

Dimensions158,20 m x26 m x 8,3 m
Displacement20 400t, 22 060t Fully Loaded
Propulsion2 shafts curtis turbines, 12 Babcock et Wilcox boilers, 25 000 hp, 21 knots
Armament10 x 12in (305 mm) (5x2), 14 x 5in (127 mm), 2 TT (side, sub) 21 (533 mm)
ArmorBelt, barbettes 250 mm, turrets, conning tower 305 mm.
Crew880

Gallery


Profile of the Delaware in 1914


North Dakota before the war


USS Delaware rear battery


USS Delaware in 1920


USS Delaware in full speed trials after completion. She sustained 24h at 21 knots without any problems with its TE engines.

Naval History

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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)
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Forward class (1904)
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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)
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Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
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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)
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WW1 British Submarines
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✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Europe
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Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
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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
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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
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Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
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Landing Ship Tank
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LCVP class LC
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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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