Aircraft Carrier Béarn (1923)

France

The first French aircraft carrier

Apart the Foudre, an early seaplane carrier of 1911 converted from a 1890s torpedo-boat carrier, the wartime aircraft depot ships Campinas and Nord, France did not relied a lot on ship-based aviation during the great war, certainly not on the scale of the Royal Navy. However at the end of the war there was greater interest in the matter and from 1919 take-off tests started from the sloop Bapaume (1919), with an evaluation campaign by aviator Paul Teste and his Hanriot HD2 fighter (photo below).
*Cover: Colorized photo by Hirootoko Jr.

paul teste
Paul Teste making trials on board the Sloop Bapaume (cc).

The Washington treaty of 1922 placed a ban on battleship construction but left a gaping hole in terms of aircraft carriers, by then still unexplored territories.

Therefore, France like UK, Japan, and the USA could choose to complete unfinished hulls of battleships or battlecruisers, after HMS Furious showed it was possible. More so, the completion of the unfinished Almirante Cochrane, as HMS Eagle from 1918, showed it was also possible on a battleship. At a time air power was still not well defined, having a ship well armored and capable to fight cruisers with a barbette armament and turrets was seductive.

Unfinished Battleships: Normandie class

Normandy class BBs

On the other hand, France had on her slipways before the war five 25,000  battleships that has been launched in 1914: Flandre, Gascoigne, Languedoc and Normandie (named after France's historical regions) on all her four major yards, Arsenal de Brest, Lorient, FC de la Gironde (Bordeaux) and AC de la Loire.

Workers enlisted to fight and therefore the hulls were left unfinished for years. Only one ship has not been launched: Béarn, laid down in January 1914 at FC de la Méditerranée, Toulon. The reason was she was to be completed on a modified design. She was the only one with a direct drive and four Parsons turbines. All the others had neither their boilers installed, fitted on other ships, nor their guns installed, which ended on railways to pummel the front.

This famous class was the first to inaugurate the trademark French quad-turret design. The advantage was to limit the armor scheme to three turret wells and ammo rooms, therefore allowing some weight-saving for a better overall speed of 21 knots. It was good in 1913, but the same year the new British designs of "super-dreadnoughts" capable of 23 knots appeared (Queen Elisabeth class). Still, these battleships had a broadside of twelve 340 mm guns, two more than the Iron Duke class. The only backside was that a single hit can disable twice more guns. All in all, these new Normandie class would have been formidable battleships if completed. With the manpower resources of the British Empire of Germany, it could have been so, but not in the current situation.

Therefore in 1922 the new Washington treaty obliged the French to make choices, left with the same tonnage as Italy, which was felt insufficient by the naval staff to defend the French Empire, but realistic on the economic point of view. Already in service, older battleships were kept for future modernizations, while the new ones had to be broken up to respect the new tonnage limits, while recycled materials were reused in modern units.

By that time, Béarn's incomplete hull has been launched in April 1920 to clear the slipway, and the Admiralty was not sure what to do with it. Her hull was about 8–10% complete, the engine rooms had received 25% of their equipment, boilers were 17% assembled, turrets were 20% completed, guns not received.


view of the flight deck of the Béarn after the 1935 refit, U.S. Navy Naval Aviation News May 1963

About Project 171 (1920-24)

In 1920, a French naval delegation was sent to visit HMS Argus, making observations about operations, aircraft handling, etc. They came out with the idea of a complete transformation of the unfinished ship, named Project 171. This was later ratified by the Admiralty on 18 April 1922, not long after the hull was made available for completion on a new design. Her sister-ships, the four unfinished battleships of the Normandie class would be scrapped and materials recycled into the light cruisers of the Primauguet class and further constructions.

Conversion work started in August 1923, on plans at first derived from the conversion of HMS Argus, and lasted until May 1927 after many modifications. Just after Béarn was launched, the Marine Nationale constructed a mocked-up flight deck right on the unfinished hull to perform some tests.

Indeed pilot Paul Teste multiplied landing experiments until October 1920 and advised the Marine Nationale to convert the ship for experimental purposes, to allow time to design proper scratch-built aircraft carriers (which will be the Joffre and Painlevé).


Béarn off Martinique Island 1942 (src U.S. Navy All Hands magazine January 1948)

Design of the Béarn

The Béarn was 170.6 m (560 ft) long and up to 182.6 m (599 ft) overall, useful length to build the flight deck, large enough to authorize both landings and simultaneous flight-offs.
Beam was 27.13 m (89.0 ft), enough to stack some folded wings planes on one side, and use the bulk space for spacious hangars and aviation gasoline and improved ASW protection.

Standard displacement was 22,146 long tons (22,501 t) up to 28,400 long tons (28,900 t) at the end of the conversion. The most recognizable feature at first was a retractable charthouse installed in the flight deck near the bow, something inspired by HMS Argus and the first British aircraft carriers.

Bearn, colorized by Hirootoko Jr
Bearn, colorized by Hirootoko Jr.

Propulsion

Béarn's machinery consisted of two sets of steam turbines driving the inner pair of propeller shafts, plus a pair of reciprocating engines for the outer shafts. The advantage of the formula was to allow long cruises and extending the range when speed was not an issue. In case of emergency, the whole machinery could deliver up to 37,000 hp, that is 22,500 shp (16,800 kW) with the turbines alone and 15,000 ihp (11,000 kW) with the reciprocating VTE engines.

Steam was supplied by six Normand du Temple water-tube boilers. Their exhausts were truncated into a single funnel on the starboard side of the flight deck and stacked down to it was a large vented chamber to mix cooler air with the boiler exhaust. The idea was to reduce air turbulence over the flight deck.

Thanks to this system, Béarn could reach 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph) at max power, carrying 2,160 long tons (2,190 t) of fuel oil, enough for 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at cruising speed of 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph).

Protection

As a former battleship, the hull was stripped of all and any armor, with only a symbolic 80 mm belt on the central section of the ship, with a buttress of ASW compartmentation behind. However as shown by the blueprints, there were still an angled bulkhead over the machinery, which seemed relatively thick, possibly also 80 mm. The second point is of course the flight deck, which was 25 mm thick, in relation to the usual figures for armoured ship's less exposed vertical surface at that time.

Bearn 1927 Bearn 1927 Bearn blueprints 2 Bearn blueprints 3 Bearn blueprints 4 Bearn blueprints 5

Equipments

Béarn was built to accommodate up to 40 aircraft. The ship's aviation facilities consisted of a 180-meter-long (590 ft) flight deck served by three electrically powered elevators: The rear and central elevators were larger, to lift the torpedo bombers and reconnaissance models which needed more taking-off space while fighter was lifted by the smaller forward elevator. To house these, there were two hangars 124-metre (407 ft) long each and below aircraft maintenance facilities and storage for spare parts.

In addition, the ship carried some 3,530 cubic feet (100 m3) of aviation gasoline and plus 15 m3 of aviation oil, with inert gas inserted in double tanks case of a rupture. There was one main lift for crashed aircraft recovery and lifting storage and payloads on board. A second one was installed during the American refit. In 1928, the provisional ropes-sandbags were replaced by hydraulic arrestor systems but no catapult was ever fitted.

Armament

Her defense, in addition to light AA guns, was ensured by the old barbette guns of the battleship. These were the eight 6.1 in (150 mm) /55 Mod 21 guns in casemates, inherited from the battleship and thought for ship-to-ship naval defense. She also had six 76 mm (3.0 in) AA guns and eight more modern 37 mm (1.5 in) AA guns. From 1935 this was reinforced by sixteen 13mm machine guns in single mounts.

This would will evolve in 1944: In addition to a radar, modern navigation systems, a new heavy-duty crane, USN equipments, she also received a brand new anti-aircraft battery of four single standard 5"/38 dual-purpose guns (to make room, barbette guns were deposed and openings removed or welded shut) and twenty-four (Six quad mounts) Bofors 40 mm guns and their fire directors, and eventually twenty-six Oerlikon 20 mm guns in individual mountings under masks, all along the bridge in bath-tub arrangements, and along the island, like American aircraft carriers.

Her level of AA protection was similar to USN Sangamon class escort aircraft carriers. She carried a wide array of planes and operated Wildcats when performing escort missions.

Bearn
Overview of the Béarn in 1935 - src www.navweaps.com

Onboard aviation

She carried up to twelve different types of aircraft at this time of naval aviation experimentation. In 1939, her fleet consisted of Wibauld 75, LGL 32, and Levasseur PL4 torpedo bombers, all of which were out of date in 1939. Her initial group was a squadron of twelve torpedo bombers, twelve reconnaissance aircraft, and eight fighters.

Fighters
-Hanriot HD.12 (1920)
-Nieuport 21 (1920)
-Nieuport-Delage NiD-32RH (1920)
-Ansaldo/Dewoitine D.1ter
-Wibault 74 (1928)
-Loire-Gourdou-Lesseure LGL.32 (1932)
-Dewoitine D.373/D.376 (1937/39)

Bombers/Torpedo-bombers
-Levasseur PL 2 (1926)
-Levasseur PL 4 (1930)
-Levasseur PL 5 (1932)
-Levasseur PL 7 (1933)
-Levasseur PL 101 (1937)

Modernized Complement 1940:

Fighters
-Dewoitine D.790 (Navalized Dewoitine D.520)
-Latécoère 675
-Grumman F4F Wildcat (as transport 1943-45)

Bombers/Torpedo-bombers
-Latécoère 299
-Loire-Nieuport LN.401
-Vought SB2U Vindicator (called Vought  V156F): 40 delivered

V156F
Vought 156F tested on board in 1940, here in the hangar (a French version of the Vought SB2U Vindicator). Scr forummarine.forumactif.com/t4805-france-porte-avions-bearn

The SB2U were purchased with a franchise to be later built in France, called V156F. The Land-based naval aviation was located and tested was located in Hyères (SE France), from 1936 and was later relocated to Lanvéoc in Britanny.

Active service: The Béarn in action 1929-1967

Pioneering era (1928-35)

Béarn started active service in 1928-29, testing airplane handling, take off and landings, and training a generation of airmen. The first years were spent in the Mediterranean, with clear skies ideal for onboard aviation, and she was based in North Africa. She also toured from 15 April to 25 June 1932, stopping at Beyrouth and Athens.  But she bore within herself her own limitations. She was slow, especially given the standards of the thirties, at least ten knot slower than the slowest French cruiser. In fact she was unfit for squadron exercises, and taking an active part in a combined fleet operation was out of the question.

Despite her limitations, Béarn was every bit a fully-fledged aircraft carrier, akin the Eagle. Her full deck was well cleared, with a port island, a double-stack hangar running on two-thirds of the ship,  and lifts (albeit slow). Reports were not flattering on their performance, in particular one of 1937 which underlined Béarn could make land fifteen planes in one hour eight minutes, thirty-two aircraft for the Glorious in  forty-two minutes and on the Saratoga forty in just eleven minutes.

Loire-Gourdou Lesseure LGL-32
A Loire-Gourdou Lesseure LGL-32 fighter of the ET1 landing. This 1930 plane was armed by two synchronized Vickers MGs and propelled by an Hispano Suiza 8Ab of 180 hp at 240 kph. (cc)

Levasseur PL101
Levasseur PL101 (1933). Comparable to the Fairey swordfish, 30 of this recce/bomber were built, which served until September 1939. This 3150 kg plane, 14.20m wide and propelled by an Hispano-Suiza 12Lb 600hp (220kph), like other Levasseur planes was able to survive a sea crash thanks to its hydroplane features. (cc)

Prewar career (1935-39)

From 1936 she was redeployed in Britanny, operating from Brest. The main reason was new ships had been acquired by the fleet for the Mediterranean and Béarn was to be replaced here by the two brand new Joffre class in 1939. This would allowed the French naval air to finally accompany the squadron. Béarn replacement was planned for 1948 by an aircraft carrier of 20,000 tons (2,000 tons more than the Joffre) whose start was scheduled for 1943.

A new generation of aircraft was being developed, notably to serve onboard future ports. planes under construction, the Joffre and the Painlevé. Among these aircraft, the LN401 dive bomber, the D376/373 fighter, the naval version of the Bloch 200, and the American-built Vought V156F (SB2U Vindicator) torpedo bomber.

Wartime: 1940 campaign

All these planes never touched her flight deck. In September 1939, the Béarn Air Group fought from land bases during the May-June 1940 campaign, destroyed on the ground, thrown against columns of Panzers and eliminated by FLAK, or decimated by the Luftwaffe.

Bearn, because of her wartime limitations was sent to Martinique, neutral after carrying French gold reserves to Halifax. Until May 1940 indeed she made several rotations between Brest and Halifax before returning to the Mediterranean for training naval air pilots.

This was brief as at the end of May 1940 already she was back at Halifax to load planes ordered from the United States. US neutrality prevented indeed French ships from loading directly from any US harbor. However the process took time and when France surrendered, both Béarn had the school cruiser Jeanne d'Arc were present in Halifax, with 44 Curtiss SBC-4 Helldiver, 23 Curtiss H-75, 6 Brewster B-339 and 33 Stinson 105 on board. She sailed from Halifax on June 16, 1940 to France, but was re-routed to the West Indies on June 20, 1940 as the Germans now controlled the coast as well.

Under Vichy Control (1940-43)

The Bearn sailed to Martinique, Fort de France (French Caribean) arriving May 27 where she met the cruiser Emile Bertin. On board were loaded 290 tons of gold later stored at Fort Desaix. Planes landed, and stored in open air. Not only they quickly deteriorated, but the absence of air crews prevented any use. Despite of this, American authorities feared an for example over the Panam canal action after the British bombarded Mers-el-Kebit and interned the French fleet. Diplomatic relations of Vichy-France were broken with the British and icy with the Americans to this point.

The Bearn was kept under theoretical Vuchy control, remaining immobilized in the West Indies until July 1943. Admiral Robert, High Commissioner of France in the West Indies refused to rally to the government of Algiers despites several calls and remained faithful to the Vichy government. However later another attempt was made later with the modernization of French ships as an issue of tight negotiations between the Americans and the French Naval Mission in the United States of Vice Admiral Fennard.

Second career with the Free French

The French demanded a lot of equipment despite USN reluctance to modernize ships that were already obsolescent. Béarn will undergo a transformation into an aviation transport. She was to be escorted, partially demilitarized, sailing on a floating drydock for New Orleans on September 8, 1943. She was to be converted to the Avondale shipyard. To make room for the additional AA, the forward flight deck section and the rear one are cut off. On December 30, 1944, she left Lousiana for Norfolk where the refit was completed and on March 3, 1945, she was in New York where she carried planes in a convoy bound for Great Britain.

On March 13, 1945, she collided with an American troops transport to take (4 dead on Béarn) and had to stop on the Azores for makeshift repairs. She reached Casablanca on March 25, 1945 and was maintained for prolongated repairs until July 19, 1945.

Third career in Indochina and the Med

When fully repaired, the Béarn was used to transport the French Expeditionary Force in the Far East (CEFEO) in October 1945 and was deployed to support it until June 1946. There, she only carried planes to be based on land, not operating them, as the task was given to the modern Dixmude and Bois Belleau already.

Completely worn out when the Indochina war ended, she returned to mainland France, Toulon on July 23, 1946. On October 1, 1946 she was paid off and mothballed until December 9, 1948. She underwent a short refit to serve as floating barracks for submarine crews of the 1st ESM, compensating for the destruction of the installations of the harbor. She was finally written off the lists and broken up in 1967.

Specifications (1940)

Dimensions182.6 x 35.2 x 9.3 m (600 x 115 x 30 ft)
Displacement22,146 long tons (22,501 t), 28,400 long tons (28,900 t) FL
Crew856
Propulsion2x Parsons geared steam turbines, 2x RPC steam engines
Speed21.5 kn (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)
Range7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Armament8 × 155 mm (6.1 in)/50, 6 × 75 mm (3 in), 8 × 37 mm, 16 × 13.2 mm AA, 4 × 550 mm (22 in) TTs
ProtectionMain Belt: 80 mm (3.1 in), Flight Deck: 25 mm (1.0 in)

Read More

Gardiner Conway's all the world's fighting Ships 1921-1947
  • On navypedia.org
  • http://www.alabordache.fr/marine/espacemarine/desarme/porte-avions/bearn/
  • http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/carriers/france.htm#bearn
  • On secondeguerre.net
  • Alexandre Sheldon-Duplaix, Histoire mondiale des porte-avions : des origines à nos jours, ETAI, Boulogne-Billancourt, 2006
  • Jean Moulin, L'Aéronavale française: les avions embarqués, Marines Éditions, 2006
  • Bearn on wikipedia
  • http://3dhistory.de/wordpress/warship-drawings-warship-blue-prints-warship-plans/french-aircraft-carrier-drawingsplan-sets/french-aircraft-carrier-bearn-as-build-1927/
  • https://www.secondeguerre.net/articles/navires/fr/pa/na_bearn.html
Bearn 1940
Author's Profile of the Béarn in 1940.

Beran 1944
Author's profile of the Béarn as a carrier in 1945, after a refit in the USA. It started in April-May 1943 but only concluded in March 1945. In addition to a radar and more modern equipments, her flight deck fore and aft was curtailed and she was rearmed with four USN standard 5-in (127 mm), 24 2-in (40 mm) in 6 quadruple mounts and 26 single Oerlikon guns.

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)


Faceboook Feed


Twitter Feed


patreon

Support us on Patreon !


Youtube naval encyclopedia Channel

Go to the Playlist
Tank Encyclopedia, the first online tank museum
Plane Encyclopedia - the first online warbirds museum
posters Shop
Poster of the century
Historical Poster - Centennial of the Royal Navy "The Real Thing" - Support Naval Encyclopedia, get your poster or wallpaper now !

Battleship Yamato in VR

Virtual Reality Section