Dunkerque class Battleships (1935)

France - Dunkerque, Strasbourg

Genesis of the Dunkerque

The Dunkerque (Dunkirk) class (Dunkerque and Strasbourg) were the first French battleships launched since the Great War. Following the 1922 Treaty of Washington, and the Treaty of London (1930), France took advantage of the tonnage allocated to her in terms of battleships and cruisers, making a compromise to allow more vessels to be built in the allocated tonnage.

The global tonnage question was also a matter of pride, and to be relegated to the same level as Italy was considered by the naval staff as insufficient to say the least. Due to her Empire, France needed a fleet at least 20% of the size of the Royal Navy. But the truth was France made it out of the great war impoverished and near bankrupt. Germany would never pay the financial repairs agreed at the Versailles Treaty, so much so that the industrial Sarre (Saar) and Ruhr were occupied by French and Belgian troops to be repaid "in nature".

Georges Leygues Despite the anger upon this apparent downgrading of the French Navy, the exhausted country was in not way able to fulfill the alternative plan wanted by the admiralty. More so, the spectre of pre-1912 young school era mistakes was still looming over it and French politicians of the IIIrd republic looked with suspicion the naval staff initiatives. However it's a politician, Georges Leygues (photo), which will forge a fleet at the same time coherent and modern, and probably the best the country ever had for decades. The Dunkerque class was like a symbol of it, but its development took years (and the treaty ban for a start).

US Navy Recognition plates of the Dunkerque
US Navy Recognition plates of the Dunkerque

Development of the new French Capital ship

First off, the Washington ten years ban prevented the signatories, including the French and Italians to built any battleship before 1932. But given the fact both accepted a reduction in size (especially the French), a derogatory measure was approved and France and Italy were allowed to replace two old battleships after 1927. This allowed considering many designs from then on. However, the new Dunkirk were not "battleships", nor really true battlecruisers, as for this tonnage, protection was sacrificed for speed. The new battleships would emerge as a compromise between both types, as the Scharnhorst will.

wow dunkirk

The question of tonnage

Both France and Italy concentrated on modernizing their old battleships and keeping their allocated replacement tonnage of 70,000-long-ton to design brand new ships. The choice was soon either two 35,000 tons ships or three 23,000-long-ton (23,369 t) or even four 17,500-long-ton (17,781 t) ones, "pocket battlecruisers" as the future German Deutschland class. In fact all these cases were carefully examined by the admiralty in turn, but they had in common the trademark French quadruple turrets.


Dunkerque as built, photo colorized by Irootoko Jr.

The question of armament: "Quad or die"

Before even the start of the great war, as the Bretagne class dreadnoughts were under construction with five twin 340 mm turrets, Charles Doyère, head of the Shipbuilding dept. since 1911 and one of the 1912 program writers, proposed the Normandy class. He proposed right away quadruple 340 mm turrets, a world first, ahead of the triple turret innovated by Italy and soon copied by Russia and Austria-Hungary, and the US later for the Nevada4 class.


Lyon class blueprint, they would have been completed in 1918-19 if the war has not broke up.

It was a practical reasoning: Since size of the available construction holds was limited, also also limited size and tonnage, using quadruple turrets would it possible to have two more guns in the same space, one same dimensions as the Bretagne class and for a lower weight. This allowed to improve armor, raising it to 340 mm on the turrets armor's front, down to 250 mm for the two aft turrets.

The Normandy class was promising and was laid down in 1913, launched in 1914, but none was completed. The following Lyon class was larger (as a lengthening of the holds was planned in the years 1915-16), allowing one more turret for a staggering 16 guns volley (4x4). At the time they would have been completed however in 1918, navies planned already 18-in guns (457 mm) which would have far out-ranged the French battleships. Also, the question of shell dispersion was still not well considered at that time.

Design A: 17,500 tonnes pocket battlecruisers (1926)*


When in 1925 the Italians launched their Trento-class cruisers, French Vice Admiral Salaun considered the construction of 17,500 tons large cruiser, armed with two quadruple turrets with a seemingly obsolete caliber, 12 inches (305 mm) all forward. They would have been capable of 34 to 35 knots and with a partial armor able to defeat 8-in (200 mm) calibers shells (those of the Trento).
*Note: Letter denominations are for easier understanding, they were never official.

Design B1: 37,000 tonnes battlecruisers (1927)

B1 design battlecruiser
Next, three 37,000-ton battlecruisers designs were drawn in 1927-1928. Blueprints showed a very enlarged Suffren-class cruiser at 254-metre (833 ft) long, with the same tripod foremast but three quadruple 305 mm turrets, two forward, one aft and eight single 90 mm Mle 1926 HA guns, plus 37 mm AA mounts and torpedo tubes, 220 to 280 mm armour and 33 knots.

The story of the croiseurs de bataille de 37,000 tonnes is convoluted: In 1927-28 Vice-Admiral Violette was Chief of General Staff of the Navy, and launched studies for capital ships, and specifically "battle cruisers of 37,000 tonnes". 35,000 tonnes was considered a "normal" displacement, 37,000 tonnes fully loaded versus the "standard" as defined by the Washington Treaty, of 32-33,000 tonnes. Blueprints showed a silhouette inspired by the Suffren class cruisers wit two raked funnels and three turrets, including two superimposed at the front, one aft, and a secondary artillery of 130 mm quadruple turrets. Heavy AA comprised single shielded 90 mm guns M1926 as used on Colbert and Foch. They had two side catapults an single crane between the funnel and a hangar for four seaplanes total. The design has many similarities with the future Dunkerque.

37,000 tonnes battlecruiser depiction A Russian amateur depiction of the 37,000 tonnes battlecruiser, the hull as seen from above and turret size is probably innacurate.

Two types were designed in fact: -The 1927-28 design had twelve 305 mm guns in three quadruple turrets, twelve 130 mm guns. The latter were forward, abreast and behind the forward main artillery turrets, a third superimposed over "Z" main artillery turret aft, eight 90 mm, twelve 37 mm AA, 2x3 TT. Protection ranged from 220 to 280 mm, with 75 mm deck and ASW compartimentation with 20-50 mm sandwiched layers, coal and oil tanks and void ones, similar to the heavy cruisers plus machine compartimentation as the Duquesne class in separated groups. A top speed of 33 knots was planned and the hull was to be 254 m long. -The second type of 1928, was more a battleship with three twin 406 mm turrets, four 130 mm quadruple turrets, lower propulsion for 27 knots, but better armour.

Construction for both however was dropped at the time as beyond the capacity of existing shipyards. The largest at the time was the Salou basin in Brest, 200 m long. British shipyards were at the time large enough at 270 m, Germans one reached 290 m. Île-de-France (1927) was just constructed and measured 245 m long and this was not enough. For the planned Normandy, famous transatlantic of 313 m, Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Penhoët was forced to built a new construction hold, hold n ° 1. but its construction was beyond the French Navy budget at that time, so the project was postponed, and relaunched later on more reasonable dimensions, with compromises.

Design B2: 35,000 tonnes battlecruisers (1928)

B2 design

The second, 1928 alternative design called for a capital ship armed with three twin 406 mm turrets and four quadruple 130 mm turrets which was more capable of dealing with other battleships. It was shorter at 235 metres but wider, armor was thicker but the powerplant was smaller, thus reducing the top speed to 27 knots. However the choice was easy to make as there was no dock large enough to build a 35,000-ton hull longer than 250 metres (820 ft) at that time. In fact building the required docks would have cost the same as the two battleships, just when more stringent naval restrictions were discussed.

Design C: 23,700 tonnes light battlecruisers (1929)

Author's reconstitution from the original Algérie blueprint
Author's reconstitution from the original Algérie blueprint

The last chapter of this development came when the new chief of staff of the Marine Nationale, Vice Admiral Violette, ordered the Service Technique des Constructions Navales to design a modern "armoured cruiser" of 23,690 tons, a ship with a triple and quadruple turrets forward and one triple aft, all armed with the same 12 in caliber but protected with 8 in plates only. They were to be also armed by four twin 138 mm turrets and eight twin 100 mm AA turrets for 29 knots, and a general appareance which recalled the Algérie. In fact the design had the most influence over the Dunkerque proper development.

In Geneva, indeed, a Committee for Disarmament from the League of Nations planned a Washington treaty expansion into 1936, and United Kingdom strongly urged to cap displacement and maximum caliber to 25,000 tonnes and 305 mm for new capital ships. The French Government protested it needed larger ships and at that time pushed for larger designs, but the French Admiralty nevrthless, allowed to sturdy a contingency design to use the available tonnage, of 23,333 tonnes. Therefore a 23,690 tonnes "protected cruiser" was worked on by 1929. It was to have three 305 mm turrets, triple and quadruple and eight 138 mm guns, in twin half turrets as those of the Mogador class, and twin DP 100 mm (Algérie). With a sungle funnel and superstructures recalling the latter, it was closing on the silhouette of the Dunkirk.

Dunkerque Armour scheme
Armour scheme
Armour scheme of the Dunkerque class

Final displacement choice and the Deutschland class

What really decided the admiralty for good was the threat of Reichsmarine's "pocket battleships" recently launched of the Deutschland class. Both ships "cheated" over the 10,000 tons Versailles treaty limit. They were superior to any cruiser yet fast enough to escape battleships.

It was like a reinvention of the battlecruiser concept and perfectly suited for commerce raiding. Only three ships back then were able to catch these, the British battlecruisers Hood and the two Renown class. There were doubts also to the will or capacity of the Royal navy to protected French colonial routes in case of war with Germany. So new designs were immediately scrambled to deal with the new situation and protection against German 280 mm shells was at the center.

With the choice of a speed of 30 knots, the final design displacement was a relatively easy choice: 23,000 - 25,000 tons, which fitted British limitations and allowed to built three capital ships for the allocated tonnage. Although the London 1930 treaty prolongated the "battleship holiday" to 1936, the Washington's derogatory measure still applied and negociations took place between France and Italy in regards of their respective plans.

Bilateral discussions ended in March 1930 with the acceptance of a 23,333 tonnes standard capital ship until 1936. The French had from then free hands for the Dunkerque. The new design was quickly drawn, with a 213 m hull, 27.5 m wide to fit in the existing dockyard, and 30 knots. A 230 mm armored belt and well thought ASW and machinery compartimentation, plus two quadruple 305 mm/55 gun turrets forward. However after a parliament submission, it was rejected.

By 1931 Admiral Durand-Viel became C-in-C and reworked the design for a new submission: This time, tonnage was augmented to 26,500 tons and the hull slighly larger to accomodate a caliber capable of dealing with Italian ships, 330 mm/50 guns. Armor was also slightly increased, and an additional 130 mm DP turrets were procured. The design was accepted in 1932 and the Dunkerque was ordered on 26 October and laid down on 24 December at the Arsenal de Brest shipyard.

The choice of the main artillery

The last unfinished battleships built by France were the Normandy class (1915), followed by the Lyon class. Both had in common a main artillery in quadruple turrets, but in separated pairs. The solution, unique to France, made it possible to maximize protection of vital parts related to artillery and ammunition supply.

The Lyon class, with their four quadruple turrets, would have had 16 pieces for their main artillery, a world record for a battleship. The weight of these turrets was not negligible either. However in the new tactical developments post-Jutland the advantage favored hunting fire, which explains the original chosen solution of the front artillery for the Dunkirk class, whose genesis went back to 1925 and the British Nelson class that showed the way.

Dunkerque in 1938, ONI
Dunkerque in 1938, src: ONI203 booklet for identification of ships of the French Navy, Nov. 1942

Italian's replica to the Dunkirk

However, when these ship's construction was well advanced, Italy announced the construction of the Litorrio, in response to Dunkirk, with armor this time equivalent to their main artillery.

As a result, plans were made for the next class, the Richelieu to answer them in turn, to which the Italians replicated during ww2 with the Roma class. The two Dunkirks stemmed from a reflection on the usefulness of battleships, since no major naval battle had a lasting impact on strategic level, the latest being that of Jutland. In general all naval battles of WW1 with few exceptions have been battlecruiser engagements.

Also the defense of trade links in the French colonial Empire seemed to be paramount in 1930 and cruisers always had been considered better suited to this task. These ships were therefore designed specifically for this purpose. Even after the release of the heavier Scharnhorst, their artillery and armor remained nearly adequate. The Dunkirk was launched in 1935 and her sister-ship Strasburg in 1936. They were in operation in 1936-37.

Design of the Dunkirk, in detail


Dunkerque, stern view 1940 - ONI, USN Identification group Nov. 42.

Powerplant, speed and range

Propulsion consisted in four 4.20m bronze propellers at the end of the shafts turned by Parsons gear turbines, with the steam coming from 62 boilers made at Indret. The powerplant was divided into four groups but five rooms: Forward was located the No. 1 boiler room under the forward Bridge turret two boilers, then came the front turbines, in two groups made of Parsons turbines mated on the external shafts, medium pressure a low pressure turbine. The third space contained two more boiler rooms right under the main funnel. Then came the central room boilers and rear room boilers and aft turbine room, with the high pressure inner shaft Parsons turbines.

Innovative Compartimentation
Sets of turbo generators were installed in the two turbine rooms. This arrangement was quite an innovation for the time. It was pioneered already by the projected 17,500 tonnes battlecruisers, and implemented on the first French 10,000 tonnes cruisers of the Duquesne class. This arrangement was not a substitute for protection but rather a rational way of managing power in case of a hit. A single hit was now unable to disrupt the whole power system. Even turbines were placed far apart and between boilers and rooms and turbines thick bulkheads prevented flooding.

Performances
Both battlecruisers were planned to achieve a top speed of 15.5 knots with just 25% of the available output, limited on two shafts, and 22.5 knots with four. Indeed the two high-pressure turbines were only started to reach 35-50% of the normal power, rated as 112,500 hp. This allowed, when all were in action, to propel the ship at 29.5 knots. Speed tests of May 1936 on Dunkerque and in July 1938 for Strasbourg, shown they were capable of sustaining 31 knots, notably on the "9th hour" run, at outputs, respectively of 132,000 hp to 135,000 hp.

Radius of action
Maximum capacity was comprised between 4,500 tonnes to 5,000 tonnes of oil (peace time and wartime) but it was in practice limited to 3,700 tonnes, leaving compartments to fill counterbalance load as an ASW protection. It was also determined not to fill these fully as this attenuated the torpedo hit shockwave. Autonomy as listed was 7,850 nautical miles at 15 knots. It went down to 2,450 nautical miles at 28 knots sustained for long hours.

Sea trials also shown smoke interference with the bridge control facilities from the flat-topped single funnel. Both battecruisers would receive in 1938 a funnel cap in "volute", larger than the old whistled top. It was also determined during the winter of 1939-1940 in the Atlantic both ships were not perfectly suited for heavy weather, taking gushes of water quick. The same problem was identified at the same time on KMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau so they were fitted with their so-called "atlantic" bow.

Armour protection

All or nothing scheme

Total protection figure on both ships represented 35.9% of the total displacement, the highest percentage for a French war vessel at that time, but was of the "all or nothing" scheme.
The armoured belt extended over 126 m (60% length), and was 225 mm thick leaving an unprotected fore deck. The forward bulkhead was 210 mm thick and aft one 180 mm thick, while the upper armored deck was protected by 125 mm and lower one only 40 mm. The conning tower/bridge was 270 mm at the front, 220 mm aft and 210 mm on top, while the main turrets' bases were protected by 310 mm barbettes while the turret faces had 30° sloped 330 mm thick faces, 345 mm back. The superfiring turret was protected by a 335 mm face and 150 mm roof. The secondary turrets were given 120 mm for their barbette, and the turrets themselves were protected by a 135 mm face, 80 mm back plate and 90 mm on the roof. The twin turrets only had for that part 20.5 mm.

The Superior Council of the Navy wished to modify the Strasbourg during construction. Plans were altered. The battlecruiser armoured belt was raised to 283 mm, the forward bulkhead thickened to 260 mm, and aft one down to 210 mm; The main turrets's barbettes were now 340 mm thick, faces 360 mm, back 352 mm (A) 342 mm (B) and roof 160 mm. This represented a 749 tonnes displacement increase, to 37.2% for the total.

Underwater protection

The principle of underwater protection consisted in a lateral “sandwich” of armored partitions ranging from from 16 mm to 50 mm in plating thickness, plus compartments, mostly filled with a rubber-based compound called "ebonite foam" or left empty, to be used as fuel tanks. The outer part of the ASW longitudnal compartment close to the armored belt was 1.5 m tall, filled with foam ebonite. Partition between them was 16 mm thick. Following compartments were a filled one 0.9 m deep, fuel tank 3.90 m deep new 10 mm thick separation, 0.70 m deep void compartment and this ended with a 30 mm torpedo partition, using plates with special steel. Under the 330 mm turret barbette, the torpedo partition was 50 mm and the fuel tank was replaced by ebonite-foam filled for a grand total of 7.50 m wide ASW partition. This was also innovative, way above existing battleship's protection, rarely beyond 5 meters in width. This protection proved efficient at Mers el-Kébir (July 6, 1940), preventing damage from fourteen submarine grenades which exploded near the hull of Dunkerque when she evaded the port.

Armament

For the first time, French battleships used a quadruple turrets, and it was also a world's first which interested naval experts around the world. This was a radical choice, which had its logic, but also tradeoffs as we are about to see.

Main artillery

The long-planned quadruple arrangement dated back at least from 1911. The turrets were arranged forward, following ideas derived from the experience of WW1, also tried on the Nelson class. This arrangement was also adopted by the Richelieu class and contemporary King Georges V class, while the next planned (Gascoigne class) had both turrets rearranged fore and aft.

The admiralty thought quadruple turrets as a way to reduce weight and improve the armor, in this never-ending puzzling problem of how to combined best armament vs. protection vs. speed, something all admiralties tried to resolve. The two forward turret arrangement made it possible of a free range forward, presenting a small target when approaching an adversary. When the Dunkerque was started, it became overnight the most powerful modern battleship compared to its Italian or German rivals, and faster than any other battleship other than pure battlecruisers like the Hood.

The forward-only artillery was possible in a relation with inferior navies, likely to retreat. The artillery disposition however was quite radical and very soon doubts would appear over its merits, starting as early as December 1937. While Dunkerque was undergoing testing, some in the naval staff voiced a design revision for the next 35,000 tonnes design, which will resurface with Gascoigne in 1938. The battle of Rio de la Plata showed indeed with the Amiral Graf Spee duelling against three cruisers, that evolution of the fight imposed to fight in retreat, while on paper its artillery was superior and could keep its adversaries at a distance. The latter closed in, the light cruisers even acting "as destroyers".

But before these considerations, on paper, the main goal for this artillery was to allow a more radical "all or nothing" approach for protection. The armored citadel was much reduced as it was reduced only between the main turrets, resulting in a weight saving allowing to increase plates thickness. This was so refined, these armor figures even went further and beyond the scheme planned for the Normandy class in 1912. This why both ships were eventually classes as "battleships" and not battlecruisers, as their protection figures equates, or went beyond the artillery caliber, characteristic of a battleship.

The use of two quadruple turrets however, had drawbacks.
-If one of these turrets was knocked out, half of the main artillery would be gone. The turret design therefore integrated an armored partition 25 to 40 mm thick inside the turret, just like hull compartimentation, preserving half of the guns. It showed its effectiveness when a 16-in shell (381 mm) hit the Dunkerque at Mers-el-Kébir. A hit in the barbette was also a huge risk and to further reduced risk of propagation the two front turrets were located 27 m from each other versus 19-23 m on HMS Nelson. Calculations also included the beam versus gunnery size and weight. It was of 406 mm/32 m on the master beam versus 340 mm/31 m master beam, so comparable.

-The other factor was shell dispersion. It was however only really a problem in case of a full broadside (when all guns fired at the same time). It happened for exhibitions, trials and reviews, but in operation, the phenomenon of dispersion was clear enough to stage firing (ex. two guns from both turrets, then the two next, or firing outwards guns only). Unfortunately, the accuracy of both ships was never seriously tested. Perhaps only the gunnery duel between the Vichy-Held Jean Bart against USS Massachusetts in November 1942 gave some clues.

Secondary artillery

The Dunkerque's secondary artillery was concentrated aft, more as an afterthought to avoid too daring destroyers and light cruiser to close to torpedo range. Again, the Nelson class solution was studied. But the Dunkerque class innovated by adopting a dual purpose anti-ship and long-range anti-aircraft model. Brand new, it was fixed at 130 mm in caliber, and for better concentration, placed in three armored quadruple turrets. There was one axial above the hangar and two broadside, little armored.

The 130 mm gun was considered however too weak in anti-ship use and too slow for effective AA fire. This caliber was used by the Chacal class and Bourrasque and Adroit class destroyers since the 1920s, whereas the following Bison and Fantasque classes were armed with the 138.6 mm guns. The same was planned for the 23,690-ton 'protected cruiser' project of 1929. It was considered a middle ground in secondary caliber range, between the 6-in and 5-in, also adopted by the U.S. and British (5.25-inch (133.35 mm) navy.

Dunkerque's 130 mm DP guns fired a 33.4 kg Shells (OPf Mle 1933) at a 20,800 m range, when elevated to 45°. Initial velocity was 800 m/s. When elevated to 75° in AA mode, they fired a 29.5 kg Steel Explosive Shell (OAS Mle 1934) at 840 m/s and 15,000 m practical ceiling. A total of 6,400 rounds were carried (400 per gun). The guns could also fire a Lighting Shells (OEcl Mle 1934 30 kg) and the rate of fire was around 10-12 shots per minute while turrets traversed at 12°/s and elevated at 8°/s.

The Dunkerque's secondary artillery was fragile and complicated, and unsatisfactory in both areas. The US Navy put some emphasis on semi-automated loading systems, allowing their ubiquitous 5-in (127 mm) /38 caliber twin mount (North Carolina, South Dakota, aircraft carriers, many cruisers) was able of 15 rpm, and up to 22. But moreover it was better served by the radar-assisted firing direction system Mk37 FCS during the war. Some of its technologies were not available to the French in 1930.

The Royal Navy's 5.25-inch (133.35 mm) found on the five King George V-class battleships and Dido class cruisers, was initally as slow as the French models and criticized, but the war allowed them to be much improved, tanks to the RP10Mk2 FCS and HACS AA firing control system first seen on HMS Anson and Bellona class cruisers. In contrast, the older French FCS did not had time to mature and never worked properly. Compared to it, French 75 mm, 90 mm AA gave satisfaction. It should be noted also that the French had no access to a radar, which was fitted on the Richelieu in 1942, and eventually found its way on the Strasbourg juste before her scuttling.

AA artillery


French Hotchkiss naval 37 mm Modele 1925.

Until the fully automatic twin mount 37 mm AA ACAD M1935 was available (capable of 150 rpm) the naval staff settled for the older semi-automatic Model 1933, capable of only 15-20 rounds per minute. It was by comparison much lower than the British Pom-Pom (200 rpm) and standard Bofors 40 mm (120 rpm). They were mounted either side of the 330 mm B turret in single positions, two other abreast the funnel and aft on a twin mount platform between the axial secondary turret's back and aft telemetric tower, so eight in all, four single, two twin.

In addition, the Dunkerque class carried thirty two 13.2 mm machine gun in quad-mount, none of them. They were derived from the well-proven Hotchkiss model also adopted by the IJN. It was a dependable, sufficient model for the aviation of the 1920s (but no longer in WW2), based on the same gas-operated trademark system derived from the 8 mm mle 1914, which proved extremely reliable. The choice of a 13.2 x 99 cartridge was changed to a 13.2 x 96 cartridge just as the Dunkerque class were fitting out. They were fed overhead by 30 round curved box magazines and were able of 450 rounds per minute, 200-250 rpm sustained due to magazine changes and overheating.

French Hotchkiss 13.2 mm M1929
French Hotchkiss 13.2 mm M1929.

Fire control

The fire control arrangement of the Dunkerque was inspired by the British Nelson class, with a massive tower superstructure instead of a tripod, strong enough and high enough for the telemetric turrets to stand above the funnel's smoke. The tower bridge was so high (even reminiscent of IJN battleships !) that for the first time an interior elevator was fitted to access all levels instead of simple ladders and steep stairs (still mounted externally as backup). The tower supported three telepointers on the same axis, for a total weight of 85 tonnes. Aft, just before the three secondary turrets, was fitted a much lower second tower, with two telepointing stations on the same axis.

On the front tower comprised first telepointer A for the main artillery (45 tonnes) fitted with a 12 m triplex OPL (Precision Optics of Levallois-Perret) rangefinder. In 1940 it was considered obsolete and replaced by a 14-meter OPL model. The second unit was used for the secondary artillery and comprised two telepointers, 25 tonnes each. The lower one was intended for anti-ship use (6 m duplex OPL stereo rangefinder) while the upper one (20 tonnes, 5 m duplex OPL stereo rangefinder) was for AA guidance.

The aft tower comprised two telepointers with an OPL duplex stereo rangefinder of 8 m (main artillery telepointer B), and a 6 m for the secondary artillery. These turrets were protected against gas, closed tight, and had splinter lining. Additionnal turret roof models were fitted on Strasbourg later: A 5 m OPL rangefinder for the upper turret and conning tower roof for Dunkerque, plus two smaller telepointers (SOM stereoscopic rangefinder) installed on the front tower's for night firing. In 1940, a 12 m duplex OPL stereo range finder was fitted in both turet roofs and a 6 m OPL stereo range finder on the 130 mm secondary turret roofs.

Optical watch was allowed on three stations either side of the bridge, intended to spot surface ships, around navigation bridge, and five watch stations used for AA optical detection on the sides, plus five used to detect mines and torpedoes. For night illumination, Strasbourg had six 120 cm projectors: Four were located on a platform between the funnel and aft tower, two forward of the main tower. Dunkerque had seven of these.

Onboard aviation

Aviation facilities comprised a hangar, catapult and crane to retreive the floatplane at sea and place it on the catapult. They were modern and well designed, and high enough not to be disturbed much by heavy weather's spray. The single catapult was 22 m long, 360° traverse. It launched its payload thanks to a compressed air piston, fed by a unit installed in the axis of the aft deck; Its capacity allowed to propelled a 3,500 kg plane at 103 km/h.

The crane had a lifting capacity of 4.5 tonnes. The battleships carried initially three Gourdou-Leseurre GL-832 HY models. In the mid-1930s they were replaced by two single Loire 130, accommodated with folded wings in the two-storey hangar. It allowed a third to be ready on the catapult at all time, or transferred and tightly moored on the roof of the hangar, where a fourth could be accomodated as well. The hangar housed all necessary repair and maintenance facilities as well to service the planes.

The Loire 130 was a small, compact one-engine seaplane powered by a Hispano-Suiza V12, 720 hp unit. The plane weighed just 3,500 kg fully loaded, but was slow, reaching only 210 km/h, over 6,500 m and capable of flying however for 7h30 at 150 km/h. They had two defensive 7.5mm machine guns, but could strafe submarines or small ships with their two 75 kg bombs.

The Dunkerque class in action

Both battleships were quite active until the fall of France, with their short peacetime career well occupied by squadron exercises. They were based in Toulon and in North Africa. During the conflict, the two ships chased German raiders in the south Atlantic (including KMS Graf Spee which they had been specifically designed to cope with), and protected merchant traffic.

Strasbourg 1942
Strasbourg underway, side view - Src ONI203 booklet for identification of ships of the French Navy Nov. 42

In December 1939, Dunkerque took the gold reserves of the Bank of France to Canada. The Atlantic task force force, based in Brest and formed by these ships and heavy cruisers and destroyers, was transferred in the Mediterranean in the light of the changing attitude of Italy in June 1940. They were now based at Mers el Kebir, Algeria.

Dunkerque

Construction and trials

Plans and blueprints of the ship were drawn by the Technical Service for Shipbuilding and Weapons (S.T.C.A.N) and she was laid down in the form of the Salou in Brest, December 24, 1932. The hull was floated on October 2, 1935 and launched, then completed and fitted out, ready for testing on February 1, 1936. She was fully armed and equipped by December 31 while her first official trials took place in May 22 1936, completed by October 9, 1936. She was commissioned in May 1937, but not officially entered service. Further testing, fixings would go on for nearly a year.

Pre-service trials and exercizes

In her first sortie, Dunkerque was sent to represent France on May 23, 1937, at the Spithead naval review, Portsmouth, for the coronation of Georges VI, as the new head of the United Kingdom. On May 27, she was parading off the Ile de Sein (Britanny) for a combined naval review with the Mediterranean Fleet.

By August 15 1936 she entered the Brest arsenal dockyard for maintenance, which was long and complex, but completed between September and October 1937, concluded by artillery drills. On January 8, 1938, one of the workers died, wedged between a 130 mm turret and the battleship railing. On January 20, 1938, she sailed out for transatlantic cruise to the West Indies and back to Dakar on the W African coast.

Back home, she paid a visit to her namesake city, staying there as an attraction in July 1-3, 1938. She was at Brest later and Saint Vaast la Hougue one day after. On July 17, she hosted the British Royal family in Boulogne and bring them to Calais.

Prewar Service

Dunkerque entered officially active service on September 1, 1938, joining the Atlantic squadron as a flagship for her first mission. On November 18-20, she teamed up with the aircraft carrier Béarn, escorted by the torpedo boats Boulonnais, Foudroyant and the sloop Somme, in exercises off Brittany. She entered drydock for maintenance from November 29 until February 27, 1939. She made a few escort missions until April. Until April, 16, she was in the Caribbean, together with the cruiser Jeanne d'Arc.

Both ships were mobilized during the Sudetenland crisis, searching for the German pocket battleships off the Spanish coast during the civil war. In May 3-6, 1939, she teamed with Strasbourg to visit Lisbon, Portugal. From May 23 to June 14, she toured British ports, and was back in Le Havre on June 20.

Wartime Operations: 1939

After a maintenance maintenance during the summer, she was scrambled in operations on September 2, 1939. She sailed out with the 1st squadron, escorting the minelayer Pluto to Casablanca and Jeanne d'Arc to the French Caribbean (Antilles). She was back to Brest on September 6 while her seaplane HS.21 was lost at sea, while searching for the CGT SS Flandre. Two days later, another of her seaplane was damaged in operations.

At that time, Dunkerque was part of the Raid Force: Dunkerque, Strasbourg, the cruisers Montcalm, Georges Leygues, Gloire and several destroyers. It operated from Brest, under command of Vice-Admiral Gensoul, onboard Dunkerque. In October-November 1939, she joined the Royal Navy to protect maritime trade, trying to spot German surface raiders.

The combined forces comprised Strasbourg and the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes in the South Atlantic, searching in particular for the KMS Admiral Graf Spee, notably patrolling off the Cape Verde Islands. Meanwhile the other half of it combined Dunkerque and HMS Hood, operating in the North Atlantic. They were scrambled to look for the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, recently sinking HMS Rawalpindi on November 23, 1939. By December, Dunkerque transferred gold reserves at the Banque de France to Halifax, Canada. At hr return, she escorted a British convoy, teaming with with HMS Revenge; She was back to Brest on December 30, 1939.

Wartime Operations of 1940

Early in 1940 the attitude of Italy was unclear. The Force de Raid sailed to the Mediterranean, starting operations in April 1940 at Mers-el-Kébir, to almost immediately sail back north, to Norway, due to the German invasion starting on April, 9.

By April 12-24, Dunkerque stays on high alert in Brest. She then returned ton Mers-el-Kébir for further operations, starting on June 13, 1940. She sailed to Sardinia, shelling the coast. however after the French debacle the British started to worry on the fate of the French fleet. After the French signed an armistice, the admiralty rushed orders for preparations to to seize the French fleet or neutralize it by all means necessary (Operation Catapult).

Mers-el-Kébir

Force H (Admiral Somerville) was made responsible by Winston Churchill for execution of the plan. Operation Catapult also concerned the British ships anchored in British Ports. French Forces at Toulon were important, but the objective was well defended, whereas Force de Raid was in Mers et Kebir and other elements in Alexandria and many other places. The Royal Navy concentrated on the best units.

Therefore by July 3, 1940, in the afternoon, the Royal Navy's Force H faced off the best squadron of the French Navy off Mers el Kebir. Due to Admiral Gensoul cold reception, discussions under an ultimatum dragged on, and crews were uncertain of their fates; In the hypothesis the British fleet would fire, the French ships had no chances. They were anchored with their prows (and big guns) facing the cliffs and could not manoeuver.

The umtimatim eventually expired, and under Churchill's insistence the matter was settled quickly, Admiral Sommerville eventually opened fire. Dunkerque, as soon as the first cannon shots were heard, struggled to drop its moorings and heated its powerplant. Meanwhile, and due to the short distance, she was accurately framed and hit four times, by 381 mm shells. The first hit "B" turret, the concussion being enough to kill all personal. The right secondary half-turret wwas hit and disabled while the other remained operational. The aviation hangar and catapult were damaged, and another 130 mm twin turret was disabled. Another hit destroyed the heat lines, depriving the ship of all electrical power. To avoid sinking, her captain manoeuvered her to the other side of the harbor and grounded her, as water was filling her bottom.

Meanwhile Provence was also grounded to avoid sinking and Bretagne was blasted, capsized and sank. Meanwhile Strasbourg was ready sooner, avoided being hit and scrambled to the harbor entrance, escorted by 5 destroyers. She escaped, framed by 381 mm shells from HMS Hood and attacked by Fairey Swordfish bombers from Ark Royal, (see later).

Dunkerque's protection was tested during this "battle" showing her 225 mm armored belt did not stand a change against the 16-in (381 mm) shells fired from 16,000 m. Admiral Esteva, Commander-in-Chief of the French Navy of the Mediterranean discovered the damage was however less extensive that all feared. Willing to reassure the population he spoke of minimal damage, and this was publicized in the press in Oran, and soon known of the British Admiralty. Soon Admiral Somerville was ordered to return at Mers El Kebir and definitely write off the Dunkerque.

To avoid bombading civilians at the fishing village where Dunkerque was stranded, Sommerville decided on July 6, 1940 to scramble the aviation: Three waves of Swordfish from Ark Royal took off to drop torpedoes. Dunkerque's most evident damage was caused by the explosion of depth charges carried by an auxiliary patrol boat which took a torpedo hit while moored alongside the battleship. The hull was blasted open, making 200 victims in addition to those of the previous attack. Sommerville then departed, satisfied of the result, and Dunkerque would stay there until February 1942. Summary repairs has been carried out with some difficulties, enough for the battleship to sail to Toulon and placed in dry dock for further repairs.

By November 1942 and operation Torch, situation degenerated. The French fleet in Toulon was prepared for the worst. By November 27, 1942 indeed, the Germans invaded swiftly the "free zone" and scrambled to Tooulon, in order to seize the fleet (Operation Lila). However as they burst into the arsenal, almost all of the docked vessels were in the process of being scuttled by their crews. Dunkerque was by then still in dry dock in the Vauban basin, repairs far from completed. She never returned to active service after Mers El-Kebir.

Strasbourg

The famous sister ship saw her keel laid down on November 25, 1934, at hold No. 1, Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire Penhoët. It was the same place where the famous liner Normandy was built. The French battleship was launched on December 12, 1936 and headed to Brest for fitting out, armaments and testings, lating until June 1938. After the nearly year-long period of exetended exercises and furthers tests and modifications, she was admitted in active service by the fall of April 1939. Together with her sister shi, she formed the 1st Line division. In May 1939, she teamed with the 4th cruiser division and headed for Scotland, Liverpool, Glasgow, Scapa Flow and Rosyth in an effort to reassure the public, the French Navy can add her might to the Royal Navy when facing Germany.

Force de Raid in the Atlantic

On September 3, 1939, she joined her sister ship in Gensoul's Raid Force in Brest. Outside both battleships, the unit also comprised the 4th cruiser division and several of the large French destroyer of the Mogador class and others. The Raid Force soon was split into two groups, and Strasbourg teamed with Force Y, based in Dakar.

Assisted by the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes which became her eyes, and screened by the heavy cruisers Dupleix and Algerie under Admiral Duplat, this forced started a sweep off the Cape Verde Islands which lasted until the end of November 1939, trying o locate and intercept the Graf Speed. Strasbourg will left Dakar, leaving behind 800 powder pods, used in September 1940 by the Richelieu, possibly a reason behind her 380 mm guns serious misfires. Admiral Graf Spee was finally intercepted in December.

Strasbourg was back in a recompleted Raid Force, and joined the Mediterranean in late April 1940 amidst tensions with Italy and a dark fate on land. The armistice of June 1940, saw her anchored poop facing the berth, and the sea, at Mers el-Kébir. She was in the process of being demobilized.

Operation Capatult: A miraculous escape

During operation Catapult in July, Gensoul received a British ultimatum to either join an English port, French port in the West Indies or to scuttle. Force H on this fateful July 3, 1940, afternoon's end, as discussions went on without end with Gensoul, eventually opened fire. Soon, shells falling from 16,000 m framed ost ships with deadly accuracy. Two battleships and the Dunkerque were hit several times in succession by heavy shells. Howver amidst the chaos, Strasbourg crews out-did themselves to extract the ship from its precarious position, and warm her machinery enough to sail past the other ships, capsizing or burning, started to exit the harbor.

Captain Collinet, indeed before even news of the ultimatum when Force H was spotted, carefully prepared its mooring chains to be dismantled and drop its anchors, while the machinery was kept warm. Fortunately for this, Strasbourg was prepared to set sail as soon as the first shells hit the pier. She was joined by an escort of five destroyers amidst the chaos, making a small but efficient task force in case of a battle with Force H. Modagor was the only one sank that day, her rear pulverized by a 16-in shell. Strasbourg miraculously escaped shells and magnetic mines previously laid at the entrance by Ark Royal planes.

Strasbourg Mers el kebir
Strasbourg at Mers El Kebir, under fire - Author Jacques Mulard (cc)

Strasbourg was at sea, heading north-east at 28 knots, framed by the destroyers, which in case, could either lay smoke of distract pursuing British ships. Somerville indeed followed the actions closely and detached HMS Hood to chase the Strasbourg. It was even question of catching her with the Ark Royal's planes, but distance grew as fast as light fell, and the whole pursuit was abandoned after dark. Indeed, Fairey Swordfish were indeed launched from Ark Royal, spotted the Strasbouth at full speed, but fail to placed themselves at a favorable position in order to launch a torpedo attack.

Strasbourg would head to the Sardinian coast before heading for Toulon that she reached the next evening. She had "only" five stokers died in a compartment, quickly asphyxiated by a smoke backflow caused by exhaust valves blocked by shrapnells. Needless to say, with only Strasbourg left, the 1st line division was dissolved and Admiral de Laborde on 25 September 1940 hoisted his mark on Strasbourg.

Flagship of the Vichy Navy

The proud battleship which skillfully and miraculously escaped hell at Mers el Kebir became the de facto admiral ship of the Vichy "high seas fleet". Due to severe restrictions, notably of oil (reserved to the Axis), she was left at anchor and her only sortie sanctioned by the German-Italian armistice commission was in November 1940 to escort back to Toulon the battered battleship Provence, summarily repaired from Mers el-Kebir. In early 1942 however, Strasbourg became the first French warship to receive an "electromagnetic detection equipment", in fact the first French radar.

The Allied landings in North Africa in November 1942, caused concerns for the fat of the fleet, now completed with the arrival of the Dunkerque, still in repairs at that time. German motorized divisions soon occupied the free zone and by November 27 made it into the arsenal of Toulon. Enough time has been spared to allow the fleet to be scuttled, 90 ships in total. Strasbourg was scuttled by opening sea valves and completed by demolition charges as the crew evacuated; It was still perilous as Germans troops and armored vehicles, including tanks, were now rolling in the arsenal in between the ships. It is reported that some gunners not only trailed, but fired at German vehicles as she sank, and that she was hit by a Panzer in return. The action saw 1 officer killed and 6 sailors wounded.

Strasbourg scuttled at Toulon
Strasbourg scuttled at Toulon (unknown author) cc.

The axis took possession of the arsenal, bitter as the scope of the loss and failure in their mission, but at the same time admitting the French "made their duty". This fleet layong not deep into the port was too tempting to resist of course bailing out the last damaged ships. The more interested were the Italians, after crippling losses of the Regia Marina. They will indeed managed to refloat and starting repair several ships, but failed to have a single one back into service. Strasbourg was certainly the most tempting of these prizes and efforts were made to refloat the hull. But repairs stalled and she was eventually refloated on 17 July 1943, this time for scrap metal value.


Strasbourg after an air raid in Toulon harbor, short by USN reconnaissance 18 August 1944 (cc)

In Late 1943, the armistice came for Italy, and the Germans had nothing to make of Strasbourg, returned to Vichy authorities. Thoughts were made of sinking her at the entrance as blockship. The final chapter of this story came in August 1944 at the occasion of the landings in Provence (Operation Anvil Dragoon). Toulon was attacked by US aviation, hit by several bombs and sank again, on 18 August.

She was again refloated in 1945, and her rusted hull was towed off the Giens peninsula to be used as target, and for tests on underwater explosions. She survived and was left in the harbor to be eventually scrapped in May 1955.


Strasbourg examined by US Troops in Toulon, September 1944. src ww2 in color

Characteristics

Displacement: 26,500 t. standard -36,380 t. Full Load
Dimensions: 215.10 m long, 31.10 m wide, 8.7 m draft.
Machines: 4 shafts Parsons turbines, 6(32) Indret boilers, 135,600 hp. Top speed 31 knots.
Armour: 225-280 mm belt, 30 mm anti-torpedo partitions, 115-137 bridge, 330-360 mm turrets, 330 mm CT.
Armament: 8 x 330 mm cal.50 (Model 1931), 3 x 4 + 2 x 2 135 mm DP, 8x 37 mm AA, 32x 13.2 mm AA, 3-4 Loire 130 seaplanes.
Crew: 1380

Links, sources, read more

Conways all the world fighting ships 1921-1947
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkerque-class_battleship
John Jordan, Robert Dumas- French Battleships 1922-1956
//forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/492757-strasbourg-the-forgotten-sistership


Dunkirk with the Atlantic squadron in early 1940. src Alex. PL for Robert Dumas "Les cuirassés Dunkerque et Strasbourg" Marines Editions et Réalisations 1993- 24 November 2013 (cc)


Author's illustration - The Dunkerque ("Dunkirk") at Mers-el-Kebir, July 1940


Spectacular photo of the Strasbourg after the Toulon scuttling, with the port still burning - Anonymous, released under CC licence.

Naval History

❢ Abbrev. & acronyms
AAAnti-Aircraft
AAW// warfare
AASAmphibious Assault Ship
AdmAdmiral
AEWAirbone early warning
AGAir Group
AFVArmored Fighting Vehicle
AMGBarmoured motor gunboat
APArmor Piercing
APCArmored Personal Carrier
ASAntisubmarine
ASMAir-to-surface Missile
ASMDAnti Ship Missile Defence
ASROCASW Rockets
ASW// Warfare
ASWRL/// rocket launcher
ATWahead thrown weapon
avgasAviation Gasoline
awAbove Waterline
AWACSAirborne warning & control system
BBBattleship
bhpbrake horsepower
BLBreach-loader (gun)
BLRBreach-loading, Rifled (gun)
BUBroken Up
ccirca
CAArmoured/Heavy cruiser
Capt.Captain
CalCaliber or ".php"
CGMissile Cruiser
CICCombat Information Center
C-in-CCommander in Chief
CIWSClose-in weapon system
CECompound Expansion (engine)
ChChantiers ("Yard", FR)
CLCruiser, Light
cmcentimeter(s)
CMBCoastal Motor Boat
CMSCoastal Minesweeper
CNOChief of Naval Operations
CpCompound (armor)
CoCompany
COBCompound Overhad Beam
CODAGCombined Diesel & Gas
CODOGCombined Diesel/Gas
COGAGCombined Gas and Gas
COGOGCombined Gas/Gas
commcommissioned
compcompleted
convconverted
convlconventional
COSAGCombined Steam & Gas
CRCompound Reciprocating
CRCRSame, connecting rod
CruDivCruiser Division
CPControlled Pitch
CTConning Tower
CTLconstructive total loss
CTOLConv. Take off & landing
CTpCompound Trunk
cucubic
CylCylinder(s)
CVAircraft Carrier
CVA// Attack
CVE// Escort
CVL// Light
CVS// ASW support
cwtHundredweight
DADirect Action
DASHDrone ASW Helicopter
DCDepht Charge
DCT// Track
DCR// Rack
DCT// Thrower
DDDestroyer/drydock
DEDouble Expansion
DEDestroyer Escort
DDE// Converted
DesRonDestroyer Squadron
DFDouble Flux
D/FDirection(finding)
DPDual Purpose
DUKWAmphibious truck
DyDDockyard
EOCElswick Ordnance Co.
ECMElectronic Warfare
ESMElectronic support measure
FFarenheit
FCSFire Control System
FFFrigate
fpsFeet Per Second
ftFeets
FYFiscal Year
galgallons
GMMetacentric Height
GPMGGeneral Purpose Machine-gun
GRPFiberglass
GRTGross Tonnage
GUPPYGreater Underwater Prop.Pow.
HAHigh Angle
HCHorizontal Compound
HCR// Reciprocating
HCDA// Direct Acting
HCDCR// connecting rod
HDA// direct acting
HDAC// acting compound
HDAG// acting geared
HDAR// acting reciprocating
HDMLHarbor def. Motor Launch
H/FHigh Frequency
HF/DF// Directional Finding
HMSHer Majesty Ship
HNHarvey Nickel
HNCHorizontal non-condensing hp
HPHigh Pressure
hphorizontal
HQHeadquarter
HRHorizontal reciprocating
HRCR// connecting rod
HSHarbor Service
HS(E)Horizontal single (expansion)
HSET// trunk
HTHorizontal trunk
HTE// expansion
ICInverted Compound
IDAInverted direct acting
IFFIdentification Friend or Foe
ihpindicated horsepower
IMFInshore Minesweeper
inInche(s)
ircironclad
KCKrupp, cemented
kgKilogram
KNC// non cemented
kmKilometer
kt(s)Knot(s)
kwkilowatt
ibpound(s)
LALow Angle
LCLanding Craft
LCA// Assault
LCAC// Air Cushion
LFC// Flak (AA)
LCG// Gunboat
LCG(L)/// Large
LCG(M)/// Medium
LCG(S)/// Small
LCI// Infantry
LCM// Mechanized
LCP// Personel
LCP(R)/// Rocket
LCS// Support
LCT// Tanks
LCV// Vehicles
LCVP/// Personal
LCU// Utility
locolocomotive (boiler)
LSCLanding ship, support
LSD// Dock
LSF// Fighter (direction)
LSM// Medium
LSS// Stern chute
LST// Tank
LSV// Vehicle
LPlow pressure
lwllenght waterline
mmetre(s)
MModel
MA/SBmotor AS boat
maxmaximum
MGMachine Gun
MGBMotor Gunboat
MLSMinelayer/Sweeper
MLMotor Launch
MMSMotor Minesweper
MTMilitary Transport
MTBMotor Torpedo Boat
HMGHeavy Machine Gun
MCM(V)Mine countermeasure Vessel
minminute(s)
MkMark
MLMuzzle loading
MLR// rifled
MSOOcean Minesweeper
mmmillimetre
NCnon condensing
nhpnominal horsepower
nmNautical miles
Number
NBC/ABCNuc. Bact. Nuclear
NSNickel steel
NTDSNav.Tactical Def.System
NyDNaval Yard
oaOverall
OPVOffshore Patrol Vessel
PCPatrol Craft
PDMSPoint Defence Missile System
pdrpounder
ppperpendicular
psipounds per square inch
PVDSPropelled variable-depth sonar
QFQuick Fire
QFC// converted
RAdmRear Admiral
RCRadio-control/led
RCRreturn connecting rod
recRectangular
revRevolver
RFRapid Fire
RPCRemote Control
rpgRound per gun
SAMSurface to air Missile
SARSearch Air Rescue
sbSmoothbore
SBShip Builder
SCSub-chaser (hunter)
SSBNBallistic Missile sub.Nuclear
SESimple Expansion
SET// trunk
SGSteeple-geared
shpShaft horsepower
SHsimple horizontal
SOSUSSound Surv. System
SPRsimple pressure horiz.
sqsquare
SSSubmarine (Conv.)
SSMSurface-surface Missile
subsubmerged
sfsteam frigate
SLBMSub.Launched Ballistic Missile
spfsteam paddle frigate
STOVLShort Take off/landing
SUBROCSub.Fired ASW Rocket
tton, long (short in bracket)
TACANTactical Air Nav.
TBTorpedo Boat
TBD// destroyer
TCTorpedo carriage
TETriple expansion
TER// reciprocating
TFTask Force
TGBTorpedo gunboat
TGTask Group
TLTorpedo launcher
TLC// carriage
TNTTrinitroluene
TSTraining Ship
TTTorpedo Tube
UDTUnderwater Demolition Team
UHFUltra High Frequency
VadmVice Admiral
VCVertical compound
VCE// expansion
VDE/ double expansion
VDSVariable Depth Sonar
VIC/ inverted compound
VLFVery Low Frequency
VQL/ quadruple expansion
VSTOLVertical/short take off/landing
VTE/ triple expansion
VTOLVertical take off/landing
VSE/ Simple Expansion
wksWorks
wlwaterline
WTWireless Telegraphy
xnumber of
YdYard
Organizations
GIUKGreenland-Iceland-UK
BuShipsBureau of Ships
DBMGerman Navy League
GBGreat Britain
DNCDirectorate of Naval Construction
EEZExclusive Economic Zone
FAAFleet Air Arm
FNFLFree French Navy
JMSDFJap.Mar.Self-Def.Force
MDAPMutual Def.Assistance Prog.
MSAMaritime Safety Agency
NATO
RAFRoyal Air Force
RANRoyal Australian Navy
RCNRoyal Canadian Navy
R&DResearch & Development
RNRoyal Navy
RNZNRoyal New Zealand Navy
USSRUnion of Socialist Republics
UE/EECEuropean Union/Comunity
UNUnited Nations Org.
USNUnited States Navy
WaPacWarsaw Pact

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola
Numancia (1863)
Tetuan (1863)
Vitoria (1865)
Arapiles (1864)
Zaragosa (1867)
Sagunto (1869)
Mendez Nunez (1869)

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

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

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

Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Lindormen (1868)

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

Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
Adder class Monitors (1870)
A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
Djambi class corvettes (1860)
Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

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

Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
Taureau arm. ram (1865)
Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)

French converted sailing frigates (1860)
Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
Talisman cruisers (1862)
Resolue cruisers (1863)
Venus class cruisers (1864)
Decres cruiser (1866)
Desaix cruiser (1866)
Limier class cruisers (1867)
Linois cruiser (1867)
Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy

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

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

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne

Gunboat St Michael (1970)
Gunboat "1804" (1875)
Gunboat Dessalines (1883)
Gunboat Toussaint Louverture (1886)
Koninklije Marine 1898 Koninklije Marine
Konigin der Netherland (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class CDS (1894)
Atjeh class cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
Banda class Gunboats (1872)
Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
Combok class Gunboats (1891)
Borneo Gunboat (1892)
Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
Colbert class CT Battery ships (1875)
Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
Courbet class CT Battery ships (1879)
Amiral Duperre barbette ship (1879)
Terrible class barbette ships (1883)
Amiral Baudin class barbette ships (1883)
Barbette ship Hoche (1886)
Marceau class barbette ships (1888)
Cerbere class Arm.Ram (1870)
Tonnerre class Br.Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br.Monitors (1876)
Tonnant ironclad (1880)
Furieux ironclad (1883)
Fusee class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm.Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class (1892)
Bouvines class (1892)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun
Ironclad Fuso (1877)
Kongo class Ironclads (1877)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lima class Cruisers (1880)
Chilean TBs (1879)

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

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

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

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

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

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

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

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

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

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

WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Centurion class (1892)
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
N3 class (1920)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

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

Greek Royal Navy Greece
Kilkis class
Giorgios Averof class

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

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

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

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

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania

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


WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)
WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)
WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)
WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British Gunboats

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

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

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

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

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

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1921)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1934)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
IJN Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1940)
Zuiho class (1937)
Ruyho (1933)
Hiyo class (1941)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Taiho (1944)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

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

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

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

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

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

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

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

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

⚑ Neutral Navies

✈ Naval Aviation

Latest entries WW1 CW
naval aviation USN aviation
Aeromarine 40 (1919)
Douglas DT (1921)
Naval Aircraft Factory PT (1922)
Loening OL (1923)
Huff-Daland TW-5 (1923)
Martin MO (1924)
Consolidated NY (1926)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U/O3U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)
Curtiss SOC seagull (1934)
Grumman FF (1931)
Grumman F2F (1933)
Grumman F3F (1935)
Northrop BT-1 (1935)
Vultee V-11 (1935)
Grumman J2F Duck (1936)
Curtiss SBC Helldiver (1936)
Vought SB2U Vindicator (1936)
Brewster F2A Buffalo (1937)
Douglas TBD Devastator (1937)
Vought Kingfisher (1938)
Curtiss SO3C Seamew (1939)
Cessna AT-17 Bobcat (1939)
Douglas SBD Dauntless (1939)
Grumman F4F Wildcat (1940)
Northrop N-3PB Nomad (1941)
Brewster SB2A Buccaneer (1941)
Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger (1941)
Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf (1941)
Grumman F6F Hellcat (1942)
Vought F4U Corsair (1942)
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (1942)
Curtiss SC Seahawk (1944)
Douglas BTD Destroyer (1944)
Grumman F7F Tigercat (1943)
Grumman F8F Bearcat (1944)
Ryan FR-1 Fireball (1944)
Douglas XTB2D-1 Skypirate (1945)
Douglas AD-1 Skyraider (1945)

Naval Aircraft Factory PN (1925)
Douglas T2D (1927)
Consolidated P2Y (1929)
Hall PH (1929)
Douglas PD (1929)
Douglas Dolphin (1931)
General Aviation PJ (1933)
Consolidated PBY Catalina (1935)
Fleetwings Sea Bird (1936)
Sikorsky VS-44 (1937)
Grumman G-21 Goose (1937)
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado (1937)
Beechcraft M18 (1937)
Sikorsky JRS (1938)
Boeing 314 Clipper (1938)
Martin PBM Mariner (1939)
Grumman G-44 Wigeon (1940)
Martin Mars (1943)
Goodyear GA-2 Duck (1944)
Edo Ose (1945)
Hugues Hercules (1947)

⚔ WW2 Naval Battles


The Cold War

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

Cold War Cruisers
Tiger class (1945)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Facebook Feed


Twitter Feed



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