Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)

United Kingdom - Aircraft Carrier

The Courageous Class were two light battlecruisers intended for an Operation in the Baltic in 1917 pushed by Sir J. Fisher which never materialized and instead, they were converted as aircraft carriers, completely rebuilt after the treaty of Washington. With HMS Furious and Argus they pioneered the interwar fleet air arm but had short careers during WW2, being sunk in the Atlantic in 1939 by an U-Boat (the first British warship sunk in WW2) and Norway in 1940, by gunfire.

The Courageous class conversion



The three battlecruisers were in the reserve by 1919. The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 limited capital ship tonnage, therefore choices were made to keep three battlecruisers: The Hood then just completed and the two Repulse. The Furious was already transformed into a CV, so the lighter Courageous was excluded from the tonnage and placed in the 66,000 long tons surplus to be converted into aircraft carriers. For the the Royal Navy it was a wise choice due to their high speed and similarities with the Furious. They were near sister ships.

HMS Furious in WW1 already showed th e way: She had been fitted with a flying-off and landing deck, a solution showing the central funnel and bridge were not ideal and created strong wind disturbances. Furious was laid up after the war and rebuilt as a full-lenght aircraft carrier June 1921-September 1925. Her design was partly based on the Argus (three years old) and Eagle, which barely completed, already made 143 deck landings in preliminary sea trials. Her blueprints and reconstruction were used as models for her near-sisters, Glorious and Courageous, when taken in hands in turn for conversion.

HMS Furious and Courageous
HMS Furious and Courageous

Glorious and Courageous's conversion started at Devonport on 29 June 1924 (Courageous), and Rosyth on 14 February 1924 (Glorious). The latter later was moved to Devonport for completion in place of Furious. The design was based on Furious, but a few improvements were made, based on the Furious experience. A two-storey hangar was built, each level being 16 ft (4.9 m) high, 550 ft (167.6 m) long, built on top of the former deck. The upper hangar level opened onto a short flying-off deck, below and forward of the main flight deck, a feature which was quite unique at the time and was not repeated, but inspired the Japanese for their own conversions.

Two cross-shaped 46-by-48-foot (14.0 by 14.6 m) lifts were installed, fore and aft in the flight deck. A low island was constructed on the starboard side, containing the open navigation bridge, but also the flying control station. This island did not created much turbulence as initially feared, but it was cramped and wet in heavy seas. Fuel capaciy was increased gradually in 1939 to 34,500 imperial gallons (157,000 l; 41,400 US gal), to serve a small aircraft complement, in fact too small for effective operations in WW2. If not sunk early, they would probably had been used as fast aviation transports from 1942.

HMS Glorious 1935
HMS Glorious 1935

Design of the Courageous class

The hull kept their overall length of 786 ft 9 in (239.8 m), but the beam was augmented by inwards sloped walls, to 90 ft 6 in (27.6 m) by 9 ft 6 in (2.9 m). The low draught was alo so increased of 2 ft (0.6 m), to 28 ft (8.5 m) deeply loaded. Displacement after conversion was 24,210 long tons (24,600 t) standard, 26,990 long tons (27,420 t) deeply loaded, an increase of 3,000 long tons (3,000 t). Metacentric height declined from 6 ft to 4.4 ft. Both hulls initially had a complete double bottom.

Propulsion of the Courageous class

The Courageous-class CVs initially had geared steam turbines, at the insistence of Jackie Fisher. They were Arranged in two engine rooms, for a total of four propeller shafts 11 ft 6 in (3.5 m) in diameter. They were fed by 18 Yarrow small-tube boilers placed in three separate boiler rooms. They were designed to produce a total of 90,000 shaft horsepower (67,000 kW) at 235 psi (1,620 kPa; 17 kgf/cm2), but because of displacement increase, top speed fell to 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).

Protection of the Courageous class

All but the armour protecting the barbettes were removed during conversion, and transverse bulkheads installed in the locations of the former barbettes. The flight deck was thickened to 0.625 inches (15.9 mm), and unlike other battlecruisers, high-tensile steel (HTS) had been used all around for their protection. The waterline belt was still 2 inches (51 mm) thick with HTS backed by a 1-inch (25 mm) thick mild steel skin to protect the interior from splinters. The middle two-thirds of the ship was protected also with a 1-in extension forward to the transverse bulkhead, short of the bow. The belt was 23 feet (7 m) total, with just 18 inches (0.5 m) submerged. There was a 3-inch bulkhead in front of the upper and lower decks and another where the rear barbette was. Four decks also protected the ship, varying from 0.75 to 3 inches (19–76 mm). The latter was applied over the magazines and steering gear. The Battle of Jutland urged to add 110 long tons (110 t) of extra protection around the magazines as well.

London Illustrated News - Cutaway of the Courageous class
London Illustrated News, July, 20, 1935 - Cutaway of the Courageous class

Torpedo bulkheads were improved during the reconstruction, up to 1.5 in (38 mm) and there was now a shallow anti-torpedo bulge, integral to the hull. Its role was to prematurely detonate a torpedo before it hit the proper hull, and deflect the underwater explosion to the surface. The Italian Pugliese system was mater greatly inspired by it. However it was not deep enough to work properly and lack intermediate layers of compartments to absorb completely the blast. In the Pacific against the Japanese "long lance" super-torpedoes, they would have stood no chance, but against aerial torpedoes it was another story. The relative inefficiency of this system was shown when sunk by U-29.





Various technical schemes of the Courageous class carriers

Armament of the Courageous class

While HMS Furious retained ten breech-loading BL 5.5-inch Mk I guns, five per side, a mix of anti-surface and anti-aircraft guns of various sizes was considered for the reconstruction of Courageous and Glorious by the Admiralty. In the end, it was chosen an all dual-purpose battery of of 16 QF 4.7-inch Mark VIII guns in single, high-angle mounts. One was placed on each side of the lower flight deck, another on the quarterdeck. The remaining were distributed along the sides, reducing their arc of fire and role mostly to deal with destroyers. These could depress indeed to −5° bu elevate to 90°. These guns fired a 50-pound (23 kg) HE shell at 2,457 ft/s (749 m/s). The rate of fire was circa 8–12 rpm, maximum ceiling was 32,000 ft (9,800 m), and maximum range of 16,160 yd (14,780 m) on the surface.

In the mid-1930s, both ships were refitted and received an addition of 2-pounder pom-pom mounts. Three quadruple Mark VII for Courageous (one either each side of the flying-off deck, one behind the island) and for Glorious, three octuple Mark VI mounts, placed in the same locations. Both CVs also received four water-cooled 0.50-calibre Mark III machine guns in the characteristic vertical tandem quadruple mounting. The latter elevated to 70° and fired a 1.326-ounce (37.6 g) bullet at 2,520 ft/s (770 m/s) for a maximum range of about 5,000 yd (4,600 m), reduced in practice for accuracy to 800 yd (730 m). This created a three-layered AA bubble, completed at longer range by the fighters.

Air group

Blackburn Blackburn Mark II
Blackburn Blackburn Mark II

Avro Bison

In 1939, HMS Courageous had a complement of 807 officers and ratings, and the 403 men in her air group, which was built at first in 1926 around 48 aircraft due to the larger hangar size compared to Furious (36). In practice, there was one flight of fighter, called squadron from 1932: These were Fairey Flycatcher. Due to the "screening value" of carriers at that time, it was completed by no less than two of spotters for the fleet, made of Blackburn Blackburn or Avro Bison and one of the pure spotter reconnaissance Fairey IIID, plus two of torpedo bombers, equipped with the Blackburn Dart.

The ungainly Blackburn Blackburn and Bison were both designed in parallel in 1921, using the same Napier Lion engine. The fuselage shape was dictated by massive radiator below the engine at the front whereas the gunner/radio operator was placed aft of the pilot, with fuselage windows to observe the surrounding. The Bison served with the 421 and 423 Fleet Spotter Flight Fleet Air Arm and were retired in 1929, replaced by the Fairey IIIF. The Blackburn Blackburn saw a slightly lower production (44 vs. 55) and entered service later, in 1923 after the problems encountered by the Bison. The engine cooling radiator caused this slab-sided fuselage. They were pure spotting aircraft, with a defensive MG but no military payload. They were retired in 1931.

In between, the Fairey III replaced them.
In 1935 the air group was changed, with a squadron of fighters (Hawker Nimrod, Hawker Osprey) and one squadron of Blackburn Baffin torpedo bombers plus a squadron of Fairey IIIF spotters. In 1939-40, there was a single fighter squadron and two of strike aircraft (Skua and Swordfish) but this was adjusted for each mission. Contrary to the Furious, the Courageous class also flew the Fairey Seal, Blackburn Shark, and Blackburn Ripon.

Fairey Seal
Fairey Seal


Blackburn Ripon launching a torpedo


The blueprints - 1940 3D rendition, four views


Author's illustration, HMS Glorious

HMS Courageous (1929)

Dimensions224.1 wl/239.8 oa x 26.8 x 8.3 m (735/786 x 88 x 27 ft)
Displacement24,210 long tons standard, 26,990 long tons FL
Crew841+403
Propulsion4 shafts geared steam turbines, 18 Yarrow boilers 90,000 shp (67,000 kW)
Speed30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
ArmorBelt: 2–3 in, Decks: 0.75–1 in, Bulkhead: 2–3 in, Torpedo bulkheads: 1–1.5 in
Armament16 × 4.7 in (120 mm) AA guns, see notes
AviationVariable over time: 48 1929, 30 1940

Interwar service of both carriers

HMS Courageous was recommissioned on 21 February 1928. Her first assignment was the Mediterranean Fleet, from May 1928 to June 1930. She swapped her place for Glorious, back home for a refitting until August 1930. Next she was assigned to the Atlantic and Home Fleet, from 12 August 1930 to December 1938, with the exception of a temporary attachment to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1936 as the Spanish Civil war broke out, notably to patrol merchant traffic lanes. In 1932, a transverse arresting gear was installed. She received also received two hydraulic catapults on the upper flight deck around March 1934, with this step and bulbous take-off deck. In her October 1935-June 1936 refit, Courageous received pom-pom mounts. In 1937 she participated in Coronation Fleet Review and became a training carrier in December 1938 as HMS Ark Royal was now in service in the Home Fleet. She went on in this task until September 1939.

HMS Glorious was recommissioned after reconstruction on 24 February 1930, two years after her sister ship. She served with the Mediterranean Fleet, to join later the Home Fleet from March to June 1930 and relieved Courageous in the Mediterranean that month, remaining at this station until October 1939. Glorious had the misfortune of a collision in heavy fog, on 1 April 1931. She rammed SS Florida amidships at 16 knots. Though the speed was not considerable, the force of the impact crumpled 60 feets of the bow flying-off deck. Glorious was sent in drydock in Gibraltar for temporary repairs, then Malta for permanent repairs which took until September 1931. Like her sister in 1932-33 she received a transverse arresting gear. But her major refit was at Devonport in July 1934. It took until July 1935. There, she received two catapults and her flight deck was extended to the rear while her quarterdeck was raised one deck. She was also given multiple pom-pom mounts in octuple mounts unlike her sister. Like Courageous, she was present in the 1937 Coronation Fleet Review, and steamed for the Mediterranean where she was when the war broke out.
Both ships had a particularly short wartime career:

HMS Glorious in service



Glorious was in the Mediterranean Fleet when the Second World War broke out. In October, she transited through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean. There, she was assigned to Force J tasked to hunt for KMS Admiral Graf Spee in the Indian Ocean, without success. Afterwards, HMS Glorious remained in the Indian Ocean, until December 1939 and the end of Graf Spee. She then was ordered back to her post in the Mediterranean.

Norwegian Campaign
The Home Fleet needed her and she was ordered to move north in April 1940. The goal was to provide air cover for the landings in Norway. For this at that time, she deployed Eighteen RAF biplanes Gloster Gladiators (No. 263 Squadron) were flown aboard, that needed later to flew to their Norwegian airbase for later operations. She also carried eleven Blackburn Skuas of 803 Squadron, and 18 Sea Gladiators (the navalized version, mandatory in 1939-1940 as carrier fighter) from the 802 and 804 Squadrons. HMS Glorious was not alone, as she arrived with HMS Ark Royal. The task force joined their central Norway area of operations on 24 April. 263 Squadron was flown off as planned, and tthe Glorious air group started to attacked targets of opportunity around Trondheim.

HMS Glorious's own Sea Gladiators provided air cover for Ark Royal as well, and they claimed one Heinkel He 111 bomber. Then, the admiralty ordered Glorious to sail back to Scapa Flow on 27 April. She was to refuel (including aviation gasoline for operations) and embark new aircraft to be flown off in situ. Before departure, she transferred four Skuas to the Ark Royal and was in Scapa on 1 May. However the weather was appealing and she was unable to load new aircraft, just a dozen of Fairey Swordfish (823 Squadron), three Skuas and one Blackburn Roc. Brave pilots for all, as the wind was fierce and visibility poor, not counting the rocking and rolling of the carrier. Some attempted the landing and renounced for their own safety. Meanwhile the Luftwaffe kept attacking the task force, which was withdrawn in the evening. Sea Gladiators claimed a Junkers Ju 87 Stuka that day.



HMS Glorious was back off the Norwegian coast on 18 May, carrying six Supermarine Walrus flying boats (701 Squadron) and 18 Hawker Hurricanes (No. 46 Squadron RAF) to reinforce the Norwegian British air force in the area around Trondheim. To avoid problems with the weather, they were loaded aboard by crane. After the Sup. Walrus were flown off to Harstad, the British learned the Norwegian could not made the airfield at Skånland ready, and Glorious returned to Scapa with the Hurricanes on 21 May. She was back back to Narvik five days later, flowing off her Hurricanes.



Despite of these reinforcements, the Germans proved very efficient, and British forces were soon ordered to withdrawn days later. The evacuation was alled Operation Alphabet. It started north of the Narvik area during the night of 3/4 June. Glorious was already there on 2 June, providing air support with her nine Sea Gladiators (802 Sqn.). To possibly deal with the Kriegsmarine she also had six Swordfish (823 Sqn.). She was tasked to evacuate the RAF fighters if possible as well. Eventually during the afternoon of 7 June, ten Gladiators (263 Squadron) successfully landed on her deck and were stored in the hangar, followed by Hurricanes of 46 Squadron. This was a difficult task as the latter were not designed to operate on a carrier and landed with high speed on a net, the only way possible since they missed a tailhook and a 7 kg (15 lb) sandbag placed in the rear of the Hurricane to enable immediate full brakes on landing. This was a world's first at that time...



The sinking, 8 june 1940
Captain Guy D'Oyly-Hughes, which also served as executive officer on HMS Courageous for nearly a year was granted permission to return alone to Scapa Flow. He set sail at noon on 8 June. There was indeed a case of a court-martial for the air Commander J. B. Heath. He allegedly refused an order to attack shore targets. He defended himself by stating these were ill-defined and his aircraft were not suited for the task. He was to be left Scapa to await trial and the carrier was to return and resume operations. This was a fateful decision, as on her way back home, she sailed withr two escorting destroyers, Acasta and Ardent, but her thick smoke was spotted by no others than the best German capital ships of the time, the fast and deadly German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. On their side, they were on their way for Operation Juno. They spotted the smoke at about 15:46 pm. The British spotted the German ships about 16:00 in turn.

HMS Ardent was detached from the group to investigate the nature of the ships. By that time, the position of the German ships was unknown and Glorious's captain decided nott alter course, or even increase speed. Soon, five Swordfish were scrambled, and Action Stations ordered ten minutes after spotting. However no aircraft was ready on deck for nor lookout in the crow's nest when Scharnhorst opened fire at a range of 16,000 yards (15,000 m), at first on the approaching HMS Ardent. It was 16:27 when the first massive plumes appeared, framing the destroyer, which immediately withdrawn, after firing torpedoes and creating a smoke screen to cover her retreat. She was close enough at some point also to fire her 4.7-inch guns, and scored a hit on Scharnhorst. Both battleships was as fast a her, even faster as they were less disturbed by heavy seas. A duel started, and at that point, Scharnhorst used her secondary artillery to pummel the Destroyer, which was hit several times, disabled, and later sank at 17:25.



KMS Scharnhorst in between targeted HMS Glorious at 16:32 with her main artillery. Six minutes later, on her third salvo, at 26,000 yards (24,000 m), one of her 28 cm round hit the forward flight deck, detonating in the upper hangar. This caused an immediate fire, detroying also two Swordfish being just prepared for attack. In addition, this flight deck hole was placed in such a way it prevented any aircraft to take off. HMS Glorious was then cornered, constrained to use its old 4.7 in (120 mm), presenting a broadside of six guns, slightly better than a destroyer. Needless to say at that point she was also out-ranged.

Splinters from the hit also penetrated a boiler casing. Steam pressure dropped and speed fell. At 16:58 a second hit destroyed the homing beacon above the bridge. The captain and most of his officers were killed in the blast. However it could have been worst: HMS Ardent and Acasta's smokescreens had prevented the Germans to be more effective and between 16:58-17:20 the wind protected the Glorious. Both battleships ceased fire. A short pause which allowed damage control teams to combat fire, with little hope.

When fire resumed ay 17:20, Glorious was soon hit in the centre engine room. This caused a massive speed loss while her rudder was jammed and she started a slow circle to port while also starting to list to starboard. Ten minutes later, both German ships were now 16,000 yards to Glorious and resumed her firing, and continued to fire, blasting the aircraft carrier to bits until 17:40.

Meanwhile, HMS, manoeuvring to try to maintain the smokescreen on Glorious, broke through the smoke to attack. She was close enough to Scharnhorst to fire two volleys of torpedoes, eight of them. One hit Scharnhorst at 17:34, abreast her rear turret. Acasta also had her guns blazing and socred a 4.7-inch guns hit on Scharnhorst but she was soon blasted by secondary guns. She sank at around 18:20. Ten minutes before, Glorious, immobilized and burning from stern to stem, severely flooded, eventually capsized and sank at 18:10. The position noted was 68°38′N 03°50′E, 68°38′N 03°50′E. She left only 43 survivors, not rescued by the Germans. This was the even sadder conclusion to this unequal battle.

Indeed, survivors estimated that about 900 men left Glorious before she sank. However, Scharnhorst was damaged and their captains were unaware of the presence or not of additional Allied ships nearby. They ordered a hasty retreat, leaving there the survivors. The Royal Navy never new of this, as no message was sent, either by Glorious or the two destroyers, and only later catch a German radio signal. Eventually, the Norwegian ship Borgund, on her way to the Faroe Islands was there two days later on 10 June, picking up survivors, 37 initially alive and two which later died of exhaustion. They were landed to Thorshavn. Svalbard II also on the same course picked up five more survivors before she was spotted by a German aircraft. one more was probably also saved by a German seaplane, bringing the total to 40, including those of Acasta and Ardent, for a total loss of 1,207 (Glorious) 160 (Acasta) and 152 (Ardent) so 1,519 men.

This was double blow, with the failure to locate the German battleships, and later to mount a rescue, and became an embarrassment for the Royal Navy. However the failure of broadcasting a sighting report from Glorious was questioned in the House of Commons later, and the enquiry established that the heavy cruiser Devonshire was just passing by 30–50 miles (48–80 km) of the fight with Vice-Admiral John Cunningham carrying orders to evacuate the Norwegian Royal Family, but he was maintaining radio silence and could not have intervene. In that case, he could have at least diverted attention of one of the two battleships, but the fight would have been unfair, although, less so.

Survivors from Glorious testified that a sighting report was sent, and received by Devonshire, but suppressed by Cunningham, following his orders. Confusion when using Glorious's wireless telegraph frequencies could also have contributed. Also there was no airborne patrols over the area, whereas there was maximum visibility, so the carrier had no idea the German ships were around. There was another debate in the House of commons on 28 January 1999.

A memorial was erected for the three ships in the church of St Peter Martindale, Cumbria, and a plaque Nicholas's Church, HMS Drake, Devonport 2002. On 8 June 2010, another plaque was deposed at the Trondenes Historical Centre in Harstad, Norway, a memorial tree in the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire and another in the Belvedere Gardens, Plymouth Hoe.


A model of HMS Glorious by model maker Norman A. Ough built for the Royal United Services Museum is now on display in the Fleet Air Arm Museum at RNAS Yeovilton

HMS Courageous in service

hls glorious

HMS Courageous started her wartime service with the Home Fleet, 811 and 822 Squadrons onboard (12 Fairey Swordfish). As ASW hunter-killer groups were formed around aircraft carriers on 31 August 1939, HMS Courageous was pressed in Portland and departed Plymouth on the evening of 3 September 1939 for her first ASW patrol on the soon infamous Western Approaches, with an escort of four destroyers. On 17 September 1939, her patrol carried her off the coast of Ireland with two destroyers away, sent to help an attacked merchant ship. Also, her planes were just back from their patrols; so there was no way of spotting an U-Boat in the surroundings, and that was exactly fateful: HMS Courageous was stalked for two hours by U-29 (Captain-Lieutenant Otto Schuhart).

As the unfortunate aircraft carrier carrier turned into the wind to launch a Swordfish, she came across the U-Boat nose, and immediately three bow torpedoes went off. Two struck the carrier on her port side knocking out all electrical power. The gush of water -despite her ASW compartimentation- was so quick and massive that she capsized and sank in just twenty minutes carrying with her 519 of her crew including captain W.T. Makeig-Jones. 1202 Survivors were rescued by a passingby Dutch ocean liner, SS Veendam and a British freighter, the Collingworth. The escorting destroyers immediately counterattacked U-29 and hunter her down for four hours, but without success, as it evaded.


wow's rendition of HMS Courageous

This tragic loss, combined to a similar U-Boat attack on Ark Royal (by U-39) on 14 September, prompted the Royal Navy to withdraw all its carriers from ASW patrols. Also incidentally, HMS Courageous was the very first British warship to be sunk during this war, not counting HMS Oxley, sunk by Friendly fire, not enemy action). Karl Dönitz, regarded this sinking as "a wonderful success" leading great hopes for his own weapon inside the Kriegsmarine. Grand Admiral Erich Raeder later awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, to Otto Schuhart and the rest of the crew received the Iron Cross Second Class.


HMS Courageous, sinking

Read More/Src




A German Verlag propaganda postcard showing the Courageous sinking

R. Gardiner, Conway's all the world's fighting ships 1906-1921 & 1922-47
Siegfried Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers 1905-1970 (Doubleday and Company; Garden City, New York, 1973)
John Roberts, Battlecruiser, (Chatham Publishing, London, 1997)
Roger Chesneau, Aircraft Carriers of the World, 1914 to the Present; An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Dan Van der Vat, The Atlantic Campaign: World War II's Great Struggle at Sea
Correlli Barnett, Engage the Enemy More Closely (W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1991)
John Winton, Carrier "Glorious": The Life and Death of an Aircraft Carrier
Bruce Lee Marching Orders: The Untold Story of World War II (1995, Crown, New York)
John Roberts, Battlecruiser, (Chatham Publishing, London, 1997)
Winston Churchill, ww2 memoirs
David Wragg, Royal Navy Handbook 1939-1945
https://wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?384
https://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/courageous_class.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courageous-class_battlecruiser
http://www.glarac.co.uk/
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/history/heartbreaking-story-royal-navy-heroes-2877036
http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/great_britain/pages/aircraft_carriers/hms_glorious_77.htm
https://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0014%2FGLOR
Archive (warships.org)
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search?filters%5BagentString%5D%5BRoyal%20Navy%2C%20COURAGEOUS%20%28HMS%29%5D=on

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Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

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

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

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

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

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

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

WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

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

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spain Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden


WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

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

WW2 British Gunboats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

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

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

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

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

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

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

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

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

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

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

Søværnet Danish Navy

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

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

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

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

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

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

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

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

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

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

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

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

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


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