The First Online Warships Museum
At a time Great Britain ruled the seas, shipyards also built cruisers and battleships for all nations. Such was the Giovanni Bausan, a 1883 Elswick cruiser, from which was derived the Etna class in 1885. There is another, better known class of 1941 ordered by the Thai government, later seized and renamed, that remained unfinished, but these Etna were the first and had a career spanning until the early 1920s, especially for the Etna herself, completely rebuilt and rearmed (photo).
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World War One (1914-1918)
Who says the Great War was exclusively about trench warfare ? Ships did played a crucial part in the hostilities worldwide, participating in various events like the raid on Zeebruge, battle of Jutland, Helgoland, Dogger Bank, the Dardanelles landings, and first battle of the Atlantic, seeing U-Boats unleashed for the first time, sinking any ship on sight and turning the USA into the war.
World War Two (1939-1945)
This six-year long conflict saw major struggles opposing the Royal Navy and US Navy both on the seven seas to the Axis fleets, Italians in the Mediterranean, Germans from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, and the Mighty Japanese (3rd world’s naval power) in the Pacific. Hundreds of ships built and sunk, ruling the waves on an immense theater of operations.
The Cold War (1947-90)
Both the USSR and USA superpowers boasted gigantic fleets, deploying their might in the Oceans, dissuading one another with ever-increasing and lethal sub warfare, playing a dangerous cat-and-mouse game that led to unsung heroes and tragedies. From the Suez intervention to the Falklands, half a century of naval warfare which saw the transition from the gun to the missile.
A step into the future.
Since the end of the cold war, Navies of the world experienced a shuffle in world tonnage, with the emergence of China as a new naval superpower, followed by India, the US Fleet barely competing, while Russia and the Europeans struggling with budget cuts receded far below. This was also the digital age, with automation, stealthiness, better performances and versatility.
Liners in battle dress !