The First Online Warships Museum
The Monarch class was the first modern (coastal) battleships of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Designed by Siegfried Popper, they took the best of the small budget allocated, and could be considered as “pocket battleships”, launched in 1895-96 and accepted in service in 1897-98. They served as artillery support in the first month of operations in August 1914. One was sunk by Italian MAS 9 (Luigi Rizzo) which forced Pola harbour in 1917.
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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 !