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23/06/2021: USS Norfolk (DL-1) Ocean Escort (Cruiser), 1951

The USS Norfolk (Destroyer Leader 1) was a new type of large oceanic escort vessel, a new generation of very large destroyer, later reclassified as a cruiser. Launched in 1951 and completed in 1953, the new ship was tailored to track and hunt down the Soviet “Whiskey” class submarines, which performances were estimated at least as good as the WW2 German Type XXI.
Nevertheless, USS Norfolk soon appeared too costly and too large while the role of destroyer leader was now largely obsolete. Her planned sister ship, CLK-2, was never ordered, and after having trouble finding her place in the US Navy, USS Norfolk was deactivated in 1973 and stricken.

The First Online Warship Museum

What it is about ?

Naval Encyclopedia is the first online warship museum. Dedicated to the history of all ships of the industrial era, roughly since 1820 to this day. Although the main scope is about the XXth century through four main eras (WW1 and second world war, cold war and modern-day fleets), the website also covers (and will cover) civilian liners, first steamers, ships from the age of sail from the ancient ships of classical antiquity to medieval ships and renaissance vessels up to the enlightenment era ships which ambition also to cover most main types of ships of the time and famous examples.

Naval History is indeed quite old and warships has been a constant evolution, just as tactics which adapted to existing sources of power. The wind and human power (rows) and from the XIXth century, steam power and the rule of fossil fuels, up to the dominance of nuclear energy for the most valuable assets. There has been path of divergence and convergence also between civilian ships and their navy counterparts, like the famous Galleons of the XVI-XVIIth century that blended the role of cargo and warship. This survived well into the twentieth on civilian ships, first as a precaution (like fake ports) then as a tradition on mixed and tall ships.

Nowadays the most complex hand-built moving crafts ever designed by mankind, arguably, are nuclear submarines. Specialization and optimization helped global trade in the last XXth century, and especially the XXIth one frequently called “globalized”, based on the consumer society. The challenges world’s fleets are facing are huge, traducing like always the shifting weight of nations in geopolitics. The rise of the Chinese Navy is a perfect example of this.

A bit of history:

Naval Encyclopedia was born in 2010, by the same creator as tanks encyclopedia. For long, it has been a dependency of, dedicated to the age of sail, as its industrial era expansion. Now traduced in English, with navistory’s contents ported too, it is mirroring tanks encyclopedia for everything related to warships…

But not only. Civilian ships has always been an interesting part of naval history, almost as exciting when thinking of huge container ships, race boats, clippers or the romance of blue ribbon luxury liners. Tanks and aviation emerged in 1915, whereas warships were already there in the Bronze age, empires makers, and are still to this day the largest, costliest, mightiest, and sometimes most complex vehicles ever designed.

He who controls the sea controls everything (Themistocles)



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Latest Posts

USS Norfolk (DL-1)

Ocean Escort (Cruiser) USS Norfolk (Destroyer Leader 1) was a new type of large oceanic escort vessel, a new generation of very large destroyer, later reclassified as a cruiser. Launched in 1951 and completed in 1953, the new ship was tailored to track and hunt down the Soviet “Whiskey” class submarines, which performances were estimated … Continue reading "USS Norfolk (DL-1)" ...

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The Argentinian Navy after WW2 The Argentine Navy left neutrality in 1945, only organizing naval patrols in the south Atlantic, but its implication was far less extensive than Chile, or Brazil, which took an active part in the operations from 1944. During the war, the last class built was that of the King class patrol … Continue reading "Argentinian Navy (Cold War)" ...

Cold War Australian Navy

The dominant force in the South Pacific The legacy of WW2 Early in the Second World War, the RAN operated within Royal Navy formations and structures, as other commonwealth and free European navies, notably because they were equipped with British designs. The RAN served with distinction in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, … Continue reading "Cold War Australian Navy" ...

Naval History

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Battle of Tsingtao (August-Nov. 1914)

Japanese Navy vs German Navy Introduction: The first air-land-sea battle The battle of Tsingtao was one of these twists of history which seems odd to us today: Both Axis members of WW2, Germany and Japan, were indeed at each other’s throat at Tsingtao, a German-held colony in China twenty years prior. Officially, the attack of … Continue reading "Battle of Tsingtao (August-Nov. 1914)" ...
Battle of Elli BG

Battle of Elli and Lemnos (1912-13)

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The Battle of lissa (1866)

Lissa, the Trafalgar of ironclads While on the other side of the Atlantic, a young nation still constructing was reeling from its worst, first, and last civil war, innovating and experimenting in naval matters along the way, new nations of turbulent Europe were struggling for independence. A particular ship of that era, the ironclad, was … Continue reading "The Battle of lissa (1866)" ...