Battle of Tsingtao (August-Nov. 1914)

Japanese Navy WW1 German Navy WW1 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 the port was a token of the recent alliance of Japan with Great Britain on the side of the entente.

Officiously, this was the perfect opportunity to get rid of another western presence in the Yellow sea, securing nearby Korean peninsula from all foreign influence, by then under firm Japanese control, and taking another hold in the Chinese continent, on a strategic place, and a modern, well-developed and equipped enclave that was further developed.

Tsingato area
Map of Tsingtao in ww1 - source

The modern city of Qingdao, is now one of the richest and most dynamic ports in modern China, why the German colony inheritance resides only in the best known Chinese beer... But the naval battle was the occasion to see an early combined arm operation, a more complex operation than the Japanese planned ten years earlier at Port Arthur, not far from there.

Its consequences were the end of the German Asiatic squadron of Von Spee, obliged to flee and launched in a rampage over the globe, settled for good in the Falklands; but also of any German presence in Asia. After Russia, only France, Britain and the Netherlands remained as imperialist powers in the area, but it confirmed once again to Japanese falcons their superiority over western powers.

The colony of Tsingtao

The very name of Tsingtao is to add to the long list of Chinese humiliations and explains the current will of the government to restore grandeur through naval power, territorial acquisitions and economical means. In 1891 the Qing Empire made Tsingtao (Jiao'ao) a defense base and improved its fortifications.

However at that time, Western powers were still present in force and reported the move to naval officials. They Germans eventually made a complete formal survey of Jiaozhou Bay in May 1897. Meanwhile two German missionaries were killed in the Juye Incident the same year. Protestations backed by military power led the weak Chinese government to agree a 99-years concession of Kiautschou Bay in Shantung.

Quickly German troops were ordered to seize and occupy the fortifications as they could have been a threat to Western (and German) trade in the area. This was not long before the Boxer rebellion. Chinese authorities indeed declined any attack to retake the strongpoint, de facto annexed by Germany.

The concession quickly became a fully-grown German colony which received high priority by the Kaiser given its strategic value. This was the only German presence in Asia. A moderately large territory though, 552 square kilometres (136,000 acres; 213 sq mi) much smaller than Hong Kong (2,755 km2), Singapore (721 km2), but far larger than Macao (30 km2) and Shanghai (6.3 km2). There was still plenty of room for development.

Qindao Map

In 1898 though, this territory was poor and remote, the Marktstrasse (Market street) was nothing more than the old main street of the Chinese village, with fishermen and craftsmen shops and houses around, hardly a city like Shanghai. Therefore the Germans took at hart to develop it. The Chinese inhabitants were expropriated and relocated further east.

The former village was razed and rebuilt from scratch with wide paved streets, large stone-built housing areas, and government buildings. Moreover, electrification was installed, as well as drinking water and a modern sewer system. All these were quite new for the time and for China, driving locals back in. Trade flourished once again.

Development went quickly also on the harbor side, with a solid stone jetty and breakwater, safe storage areas, cranes, a harbor administration center, and a drydock. Tsingtao soon showed the highest school density and the highest per capita student enrolment in all of China.

This colony in all but name became the pride and joy of the German Empire, and soon a Brewery was installed, producing a local beer under the same name. Also the inevitable Protestant and Roman Catholic missions also settled. However the concession was unique as it was managed directly by the Imperial Department of the Navy since the arsenal and Asian squadron were the main strategic reasons of this enclave.

Tsingtau, Main gate of former Chinese munitions depot at Kiautschou Bay
Tsingtau, Main gate of former Chinese munitions depot at Kiautschou Bay, Shandong peninsula (Bundesarchiv)

The Far East Squadron was then soon constituted with the best units, mostly cruisers, that can be mustered, and grew in size. On land, the colony was defended by marines of III. Seebataillon. The village became a city, with thousands of German residents, mostly families of officials in China and navy personal, and it was connected to the continent via the recently built Tsingtao-Jinan Railway Line ending in the Tsingtao Railway Station, nearby brand new locomotive works, all German.

Military situation in August 1914

Armoured Cruiser Scharnhorst

The German naval forces present before 1914 were the Asian squadron commanded from its creation by Admiral Count von Spee. He very much setup this force and ordganized its support from TingTao, but his fleet also had other bases in the pacific to sail to an from, controlling a wide area: Samoa and New Guinea but also German Micronesia, the Marianas, the Carolinas and the Marshall Islands.

Von Spee's fleet indeed served central Pacific colonies on routine missions. The fleet eventually was out of Tsingato when the war broke out. They joined early on in the Marianas Islands. The plan was to return back to Germany, fearing to be be trapped in the Pacific by much more powerful Allied fleets, especially British and Japanese.

Even before TsingTao, there was a minor British naval attack on the German colony on Shandong in 1914. German presence here was merely symbolic and the attack was swift and decisive; Japanese troops planned to besiege Tsingtao and eventually occupied the city and surrounding province after Japan's declaration of war on Germany, as part of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.

Siege and battle of Tsingtao

Japanese lithograph of the battle of Tsingtao Japanese lithograph of the battle of Tsingtao Tsingtao (Western medias)/Tsingtau (Germany)/Qindao (China), is frequently associated with the Japanese attack, but the British also participated. The land siege was relatively short due to the overwhelming disproportion of forces, it lasted from 31 October to 7 November 1914, so eight days in all, but the divesionary attacks in the province, and with the naval blockade, it lasted for two month. It was also the accumulation of many "first":
-First encounter between Japanese and German forces
-First Anglo-Japanese operation of the war
-First combined operation (naval, land, air)
-First naval air attack
-First night bombing raid
-First and last major operation of the pacific front during the war.

Indeed for the last point, the attack on other pacific islands was quick and decisive affairs that rarely took more than several days. Nothing to do with the protracted campaign in East Africa for example, where Von Lettow-Vorbeck succeeded despite limited forces to maintain large entente forced for very long in a protracted campaign which can only be compared to Rommel's exploits in North Africa later.

German troops parading en route to the frontline in Tsingtao
German troops parading en route to the frontline in Tsingtao

The German presence here was also seen as a threat by the British, which leased Weihaiwei, and the French for their southern colony of Indochina, at Kwang-Chou-Wan. In addition Great Britain cemented an alliance with Japan, which included the building of the Japanese Navy, from ships to arsenals and academies. The strong bonds established in 30 January 1902 would play at full during the attack on Tsingtao. On the Japanese perspective they were also a counterbalance to the Russian presence in the region and a blank check to its own imperial ambitions.

The Russian fate was sealed as we know at Tsushima three years after this important alliance. This battle eliminated Russian presence and comforted Great Britain that its Asian ally was reliable and strong, so the bond was maintained when WW1 broke out.

In August 1914 indeed, the British government prompted Japanese assistance in the name of the alliance. Indeed the German Asiatic squadron was a deadly threat for the British Colonial Empire. On the Japanese side, German concessions were tempting targets for its own ambitions. Based on this, on 15 August, Japan issued an ultimatum to the German government to evacuate all their concession from any ships and from Japan while they asked to take control of Tsingtao. On 16 August, Major-General Mitsuomi Kamio, head of the 18th Infantry Division, prepared his troops for a landing at Tsingtao.

Suwo
The Suwo (ex-Pobeda) that we just see in the previous post, captured in 1905 by the IJN was used as lead ship for the combined fleet off Tsingtao

German Naval forces in Asia in August

On 23 August the ultimatum expired and the declaration of war against Germany became effective. Meanwhile the East Asia Squadron, dispersed at various Pacific colonies was reunited Northern Mariana Islands and did not even tried to join Tsingtao such was the disproportion of forces.

Indeed he decided to head for the Indian ocean, and perhaps trying to reach the Atlantic and head for home waters. This was a dangerous trip to say the least, as to avoid the Suez canal, the only choice left was great cape, Good hope. Trying to reach the Terra de Fuego on the eastern route was out of question given the presence of the Japanese Navy in the pacific, and distances for coaling; However in the end, Emden made a diversion in the Indian ocean while the fleet headed for the west coast of South America.

Wakamiya
The seaplane carrier Wakamiya, which played a vital role in the battle, supplying informations about German positions and movements to gunners of the fleet and on land, and even making strafing attacks in some occasions.

On the German side, the boxer rebellion made a possible Chinese assault on their colony a real concern and they began fortifying the surroundings. The port and town were protected by steep hills, a natural line of defense which was fortified from the Kaiserstuhl to Litsuner Heights. Another 17 km (11 mi) defensive line was set in the inner ring of steep hills. The third and last line was only 200 m (660 ft) above the town.

Tsingtau map
Map of the colony, the pride of the German Empire (From Pinterest).

German preparations

These lines comprised a network of trenches with batteries and bunkers, all built in preparation of a possible siege. Work has been hectic during the ultimatum and from early August. The German administration also bolstered the sea defenses, fearing the Japanese fleet. Mines (which had proved their devastating effectiveness in 1904) were laid in the approaches to the harbour. Also coastal fortifications were raised, four batteries and five redoubts, well equipped but only armed with existing artillery, obsolete Chinese guns, but well manned by trained crew and large supplies of ammunitions inherited from the Chinese garrison.

German front line at Tsingtao 1914
German front line at Tsingtao 1914; the head cover identifies these men as members of III Seebataillon (III Sea Battalion) of Marines.
German Marines on the frontline, fighting at Tsingtao
German Marines on the frontline, fighting at Tsingtao[/caption]

In addition to the coastal defences, the Harbor was still protected by some ships. Not all were part of Von Spee squadron: These were one protected cruiser, the Austro-Hungarian Kaiserin Elisabeth, one torpedo boat and four gunboats. The Kaiserin Elisabeth was one of the older cruiser present and mostly used for training in Asian seas. The ship was of dubious value at sea, but could add its own artillery and crew (324) to the already strong 3,650 German infantry present in the concession, manning the very long defensive ring.

Most of them were Marine troops recognisable to their colonial hat and blue uniforms, but other were from the army and shown the classic feldgrau uniform with cap, wearing proudly their pickelhaube in parade in order to bolster the population morale. In addition there were also bout 100 Chinese Police, but their loyalty was dubious at best. Last but not least, the colony had a single plane for reconnaissance.

Japanese landing boats preparing to land at Tsingtao
Japanese landing boats preparing to land at Tsingtao

Japanese Forces

Facing the Germans, the Imperial Japanese Forces seemed overwhelming. In all, 23,000 Japanese infantry were gathered for the assault, with officers which were already battle-hardened and experienced by the recent siege at Port Arthur. Later on the assault would benefit from 1,500 British infantry. The Japanese Infantry could also bring on the shores 142 artillery pieces, not counting the guns of their ships, 4 battleships, 2 battlecruisers and 1 destroyer, representing a large section of the Imperial Navy.

One of the auxiliaries was the Wakamiya, a seaplane carrier, which could bring there four Farman MF.11 seaplanes for observation. The combined fleet's battleships were pre-dreadnoughts, led by ex-Russian Suwo, carrying Vice-Admiral Sadakichi Kato's mark.

The British bring from their own China station the battleship HMS Triumph and the destroyer HMS Usk. Knowing the German coastal defences were a potential threat, as well as mines, two lower-value captured pre-dreadnoughts made the bulk of this force, reinforced by the Kawachi and Settsu and battlecruisers Kongō and Hiei which were there in the background to repel any relieving German force at sea. And indeed, HMS Triumph was later claimed to be damaged by German shore batteries.

British troops arrives at Tsingato in 1914
British troops arrives at Tsingato in November 1914 to occupy part of the city. By then the siege was over and they will soon depart.

Start of the operations

Even before the landings started, the IJN began its deployment on 27 August. Vice-Admiral Sadakichi Kato (battleship Suwo) blockaded the coast of Kiaochow, the peninsula. He was soon reinforced by the British Royal Navy (RN), sending from the China Station's the pre-dreadnought HMS Triumph and destroyer HMS Usk. German press was present after the siege to report the Triumph's damaged by German shore batteries. Meanwhile, Wakamyia's planes prepared for a reconnaissance of the surroundings of the Tsingtao harbor and made a survey of the triple-layered defences.

The 18th Infantry Division was responsible for opening the show, making the the initial landings with some 23,000 soldiers in waves of boats quickly joined by 142 artillery pieces gradually bring to the shores. Landings started on 2 September at Lungkow, amidst heavy floods. To secure any possible reinforcements and flankings, 16 years after on 18 September another landing took place at Lau Schan Bay, about 29 km (18 mi) east of Tsingtao. China's protestation for this violation of her neutrality did not stop the Japanese.

However because the intentions of the Japanese were not unclear at that stage, the British Government decided to send a small British contingent from Tientsin to take part in the landings commanded by Brigadier-General Nathaniel Walter Barnardiston, comprising men of the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers and later the 36th Sikhs. However after a friendly fire incident the Japanese gave the British troops some kimonos to wear to be identifiable, which probably cause quite a sensation and laughs.

The Austro-Hungarian cruiser Kaiserin Elisabeth
The Austro-Hungarian cruiser Kaiserin Elisabeth

On the German side, east troops and Chinese were sent to reinforce the inner and city defences, and Kaiser Wilhelm II quickly sent a message by telegraph that the colony was not to be lost at any cost, even declaring "... it would shame me more to surrender Tsingtao to the Japanese than Berlin to the Russians". This put some pressure on the shoulders of naval Captain and Governor Alfred Meyer-Waldeck.

In addition to his crack troops, the III Seebataillon, he had reinforcements from Chinese colonial troops and Austro-Hungarian sailors from the Kaiser Augusta. The great total was around 3,625 men but this was still thin to man all trenches and fortifications, and about half of these were sent to man the cruiser while the other half took positions with artillery batteries and defensive lines.

Naval Operations

The cruiser stayed in harbor in a static position to support the defense, however on 22 August, German S90 took part in repelling a naval reconnaissance made by China Station's HMS Kennet. The latter was doing a routine monitoring of naval trade routes when she was intercepted off Tsingato by S90 and the gunboat SMS Launting, whereas a coastal battery soon joined the fray. The destroyer retired, damaged, receiving two hits from S90 and was written off for the following week.

On 2 September, the German gunboat SMS Jaguar catch the stranded Japanese destroyer Shirotaye off the coast and sank her. On 5 September, Japanese reconnaissance floatplanes, of the famous Farman MF.11 model, the "longhorns", made a complete survey of the harbor, the city and its defenses. This was crucial to help draw landing plans of operations; More importantly he reported the absence of the German East Asia squadron, which reassured the combined fleet. Soon the admiral ordered the most modern ships to retire and avoid any risk in the following coastal operations. A dreadnought, pre-dreadnought and cruiser left the blockade.

Ferman Planes Tsingtao
Japanese Farman Planes at Tsingtao after the siege. They led the first air-sea battle and first naval air night bombing raid in history.

However a day after, on 6 September, these planes were launched by the Wakamiya with bomblets, in order to try to hit the ships present in Qiaozhou Bay, SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth and Jaguar. But both ships had well trained crews manning AA guns and they repelled the Farmans. This was incidentally the first air-sea battle in history. This did not prevent the two ships to make a bold sortie, trying to attack the Japanese.

But after a while the ship was anchored for good and her 15‑cm and 4.7‑cm guns were removed to create the batterie Elisabeth, manned by her crew. Meanwhile on 28 September, SMS Jaguar made another raid and successfully hit the Japanese cruiser Takachiho. However the same day, all three remaining gunboats, Cormoran, Iltis and Luchs.

Later, the Takachiho would be hit by a single torpedo launched from S90, 10 nautical miles southeast of Jiaozhou Bay, sinking with all hands. The Imperial German Navy honor was saved. However, having failed to lift the blockade S90 Ran out of fuel when making it back to the harbour and she was eventually scuttled in Chinese waters the following day. On 29 October, this fate was shared by SMS Tiger, and on 2 November, SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth.

The siege

Instead of spreading his forces thin on the outer defensive lines, encountering the risk of seeing breakthrough in many points and his forces surrounded by flanking and rear attacks, he choose to concentrate all his troops in the inner defensive circle, close to the city. That way he could better man the perimeter and avoid local gaps and breakthroughs.

On 13 September this was Japanese turn: They landed first a cavalry corp to raid on the German rear-guard at Tsimo. Troops there were second-rates and their officer ordered a withdrawal. This allowed the Japanese to take control of Kiautschou and the Santung railway. General Kamio howener at this point knew he has dangerously overstretched his supply and communication lines and as the weather degraded fast he decided to stop his advance and to fortify in situ. Later he ordered the reinforcements to turn back and later he will re-embark and land his troops at Lau Schan Bay.

On 31 October the Japanese surrounded the city and started to dig parallel lines of trenches, a copycat of what they did already at Port Arthur. After great efforts they bring at range several 11‑inch howitzers to start pounding the fortifications, added to the already devastating and constant barrage from Japanese naval guns. During the line, they advanced their line closer to the city, and their artillery pummelled German positions for seven gruelling days. We talk here of 100 siege guns with about 1,200 shells each on average.

However as customary with sieges, if Germans were able counter-battery fire with the guns of the port fortifications, they eventually ran of ammunitions, and on 6 November, their guns were all shut. In addition, if they could accurately spot enemy position thanks to Lieutenant Gunther Plüschow's Taube, the second one was short down early in the campaign.

German pilot biographic: Gunther Plüschow During this time, Plüschow attacked the Japanese blockading ships in several occasion, more as a nuisance than anything else, dropping explosives and all kind of improvized ordance, injuring some but never cause any concern. Apparently however he met and engaged a Japanese Farman and allegedly shot the pilot with his pistol, making it -non officially still- the first aerial kill of the war. When the situation was dire, he was given by the governor in November 1914 the last dispatches to be sent to Berlin out of the city, and never saw it fall.

He was able to make his way home by August 1915, after nine months via Shanghai, San Francisco, New York, Gibraltar (captured, London as a POW ans later an escapee to Netherlands) and back to Germany. He served for the remainder of the war in the German naval air service ranking as Kapitänleutnant in 1918 and became a well known air explorer after the war, crash in Patagonia in 1931.

The proper attack came the same night, 6-7 November, when waves of Japanese infantry baionet-charged the defenders on their third defensive line, demoralized and almost out of ammunitions. They were overwhelmed and were made prisoners. On the morning, both the Germans and Austro-Hungarian, asked for a formal surrender. After much discussions, the terms were signed on 16 November 1914 when the Japanese (and later British) took possession of the colony. When the latter entered the town in turn, the German prisoners turn their back on them.

During this land campaign, the Japanese lost 733 killed and 1,282 wounded, the British 12 killed and 53 wounded and the Germans 199 dead and 504 wounded. The deads were buried at Tsingtao whiled German POWs were shipped to Japanese camp, some 4,700 prisoners, treated well and with respect contrary to WW2 and after the Versailles treaty, repatriated before 1920. 170 Germans however chose to remain in Japan and made a new life there, not surprising after such a long captivity and time to grasp the complex culture and met local women.

Some were part of the III Marinebatallion band orchestra that toured Japan with their own uniforms in 1914-19, where they became quite popular. Their impression and the contrast with the performances of the Russian added its weight to the future interwar relations between Japan and Nazi Germany and the steel pact.

Aftermath

During the Japanese occupation, the city of Tsingtao was further developed: Used as a base for the exploitation of natural resources in the Shandong and northern China it saw further development of industry and commerce. The Japanese made their mark on the city, creating an entire New City District for Japanese colonists and trade companies.

Alongside new living quarters, schools, hospitals and new public buildings mushroomed. The urban plan was extended and highways constructed while the network of the Tsingtao-Jinan Railway Line and the Tsingtao Railway Station was upgraded and further extended, with new quarters built northward and in the eastern bay.

German POWs bring back to Wilhelmshaven by SS Kofuku Maru in February 1920 after a six years captivity
Bundesarchiv - German Prisoners of War bring back to Wilhelmshaven on SS Kofuku Maru in February 1920 after a six years captivity.

Afterwards, the Paris Peace Conference and Versailles Treaty negotiations at first recognised the Japanese presence by not restoring Chinese rule over Tsingtao but also many other concessions after the Great War. This understandably provoked a vivid resentment in the population which erupted into the May Fourth Movement (May 4, 1919), combining all the Chinese anti-imperialist, nationalists and those advocating for the return of cultural identity in China.

Eventually, the concession of Tsingtao would fell once again under Chinese rule in December 1922, by the takeover by the Republic of China (R.O.C.) established after the 1911 Chinese Revolution.

A Japanese company still maintained its control on railways in the whole province, but the city itself was fully controlled municipality by the in July 1929. Of course imperialistic Japan eventually preyed on the strategic city and re-occupied "Qingdao" as renamed, in 1938, right after the start of the the second Sino-Japanese war in 1937.

Kuomintang forces would seize the city after the Japanese surrender in September 1945. Eventually Qindao will fell on October 1, 1949 into the hands of Chairman Mao Zedong and his troops and is now part of China since.

Bismarck battery devastated by Japanese fire Admiral Von Spee would eventually fail in his attempt to join the fatherland. After roaming the Indian Ocean, and the Western pacific, winning at Coronel, the fleet was destroyed in the Falklands and the remaining ships eventually hunted and sunk, with some amazing stories like the case of the Emden.

Despite the loss of Tsingtao, German propaganda turned it into a valiant defeat, their troops and ships holding two combined, overwhelming forces at bay for two month, sinking enemy ships, downing a plane, and killing four times more Japanese than their own. They bravely maintained their cohesion under an unrelentless barrage which lasted a week, while being outnumbered 6 to 1, fighting literally to the last shell and bullet. This was also praised in Austria-Hungary.

https://youtu.be/teLj4-NEd74 BBC - The siege of Tsingtao - See also: //youtu.be/mfSGqlnvhxc (footage archives and movie extract) Read More/Src Österreichs Kriegsmarine in Fernost: Alle Fahrten von Schiffen der k.(u.)k. Kriegsmarine nach Ostasien, Australien und Ozeanien von 1820 bis 1914 (in German). Berlin: epubli. ISBN 978-3844249125.
Edgerton, Robert B. (1999). Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History Of The Japanese Military.
Radó, Antal, ed. (1919). "Csingtao eleste" [The fall of Tsingtao]. A világháború naplója [Diary of the World War Haupt, Werner (1984). Deutschlands Schutzgebiete in Übersee 1884–1918 [Germany's Overseas Protectorates 1884–1918].
Veperdi, András. "The protected cruiser SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth in defence of Tsingtao, in 1914"
Schultz-Naumann, Joachim (1985). Unter Kaisers Flagge, Deutschlands Schutzgebiete im Pazifik und in China einst und heute
https://www.nam.ac.uk/explore/siege-tsingtao
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-29801553/ww1-the-siege-of-tsingtao
https://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/tsingtao.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Tsingtao & Qindao page
https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/pacific_islands

Naval History

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
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Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
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Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
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A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
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Djambi class corvettes (1860)
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Curieux class sloops (1860)
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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)
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Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
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Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
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Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
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Corvette Union (1865)

Regia Marina 1870 Regia Marina 1870 Imperial Japanese navy 1870 大日本帝國海軍 Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine Russian mperial Navy 1870 Российский флот Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
⚑ 1898 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class Gunboats (1873)
La Plata class Coast Battleships (1875)
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Ferre class Gunboats (1880)

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

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 中华帝国海军
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Hellenic Navy 1898 Πολεμικό Ναυτικό
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne
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)
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Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
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Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
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Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
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Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
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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 大日本帝國海軍 German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Российский флот
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)

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 Sovietskaya Flota
US Navy USN (1990)


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