The American Civil War at sea

Quick Presentation

USS Galena
USS Galena, USN archives (cc)
Union Navy 1861-65 Union Navy Confederates 1861-65 Confederate Navy

Ships studied

CSS David (1862)
CSS Frederickburg (1862)
CSS Savannah (1863)
Unadilla class gunboats (1861)
USS Alligator (1862)
USS Keokuk (1862)
USS New Ironsides (1862)
Ten years after the Crimean War, another bloodbath awaited a nation still barely out of its independence and still conquering new lands, with already a burgeoning industry confined in the northeast of the continent. It will be in terms of naval matters also rich with the invention of the Monitor, a variation on the theme of armored riverine warfare, but also introducing modern rifled guns and breech-loaded, shells, mines, spar torpedoes and submersibles.

The conflict is rooted in strong economic, industrial and cultural differences and disparities between North and South. The tension rose about slavery, which was the major sticking point between these states, as the Industrial north did not need it (but freed workforce) and pushed for abolition, while the agricultural South was totally dependent of its perpetuation.

Anaconda plan
"Scott's great snake, the anaconda plan, naval blocus of the confederacy

New legislation in the North (abolitionist states now have the majority in Congress) were perceived by southern states as a future threat to slavery. More importantly, with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, also hostile to slavery, Southern states eventually decided to withdraw from the Federation, led by Jefferson Davis. However, if the disparity of resources is overwhelming, the south has brilliant officers (as Robert E. Lee) and sheer determination against the Union to save their own way of life.

James river gunfight

The confederation was formed of seven states (South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia) while bordering states being torn apart and a wall of hate raised since the declaration of Lincoln calling it illegal secession. Soon after that, and also facing foreign delegations, the Confederacy was assimilated to a rebellion by the north, hence the name "secession war" and the Union objective to reunify all states.

The hostilities 1861-65

Fort Sumter bombardment
Fort Sumter bombardment. It was the very opening of the four years event that turned a young growing nation apart.

While attempting to resupply Fort Sumter, a Federal garrison in South Carolina, the Union troops were fired upon by the Confederacy and later an artillery siege began and later the fort pounded until the garrison surrendered. War broke out this April 12, 1861. The Southern officers, heirs to a long military tradition proved more likely to train their troops that the North, which began badly: At the battle of Bull Run, the Union troops were defeated by those of General Beauregard. The North, however, managed to be a "glaze" with border states, which stayed until then very mixed, or neutral.

St James naval battle


The Union would suffer a second defeat in the "battle of seven days" in the east, and then occurred the second battle of Bull Run led this time by Lee, who drove the Union in the North, marching on Washington. Aware of the seriousness of the situation, the North threw all its strength to Antietam (September 17, 1862). Losses were appealing on both sides, forcing Lee to retreat temporarily. In December 1862, troops of Gen. Burnside tried to take the fortified positions of Lee in Virginia and at Fredericksburg, without success.

From mid-62, the Union general Ulysses S. Grant success as making a breakthrough on the Mississippi River cut the Confederacy in two. Late 1862, he stumbled on Vicksburg strongpoint, which was devastated after a punishing artillery siege. To the east, in May 1863, Lee defeated the Union again at Chancellorsville. But it was a pyrrhic, costly victory, where he lost many men including his best general, Stonewall Jackson. He crossed Pennsylvania and met the Union forces at Gettysburg in July 1863, the turning point of the war.

The battle of Hampton Roads
The battle of Hampton Roads, the first ironclad fight

This was his first defeat, and he blamed himself in face of his men to have underestimated the union defense. The Union at the same time, guaranteed itself sturdy access to southern Mississippi by eventually taking Vicksburg. A new battle, this time with the Confederates in full retreat, was committed near Chattanooga in November. It was a decisive victory for the Union, opening the gates of Alabama and Georgia. At that aspect of riverine warfare is of course what motivated this article.

uss Pittsburg
River ironclad USS Pittsburgh, 1861

In 1864, Grant was appointed by Lincoln at the head of Union forces. Assisted by Sheridan and Sherman, he will conduct a major offensive on three fronts, with the aim of Atlanta, Richmond, and to cut off the retreat of Confederate and supplies.

Grant faced Lee and the bulk of the Confederate in the forests of the Wilderness 5 and 6 May 1864, and both sides suffered heavy losses. Grant advanced to Spotsylvania Courthouse, but it was a new bloody stalemate. Meanwhile, in the Shenandoah Valley, Sheridan and Sherman in two successful battles at Atlanta and deprived the South of their main sources of supplies.

The Confederates attempted a daring manoeuver but were finally defeated at Nashville in December. Sherman began a march to the sea in April 1865, seizing the railway line from Richmond.

CSS Shenandoah
The CSS Shenandoah was one of the most successful Confederate raider.

Lee was forced to retreat in North Carolina, thinking replenish its forces, but he was surrounded by Grant at Appomattox, and forced to surrender on April 9. Therefore, with their best general made prisoner the confidence of the Southerners was broken, and the entire confederation surrendered shortly after.

Naval warfare of the secession war

Vicksburg under shells
Ships bombarding Vicksburg on the James River...

No war has previoulsy seen riverine warfare reach such scale. Ships were used in great tactical and strategic way which are still a reference today for all landmasses crossed by major river systems. The Mississippi, one of the largest and longest rivers in the world, was both a lifeline and a natural frontier, splitting the continent in two but allowing the north to communicate with the south, acting as a lifeline for dozens of major cities. Necessities came to protect ships against artillery with wood and iron plates sandwiches which ultimately led built riverine Ironclads, and then the monitor, a concept which lasted until the second world war.

On the seas, the absolute superiority of the North, in ship and industrial resources, enabled the Union early on to impose a naval blockade while the southerners were largely dependent on its exports to Europe, as a mostly agricultural model.

Similarly, the North opposed the Europeans on behalf of the Union representing the majority of Americans, to build and sell ships to the Confederacy, including ironclads that were even lacking in the North (but the USS New Ironsides).


CSS Atlanta, Confederate river ironclad

The Confederates, in fact, purchased several ships, but none was able to join forces before the end of the conflict. Other diversions to the blockade were tested, including that of "blockade runners" fast ships that were requisitioned and hastily armed with artillery, but also mixed clippers and merchant ships turned into corsairs. The Shenandoah and Alabama were the most famous of these, rampaging the Atlantic and beyond.

USS Keokuk
USS Keokuk (1862), one of the numerous Union Riverine ironclads

On the other hand, the Confederates sought new and creative ways to break the blockade. They built a serie of riverine ironclads, theoretically invulnerable to the Union frigates volleys, on rivers and at sea, the first and most famous being the Merrimack (ex-Virginia).
After a first succseful sortie she went up the East Coast in 1862 and came running from Norfolk into Hampton Roads. There she was opposed to USS Monitor, the famous "cheesebox on a raft" of the great Ericsson. The duel was epic on several points, as one of the early iconclads contests, showing the artillery was by then inferior to armour. It was confirmed at Lissa in open sea after the war.

css stonewall
CSS Stonewall, the only sea going Confederate ironclad, built in Bordeaux but never arrived in time to take part in the hostilities. Instead she became the first Japanese ironclad, blooded in the Boshin war.

Many of these riverine ironclads were armed by both sides, as to take control of the rivers was capital, particularly the Mississippi and its tributaries like the James River, ensuring riverine battles with these ships occurred. A desperate situation generated strange vessels like the ram Stonewall Jackson, with its iron and wood turtleback, or the CSS David, a semi-submersible spar torpedo boat, or the HS Hunley, first submarine propelled by human power, were daring avant-garde concepts turned into immediate use. In fact several hand-crack submersibles were built by both sides during the war.

Respective strenght

Nothing shows more the discrepancy between the Confederates and the industrial northern Union than naval might. The immense majority of ships in service by then were located in ports and arsenals remaining firmly in the union's hands. So much so that its first immediate use was to set up and easily enforce a blockade of the South, preventing any exports and therefore to strangle it economically. The Union was able to maintain a tight netting around 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of Confederate coastline.

And indeed, at large, the blocus was largely successful as the Confederates by all times faced a David vs Goliath contest were only the bold, the daredevils and the innovators thrived. But this was thanks to the will and creativity of Davis's secretary of the navy, Stephen Mallory. Not only the South created an array of riverine ironclads but also submersibles and spar-torpedo and semi-submerged rams using sloped armour and water protection to a next level, but they also converted all the remaining civilian ships they hold as commerce raiders, forcing the blockade and destroying Union ships along the way to and from Europe, and also purchased from Europe all the ships they could. But he was late to organize commerce raiders and start a closer supervision of blockade-running vessels too late into the war. Until then, the privately owned blockade runners operated on their own.

The effect of the blocus however, plus victory on the Mississippi eventually deprived the Confederate army of its supply bases, armament and resources and ended the conflict. Commanders such as Louis M. Goldsborough and avid Farragut led successful sea-land operations, sometimes combined with troops, to reach their objectives, capturing Port Royal, South Carolina, Roanoke island, New Bern (North Carolina), and later the fall of Savannah and New Orlans. The whole campaign ended with the (difficult) seizure of the last Atlantic port, Wilmington in North Carolina. In 1865, Lincoln’s navy was 626 warships strong. 65 were ironclads, and they could have dealt with any foreign invasion. From 9,000 seamen in 1861, it ended with 59,000 sailors. Naval appropriations yearly augmented ten times over, to $123 million. This formidable forced later called the "Old Navy" was mostly made of wooden vessels, and most were scrapped and a few sold (like the Dunderberg, to France). Some of these monitors survived long enough to see the "new navy" birth at the beginning of the century, just after the Spanish-American 1898 war. But from 1870 to 1890, the US Navy was mostly ignored and kept to the bare minimum.

Legacy

But the secession war brings a lot to the table in terms of naval innovation and lessons that were not lost by any European observer. The Merrimack-monitor duel showed that ironclads were a way forward, but guns should be improved. It also showed submersibles were no longer a fantasy, and could be developed further, replacing human power by a more reliable one. The development would go on until the 1880s, where several technological advances (notably electric power, generation and retention) combined to make the first practical submarines, in which the American were noted pioneers. Also there were quick improvements in steam power, screw propeller, shell guns, and rifled ordnance. This echoed the Union development of centralized railways administration and communication as war-winning tools.

Another consequence, rarely pushed forward, was that many Federal ships were captured, and marine insurance rates reached a prohibitive level, leading to a serious deterioration of the American merchant marine. Its effects lasted into the 20th century. Also the blockade, which started to be really effective before the end of 1863, was instrumental in the defeat of the Davis government and as a grand strategy, the lessons was not lost to the Europeans at large;

Knowing the UK's vital trade network to its Empire, all rivals, including France, Germany and even the USA, designed the new "cruisers" at first to act as raiders and disrupt British merchant shipping. In WW1 the strategy was applied first by had oc isolated fleets turned into surface raiders (Like Von Spee's Asiatic squadron), and submarines. In WW2, this was applied by the Axis against the allies in the Atlantic and beyond, and the Americans against the Japanese in the Pacific. The blockade was still used by the USN around Cuban waters in 1962, 100 years after the civil war.

The Union Navy - The Old Navy (1860-1882)

Wartime constructions:

The Confederate Navy (1860-1882)

Ironclads:

  • CSS Stonewall Composite-hull armoured ram, with a Coles Turret (1864). Commissioned in January, arrived in the Carribean in May 1865, sold to Japan as Kotetsu
  • Riverine ironclads:

    Blockade runners:

    Misc. Vessels:

    Main SRC: John Gardiner, Conways all the world's fighting ships 1860-1905 P. 133-136
    //eh.net/book_reviews/northern-naval-superiority-and-the-economics-of-the-american-civil-war/
    //www.britannica.com/event/American-Civil-War/The-naval-war
    //www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/navies-civil-war
    //www.naval-encyclopedia.com/cyber-ironclad.com/
    //www.astrococktail.com/CNHStale.html
    //www.navyandmarine.org/ondeck/1862submarines.htm
    //localwiki.org/liverpool/Liverpool_-_The_Home_of_the_Confederate_Fleet
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    //www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/confederate_ships.html
    //www.navsource.org/archives/09/86/86idx.htm
    //www.navsource.org/archives/08/01idx.htm
    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockade_runners_of_the_American_Civil_War
    //www.hnsa.org/
    //archive.org/search.php?query=Confederate%20States%20Navy
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    Anderson, Bern, By Sea and By River: The Naval History of the Civil War. Knopf, 1962. Reprint, Da Capo, 1989
    France and the Confederate Navy, 1862-1868 J. Bigelow
    Merli, Frank J. (1970). Great Britain and the Confederate Navy, 1861–1865
    McNeil, Jim (2003). Masters of the Shoals: Tales of the Cape Fear Pilots Who Ran the Union Blockade
    Frajola, Richard (2011). "Tales from the Blockade"
    Bennett, Michael J. Union Jacks: Yankee Sailors in the Civil War (2004)
    Browning, Robert M. Jr., Success is All That Was Expected: The South Atlantic Blockading Squadron During the Civil War. Brassey's, Inc., 2002
    Browning, Robert M. Jr., From Cape Charles to Cape Fear: The North Atlantic Blockading Squadron During the Civil War. University of Alabama Press 1993
    Gibbon, Tony, Warships and Naval Battles of the Civil War. Gallery Books, 1989
    Jones, Virgil Carrington, The Civil War at Sea, Holt 1960
    Leland, Anne and Mari-Jana Oboroceanu. American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics
    McPherson, James M. War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861–1865
    Musicant, Ivan, Divided Waters: The Naval History of the Civil War. HarperCollins, 1995
    Soley, James Russell, The Blockade and the Cruisers. C. Scribner's Sons, 1883
    Tucker, Spencer, Blue and Gray Navies: The Civil War Afloat. Naval Institute Press, 2006
    Wise, Stephen R., Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War, University of South Carolina Press, 1988

    Naval History

    ⚑ 1870 Fleets
    Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
    Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
    Hellenic Navy 1870 Πολεμικό Ναυτικό
    Haitian Navy 1914Haiti Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
    Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
    De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
    Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
    Buffel class turret rams (1868)
    Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
    Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
    Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
    Adder class Monitors (1870)
    A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
    A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
    Djambi class corvettes (1860)
    Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

    Marine Française 1870 Marine Nationale
    Screw 3-deckers (1850-58)
    Screw 2-deckers (1852-59)
    Screw Frigates (1849-59)
    Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
    Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
    Paddle Frigates
    Paddle Corvettes
    screw sloops
    screw gunboats
    Sailing ships of the line
    Sailing frigates
    Sailing corvettes
    Sailing bricks

    Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
    Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
    Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
    Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
    Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
    Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
    Taureau arm. ram (1865)
    Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
    Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
    Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)
    French converted sailing frigates (1860)
    Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
    Talisman cruisers (1862)
    Resolue cruisers (1863)
    Venus class cruisers (1864)
    Decres cruiser (1866)
    Desaix cruiser (1866)
    Limier class cruisers (1867)
    Linois cruiser (1867)
    Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
    Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
    Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
    Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

    Curieux class sloops (1860)
    Adonis class sloops (1863)
    Guichen class sloops (1865)
    Sloop Renard (1866)
    Bruix class sloops (1867)
    Pique class gunboats (1862)
    Hache class gunboats (1862)
    Arbalete class gunboats (1866)
    Etendard class gunboats (1868)
    Revolver class gunboats (1869)

    Marinha do Brasil 1870 Marinha do Brasil
    Barrozo class (1864)
    Brasil (1864)
    Tamandare (1865)
    Lima Barros (1865)
    Rio de Janeiro (1865)
    Silvado (1866)
    Mariz E Barros class (1866)
    Carbal class (1866)

    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)
    Avni Illah class cas.ironclads (1869)
    Fethi Bulend class cas.ironclads (1870)
    Barbette ironclad Idjalleh (1870)
    Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
    Hamidieh Ct.Bat.Ironclads (1885)
    Abdul Kadir Batleships (project)

    Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
    Selimieh (1865)
    Rehberi Tewkik (1875)
    Mehmet Selim (1876)
    Sloops & despatch vessels

    Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
    Monitor Atahualpa (1865)
    CT. Bat Independencia (1865)
    Turret ship Huascar (1865)
    Frigate Apurimac (1855)
    Corvette America (1865)
    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)
    Pilcomayo class Gunboats (1875)
    Ferre class Gunboats (1880)

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

    Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 中华帝国海军
    Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

    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)
    Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
    Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
    Banda class Gunboats (1872)
    Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
    Gunboat Aruba (1873)
    Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
    Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
    Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
    Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
    Combok class Gunboats (1891)
    Borneo Gunboat (1892)
    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 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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