Germany

The Sea Eagle

One of the most interesting commerce raider ever put at sea in the Great War was arguably the SMS Seeadler (sea eagle). She was the single, most successful sailing commerce raider of the war, a brillant concept that made in general sailing ships the most inocuous-like predators imaginable. There were two Seeadler during the war in fact. The first was a 1888 cruiser of the Bussard class, decommissioned in Dantzig by March 1914.

Built as Pass of Balmaha

Pass of Balmaha

The Seeadler in our story was a three-master windjammer built Pass of Balmaha by Robert Duncan & Company yard, Port Glasgow, in Scotland. She was launched on 9 August 1888, designed as a steel-hulled ship-rigged sailing vessel, 1,571 GRT, typical of the late trade tall ships, most of the time relegated to carry bulk, whereas more interesting, fragile, precious or urgent cargos went by steamers. These tall ships were cheap and theferore they still counted for a very large part of the merchant fleets of the time. Many of these masses of testimonies of a bygone era are still with us, usual hosts of many world's maritime events. About 60 of these tall ships, preserved or used a school ships marvels the young generations.

For example the French Merchant Navy alone aligned 2,556,000 tons of merchant ships, of which 701,000 tons were sailing vessels. Of her 29,300 fishing vessels immatriculated in 1913, 27,000 were sailing ones*. And a huge proportion of these were sunk, mostly because of submarine warfare. They were slow and easily spotted targets. So much so that their proportion went down from 1/3 to 1/15 or less, compounded by new construction of modern freighters. WW1 was a killing ground for tall ships, the great cleaner of old traditional vessels. And in this maëlstrom many tall ships used to carry anything crude bulk, like coal or guano. So the idea of converting one of these as an auxiliary cruiser would have been seen far-fetch to german authorities. But that's exactly what's happened and why:

An odd double capture

The Pass of Balmaha began her career flying the colors of David R Clark, from Gibson & Clark, Glasgow, immatriculated 95087 with signal letters KTRP. Like many ships of that era she was no longer bankable and was sold at Leith for £5,500 in 1908, on the Firth of Forth, pending another buyer. In 1910 she was sold to a new owner, Pass of Balmaha Co Ltd, based in Montreal. She passed under George I Dewar, Toronto supervision, and was later owned by the Harris-Irby Cotton Company at Boston, US flag. She served for two years during the war without incident, until her trip from New York Harbor in June 1915 to Arkhangelsk loaded with a cargo of cotton for Russian troops. She was intercepted by British auxiliary cruiser HMS Victorian off the coast of Norway and inspected, but soon her captain smelled contraband. The British ship left on board a prize crew of an officer and six marines to comply the ship to join Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands for a thorough inspection. By then she alternated the stars and striped of neutrality and the Union jack. She went on crossing the path of U-36 in the North Sea in 1915. U-36' Captain Ernst Gräff stopped her, made warning shots and started the usual boarding inspection, ending with the capture of the ship as he was unsure of the ruse, and the ship was ordered to sail to Cuxhaven with an ensign left on board. The American crew, resentful of the British had the British marines locked in the hold. At Cuxhaven they were made prisoners while the Americans were cleared to return home. Meanwhile the ship was mothballed, waiting for a decision.

Seeadler bow, in heavy seas, 1916
Seeadler bow, in heavy seas, 1916.

New carrer as Seeadler

At a time the british blockade of the North sea began to really empede German war efforts and hurt civilian population, it was clear that the lack of coaling points and colonial bases to resupply German commerce raiders meant their cruises were rather short and dangerous. A sailship on the other hand, had no problem whatsoever resupplying, and was such an improbable commerce raider, an inocuous vessel, that it was the perfect cover. Therefore the tall ship was taken in hands for a reconversion, with an auxiliary engine, hidden traps for 105 mm cannons under the main deck, prisoner rooms, two hidden heavy machine guns, and rifles for boarding parties. These weapons were rarely fired, and many of the 15 ships encountered by the Seeadler were sunk by a few shells when everybody was in safety, with only one single accidental enemy casualty during the entire journey. Von Luckner's immense popularity after the war, on both sides, is certainly due to the very humane treatment of his "war"; he considered all sailors as fellow citizens of the sea, and had the ship modified to accomodate large and comfortable housing for the captured crews, even a luxurious mess for captured officers complete with a library, piano, champagne and served the same food as the german officers and crew;

Each time his technique when approaching a ship was imparable, and showing the guns was enough to trigger a surrender. The sole casulatly was a freak accident provoked by a shrapnell when a third warning shot hit the ship by accident. The Seeadler doctor tried to save the young radio but after a few days he passed out, and was given full military honours. At one point however in his cruise, Von Luckner had to release his numerous "guests", onboard a captured schooner that had her masts partly cutoff to sail at the slowest pace possible to the nearest port, and therefore only giving a position that was no longer relevant.


Seeadler's rampage from the fall of 1916 to early 1917, through the Atlantic and south pacific.

The Seeadler began her new career on 21 December 1916, sailing under the command of Kapitänleutnant Felix von Luckner, a larger-than-life swashbuckler and adventurer later nicknamed "the Kaiser's pirate". The ship then was transformed into a Norwegian wood carrier to cross the British blockading line, even after being boarded for an inspection ! Indeed Von Luckner has handpicked his crew part for their fluency in Norwegian. That was the brillant start of 225 days of rampage in two oceans, capturing 15 ships in the Atlantic and Pacific. The tall ship gained so much fame that she was chased by many British and American ships and at one point became their #1 hunting priority.

The list comprised, in chronological order:
This represented some 30,099 tons, between 21 December 1916 and 8 September 1917, most were schooners or tall ships.
-Gladis Royle, 3,268 tons, captured and sunk 9 January 1917.
-Lundy Island, 3,095 tons, captured and sunk on 10 January 1917.
-Charles Gounod, 2,199 tons, French barque captured and sunk on 21 January 1917.
-Perce, 364 tons, schooner captured and sunk on 24 January 1917.
-Antonin, 3,071 tons, French barque captured and sunk on 3 February 1917.
-Buenos Ayres, 1,811 tons, Italian sailing vessel captured and sunk on 9 February 1917.
-Pinmore, 2,431 tons, schooner captured on 19 February 1917 and later sunk after being used to obtain supplies.
-British Yeoman, 1,953 tons, sailing barque captured and sunk on 26 February 1917.
-La Rochefoucauld, 2,200 tons, French barque captured and sunk on 27 February 1917.
-Dupleix, 2,206 tons, French barque captured and sunk on 5 March 1917.
-Horngarth, 3,609 tons, captured and sunk on 11 March 1917.
-Cambronne, 1,833 tons, French barque captured and released 21 March, arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 30 March 1917.
-A. B. Johnson, 529 tons, United States schooner captured and sunk on 14 June 1917.
-R. C. Slade, 673 tons, United States schooner captured and sunk on 18 June 1917.
-Manila, 731 tons, United States schooner captured and sunk on 8 July 1917.
-Lutece, the escape ship (see below)
Cornered, she took refuge in Polynesia, but was stranded on a reef of the island of Mopelia, 450 km from Tahiti (Society Islands). Von Luckner and part of his crew headed for Fiji, but were captured and thrown in jail. The 126 tons French schooner Lutece was indeed captured by the remaining crew on 5 September 1917, sailing to Easter Island but running aground in October when arrived and they were interned by the Chilean authorities.


Engraving of the sinking of the French sailing brig Cambronne, 20 march 1917.

About Felix von Luckner

Officially Der Seeteufel (the Sea Devil) in the press, and called by the British Count Luckner, and his crew "Die Piraten des Kaisers", this German nobleman was born in Dresden, Germany. He was the great-grandson of Nicolas Luckner, a Marshal of France in the Napoleonic era, commander-in-chief of the French Army of the Rhine, who was elevated to the rank of Count (Graf) by the King of Denmark. Young Luckner was fascinated by the sea, but family traditions imposed him to follow a military formation to serve in the cavalry. The boy failed his exams at various private schools, and at thirteen fled his family, joining a port city to come back later "with honour and the Kaiser's uniform". He nearly escaped death after falling overboard from the Russian tall ship Niobe, where he served, unpaid, under the name of "Phylax Lüdecke". At Fremantle, Western Australia, he accumulated various odd jobs like kangaroo hunter, circus worker, professional boxer, then he moved to South America, he even became a guard in the Mexican Army, ended as a barman and tavern keeper. At one point he was in jail in Chili, and took refuge in Jamaica, pennyless. At age 20, he went back to Germany, joining a German navigation training school. He worked for some time onboard ships of the Hamburg-Südamerikanische Line, and engaged in the Imperial Navy, from 1912 on board SMS Panther.

Luckner saw action at the Battle of Heligoland Bight (1914) and at the Battle of Jutland he commanded a gun turret onboard SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm. When Germany started converting merchant ships into raiders, they also captured at some point the Pass of Balmaha, later modified with hinged gunwales, an auxiliary engine and other additions, and a captain familiar with tall ships was to be choosed. Von Luckner seemed to have by then the best profile. Next very successful raiding career began, without fatalities (but one) which ended in the Pacific near the Society Islands, the ship being anchored off the lagoon of Mopelia. But wether she was struck by a Tsunami or broke her moorings, the ship went on the reefs and sank. Stranded, the crew and prisoners managed to get provisions and use the two rescue boats to attempt a sortie. Von Luckner decided to rally the Fiji Islands and capture a sailship, then return to the atoll.

His 10 m (33 ft) long open boat was named Kronprinzessin Cecilie and rigged as a sloop. They reached Atiu Island, took more provisions, pretending to be Dutch-American mariners, and then reached Aitutaki, as Norwegians. Then, they rallied Rarotonga by night and headed to Fijian Wakaya Island, after a 3700 km travel. However their nationality trick failed, and summoned by the police, they surrendered. Back at Mopelia the remaining party managed to capture the small French trading ship Lutece, and set course for South America. They landed in Chile and were interned until the end of the war. Meanwhile, Von Luckner was not to stay prisoner, he escaped with his crew during the Christmas night, seizing the motorboat Pearl and made it for the Coromandel Peninsula. From there, they captured and departed with the 90-ton scow Moa, heading for the Kermadec Islands, but they were caught eventually by the pursuing auxiliary ship Iris, and this time were made all prisoners in New Zealand for the remainder of the war, with extra security.

After the war, Von Luckner married in Hamburg and became a Freemason of the Lodge Zur goldenen Kugel (Große Landesloge von Deutschland). He wrote a book about his wartime adventures which became a bestseller, followed by another book by Lowell Thomas which helped spread his adventure in the Anglo-Saxon world. From 1926 he financed the acquisition of the sailing vessel Vaterland and embarked for a good will tour starting in the US. An entertaining speaker, he spoke on hundreds of occasions across the country, perfecting his English. He met many celebrities and the city of San Francisco made him an honorary citizen. He eventually went back home in 1928. In the late 1930s, Von Luckner started a worldwide voyage with his own yacht, the Seeteufel. The Nazis tried to engage him for propaganda, but failed, and perhaps in retorsion he was afterwards falsely implicated in a scandal and had to retire from public life, his bank accounts frozen. He saved the life of a Jewish woman in 1943 and embarked for the United States. Around Halle at the end of the war, he negociated the town's surrender to the allies. After the war, he moved to Sweden, living in Malmö with his new wife until 1966 when he passed out at 84. His extravagant life was adaptated in a French-German TV serie of 39 episode called "Graf Luckner" in 1973 while a Count Felix von Luckner Society was created in his memoir in Halle.

Seeadler
Profile of the Seealder in 1916 (Unknown origin).

Read More https://www.smsmoewe.com/ships/smsms78.htm
the greatwar channel - felix-graf-von-luckner, the kaiser's pirate
Felix_von_Luckner (Wiki)
*To Crown the Waves: The Great Navies of the First World War, By Vincent O'Hara, Richard Worth, W. Dickson
https://youtu.be/2NlEirVTSRM (German Documentary)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Seeadler_(1888)
https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/modern-europe/british-and-irish-history/shipbuilding
https://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/09/28/podcast-episode-75-the-sea-devil/

Naval History

⚙ 1870 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1870 Armada de Argentina
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola
Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine

Chinese Imperial Navy 1870 中华帝国海军
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)
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Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
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Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
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Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
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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)
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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
Danish Navy 1870 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1870 Royal Navy
Union Civil War Union fleet Union Navy
Union Sailing ships
monitors & armored ships
USS New Ironsides (1862)
uss monitor
Passaic class
USS Roanoke
USS Onondaga
Miantonomoh class
USS Dictator
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Canonicus class
Kalamazoo class
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Casco class
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USS Keokuk (1862)

wooden screw Frigates
Wapanoag class
USS Chattanooga
USS Idaho
Java class
Contoocook class
Trenton class
Ossipee class

wooden screw sloops
Sacramento
Ticonderoga class
Alaska class
Galena class
Kearsage class
Swatara class
Alert class
Enterprise class

Gunboats
Unadilla class gunboats (1861)
Kansas class gunboats
Octorara class gunboats
Sassacus class gunboats
Mohongo class gunboats
USS Intrepid
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USS Alligator (1862)

Confederate Confederate Navy
CSS Frederickburg (1862)
CSS Savannah (1863)
Stonewall
CSS Virginia II
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CSS Commerce Raiders
Ajax class Iron Gunboats
CSS David (1862)
CSS HL Hunley (1863)
⚙ 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)

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada Espanola
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
K der Neth., rig. turret ship (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class coast defence ships (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)
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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
Lima class Cruisers (1880)
Chilean TBs (1879)

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska marinen
Danish 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)

1898 war
US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
armada 1898 1898 Armada

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
Neutral countries
Argentinian navy Argentina

Brazilian Navy Brazil
Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Chilean Navy 1914 Chile

Chinese navy 1914 China
Cuban Navy 1914 Cuba
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Greek Royal Navy Greece
Haitian Navy 1914 Haiti

Mexican Navy Mexico

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Peruvian Navy 1914 Peru
Portuguese navy 1914 Portuguese
Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spanish Armada Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden
Thai Empire Navy 1914 Thailand
South American Navies 1914 Americas
Other third-rate navies of the world 3rd rank navies

Central Empires


WW2

allied 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

allied ww2 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

allied ww2Neutral/small Fleets

small fleet ww2

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

Zhōnghuá Mínguó Hǎijūn Chinese Navy

Ning Hai class Cruisers (1931)
Chinese Gunboats

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

Hellenic Navy Hellenic Navy
No Hellenic-built ship to cover yet.
Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskaya Flota
US Navy USN (1990)


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