Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in WW2

The commonwealth underdog

HMNZS Achilles HMNZS Achilles

The Royal New Zealand Navy was the third Commonwealth fleet in importance:
When thinking of commonwealth navies during the war, the three major fleets often cited were the RCAN or Royal Canadian Navy, the RAN or Royal Australian Navy, and the RNZN. By pure laziness and reference to WW1 it was placed in the same bag as the RAN, and summup as the "Anzac navy". It was true that during the great war, twenty years earlier, the RNZN did not existed. The population of New Zealand back then was not statistically large enough to justify the creation of a fully fledged navy. Instead, like for the Army, volunteers from the island chose to join the ranks of the RAN, which was an independent entity by that time; although many served with a battlecruiser and minor ships. The force grew in the interwar and really took off from 1941. During WW2, the Kiwi navy took part in many engagements, starting with the battle of Rio de la Plata, against the corsair Graf Spee, against the Regia Marina in the Mediterranean and across the Pacific, starting at Guadalcanal.

HMNZS_Gambia_48_underway_c1945
HMNZS Gambia underway circa 1945

Timeline of the Royal New Zealand Navy

Early premices

The Royal Navy ceased to assume the protection of New Zealand from the treaty of Waitangi in 1840 when the territory became a fully-fledged colony. British ships would stop however for some time, but there was never any considerations given for a permanent fleet. The settlers bought a gunboat after 1856 and the Waikato Flotilla operated from 1860, backed by a Naval Artillery Volunteer corps to provide harbour defence. In 1884 four spar torpedo boats were purchased and from 1887 ships of the Australasian Auxiliary Squadron were also funded by the government. Outside the Maori wars however (1845-1872), there were few occasions for the 'Kiwis' to take part in military actions before the Great War.

To support operations, an had hoc force was constituted with eight river boats, four armoured barges, five coastal boats and a naval dockyard. In 1863, the Australian-built Pioneer, built in Sydney, is followed by two sister ships, Koheroa and Rangiriri. In 1907, the local government acquired the NZS Amokura to start training cadets. This was the first commissioned ship for the local naval force, now part of a Dominion, a separate entity within the commonwealth and no longer a colony.

hms new zealand
HMS New Zealand at Adelaide, Australia in 1919, during a celebration tour with Admiral Jellicoe onboard. She was broken up from december 1922, after a very short career of just ten years. This was imposed by the Washington treaty limitations.

The New Zealand Naval Forces (1913)

James Allen In 1909 the NZ Government showed its implication in the "dreadnought race" and loyalty to the crown, by financing a battlecruiser in construction, named accordingly HMS New Zealand. Many Kiwis enlisted in the Royal Navy to serve onboard and the ship had a significant career, taking part in the battles of Heligoland, Dogger Bank and Jutland. Odd fact, she once collided with HMAS Australia in 1916 but was repaired just in time to participate to the greatest naval battle of the XXth Century.

She was part of a distinctive naval force, the New Zealand Naval Forces created in 1913, and integrated during wartime in the RN. By the Defence Act 1913, through the will of James Allen (photo), the minister of defence, the local naval force created needed ships, for which the government purchased a first cruiser to make its core, HMS Philomel. This was a relatively old (1890) Pearl class, second class cruiser.

But her career was amazing, stretching until 1949, some 60 years. Even before 1913, the HMS Philomel has had an amazing career, taking part in the Anglo-Zanzibar War, her crew capturing the palace, the infamous Benin Expedition, Second Boer War and Battle of Colenso before being transferred to the Mediterranean and be transferred in 1913. Her first duty, under Cdt Percival Hall-Thompson was to train cadets of the future navy, she was later tasked to be the centerpiece of the New Zealand forces dispatched to occupy German Samoa.

hms philomel

She was part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, escorting convoys to Australia, and up to the Middle East, chasing the ellusive cruiser Emden en route. She escorted French troopships to Port Said and was based here and sailed later to Malta, for an overhaul lasting until January 1915. Later her landing party met a superior Turkish force in southern Turkey, and the force had its first casualties. She served also in the Red Sea and in the Persian Gulf, and went on patrolling and escorting convoys in the Indian Ocean and red sea until March 1917, when she was partially disarmed, her British crew repatriated, and recommissioned as a depot ship in Wellington for minesweepers. HMS Philomel would serve from 1921 as a training base, and by 1925, her boilers and engines were removed to create more accommodation space. As a base she survived until 1941, and be recommissioned as HMNZS Philomel.

New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy (1921-41)

After the war, in 1921 this unit became the Royal Navy New Zealand Division. The latter grew to a strenght of fourteen ships. At first, the cruiser Chatham along with the sloop Veronica were acquired in 1920, and later in 1922, the sloop Torch and HMS Laburnum, then HMS Dunedin in 1924 and two years later, HMS Diomede and the minesweeper HMS Wakakura. But by far the most impressive acquisitions were the cruisers HMS Achilles (joined 31 March 1937) and HMS Leander. Both were soon famous cruisers of the Leander class. They replaced HMS Diomede and Dunedin from 1937. H.M.N.Z.S.Moa
H.M.N.Z.S.Moa
HMNZS ARABIS, NEW FLOWER CLASS CORVETTE FOR NEW ZEALAND. 24 MARCH 1944, GREENOCK. (A 22520) HMNZS ARABIS. IWM coll.

Creation of the Royal New Zealand Navy on 1st october 1941

HMS Achilles as seen from HMS Ajax
HMS Achilles as seen from HMS Ajax during the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939.

While in September 1939 the RNZN formally declared war on Germany, the Navy had little time to prepare, but the HMS Achilles would strike the first blow, participating in the first naval battle of WW2: The famous duel with KMS Graf Spee. The cruiser faced the six 280 mm naval guns of the hybrid German "pocket" battleship alonsgide HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter this 13 December 1939.

Due to the lower range and smaller guns of both Leander class cruisers, the Graf Spee concentrated fire on the 8-in armed Exeter, damaging her badly to the point both light cruisers surged to the rescue, spreading a salvation through intense counter-battery fire from their combined sixteen 6-inches and a thick smoke cloud. This forced the Geran ship to divert fire on the Ajax and Achilles closing to 13,000 yd (12,000 m), saving the wounded heavy cruiser from certain destruction. Later on, both cruisers would shadow the Graf Spee to Montevideo and were part of the blockading fleet.

HMNZS Leander
HMNZS Leander

When the Royal New Zealand Navy was created, the ship was recommissioned HMNZS Achilles and served in the Pacific with the USN, closer to home. The Japanese threat was really present indeed, and the RAN also largely participated in the early heavy fightings against an unstoppable IJN. Achilles was bombed off New Georgia, repaired, and served until V-Day with British Pacific Fleet. Despite the reluctance of Prime Minister Peter Fraser the Navy was now fully independent. The other transferred cruiser, HMNZS Leander, soldiered with the the New Zealand Expeditionary Force sent in the Mediterranean from 1940, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean. She sank there the Italian auxiliary cruiser Ramb I and was sent in the Pacific later, helped destroying the Japanese cruiser Jintsu before being torpedoed at the battle of Kolombangara, which sent her in repairs until the end of the war.

Other wartime actions of the Royal New Zealand Navy

As the war progressed, the RNZN grew in size up the end of the war accumulating over 60 ships in service. These New Zealand vessels participated in the British and Commonwealth fight in Europe and in the Pacific. Many of these ships also played their part in the defence of New Zealand home waters. The NZ ships mostly searched for German raiders, and others patrolled for any sign of a threat of Japanese invasion in 1942.



HMNZS Monowai in Milford Sound in February 1933 (top) and in WW2.

Merchant ships were requisitioned by the government and added to the Navy list pressed in defence with various armaments added. Probably one of the most prominent was HMNZS Monowai. This armed auxiliary cruiser saw action against IJN submarine I-20 off Fiji in 1942, which torpedoed but missed her. This former Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) merchant vessel was rearmed and operated from Devonport Naval Base in Auckland. She has been requisitioned by 21 October 1939 but only operational in August 1940. She was later requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport and converted as a Landing Ship, Infantry (Large) and reconverted, operating in 1943-44.

In 1941–1942, an agreement between New Zealand and the United States made the RNZN Pacific command integrated into the United States Navy's South West Pacific Area command. NZ ships joined the United States 7th Fleet Task Force.

HMS Gambia 1945
HMS Gambia 1945

In 1943, the Crown colony class cruiser HMS Gambia was transferred to the RNZN. HMNZS Gambia was by far the most potent vessel of the RNZN by November 1944. She joined the brand new British Pacific Fleet, a joint British Commonwealth military formation formed in Sydney. Gambia and Achilles joined the new unit, taking part in the Battle of Okinawa and Sakishima Islands campaign. By August 1945, HMNZS Gambia carried the officials and representative of New Zealand at the surrender of Japan.

Complete list:
Cruisers:
HMNZS Achilles, HMNZS Gambia, HMNZS Leander
Corvettes:
HMNZS Arabis, HMNZS Arbutus: WW1 Flower class ASW corvettes.
Armed Merchant Cruiser: HMNZS Monowai
Minesweepers/ASW patrol trawlers: HMNZS Moa, Tui, Kiwi
Support vessel: HMNZS Matai
Coast defence force: 25th Fairmile Flotilla

As part of the 7th TF, RNZN Achilles and Leander participated to Operation WATCHTOWER, covering landings landed on Guadalcanal in 7 August 1942. Followed six major naval engagements, Savo Island 8/8/1942, the Eastern Solomons 24/8/1942, Cape Esperance on 11-12/10/1942, Santa Cruz Islands 26/10/1942, Guadalcanal 12-15/11/1942 and Tassafaronga 30/11/1942. At Guadalcanal in January 1943, Kiwi and Moa spotted and targeted the IJN submarine I-1 (Eiichi Sakamoto). TF17 was constituted around USS Yorktown under read-admiral Frank J. Fletcher.

Kiwi grenaded the submarine, succeeding in disabling the I-1 port electric motor and flooding her aft storeroom. However later she emerged and escaped during the night, only to be spotted again and fired upon, and later even rammed thrice by Kiwi. The small converted Tug did caused sufficient damage with Moa to sink the IJN submarine, earned a DSO for C. BUCHANAN, signalman by admiral Halsey.

HMNZS Achilles and Leander escorted convoys of troops and supplies to Guadalcanal while the 25th Minesweeping Flotilla (HMNZS Matai, Tui, Moa, Kiwi) started their ASW patrols from December 1942. On 5 January 1943 HMNZS Achilles X-turret was hit by a bomb and during the night of 29-30 January 1943, HMNZS Kiwi and Moa eventually sank (as seen above) the sink Japanese submarine I-1, but the latter was avenged as Moa was sank on 7 April 1943 at Tulagi. By 13 July, Leander was badly damaged at the Battle of Kolombangara but was later repaired at Boston. As remembered by Petty Officer Brown, night fighting over IJN supplies was near constant around Guadalcanal.

The RNZN would have the occasion of firing the last shots of WW2: Petty Officer Wireman R.B. Harvey remembered the bombardment of HMNZS Gambia of Kamaishi. Lieutenant S.W. Hicks RNZNVR also remembered the unknown massive IJN submersible they crossed with HMNZS Monowai at the Suva Harbour entrance, fired upon but not sank on 16 January 1942. Among the POWs in January 1945 were a significant numbers of RNZN Fleet Airmen. They were murdered in Singapore in July 1945.

Read More/Src
Conway's all the world's fighting ships 1922-1947
//navymuseum.co.nz/hmnzs-kiwi-moa-bird-class-corvettes/
//navymuseum.co.nz/wwii-the-royal-new-zealand-navy-and-the-pacific-campaign-1941-1945/
S. D. Waters, The Royal New Zealand Navy: Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45, Wellington
War History Branch Department of Internal Affairs, 1956, pp. 538.
Baxter & Haberfield reports 1946 - Baxter Personal Collection ref. EZB0018.
HMNZS Monowai Ship’s log for Friday 16 January 1942
John Winton, The Forgotten Fleet, London: Michael Joseph, 1969, pp. 98-99.
S. D. Waters, The Royal New Zealand Navy: Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_New_Zealand_Navy
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Naval_Forces
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMNZS_Monowai_(F59)

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)
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
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
USS Puritan
Canonicus class
Kalamazoo class
Milwaukee class
Casco class
Galena class
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
USS Alarm
USS Spuyten Duyvil
USS Alligator (1862)

Confederate Confederate Navy
CSS Frederickburg (1862)
CSS Savannah (1863)
Stonewall
CSS Virginia II
CSS Tennessee
CSS Nashville
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)
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
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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