John's Maritime History / Warships

The World of Warships Facts & Details

Hello A Welcome to Warships of the world

 Visitors

1st October 2013 update : I have been editing this site and updating some of the imformation here which was incorrect, Now as far as I am aware all data posted here is correct

Hello One and all .

       I have been juggling with ideas, how best to present Warships of the World. I  tried a website solely for this purpose but sadly it failed to get much response. On my main Maritime History Society pages we introduced this subject there, and it seems to work, So We have now taken the step to add a link on that main site to this new 2nd Edition

Introduction to our Warships pages

Any country's navy is a symbol of that nations maritime strength, its ambition and its wealth.The ships we will hope to feature will cover a huge variety of types and sizes of vessels in this catogory. From early Ironclads of the nineteenth century, such as HMS Warrior of the Royal Navy, to vast nuclear powered aircraft carriers like the USS George Washington and secretive submarines like the USS Ohio of todays US Navy.

All the ships we will be presenting were designed and built to fight, That is their ultimate purpose, and technical innovations which have attempted to give one ship a fighting edge over another has always been the driving force behind their design,and construction.

What began in the 1850's with steam engines in iron-clad hulls of wooden proto-battleships, such as the french Gloire, created within 40 years the big gun battleship, epitomosed by Japan's armourded giant Yamato of World War II. Ships such as the Yamato were the archetypal 'Big' Warship, but smaller vessels were an important part to any navy as well as its capital ships.It is clear that the advantages of a fighting ship were steam power, amour plate and big guns were to great to be ignored for the sake of the practical problems involved in getting the right balance of all three. A ship needed enough armour to defend itself against the guns of any enemy vessel, a hull big enough to house the engines necessary to propel that weight at suffisient speed, and guns big enough to match, if not outrange, any others. It was a technical conundrum which many tried to solve, and which resulted in a huge variety if ships designs.

In 1889, the British Admiralty ordered an entirely new fleet of 70 ships, including eight standard first-class battleships. the lead vessel of this fleet was the Royal Sovereign of 1892. Her hull, guns were steel, she was protected by amour plate up to 450mm (17.7inches ) thick and carried guns343mm (13.5in) calibre. Even though she displaced nearly 16,000 tonnes, she could still make 16 knots.

The era of the big gun battleship had arrived. But the cost was enormous. Naval expenditure in Britain rose 290 per cent during the 1890's, and by the end of the decade the cost of each new Royal Navy battleship was approaching �1,5 million. The world had embarked on its first arms race, and every industrialised country saw the possesion of a navy as a mark of their power and self esteem. Imperial Germany and the United States both spent twice as much as the British on their navies in an effort to catch up.

But in 1906 the British launched HMS Dreadnought, a ship which combined every single technical advance to date,from new steam turbine engines to electrically controlled gun turrets. Dreadnought made every other battleship obsolete, including those in her own navy, and gave her name to an entirely new class of warship.

However Dreadnought's time as the world's number one did not last very long. By 1908 the Royal Navy was building so called Super Dreadnought's, ships such as Iron Duke which were over 8128 tonnes heavier, The future of the capital ship seemed to lay in bigger better battleships carrying guns of ever increasing size.But questions were now being asked as to the battleships future Many were wondering exactly how useful in battle these huge floating gun batteries would be.

Countries such as Germany were ceding the battleship contest and were begining to develope other warship types like battle cruisers, vessels designed for fast commerce raiding rather than naval battles. More ominously, Germany was also investing in a fleeet of torpedo carrying submarines, The U-Boat war in the battle of the Atlantic would devastate the allied convoys until 1943 when submarine detection equipment became sufficiently developed.

Being an ex Royal Navy man I have found that researching this subject has been a rewarding experience, You will already have seen some ships are covered and as more research is done more will be added. It only remains for me to say welcome to our warships Section of our Maritime History network if you have anything you would like added the plese let us know. thanks Administrators

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