Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Do we have knowledge on the number of vessels in the armadas of the various belligerents of the Napoleonic wars? Information on the types of boats, captured vessels, and sunk vessels will also be nice.

share|improve this question
Naval Wars In The Levant, 1559-1853 has the most detailed information, with lists of ships for every battle. –  Felix Goldberg Jan 10 '13 at 17:22

2 Answers 2

I can tell you two things, how many were under Nelson's fleet in the Mediterranean and how many were in commission throughout the world in May 1804.

Under Nelson's command were 13 Ships of the Line, 1 Fifty, 11 Frigates, 10 Sloops, 3 Bombs, 6 Gunboats and 2 Cutter and Schooners.

In total commission (throughout the world) were 88 Ships of the Line, 13 Fifties, 125 Frigates, 92 Sloops, 18 Bombs, 40 Gunbrigs, 6 Gunboats and 82 Cutter and Schooners and 41 Armed ships.

Source: The Command of the Ocean, A Naval History of Britain, 1649–1815, N.A.M Rodger.

share|improve this answer
At least the (I think) British side also deployed early submarines. –  Drux Jan 10 '13 at 21:06
@Drux - The Americans, in the War of Independence and the War of 1812, used submarines, and the French commissioned Robert Fulton to develop one during the Napoleonic Wars (the prototype was christened Nautilus, sound familiar?) The British didn't need 'em, and blew a few of the American ones up. They did, however, invent the modern torpedo during this time period, aka "The Automobile Torpedo" (before then, torpedos were what we call mines today.) –  RI Swamp Yankee Jun 6 '13 at 11:50

According to www.napolun.com the European fleet strengths, in terms of Ships of the Line (1st to 3rd rates), in 1808-1809 (shortly after Trafalgar) were:

Great Britain: 113

Spain: 45

France: 45

Russia: 34

Denmark: 21

Also according to that website, in 1805 the Great Britain (presumably including state owned trade ships etc) had a total fleet size of approaching 950 vessels.

The website has a list of sources at the bottom of the page for further reading.

share|improve this answer
It would be interesting to compare those numbers to those before Aboukir bay. –  Mark C. Wallace Jun 6 '13 at 11:35
Agreed. There is a list on Wikipedia of all RN Ships of the Line, but it's awfully formatted. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  Kobunite Jun 6 '13 at 11:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.