Questions tagged [naval]

Of or pertaining to ships and or the sea, especially military vessels.

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5 votes
2 answers
346 views

How did Royal Navy tactics change after the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales?

On 10th December 1941, the Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales, and escorting battlecruiser HMS Repulse were sunk near Malaysia by a force of Imperial Japanese bombers. This was a powerful ...
115 votes
8 answers
23k views

On 1941 Dec 7, could Japan have targeted the Panama Canal instead of Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack?

This question comes from a slightly related one. At the time of WW2, most US industry was on the East Coast, including all of the shipbuilding for Carriers and Battleships. If the Panama Canal went ...
56 votes
6 answers
15k views

Why didn't battleship Bismarck have more support?

The primary objective of battleship Bismarck was to sink transporters coming from the U.S. and sailing to Europe transporting goods (oil, food). It encountered HMS Hood and sank it. German cruiser ...
13 votes
1 answer
5k views

How much gunpowder could the average Napoleonic ship of the line carry?

I've run across a few references to a ship's magazine detonating during combat, and by all accounts the explosions were massive. I'm trying to put them into context a bit by figuring out how much ...
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

How much more damage can a big cannon do to a ship than a small one?

I don't think anyone will argue with the fact that the mass of projectiles a Napoleonic era warship could fire at its opponent mattered - a 36 pound ball will naturally tend to cause more damage and ...
24 votes
5 answers
2k views

Were there ever actual organizations of pirates?

You can see depictions of pirate organizations in popular media a fair bit. For example, in many movies, and the Captain Morgan commercials. But I get the impression from my readings that most pirate ...
20 votes
5 answers
11k views

Are there any records that indicate a submarine vs submarine battle?

I am aware of only one which is the U-864 was sunk by the HMS Venturer but that was when both were being submerged -- according to wikipedia. Is that accurate? Which battles did happen between two (...
17 votes
4 answers
7k views

Did a Japanese medieval castle withstand US battleship fire during the Pacific War?

I have overheard the story from an US soldier that during the Pacific War the Japanese mounted a defense in an old medieval castle. The Americans asked for support from a battleship. The battleship ...
20 votes
1 answer
4k views

About how many immigrants were on the Titanic?

All that I can find is that the majority of the 709 third class passengers were immigrants. Was it the vast majority, or nearly all of them? Would there have been any immigrants in second class? Is ...
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why was the ship "Palmyra" so named?

On November 7, 1802, the American trading ship Palmyra, under Captain Cornelius Sawle, was shipwrecked on the reef, which took the vessel's name and now is known as Palmyra Atoll. Does anybody know ...
15 votes
7 answers
2k views

Has the U.S. Navy ever commissioned the building of a warship overseas?

Many foreign navies have commissioned foreign shipyards to build warships and submarines for them. Most recently, Russia purchased to amphibious dock landing ships from France (that sale is currently ...
10 votes
1 answer
617 views

How did U-boats enter and exit the submarine pens at Brest?

I was reading about the Brest submarine pen/bunker complex and looking at pictures of it. I was even able to locate a set of blueprints of the base here. But because of the poor quality of the image ...
2 votes
2 answers
547 views

Which specific equipment did Italian submarines lack for Atlantic?

I read the book Kretschmer, in which the author Lawrence Patterson quoted one of Dönitz's report concerning the collaboration with the Italian submarine service. One element given for the bad ...
3 votes
0 answers
267 views

What happened to the rowers during boarding actions in ancient Greece?

My research thus far has led me to the following conclusions: The main methods of dispatching enemy ships during naval combat in ancient Greece was by ramming and by boarding, with ramming being the ...
1 vote
3 answers
302 views

When were terms for points of sail first used?

Modern sailing uses terms for points of sail such as "broad reach", "beam reach", "close-hauled", etc., to indicate a vessel's travel in relation to the wind direction. ...
2 votes
1 answer
210 views

Is this a Russian naval uniform?

This is a family photo of a relative who might have been in the Imperial Russian Navy in 1915.
-1 votes
1 answer
183 views

How well were early WW2 naval tactics and strategy accounting for the importance of aircraft carriers? [closed]

I'm not an expert in WW2, but I've heard some conflicting claims about aircraft carriers and how they changed the nature of naval warfare. I know carriers entered wide use in WW2, but not how their ...
4 votes
0 answers
370 views

When was Red Sea rig introduced into British Royal Navy?

Red Sea rig is a mess dress uniform variant. It is used by some naval officers in the (UK) Royal Navy and other navies, that inherited its traditions (Canadian, Indian, ...). In general, it is similar ...
5 votes
1 answer
311 views

Is there a historical example or a manuscript about troop formation or fighting stance on a boat?

Is there a historical example or a manuscript about troop formation or fighting stance on any sort of boat or ship? Especially during colonialism or the golden age of piracy, no specific location so ...
12 votes
4 answers
437 views

Were any of the early settlements in America attacked from the sea?

I have a textbook which describes various considerations colonists made in selecting sights for settlements. For example, it says that Jamestown was too swampy, so there were many mosquitoes and ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Where was the U.S. president when Captain McGonagle was awarded?

The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, ...
18 votes
1 answer
6k views

What German torpedo problem was discovered in 1942?

I am reading a book about Otto Kretschmer, and the author speaks about a problem of German torpedoes. The only thing said in the book is: Torpedoes needed to be ventilated during some time because ...
10 votes
1 answer
529 views

Why didn't the Trafalgar Way messengers sail up the English Channel?

The dispatches from the British fleet at the battle of Trafalgar were brought by ship to Falmouth. From there, messengers rode by horse over land to the Admiralty in London, following a route known as ...
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

When was the tactic of chaining ships together last used in a major naval battle?

At the Battle of Sluys in 1340, the French fleet operated: in accordance with the usual medieval tactics of a fleet fighting on the defensive. Quiéret and Béhuchet formed their forces into three or ...
4 votes
1 answer
993 views

Where did France build up its fleet in 1805-1814?

I was reading about The Battle of Trafalgar and found this interesting section about the consequences: Napoleon instituted a large-scale shipbuilding programme that had produced a fleet of 80 ships ...
1 vote
1 answer
309 views

Why didn't Royal Navy (columns of) ships turn outwards, rather than inwards?

Wikipedia has a colorful GIF on Victoria – Camperdown disaster. Then I read about Admiral Sir Percy Scott. In July 1908 came what is referred to as the second signalling incident. Beresford ...
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did Napoleon evade the British fleet and return to France?

After the defeat of the French fleet off the coast of Egypt in 1798, Napoleon's army was cut off in a far away and hostile country. One year later, after eluding the British fleet, he made it safely ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

How did ships in Britain's Grand Fleet avoid each other during maneuvers?

I'm asking about specific procedures in place on a specific ship, and fleet-wide as well if they exist. If the captain of a ship in the Grand Fleet ordered his ship to move in a particular direction ...
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

What class / type of ship was the "Dragon" from Rotterdam c. 1732?

I am attempting to determine the class, size, features, history of the British ship "Dragon" c. 1732 that was known to arrive in Philadelphia on September 30, 1732 with 173 men, women and children ...
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why did the US Navy and Marine Corps use satanic symbolism in WW2?

When you look at certain names and symbols used by the U.S. Navy (USN) and the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) during WW2, you could see they are heavily loaded with satanic symbols. You have the F6F Hellcat ...
11 votes
2 answers
470 views

What did the Baltic Fleet do in Reval in 1904 and when was it there?

I noticed, in @Schwern's answer that the 1904-1905 journey of the Baltic Fleet is cited as having started in (modern Tallinn). This doesn't make much sense as to the best of my knowledge Reval/Tallinn ...
0 votes
0 answers
150 views

Did the Chinese aim guns above ships in 19th century?

I have read some things that don't seem true about the Chinese opposing English and other western forces during the 19th century and early 20th. What seems to be true is that China was very aware of ...
12 votes
1 answer
648 views

How did the Hansa organize river trade in the 14th and 15th centuries?

How did the Hansa accommodate the transition from sea to river trade along a trade route? Would river travel have been controlled by one group of people, e.g., Guild of the River Oder Merchants? Would ...
5 votes
1 answer
489 views

Why did water stored on premodern ships "go brackish" or "go bad" while at sea?

I have read in several Napoleonic historical fiction novels that water stored on ships would somehow spoil over time. The water is described as completely unpalatable if not undrinkable, and alcohol (...
7 votes
2 answers
261 views

Can anyone help identify the name of the white vessel in this photo w/the masts and funnel?

Unidentified White hulled vessel, possibly in the Boston area in the 1940s. The harbor tug is named IWANA and it was in service in Boston up until 1942. What is the name of the mystery white vessel? I’...
6 votes
2 answers
575 views

Identify this two mast one funnel side paddle-steamer boat circa 1900

I am trying to identify this side paddle wheel steamer. Looks like a wedding party just forward of the sail. Can't ID the flag. Image/photo is gelatin silver so early 1900s most probably.
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

What other ships were with USS Saratoga when it was hit by a torpedo on 1942 Jan 11?

USS Saratoga (CV-3) was a Lexington-class Carrier of the USN. On 1942 Jan 11 it was hit by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-6, and then went in for repairs. However, I would like to know what ...
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

When did the Royal Navy start to fill a given rank of admiral with more than one officer?

Admirals in the Royal Navy used to follow the coloured-squadron system. If I have understood correctly, when this practice first arose in the seventeenth century, there really were precisely nine ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Has a hostile submarine transitted the Bosphorus submerged?

In WW1, the British submarine E-11 entered the Golden Horn, but apparently not the Bosphorus, and in this old thread on Usenet there are references to WW1 and fiction. According to a recent article ...
19 votes
3 answers
3k views

Was the US Navy larger in 1917, and if so, why?

Following the recent discussion in the third US Presidential Debate on Oct. 22, 2012 about the size of the Navy, there actually seemed to be a good discussion buried in there, primarily in this quote ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

What kind of wood was the standard decking for aircraft carriers in World War 2?

I know that both Japan and the United States used wooden decks on their WWII Aircraft Carriers. Was there a specific, "ideal" standard type of wood that was utilized by either country? If so, what ...
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

How was the Spanish Armada coordinated?

We know that the Spanish Armada was composed of over 200 ships. How did the Duke of Medina exercise any sort of control over a fleet this big with only 16th century technology? Do we know how the ...
4 votes
1 answer
379 views

What were the capabilities of U-boats during the battle of the Atlantic?

I'm learning about the capabilities of German u-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic and their improvements during the war, in the most general sense. I researched three types of U-boat, the VIIA, ...
6 votes
3 answers
589 views

Why was the Vichy French Navy in Toulon scuttled in 1942?

In the November 27 episode of the video series WW2 week-by-week I learned (around minute 18) that Admiral Jean de Laborde, Commander of the Vichy French fleet in Toulon, ordered it scuttled when he ...
45 votes
5 answers
15k views

How did passengers keep warm on sail ships?

Trans-Atlantic passenger travel was not very popular until the advent of the steamer, and yet men and women crossed the ocean periodically, including the affluent. From what I've been able to gather,...
24 votes
5 answers
6k views

What was the last battle fought mainly by sail-powered ships?

When and where has the last battle between sail-powered ships been fought? If possible, please include the countries involved as well as the armament and types of ships.
1 vote
1 answer
310 views

Why did ships like the HMS Victory have cannon wells? [closed]

Is there a reason for ships of the line having a well deck/cannon well? (The part of the last closed line of cannons that is exposed just like the weather deck but is therefore lower than the weather ...
25 votes
4 answers
5k views

What made the Russian Navy suspect Japanese torpedo boats were in North Sea in 1904?

I'm finding several references that during the Russia - Japanese war of 1904/1905 that the Russians had intelligence that suggested the Japanese either had torpedo boats present in the North Sea or ...
8 votes
7 answers
3k views

Was the Battle of Trafalgar strategically pointless?

On a tactical level, the Battle of Trafalgar is one of the most analysed naval battles in history and there are many books and papers covering the battle itself. Most of the strategic analysis covers ...
24 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why did US Navy WW2 torpedoes detonate at the end of their run?

I'm listening to James Scott's "The War Below". In World War II, US Navy torpedoes detonated at the end of their range if they hadn't hit anything. So if a torpedo was fired and went its maximum ...

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