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Questions tagged [naval]

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

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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 ...
Twelfth's user avatar
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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 ...
DrZ214's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was there a way for ships to disengage from boarding actions?

I was doing some research about Naval tactics in Age of Sail - especially in boarding tactics. I read several personal diaries, letters and accounts of these battles written by combatants. From ...
Prahara's user avatar
  • 243
20 votes
6 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 (...
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
701 views

Roman navy propelled by animals instead of human rowers?

I have read one brief account of military planning around the time of Roman emperor Constantine the Great (272 – 337) whereby the Roman navy's rowers could have been substituted by animals (source ...
Drux's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Were sailing ships of the line understaffed with gunnery crews so that there were not enough for 2 broadsides?

Is there any data to support or refute the hypothesis that sailing ships of the line were only complemented with enough gunnery crews to simultaneously fire 1 broadside but not 2? If it matters for ...
DVK's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
4k views

About Naval Formations?

What are the differences between the "line ahead" and "line abreast" formations in naval warfare? Which is more likely to lead to the (advantageous) of "crossing the opponents' T" (or being crossed)?
Tom Au's user avatar
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85 votes
2 answers
17k views

Why did the British scuttle the u-boats surrendered after WWII?

Between November 1945 and February 1946 the British scuttled 116 of the 156 German u-boats surrendered at the end of WWII during Operation Deadlight. They were towed to deep water off Ireland and sunk....
Tom's user avatar
  • 930
57 votes
8 answers
20k views

Why didn't Hitler have more submarines in the English channel?

Hitler was expecting an invasion somewhere on the coast of north of France. So why didn't he have more submarines there that could torpedo the invading allied fleet when they were crossing the channel?...
dan-klasson's user avatar
54 votes
4 answers
23k views

When did humans develop the ability to sail any direction regardless of wind direction?

When did humans develop the sail technology and skills to be able to use the wind to sail in any direction, including using techniques such as beating to effectively sail into the wind? I checked ...
JoshuaD's user avatar
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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,...
Ricky's user avatar
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40 votes
3 answers
8k views

In the Battle of the Coral Sea, how could two Japanese scouts grossly mis-identify two American ships?

I've been reading the Wikipedia pages about the Pacific theatre in WW2; in the page describing the battle of the Coral Sea there is the following passage: [...] the scout [from Shōkaku] confirmed ...
Vorbis's user avatar
  • 711
34 votes
6 answers
14k views

How did people travel to remote islands like Easter Island?

Easter Island is extremely remote, being thousands of kilometers from its nearest neighbor. How did people get there safely, and how did they even know it was there?
Harley Holcombe's user avatar
32 votes
6 answers
15k views

What was the role of the Soviet Navy during WWII?

Most books about WWII speak of the naval battles of Allied and Axis powers during the war, but none about the Soviet Navy. The Soviets had an active fleet at the time - why did it not engage the ...
The Byzantine's user avatar
31 votes
6 answers
8k views

Was the tugboat ever part of a WWII battle group?

It would seem a pretty logical addition to a WWII battle group to have one of more tugs for the capital ships (heck, any ship), yet I don't see much evidence of that. Let me elaborate. I was an Army ...
ds_practicioner's user avatar
25 votes
9 answers
17k views

Why weren't aircraft carriers utilized during D-day?

Why were aircraft carriers not used during and following D-Day? They could have added a great deal of range to the air support operations.
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar
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 ...
raindog308's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why wasn't sauerkraut used to combat scurvy?

While reading about age of sail, I've read about scurvy and how it was 'cured' by 'acidity' of citrus. It come to my mind - why didn't they try to use sauerkraut? It seems that it should be more ...
Maja Piechotka's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why did the Monitor and Merrimac (aka Virginia) have such radically different designs?

This is something that's always baffled me. You have one ship that appears to sit just above the water with one little canon on a turret (the Monitor) and a second that sits high and is brimming with ...
Doug T.'s user avatar
  • 1,067
22 votes
1 answer
4k views

What effect did the Attack on Mers-el-Kébir have on Great Britain's international relations during WW2?

The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir/Battle of Mers-el-Kébir was an action that took part between the Royal Navy and the French Navy on July 3rd 1940 that was a result of Winston Churchill ordering that the ...
Kobunite's user avatar
  • 4,800
21 votes
3 answers
9k views

Did the US and Soviet navies really come close to blows in the Indian Ocean in 1971?

In December 1971, Pakistan and India were at war over what would become Bangladesh. President Nixon ordered Task Force 74, led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and ...
Bruce James's user avatar
  • 5,114
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

To what extent were Polynesians in contact with one-another before European contact?

Motivation Pacific islanders (Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians) before contact with Europeans were able seafarers that had discovered and settled virtually all Pacific islands that could ...
0range's user avatar
  • 2,924
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 ...
astabada's user avatar
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14 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why is rum naval?

Rum is closely associated with naval and pirate traditions, as seen with many naval-branded rums (Captain Morgan, Kraken) and the famous Pirates of the Caribbean line "Why is the rum always gone? ...
Azor Ahai -him-'s user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
539 views

Soviet reaction to Battle of the Denmark Strait

At the time of the Battle of the Denmark Strait - 1941-05-24 - Soviets were still officially friendly with Germany. I wonder what the reaction to the battle was, e.g., Did they send an official ...
sds's user avatar
  • 27k
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the origin of the English Ship Building Philosophy?

I was reading an article on the Vasa the ship built under command of King Gustav Adolf, the ship sank during its launch on August 10, 1628. Part if the article mentions that the ship was somehow ...
MichaelF's user avatar
  • 7,547
11 votes
1 answer
661 views

What's this flag flying on a fort at Kodiak, Alaska?

Naval captain Yuri Lisianskii drew a harbor scene in Alaska about 1805. It was engraved in England for an edition of his book. (High-res version) In the image, from left to right, there are flags ...
user avatar
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 ...
CRSouser's user avatar
  • 661
10 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why were the ship names "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" used together?

In the German Navy (both the Kaiserliche Marine and Kriegsmarine), the two ship names of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were used together for sister ships; for example the SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau ...
SMS von der Tann's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
865 views

How did (riverine) toll castles operate?

Toll Castle A toll castle (WP) was a castle built either on a river, lake, or road intended to guard that trade route: Such castles were usually placed at strategic locations, such as border ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did the Greeks win the battle of Salamis because their rowers were "free"?

While I was at university in the late 1970s, I was told by a faculty advisor that the Greek rowers at the Battle of Salamis were given cushions that greatly increased their comfort and efficiency (and ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
8 votes
1 answer
344 views

What alloy was used in early steam turbines? (1900 - 1930)

Steam turbines use externally created steam to drive the blades. There's no internal combustion. They've been used in marine propulsion since at least 1894 on the Turbinia. After this, Parsons-type ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 17.2k
8 votes
2 answers
641 views

The first use of submarines, and the appearance of "modern" submarines

The first submarines surfaced (excuse the pun) during or around the American Civil War. The question I have comes in a few parts: Did the submarines seen in the American Civil War prompt any change ...
Kobunite's user avatar
  • 4,800
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What happened to the French royal navy during the french-revolution?

Similar to my other question about her colonies I am interested in knowing what happened to the french royal navy of the period. Some ships must have been at sea and only learned the news as they ...
BOB's user avatar
  • 1,323
7 votes
2 answers
667 views

Why could the Soviet Baltic fleet not break out of the Gulf of Finland

In this question one answer states that the Soviets' Baltic fleet was stuck in the Gulf of Finland due to an anti-submarine net and mines. But the Mediterranean has plenty of narrow gulfs and straits, ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 11.3k
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Apart from the White Ship in 1120, have there been any other maritime disasters in which an heir to a throne and/or many notable people died?

In November 1120, a ship carrying three of King Henry I's children, including his only legitimate son and heir William the Atheling, struck a rock off the coast of northern France and sank. Also on ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
583 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.
jamesstephenson's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
655 views

How many Manila Galleons were sacked and by whom?

From the 1500s into the 1800s New Spain operated the "Manila Galleon" trade route across the Pacific. Something over four hundred huge, wealthy ships sailed, and of course they did not all arrive. ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
554 views

Were the Japanese "Kongo" class battlewagons advanced for their time?

Built in the early 1910s, Japan's Kongo class battlecruisers had eight 14-inch guns, a speed of about 30 knots, and a displacement of about 26,000 tons. This gave them advantages over British ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
2 votes
2 answers
338 views

Was (Mahanian) "control of the seas" an Athenian goal in the age of the trireme?

I recently read Nic Fields' 'Ancient Greek Warship: 500-322 BC'. In it, he makes the claim: Control of the seas in the modern sense was impossible for a trireme navy, and sea power, therefore, had ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

What prevented the USS Franklin (CV-13) from sinking in March 1945?

The USS Franklin (CV-13) was hit really badly by bombs from Japanese airplanes during operations in support of the invasion of Okinawa on 19 March 1945. So what prevented her from sinking? One of ...
user50780's user avatar
  • 403
1 vote
1 answer
261 views

WWI: British blockade of Germany (and neutrals)

How did the British maintain an effective blockade of Germany in WWI? The distant blockade required vast resources. The policy of blockading neutrals and other unlawful matters aroused international ...
Samuel Russell's user avatar