Questions tagged [naval]

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

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2answers
191 views

The Sumatrans told Marco Polo that there was an island to the Southeast. Were they referring to Australia? [closed]

In 1292, Marco Polo was waiting for the winds to shift so he could leave Sumatra and return to Venice. He spent his time learning about an island called Java, in the southeast. Everyone said that it ...
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Which US naval ship from 1905 is depicted on this photo?

I found this photo in a relatives old photo collection. Most of the photos were taken around 1905 so I assume the ship photo was taken around that time. A lot of the photos were taken in upstate NY ...
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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 ...
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Were slave rowers ever chained to the ship?

UPDATE I want to know whether there is any evidence that rowers were ever chained to the ships or oars in Ancient Greece and Rome. In my view it could be too expensive to chain people at that time, ...
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Was PepsiCo really sixth largest military force?

There are several claims on the internet that for a brief time PepsiCo owned the sixth largest military force in the world. You can read about it, e.g., at Wikipedia. This seems quite fishy to me, so ...
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809 views

Why were Japanese submarines not able to defend in the Battle of the Philippine Sea?

During the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Japanese lost 2 fleet carriers due to actions by American submarines. Why were the Japanese not able to defend against such attacks, and why were the ...
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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 ...
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1answer
171 views

How did changes in the balance of land versus naval balance of power prevent England from being successfully invaded by foreign powers after 1066?

The last successful invasion of England was that by the Normans in 1066. Prior to that, England had been successfully invaded by waves of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes from the Continent, and before that, ...
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1answer
129 views

Where was the Turkish Navy based in July 1914?

I'm trying to figure out whether, if not for the July crisis, Russia could have tried an amphibious invasion of Turkey in 1914, and what the outcome would have been if so. It seems to me the answer ...
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Was there an official order on ships' cats per vessel?

In the funny, but still (I assume) historically accurate material about "The history of Ships Cats", the author states that "many navies had standing order for minimum acceptable number ...
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1answer
273 views

What was the fastest coal-powered ship in a country's navy?

The transition from coal to oil fuel as the primary energy source for navy ships took place leading up to and during WWI. The last British battleship to primarily use coal power was the Iron Duke ...
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399 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 ...
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1answer
348 views

Is the use of flamethrower style naval weapons depicted in this game accurate?

In the popular strategy game Age of Empires 2, one key naval unit is the so-called Fire Ship. Fire ships in the game use a siphon to launch a continuous stream of fire projectiles on the enemy. ...
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895 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 ...
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Could the Russians Have Done Better at the Battle of Tsushima Straits Than They Actually Did?

In 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War, a Russian fleet sailing all the way from the Baltic was annihilated by the Japanese fleet in the Tsushima Straits. The Russian fleet was larger, with thirteen ...
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642 views

What type of warship is this (likely WW2)?

I know it's not much to go on, but can anyone identify the type of vessel in the photo? Being officers, there is no cap tally for me to try and zoom in on.
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What was the size of the Chola Empire's navy under Raja Raja Chola I?

Raja Raja Chola I was an Indian emperor who lived around the 11th century. He created an empire in South India through conquests, including naval campaigns. He was able to conquer Sri Lanka and the ...
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1answer
204 views

What was the typical error with dead reckoning navigation?

Suppose we are trying to navigate with just a compass and lag (dead reckoning, plus some latitude measurements), like people did before they started using chronometers and lunar distances method. What ...
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5answers
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Did a kamikaze ever impact the hull of a ship, as opposed to the deck?

All kamikaze videos I've seen show the plane dive bombing into the deck of a ship. The photos I've seen also appear to always show a burning deck or tower. What I want to know is, did any kamikaze ...
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How common was capturing a post-sail warship?

From this answer it appears that capturing an enemy warship in battle, either by boarding, or by shooting at them from bow or stern until they surrender, was relatively common in the age of sail. ...
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Did the U.S. and Soviet Union have a submarine battle in 1968?

There are books and articles about the Soviet submarine K-129 and the USS Scorpion in 1968, with various stories of attempted nuclear attacks and reprisals. Is there a factual narrative about these ...
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How difficult was to escape from a naval battle after engaging into one during the Age of Sail?

So, I am designing a board game which includes pirates/imperial battles during the age of sail. While I have found a lot of information on the internet as well as books, papers and of course other ...
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1answer
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What were Greek and Roman sails made from?

I have found that Vikings used sails made from wool; can anyone tell me what the sails of ancient Greece and Rome would have been made from?
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Has a prize ship ever been surrendered to a neutral country?

According to the Hague Peace Convention of 1907, §13 Art. 3, whenever a belligerent power captures a prize ship in the territorial waters of a neutral power, the belligerent power must surrender the ...
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Has there been a naval battle where a boarding attempt backfired?

In the War of 1812 battle between the USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon, the Shannon outgunned the Chesapeake decisively, then closed to board the enemy ship. Hand-to-hand fighting ensued before the USS ...
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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 ...
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When did women start sailing (as passengers) on ocean-going ships in large numbers? [closed]

My understanding is that women sailed on sail powered ships (caravels) such as the Mayflower. On the other hand, I have read few accounts of women sailing on earlier, oar-driven ships such as triremes ...
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207 views

Did the French violate the Washington Naval ConferenceTreaty limitations?

I was surprised to read in connection with Mers el Kebir that in 1940, France had the second largest navy in Europe, with seven battleships. The reason was France's participation in the 1922 ...
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391 views

Had any 20th century navies used damage-control specialized vessels in battle fleets?

A followup or extension of this question: Was the tugboat ever part of a WWII battle group? Was there ever a ship in a modern navy specially equipped or converted so that it could keep pace with ...
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284 views

Why were Japanese escort ships not numerous at the battle of Bismarck Sea?

During the battle of Bismarck sea, Allied units performed air attacks that resulted in the nearly destruction of Japanese fleet. I understand the reasons why the Allies obtain such a success, namely: ...
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393 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 ...
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Has it ever been practice to clip to ratlines?

I am reading a story (alt history) where it describes climbing on a ship with the sailors: pausing to clip their safety harnesses to the ratlines every few feet. Now, I used to work on a tallship, ...
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Were ancient ships named?

Nowadays almost all civilian and military vessel have a name. Was this so in the antiquity, did the ships of Athens, Carthage or Rome have formal individual names?
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Can you identify this Empire flagged c1913 single stack ocean liner?

I believe my great-grandparents arrived on this ship in 1913. I cannot find the name of the ship. The family immigrated to Canada in 1913 from Belgium. They may have arrived in Quebec, or Saint John, ...
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If a merchant ship captain joined the Royal Navy during the age of sail, would they be put in command?

If the captain/former captain of a merchant ship joined the navy or was press ganged into the the navy would they be put in command of a ship or would they have to work they way up through the ranks? ...
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1answer
932 views

When was the first intentional ricochet fired from a naval artillery?

Wikipedia states that the first ricochet firing was performed in 1688. This other website says it may have existed in 1587. All those historical events are for cannonballs fired from the ground ...
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1answer
230 views

What were common crew ranks on US Navy flying boats and bombers?

historians! I asked this question over on the Aviation SE, but was also suggested to ask here. Below is a copy of my question from over there. I have been trying to figure this out for some time, but ...
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1answer
211 views

Did any of the Flying Tigers lead a US Navy squadron?

I came across a couple of passages on the Flying Tigers, mercenary armies and famous volunteers I saw how one pilot became an ace in Europe and another became a General in the 10th Air Force after ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why were British ships not of the same quality as French and Spanish ships until the latter part of the 18th century?

In Patrick O'Brian's 'Men-of-War', it says (apparently referring to around the time the Victory was built [1759-65]), ...most of the British ships were not nearly so well built as the French or the ...
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How many times has inclement weather foiled attempts to navally invade the UK? [closed]

Inclusive of situations where inclement or unseasonable weather delayed the ability to set sail long enough that British ships/fleets were able to foil the plan by direct actions, how many times has ...
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782 views

Why did Britain object to the Ottomans bringing its ships-of-the-line against Russia in the beginning of the Crimean War?

I came across this in the "Background section" of Wikipedia article Battle of Sinop. Fighting at sea between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire had been going on for weeks, and the Ottomans ...
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Evolution of destroyers

This is a question about evolution of weapons technology. Destroyer is a class of ships which exists already for more than a century. One of its main characteristics is speed (these are generally the ...
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Which Soviet submarine was HMS Splendid tracking on 30th March 1982?

In 'Vulcan 607', R. White describes the background of the submarines that headed to the Falkland Islands. For the HMS Splendid, he notes that the submarine, under CO Lane-Nott was engaged in a mission ...
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1answer
239 views

How were ship kills accounted in WWII?

In the movie Greyhound, at the end, the fleet requests an oral report of the incidents in which the captain says "My escort group sank three others...". But in the movie it is seen that ...
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261 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 ...
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What impact does colonial legacy have on current US presence in the South China Sea dispute?

In recent years, the South China Sea has become somewhat important from a geo-political standpoint. China is building military bases, among many other things, and the US has been speaking about ...
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1answer
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Why was a small vessel tied to the deck of the USS Oriskany during scuttling?

The final fate of the USS Oriskany (CV-34) is that it was scuttled as an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico. It's a fairly famous dive site. There are photos of the ship as it sank taken by the ...
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Why were Royal Navy ships forbidden to attack the ARA Veinticinco de Mayo in Argentinian waters?

I watched this video on the British hunt for the Argentinian aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo, during the Falklands war. Involved, among other ships, was the Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS ...

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