Questions tagged [naval]

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

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42
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
48
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8answers
14k views

Why did navies abandon armour?

Over the Cold War the many navies of the world moved away from significantly armoring their ships besides splinter protection for some vital spaces, with a few exceptions. What prompted the shift from ...
5
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2answers
800 views

What do we know about the squadron that evacuated Moore's force after Corunna?

Upon being appointed commander of British forces in Iberia, and Napoleon's subsequent invasion with Le Grande Armee, Sir John Moore's retreated to a defensive position near the port of Corunna, in ...
23
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2answers
11k views

Why didn't the British consider the USS President's attempted flight as a fake surrender?

In the War of 1812, the USS President was captured by the Royal Navy. Wikipedia gives the final actions of the day: President ceased fire at 7:58 pm and hoisted a light in her rigging, indicating ...
11
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1answer
526 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 ...
14
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2answers
282 views

What is a “barso”? (ref. Richard Cocks' diaries)

Question In his diaries documenting his time in Japan, Richard Cocks mentions barsos frequently, apparently meaning some kind of liquid containing vessel (mostly in reference to [gifts of] alcohol, ...
19
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3answers
3k views

What is the large blue object on the right in this picture showing Greek fire?

This well-known image showing a Byzantine dromon type ship using Greek fire has a blue object behind or on the ship on the right for which I have not been able to find any explanation: Image source: ...
24
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9answers
15k 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.
56
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7answers
12k 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 ...
12
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2answers
580 views

What is the origin of this pre-industrial naval depiction

I'm neither a history buff not an artist, so I apologise in advance for my poor descriptions. I have recently come into possession of a painting depicting some naval ships, perhaps 19th century, ...
2
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1answer
637 views

Two ships named “Mary Celeste” — concidence or not?

I know about the famous Mary Celeste ship which was found with no one on board in 1872. Sank in 1885. Let's nickname it "the Ghost ship". Today, while watching some National Geographic movie about ...
17
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1answer
4k views

Did the Americans trade destroyers in the “destroyer deal” that they would later need themselves?

In the fall of 1940, the U.S. and Great Britain made the so-called "destroyer deal," of 50 old American destroyers in exchange for the use of British bases ranging from Newfoundland to the Caribbean. ...
43
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4answers
9k 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,...
55
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3answers
12k views

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?
6
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1answer
222 views

How many ships did the fleet of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) possess at its peak (around 1670)?

The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (1602–1800) was a huge Dutch company primarily earning lots of revenue in the spice trade among other activities. For this work they needed a lot of ships from ...
2
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2answers
414 views

Why was the Deutschland so ineffective compared to the Admiral Graf Spee and the Admiral Scheer

Before World War II, Germany created the Deutschland Class of heavily armored cruisers in order to comply with the regulations in the Treaty of Versailles. Three of these cruisers (called pocket-...
6
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2answers
255 views

How did the design of the hull differ between an Indiaman and a frigate?

Indiamen and frigates look similar. The Indiaman seems a little bigger, but both are similar in the following ways: full rigged design for overseas operation (able to cross oceans) armed As indiamen ...
4
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
3
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1answer
228 views

What was the name of the torpedo boat with mechanical problems accompanying the Wilhelm Gustloff?

The Wilhelm Gustloff was a German cruise ship that was used as part as a means of evacuating refugees from Gotenhafen (today Gdynia) in January 1945. The Wikipedia article reads: The ship left ...
2
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0answers
223 views

Trying to identify what military service, war and rank by the uniform

I have been searching google images, tried a reverse search and found nothing. I have looked on many sites and cannot identify the service. I do know he has 9 buttons on his coat, 3 on the cuffs, red ...
10
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2answers
456 views

Communication lag during the Age of Sail: what if enemy claimed that peace agreement was signed?

In the past due to the communication lag the hostilities could proceed long after peace agreements were signed. This was especially severe for the overseas territories and ships. I'm somewhat more ...
1
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4answers
333 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 ...
8
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1answer
198 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 ...
2
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2answers
184 views

Where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were?

I am looking for a fairly comprehensive source where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were? I mean, I want to look up this information ...
0
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1answer
318 views

Why were some Napoleonic battles fought at sea?

'The Royal Navy 1793-1815' is all about the different battles that took place in the water'...my main concern is why the navy was involved at all? why couldn't they just fight in the land ? Is it ...
1
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0answers
98 views

What is the source of the story from the Battle of the Nile?

Here is a creepy story from history. As I remember the story, after The Battle of the Nile 1 August 1798 or the Battle of Trafalger 21 October 1805 someone on a British ship saw a boy sitting on a ...
1
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1answer
202 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 ...
13
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1answer
263 views

How long did it take US fleet submarines during World War 2 to charge their batteries?

How long did it take a US fleet submarine running on the surface to recharge its battery fully for maximum duration submergence? I realize that the answer depends on how many engines were being used ...
4
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1answer
411 views

What type of provisions would seafarers use in the mid 19th century?

What was the composition of seafarers' provisions in the mid-19th century? What types of items would they have taken with them for a long trip? For example — for just travelling on a light trip from ...
19
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7answers
19k views

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, ...
10
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1answer
337 views

Have any artifacts or archaeological remains from the White Ship disaster of 1120 ever been recovered?

After the White Ship disaster, which claimed the lives of all on board (except one), including William Adeline, the heir to the English throne, England was plunged into a civil war known as the ...
5
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2answers
828 views

What were the needs of the US Navy that resulted in the production of both the Arleigh Burke class and Ticonderoga class in the 1980s?

In the 1980s the United States Navy introduced both the Arleigh Burke class and the Ticonderoga class. Wikipedia pages on them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arleigh_Burke-class_destroyer#...
45
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11answers
14k views

Why did Europeans (and not people in other regions) dominate oceans?

Having a brief look at civilization history, I find that Europeans have a significant dominance over other regions when it comes to sailing. This becomes more obvious after the 15th century when ...
21
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1answer
3k views

Did firing trials of pre-WW1 British dreadnoughts involve actually firing at them?

On the Wikipedia page of HMS Dreadnought it is mentioned that during firing trials against HMS Hero there were some vulnerabilities of its fire control systems revealed: namely, wiring and voice tubes ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why is the name “Tecumseh” used for US Navy ships?

It is common practice to name warships after historical heroes of a nation. The US Navy had four vessel named USS Tecumseh Two of them were tugboats, but the other two were a then-cutting-edge ...
17
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1answer
3k 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
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3answers
994 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 ...
5
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2answers
421 views

Has a German U-Boat ever transported an American during WW2?

In the new TV series Das Boot (not the movie), a German U-Boat is used to transport an American civilian during the war. Is this inspired by real events in any way, or is this pure fantasia nonsense?
2
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1answer
77 views

Location of Hagemeister's six-language diaries

Leontii A. Hagemeister (or Gagemeister) was a Baltic German navigator of the Russian navy and briefly governor of the Russian-American company. The best work on him in English is by Richard Pierce, ...
16
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2answers
2k views

How many people worked to build one Liberty ship?

A lot of Liberty Ships were built during WW2. These were fairly large transport ships with a capacity of about 11,000 t deadweight tonnage. Wikipedia says the average build time was 42 days, and that ...
10
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4answers
7k views

During the Normandy landings, were any German naval assets brought to bear against the Allies?

I know the allied fleet suffered heavy losses during the operation: Naval losses for June 1944 included 24 warships and 35 merchantmen or auxiliaries sunk, and a further 120 vessels damaged. ...
31
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6answers
11k 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 ...
6
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2answers
241 views

Which English ship was in Kamchatka in 1793?

In 1795, Alaskan colonial supremo A.A. Baranov sent a letter to his bosses in Irkutsk. The text in Tikhmenev's History, Volume II, Documents, says: An English ship wintered in Kamchatka in 1793.... ...
5
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1answer
274 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 ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Where is the Nemesis?

Where is the Nemesis today? Is it simply 'lost at sea', at a museum somewhere, or more likely (as it was an EIC vessel), was it sold for scrap? I did a brief search (of the web), but couldnt find it. ...
44
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8answers
18k views

In WW2, why did Germany sink allied supply convoys instead of capturing them?

When reading about naval warfare in WW2, it suddenly struck me that sinking supply convoys was a huge waste of resources, especially in the later years when Germany was desperate for oil and other ...
22
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4answers
2k views

Why did piracy thrive in the late 17th and early 18th centuries?

Why did piracy thrive in the late 17th and early 18th centuries? Was it because the sailors in the Royal Navy and privateers were not satisfied with their pay? Was it because since many wars were ...
1
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3answers
796 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 ...
4
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2answers
175 views

How did messages get back and forth between ship and shore during the Battle of Cherbourg?

In volume 3 of Shebly Foote's book on the American Civil war, he mentions that once out to sea, Winslow got a message from France about Semmes's intentions. Does that mean there were boats going back ...
1
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3answers
390 views

Murder–suicide by sinking the ship

Humankind has a sad, horrible history of intentional mass murder and murder–suicide by airplane and road vehicle. Are there known cases of a sailor or an officer on a ship trying to kill himself and ...