Questions tagged [naval]

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

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1answer
94 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 Labourde, Commander of the Vichy French fleet in Toulon, ordered it scuttled when he ...
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Why such a gap between built and used Shin'yo?

My understanding of the history of the Shin'yo is that this was a prolific class of motor boats, with thousands of them built, but only a few were engaged. The problem behind that is that they still ...
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5answers
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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,...
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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.
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202 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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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7answers
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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 ...
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412 views

Why didn't the Allies use a naval invasion to retake Norway?

Norway was captured by Germany during WWII, and been liberated from Germany after Karl Dönitz signed the surrender treaty with the Allies. But there were some chances for Allies to create an assistant ...
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Would the gun crews have different responsibilities aboard a 17th century ship than on the USS Constitution?

This video shows a simulated gun drill (the process of loading and firing the gun) performed by the crew of the USS Constitution. I believe the video depicts loading of black powder and the use of a ...
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In WW2 USN ships, what was the weight of a typical boiler?

I've been searching for this for days, but cannot find it. What is the weight of a typical boiler on a WW2 US Navy ship? Example: Fletcher Class DD had a total weight (displacement) 2100 to 2500 tons ...
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Why were ships-of-the line not supposed to open fire on frigates during fleet actions?

Found this passage in the book Patrick O'Brian's Navy (p. 57) In the era of fighting sail there was an unspoken convention that line-of-battle ships did not fire on frigates during any fleet action ...
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1answer
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Can anyone identify this European ?naval uniform from photograph and likely date (belle époque)?)

Possibly late 1800s, early 1900s. Almost certainly from the UK. Epaulettes may indicate Naval?
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1answer
238 views

Why did the Ballahoo and Cuckoo-class schooners earn a bad reputation?

The Ballahoo and Cuckoo-class schooners were small (50-60 foot length) warships built for the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballahoo-class_schooner ...
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When did aircraft carriers eclipse battleships as the "King of the seas"?

During the 19th century and into the early 20th century, battleships were the Kings of the Sea, and every naval power of note had at least one. When did they lose this title to the aircraft carrier, ...
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How long did it take a typical capital warship to ramp up to flank speed?

For a typical capital warship (including aircraft carriers) of any navy circa 1920s-1960s I am looking for a rough power ramp up time for the power plant to go from min load to max load. That is to ...
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325 views

Did a submarine ever torpedo and sink a destroyer? [closed]

The naval battle of U-405 versus USS Borie sank the Borie, but that was due to its own action of ramming U-405, which had a stronger hull to withstand depth pressures. Did a submarine ever sink a ...
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What ship is this in Sasebo, Japan Harbor, Korean War Era?

Identification of Ship in Sasebo, Japan Harbor, Korean War Era from my Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/photolibrarian/51241341355/in/dateposted-public/
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Was a bomb or shell ever dropped directly down the funnel of a warship?

I was surprised to learn in this awesome video about the USS New Jersey that the funnel on an Iowa-class battleship is not a straight line, there's a bit of a zig-zag in it. The idea was that, unlike ...
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3answers
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What was the "Favorable result" that the German admiralty was expecting from the naval attack on the Royal Navy in 1918?

The infamous order from 24th October 1918 was planning to slam the German High Seas Fleet against the British Royal Navy. If I recall correctly, this was the second time Germany tried to even the odds ...
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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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What was the actual cause of the disaster for the Royal Navy’s battlecruisers in the Battle of Jutland?

During the Battle of Jutland (31 May 1916), the battlecruisers Invincible, Queen Mary, and Indefatigable exploded with only a few survivors; Lion was almost lost in a similar manner. This provoked the ...
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1answer
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Would a commissioned officer in the Royal Navy during the mid-late 18th century ever sail on a vessel other than a man-o-war, ship of the line, etc?

As someone who does not exactly understand how naval commissions worked in the 18th century, I am curious to know if there might have ever been an occasion where a commissioned officer (such as a ...
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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, ...
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217 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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502 views

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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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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1answer
191 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
152 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
351 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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1answer
407 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
390 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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970 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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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
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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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3answers
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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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4answers
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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
3k views

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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6k views

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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