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However, clashes between battleships were of little strategic importance. The Battle of the Atlantic was fought between destroyers and submarines, and most of the decisive fleet clashes of the Pacific war were determined by aircraft carriers.

In the first year of the war, armored warships defied predictions that aircraft would dominate naval warfare. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery

Scharnhorst andGneisenau surprised and sank the aircraft carrier Glorious off western Norway in June 1940.[63] This engagement marked the last time a fleet carrier was sunk by surface gunnery. In the attack on Mers-el-Kébir, British battleships opened fire on the French battleships in the harbour near Oran in Algeria with their heavy guns, and later pursued fleeing French ships with planes from aircraft carriers. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery

The subsequent years of the war saw many demonstrations of the maturity of the aircraft carrier as a strategic naval weapon and its potential against battleships. The British air attack on the Italian naval base at Taranto sank one Italian battleship and damaged two more. The same Swordfish torpedo bombers played a crucial role in sinking the German commerce-raider BismarckSony PCG-71213M Battery

On 7 December 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Within a short time five of eight U.S. battleships were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. The American aircraft carriers were out to sea, however, and evaded detection. They in turn would take up the fight, eventually turning the tide of the war in the Pacific. Sony PCG-71311M Battery

The sinking of the British battleship Prince of Wales and her escort, the battlecruiser Repulse, demonstrated the vulnerability of a battleship to air attack while at sea without sufficient air cover, finally settling the argument begun by Mitchell in 1921. Both warships were under way and en route to attack the Japanese amphibious force that had invaded Malaya when they were caught by Japanese land-based bombers and torpedo bombers on 10 December 1941.[64] Sony PCG-71312M Battery

At many of the early crucial battles of the Pacific, for instance Coral Sea and Midway, battleships were either absent or overshadowed as carriers launched wave after wave of planes into the attack at a range of hundreds of miles. In later battles in the Pacific, battleships primarily performed shore bombardment in support of amphibious landings and provided anti-aircraft defense as escort for the carriers. Sony PCG-71212M Battery

Even the largest battleships ever constructed, Japan's Yamato class, which carried a main battery of nine 18-inch (46 cm) guns and were designed as a principal strategic weapon, were never given a chance to show their potential in the decisive battleship action that figured in Japanese pre-war planning.[65] Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery

The last battleship confrontation in history was the Battle of Surigao Strait, on October 25, 1944, in which a numerically and technically superior American battleship group destroyed a lesser Japanese battleship group by gunfire after it had already been devastated by destroyer torpedo attacks. Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery

All but one of the American battleships in this confrontation had previously been sunk by the Attack onPearl Harbor and subsequently raised and repaired. When Mississippi fired the last salvo of this battle, the last salvo fired by a battleship against another heavy ship, she was "firing a funeral salute to a finished era of naval warfare."[66] Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery

In April 1945, during the battle for Okinawa, the world's most powerful battleship,[67] the Yamato, was sent out against a massive U.S. force on a suicide mission and sunk by overwhelming carrier aircraft with nearly all hands.

After World War II, several navies retained their existing battleships, but they were no longer strategically dominant military assets. Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery

Indeed, it soon became apparent that they were no longer worth the considerable cost of construction and maintenance and only one new battleship was commissioned after the war, HMS Vanguard. During the war it had been demonstrated that battleship-on-battleship engagements like Leyte Gulf or the sinking of HMS Hood were the exception and not the rule, Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery

and with the growing role of aircraft engagement ranges were becoming longer and longer, making heavy gun armament irrelevant. The armor of a battleship was equally irrelevant in the face of a nuclear attack as tactical missiles with a range of 100 kilometres (60 mi) or more could be mounted on the Soviet Kildin-class destroyer and Whiskey-class submarines. Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery

By the end of the 1950s, minor vessel classes which formerly offered no noteworthy opposition now were capable of eliminating battleships at will.

The remaining battleships met a variety of ends. USS Arkansas and Nagato were sunk during the testing of nuclear weapons in Operation Crossroads in 1946. Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery

Both battleships proved resistant to nuclear air burst but vulnerable to underwater nuclear explosions.[68] The Italian battleship Giulio Cesare was taken by the Soviets as reparations and renamed Novorossiysk; she was sunk by a leftover German mine in the Black Sea on 29 October 1955. The two Andrea Doria-class ships were scrapped in 1956.[69] The French Lorraine was scrapped in 1954, Richelieu in 1968,[70] and Jean Bart in 1970.[71] Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery

The United Kingdom's four surviving King George V-class ships were scrapped in 1957,[72] and Vanguard followed in 1960.[73] All other surviving British battleships had been sold or broken up by 1949.[74] The Soviet Union's Marat was scrapped in 1953, Parizhskaya Kommuna in 1957 and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya (back under her original name, Gangut, since 1942)[75] in 1956-7.[75] Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery

Brazil's Minas Geraes was scrapped in Genoa in 1953,[76] and her sister ship São Paulo sank during a storm in the Atlantic en route to the breakers in Italy in 1951.[76]

Argentina kept its two Rivadavia-class ships until 1956 and Chile kept Almirante Latorre (formerly HMS Canada) until 1959.[77] Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery

The Turkish battlecruiser Yavûz(formerly SMS Goeben, launched in 1911) was scrapped in 1976 after an offer to sell her back to Germany was refused. Sweden had several small coastal-defense battleships, one of which, HSwMS Gustav V, survived until 1970.[78] The Soviets scrapped four large incomplete cruisers in the late 1950s, Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery

whilst plans to build a number of new Stalingrad-class battlecruisers were abandoned following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.[79] The three old German battleships Schleswig-HolsteinSchlesien, and Hessen all met similar ends. Hessen was taken over by the Soviet Union and renamed TselSony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery

She was scrapped in 1960. Schleswig-Holsteinwas renamed Borodino, and was used as a target ship until 1960. Schlesien, too, was used as a target ship. She was broken up between 1952 and 1957.The Iowa-class battleships gained a new lease of life in the U.S. Navy as fire support ships. Radar and computer-controlled gunfire could be aimed with pinpoint accuracy to target. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2M Battery

The U.S. recommissioned all four Iowa-class battleships for theKorean War and the New Jersey for the Vietnam War. These were primarily used for shore bombardment, New Jersey firing nearly 6,000 rounds of 16 inch shells and over 14,000 rounds of 5 inch projectiles during her tour on the gunline,[81] seven times more rounds against shore targets in Vietnam than she had fired in the Second World War.[82] Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M Battery

As part of Navy Secretary John F. Lehman's effort to build a 600-ship Navy in the 1980s, and in response to the commissioning of Kirov by the Soviet Union, the United States recommissioned all four Iowa-class battleships. On several occasions, battleships were support ships in carrier battle groups, or led their own battleship battle group. Sony VAIO PCG-7112M Battery

These were modernized to carry Tomahawk missiles, with New Jersey seeing action bombarding Lebanon in 1983 and 1984, while Missouri and Wisconsinfired their 16 inch (406 mm) guns at land targets and launched missiles during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. 
Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery

Wisconsinserved as the TLAM strike commander for the Persian Gulf, directing the sequence of launches that marked the opening ofDesert Storm, firing a total of 24 TLAMs during the first two days of the campaign. The primary threat to the battleships were Iraqi shore based surface-to-surface missiles; Missouri was targeted by two Iraqi Silkworm missiles, with one missing and another being intercepted by the British destroyer HMS Gloucester.[83] Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery

All four Iowas were decommissioned in the early 1990s, making them the last battleships to see active service. USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin were, until fiscal year 2006, maintained to a standard where they could be rapidly returned to service as fire support vessels, pending the development of a superior fire support vessel.[84] Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery

The U.S. Marine Corps believes that the current naval surface fire support gun and missile programs will not be able to provide adequate fire support for an amphibious assault or onshore operations.

With the decommissioning of the last Iowa-class ships, no battleships remain in service or in reserve with any navy worldwide. Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery

A number are preserved as museum ships, either afloat or in drydock. The U.S. has eight battleships on display:MassachusettsNorth CarolinaAlabamaIowaNew JerseyMissouriWisconsin and TexasMissouri and New Jersey are now museums at Pearl Harbor and Camden, New Jersey, respectively. Iowa is now on display as an educational attraction at the Los Angeles Waterfront in San Pedro, California. Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery

Wisconsin was removed from the Naval Vessel Register in 2006 and now serves as a museum ship in Norfolk, Virginia.[87] Massachusetts, which owns the distinction of never having lost a man while in active service, was acquired by the Battleship Cove naval museum in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1965.[88] Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery

Texas, the first battleship turned into a museum, is on display at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, near Houston. North Carolina is on display in Wilmington, North Carolina. Alabama is on display in Mobile, Alabama. The only other 20th century battleship on display is the Japanese pre-dreadnought Mikasa.Battleships were the embodiment of sea power. Sony VGN-P series Battery

For Alfred Thayer Mahan and his followers, a strong navy was vital to the success of a nation, and control of the seas was vital for the projection of force on land and overseas. Mahan's theory, proposed in 1890's The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783, dictated the role of the battleship was to sweep the enemy from the seas.[89] Sony VGN-P11Z/Q Battery

While the work of escorting, blockading, and raiding might be done by cruisers or smaller vessels, the presence of the battleship was a potential threat to any convoy escorted by any vessels other than capital ships. (This concept came to be known as a "fleet in being".) Mahan went on to say victory could only be achieved by engagements between battleships, Sony VGN-P11Z/R Battery

(which came to be known as the "decisive battle" doctrine in some navies), while targeting merchant ships (commerce raiding orguerre de course, as posited by the Jeune École) could never succeed.[90]Mahan was highly influential in naval and political circles throughout the age of the battleship,[3][91] calling for a large fleet of the most powerful battleships possible. Sony VGN-P11Z/W Battery

Mahan's work developed in the late 1880s, and by the end of the 1890s it had a massive international impact,[3] in the end adopted by many major navies (notably the British, American, German, and Japanese). The strength of Mahanian opinion was important in the development of the battleships arms races, and equally important in the agreement of the Powers to limit battleship numbers in the interwar era. Sony VGN-P21S/W Battery

The "fleet in being" suggested battleships could simply by their existence tie down superior enemy resources. This in turn was believed to be able to tip the balance of a conflict even without a battle. This suggested even for inferior naval powers a battleship fleet could have important strategic impact.While the role of battleships in both World Wars reflected Mahanian doctrine, the details of battleship deployment were more complex. Sony VGN-P21Z/G Battery

Unlike the ship of the line, the battleships of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries had significant vulnerability to torpedoes and mines, weapons which could be used by relatively small and inexpensive craft. The Jeune École school of thought of the 1870s and 1880s recommended placing torpedo boats alongside battleships; these would hide behind the battleships until gun-smoke obscured visibility enough for them to dart out and fire their torpedoes.[3] Sony VGN-P21Z/R Battery

While this tactic was vitiated by the development of smokeless propellant, the threat from more capable torpedo craft (later including submarines) remained. By the 1890s the Royal Navy had developed the first destroyers, which were initially designed to intercept and drive off any attacking torpedo boats. Sony VGN-P29VN/Q Battery

During the First World War and subsequently, battleships were rarely deployed without a protective screen of destroyers.Battleship doctrine emphasised the concentration of the battlegroup. In order for this concentrated force to be able to bring its power to bear on a reluctant opponent (or to avoid an encounter with a stronger enemy fleet), Sony VGP-BPS18 Battery

battlefleets needed some means of locating enemy ships beyond horizon range. This was provided by scouting forces; at various stages battlecruisers, cruisers, destroyers, airships, submarines and aircraft were all used. (With the development of radio,direction finding and traffic analysis would come into play, as well, so even shore stations, broadly speaking, joined the battlegroup.[93]) Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

So for most of their history, battleships operated surrounded by squadrons of destroyers and cruisers. The North Sea campaign of the First World War illustrates how, despite this support, the threat of mine and torpedo attack, and the failure to integrate or appreciate the capabilities of new techniques,[94] seriously inhibited the operations of the Royal Navy Grand Fleet, the greatest battleship fleet of its time. Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

The presence of battleships had a great psychological and diplomatic impact. Similar to possessing nuclear weapons today, the ownership of battleships served to enhance a nation's force projection.[3]Even during the Cold War, the psychological impact of a battleship was significant. In 1946, USS Missouri was dispatched to deliver the remains of the ambassador from Turkey, Sony VAIO VGN-AR47G/E1 Battery

and her presence in Turkish and Greek waters staved off a possible Soviet thrust into the Balkan region.[95] In September 1983, whenDruze militia in Lebanon's Shouf Mountains fired upon U.S. Marine peacekeepers, the arrival of USS New Jersey stopped the firing. Gunfire from New Jersey later killed militia leaders. Sony VAIO VGN-AR520E Battery

Battleships were the largest and most complex, and hence the most expensive warships of their time; as a result, the value of investment in battleships has always been contested. As the French politician Etienne Lamy wrote in 1879, "The construction of battleships is so costly, their effectiveness so uncertain and of such short duration, Sony VAIO VGN-AR53DB Battery

that the enterprise of creating an armored fleet seems to leave fruitless the perseverance of a people".[97] The Jeune École school of thought of the 1870s and 1880s sought alternatives to the crippling expense and debatable utility of a conventional battlefleet. It proposed what would nowadays be termed a sea denial strategy, Sony VAIO VGN-AR54DB Battery

based on fast, long-ranged cruisers for commerce raiding and torpedo boat flotillas to attack enemy ships attempting to blockade French ports. The ideas of the Jeune Ecole were ahead of their time; it was not until the 20th century that efficient mines, torpedoes, submarines, and aircraft were available that allowed similar ideas to be effectively implemented.[97] Sony VAIO VGN-AR550E Battery

The determination of powers such as the German Empire to build battlefleets with which to confront much stronger rivals has been criticised by historians, who emphasise the futility of investment in a battlefleet which has no chance of matching its opponent in an actual battle.[3] According to this view, Sony VAIO VGN-AR55DB Battery

attempts by a weaker navy to compete head-to-head with a stronger one in battleship construction simply wasted resources which could have been better invested in attacking the enemy's points of weakness. In Germany's case, the British dependence on massive imports of food and raw materials proved to be a near-fatal weakness, Sony VAIO VGN-AR630E Battery

once Germany had accepted the political risk of unrestricted submarine warfare against commercial shipping. Although the U-boat offensive in 1917–18 was ultimately defeated, it was successful in causing huge material loss and forcing the Allies to divert vast resources into anti-submarine warfare. Sony VAIO VGN-AR64DB Battery

This success, though not ultimately decisive, was nevertheless in sharp contrast to the inability of the German battlefleet to challenge the supremacy of Britain's far stronger fleet.A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through to the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, Sony VAIO VGN-AR65DB Battery

in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear. Since these engagements were almost invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful guns, the natural progression was to build sailing vessels that were the largest and most powerful of their time. Sony VAIO VGN-AR660U Battery

From the end of the 1840s, the introduction of steam power brought less dependence on the wind in battle and led to the construction of screw-driven but wooden-hulled ships of the line; a number of pure sail-driven ships were converted to this propulsion mechanism. However, the introduction of the ironclad frigate in about 1859 led swiftly to the decline of the steam-assisted ships of the line, Sony VAIO VGN-AR690U Battery

though the ironclad warship became the ancestor of the 20th-century battleship, whose very designation is itself a contraction of the phrase "line-of-battle ship."The term "ship of the line" has fallen into disuse, as the ship classes filling the traditional role (battleships anddreadnoughts) have been discontinued in modern navies in favor of surface ships with better stand-off weaponry (such asguided missile cruisers and aircraft carriers). Sony VAIO VGN-AR71ZU Battery

The term is sometimes used to refer to any military vessel of sufficient size and armament to participate in a direct naval confrontation; that is, to "hold the line". The term is also seen in science fiction, referring to spacecraft of large size and armament commissioned as warships, as opposed to more peaceful endeavors. Sony VAIO VGN-AR730E/B Battery

The origin of the ship of the line can be found in the carrack first built by the Portuguese and similar great ships built by England and other western European states in the 15th and 16th centuries. These vessels were developed by fusing aspects of the cogs of the Atlantic and galleys of the Mediterranean. Sony VAIO VGN-AR73DB Battery

The cogs, which traded along the Atlantic coasts, the North Seaand the Baltic, had an advantage over galleys in battle because they had raised platforms called "castles" at bow and stern that archers could occupy to fire down on enemy ships or even drop heavy weights. Over time these castles became higher and larger, Sony VAIO VGN-AR74DB Battery

and eventually were built into the structure of the ship, increasing overall strength. This aspect of the cog was kept by the Portuguese in their newer style carrack designs and proved its worth in the decisive battle of Diu in 1509. Other European naval powers were quick to follow the Portuguese innovations with their own versions of the "man-of-war".Sony VAIO VGN-AR75UDB BatteryMary Rose was an English carrack, being well equipped with 78 guns (91 after an upgrade in the 1530s). Built in Portsmouth in 1510-12, she was one of the earliest purpose-built warships to serve in the English Navy; it is thought that she never served as a merchant ship. Sony VAIO VGN-AR790U/B Battery

She was over 500 tons burthen with a keel of over 32 m (106 ft) and a crew that consisted of 200 sailors, 185 soldiers, and 30 gunners. Although she was the pride of the English fleet she accidentally sank during the battle of the Solent against French forces on 19 July 1545.Henri Grâce à Dieu (French, "Henry Grace of God"), Sony VAIO VGN-AR820E Battery

nicknamed "Great Harry", was an English great ship of the 16th century. Contemporary with Mary RoseHenri Grâce à Dieu was 165 feet (50 m) long, weighing 1,000–1,500 tons and having a complement of 700–1,000. It is said that she was ordered by Henry VIII in response to the Scottish ship Michael, launched in 1511. Sony VAIO VGN-AR830E Battery

She was originally built at Woolwich Dockyard from 1512 to 1514 and was one of the first vessels to feature gunports and had twenty of the new heavy bronze cannon, allowing for a broadside. In all she mounted 43 heavy guns and 141 light guns. She was the first English two-decker, and when launched she was the largest and most powerful warship in Europe, but she saw little action. Sony VAIO VGN-AR83S Battery

She was present at the Battle of the Solent against Francis I of France in 1545 (in which Mary Rose sank) but appears to have been more of a diplomatic vessel, sailing on occasion with sails of gold cloth. Indeed, the great ships were almost as well known for their ornamental design (some ships, like the Vasa, were gilded on their stern scrollwork) as they were for the power they possessed. Sony VAIO VGN-AR83US Battery

These ships were the first used in experiments with carrying large-calibre guns aboard. Because of its higher freeboard and greater load-bearing ability, this type of vessel was better suited to gunpowder weapons than the galley. Because of their development from Atlantic seagoing vessels, the great ships were more weatherly than galleys and better suited to open waters. Sony VAIO VGN-AR84S Battery

The lack of oars meant that large crews were unnecessary, making long journeys more feasible. Their disadvantage was that they were entirely reliant on the wind for mobility. Galleys could still overwhelm great ships, especially when there was little wind and they had a numerical advantage, but as great ships increased in size, galleys became less and less useful. Sony VAIO VGN-AR84US BatteryAnother detriment was the high forecastle, which interfered with the sailing qualities of the ship; the bow would be forced low into the water while sailing before the wind. But as guns were introduced and gunfire replaced boarding as the primary means of naval combat during the 16th century, the medieval forecastle was no longer needed, Sony VAIO VGN-AR85S Battery

and later ships such as thegalleon had only a low, one-deck-high forecastle. By the time of the 1637 launching of England's powerful Sovereign of the Seas, the forecastle was gone altogether.

From the 16th to 18th century, the carrack evolved into the galleon, a longer, more manoeuvrable type of ship, with all the advantages of the great ship. Sony VAIO VGN-AR85US Battery

The opposing English and Spanish fleets of the 1588 Spanish Armada were largely composed of galleons. By the 17th century every major European naval power was building ships like these.With the growing importance of colonies and exploration and the need to maintain trade routes across stormy oceans, Sony VAIO VGN-AR870EA Battery

galleys and galleasses (a larger, higher type of galley with side-mounted guns, but lower than a galleon) were used less and less, and only in ever more restricted purposes and areas, that by about 1750, with a few notable exceptions, they were of little use in naval battles.Large sailing junks of the Chinese Empire, Sony VAIO VGN-AR890U Battery

described by various travellers to the East such as Marco Polo and Niccolò Da Conti, and used during the travels of Admiral Zheng He in the early 15th century, were contemporaries of such European vessels. Chinese junks carried cannon as well as other weapons unfavoured in the West but because of their construction and wider beam ends, Sony VAIO VGN-AR93S Battery

were not as vulnerable to being fired on at the bow and stern as European ships were, and as a result there was no impetus to develop similar tactics. By the time European powers were capable of sending ships to Chinese waters, Chinese isolationism had resulted in these developments being abandoned and forgotten, Sony VAIO VGN-AR93US Battery

and construction halted on all but the smallest types of junks so that what they encountered were coastal defence ships comparable to European sloops and not the purported 137-metre-long (450 ft) and 55-metre-wide (180 ft) Chinese treasure ships AdmiralZheng He commanded.In the early to mid-17th century, several navies—particularly those of England and the Netherlands—began to use new fighting techniques. Sony VAIO VGN-AR94S Battery

Previously battles had usually been fought by great fleets of ships closing with each other and fighting in whatever arrangement they found themselves in, and often boarding enemy vessels as opportunities to do so presented themselves. However, the further development of guns and the adoption of broadside arrangements of guns required a change of tactics. Sony VAIO VGN-AR94US Battery

With the broadside the decisive weapon, tactics evolved to ensure as many ships could fire broadside as possible. The line-of-battletactic required ships to form long single-file lines and close with the enemy fleet on the same tack, battering the other fleet until one side had had enough and retreated. Sony VAIO VGN-AR95S Battery

Any manoeuvres would be carried out with the ships remaining in line for mutual protection."In order that this order of battle, this long thin line of guns, may not be injured or broken at some point weaker than the rest, there is at the same time felt the necessity of putting in it only ships which, if not of equal force, have at least equally strong sides. Sony VAIO VGN-AR95US Battery

Logically it follows, at the same moment in which the line ahead became definitively the order for battle, there was established the distinction between the ships 'of the line', alone destined for a place therein, and the lighter ships meant for other uses."[1] Examples of the latter include acting as scouts and relaying signals between the flagship and the rest of the fleet since, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery

from the flagship, only a small part of the line would be in clear sight.The adoption of line-of-battle tactics had consequences for ship design. The height advantage given by the castles fore and aft was reduced, now that hand-to-hand combat was less essential. The need to manoeuvre in battle made the top weight of the castles more of a disadvantage. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery

So they shrank, making the ship of the line lighter and more manoeuvrable than its forebears for the same combat power. As an added consequence, the hull itself grew larger, allowing the size and number of guns to increase as well.In the 17th century fleets could consist of almost a hundred ships of various sizes, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery

but by the middle of the 18th century, ship-of-the-line design had settled on a few standard types: older two-deckers (i.e., with two complete decks of guns firing through side ports) of 50 guns (which were too weak for the battle line but could be used to escort convoys), two-deckers of between 64 and 90 guns that formed the main part of the fleet, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

and larger three- or even four-deckers with 98 to 140 guns that served as admirals' command ships. Fleets consisting of perhaps 10 to 25 of these ships, with their attendant supply ships and scouting and messengerfrigates, kept control of the sea lanes for major European naval powers whilst restricting the sea-borne trade of enemies. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery

The most common size of sail ship of the line was the "74" (named for its 74 guns), originally developed by France in the 1730s, and later adopted by all battleship navies. Until this time the British had 6 sizes of ship of the line, and they found that their smaller 50- and 60-gun ships were becoming too small for the battle line, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery

while their 80s and over were 3-deckers and therefore unwieldy and unstable in heavy seas. Their best were 70-gun 2-deckers of about 46 metres (150 ft) long on the gundeck, while the new French 74s were around 52 metres (170 ft). In 1747 the British captured a few of these French ships during the War of Austrian Succession. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery

In the next decade Thomas Slade (Surveyor of the navy from 1755, along with co-Surveyor William Bately) broke away from the past and designed several new classes of 51- to 52-metre 74s to compete with these French designs, starting with the Dublin andBellona classes. Their successors gradually improved handling and size through the 1780s.[2] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery

Other navies ended up building 74s also as they had the right balance between offensive power, cost, and manoeuvrability. Eventually around half of Britain's ships of the line were 74s. Larger vessels were still built, as command ships, but they were more useful only if they could definitely get close to an enemy, rather than in a battle involving chasing or manoeuvring. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

The 74 remained the favoured ship until 1811, when Seppings's method of construction enabled bigger ships to be built with more stability.In a few ships the design was altered long after the ship was launched and in service. In the Royal Navy, smaller two-deck 74- or 64-gun ships of the line that could not be used safely in fleet actions had their upper decks removed (or razeed), Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

resulting in a very stout, single-gun-deck warship called a razee. The resulting razeed ship could be classed as a frigate and was still much stronger. The most successful razeed ship in the Royal Navy was HMS Indefatigable, commanded by Sir Edward Pellew.Mahmudiye (1829), ordered by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II and built by the Imperial Naval Arsenal on the Golden Horn in Istanbul, was for many years the largest warship in the world. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

The 76.15 m × 21.22 m (249.8 ft × 69.6 ft)[Note 1] ship of the line was armed with 128 cannons on three decks and was manned by 1,280 sailors. She participated in many important naval battles, including the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) during theCrimean War (1854–1856). She was decommissioned in 1874. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

The largest sailing three-decker ship of the line ever built in the West was the French Valmy, launched in 1847. She had right sides, which increased significantly the space available for upper batteries, but reduced the stability of the ship; wooden stabilizers were added under the waterline to address the issue. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery

Valmy was thought to be the largest sort of sailing ship possible, as larger dimensions made the manoeuvre of riggings impractical with mere manpower. She participated in the Crimean War, and after her return to France later housed the French Naval Academy under the name Borda from 1864 to 1890. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

The first major change to the ship-of-the-line concept was the introduction of steam power as an auxiliary propulsion system. The first military uses of steamships came in the 1810s, and in the 1820s a number of navies experimented with paddle steamerwarships. Their use spread in the 1830s, with paddle-steamer warships participating in conflicts like the First Opium Waralongside ships of the line and frigates.[3] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

Paddle steamers, however, had major disadvantages. The paddle wheel above the waterline was exposed to enemy fire, while itself preventing the ship from firing broadsides effectively. During the 1840s, the screw propeller emerged as the most likely method of steam propulsion, with both Britain and the USA launching screw-propelled warships in 1843. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

Through the 1840s, the British and French navies launched ever larger and more powerful screw ships, alongside sail-powered ships of the line. In 1845, Viscount Palmerston gave an indication of the role of the new steamships in tense Anglo-French relations, describing the English Channel as a "steam bridge", rather than a barrier to French invasion. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

It was partly because of the fear of war with France that the Royal Navy converted several old 74-gun ships of the line into 60-gun steam-powered blockships, ( following the model of Fulton's Demologos) starting in 1845.[3] The blockships were "originally conceived as steam batteries solely for harbour defence, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

but in September 1845 they were given a reduced [sailing] rig rather than none at all, to make them sea-going ships....The blockships were to be a cost-effective experiment of great value."[4] They subsequently gave good service in the Crimean War.The French Navy, however, developed the first purpose-built steam battleship with the 90-gun Le Napoléon in 1850.[5] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery

She is also considered the first true steam battleship, and the first screw battleship ever.[6] Napoleon was armed as a conventional ship of the line, but her steam engines could give her a speed of 12 knots (22 km/h), regardless of the wind conditions—a potentially decisive advantage in a naval engagement. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P BatteryEight sister ships to Le Napoléon were built in France over a period of ten years, but the United Kingdom soon took the lead in production, in number of both purpose-built and converted units. Altogether, France built 10 new wooden steam battleships and converted 28 from older battleship units, while the United Kingdom built 18 and converted 41.[7] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery

In the end, France and Britain were the only two countries to develop fleets of wooden steam screw battleships, although several other navies made some use of a mixture of screw battleships and paddle-steamer frigates. These included Russia,Turkey, Sweden, Naples, Prussia, Denmark, and Austria. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery

In the Crimean War, six line-of-battle ships and two frigates of the Russian Black Sea Fleet destroyed seven Turkish frigates and three corvettes with explosive shells at the Battle of Sinop in 1853.[8]In the 1860s unarmoured steam line-of-battle ships were replaced by ironclad warships. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery

On March 8, 1862, during the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, two unarmoured wooden frigates were sunk and destroyed by the Confederate ironclad CSSVirginia.However, the power implied by the ship of the line would find its way into the ironclad, which would develop during the next few decades into the concept of the battleship. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery

Although Spain, the Netherlands, and France built huge fleets, they were rarely able to match the skill of British naval crews. British crews excelled, in part, because they spent much more time at sea, were generally better fed, were well trained in gunnery (allowing a faster rate of fire), and were generally more competent, Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

as the Royal Navy based promotion much more on merit rather than purchase. The British Army has usually been smaller than the armies of comparably prominent continental countries, while the navy tended to be larger than the individual navies of each continental power.In the North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, the fleets of Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery

France, and Spain fought numerous battles in support of their land armies and to deny the enemy access to trade routes. In the Baltic Sea, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Russia did likewise, while in the Mediterranean Sea, Russia, Ottoman Turkey, Venice, Portugal, Britain, and France battled for control.During the Napoleonic Wars, Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery

Britain defeated Europe's major naval powers at battles such as at Copenhagen, Cape St Vincent, Aboukir ("The Nile"), and Trafalgar, allowing the Royal Navy to establish itself as the world's primary naval power. Spain, Denmark, and Portugal largely stopped building ships of the line during this time under duress from the British. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery

Britain emerged from the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 with the largest and most professional navy in the world, composed of hundreds of wooden, sail-powered ships of all sizes and classes. The Royal Navy had complete naval supremacy across the world following the Napoleonic Wars, and it demonstrated this superiority during the Crimean War in the 1850s. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

Nonetheless, the Napoleonic Wars, as well as the American War of 1812, had illustrated the shortcomings of ships of the line when an enemy resorted to tactics including the large-scale use of privateers. Both the French and the Americans had demonstrated what a menace small, lightly armed, but fast, nimble, and, most especially, Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

numerous vessels like sloops and schooners could be when they spread across the wide oceans, operating singly or in small groups. They targeted the merchant shipping that was Britain's economic lifeblood, and ships of the line were too few, too slow, and too clumsy to be employed against them.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

Overwhelming firepower was of no use if it could not be brought to bear: the Royal Navy's initial response to Napoleon's privateers, which operated from FrenchNew World territories, was to buy Bermuda sloops. Similarly, the East India Company's merchant vessels became lightly armed and quite competent in combat during this period, Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

operating a convoy system under an armed merchantman, instead of depending on small numbers of more heavily armed ships.The only original ship of the line remaining today is HMS Victory, preserved as a museum in Portsmouth to appear as she was while under Admiral Horatio Nelson at Trafalgar. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery

Although Victory is in drydock, she is still a fully commissioned warship in the Royal Navy and has the honour of being the oldest commissioned warship in any navy worldwide.The Regalskeppet Vasa sank in the Baltic in 1628 and was lost until 1956. She was then raised intact, in remarkably good condition, Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

in 1961 and is presently on display at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. At the time she was the largest Swedish warship ever built. Today the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Sweden.The remains of the Mary Rose were raised in 1982 and are on display in Portsmouth, England a short distance from HMS VictorySony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

Although Mary Rose consists of only half of a ship, it is a remarkable example of ship construction from Tudor England, and like Vasa, it contained a wealth of artifacts that tell of the daily lives of those on board. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

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