Allied Warships

Battleships


The battleship USS Tennessee of the Tennessee class.

At the beginning of WWII the battleship was seen as the height of sea power and having the most powerful and fastest battleships was considered all important. This was the so-called big gun thinking dating from World War One.

Around the time of World War One a new subclass of Battleships arrived; fast battleships. These were very fast and also very powerful, example being the famous German Biscmarck class. In 1938 USA, Britain and France invoked an escalator clause in the Second London Treaty to build battleships up to 45,000 tons. At the time the nations had already committed to build ships of around 35,000 tons, resulting in the US North Carolina (2) and South Dakota (4) ships, the 4 British King George V and French Richeleau ships. The US Navy also completed 4 of planned 6 Iowa class battleships, while the British aborted their Lion class ships. During WWII Battleships were used to control sea lines and in shore bombardments, especially in the Pacific.

Aircraft carriers, both during the British attack on Taranto in Nov 1940 and of course Pearl Harbor in Dec 1941, proved to be the future of naval warfare, along with submarines. A fleet of battleships really could not hope to defeat a carrier force during WWII. Today no Battleships remain in active service with any navy, US Navy’s Iowa class being the last to be decommissioned.

All Battleship classes

The list is divided by navy, then ordered by commissioned date of each class (oldest first).

Commissioned

Brazilian Navy

 Minas Gerais (2)1910 - 1910

French Navy

 Courbet (2)1913 - 1914
 Bretagne (3)1915 - 1916
 Richelieu (2)1940 - 1955

Royal Navy

 Queen Elizabeth (5)1914 - 1916
 Royal Sovereign (5)1916 - 1917
 Nelson (2)1927 - 1927
 King George V (5)1940 - 1942

Italian Navy

 Conte di Cavour (1)1914 - 1914
 Caio Duilio (2)1915 - 1916
 Littorio (2)1940 - 1940

US Navy

 Florida (1)1911 - 1911
 Wyoming (2)1912 - 1912
 New York (2)1914 - 1914
 Pennsylvania (2)1916 - 1916
 Nevada (2)1916 - 1916
 New Mexico (3)1917 - 1919
 Tennessee (2)1920 - 1921
 Colorado (3)1921 - 1923
 North Carolina (2)1941 - 1941
 South Dakota (4)1942 - 1942
 Iowa (4)1943 - 1944

Soviet Navy

 Sevastopol (3)1914 - 1914


Please note that we list the classes by navies that initiated/owned the class. Often vessels of certain classes were then built for other nations (or lent), those ships are not visible here but only through the navies pages or by looking into each class.

War losses: Battleships


 DateVesselClass

1939

14 Oct 1939HMS Royal Oak (08)Royal Sovereign 

1940

3 Jul 1940FR BretagneBretagne 

1941

25 Nov 1941HMS Barham (04)Queen Elizabeth 
7 Dec 1941USS Arizona (BB 39)Pennsylvania 
7 Dec 1941USS Oklahoma (BB 37)Nevada 
7 Dec 1941USS Utah (AG 16)Florida 
10 Dec 1941HMS Prince of Wales (53)King George V 

7 Battleships lost. See all Allied Warship losses.

See all Allied Warship types



Battleship Yamato, The

Skulski, Janusz

Books dealing with this subject include:

A Home on the Rolling Main, A G F Ditcham, 2013
The Attack on Taranto, Lowry, Thomas P., 2000
Battle of Surigao Strait, Anthony P. Tully, 2009
Battleship Barham, Jones, Geoffrey, 1979
The Battleship Fuso : Fuso, Skulski, Janusz, 1999
Battleship Musashi, Yoshimura, Akira, 1999
Battleship Oklahoma BB-37, Phister, Jeff, 2008
Battleship Scheer, Admiral Kranke, 2004
The Battleship Tirpitz, Koop, Gerhard and Schmolke, Klaus-Peter,
The Battleship Warspite, Watton, Ross, 2002
The Battleship Yamato, Skulski, Janusz, 1998
Battleships of the Bismarck Class, Koop, Bernard and Klaus-Peter Schmolke, Geoffrey Brooks, 1998
Battleships of World War Two, Whitley, M. J., 1999
Battleships: Allied Battleships of World War II, Garzke, William H., 1980
Battlestations, Veronico, Nicholas A., 2001



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