Allied Warships


US Navy

The Iowa class battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) of the US Navy.

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 Two 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 (in service with the US Navy).

 Florida (1)1911 - 1911
 Wyoming (2)1912 - 1912
 New York (2)1914 - 1914
 Nevada (2)1916 - 1916
 Pennsylvania (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 (6)1943 - 1944

11 ship classes.

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



Royal Navy14 Oct 1939HMS Royal Oak (08)Royal Sovereign 


French Navy3 Jul 1940FR BretagneBretagne 


Royal Navy25 Nov 1941HMS Barham (04)Queen Elizabeth 
US Navy7 Dec 1941USS Arizona (BB 39)Pennsylvania 
US Navy7 Dec 1941USS Oklahoma (BB 37)Nevada 
US Navy7 Dec 1941USS Utah (AG 16)Florida 
Royal Navy10 Dec 1941HMS Prince of Wales (53)King George V 

7 Battleships lost. See all Allied Warship losses.

See all Battleships

See all Allied Warship types

Books dealing with this subject include:

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