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Warships Throughout Time

A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuverable than merchant ships. Unlike a merchant ship, which carries cargo, a warship typically carries only weapons, ammunition and supplies for its crew. Warships usually belong to a navy, though they have also been operated by individuals, cooperatives and corporations.

In wartime, the distinction between warships and merchant ships is often blurred. In war, merchant ships are often armed and used as auxiliary warships, such as the Q-ships of the First World War and the armed merchant cruisers of the Second World War. Until the 17th century it was common for merchant ships to be pressed into naval service and not unusual for more than half a fleet to be composed of merchant ships. Until the threat of piracy subsided in the 19th century, it was normal practice to arm larger merchant ships such as galleons. Warships have also often been used as troop carriers or supply ships, such as by the French Navy in the 18th century or the Japanese Navy during the Second World War.

Recent Additions

Warship - USS Ranger (CV-3) - Carrier
Warship - USS Sangamon (CVE-26) - Carrier
Warship - HMS Vanguard - Battleship


TypeCollection Count
All Items 1274
Auxiliary 21
Battleship 97
Carrier 54
Cruiser 179
Destroyer 612
Submarine 296
Torpedo Boat 2


PeriodCollection Count
All Items 1274
Cold War 13
Modern 1
World War I 23
World War II 249


NationalityCollection Count
All Items 1274
Argentina 1
Australia 11
Brazil 2
Canada 8
Chile 2
Finland 2
France 42
Germany 57
Greece 6
India 1
Italy 37
Japan 99
New Zealand 4
Norway 3
Poland 3
Romania 2
Soviet Union 22
Spain 9
Sweden 1
Thailand 2
The Netherlands 12
Turkey 3
United Kingdom 96
United States 835
Venezuela 1