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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 - HMS Comet - Destroyer
Warship - HMCS Restigouche - Destroyer
Warship - HMS Cygnet - Destroyer


TypeCollection Count
All Items 1346
Auxiliary 23
Battleship 100
Carrier 66
Cruiser 186
Destroyer 659
Submarine 297
Torpedo Boat 2


PeriodCollection Count
All Items 1346
Cold War 18
Modern 2
World War I 31
World War II 321


NationalityCollection Count
All Items 1346
Argentina 2
Australia 11
Brazil 2
Canada 11
Chile 2
China 1
Finland 2
France 44
Germany 61
Greece 7
India 1
Italy 41
Japan 114
New Zealand 4
Norway 4
Poland 3
Romania 2
Russia 1
Soviet Union 25
Spain 9
Sweden 1
Thailand 2
The Netherlands 14
Turkey 3
United Kingdom 121
United States 844
Venezuela 1