The capital ships of a navy are its most important warships; they are generally the larger ships when compared to other warships in their respective fleet. A capital ship is generally a leading or a primary ship in a naval fleet.
William S. Lind, in the book America Can Win (p. 90), defines a capital ship as follows: "These characteristics define a capital ship: if the capital ships are beaten, the navy is beaten. But if the rest of the navy is beaten, the capital ships can still operate. Another characteristic that defines capital ships is that their main opponent is each other."
There is usually no formal criterion for the classification, but it is a useful concept in naval strategy; for example, it permits comparisons between relative naval strengths in a theatre of operations without the need for considering specific details of tonnage or gun diameters.
A notable example of this is the Mahanian doctrine, which was applied in the planning of the defence of Singapore in World War II, where the Royal Navy had to decide the allocation of its battleships and battlecruisers between the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. The Mahanian doctrine was also applied by the Imperial Japanese Navy, leading to its preventive move to attack Pearl Harbor and the battleships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The naval nature of the Pacific Theater of Operations, more commonly referred to as the Pacific War, necessitated the United States Navy mostly deploying its battleships and aircraft carriers in the Pacific. The war in Europe was primarily a land war; consequently, Germany's surface fleet was small, and the escort ships used in the Battle of the Atlantic were mostly destroyers and destroyer escorts to counter the U-boat threat.
Before the advent of the all-steel navy in the late 19th century, a capital ship during the Age of Sail was generally understood as a ship that conformed to the Royal Navy's rating system of a ship of the line as being of the first, second, third or fourth rates:
Frigates were ships of the fifth rate; sixth rates comprised small frigates and corvettes. Towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars and into the late 19th century, some larger and more powerful frigates were classified as fourth rates.
The term "capital ship" was first coined in 1909 and formally defined in the limitation treaties of the 1920s and '30s in the Washington Naval Treaty, London Naval Treaty, and Second London Naval Treaty. This applied mainly to ships resulting from the dreadnought revolution; dreadnought battleships (also known first as dreadnoughts and later as battleships) and battlecruisers.
In the 20th century, especially in World Wars I and II, typical capital ships would be battleships and battlecruisers. All of the above ships were close to 20,000 tons displacement or heavier, with large caliber guns and heavy armor protection.
Cruisers, despite being important ships, were not considered capital ships. An exception to the above in World War II was the Deutschland-class cruiser. Though this class was technically similar to a heavy cruiser, albeit with considerably heavier guns, they were regarded by some as capital ships (hence the British label "Pocket battleship") since they were one of the few heavy surface units of the Kriegsmarine. The American Alaska-class cruiser, Dutch Design 1047 battlecruiser and the Japanese Design B-65 cruiser, planned specifically to counter the heavy cruisers being built by their naval rivals, have been described as "super cruisers", "large cruisers" or even "unrestricted cruisers", with some advocating that they even be considered as battlecruisers, however they were never classified as capital ships.
During the Cold War, a Soviet Kirov-class large missile cruiser had a displacement great enough to rival World War II-era battleships and battlecruisers, perhaps defining a new capital ship for that era. In regard to technical design, however, the Kirov is simply a supersized guided-missile cruiser with nuclear propulsion.
It took until late 1942 for aircraft carriers to be universally considered capital ships. The U.S. Navy was forced to rely primarily on its aircraft carriers after the attack on Pearl Harbor sank or damaged eight of its Pacific-fleet battleships.
In the 21st century, the aircraft carrier is the last remaining capital ship, with capability defined in decks available and aircraft per deck, rather than in guns and calibers. The United States possesses supremacy, in both categories of aircraft carriers, possessing not only 11 active duty supercarriers each capable of carrying and launching nearly 100 tactical aircraft, but an additional 12 amphibious assault ships as capable (in the "Sea Control Ship" configuration) as the light VSTOL carriers of other nations.
Despite their significance to modern fleets, the U.S. Navy has never named aircraft carriers after U.S. states as was the practice when battleships (e.g. Iowa class) were considered capital ships[a]. Instead, U.S. state names are today applied to nuclear submarines while aircraft carriers are named after famous Navy personnel and presidents, such as Chester W. Nimitz and Gerald R. Ford.
Ballistic missile submarines (or "boomers"), while important ships and similar in tonnage to early battleships, are usually counted as part of a nation's nuclear deterrent force and do not share the sea control mission of traditional capital ships. Nevertheless, many navies, including the Royal Navy and the United States Navy, consider these ships to be capital ships and have given some of them names previously used for battleships, e.g. Dreadnought and Vanguard.
Beginning with the first class of Trident-equipped ballistic missile submarines (i.e. the Ohio class), state names have been applied to U.S. nuclear submarines, indicating their status as capital ships. Previous ballistic missile submarines (e.g. Poseidon missile-equipped submarines) had not been named for states. After the completion of the last Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, state names were applied to attack submarines (e.g. Virginia class). Earlier attack submarines had been named for major cities (e.g. Los Angeles class) – as was previously the practice for cruisers (e.g. USS Indianapolis).
Some navies reserve specific names for their capital ships. Names reserved for capital ships include chiefs of state (e.g. Bismarck), important places, historically important naval officers or admiralty (e.g. De Ruyter), historical events or objects (e.g. USS Constitution), and traditional names (e.g. HMS Ark Royal). However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
Beginning with USS Texas (the first U.S. battleship), U.S. capital ships have traditionally been named after U.S. states[a]. Lesser vessels are named after U.S. territories (e.g. Alaska-class cruisers just before and during World War II), major U.S. cities (e.g. cruisers), or U.S. presidents (e.g. early attack submarines and late aircraft carriers). Prior to and during World War II the Imperial Japanese Navy also followed the practice of naming battleships after provinces (e.g. Yamato).
Beginning with the Ohio class, U.S. state names were applied to ballistic missile submarines, indicating their rising status as capital ships equipped with a complement of doomsday nuclear weapons. After the last delivery of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, the U.S. Navy began applying state names to attack submarines (e.g. the Virginia class).
The term has been adopted into science fiction literature and culture to describe large spaceships used in military contexts, particularly where other naval terms have also been adopted in similar fashion; for example, sci-fi capital spaceships are often "carriers", that carry small fighters analogous to the way the real world naval equivalent carries fighter aircraft, as well as functioning as "battleships".
The battlecruiser, or battle cruiser, was a type of capital ship of the first half of the 20th century. They were similar in displacement, armament and cost to battleships, but differed slightly in form and balance of attributes. Battlecruisers typically carried slightly thinner armour and a lighter main gun battery than contemporary battleships, installed on a longer hull with much higher engine power in order to attain faster speeds. The first battlecruisers were designed in the United Kingdom in the first decade of the century, as a development of the armoured cruiser, at the same time as the dreadnought succeeded the pre-dreadnought battleship. The goal of the design was to outrun any ship with similar armament, and chase down any ship with lesser armament; they were intended to hunt down slower, older armoured cruisers and destroy them with heavy gunfire while avoiding combat with the more powerful but slower battleships. However, as more and more battlecruisers were built, they were increasingly used alongside the better-protected battleships.
Battlecruisers served in the navies of the UK, Germany, the Ottoman Empire, Australia and Japan during World War I, most notably at the Battle of the Falkland Islands and in the several raids and skirmishes in the North Sea which culminated in a pitched fleet battle, the Battle of Jutland. British battlecruisers in particular suffered heavy losses at Jutland, where their crews' poor fire safety & ammunition handling practices left them vulnerable to catastrophic magazine explosions following hits to their main turrets from large-calibre shells. This dismal showing led to a persistent general belief that battlecruisers were too thinly armoured to function successfully. By the end of the war, capital ship design had developed with battleships becoming faster and battlecruisers becoming more heavily armoured, blurring the distinction between a battlecruiser and a fast battleship. The Washington Naval Treaty, which limited capital ship construction from 1922 onwards, treated battleships and battlecruisers identically, and the new generation of battlecruisers planned was scrapped under the terms of the treaty.
Improvements in armor design and propulsion created the 1930s "fast battleship" with the speed of a battlecruiser and armor of a battleship, making the battlecruiser in the traditional sense effectively an obsolete concept. Thus from the 1930s on, only the Royal Navy continued to use "battlecruiser" as a classification for the World War I–era capital ships that remained in the fleet; while Japan's battlecruisers remained in service, they had been significantly reconstructed and were re-rated as full-fledged fast battleships.Battlecruisers were put into action again during World War II, and only one survived to the end. There was also renewed interest in large "cruiser-killer" type warships, but few were ever begun, as construction of battleships and battlecruisers was curtailed in favor of more-needed convoy escorts, aircraft carriers, and cargo ships. In the post–Cold War era, the Soviet Kirov class of large guided missile cruisers have also been termed "battlecruisers".Captain at sea
Captain at sea is a naval rank corresponding to command of a ship-of-the-line or capital ship.
The equivalent in other navies is ship-of-the-line captain or the naval rank of captain in the Commonwealth of Nations and the U.S. Navy.Flotilla
A flotilla (from Spanish, meaning a small flota (fleet) of ships), or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. A flotilla is usually composed of a homogeneous group of the same class of warship, such as frigates, destroyers, torpedo boats, submarines, gunboats, or minesweepers. Groups of larger warships are usually called squadrons, but similar units of non-capital ships may be called squadrons in some instances, and flotillas in others. Formations including more than one capital ships, e.g. men-of-war, battleships, and aircraft carriers, typically alongside smaller ships and support craft, are typically called fleets, each portion led by a capital ship being a squadron or task force (see reference below).
A flotilla is usually commanded by a rear admiral, a commodore or a captain, depending on the importance of the command (a vice admiral would normally command a squadron). A flotilla is often divided into two or more divisions, each of which might be commanded by the most senior commander, nearly always a lieutenant at the very least. A flotilla is often, but not necessarily, a permanent formation.
In modern navies, flotillas have tended to become administrative units containing several squadrons. As warships have grown larger, the term squadron has gradually replaced the term flotilla for formations of destroyers, frigates and submarines in many navies.
A naval flotilla has no direct equivalent on land, but is, perhaps, the rough equivalent in tactical value of a brigade or regiment.French ship Bretagne (1855)
The Bretagne was a fast 130-gun three-decker of the French Navy, designed by engineer Jules Marielle. Built as a new capital ship meant to improve upon the very successful Océan class while avoiding the weaknesses found on Valmy, she retained most of the Océan design but ended up incorporating the philosophy of "fast ship of the line" pioneered by Napoléon, with a rounded stern and a two-cylinder, 8-boiler steam engine allowing her a speed of 13.5 knots. The propeller could be retracted to streamline the hull when sailing under sail only.
She was launched in 1855 and was too late to take part in the Crimean War. She was decommissioned in 1865, becoming a schoolship for boys and sailors in Brest. Struck from the Navy lists in 1880, she was broken up the same year.Great White Fleet
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the powerful United States Navy battle fleet that completed a journey around the globe from 16 December 1907, to 22 February 1909, by order of United States President Theodore Roosevelt. Its mission was to make friendly courtesy visits to numerous countries, while displaying new U.S. naval power to the world.
It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability. Hoping to enforce treaties and protect overseas holdings, the United States Congress appropriated funds to build American naval power. Beginning in the 1880s with just 90 small ships, over one-third of them wooden and therefore obsolete, the navy quickly grew to include new modern steel fighting vessels. The hulls of these ships were painted a stark white, giving the armada the nickname "Great White Fleet".Helicarrier
The Helicarrier is a fictional flying aircraft carrier appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is depicted as the crucial mobile command center, forward operations platform, and signature capital ship of the fictional intelligence/defense agency S.H.I.E.L.D.
Originally designed by Jack Kirby for the Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. serial in Strange Tales #135 (August 1965), the Helicarrier concept has survived multiple redesigns while rarely straying from its originally depicted role as a mobile headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D. until recent years.Ironclad warship
An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates used in the early part of the second half of the 19th century. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells. The first ironclad battleship, Gloire, was launched by the French Navy in November 1859. The British Admiralty had been considering armored warships since 1856 and prepared a draft design for an armored corvette in 1857; in early 1859 the Royal Navy started building two iron-hulled armored frigates, and by 1861 had made the decision to move to an all-armored battle fleet. After the first clashes of ironclads (both with wooden ships and with one another) took place in 1862 during the American Civil War, it became clear that the ironclad had replaced the unarmored ship of the line as the most powerful warship afloat. This type of ship would come to be very successful in the American Civil War.Ironclads were designed for several roles, including as high seas battleships, coastal defense ships, and long-range cruisers. The rapid development of warship design in the late 19th century transformed the ironclad from a wooden-hulled vessel that carried sails to supplement its steam engines into the steel-built, turreted battleships and cruisers familiar in the 20th century. This change was pushed forward by the development of heavier naval guns (the ironclads of the 1880s carried some of the heaviest guns ever mounted at sea at the time), more sophisticated steam engines, and advances in metallurgy which made steel shipbuilding possible.
The quick pace of change meant that many ships were obsolete as soon as they were finished, and that naval tactics were in a state of flux. Many ironclads were built to make use of the ram or the torpedo, which a number of naval designers considered the important weapons of naval combat. There is no clear end to the ironclad period, but towards the end of the 1890s the term ironclad dropped out of use. New ships were increasingly constructed to a standard pattern and designated battleships or armored cruisers.Jutland (game)
Jutland is a wargame designed by Jim Dunnigan and published by Avalon Hill Game Company in 1967. The game covers the Battle of Jutland, fought in May and June 1916 between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet off the Jutland coast of Denmark.
The game is unusual for an Avalon Hill game in that there is no mapboard. Instead, the game operates on two levels: a higher level in which the two players use pencil marks on pre-printed paper maps of the North Sea to plot movements of their fleets, and, once fleets come into contact, a lower level in which the players deploy cardboard pieces each representing a single capital ship or a flotilla of light cruisers or destroyers on any convenient flat (and large) surface. Game play at the lower level is more like miniature play than like Avalon Hill's traditional hexgrid mapboard game. The game provided custom rulers for determining movement. The rulers had a rounded end for changing the direction of a line of ships. The game's instructions noted that the ship counters were not to scale in relation to movement rulers. Instructions were included for the gamer to make scale movement rulers. A large room was required to play at this scale.List of battlecruisers of World War II
This is a list of battlecruisers of World War II.
A battlecruiser, or battle cruiser, was a capital ship built in the first half of the 20th century. They were similar in size, cost, and carried similar armament to battleships, but they generally carried less armour to obtain faster speeds. The first battlecruisers were designed in the United Kingdom, in the first decade of the century, as a development of the armoured cruiser, at the same time as the dreadnought succeeded the pre-dreadnought battleship. The original aim of the battlecruiser was to hunt down slower, older armoured cruisers and destroy them with heavy gunfire. However, as more and more battlecruisers were built, they increasingly became used alongside the better-protected battleships.
Battlecruisers served in the navies of Britain, Germany, the Ottoman Empire, Australia and Japan during World War I, most notably at the Battle of the Falkland Islands and in the several raids and skirmishes in the North Sea which culminated in a pitched fleet battle, the Battle of Jutland. British battlecruisers in particular suffered heavy losses at Jutland, where their light armour made them very vulnerable to large-caliber shells. By the end of the war, capital ship design had developed with battleships becoming faster and battlecruisers becoming more heavily armoured, blurring the distinction between a battlecruiser and a fast battleship. The Washington Naval Treaty, which limited capital ship construction from 1922 onwards, treated battleships and battlecruisers identically, and the new generation of battlecruisers planned was scrapped under the terms of the treaty.
From the 1930s on, only the Royal Navy continued to use 'battlecruiser' as a classification for the World War I-era capital ships that remained in the fleet; while Japan's battlecruisers remained in service, they had been significantly reconstructed and were re-rated as full-fledged battleships.
Battlecruisers were put into action again during World War II, and only one survived to the end. There was also renewed interest in large "cruiser-killer" type warships, but few were ever begun, as construction of battleships and battlecruisers were curtailed in favor of more-needed convoy escorts, aircraft carriers, and cargo ships.The List of ships of World War II contains major military vessels of the war, arranged alphabetically and by type. The list includes armed vessels that served during the war and in the immediate aftermath, inclusive of localized ongoing combat operations, garrison surrenders, post-surrender occupation, colony re-occupation, troop and prisoner repatriation, to the end of 1945. For smaller vessels, see also List of World War II ships of less than 1000 tons. Some uncompleted Axis ships are included, out of historic interest. Ships are designated to the country under which they operated for the longest period of the Second World War, regardless of where they were built or previous service history.
Click on headers to sort column alphabetically.MV Asterix
MV Asterix (formerly MS Asterix, MS Amorito, MS Neermoor and MS Cynthia) is a commercial container ship, purchased by Federal Fleet Services as part of Project Resolve, that was converted into a supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). It is intended to act as an interim replacement between the out of service Protecteur-class replenishment oiler and the future Protecteur-class auxiliary vessel. Originally launched in Germany in 2010 as Cynthia, the ship was converted and delivered to the RCN in December 2017 when it will be leased to the navy with a merchant navy crew, complemented by RCN personnel. Asterix will be in Canadian service well into the 2020s.The ship was owned by Capital Ship Management of Greece and registered in Monrovia, Liberia. The vessel was delivered at Quebec in October 2015 for conversion by a pan-consortium comprising Chantier Davie Canada, Aecon Pictou Shipyard of Pictou, Nova Scotia and NavTech, the conversion designer. The vessel is limited in its deployment to enter dangerous areas due to its lack of weapons systems and ability to survive combat damage.Macross
Macross (マクロス, Makurosu, English: ) is a Japanese science fiction mecha anime media franchise, created by Shōji Kawamori of Studio Nue in 1982. The franchise features a fictional history of Earth and the human race after the year 1999. It consists of four TV series, four movies, six OVAs, one light novel, and five manga series, all sponsored by Big West Advertising, in addition to 40 video games set in the Macross universe, 2 crossover games, and a wide variety of physical merchandise.
Within the series, the term Macross is used to denote the main capital ship. This theme began in the original Macross, the SDF-1 Macross.
Overtechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship ASS-1 (Alien Star Ship - One later renamed Super Dimension Fortress - One Macross) that crashed on South Ataria island. Humans were able to reverse engineer the technology to create the mecha (variable fighters and destroids), faster-than-light space fold drive for starships and other advanced technologies that the series features. The first TV series was adapted into the first season of Robotech in 1985, with edited content and a revised script.Queen Elizabeth-class battleship
The Queen Elizabeth-class battleships were a class of five super-dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy commissioned in 1915–16. The lead ship was named after Elizabeth I of England. These battleships were superior in firepower, protection and speed to their Royal Navy predecessors of the Iron Duke class as well as preceding German classes such as the König class. The corresponding Bayern-class ships were generally considered competitive, although the Queen Elizabeth class were 2 knots (3.7 km/h) faster and outnumbered the German class 5:2. The Queen Elizabeths are generally considered the first fast battleships in their day.
The Queen Elizabeths were the first battleships to be armed with 15-inch (381 mm) guns, and were described in the 1919 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships as "the most successful type of capital ship yet designed." They saw much service in both world wars. HMS Barham was lost to U-boat attack in 1941, but the others survived the wars and were scrapped in the late 1940s.SMS Hindenburg
SMS Hindenburg was a battlecruiser of the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), the third ship of the Derfflinger class, built to a slightly modified design. She carried the same battery of eight 30.5 cm (12.0 in) guns, but in improved turrets that allowed them to fire further. The ship was also slightly larger and faster than her two sister ships. She was named in honor of Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, the victor of the Battle of Tannenberg and the Battle of the Masurian Lakes, as well as Supreme Commander of the German armies from 1916. The ship was the last capital ship of any type built for the German navy during World War I.
Hindenburg was commissioned late in the war and as a result had a brief service career. The ship took part in a handful of short fleet operations as the flagship of the I Scouting Group in 1917–18, though saw no major action. The proposed final sortie of the fleet in the last weeks of the war came to nothing when the crews of the capital ships mutinied. Hindenburg was subsequently interned with the rest of the German battlecruisers at Scapa Flow in November 1918. Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter ordered the ships be scuttled on 21 June 1919. Hindenburg was the last of the ships to sink. She was raised in 1930 and broken up for scrap over the following two years.SMS Monarch
SMS Monarch ("His Majesty's Ship Monarch") was the lead ship of the Monarch-class coastal defense ship built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the 1890s. After their commissioning, Monarch and the two other Monarch-class ships made several training cruises in the Mediterranean Sea in the early 1900s. Monarch and her sisters formed the 1st Capital Ship Division of the Austro-Hungarian Navy until they were replaced by the newly commissioned Habsburg-class pre-dreadnought battleships at the turn of the century. In 1906 the three Monarchs were placed in reserve and only recommissioned during the annual summer training exercises. After the start of World War I, Budapest was recommissioned and assigned to 5th Division together with her sisters.
The division was sent to Cattaro in August 1914 to attack Montenegrin and French artillery that was bombarding the port, and Monarch remained there for the rest of the war. The ship was decommissioned in early 1918 and became an accommodation ship. She was awarded to Great Britain by the Paris Peace Conference in 1920. The British sold her for scrap and she was broken up in Italy beginning in 1921.SS Cevic (1893)
The SS Cevic was a steam ship built by Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line for service initially in the North Atlantic. Later she was transferred to the Australia run. On the outbreak of the First World War she was sold to the Admiralty and converted to a dummy capital ship. Later she was transferred to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. After the war she was sold to the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company.Sins of a Solar Empire
Sins of a Solar Empire is a 2008 science fiction real-time strategy Video game developed by Ironclad Games and published by Stardock Entertainment for Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is a real-time strategy (RTS) game that incorporates some elements from 4X games; its makers describe it as "RT4X". Players are given control of a spacefaring empire in the distant future, and are tasked with conquering star systems using military, economic and diplomatic means.
The game was released on February 4, 2008, receiving positive reviews and multiple awards from the gaming press. Its first content expansion, titled Entrenchment, was released as a download on February 25, 2009, and its second content expansion, titled Diplomacy, was released as a download on February 9, 2010. A package combining the original game with the first two expansions was released at that time, with the title Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity. A third expansion, the stand-alone Rebellion, was released in June 2012.South Dakota-class battleship (1920)
The first South Dakota class was a class of six American battleships that were laid down in 1920 but never completed. They would have been the last dreadnoughts in the Naval Act of 1916 to be commissioned had the Washington Naval Treaty not caused their cancellation one-third of the way through their construction. They would have been the largest, most heavily armed and armored battleships in the U.S. Navy and, designed to achieve 23 knots (43 km/h), represented an attempt to abandon its 21-knot (39 km/h) standardized fleet speed and catch up with the increasing fleet speeds of its main rivals, the British Royal Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy. In this, size and secondary armament, they represented a break from the Standard-type battleship that had dominated American capital ship design for the prior five ship classes, while their use of standardized bridges, lattice masts and other features was a continuation of this practice and the increase in the number of main guns from the preceding Colorado class had long been standard U.S. naval policy. The main restriction to which they had to adhere was the ability to pass through the Panama Canal.
The South Dakotas were authorized 4 March 1917, but work was postponed so that the U.S. Navy could incorporate information gained from the Battle of Jutland, fought in 1916, in this class's final design. Work was further postponed to give destroyers and other small fighting vessels priority as they were needed urgently to fight German U-boats in the North Atlantic. Construction started only in 1920. As the Washington Naval Treaty both restricted the total allowable battleship tonnage allowed the U.S. Navy, and limited individual ship size to 35,000 tons, construction was halted 8 February 1922. While the unfinished hulls (most over 30% completed) were scrapped in 1923, the armor plates already prepared were left unused in the shipyards until World War II. The 40- and 50-ton plates intended for Montana, for instance, were sent in 1941 or 1942 to the Panama Canal to reinforce the defenses and locks there. The 16" guns were transferred to the U.S. Army for use in coastal artillery.Warship
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 manoeuvrable 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.