logo

Video encyclopedia

Naval battles

Popular in this category (496)

Wars and warfare

Battle of Midway Albacete

The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II that took place between 4 and 7 June 1942, six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea. The United States Navy under Admirals Chester W. Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chūichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondō near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare", while naval historian Craig Symonds called it "one of the most consequential naval engagements in world history, ranking alongside Salamis, Trafalgar, and Tsushima Strait, as both tactically decisive and strategically influential".

Wars and warfare

Battle of the Coral Sea

The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia, taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The battle is historically significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.

Wars and warfare

Battle of Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars (1796–1815).

Wars and warfare

Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Battle of Leyte Gulf is generally considered to have been the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history.

Wars and warfare

Battle of Jutland

The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle fought by Britain's Royal Navy Grand Fleet under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, against the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet under Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer during the First World War. The battle unfolded in extensive manoeuvring and three main engagements, from 31 May to 1 June 1916, off the North Sea coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. It was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships in that war. Jutland was the third fleet action between steel battleships, following the smaller but more decisive battles of the Yellow Sea (1904) and Tsushima (1905) during the Russo-Japanese War. Jutland was the last major battle in world history fought primarily by battleships.

Wars and warfare

Gulf of Tonkin incident

The Gulf of Tonkin incident, also known as the USS Maddox incident, was an international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War. It involved either one or two separate confrontations between North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005 proved material misrepresentation by the US government to justify a war against Vietnam. On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, was pursued by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. Maddox fired three warning shots and the North Vietnamese boats then attacked with torpedoes and machine gun fire. Maddox expended over 280 3-inch (76.2 mm) and 5-inch (127 mm) shells in a sea battle. One U.S. aircraft was damaged, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats were damaged, and four North Vietnamese sailors were killed, with six more wounded. There were no U.S. casualties. Maddox "was unscathed except for a single bullet hole from a Vietnamese machine gun round."

Wars and warfare

Battle of Tsushima

The Battle of Tsushima, also known as the Battle of Tsushima Strait and the Naval Battle of the Sea of Japan in Japan, was a major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. It was naval history's only decisive sea battle fought by modern steel battleship fleets, and the first naval battle in which wireless telegraphy (radio) played a critically important role. It has been characterized as the "dying echo of the old era – for the last time in the history of naval warfare, ships of the line of a beaten fleet surrendered on the high seas".

Wars and warfare

Battle of the Atlantic

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, running from 1939 to the defeat of Germany in 1945, and was a major part of the Naval history of World War II. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. It was at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943.

Wars and warfare

Battle of Salamis

The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece.

Wars and warfare

Battle of the Java Sea

The Battle of the Java Sea was a decisive naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II.

Wars and warfare

Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement that took place on 7 October 1571 where a fleet of the Holy League, led by the Venetian Republic and the Spanish Empire, inflicted a major defeat on the fleet of the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras. The Ottoman forces were sailing westward from their naval station in Lepanto when they met the fleet of the Holy League which was sailing east from Messina, Sicily. The Holy League was a coalition of European Catholic maritime states which were arranged by Pope Pius V and led by John of Austria. The league was largely financed by Philip II of Spain, and the Venetian Republic was the main contributor of ships.

Wars and warfare

Battle of Drepana

The naval Battle of Drepana took place in 249 BC during the First Punic War near modern Trapani, western Sicily between the fleets of Carthage under Adherbal and the Roman Republic under Publius Claudius Pulcher. The Roman fleet was destroyed with the loss of 93 ships and 8,000–20,000 men in Carthage's greatest naval victory of the war. The Carthaginians exploited their victory by raiding the coasts of Roman Italy in 248. The Romans did not mount a major naval effort until 242 BC.

Wars and warfare

Battle of Actium

The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic, a naval engagement between Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the promontory of Actium, in the Roman province of Epirus Vetus in Greece. Octavian's fleet was commanded by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, while Antony's fleet was supported by the power of Queen Cleopatra of Ptolemaic Egypt.

Wars and warfare

English Armada

The English Armada, also known as the Counter Armada or the Drake-Norris Expedition, was a fleet of warships sent to Spain by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1589, during the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War. It was led by Sir Francis Drake as admiral and Sir John Norreys as general, and failed to drive home the advantage England had won upon the destruction of the Spanish Armada in the previous year. The campaign resulted in the deadlocking of the English expeditionary force, and its withdrawal with heavy losses. The Spanish victory marked a revival of Philip II's naval power through the next decade.

Wars and warfare

Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, sometimes referred to as the Third and Fourth Battles of Savo Island, the Battle of the Solomons, the Battle of Friday the 13th, or, in Japanese sources, the Third Battle of the Solomon Sea , took place from 12–15 November 1942, and was the decisive engagement in a series of naval battles between Allied and Imperial Japanese forces during the months-long Guadalcanal Campaign in the Solomon Islands during World War II. The action consisted of combined air and sea engagements over four days, most near Guadalcanal and all related to a Japanese effort to reinforce land forces on the island. The only two U.S. Navy admirals to be killed in a surface engagement in the war were lost in this battle.