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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 Lexington (CV-16) - Carrier
Warship - USS Randolph (CV-15) - Carrier
Warship - USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) - Carrier


TypeCollection Count
All Items 1327
Auxiliary 23
Battleship 98
Carrier 65
Cruiser 182
Destroyer 648
Submarine 296
Torpedo Boat 2


PeriodCollection Count
All Items 1327
Cold War 17
Modern 2
World War I 28
World War II 304


NationalityCollection Count
All Items 1327
Argentina 1
Australia 11
Brazil 2
Canada 10
Chile 2
China 1
Finland 2
France 43
Germany 57
Greece 6
India 1
Italy 37
Japan 112
New Zealand 4
Norway 3
Poland 3
Romania 2
Russia 1
Soviet Union 24
Spain 9
Sweden 1
Thailand 2
The Netherlands 14
Turkey 3
United Kingdom 119
United States 843
Venezuela 1