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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 - HMNZS Moa - Auxiliary - Minesweeper
Warship - Vauban - Destroyer
Warship - Verdun - Destroyer


TypeCollection Count
All Items 1417
Auxiliary 24
Battleship 106
Carrier 67
Cruiser 200
Destroyer 704
Submarine 302
Torpedo Boat 1


PeriodCollection Count
All Items 1417
Cold War 21
Modern 2
World War I 33
World War II 327


NationalityCollection Count
All Items 1417
Argentina 2
Australia 11
Brazil 10
Canada 12
Chile 2
China 1
Finland 2
France 65
Germany 61
Greece 7
India 1
Italy 54
Japan 116
New Zealand 5
Norway 4
Poland 3
Romania 4
Russia 1
Soviet Union 26
Spain 9
Sweden 1
Thailand 2
The Netherlands 20
Turkey 3
United Kingdom 120
United States 861
Venezuela 1