World War II Ships
Battleships and Battlecruisers
These ships of the line were still considered the central components of the navies of all world powers at the start of the war, but by the war's end, these floating fortresses found their roles dramatically changed at the face of air power.
At Taranto, Kuantuan, and Pearl Harbor, the world powers realized major naval combat was no longer restricted to surface engagements only. Aviation vessels of all different sizes turned from a novelty of the 1930s to the centerpieces of fleets.
Situated between the size of battleships and agility of destroyers, cruisers played a flexible role. They were equally well suited as task force flagships as anti-aircraft screens.
Though lightly armored and carried small guns compared to their larger cousins, destroyers were present in all theaters of WW2. Submarine hunter, forward torpedo attacker, anti-aircraft screen ship, search and rescue ship, and amphibious support were some of destroyers' capabilities.
In WW1, submarines nearly strangled Britain into submission. In this new war, technology advances made these undersea predators even more ferocious and dangerous for all nations.
These ships of other classifications, whether transports, minelayers, or landing ships were considered by many as "miscellaneous" ships, but their importance in the war could not be discounted.
List by Country
Use the dropdown menu above to list ship by country.
List All Ships
Use the link above to see a list of all ships without filtering by category or country.
- » Wreck of Battleship Musashi Located (4 Mar 2015)
- » Discovery of Another WW2-era German Secret Weapons Underground Facility (3 Jan 2015)
- » WW2DB's Tenth Anniversary (29 Dec 2014)
- » See all news
- » 820 biographies
- » 312 events
- » 31,410 timeline entries
- » 703 ships
- » 311 aircraft models
- » 169 vehicle models
- » 295 weapon models
- » 85 historical documents
- » 96 facilities
- » 366 book reviews
- » 20,648 photos
- » 252 maps
Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939