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Old November 21st, 2009, 04:54 PM   #1

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Great Naval Battles


Considered the most decisive naval engagement since Actium, The Battle of Lepanto between the Holy League and the Ottoman resulted in the complete annihalation of the Ottoman Navy and ended their possible designs on Rome.

Consisting of over 200 vessels on each side, this battle would be the last major engagement of ships relying on oarsmen and showed the superiority of the Holy League's arquebus over the Ottoman's highly trained composite bowman.

When the dust settled,(figuratively), 50 Ottoman vessels were under the sea, 137 were captured, 10,000 Christian slaves had been rescued and up to 20,000 of the Ottoman's seamen had been killed, captured or wounded. In contrast, only 7,500 seamen of the Holy League had been wounded or killed, and 17 ships lost. A complete disaster for the Ottoman Empire which, at the time, retained only 30 ships in there fleet till the time they could rebuild.

The Holy League could not capitalize on this victory due to their inabilty to stay unified, and after six months of heavy effort, the Ottomon were able to completely rebuild their fleet and re-execise control of the Mediteranean.

Any others?
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Old November 21st, 2009, 09:00 PM   #2

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Re: Great Naval Battles


Battle of Tsushima is about as decisive as you can get. The Japanese sank the Russian Pacific Fleet so they sailed the Baltic Fleet all the way around the world to Japan only to have it sank too.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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Re: Great Naval Battles


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Battle of Tsushima is about as decisive as you can get. The Japanese sank the Russian Pacific Fleet so they sailed the Baltic Fleet all the way around the world to Japan only to have it sank too.
This was such a ridiculous move by the Russians. If I remember correctly, it was even opposed to an extent by the admiral selected to lead it. The whole thing was a disaster from a start, with the Russians almost provoking a war with Britain by mistaking British fishing boats for Japanese torpedo boats. Mind you this was in the Baltic too, not anywhere near Japan. And it got even worse when they decided to ship along everything that floated and had a gun on out in addition to their force of partially completed battleships.

The decisive battle that leaps to mind for me is the Battle of the Philippine Sea, where American forces decisively destroyed the bulk of Japanese sea power. The Japanese lost 3 carriers, and 600 planes to an American loss of 123 planes. I think the Americans might also have lost more planes to attempting to land on carriers at night than they did to enemy fire.

The Japanese afterwords are crippled, especially by the loss of so many pilots and planes in the battle. This leads to the incredibly sad state of the Japanese naval air arm at the battle of Leyte Gulf, where the number of Japanese carrier aircraft is actually less than the number of ships in the allied fleet.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:07 PM   #4

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Re: Great Naval Battles


Yeah, I'd go with Tsushima too. Yet even after this the other powers (France, Germany, the British Empire, Imerial Russia and the USA) still considered the Japanese an inferior species.........
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:30 PM   #5

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Re: Great Naval Battles


Ecnomus and Drepana, first punic war.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:47 PM   #6

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Re: Great Naval Battles


The battle of Rhium and the battle of Naupactus I find particullary fascinating.

The funniest and most one sided naval battle was that at Aegospotami which effectively ended the Peloponnesian War.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Great Naval Battles


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Yeah, I'd go with Tsushima too. Yet even after this the other powers (France, Germany, the British Empire, Imerial Russia and the USA) still considered the Japanese an inferior species.........
To an extent, though I'd wonder how much of the demonizing of the Japanese was as a result of World War 2 hostilities instead of anything else. In any case, Togo, the Japanese commander at Tsushima won quite a following among Europeans and Americans. The British observer stationed on the Japanese flagship compared him to Nelson, and several countries, including the Americans, French and British, sent ships to Tokyo to honor his death.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 02:19 PM   #8

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Re: Great Naval Battles


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To an extent, though I'd wonder how much of the demonizing of the Japanese was as a result of World War 2 hostilities instead of anything else. In any case, Togo, the Japanese commander at Tsushima won quite a following among Europeans and Americans. The British observer stationed on the Japanese flagship compared him to Nelson, and several countries, including the Americans, French and British, sent ships to Tokyo to honor his death.
True, but you're forgetting the institutional racism of the time. The British Empire, for instance had a pet boogeyman - the Yellow Peril (or indeed, any race which didn't have white skin).
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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Re: Great Naval Battles


Yet at the same time the British had cordial relations and a formal alliance with Japan. Japanese naval officers studied in Britain, British naval officers advised in Japan, and much of the Japanese navy at the time was built in British shipyards.

A similar situation existed with the army, only with Germany substituted for Britain.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 03:00 PM   #10

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Re: Great Naval Battles


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Originally Posted by Fluffybunny View Post
The battle of Rhium and the battle of Naupactus I find particullary fascinating.

The funniest and most one sided naval battle was that at Aegospotami which effectively ended the Peloponnesian War.

As well as being the most unexpected way for Sparta to take the crown..a land power beating a naval power at their own game.
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