Greatest ships/ship classes throughout history

Jun 2017
2,806
Connecticut
#1
After starting the "Greatest power throughout history" thread, I've decided to make a sequel," Greatest ships throughout history". Unlike with the most powerful empires, I haven't really seen a a thread similar to this one, maybe because it's a more complicated question? Separate lists for separate types of ships also would be cool, AC's, battleships, cruisers, ocean liners, etc. There was a nice discussion on battleships and AC's going on in another thread and thought maybe it'd be a good idea to have a place to discuss maritime history in general and I hope discussing what ships were the best at different periods of time can launch that kind of discussion(I'm also obsessed with comparing and ranking things).

I'm honestly much more interested and knowledgeable on the last 100-150+ years or so and wouldn't be able to make a list predating the 1800s in any category of ship(partly because many kinds didn't really exist) but all insight on earlier periods is welcomed and appreciated!

Would also be interested in what the biggest warships were at different times.
 
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Aug 2016
29
Sarawak
#2
The Fire Dromond (or Fire Ship) was a fearsome ship during the Medieval time. It was created and used by the Byzantine Empire. Their main armament was the greek fire (for the ingredients was lost to mankind) that spew out fire like a flamethrower.

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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,818
Dispargum
#4
In the forty-some years leading up to Trafalgar the British 74 gun ship of the line was an extremely successful design.

Essex-class aircraft carriers

Queen Elizabeth-class battleships were ahead of their time when new and were still useful thirty years later

The ultimate in battleship technology were the Yamato-class but they never really had the chance to do what they were designed to do.

The US's fast battleships of WW2 were also good, but except for Washington vs Kirishima they also never had the chance to do what they were built for.
 
Oct 2016
1,080
Merryland
#5
imagine a duel between Yamato and Bismark

my thoughts (adjusting for time/technology)

Ancient: Trireme. row, row, row the Med.

Sail: Constitution/Constellation. Old Ironsides indeed.



Ironclad: CSS Virginia. For one day it was the most powerful ship in the world.

Patrol/Motor: German Schnellboots WWII. or Brit MTBs. hard to pick one.

sub: German U-boats WWII (not sure of class). carried the war to the enemy.

DE / Frigate: Oliver Hazard Perry class. micro carriers!




Destroyer:

Cruiser:

Battle Cruiser/Pocket Battleship: Graf Spee. yanked the lion's tail before succumbing to the inevitable.

Battleship: Iowa Class. ruled.

Carrier: Lexington/Saratoga/Yorktown/Enterprise. game changers (see, Midway, battle of).



Littoral: TBD
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,375
Portugal
#6
Some known iberian ships of the Age of Sail:

The Portuguese Galleon São João Batista, known as Botafogo (Spitfire) was one of the biggest if not the biggest in his time (1530’s):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botafogo_(galleon)

The Portuguese Nau “Madre de Deus” (1580’s):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madre_de_Deus

The Spanish Galleon “Santísima Trinidad”, one of the biggest “Manila Galleons”, that made the Manila-Acapulco route (1750’s):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_ship_Santísima_Trinidad_(1751)

Sometimes confused with the biggest, or at least the most armed, first rate ship constructed (1760’s):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_ship_Nuestra_Señora_de_la_Santísima_Trinidad
 
Jun 2017
2,806
Connecticut
#8
For me this is best battleships/ac's and ocean liners, the three types of ships I know best. Today the Gerald Ford was commissioned interestingly enough. Going by class names.

Dreadnought Battleships

Dreadnought 1906-1909
Bellephoron 1909-1911
Helgoland 1911-1912
Orion 1912-1914
New York 1914-1915
Queen Elizabeth 1915-1920
Nagato 1920-1927
Nelson 1927-1940
Bismarck 1940-1941
Yamato 1941-1945

Aircraft carriers
Hosho 1922-1927
Akagi 1927-1937
Yorktown 1937-1942
Essez 1942-1944
Taiyo 1944-1945
Essex 1944-1955
Forrestal/US carrier classes 1955-present


Ocean Liners

Etruria Class 1883-1889
City of New York/Paris 1889-1893
Campania Class 1893-1897
Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse 1897-1899
Oceanic 1899-1901
Big Four 1901-1907
Lusitania Class 1907-1911
Olympic Class 1911-1913
Imperator Class 1913-1929
Bremen Class 1929-1932
Rex 1932-1934
Queen Mary 1934-135
Normandie 1935-1942
Queen Elizabeth 1942-1997
Queen Mary 2 2004-Present
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,002
Canary Islands-Spain
#9
The ultimate in battleship technology were the Yamato-class but they never really had the chance to do what they were designed to do.

The US's fast battleships of WW2 were also good, but except for Washington vs Kirishima they also never had the chance to do what they were built for.

The pleasure of such performance went for the out-dated American battleships which fought at Surigao Strait

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leyte_Gulf#Battle_of_Surigao_Strait_.2825_October_1944.29
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,002
Canary Islands-Spain
#10
Some known iberian ships of the Age of Sail:

The Portuguese Galleon São João Batista, known as Botafogo (Spitfire) was one of the biggest if not the biggest in his time (1530’s):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botafogo_(galleon)

The Portuguese Nau “Madre de Deus” (1580’s):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madre_de_Deus

I'll add the Sao Martinho, wrongly assumed to be of Spanish building (San Martín). This was the most powerful ship of its age, with an excellent performance at Azores and the Armada campaign.


In regard to other Portuguese ships, I must remember the Nossa Senhora da Graça, also known as Madre de Deus (I think wrongly). The ship was led by captain André Pessoa, and they lived an epic, novelesque action at Nagasaki in 1610

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nossa_Senhora_da_Graça_incident
 

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