7 Famous Warships That Ruled the Modern Seas

Rhykker

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7 Famous Warships That Ruled the Modern Seas

What are the most famous warships of the 20th century?

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oldtaku

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I learned this from playing Kantai Collection, so grain of salt, but apparently the Yamato was so secret that most Japanese never heard about it till after WWII and it didn't see much service at all from Midway until Leyte Gulf and they tried real hard to keep it out of action (it was nicknamed 'Hotel Yamato' among Navy personnel who knew about it). The big famous ones were Kaga, Nagato, etc.

Only after the war and reconstruction, when the details came out, did it become the media darling in Japan it is today.
 

Barbas

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The area of the sea ruled by the Yamato pretty much consists of the home ports it was anchored in. It never fired its guns on another battleship, instead going into combat against light destroyers escorts and carriers. In 1945, it was dispatched on a one-way trip to Okinawa, with the intention being for it to fight to the bitter end - beaching itself and acting as a stationary gun platform if necessary. It was spotted south of Kyushu and ignominiously sunk by torpedo bombers, with the loss of most of its crew, before it could reach its target.

 

Rhykker

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I came in here expecting to see the Enterprise.

Did not come away disappointed.

Other notable mention includes the USS Iowa as being the only ship at the time that had a bathtub.
 

Rhykker

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CorrectAndDone said:
Other notable mention includes the USS Iowa as being the only ship at the time that had a bathtub.
LOL

Awesome. Please tell me her nickname was the USS Bathtub.
 

GloatingSwine

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oldtaku said:
I learned this from playing Kantai Collection, so grain of salt, but apparently the Yamato was so secret that most Japanese never heard about it till after WWII and it didn't see much service at all from Midway until Leyte Gulf and they tried real hard to keep it out of action (it was nicknamed 'Hotel Yamato' among Navy personnel who knew about it). The big famous ones were Kaga, Nagato, etc.

Only after the war and reconstruction, when the details came out, did it become the media darling in Japan it is today.
The writing was on the wall for the big gun surface combatant by the time Yamato was commissioned.

The battle of Taranto, and the crippling of the Bismarck, had conclusively demonstrated the vulnerability of large surface combatants to naval aviation.

This is also why the sister ship to the Bismarck, KMS Tirpitz, saw fairly little action (only firing her main battery in combat once ever) and mostly lurked around Norway to discourage an invasion force landing.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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Rhykker said:
CorrectAndDone said:
Other notable mention includes the USS Iowa as being the only ship at the time that had a bathtub.
LOL

Awesome. Please tell me her nickname was the USS Bathtub.
No, I think it was installed for then president Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was travelling aboard.

Nice list, the only real omission would be the HMS Argus, the first Aircraft carrier. Originally a cruise liner she was converted and launched in 1918 and spent much of her early life as a testbed for carrier warfare, tactics, and equipment before being put into the reserve in the late 20s. Re-activated in WW2, it was used to transport aircraft to Malta and Russia before being pressed into frontline combat. She was scrapped in 1946.

Plus her 'dazzle' camo scheme was awesome.

 

Khymerion

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While the inclusion of the nuclear Enterprise is all well and good, the fact that the original (CV-6) was not more prominently detailed instead of just a minor blurb in CVN-65's entry.

Your choice of Dreadnaught was most fitting as it changed the face of naval warfare in the early years of the 20th century.

But other ships that deserve mention:

Prinz Eugen - Bismark's consort during it's famous run. Was part of the famous channel dash. A phenomenal cruiser in her own right. Survived the war and was even sailed back to the US as a war prize by her own crew. Survived two nuclear bomb blasts before finally capsizing in the Kwajalein Atoll while the wreck was under tow. Compared to Bismarck, she had a a far more illustrious career. Other ships to read up on your own that did far more than Bismarck; Gneisenau and Sharnhorst, and the pocket battleships of the Deutschland class.

The real work horses though for Germany would be the U-Boats of the Type VII and IX. There is so much to read there and it was these boats that scared two nations to death and nearly brought one of them to it's knees. Look at the Type XXI if you want to see the forefather for many of the submarine classes of the Super Powers for years to come till the revolutionary tear drop hull shape arrived. In addition to researching these, take a look at the US Gato, Baloa, and Trench class subs to see the machines that strangled the Japanese war machine to death... forcing ships like Yamato to sit tied to it's berth with no fuel to properly deploy.

Sure, they are not as glamorous individually as any single one of the battleships but they should be taken into account in any reading of influential warships.

Now, getting away from submarines, the fact that there is only a single carrier listed here is almost a sad fact. You could start with the infamous six carriers of the raid on Pearl Harbor. Perhaps it would be worth mentioning the carrier that inspired the Japanese to plan the raid in the first place, the HMS Illustris when it's obsolete biplanes sank a battleship and damaged two more while in what was considered a safe harbor. While we often remember that Kaga, Akagi, Soryu, and Hiryu sank at Midway, we tend to forget that Zuikaku and Shokaku would continue on through a good portion of the war and earn a good record to account for compared to Yamato.

There has already been mention of CV-6 USS Enterprise but perhaps USS Hornet should be added to the list of the ranks for having carried Doolittle's famous raid with Enterprise running escort. She would serve at Midway with Enterprise again and then sink in the campaign to take and hold the Solomon Island chain, Both ships are far more worth remember than Arizona in terms of ships that ruled the modern seas.

But one ship, post war, that almost every US navy vet knows, it is the USS Forrestal (CVA-59). You will watch a video of this ship as part of your fire training course, even today... despite it happening 1967 as it nearly cost the fleet a super carrier. It is an advisory tale against mishaps and how to handle major disasters on board a warship. So beyond being just the first super carrier and ushering in a new age of carrier air power, beyond it's long service, beyond showing that you can indeed land and take off a C-130 off the deck of a modern US carrier, beyond all that... the fact that it is a tool to teach future sailors the importance of fire safety makes it a ship that should be remembered.


As much as I want to give Missouri or any of the Iowa class battlewagons their credit and claim to fame as they are some of the if not most powerful battleships ever put to sea (debates will rage between the heavier shell weights and potential penetrating power of the Yamato's 18.1" guns compared to the superior fire control, higher rate of fire, and slightly longer range of the Iowa class 16"/50 Mark 7 guns as they have for decades), other US battleships deserve more credit. Namely the USS North Caroline, the most decorated US Battleship of WWII. That ship fought and fought everywhere. You should go see it docked in person sometime. It's impressive in it's own right.

If you want old war horses, even older than Arizona or the battleline at Pearl... look no further than USS Texas, the oldest surviving dreadnaught battleship... predating WWI and even HMS Hood. This ship fought in two world wars, shelled the beaches of Africa and Normandy, supported ground troops advancing through France, shelled Iwo Jima and just made a general good show of itself. Like North Carolina, go see this ship in person. This ship deserves as much if not more recognition than an over glorified floating AA battery (the Iowa class) that got lucky and picked for surrender ceremonies (Missouri in particular).

Honestly... there are a lot of ships out there that need remembering.

Oh, before I end things... lets get a bit modern since we have the nuclear Enterprise listed here.

The Kirov. If you studied naval tactics or even have a cursory idea of what a major modern warship is during the 1970s and 1980s... this is it. This ship and her three sisters were the ships that scared America enough that we actually scraped up the Missouri class and put them back in service. This ships are monsters and rightly so. Yes, they never fired a shot in anger and only one still exists in service but this is a terrifying class and worth mentioning.

The Typhoon. You can't mention modern sea terrors without mentioning the class that inspired the Red October. This is the boogy man of the 1980's. Sleek, dangerous, quiet, and indeed capable of putting far too many missiles and warheads to sea. Sure, almost all of them are gone into the pages of history but their mere existence drove the US submarine service to develop ever more capable machines, culminating in the 688i and Sea Wolf class SSNs to try and hunt and stop these terrifying machines.

I have gone on far too long and I apologize. This is just scratching the surface that is naval history and some of the ships that are as fearsome, as inspiring, and did more than some of these 'famous' ships that were detailed in this article.
 

AdmiralCheez

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CorrectAndDone said:
Other notable mention includes the USS Iowa as being the only ship at the time that had a bathtub.
Along similar lines, the USS New Jersey is the only battleship to have had two swimming pools onboard. Apparently when they took out the anti-aircraft guns mounted on the deck, the captain ordered the crew to fill the circular holes left behind with water, and they went swimming.
 

grey_space

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Hmmm....

A bit...American centric?

How about some more ancient ships of note?

The first ever Clipper? (can't remember a name)

The Padre Eterno, the biggest ever Galleon?

Any U-boat? They it could be argued for a very brief time in history terrorised the seas.

Edit: Oops, didn't read the 20th century bit. My bad. The U-boats still count though!
 

TheSYLOH

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Barbas said:
The area of the sea ruled by the Yamato pretty much consists of the home ports it was anchored in. It never fired its guns on another battleship, instead going into combat against light destroyers escorts and carriers. In 1945, it was dispatched on a one-way trip to Okinawa, with the intention being for it to fight to the bitter end - beaching itself and acting as a stationary gun platform if necessary. It was spotted south of Kyushu and ignominiously sunk by torpedo bombers, with the loss of most of its crew, before it could reach its target.

You're actually underselling how much of an EPIC FAIL the Yamato was.

That battle against light destroyers and escort carriers, that was the Battle Off Samar.
Japan:4 battleships (Including the Yamato),6 heavy cruisers,2 light cruisers,11 destroyers.
America: 6 escort carriers, 3 destroyers, 4 destroyer escorts.
Note that an Escort Carrier is to a Fleet Carrier as a Scooter is to a Humvee.

Result: the Yamato runs away! 3 heavy cruisers sunk. American Victory.
This was the only time the Yamato fired on a surface ship.

Operation Ten-Go.
The one that finally killed the Yamato.
The Japanese lost 4,000 men, the Americans lost 12, not 12 thousand, 12!
That's a kill-death ratio 333 to 1
Even if you factor in a somewhat related Kamikaze attack it only bumps up the american side to 162 wounded, 77 dead.

I seriously never got the Japanese obsession with that giant floating white elephant. It did nothing! Actually it did worse than nothing, when they were launching it for Operation Ten-go plenty of commanders were saying that it was wasting fuel and ammunition.

Yet they made an anime where they launched it into space.

Also it's worth pointing out the Japanese actually made a WW2 movie about the Yamato
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otoko-tachi_no_Yamato

The film plays like Titanic, if they spent alot of the movie talking about how great their transverse bulkheads are.
Worth checking out to see a window into the Japanese psyche not many people see.

Captcha: Smell That
 

beastro

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Rhykker said:
7 Famous Warships That Ruled the Modern Seas

What are the most famous warships of the 20th century?

Read Full Article
Typical pop military article, especially the last.

Dreadnought - Influential, yes.

Missouri - came too late, she was the last USS BB built.

Yamato - Sat around for most of the war due to excessive fuel use and being reserved for the Decisive Battle which never came.

Arizona - only claim to fame is what happened to her on Dec 7th.

Bismarck - hunted from the moment she first went into the open ocean and hunted to death. Her sister ship accomlished far more by sitting in fjords and tying down RN assets.

Hood - Yes, she was the golden child of the RN through the interwar period and the most balanced capital ship they had.

Enterprise - ...CV-65? Why the hell that when she was but one of many supercarriers, merely the first nuke carrier and not her predecessor which was the only thing standing again the whole IJN at times during the Pacific War???

Bloody hell....

Ok, let's go over this again!

Mikasa - Japanese flagship during the Russo-Japanese War during which Japan wiped out most of Russia's Baltic and East Asian Squadrons.

Dreadnought - see above.

Warspite - Most decorated and renown RN warship, the British equivalent of Enterprise. Always at key battles, racked up a high kill toll, held the line while many other British capital ships were sunk or too old to be effective.

Akagi, representing the Kido Butai as a whole. - The flagship of the Kido Butai and leader of the stroke on Pearl Harbour, allowed the IJN to dominate the Pacific for the first six months of the war and was their most flexible and lethal arm.

Enterprise (CV-6) - Only US carrier to constantly be in the thick of the Pacific War, holding the line single handedly at times, luckier with torpedoes than Saratoga, the only other Pacific carrier to survive the war. Most decortated and renown US warship in it's history and made Enterprise the name it is today in pop culture.

Essex CV-9 for her class ushering in US dominance in naval air power since June 6th 1942, her class and her numbers went on to become the core of the modern fleet and laid the groundwork for the supercarriers & Nautilus for ushering in the era of US nuke boats which are today's real dominate warship, both representing the USNs modern fleet, its influence and making it the second most powerful navy in history - They rule the waves and second only to the US nuclear deterrent have allowed them to maintain their global hegemony.

Honorable mentions - Illustrious for Taranto, Invincible for the Falklands War, Hood for her importance to British naval strategy in the Inter-War, Renown for taking over Hoods shoes and being the RNs fast hunter of German raiders.

Now, if these were ship classes, that would be a whole kettle of fish and include more submarines.

You're actually underselling how much of an EPIC FAIL the Yamato was.

That battle against light destroyers and escort carriers, that was the Battle Off Samar.
Japan:4 battleships (Including the Yamato),6 heavy cruisers,2 light cruisers,11 destroyers.
America: 6 escort carriers, 3 destroyers, 4 destroyer escorts.
Note that an Escort Carrier is to a Fleet Carrier as a Scooter is to a Humvee.

Result: the Yamato runs away! 3 heavy cruisers sunk. American Victory.
This was the only time the Yamato fired on a surface ship.
She was kept for the Decisive Battle which never came with the US. She was built solely for that battle and was considered too important to risk otherwise and Japan lacked the fuel to use her for more than that anyway. The Battle off Samar took place long after the Japanese realized that and were struggling to find anything to keep throwing at the USN.

She was an unwise investment, but then again, Japan's insistence on pressing their war in China was the unwise investment which caused all the rest.

A bit...American centric?

Any U-boat? They it could be argued for a very brief time in history terrorised the seas.

Edit: Oops, didn't read the 20th century bit. My bad. The U-boats still count though!
Were this a list of the greatest 18th or 19th Century warships most, if not all, would be British. Britain had an unparallelled streak of victories and ships which fought in those victories in the 18th Century to the near utter exclusion of other nations. Britannia did rule the waves - by the late 1810s more than half of ALL the worlds shipping was British and that was because the RN had sunk, captured or driven much of the remainder into port to allow their merchant marine to have a near monopoly on much of the worlds trade.

This trend continued up until the beginning of WWI and lull only passed when American accomplished a similar fleet by being the only one left standing with enough ships and enough money to maintain a large fleet by the end of the war.

The only navies which stood a chance a against the Anglo-American naval domination of the 20th Century were Imperial Germany Navy in WWI and the Imperial Japanese Navy in WWII and both were decimated by wars end, one from scuttling most of their own ships that were going to be taken from them anyway, the other one hunted into extinction by the United States Navy.

Since then they've been the only first rate navy with Britain bring crushed financially and the Soviet Union looking on their navy as a defensive assets, outside of their attack submarines, to protect the naval wing of the nuclear deterrent.

Which U-Boat then - individual subs do not stand out as much because there were many who didn't accomplish as much as capital ships did in the first half and in the second not many have had any action? As I said before, if this was a list of classes and types there'd be a lot more - the Type VII and the Gato Class would stand out off the top of my mind.

Your choice of Dreadnaught was most fitting as it changed the face of naval warfare in the early years of the 20th century.
DreadnOught!

Her name does not contain a misspelled suffix for a sailor but means "nought" as in no, don't you don't need to.

Prinz Eugen - Bismark's consort during it's famous run. Was part of the famous channel dash. A phenomenal cruiser in her own right. Survived the war and was even sailed back to the US as a war prize by her own crew. Survived two nuclear bomb blasts before finally capsizing in the Kwajalein Atoll while the wreck was under tow. Compared to Bismarck, she had a a far more illustrious career. Other ships to read up on your own that did far more than Bismarck; Gneisenau and Sharnhorst, and the pocket battleships of the Deutschland class.
Her use, like the rest of the surface fleet, was for being a fleet in being. They were a waste of money thanks to Hitler starting the war earlier than expected and were misused as raiders which were not cost-effective and saw little meaningful action or doing very little impact beyond tying down large amounts of the RN to keep watch on them, something that a warship which "ruled the seas" does not do.

But one ship, post war, that almost every US navy vet knows, it is the USS Forrestal (CVA-59).
Her only major mark is being the first supercarrier built. Essex and her class laid the foundation for the the dominance of US supercarriers during and after WWII.

If you want old war horses, even older than Arizona or the battleline at Pearl... look no further than USS Texas, the oldest surviving dreadnaught battleship... predating WWI and even HMS Hood.
Texas had very little value after WWI beyond her importance as being a museum today. She and New York were badly out of date, rolled too sharply to fire accurately and were regulated to secondary duties after WWI when the Standards were all built.

Like North Carolina, go see this ship in person. This ship deserves as much if not more recognition than an over glorified floating AA battery (the Iowa class) that got lucky and picked for surrender ceremonies (Missouri in particular).
Then look at her sister Washington and see what she accomplished in the Solomons, sneaking up on Kirishima ripping her apart as the Japanese squadron was busy focusing on South Dakota who'd lost power and was unable to use her electronics and guns.

The Kirov. If you studied naval tactics or even have a cursory idea of what a major modern warship is during the 1970s and 1980s... this is it. This ship and her three sisters were the ships that scared America enough that we actually scraped up the Missouri class and put them back in service. This ships are monsters and rightly so. Yes, they never fired a shot in anger and only one still exists in service but this is a terrifying class and worth mentioning.
She was built to protect the Soviet boomer sanctuaries by suicidally flinging herself at US carrier battlegroups and discharging her missiles before she was sunk. She and her class have accomplished little since the end of the Cold War and certainly not dominated the ocean. Nothing in the Russian and Soviet Fleets counts as significant as something from the RN, USN, or IJN because it always was the red headed step-child of the military arms beyond the attack boats and the nuclear deterrent.

The Typhoon. You can't mention modern sea terrors without mentioning the class that inspired the Red October. This is the boogy man of the 1980's. Sleek, dangerous, quiet, and indeed capable of putting far too many missiles and warheads to sea. Sure, almost all of them are gone into the pages of history but their mere existence drove the US submarine service to develop ever more capable machines, culminating in the 688i and Sea Wolf class SSNs to try and hunt and stop these terrifying machine
Typhoons early role was to act as a second strike against any surviving cities around the world and tied into the Soviets view that a nuclear exchange would a prolonged war which ran counter to the Western view of it being a shot in the dark. After that role was dropped they simply because typical Soviet boomers no different than any other. If you want to count an influential boomer class look to the first Soviet or American ones.

No they didn't. The 688s were driven by the need for faster, more flexible subs to integrate into the growing desire in the USN for submarines to help escort carriers and better protect them from Soviet subs. The 688Is were an advancement on them to make slight improvements, add VLS tubes and make them better arctic boats.

Seawolf was a return to the older US trend of slower, quieter submarines only given a larger price sticker.
 

A_Parked_Car

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Not a bad list when you are talking purely from the perspective of popular fame. In terms of innovation the Fubuki Class destroyer could have been included since it is considered to be the world's first modern destroyer.
 

Therumancer

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grey_space said:
Hmmm....

A bit...American centric?

How about some more ancient ships of note?

The first ever Clipper? (can't remember a name)

The Padre Eterno, the biggest ever Galleon?

Any U-boat? They it could be argued for a very brief time in history terrorised the seas.

Edit: Oops, didn't read the 20th century bit. My bad. The U-boats still count though!
Well, I think it's because at the end of the day the US won the "modern" wars we're talking about, and we did become the dominant naval power, which we still sort of hold onto today.

That said the big "lesson" I get from this is that you really shouldn't go around touting your ships as being a piece of national pride, and "invincible" it almost always seems to signal an embarrassing defeat or wreckage. The thing is that a lot of th ships here that were wrecked, The Bismarck, The Yamato, The Arizona, etc... probably owe a good part of their doom due to their own hype and promotion, making them morale targets if nothing else. Technically impressive, but as others have pointed out, they generally didn't go on to do much.

The Enterprise is notable for it's size (longest ship) but generally speaking seems more famous because of it's survival than because anyone was sitting around going "yeah, this makes us the shizznit of the seven seas". I mean I'm sure that happened to an extent being a carrier, but it wasn't "The Bismarck".
 

small

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I would agreeing to adding HMS Warsprite. Stellar service and fire the opening naval shots on D-day as well

HMS Belfast deserves a mention, Ive always had a soft spot for that eve since I visited it on holiday
 

Albino Boo

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Therumancer said:
Well, I think it's because at the end of the day the US won the "modern" wars we're talking about, and we did become the dominant naval power, which we still sort of hold onto today.

That said the big "lesson" I get from this is that you really shouldn't go around touting your ships as being a piece of national pride, and "invincible" it almost always seems to signal an embarrassing defeat or wreckage. The thing is that a lot of th ships here that were wrecked, The Bismarck, The Yamato, The Arizona, etc... probably owe a good part of their doom due to their own hype and promotion, making them morale targets if nothing else. Technically impressive, but as others have pointed out, they generally didn't go on to do much.

The Enterprise is notable for it's size (longest ship) but generally speaking seems more famous because of it's survival than because anyone was sitting around going "yeah, this makes us the shizznit of the seven seas". I mean I'm sure that happened to an extent being a carrier, but it wasn't "The Bismarck".
The award for unintentional comedy goes to Therumancer for saying something isn't American centric by giving an American centric answer. Of the 141 warships that fought at Jutland, how many were American? How about zero zip,zilch,zero. The number of American battleships that fired at a German Battleship in both WW1 and WW2. You guessed it zero. American destroyers played an active part in WW1 but they were under British overall command apart from 1 month when the British Admiral went on leave and gave command of the combined force to an American Admiral. The US navy did not win WW1.


In world war 2 the US was able to commit the vast majority of its major surface combatants to the Pacific because of the strength of the Royal navy. The RN was strong enough to contain both the German and Italian surface fleets and keep the Japanese out of the Indian ocean.
 

Shalok

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Some mention of HMS Sheffield & ARA General Belgrano would have been nice as the two ships sunk in the last major naval confrontation of the century.
 

Scorpid

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beastro said:
Rhykker said:
7 Famous Warships That Ruled the Modern Seas

What are the most famous warships of the 20th century?

Read Full Article
Typical pop military article, especially the last.

Dreadnought - Influential, yes.

Missouri - came too late, she was the last USS BB built.

Yamato - Sat around for most of the war due to excessive fuel use and being reserved for the Decisive Battle which never came.

Arizona - only claim to fame is what happened to her on Dec 7th.

Bismarck - hunted from the moment she first went into the open ocean and hunted to death. Her sister ship accomlished far more by sitting in fjords and tying down RN assets.

Hood - Yes, she was the golden child of the RN through the interwar period and the most balanced capital ship they had.

Enterprise - ...CV-65? Why the hell that when she was but one of many supercarriers, merely the first nuke carrier and not her predecessor which was the only thing standing again the whole IJN at times during the Pacific War???

Bloody hell....

Ok, let's go over this again!

Mikasa - Japanese flagship during the Russo-Japanese War during which Japan wiped out most of Russia's Baltic and East Asian Squadrons.

Dreadnought - see above.

Warspite - Most decorated and renown RN warship, the British equivalent of Enterprise. Always at key battles, racked up a high kill toll, held the line while many other British capital ships were sunk or too old to be effective.

Akagi, representing the Kido Butai as a whole. - The flagship of the Kido Butai and leader of the stroke on Pearl Harbour, allowed the IJN to dominate the Pacific for the first six months of the war and was their most flexible and lethal arm.

Enterprise (CV-6) - Only US carrier to constantly be in the thick of the Pacific War, holding the line single handedly at times, luckier with torpedoes than Saratoga, the only other Pacific carrier to survive the war. Most decortated and renown US warship in it's history and made Enterprise the name it is today in pop culture.

Essex CV-9 for her class ushering in US dominance in naval air power since June 6th 1942, her class and her numbers went on to become the core of the modern fleet and laid the groundwork for the supercarriers & Nautilus for ushering in the era of US nuke boats which are today's real dominate warship, both representing the USNs modern fleet, its influence and making it the second most powerful navy in history - They rule the waves and second only to the US nuclear deterrent have allowed them to maintain their global hegemony.

Honorable mentions - Illustrious for Taranto, Invincible for the Falklands War, Hood for her importance to British naval strategy in the Inter-War, Renown for taking over Hoods shoes and being the RNs fast hunter of German raiders.

Now, if these were ship classes, that would be a whole kettle of fish and include more submarines.

You're actually underselling how much of an EPIC FAIL the Yamato was.

That battle against light destroyers and escort carriers, that was the Battle Off Samar.
Japan:4 battleships (Including the Yamato),6 heavy cruisers,2 light cruisers,11 destroyers.
America: 6 escort carriers, 3 destroyers, 4 destroyer escorts.
Note that an Escort Carrier is to a Fleet Carrier as a Scooter is to a Humvee.

Result: the Yamato runs away! 3 heavy cruisers sunk. American Victory.
This was the only time the Yamato fired on a surface ship.
She was kept for the Decisive Battle which never came with the US. She was built solely for that battle and was considered too important to risk otherwise and Japan lacked the fuel to use her for more than that anyway. The Battle off Samar took place long after the Japanese realized that and were struggling to find anything to keep throwing at the USN.

She was an unwise investment, but then again, Japan's insistence on pressing their war in China was the unwise investment which caused all the rest.

A bit...American centric?

Any U-boat? They it could be argued for a very brief time in history terrorised the seas.

Edit: Oops, didn't read the 20th century bit. My bad. The U-boats still count though!
Were this a list of the greatest 18th or 19th Century warships most, if not all, would be British. Britain had an unparallelled streak of victories and ships which fought in those victories in the 18th Century to the near utter exclusion of other nations. Britannia did rule the waves - by the late 1810s more than half of ALL the worlds shipping was British and that was because the RN had sunk, captured or driven much of the remainder into port to allow their merchant marine to have a near monopoly on much of the worlds trade.

This trend continued up until the beginning of WWI and lull only passed when American accomplished a similar fleet by being the only one left standing with enough ships and enough money to maintain a large fleet by the end of the war.

The only navies which stood a chance a against the Anglo-American naval domination of the 20th Century were Imperial Germany Navy in WWI and the Imperial Japanese Navy in WWII and both were decimated by wars end, one from scuttling most of their own ships that were going to be taken from them anyway, the other one hunted into extinction by the United States Navy.

Since then they've been the only first rate navy with Britain bring crushed financially and the Soviet Union looking on their navy as a defensive assets, outside of their attack submarines, to protect the naval wing of the nuclear deterrent.

Which U-Boat then - individual subs do not stand out as much because there were many who didn't accomplish as much as capital ships did in the first half and in the second not many have had any action? As I said before, if this was a list of classes and types there'd be a lot more - the Type VII and the Gato Class would stand out off the top of my mind.

Your choice of Dreadnaught was most fitting as it changed the face of naval warfare in the early years of the 20th century.
DreadnOught!

Her name does not contain a misspelled suffix for a sailor but means "nought" as in no, don't you don't need to.

Prinz Eugen - Bismark's consort during it's famous run. Was part of the famous channel dash. A phenomenal cruiser in her own right. Survived the war and was even sailed back to the US as a war prize by her own crew. Survived two nuclear bomb blasts before finally capsizing in the Kwajalein Atoll while the wreck was under tow. Compared to Bismarck, she had a a far more illustrious career. Other ships to read up on your own that did far more than Bismarck; Gneisenau and Sharnhorst, and the pocket battleships of the Deutschland class.
Her use, like the rest of the surface fleet, was for being a fleet in being. They were a waste of money thanks to Hitler starting the war earlier than expected and were misused as raiders which were not cost-effective and saw little meaningful action or doing very little impact beyond tying down large amounts of the RN to keep watch on them, something that a warship which "ruled the seas" does not do.

But one ship, post war, that almost every US navy vet knows, it is the USS Forrestal (CVA-59).
Her only major mark is being the first supercarrier built. Essex and her class laid the foundation for the the dominance of US supercarriers during and after WWII.

If you want old war horses, even older than Arizona or the battleline at Pearl... look no further than USS Texas, the oldest surviving dreadnaught battleship... predating WWI and even HMS Hood.
Texas had very little value after WWI beyond her importance as being a museum today. She and New York were badly out of date, rolled too sharply to fire accurately and were regulated to secondary duties after WWI when the Standards were all built.

Like North Carolina, go see this ship in person. This ship deserves as much if not more recognition than an over glorified floating AA battery (the Iowa class) that got lucky and picked for surrender ceremonies (Missouri in particular).
Then look at her sister Washington and see what she accomplished in the Solomons, sneaking up on Kirishima ripping her apart as the Japanese squadron was busy focusing on South Dakota who'd lost power and was unable to use her electronics and guns.

The Kirov. If you studied naval tactics or even have a cursory idea of what a major modern warship is during the 1970s and 1980s... this is it. This ship and her three sisters were the ships that scared America enough that we actually scraped up the Missouri class and put them back in service. This ships are monsters and rightly so. Yes, they never fired a shot in anger and only one still exists in service but this is a terrifying class and worth mentioning.
She was built to protect the Soviet boomer sanctuaries by suicidally flinging herself at US carrier battlegroups and discharging her missiles before she was sunk. She and her class have accomplished little since the end of the Cold War and certainly not dominated the ocean. Nothing in the Russian and Soviet Fleets counts as significant as something from the RN, USN, or IJN because it always was the red headed step-child of the military arms beyond the attack boats and the nuclear deterrent.

The Typhoon. You can't mention modern sea terrors without mentioning the class that inspired the Red October. This is the boogy man of the 1980's. Sleek, dangerous, quiet, and indeed capable of putting far too many missiles and warheads to sea. Sure, almost all of them are gone into the pages of history but their mere existence drove the US submarine service to develop ever more capable machines, culminating in the 688i and Sea Wolf class SSNs to try and hunt and stop these terrifying machine
Typhoons early role was to act as a second strike against any surviving cities around the world and tied into the Soviets view that a nuclear exchange would a prolonged war which ran counter to the Western view of it being a shot in the dark. After that role was dropped they simply because typical Soviet boomers no different than any other. If you want to count an influential boomer class look to the first Soviet or American ones.

No they didn't. The 688s were driven by the need for faster, more flexible subs to integrate into the growing desire in the USN for submarines to help escort carriers and better protect them from Soviet subs. The 688Is were an advancement on them to make slight improvements, add VLS tubes and make them better arctic boats.

Seawolf was a return to the older US trend of slower, quieter submarines only given a larger price sticker.
I agree this article is crap. No offense but mentioning only ships that maybe the average person can come up with in a pinch isn't worth the effort. Make a list that gives people some knowledge.

Beastro, I like your list but you need to make room for two ships IMO the Turbina (*though it might be stretching the definition of modern, and warship) and the SMS Goebon, it might not of ruled the waves but you would be hard pressed to find another modern ship that effected the directly politics of a war and better served her country then that one. The fact its not on this list is an insult to the proposition of the article.

Without the flight of the Goebon Greece joins the war 1915 and Austria gets overrun from the south by Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians and Greeks. Russia puts the entire weight of her army on AH and Germany; and GB and France don't waste valuable time and resources with Gallipoli.
 

Riff Moonraker

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Rhykker said:
7 Famous Warships That Ruled the Modern Seas

What are the most famous warships of the 20th century?

Read Full Article
Excellent article, and a good read. Enjoyed it!

Yamato definitely was immortalized, and before I really got into loving history as much as I do, I can recall that ship... Thanks to Star Blazers!!! I adored that show when I was a kid.

Another consideration... USS Indianapolis, "'cause they delivered the bomb"... Actually, though, the sinking of that ship and the shark attacks would be its claim to fame, not the Jaws quote. ;)

Kudos for the article, though!