A NAVY or MARITIME FORCE is a fleet of waterborne military vessels (watercraft ) and its associated naval aviation , both sea-based and land-based. It is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare ; namely, lake -borne, riverine , littoral , or ocean -borne combat operations and related functions. It includes anything conducted by surface ships , amphibious ships, submarines , and seaborne aviation , as well as ancillary support, communications, training, and other fields. The strategic offensive role of a navy is projection of force into areas beyond a country's shores (for example, to protect sea-lanes, ferry troops, or attack other navies, ports, or shore installations). The strategic defensive purpose of a navy is to frustrate seaborne projection-of-force by enemies. The strategic task of the navy also may incorporate nuclear deterrence by use of submarine-launched ballistic missiles . Naval operations can be broadly divided between riverine and littoral applications (brown-water navy ), open-ocean applications (blue-water navy ), and something in between (green-water navy ), although these distinctions are more about strategic scope than tactical or operational division.
In most nations, the term "NAVAL", as opposed to "NAVY", is interpreted as encompassing all maritime military forces, e.g., navy, naval infantry/marine corps, and coast guard forces.
* 1 Etymology and meanings * 2 History * 3 Operations * 4 Traditions
* 5 Naval organization
* 5.1 Ships * 5.2 Boats * 5.3 Units * 5.4 Personnel * 5.5 Ranks
ETYMOLOGY AND MEANINGS
First attested in English in the early 14th century, the word "navy"
The word formerly denoted fleets of both commercial and military nature. In modern usage "navy" used alone always denotes a military fleet, although the term "merchant navy " for a commercial fleet still incorporates the non-military word sense . This overlap in word senses between commercial and military fleets grew out of the inherently dual-use nature of fleets; centuries ago, nationality was a trait that unified a fleet across both civilian and military uses. Although nationality of commercial vessels has little importance in peacetime trade other than for tax avoidance , it can have greater meaning during wartime, when supply chains become matters of patriotic attack and defense, and when in some cases private vessels are even temporarily converted to military vessels. The latter was especially important, and common, before 20th-century military technology existed, when merely adding artillery and naval infantry to any sailing vessel could render it fully as martial as any military-owned vessel. Such privateering has been rendered obsolete in blue-water strategy since modern missile and aircraft systems grew to leapfrog over artillery and infantry in many respects; but privateering nevertheless remains potentially relevant in littoral warfare of a limited and asymmetric nature.
The mass and deck space required to carry a large number of cannon made oar-based propulsion impossible, and ships came to rely primarily on sails . Warships were designed to carry increasing numbers of cannon and naval tactics evolved to bring a ship's firepower to bear in a broadside , with ships-of-the-line arranged in a line of battle .
The development of large capacity, sail-powered ships carrying cannon
led to a rapid expansion of European navies, especially the Spanish
and Portuguese navies which dominated in the 16th and early 17th
centuries, and helped propel the age of exploration and colonialism .
The repulsion of the
Spanish Armada (1588) by the English fleet
revolutionized naval warfare by the success of a guns-only strategy
and caused a major overhaul of the
Spanish Navy , partly along English
lines, which resulted in even greater dominance by the Spanish. From
the beginning of the 17th century the Dutch cannibalized the
The next stage in the evolution of naval warfare was the introduction
of metal plating along the hull sides. The increased mass required
steam-powered engines, resulting in an arms race between armor and
weapon thickness and firepower. The first armored vessels, the French
Gloire and British HMS Warrior , made wooden vessels obsolete. Another
significant improvement came with the invention of the rotating
turrets, which allowed the guns to be aimed independently of ship
movement. The battle between
CSS Virginia and
The first practical military submarines were developed in the late
19th century and by the end of
World War I
A major paradigm shift in naval warfare occurred with the
introduction of the aircraft carrier . First at Taranto in 1940 and
Pearl Harbor in 1941, the carrier demonstrated its ability to
strike decisively at enemy ships out of sight and range of surface
Battle of Leyte Gulf (1944) was arguably the largest
naval battle in history ; it was also the last battle in which
battleships played a significant role. By the end of
World War II
World War II
HMS Invincible sails towards the
A navy typically operates from one or more naval bases . The base is a port that is specialized in naval operations, and often includes housing, a munitions depot , docks for the vessels, and various repair facilities. During times of war temporary bases may be constructed in closer proximity to strategic locations, as it is advantageous in terms of patrols and station-keeping. Nations with historically strong naval forces have found it advantageous to obtain basing rights in other countries in areas of strategic interest.
A "blue water navy " is designed to operate far from the coastal waters of its home nation. These are ships capable of maintaining station for long periods of time in deep ocean, and will have a long logistical tail for their support. Many are also nuclear powered to save having to refuel. By contrast a "brown water navy " operates in the coastal periphery and along inland waterways, where larger ocean-going naval vessels can not readily enter. Regional powers may maintain a "green water navy " as a means of localized force projection. Blue water fleets may require specialized vessels, such as minesweepers , when operating in the littoral regions along the coast.
A basic tradition is that all ships commissioned in a navy are referred to as ships rather than vessels, with the exception of submarines, which are known as boats. The prefix on a ship's name indicates that it is a commissioned ship.
An important tradition on board naval vessels of some nations has been the ship\'s bell . This was historically used to mark the passage of time, as warning devices in heavy fog, and for alarms and ceremonies.
The ship's captain, and more senior officers are "piped" aboard the ship using a Boatswain\'s call .
In the United States, the First Navy Jack is a flag that has the words, "Don't Tread on Me" on the flag.
By English tradition, ships have been referred to as a "she". However, it was long considered bad luck to permit women to sail on board naval vessels. To do so would invite a terrible storm that would wreck the ship. The only women that were welcomed on board were figureheads mounted on the prow of the ship.
Firing a cannon salute partially disarms the ship, so firing a cannon for no combat reason showed respect and trust. As the tradition evolved, the number of cannon fired became an indication of the rank of the official being saluted.
Sejong the Great-class destroyer of the Republic of Korea Navy
Typhoon-class submarines are the largest submarines ever
INS Shivalik is a stealth frigate of the
Historically, navy ships were primarily intended for warfare. They were designed to withstand damage and to inflict the same, but only carried munitions and supplies for the voyage (rather than merchant cargo). Often, other ships which were not built specifically for warfare, such as the galleon or the armed merchant ships in World War II , did carry armaments. In more recent times, navy ships have become more specialized and have included supply ships, troop transports, repair ships, oil tankers and other logistics support ships as well as combat ships.
Modern navy combat ships are generally divided into seven main categories: aircraft carriers , cruisers , destroyers , frigates , corvettes , submarines , and amphibious assault ships . There are also support and auxiliary ships, including the oiler , minesweeper , patrol boat , hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship and tender . During the age of sail , the ship categories were divided into the ship of the line , frigate, and sloop-of-war .
Naval ship names are typically prefixed by an abbreviation indicating the national navy in which they serve. For a list of the prefixes used with ship names (HMS , USS , LÉ , etc.) see ship prefix .
Today ships are significantly faster than in former times, thanks to much improved propulsion systems. Also, the efficiency of the engines has improved, in terms of fuel, and of how many sailors it takes to operate them. In World War II, ships needed to refuel very often. However, today ships can go on very long journeys without refueling. Also, in World War II, the engine room needed about a dozen sailors to work the many engines, however, today, only about 4–5 are needed (depending on the class of the ship). Today, naval strike groups on longer missions are always followed by a range of support and replenishment ships supplying them with anything from fuel and munitions, to medical treatment and postal services. This allows strike groups and combat ships to remain at sea for several months at a time.
The term "boat" refers to small craft limited in their use by size and usually not capable of making lengthy independent voyages at sea. The old navy adage to differentiate between ships and boats is that boats are capable of being carried by ships. (Submarines by this rule are ships rather than boats, but are customarily referred to as boats reflecting their previous smaller size.)
Navies use many types of boat, ranging from 9-foot (2.7 m) dinghies to 135-foot (41 m) landing craft. They are powered by either diesel engines, out-board gasoline engines, or waterjets. Most boats are built of aluminum, fiberglass, or steel. Rigid-hulled inflatable boats are also used.
Patrol boats are used for patrols of coastal areas, lakes and large rivers. Soviet PT-76 light amphibious tank moves down the ramp of an Aist-class hovercraft.
Boats used in non-combat roles include lifeboats, mail boats, line handling boats, buoy boats, aircraft rescue boats, torpedo retrievers, explosive ordnance disposal craft, utility boats, dive boats, targets, and work boats. Boats are also used for survey work, tending divers, and minesweeping operations. Boats for carrying cargo and personnel are sometimes known as launches, gigs, barges or shore party boats.
Naval forces are typically arranged into units based on the number of
ships included, a single ship being the smallest operational unit.
Ships may be combined into squadrons or flotillas , which may be
formed into fleets . The largest unit size may be the whole
A task force can be assembled using ships from different fleets for an operational task. Ships of the multinational fleet Combined Task Force 150
Indonesian Navy officers
Despite their acceptance in many areas of naval service, female
sailors were not permitted to serve on board U.S. submarines until the
Chinese sailors, 2009 Main article: Naval officer ranks Newly commissioned officers celebrate their new positions by throwing their midshipmen covers into the air as part of a U.S. Naval Academy graduation and commissioning ceremony.
A navy will typically have two sets of ranks, one for enlisted personnel and one for officers .
Typical ranks for commissioned officers include the following, in ascending order (Commonwealth ranks are listed first on each line; USA ranks are listed second in those instances where they differ from Commonwealth ranks):
Naval infantry, commonly known as marines, are a category of infantry that form part of a state’s naval forces and perform roles on land and at sea, including amphibious operations , as well as other, naval roles. They also perform other tasks, including land warfare, separate from naval operations.
During the era of the
Infantería de Marina was formed in 1537, making it the
oldest, current marine force in the world. The British Royal Marines
combine being both a ship-based force and also being specially trained
in commando -style operations and tactics, operating in some cases
separately from the rest of the Royal Navy. The Royal
In the majority of countries, the marine force is an integral part of
the navy. The
Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies, whether from warships that embark aircraft, or land bases.
World War I
Naval aviation forces primarily perform naval roles at sea. However, they are also used in a variety of other roles.
* ^ Found on the KN U 736, PY Na 568, PY Vn 865 and PY Xn 990 tablets. Cf. ναυπηγός.
* ^ Harper, Douglas. "navy".
Online Etymology Dictionary .
* ^ navigium. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A Latin
Perseus Project .
* ^ navis. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A
Wikiquote has quotations related to: NAVY