Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Navy, The
NAVY, THE, a term used for a country's armed force operating on water or in defense of coasts and harbors. The earliest recorded sea-fights were waged by the Egyptians against the Phoenicians, Phocæans, and Mysians, about 3000 B. C. The Phœnicians, among the greatest sea-faring people of antiquity, occupied a narrow strip of sea-coast in Asia Minor. After casting off the yoke of Egyptian rule, from 1200 B. C. to 870 B. C., the Phœnicians commanded the sea, but their power waned between 870 and 650 B. C., and Carthage, a Phœnician colony, gradually surpassed the parent state in sea-power. One of the earliest recorded sea-fights was the battle of Salamis, 480 B. C., when the Greeks under Themistocles defeated the fleet of Xerxes, which marked the turning point in the last Persian invasion. A Carthaginian vessel wrecked on the coast of Italy supplied the Romans with the model for their navy. The first great naval battle of the Romans was fought 260 B. C. off the Lipari Islands when Duilius defeated a superior Carthaginian fleet under Hannibal.
The galley, the warship of the Greeks, was about 100 feet long and propelled by rowers, having an iron-sheathed prow like a beak, to pierce enemy vessels. It was surmounted by the national emblem, an owl for the Athenians, a cock for the Phœnicians and Carthaginians, and an eagle for the Romans. The galley was decked over for the fighting men who were shielded by a hide curtain, from behind which they launched arrows and javelins. There were machines for hurling stones, masses of iron, and flaming missiles. The commander directed operations from an elevated station. He commanded the soldiers, and under him were the pilot who directed the steersman; a mate who commanded the sailors, and a boatswain the rowers. A musician with voice and instrument cheered and inspired the oarsmen at their task. The vessels usually advanced in triangular formation, the admiral in the lead. After victory, the richest spoils were reserved as oblations to the gods. In the beginning of the Middle Ages, the countries bordering on the Baltic and North Seas, famous sea-rovers, began to organize navies. Tales of the sea-fights in those days are so colored by fable as to be unreliable. There exists an authoritative record of a Saxon (British) sea-fight in which many vessels were engaged. In 870 A. D. Harald Haarfagr, King of Norway, fought and won a naval battle against the vessels which minor kings of his country had sent against him. Olaf Trygvasson, a grandson of Harald, with the allied powers of Denmark, Vendland, and Norwegians of the province of Viken fought a naval battle in which vessels 150 feet long were engaged. In 1014 A. D. the Danes and Saxons captured London, in the first recorded naval fight against a land force. Norse sea-power began to decline in the latter part of the 11th century, but Sigurd was successful at sea in expeditions against the Moors in Spain and the pirates of the Mediterranean. Spain strove hard for pre-eminence as a maritime nation, but was not successful, and the destruction of the Armada, 1588, was the last blow to her aspirations. The British and the Dutch long held the lead in naval warfare. Alfred the Great may be said to have founded the British navy, and Athelstane, Edwy the Fair, and Canute strengthened the sea-forces and increased the number of vessels. After the Norman conquest there was a great expansion in ships of commerce and defense. Under Henry II. and Richard the Lionhearted, British sea-power grew in strength and efficiency. In 1340 Edward III. commanded in person at the battle of Sluys when the French lost 300 vessels. It was the first naval fight in which sails replaced oars. Henry VIII. was interested in ordnance and the building of big ships. The "Great Harry" carried 75 guns and 760 men. He was the first sovereign to appoint officers for naval warfare only. The guns and gun-carriages employed during his reign were not changed for 200 years. He founded the docks of Woolwich, Deptford, and Portsmouth. Little was accomplished by succeeding sovereigns until the reign of Elizabeth. As the modern navy developed from galley to great ship the vital questions became speed, construction, offensive armaments, and facilities for maneuvering. At first there were only two classes of vessels, the ship-of-line bearing the brunt of the offensive, and the frigate for speed. The ship-of-line, a three-decker, carried 100 or more guns, and bore the burden of battle. The frigate was employed on special missions and preyed on enemy ships. With the passing of wooden vessels, came iron and steel ships, new types were introduced and improvements in the power of the guns.
After the Napoleonic wars Great Britain led all nations in sea-power, with France a distant second. In the second rank were Spain, Russia, and the Netherlands. Third rank, Turkey, Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, United States, Two Sicilies, Portugal, Prussia. In 1860 the United States held second place in this class. The United States navy greatly increased in tonnage during the Civil War, but afterward many ships were sold and little was done to strengthen the navy until 1881. Germany, Italy, and Japan, developed their naval power, and in 1880 Germany stood second. Italy after the war of 1866 had risen to second place, but dropped to third in 1880. The Japanese navy began with the purchase of the Confederate ram "Stonewall" in 1866. Turkey reorganized her navy in 1863, and it had reached its highest power at the time of the war with Russia 1877-1878, but declined from that period. The decade between 1880 and 1890 was marked by a general expansion of the navies of the world. In 1889 Great Britain passed the Naval Defense Act which provided a program for 70 vessels, 10 of the 1st class. In 1882 the United States began the building of a new navy, and, with Germany, had nearly passed France in naval power before the close of the decade. Great Britain in this period adopted the policy of maintaining a navy that should equal those of any two other nations combined. Spain ordered her first battleship in 1882, Japan 2 battleships in 1893, and commenced building naval vessels on an extensive scale. Austria built her first battleship in 1899, and the Argentine Republic ordered her first cruisers in 1895. After the South African War the United States made large appropriations for the navy program, and gained the second place, but was passed by Germany in 1910. Japan rose to the fifth place after her defeat of Russia.
|UNITED STATES NAVY|
|1. Dreadnought||3. Cruiser|
In July 1, 1915, the chief naval powers had built, or were building, the following war vessels: United States—10 battleships of dreadnought types, 20 older battleships, 4 coast-defense vessels, 15 armored cruisers, 3 fast cruisers and scouts, 8 other cruisers, 51 destroyers, 19 torpedo boats, 39 submarines; total tonnage built, 776,460. Vessels building: 9 battleships of dreadnought type, 17 destroyers, and 20 submarines; net tonnage, 296,380.
Great Britain—28 battleships, dreadnought type, 35 older vessels, 10 battle-cruisers, 3 coast defense vessels, 29 armored cruisers, 40 fast cruisers and scouts, 33 other cruisers, 185 destroyers, 49 torpedo boats and 90 submarines; total tonnage built, 2,310,957. Building: 9 battleships, dreadnought type, 8 fast cruisers, 25 destroyers, and 40 submarines; total tonnage, 361,300.
|1. Dreadnought||3. Battleship|
|2. Super-Dreadnought||4. Cruiser|
Germany—17 battleships of dreadnought type, 21 older battleships, 5 battleship cruisers, 1 commerce destroyer, 4 armored cruisers, 14 fast cruisers, 15 other cruisers, 139 destroyers, and 30 submarines; total tonnage 1,024,673. Building: 3 battleships of dreadnought type, 2 battleship cruisers, 6 fast cruisers, 15 destroyers, and 30 submarines; total tonnage, 208,416.
France—10 battleships of dreadnought type, 10 others, 2 fast cruisers, 17 armored cruisers, 8 others, 87 destroyers, 132 torpedo boats, and 76 submarines; total tonnage built, 662,302. Building: 12 first-class battleships, 3 fast cruisers, and 18 submarines; total tonnage, 349,284.
|1. Dreadnought||3. Cruiser|
Japan—2 battleship dreadnoughts, 12 older battleships, 2 battle cruisers, 2 coast defenders, 13 armored cruisers, 6 fast cruisers, 9 others, 49 destroyers, 2 torpedo boats, and 13 submarines; total tonnage, 509,913. Building: 4 battleship dreadnoughts, 2 battleship cruisers, 2 destroyers, and 2 submarines; total tonnage, 183,076.
Russia—5 battle cruisers, 8 others, 5 armored cruisers, 5 fast cruisers, 2 others, 10 destroyers, 13 torpedo boats, and 35 submarines; total tonnage, 384,040. Building: 2 battleship dreadnoughts, 4 armored cruisers, 6 fast cruisers, 34 destroyers, and 14 submarines; total tonnage, 270,858.
Italy—6 battleship dreadnoughts, 8 others, 9 armored cruisers, 5 fast cruisers, 2 others, 41 destroyers, 70 torpedo boats, and 23 submarines; total tonnage, 359,487. Building: 4 dreadnoughts, 1 fast cruiser, 2 cruisers, 16 destroyers. Total tonnage, 148,655.
Austria-Hungary—4 dreadnoughts, 6 others, 6 coast defenders, 2 armored cruisers, 4 fast cruisers, 1 other, 19 destroyers, 69 torpedo boats and 16 submarines, total tonnage, 255,776. Building: 4 dreadnoughts, 3 fast cruisers, 6 destroyers, 1 torpedo boat; total tonnage, 118,270.
Following the World War the navies of the World were in a different relative position than before. The German navy had practically disappeared. In 1919 the British navy continued first with 641 ships, with a tonnage of 2,003,260. The United States was second with 206 ships, with a tonnage of 528,936. Japan was third with 98 ships, with a tonnage of 340,055. France was fourth with 131 ships, with a tonnage of 325,361. Italy was fifth with 145 ships, with a tonnage of 218,870. At the end of 1919 Great Britain had 194 ships under construction; the United States, 348; Japan, 43; France, 18; and Italy, 31.
|1. Battleship||3. Dreadnought|