UNITED KINGDOM NAVAL VESSELS
Division of Naval Intelligence, Identification and Characteristics Section
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION TERMINOLOGY ATTRIBUTES OF FIGHTING SHIPS SIMPLIFIED SILHOUETTES SHIP DETAILS
The basic principle of Surface Vessel recognition as with aircraft is familiarity with the total form of the object observed. The true character of a ship is not determined by a single feature or features but by the familiarity we may have with the total mass of the hull and superstructure, when viewed from great distances.
As in aircraft recognition, the salient recognition characteristics are shown in their simplest form by silhouettes. If this silhouette is further simplified into its basic masses, we obtain a silhouette where the minor details have disappeared, leaving only the real recognition features. It should be noted, however, that in one important respect ship silhouettes differ from those of aircraft. With planes, all three views are of nearly equal importance for correct identification, but in ship recognition, the use of the beam, or side view silhouette, is by far the most important. If the beam silhouette is thoroughly known, the ship can be recognized from either the surface or the air. This can be proven by examining any group of aerial views of ships.
Preceding each group of vessels of each nation represented in [these manuals] is a chart of these simplified silhouettes representing a vessel of each class. These are arranged at the same scale for ease of comparison with each other and with other ships in the same class in other navies. Large instructional charts of these simplified silhouettes are being prepared and will be distributed in the near future.
The present manual will serve as a text book in recognition courses inasmuch as it will have material, readily available, within a single cover, on all ships on the present operational list.
Sets of scale models of surface craft are available on request for supplementary instruction from the Bureau of Aeronautics for the Navy, and from the A. A. F. Training Aids Division, New York City, for the Army Air Forces. These are useful for detail examination and for various forms of realistic display on surfaces simulating water under varying light conditions, such as study of fleet maneuvers. The models are particularly valuable since they may be displayed at any angle and may be viewed from above to illustrate views of ships or groups of ships.
Motion pictures are available for a limited number of subjects and serve further to assist in recognition training.
Training in recognition of surface craft follows the same general pattern as in aircraft recognition. The principal value of the flash meter as a teaching device is that it forces the student to grasp total form as opposed to detail. It has already been indicated that this recognition of total mass is as essential for surface craft as for aircraft. Therefore, exposures of slides should be as brief as is consistent with the progress of the group being taught. While, in general, exposures will probably be at the one or one-half second rate, successful work on surface craft images has been reported at speeds up to 1/75 of a second.
NOTE: Terms later defined in the text of this section have been omitted in the following list.
ABAFT: behind; toward stern from.
ABEAM: at right angles to the keel.
AMIDSHIPS: the middle portion of a vessel.
ARMOR: steel plating designed to defeat shells, bombs, or underwater explosion.
ARMOR BELT: band of armor extending along a ship's sides above and below water-line.
ATHWART: across; from side to side; transversely.
BEAM: extreme width of ship.
BILGE: curved part of ship's hall where sides and flat bottom meet.
BLISTER: a bulge built into a ship's side as a protection against torpedoes.
BOOM: a free-Swinging spar used to secure boats or to handle cargo, boats or aircraft.
BREAK: the point at which upper decks are discontinued.
BRIDGE: raised forward platform from which ship is conned and navigated.
BULKHEAD: transverse or longitudinal partitions subdividing the interior of a ship.
BULWARKS: tight plating or wooden extension of ship's sides above upper deck.
CASEMATE: armored gun mount built into the sides or superstructure of a ship.
CLASS: vessels of the same type built to a common basic design.
COMBINED OPERATIONS: joint operations conducted by non homogeneous forces or forces of different services and/or nationalities.
COMPANIONWAY: hatchway providing access from one deck to another.
COMPARTMENTATION: subdivision of a ship's hull by means of transverse and/or longitudinal bulkheads.
CONNING TOWER: armored ship control station. In submarines, the main deck structure.
COUNTER: side of a vessel's quarter.
COWL: a smoke baffle located on top of a funnel; opening of a ventilator.
DAMAGE CONTROL: comprehensive term for all means of mitigating or offsetting effects of damage aboard ship.
DEPTH CHARGE: explosive device projected or dropped from air or surface craft; detonated at predetermined depths by a hydrostatic mechanism.
DISPLACEMENT: the weight of water displaced by a ship.
FANTAIL: after section of the main deck.
FORE: That part of a ship lying between bow and midship section.
FORE AND AFT: lengthwise of a ship.
FORECASTLE: deck; a forward upper deck extending to bow.
FREEBOARD: height of a ship's sides from waterline to a weather deck.
FLYING BRIDGE: a light self--supporting structure extending from side of ship's bridge.
GUN HOUSE: a lightly protected, rotating mount for guns of lesser caliber.
GUN SHIELD: any protection for gun crews which does not completely enclose mount.
GUNWALE: upper edge of a vessel's or boat's side.
HALYARDS: light lines used in hoisting signals, flags, etc.
HATCH: opening in a deck.
HAWSE PIPES: tubes leading anchor chains from deck down and forward through bow plating.
HELM: the mechanism for operating the ship's rudder.
HULL: main body of a vessel exclusive of elements of superstructure.
ISLAND: a free-standing section of a ship's superstructure. On aircraft carriers, the ship's superstructure.
KEEL: center line strength member running fore and aft along the bottom of a ship.
KNOT: a unit of speed, equalling one nautical mile (6,080.20 feet) per hour.
LIST: transverse inclination of a vessel.
MAIN BATTERY: the heaviest caliber gun armament carried by a naval vessel.
MAIN DECK: a ship's highest continuous deck.
MINE a device containing high explosive charge, free-floating or anchored at fixed depth, or resting on bottom; detonated by contact,or by electrical or magnetic impulse.
MULTIPLE MAST: an exposed mast having one or more supporting elements.
PEAK (fore and aft): compartment at the extreme bow or stern of vessel below decks - usually a tank.
PORT: left hand side of a vessel when looking towards bow; an opening.
QUARTER: that portion of a vessel's side near the stern.
QUARTER DECK: part of upper deck reserved for officers; also the deck near the stern.
RADIO DIRECTION FINDER: device for determining direction of source of radio impulses.
RAKE: fore and aft inclination from vertical.
RANGEFINDER: optical instrument for determining distance to a target or other object.
RECIPROCATING ENGINE: a steam actuated piston engine as distinguished from a turbine.
RIGGING: collective term for ropes and chains employed to Support masts, yards, and booms of vessel.
SECONDARY BATTERY: the gun armament next in caliber to main battery.
SHEER: longitudinal upward or downward curvature of deck or gunwale.
SHEER LINE: line formed by intersection of deck and side of a ship.
SPLINTER SCREEN: light armor shields for protection of crew.
STACK: exposed uptake from ship's boilers; funnel.
STARBOARD: the right hand side of a vessel when looking towards bow.
STEM: extreme forward line of bow.
STERN POST: the main vertical post in the stern frame upon which the rudder is hung.
SUPERSTRUCTURE: any structure built above a ship's hull.
TASK FORCE: a naval force organized to carry-out a specific mission.
TURRET: a rotating mount enclosed by armor for guns of large caliber.
TWIN TURRET: a turret housing two guns.
TYPE: all vessel-built or converted for the same purpose.
WEATHER DECK: any deck exposed to weather.
WELL: a lateral opening in a ship's hull or superstructure.
ATTRIBUTES OF FIGHTING SHIPS
A ship, to be classed as a fighting ship, must be capable of inflicting damage and of sustaining or avoiding damage. She must possess sufficient speed and maneuverability to execute her mission and the capacity to proceed independently to a scene of action. The type of warship is determined by the degree to which each of these qualities has been stressed in her design.
ARMAMENTCapacity to "dish it out" is a primary attribute of fighting ships. Ships may be designed to inflict damage by shells from their guns, torpedoes from their tubes, bombs from aircraft they may carry, or by depth charges or mines. Battleships and cruisers are essentially gun ships, although they carry other weapons. Carriers, minelayers, and torpedo boats are designed for special attack functions, with guns provided largely for defense, while destroyers and submarines are dual armament ships, using either guns or torpedoes. Larger types carry secondary batteries, primarily intended for defense against destroyers or submarines, or, if "dual purpose," for protection from attack from the air.
PROTECTIONA fighting ship must also be able to "take it." A ship may be designed to absorb punishment, to mitigate its effect, or to avoid it. She may be provided with armor; heavy steel plate around vital parts to defeat shells, bombs, and torpedoes. Her hull will be subdivided into separate spaces, or provided with bulges or blisters, to confine the effects of flooding and explosion. This is called compartmentation. Damage control systems consisting of provisions for counter flooding, fire fighting, etc., are developed in varying degree in all types. Speed and maneuverability in themselves constitute factors of protection in smaller types in which armament and protection have been sacrificed for these qualities, while submarines depend for protection largely on their ability to make themselves invisible by submerging.
MOBILITYMost fighting ships are propelled by high-pressure steam boilers and geared turbine engines, although Diesel or reciprocating engines are sometimes used in smaller types. Diesels are used in submarines when operating on the surface, electric storage battery motors when submerged.
Since a large proportion of total displacement and space is allotted to armament and protection in the design of battleships, these ships do not attain the high speeds of many smaller combat units. Carriers are designed to for speed, with corresponding sacrifice of armor. Cruisers' speed will range from 30 knots, which will permit a heavy cruiser to operate with the fleet and outrun most battleships, to speeds of over 40 knots in lighter types. Speed is essential to a destroyer's functions and new types are capable of attaining or bettering that of any cruiser.
Without the capacity to reach a scene of operations, execute a mission, and return to a base, even the fastest and most powerful fighting ship would be of little value.
To bring an enemy to action is the battleship's primary function, and these ships must carry crews and provisions necessary to take them into battle with enough shells and fuel and food aboard to permit them to fight and return. Since cruisers an often required to perform independent missions at great distances, sea keeping capacity is a vital consideration in their design. Carriers must also be designed to accommodate provision for extended operations and fuel for their aircraft. Destroyers, as they often operate with battle fleets or in convoy, must also carry provisions for such work, subject to limitations of size, while submarines are required to remain in enemy waters for extended periods. It will, therefore, be seen that sea keeping is a very important factor in the design of all more important types of fighting ships.
The bulky hull of the battleship (above) reflects capacity to accommodate provision for sea repair and for storage of immense quantities of fuel, water, food, ships stores, and lubricating oil, while the proportions of destroyer hulls indicate limitations in sea-keeping capacity inherent in their type.
SIMPLIFIED SILHOUETTES (continued)
KING GEORGE V Class - BB 13-17 NELSON Class - BB 11, 12 QUEEN ELIZABETH Class, VALIANT Group - BB 9, 10 QUEEN ELIZABETH Class, WARSPITE - BB 8 QUEEN ELIZABETH Class, MALAYA Group - BB 6, 7 ROYAL SOVEREIGN Class - BB 1-5 REPULSE Class - CC 1, 2 FURIOUS - CV 3 ILLUSTRIOUS Class - CV 7-10 ACV BATTLER Class ACV ARCHER Class ARGUS - ACV 1 KENT Class - CA 3-9 DEVONSHIRE and NORFOLK Classes - CA 10-15 HAWKINS Class - CA 1, 2; CL 17 DRAGON Class - CL 9-16 LEANDER Class - CL 20-24 ARETHUSA Class - CL 28-31 SOUTHAMPTON Class - CL 32-39 DIDO Class DIDO Class, CHARYBDIS Group FIJI Class - CL 58-65
KING GEORGE V Class - BB 13-17
BB 13 - KING GEORGE V
BB 14 - PRINCE OF WALES, Lost 1941
BB 15 - DUKE OF YORK
BB 16 - ANSON
BB 17 - HOWE
Upper: DUKE OF YORK, July 1942. Lower left: DUKE OF YORK, July 1942.
Lower middle: KING GEORGE V, 1941. Lower right: DUKE OF YORK, 1942.
NELSON Class - BB 11, 12
BB 11 - NELSON
BB 12 - RODNEY
Upper left: RODNEY, 1941. Upper right: NELSON - forward director tower differs from that of RODNEY, 1942
Lower left: RODNEY, 1941. Lower right: RODNEY, 1941.
QUEEN ELIZABETH Class, VALIANT Group - BB 9, 10
BB 9 - VALIANT
BB 10 - QUEEN ELIZABETH
Upper left: VALIANT, April 1940. Upper right: VALIANT - note pole mainmast and absence of sternwalk, 1939.
Lower left: VALIANT, April 1940. Lower right: QUEEN ELIZABETH - note tripod mainmast. This unit also has a sternwalk (not visible in the photograph), 1941.
QUEEN ELIZABETH Class - WARSPITE - BB 8
BB 8 - WARSPITE
Upper left: WARSPITE, 1942. Upper right: WARSPITE, 1941
Lower left: WARSPITE, Nov. 1942. Lower right: WARSPITE, Nov. 1942
QUEEN ELIZABETH Class - MALAYA Group - BB 6 - 7
BB 6 - MALAYA
BB 7 - BARHAM, Lost 1941
Upper left: MALAYA, 1942. Upper right: MALAYA, 1937
Lower left: MALAYA, 1942. Lower right: MALAYA - note aircraft hangar abaft stack, 1941.
ROYAL SOVEREIGN Class - BB 1-5
BB 1 - ROYAL SOVEREIGN
BB 2 - ROYAL OAK, Lost 1939
BB 3 - REVENGE
BB 4 - RESOLUTION
BB 5 - RAMILIES
Upper: RESOLUTION, September 11, 1941. The only unit with a catapult on top of No. 3 turret.
Lower: REVENGE, 1941. The only unit with after edge of upper bridge extended towards the stack.
REPULSE Class - CC 1, 2
CC 1 - REPULSE, Lost 1941
CC 2 - RENOWN
Upper Left: RENOWN, 1942. Middle left: RENOWN - note aircraft hangars abaft second stack (1942).
Lower left: RENOWN, Nov. 28, 1941. Right: RENOWN, Nov. 28, 1941.
FURIOUS - CV 3
Upper: FURIOUS, Nov. 7, 1940.
Lower left: FURIOUS, July 10, 1942. Lower right: FURIOUS, 1942.
ILLUSTRIOUS Class - CV 7-10
CV 7 - ILLUSTRIOUS
CV 8 - VICTORIOUS
CV 9 - FORMIDABLE
CV 10 - INDOMITABLE
Upper left: VICTORIOUS, Feb. 19, 1943. Upper right: ILLUSTRIOUS, 1940.
Middle left: INDOMITABLE, 1942. Middle right: VICTORIOUS, May 1941.
Lower left: INDOMITABLE, Nov. 21, 1941. Lower right: ILLUSTRIOUS, 1940.
ACV BATTLER Class
Upper, middle left, lower left: FENCER, March 26, 1943.
Right: BATTLER, 1942.
ACV ARCHER Class
Upper left: ARCHER - note: Trestle mast; absence of "island" superstructure;
open structure below flight deck extends further aft than in rest of class. Dec. 21, 1941.
Lower left: DASHER, July 24, 1942. Upper right: BITER, May 28, 1942. Lower right: BITER, Sept. 1942.
Upper left: ARGUS - note smoke vent in flight deck aft. Forward end of flight deck now rounded.
Lower left: ARGUS, Jan. 1943. Upper right: ARGUS, Jan. 1943. Lower right: ARGUS, Jan. 1943.
CA 3 - KENT
CA 4 - AUSTRALIA (R.A.N.)
CA 5 - CANBERRA (R.A.N.), Lost 1942
CA 6 - CORNWALL, Lost 1942
CA 7 - BERWICK
CA 8 - CUMBERLAND
CA 9 - SUFFOLK
Left: CUMBERLAND - note cut-away quarterdeck, 1936. Upper right: BERWICK, 1942.
Middle right: BERWICK - hanger and catapult amidships have been removed, 1942.
Lower right: AUSTRALIA - the only unit with pole masts and her heavy A.A. battery mounted on the main deck instead of on the shelter deck, Aug. 1942.
Upper left: KENT, March 1942. Middle left: SUFFOLK, July 1940.
Lower left: SUFFOLK note low quarterdeck; Sept. 1942. Right: CUMBERLAND, 1942.
Upper left: BERWICK, 1942. Upper right: KENT, Oct. 1942.
Lower left: BERWICK, 1942. Lower right: KENT - sternwalk since removed, 1941.
CA DEVONSHIRE Class; CA NORFOLK Class
CA 10 - DEVONSHIRE
CA 11 - SUSSEX
CA 12 - SHROPSHIRE (R.A.N.)
CA 14 - NORFOLK CA 15 - DORSETSHIRE, Lost 1942
Upper left and lower left: SUSSEX, 1942. Upper right: SHROPSHIRE, April 1942.
Middle right: SUSSEX, Sept. 1942. Lower right: NORFOLK, Dec. 1942
CA 1 - HAWKINS
CA 2 - FROBISHER
CA x - VINDICTIVE, converted to a Repair Ship
CL 17 - EFFINGHAM, Lost 1940
Upper left: HAWKINS, June 1942. Upper right: FROBISHER - note waist main batter shield guns have been replaced by lighter pieces.
Lower left: HAWKINS, June 1942. Lower right: HAWKINS, June 1942.
CL 9 - DRAGON, under Polish operation.
CL 10 - DANAE
CL 11 - DAUNTLESS
CL 12 - DUNEDIN, Lost 1941
CL 13 - DURBAN
CL 14 - DESPATCH
CL 15 - DIOMEDE
CL 16 - DELHI
Upper left: DESPATCH, July 1942. Upper right: DIOMEDE - note gun-house to No. 1 6-inch gun; only ship so fitted.
Middle left: DELHI - differs from rest of class. Note American design gun-houses, new bridge and director towers, shifting of search lights and new masts.
Middle right: DAUNTLESS - note bow, 1942.
Lower left: DESPATCH - note "Trawler Bow", July 1942. Lower right: DAUNTLESS, 1942.
CL 20 - LEANDER (New Zealand)
CL 21 - ORION
CL 22 - NEPTUNE, Lost 1941
CL 23 - ACHILLES (New Zealand)
CL 24 - AJAX
Upper left: ORION, 1942. Upper right: ACHILLES - tripod masts not fitted, 1941.
Middle left: AJAX, Nov. 1942. Middle right: AJAX, Nov. 1942.
Lower left: ORION, Feb. 1942. Lower right: AJAX, Nov. 1942.
CL 28 - ARETHUSA
CL 29 - GALATEA, Lost 1942
CL 30 - AURORA
CL 31 - PENELOPE
Left: PENELOPE, Sept. 1942. Upper right: ARETHUSA - note that stacks are of equal height, April 1942.
Middle right: PENELOPE, Sept, 1942. Lower right: PENELOPE, Sept. 1942.
CL 32 - SOUTHAMPTON, Lost 1941
CL 33 - NEWCASTLE
CL 34 - SHEFFIELD
CL 35 - GLASGOW
CL 36 - BIRMINGHAM
CL 38 - LIVERPOOL
CL 39 - MANCHESTER, Lost 1942
Upper left: SHEFFIELD, Sept. 1942. Upper right: BIRMINGHAM - has continuous flare to bows, Sept. 1940.
Middle left: LIVERPOOL, Oct. 1941. Middle right: SHEFFIELD, Sept. 1942.
Lower left: LIVERPOOL, Oct. 1941. Lower right: SHEFFIELD, Aug. 1941.
Upper right: PHOEBE - note that two turrets forward have been removed, Jan. 1943.
Middle right: EURYALUS, 1941. Lower left: SIRIUS, 1942. Lower right: ARGONAUT, 1942.
DIDO Class - CHARYBDIS Group
Lower left: CHARYBDIS, Feb. 1943. Lower right: SCYLLA, 1942.
CL 58 - FIJI, Lost 1941
CL 59 - NIGERIA
CL 60 - KENYA
CL 61 - MAURITIUS
CL 62 - TRINIDAD, Lost 1942
CL 63 - JAMAICA
CL 64 - GAMBIA
CL 65 - BERMUDA
Upper left: MAURITIUS, 1942. Upper right: MAURITIUS, 1942.
Middle left: BERMUDA, 1942. Middle right: BERMUDA, 1942.
Lower left: JAMAICA, 1942. Lower right: KENYA, 1941.