Jean-Jacques MagendiePierre-Charles VilleneuveLatouche Tréville
It was Villeneuve.
Shortly before Trafalgar, he had learned that Napoleon was planning to relieve him of his command – Bonaparte said "Villeneuve does not possess the strength of character to command a frigate. He lacks determination and has no moral courage" – so he set off from Cadiz before his replacement could arrive. His fleet was was intercepted by Nelson and heavily defeated.
Cuthbert CollingwoodJohn JervisThomas Cochrane
It was Vice Admiral Lord Collingwood.
The most common manoeuvre in major naval battles at the time was for the two fleets to line up alongside each other and fire their broadsides. But Nelson ordered his fleet to sail in two lines directly at the French, exposing themselves to French fire and unable to respond, so that they could cut through the "line of battle" in two places, forcing a mêlée that the British fleet, with its better gunnery and seamanship, would likely win despite being outnumbered.
The Crimean warThe American civil warThe Boer warThe first world war
It's the American civil war.
The HL Hunley and its crew of eight sank the USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1864, using a torpedo that it screwed into the ship's side. The Hunley had sunk twice before in trials, killing 13 men, and, after sinking the Housatonic, sunk again, with the loss of all hands. It was salvaged in 2000.
HMS WarspiteHMS DreadnoughtIJN SatsumaUSS South Carolina
It's the Dreadnought.
She was the first steam-turbine-powered battleship, fast and immensely powerful, armed with 12-inch guns. Her arrival rendered an entire generation of naval ships obsolete; later battleships became generically known as "dreadnoughts". She served in the first world war and was retired in 1919.
It was in May and June 1916.
The British grand fleet, 151 ships commanded by Admiral Jellicoe, met the 99 ships of Admiral Hipper's German High Seas fleet off the coast of Denmark. It was an extraordinarily bloody action – 14 British ships and 11 German ones sank or blew up, with the loss of more than 8,500 crew. The battle was indecisive, with both sides claiming victory.
Inadequate armour protection on British battleships.Shells that failed to penetrate German armour.Jellicoe's indecisiveness.
The explosive used in British shells, picric acid, often exploded with the shock of impact.
That meant they often exploded outside the German ships, doing much less damage than the TNT-based shells of the enemy, which penetrated the armour before detonating. The German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz (pictured) survived 21 direct hits from British main guns, as well as from several smaller shells and a torpedo. She was badly damaged, but back in service by November.
The Boer warThe first world warThe Spanish civil warThe second world war
It was the "Tondern Raid", in 1918, the last year of the first world war.
Seven Sopwith Camels took off from HMS Furious, a converted battlecruiser, to attack a German Zeppelin base. Two Zeppelins were destroyed; three pilots made it back to the ship, ditching their aircraft in the water alongside, while three landed in Denmark and one drowned.
The flagship of the British grand fleet ran aground in a storm.The German admiral was killed by a sniper on shore while passing through a narrow channel.The German High Seas fleet was scuttled after the war.
A total of 74 ships were scuttled, with most of them sinking or settling on the shallow bottom.
The fleet was interned there during the Armistice. After nine months, during a moment of inattention from the watching British ships, the German admiral ordered his captains to sink all the ships to prevent them from being given to the Allies.
"The Fighting Defiance""The Fighting Achilles""The Fighting Temeraire"
A carronadeA bow chaserA long gun
It's a carronade, or "smasher", a kind of short-range cannon that threw heavy balls in close combat.
Specifically, this is a 42-pounder carronade on board HMS Victory. They were lighter and easier to manage than "long guns", and required less gunpowder per shot, but the Royal Navy phased them out by about 1850 as accurate long-range gunnery became more important than close-range broadsides and boarding.
The Hood, the "Pride of the Navy", was hit by a shell from the Bismarck in its aft magazines, and blew up immediately. Just three crewmen survived.
The battleship HMS Prince of Wales severely damaged Bismarck in the encounter.
It was the Tirpitz.
A total of 30 Lancasters, from both 617 Squadron (the "Dam Busters") and 9 Squadron, attacked the battleship at its moorings in Tromsø, Norway. Each plane carried a five-ton "Tall Boy" bomb. At least two hit the ship, causing huge internal explosions; the ship capsized at anchor. The raid was called Operation Catechism, and was the ninth attempt by British forces to sink or disable the Tirpitz.
The others are USS Asheville, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine; HMS Victorious, a Vanguard-class Trident missile submarine; and U-534, a German second world
The Typhoons were the largest class of submarines ever built. They went out of service in 2012, and could carry 20 ballistic missiles with up to 10 nuclear warheads on each. The Red October, the fictional submarine from the Tom Clancy novel and subsequent film The Hunt for Red October, was supposed to be an upgraded Typhoon.
The Bismarck and the Tirpitz were Bismarck-class battleships. A previous version of this post misidentified them.