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Naval Battles

Development of naval warfare.Created by: PICRYLDated: 1760
[plakett i ramens n kant:] "J. T. Schoultz 1754 - 1800-talets början Retraiten från Wiborg den 3 Julii 1790"
The first recorded sea battle occurred about 1210 BC: Hittites defeated and burned the Cyprus fleet. Athens protected itself from Persia by building a fleet paid for by silver mines profits. Romans developed the technique of grappling and boarding enemy ships with soldiers. Constantinople invented a Greek fire, a flamethrower to burn enemy's ships. Torpedo was invented by the Arab Hasan al-Rammah in 1275.

With the Age of Discovery, naval actions in defense of the new colonies grew in scale. In 1588, Spain sent Armada to subdue the English fleet of Elizabeth, but Admiral Sir Charles Howard won the battle, marking the rise of the Pax Britannica. Anglo-Dutch Wars were the first wars to be conducted entirely at sea. Most memorable of these battles was the raid on the Medway, in which the Dutch sailed up the river Thames, and destroyed most of the British fleet.

The 18th century was a period of continuous naval wars, in the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Baltic Sea. The Napoleonic Wars culminating in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

With the advent of the steamship, it became possible to create massive gun platforms and to provide them with heavy armor protection. The battle of the CSS Virginia and USS Monitor in the American Civil War that symbolized the changing times. In the 20th century, the steel-armored battleships with large shell turret guns emerged. The Russo-Japanese Battle of Tsushima in 1905 was the first test of the new concepts, resulting in Japanese victory.

Airpower became key to navies throughout the 20th century, moving to jets launched from ever-larger carriers, and augmented by cruisers armed with guided missiles and cruise missiles. During the Pacific War of World War II, the carriers and their airplanes were the stars and the United States became the world's dominant sea power. The Falklands War, however, showed the vulnerability of modern ships to sea-skimming missiles.

Parallel to the development of naval aviation was the development of submarines. In the 1950s the Cold War inspired the development of ballistic missile submarines.
1,250 Media in collectionpage 1 of 13
Sea battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 190

Sea battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 190

Miniature of a sea battle. Image taken from f. 190 of Jean d'Arras, Roman de Mélusine (imperfect). Written in French.

Two ships from BL Royal 10 E IV, f. 19

Two ships from BL Royal 10 E IV, f. 19

Detail of a bas-de-page scene of two ships engaged in a battle. Image taken from f. 19 of Decretals of Gregory IX with glossa ordinaria (the 'Smithfield Decretals'). Written in Latin.

Naval battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 80v

Naval battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 80v

Detail of a miniature depicting a battle scene at sea, decorated initial 'L'(istoire) including heraldic arms and foliate borders. Image taken from f. 80v of Jean d'Arras, Roman de Mélusine (imperfect). Written... More

Sea-battle between the English and the French
Sea-battle between Luis d'Espagna and Robert d'Artois
Battle between the Greeks and the Trojans; the Trojans set the Greek ships on fire
Naval battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 80v

Naval battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 80v

Miniature depicting a battle scene at sea, decorated initial 'L'(istoire) including heraldic arms and foliate borders. Image taken from f. 80v of Jean d'Arras, Roman de Mélusine (imperfect). Written in French.

Sea battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 113

Sea battle from BL Harley 4418, f. 113

Miniature of a battle scene, decorated initial 'L'(istoire) including heraldic arms and foliate borders. Image taken from f. 113 of Jean d'Arras, Roman de Mélusine (imperfect). Written in French.

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 263v

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 263v

Bas-de-page miniature of a naval battle. Image taken from f. 263v of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 258

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 258

Detail of a bas-de-page miniature of a naval battle. Image taken from f. 258 of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Hannibal from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 297

Hannibal from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 297

Bas-de-page miniature of a sea battle with Hannibal. Image taken from f. 297 of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 258

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 258

Bas-de-page miniature of a naval battle. Image taken from f. 258 of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Hannibal from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 396v

Hannibal from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 396v

Bas-de-page miniature of a sea battle with Hannibal. Image taken from f. 396v of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Hannibal from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 297v

Hannibal from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 297v

Bas-de-page miniature of a sea battle with Hannibal, and the suicide of Hannibal. Image taken from f. 297v of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 264

Naval battle from BL Royal 20 D I, f. 264

Bas-de-page miniature of a naval battle. Image taken from f. 264 of Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, part 3 of the second redaction. Written in French.

Sea-battle between the English under Richard Fitzalan and the French
Naval battle between English and Flemings from BL Royal 14 E IV, f. 276

Naval battle between English and Flemings from BL Royal 14 E IV, f. 27...

Detail of a miniature of a naval battle between English and Flemings at the Battle of Sluys. Image taken from f. 276 of Recueil des croniques d’Engleterre. Written in French.

Naval battle between English and Flemings from BL Royal 14 E IV, f. 276

Naval battle between English and Flemings from BL Royal 14 E IV, f. 27...

Miniature of a naval battle between English and Flemings at the Battle of Sluys. Image taken from f. 276 of Recueil des croniques d’Engleterre. Written in French.

Giulio Romano - Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Naval Battle
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Roman Naval Battle
Ancient Naval Battle (Recto); Park with Monuments (Verso)
Giulio Romano - Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Naval Battle
Naval Battle (Recto); Forest with Angel (Verso)

Naval Battle (Recto); Forest with Angel (Verso)

Anonymous, Italian, 16th century (Italian, active Central Italy, ca. 1550–1580)

Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Roman Naval Battle
Roman Arena with a Mock Naval Battle

Roman Arena with a Mock Naval Battle

Anonymous, Italian, 16th century

The Sea Battle in the Gulf of Morbihan

The Sea Battle in the Gulf of Morbihan

Workshop of Taddeo Zuccaro (Italian, Sant'Angelo in Vado 1529–1566 Rome)

Giulio Romano - Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Naval Battle
Polidoro da Caravaggio - Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Naval Battle
Naval Battle Between Greeks and Trojans
Zeeslag bij een Ottomaans schiereiland
Zeeslag in De Hoofden, 1554
Zeeslag in De Hoofden, 1554
Filips II vertrekt per schip naar Spanje, 1559
Filips II vertrekt per schip naar Spanje, 1559
Slach-tyt of t'Gesluycte Varken, spotprent op de Spanjaarden na de nederlaag in de zeeslag bij Duins, ca. 1639
Den Grooten Barbiers Winckel, spotprent op de Spanjaarden na de nederlaag in de zeeslag bij Duins, ca. 1639
Spotprent op de Spanjaarden na de nederlaag in de zeeslag bij Duins, ca. 1639
Questo il uero disegno et forma della potentissima armata venetiana partita alli 23 luio da Corphu uerso Cipro ? trouat l'armata inimica 1570

Questo il uero disegno et forma della potentissima armata venetiana pa...

Engraved print shows sailing ships from the Venetian armada in formation from 1570. Title from first line of key caption. Reference copy in LOT 4601, no. 226B. Illustration in: Hauslab Album, plate 226B. Origin... More

Zeeslag bij Vlissingen, 1572
Slag op de Zuiderzee, 1573
Slag op de Zuiderzee, 1573
Zeeslag voor Bergen op Zoom, 1574
Zeeslag voor Bergen op Zoom, 1574
Het schip Fin de la guerre, 1585
Het schip Fin de la guerre, 1585
Het schip Fin de la guerre, 1585
Het schip Fin de la guerre, 1585
The Spanish Armada off the English Coast in 1588
Spaanse Armada in het Kanaal, 1588
Ondergang van de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Zeeslag met de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Zeeslag met de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Ondergang van de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Ondergang van de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Ondergang van de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Ondergang van de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Ondergang van de Spaanse Armada, 1588
Johannes Staden of Hessen fights with French ship at Buttugaris, Brazil

Johannes Staden of Hessen fights with French ship at Buttugaris, Brazi...

Battle between 3 ships and Indians. Illus. in: Theodor de Bry, America, pt. 3, Frankfurt, 1593, page 7. Reference copy may be in LOT 4411. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption ca... More

Zeeslag voor Cadiz, 1596
Zeeslag voor Cadiz, 1596
"Alexander Fights a Sea Battle", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi
Instruments of Naval Combat, A Sailor Sounding the Trumpet

Instruments of Naval Combat, A Sailor Sounding the Trumpet

Reinier Nooms, called Zeeman (Dutch, Amsterdam ca. 1623–1664 Amsterdam)

Spektakel met schip met vuurwerk en de zuilen van Hercules; intocht van Ferdinand te Gent in 1635 (nr. 34)
Naval Combat, Jacques Callot

Naval Combat, Jacques Callot

Jacques Callot (French, Nancy 1592–1635 Nancy)

Reinier Nooms - Naval Battle, 16th century

Reinier Nooms - Naval Battle, 16th century

Reinier Nooms, called Zeeman (Dutch, Amsterdam ca. 1623–1664 Amsterdam)

Reinier Nooms - Naval Battle Scene

Reinier Nooms - Naval Battle Scene

Reinier Nooms, called Zeeman (Dutch, Amsterdam ca. 1623–1664 Amsterdam)

Reinier Nooms - Naval Battle, 16th century

Reinier Nooms - Naval Battle, 16th century

Reinier Nooms, called Zeeman (Dutch, Amsterdam ca. 1623–1664 Amsterdam)

Disigno dell' isola de Gerbi con le seche che la difendeno dall' inondatione del mare, ...

Disigno dell' isola de Gerbi con le seche che la difendeno dall' inond...

Print shows an assault on Jerba Island (Tunisia) by the Christian Alliance armada under the command of Andrea Doria and the arrival of the Turkish fleet; the Christian fleet retreats in advance of the Turks who... More

Ships after the Battle
Reinier Nooms - The Final of a Naval Battle

Reinier Nooms - The Final of a Naval Battle

Reinier Nooms, called Zeeman (Dutch, Amsterdam ca. 1623–1664 Amsterdam)

Vernietiging van Spaanse galeien, 3 oktober 1602
Titelprent voor de Appendix: de vernietiging van Spaanse galeien, 3 oktober 1602
De vernietiging van de Spaanse galeien voor de Vlaamse kust (linkerblad), 1602
De vernietiging van de Spaanse galeien voor de Vlaamse kust, 1602
De vernietiging van de Spaanse galeien voor de Vlaamse kust, 1602
De vernietiging van de Spaanse galeien voor de Vlaamse kust, 1602
De vernietiging van de Spaanse galeien voor de Vlaamse kust (middenblad), 1602
Vernietiging van Spaanse galeien, 3 oktober 1602
De vernietiging van de Spaanse galeien voor de Vlaamse kust, 1602
De vernietiging van de Spaanse galeien voor de Vlaamse kust (rechterblad), 1602
Zeeslag met de zes Spaanse galeien van Spinola, 1602
Zeeslag met de zes Spaanse galeien van Spinola, 1602
Zeeslag met de zes Spaanse galeien van Spinola, 1602
Zeeslag waarbij de acht galeien van Spinola worden verslagen door de vloot van Joos de Moor, 1603
Zeeslag waarbij de acht galeien van Spinola worden verslagen door de vloot van Joos de Moor, 1603
Zeeslag waarbij de acht galeien van Spinola worden verslagen door de vloot van Joos de Moor, 1603
Zeeslag waarbij de acht galeien van Spinola worden verslagen door de vloot van Joos de Moor, 1603
Kurtze und grundliche erzehelung der Machtigen vnd vbertrefflichen Armada Schiffen der Mugenden Edl. Herrn Staten, vnderm beleit des Hochgeb. Printzen Mauritij von Nassauw

Kurtze und grundliche erzehelung der Machtigen vnd vbertrefflichen Arm...

Print shows birdseye view of many sailing ships coming into the harbor near the island of Vulpen and map of the area around Biervliet, Vlissingen and Sluis in the Netherlands. Includes plan of the forts and loc... More

Zeeslag bij Gibraltar op 25 april 1607
Zeeslag voor Gibraltar, 1607
Zeeslag bij Gibraltar, 1607
Eine Cracke von S. Thome Wirdt...

Eine Cracke von S. Thome Wirdt...

Dutch? naval battle. Engraving by Thodor de Bry. Illus. in: Theodor de Bry, India Orientalis (Peregrination in India), 1605, part 7, plate XII. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Capti... More

Zeeslag voor Gibraltar, 1607
Zeeslag voor Gibraltar, 1607
De zeeslag bij Gibraltar, 1607
Fotoreproductie van een gravure: De zeeslag bij Gibraltar, 25 april 1607
Zeeslag bij Gibraltar, 1607
Zeeslag voor Gibraltar, 25 april 1607
Zeeslag voor Gibraltar, 1607
Naval battle with ruined ship and smoking battlements, from 'Italian landscapes' (Diverse vedute designate in Fiorenza / Paysages italiens)
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