The Great Harry

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Famous Ships

What is a ship? A ship is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘a large seagoing boat’ or ‘a sailing vessel with a bowsprit and three or more square-rigged masts’.

There are many definitions widely used to describe both boats and ships, however they can only be taken as a guide because they are unclear or contradictory. For example, submarines are commonly known as boats, however they can be ‘large seagoing boats’, therefore ships.

Another definition of a ship is a boat that is large enough to carry another. However, many small river and coastal boats carry dinghies. Clearly they aren’t ships. Finally there are spaceships, a type of ship that generally avoids water altogether.

The pages of this site describe the facts and information, as well as the stories, behind some of the more famous ships and boats to have sailed our seas.

Famous Ships: USS Arizona - This American Battleship was the pride of the American Fleet when launched. She would become one of the world's most famous ships after being sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor. More facts about USS Arizona

Famous Ships: Bismarck – This was one of the largest battleships ever to be built by Germany. Construction began on July 1, 1936, and she was launched on February 14, 1939. The ship was named after the former German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. More facts about Bismarck

Famous Ships: USS Constitution - This American Frigate became famous during the War of 1812 and is affectionately known as Old Ironsides. She is the world's oldest commissioned floating naval vessel. More facts about USS Constitution

Famous Ships: Cutty Sark - This British Clipper was used to transport tea from China and wool from Australia. She once held the record for the voyage from London to Sydney and later became a preserved museum ship. More facts about Cutty Sark

Famous Ships: HMS Dreadnought - This British Battleship was the first of it's class. It became the battleship by which all others were measured and all battleships before it became known as pre-Dreadnought. More facts about HMS Dreadnought

Famous Ships: Flying Dutchman – This mythical ghost ship has been the subject of nautical lore since the 18th century and has been depicted in many paintings, books, films and video games . More facts about Flying Dutchman

Famous Ships: Henry Grace a Dieu – This ship was a carrack belonging to King Henry VIII’s fleet. Launched in 1514 she was also known as the ‘Great Harry’ and was one of the earliest ships to have gun ports. More facts about Henry Grace a Dieu

Famous Ships: RMS Lusitania – This British Ocean Liner, which once captured the Blue Riband, became the subject of much controversy after being torpedoed by a German U-boat and sinking off Southern Ireland during the First World War. More facts about RMS Lusitania

Famous Ships: Mary Rose - This 16th century English warship was the favorite of King Henry VIII. It sank during the battle of the Solent and, after more than 400 years, was recovered and now resides in a museum in Portsmouth, England. More facts about Mary Rose

Famous Ships: Mayflower - This English merchant ship became famous after being chartered to transport the Puritans and Separatists, known as the Pilgrims, to the New World. When she arrived, the Plymouth Colony was established. More facts about Mayflower

Famous Ships: RMS Queen Mary 2 – This ocean liner had her keel laid on July 4, 2002 and was launched on March 21, 2003. At the time of her launch she was the largest ocean liner and passenger ship ever built. More facts about RMS Queen Mary 2

Famous Ships: HMS Warrior – This British iron clad Warrior Class frigate was the fastest and most powerful warship in the world at the time of it's launch. Following extensive restoration, this ship is currently exhibited in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. More facts about HMS Warrior

Famous Ships: Golden Hind – This galleon had her keel laid and was registered in 1575 in Plymouth, England. Originally named the Pelican, this ship was renamed by Sir Francis Drake during its circumnavigation of the globe. More facts about Golden Hind

Famous Ships: HMS Victory – This Royal Navy first-rate ship of the line had her keel laid on July 23,1759, and was launched on May 7, 1765. She took part in several wars, however her best known role was as Lord Nelson’s flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar. More facts about HMS Victory

Famous Ships: HMS Beagle – This Cherokee class brig-sloop had her keel laid in June 1818 and was launched on May 11, 1820. This ship was converted to a Barque and became well known after Charles Darwin took part in one of its scientific surveys. More facts about HMS Beagle

Famous Ships: SS Great Britain – This passenger steamship had her keel laid in July 1839 and was launched on July 19, 1843. When launched, this ship was the largest ship in the world and the first iron built steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. More facts about SS Great Britain

Famous Ships: SS Great Eastern – This steamship had her keel laid on March 1, 1854, and was launched on January 31, 1858. At the time of completion, this ship was the largest that the world had seen and was powered by both a single screw and twin paddle wheels. More facts about SS Great Eastern

Famous Ships: USS Maine – This American battleship, formerly an armoured cruiser, had her keel laid on October 17, 1888, and was launched on November 18, 1889. This ship became the subject of intense speculation when it mysteriously exploded and sank. More facts about USS Maine

Famous Ships: RMS Titanic – This Olympic class ocean liner had her keel laid on March 31, 1909, and was launched on May 31 1911. This ship became one of the most famous in history after sinking on its maiden voyage in 1912. More facts about RMS Titanic

Famous Ships: HMS Valiant - This Queen Elizabeth class battleship had her keel laid on January 31, 1913, and was launched on November 4, 1914. This ship saw action in World War I, taking Part in the Battle of Jutland, and World War II. More facts about HMS Valiant

Famous Ships: HMS Royal Oak – This Revenge Class battleship had her keel laid on January 15, 1914, and was launched on November 17, 1914. This ship saw service in World War I and World War II before being sunk in Scapa Flow. More facts about HMS Royal Oak

Famous Ships: HMS Barham – This Queen Elizabeth class battleship had her keel laid on February 24, 1913, and was launched on December 31, 1914. This ship saw action in both World War I and World War II before being sunk in 1940. More facts about HMS Barham

Famous Ships: HMS Hood – This Admiral class battle cruiser had her keel laid on September 1, 1916, and was launched on August 22, 1918. This ship saw action in World War II before being sunk by the Bismarck. More facts about HMS Hood

Famous Ships: Admiral Graf Spee – This Deutschland class cruiser had her keel laid on October 1, 1932, and was launched on June 30, 1934. Named after Admiral Maximilian von Spee, this ship saw action in World War II before being scuttled. More facts about Admiral Graf Spee

Famous Ships: U-36 – This type VIIA German Submarine had her keel laid on March 2, 1936, and was launched on November 4, 1936. This submarine took part in World War II before being sunk, on her second patrol, by a British submarine. More facts about U36

Famous Ships: Balao Class Submarine – These World War II US Navy submarines were built between 1942 and 1946. The Balao submarines were an improvement on the preceding Gato class and were in service from 1943 to 1975. More facts about Balao Class Submarine

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Published 2018

Global Anchor Limited

Modified 2018

By James Drake

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