What was the Battle of Calabria (1940)?

Introduction The Battle of Calabria, known to the Italian Navy as the Battle of Punta Stilo, was a naval battle during the Battle of the Mediterranean in the Second World War. Ships of the Italian Regia Marina were opposed by vessels of the British Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy. The battle occurred 30 miles… Read More

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What is Raking Fire?

Introduction In (sailing) naval warfare, raking fire is fire directed parallel to the long axis of an enemy ship from ahead or astern. Background Although each shot is directed against a smaller target profile than by shooting broadside and thus more likely to miss the target ship to one side or the other, an individual… Read More

What is a Green-Water Navy?

Introduction A green-water navy is a maritime force that is capable of operating in its nation’s littoral zones and has the competency to operate in the open oceans of its surrounding region. It is a relatively new term, and has been created to better distinguish, and add nuance, between two long-standing descriptors: blue-water navy (deep… Read More

What is a Brown-Water Navy?

Introduction The term brown-water navy or riverine navy refers in its broadest sense to any naval force capable of military operations in river, lake or littoral environments, especially those carrying heavy sediment loads from soil runoff or flooding. The term originated in the United States Navy during the American Civil War, when it referred to… Read More

What is a Blue-Water Navy?

Introduction A blue-water navy is a maritime force capable of operating globally, essentially across the deep waters of open oceans. While definitions of what actually constitutes such a force vary, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges. The term “blue-water navy” is a maritime geographical term in contrast… Read More

What is a Line of Battle?

Introduction In naval warfare, the line of battle is a tactic in which a naval fleet of ships forms a line end to end. Its first use is disputed, variously claimed for dates ranging from 1502 to 1652, with line-of-battle tactics in widespread use by 1675. Compared with prior naval tactics, in which two opposing… Read More

What was the Battle of Cocos (1914)?

Introduction The Battle of Cocos was a single-ship action that occurred on 9 November 1914, after the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney (under the command of John Glossop) responded to an attack on a communications station at Direction Island by the German light cruiser SMS Emden (commanded by Karl von Müller). After the retreat of… Read More