World War 2 Navy Comparison — Fleets Evolution 1939–1946

On the brink of World War II, the emergence of effective radar systems, as well as the development of submarines and carrier-borne aviation, drastically changed the nature of naval warfare. Even the most innovative doctrines became hopelessly obsolete on the battlefields of the new war.
In this video, we’ll tell you about the navies of the leading naval powers of that time — their composition, number of ships, and the ratio of the main ship types, such as battleships, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft carriers, and submarines.


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  1. I'm not sure where I saw this, and I don't know if it's true or not, maybe one of you experts can weigh in, but I remember hearing that Canada had the 4th largest fleet in the world after the war. I remember hearing it was mostly made up of small and medium sized ships, but I still find this unbelievable for such a small country (especially at the time).

  2. No mention about German high-speed attack/motorboats that could reach a top speed of up to 42 knots like the s38(build In 1940)..?? They could execute surprise attacks on enemy navy, fire two torpedoes at enemy ships and then retreat due the high speed. They destroyed hundreds of allied(/enemy) and soviet ships.. During 1941-1943 allied navy managed to destroy only 3 of these boats and soviets didn't destroy even one…

  3. To compete with old maritime powers is not easy. The Italian fleet was an example. It's not just a number of ships ! German and italian MAY have succeeded against UK alone. To defeat the main sea power is extremely difficult + UK had codes of enigma. "Don't mess with UK" should have been the motto in the 40's. Germany was not a superpower in 1939. It was strong regional power. It had few oil and not so much steel. An attrition war had to be avoided at all costs.

  4. Britain: Balanced
    Italy: Too weak to protect one side
    Germany: the guy who only wants stealth
    Russia: support
    Japan: Likes to poke strong enemies leading to massive losses

  5. The British did NOT declare war because their battlleship was sunk by the Japanese and indeed , after Pearl Harbour they decalred war on the Japanese BEFORE THE USA DID~!

  6. Britain declared war on Japan on 8th December 1941 some 9 hours before the US because of Japanese incursions into Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong, all British colonies at the time, not after or because of the loss of Prince of Wales and the Repulse.

  7. I'm baffled at just how small the British contribution to the allied cause actually was. This was when the British held 25% of the planet in it's empire but was the weakest link in the Grand Alliance of the U.S, U.S.S.R and China.

  8. Man the Royal Navy sure looks small. But I guess that'll happen if you exclude literally hundreds of corvettes, dozens of sloops, the more than 50 ships of Free French, Polish and Norwegian Navies, and then neglect to take off the German ships like Blucher and Graf Spee that were sunk…..

  9. The Japanese had 5 aircraft carrier at the beginning of the War and not three. Due to a the British spotting the fleet at Ceylon the attack, and some attacks with the British, only three became available.

  10. First time I saw those numbers and I am kina surprised, that in the Beginning of the war you had like 200 ships total on each side. If you compare that to today, right now the US-Marine has around 300 ships.

  11. At the end of world war 2, over half of everything produced in the entire world was made by just one country, the United States.

  12. 3:57 The UK declared war on Japan shortly after the attacks on Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong and 8 hours before the USA, and well before HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk. Time zones complicate things in the Pacific theatre somewhat, with the attacks on British territory on the 8th Dec actually happening before the attack on Pearl Harbor on the 7th, and the two ships sunk on the 10th Dec which was the 9th in Hawaii.

  13. Video is Biased AF. Putting only numbers of total ships and suggesting that "poor little britain was so heroic to win vs italian and german navies" when in reality they had a way better and more powerfull navy than both combined. Numbers mean nothing when 80% of the german fleet were uboats and when neither italy or germany had any carriers. Jeez, cringe video.

  14. Historical mistake, ZSSR did not join WWII in 1941 but in 17.09.1939 when they backstab Poland from the east and was Nazi Germany ally at that time. They changed a side in 1941 cause of being attacked by Germany

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