Greatest Naval Battles in History

This lists the greatest, most famous, bloodiest and most epic naval battles in history

The Top Ten

1 Battle of Trafalgar

To my way of thinking, this is easily the greatest naval battle in history. It's certainly the most famous, at least to any literature or history class I've been exposed to. Lord Nelson defeated a much larger French/Spanish armada. I'm sure I'm boring anyone from the UK, or from western Europe for that matter, but for those who do not know this battle, it was very pivotal in shaping even today's geo-political landscape. It proved British naval superiority, and was the beginning of the most powerful period for the British Empire. It also was the beginning of the end for France's tyrannical Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, perhaps you've heard of him? Besides, the Brits built a very nice square in London to commemorate the battle, so I think it was fairly important... In terms of tonnage, sailors and the area the battle was fought in, nothing can compare to the battle of Leyte Gulf, but I'm more a fan of antiquity. I'll vote for Trafalgar, and talk up Leyte Gulf and the battle of Salamis ...more - Ned964

Without it there would have been no Br itish empire.

2 Battle of Gravelines
3 Battle of Midway
4 Battle of Leyte Gulf

The greatest naval battle in terms of ships, men and area, that's indisputable. Still, I voted for Trafalgar because to me, it's cooler. - Ned964

5 Battle of Jutland

In terms of tonnage it was the largest naval battle in history between the British Grand Fleet and the German Hochseeflotte.

6 Battle of Salamis

A lot less devastating than 16-inch guns, but it's gotta smart, anyway. At least when it's over, the survivors can make salami sandwiches.

Again, the Greeks were greatly outnumbered by the Persians, and again the Greeks, in this case under Themistocles, pulled a rabbit out of their a**. I guess I'm a bit biased because the Greeks were the dawn of Western civilization, and also, all the history I've read on Salamis was originally written by the Greeks. - Ned964

7 Battle of Lepanto
8 Battle of Actium
9 Battle of Myeongnyang

Fought during the Japanese invasions of Korea that came to be known as the Imjin Wars, the Battleof Myeongnyang was a critical and decisive battle fought between 13 Korean warships and over 130 Japanese warships and an additional 200 Japanese supply and troop ships. The Korean navy, under the command of the brilliant Admiral Yi Sun Shin, were able to sink at least 30 Japanese warships and damage another 100 without the loss of a single Korean ship. While not a battle as familiar with western scholars, the battle of Myeongnyang deserves to be remembered in the same vein as battle like Midway and Trafalgar as another classic David vs Goliath like tale.

Because they made it possible for everyone to say it was impossible.

10 Battle of the Nile

The Contenders

11 Battle of Tsushima
12 Battle of the Atlantic
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