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A monitor is a class of relatively small warship that is lightly armoured, often provided with disproportionately large guns, and originally designed for coastal warfare. The term "monitor" grew to include breastwork monitors, the largest class of riverine warcraft known as river monitors, and was sometimes used as a generic term for any turreted ship. In the early 20th century, the term "monitor" included shallow-draft armoured shore bombardment vessels, particularly those of the Royal Navy: the Lord Clive-class monitors carried guns that fired the heaviest shells ever used at sea and saw action against German targets during World War I. Two small Royal Navy monitors from the First World War, Erebus and Terror survived to fight in the Second World War. When the requirement for shore support and strong shallow-water coastal defence returned, new monitors and variants such as coastal defence ships were built (e.g. the British Roberts-class monitors). Allied monitors saw service in the Mediterranean in support of the British Eighth Army's desert and Italian campaigns. They were part of the offshore bombardment for the Invasion of Normandy in 1944. They were also used to clear the German-mined River Scheldt by the British to utilize the port of Antwerp. The German, Yugoslav, Croatian, Romanian, Hungarian and Czech armed forces operated river monitors that saw combat during World War II.[1][2][3][4]

The List of ships of the Second World War contains major military vessels of the war, arranged alphabetically and by type. The list includes armed vessels that served during the war and in the immediate aftermath, inclusive of localized ongoing combat operations, garrison surrenders, post-surrender occupation, colony re-occupation, troop and prisoner repatriation, to the end of 1945. For smaller vessels, see also list of World War II ships of less than 1000 tons. Some uncompleted Axis ships are included, out of historic interest. Ships are designated to the country under which they operated for the longest period of the Second World War, regardless of where they were built or previous service history.

Click on headers to sort column alphabetically.

Ship Country Class Type Displacement (tons) First commissioned Fate
Alexandru Lahovari (ru)  Romanian Naval Forces Brătianu river monitor captured by Soviets 2 September 1944, returned 1951, put in reserve 1957, scrapped 1959[5]
Abercrombie  Royal Navy Roberts monitor 7,850 5 May 1943 scrapped 1954[6]
Drava  Yugoslav Royal Navy Enns river monitor 536 15 April 1920 scuttled 11 April 1941[7]
Erebus  Royal Navy Erebus monitor 7,300 2 September 1916 scrapped July 1946
Ion C. Brătianu (ru)  Romanian Naval Forces Brătianu river monitor captured by Soviets 27 August 1944, returned 1951, put in reserve 1957, scrapped 1959[8]
Lascăr Catargiu  Romanian Naval Forces Brătianu river monitor 680 1907 Built at the Galați Shipyard in Romania,[9] armament during World War II consisted of 3 x 120 mm guns in armoured turrets, 1 x 76 mm AA gun, 2 x 47 mm guns and two machine guns, 75 mm of armor protected the sides, deck, and turrets, sunk 24 August 1944[10]
Mihail Kogălniceanu  Romanian Naval Forces Brătianu river monitor sunk 24 August 1944[11]
Morava/Bosna  Yugoslav Royal Navy
 Navy of the Independent State of Croatia
Körös river monitor 448 15 April 1920 scuttled 11 April 1941, raised by Croatia as Bosna, sunk June 1944[12][13]
Parnaiba  Brazilian Navy river monitor 620 9 March 1938 in service
President Masaryk (monitor)  Czechoslovakia
river monitor 214 1 August 1932 captured 1938 by Germany renamed Bechelaren, scrapped 1978
Roberts  Royal Navy Roberts monitor 8,100 27 October 1941 scrapped June 1965
Sava  Yugoslav Royal Navy
 Navy of the Independent State of Croatia
Temes river monitor 440 15 April 1920 scuttled 11 April 1941, raised by Croatia,[7] scuttled 8 September 1944,[14] raised by Yugoslavia, decommissioned 1962[15][16]
Terror  Royal Navy Erebus monitor 7,300 6 August 1916 sunk 24 February 1941
Vardar  Yugoslav Royal Navy Sava river monitor 580 15 April 1920 scuttled 11 April 1941


  1. Carrico 2007
  2. Friedman 1987
  3. Konstam 2003
  4. Churchill 1938
  5. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921,[edition needed] p. 422
  6. Mason, Geoffrey B. "HMS ABERCROMBIE - Roberts-class 15in gun Monitor". Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Chesneau 1980, p. 357.
  8. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921,[edition needed] p. 422
  9. Warship International, Volume 21, p. 160
  10. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921,[edition needed] p. 422
  11. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921,[edition needed] p. 422
  12. Chesneau 1980, pp. 357 & 359.
  13. Naval Records Club 1968, p. 333.
  14. Naval Records Club 1965, p. 44.
  15. Gardiner 1983, p. 392.
  16. Fox News 14 April 2014.


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