The Largest Naval Sea Battles in Military History

The Largest Naval Sea Battles In Military History

A closer look at the largest and most influential naval battles in world history

Ranked according to the number of soldiers involved

7th Battle of Jutland

near Jutland, Denmark


Germany vs. Great Britain

Number of soldiers involved:


The British Advantage


In Heavy Units


In Light Support Aircraft

The only major naval surface engagement of World War I

Winner: Draw


Battleships: 16

Battlecruisers: 5

Pre-Dreadnoughts: 6

Light Cruisers: 11

Torpedo Boats: 61

Total Ships: 98


Battleships: 28

Battlecruisers: 9

Armored Cruisers: 8

Light Cruisers: 26

Destroyers: 78

Minelayer: 1

Seaplane: 1

Total Ships: 151

6th Battle of the Philippine Sea

Philippine Sea


United States vs. Japan

Number of soldiers involved:

127,000+ (U.S.)

Known as "the greatest carrier battle of World War II"

On the first day of attack, Japan lost 300 out of 430 planes.

Due to the decisiveness of U.S. victory over the Japanese Imperial Army, it has been called the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot"

Winner: U.S.

United States

Carriers: 15

Battleships: 7

Cruisers: 21

Destroyers: 67

Submarines: 28

Aircraft: 902


Carriers: 9

Battleships: 5

Cruisers: 13

Destroyers: 33

Submarines: 24


(Carrier-Based) 450

(Land- Based) 300

5th Battle of Lepanto

Gulf of Corinth, Ionian Sea


Allied Christian Forces vs. Ottoman

Number of soldiers involved: 150,000

The greatest naval battle of oar-driven vessels in the history of the Mediterranean

It was the first defeat of the Ottoman navy in direct confrontation with the Christian forces.

Winner: Allied Christian Forces

Holy League

(Allied Christian Forces)

Galleys: 206


Galleys: 230

4th Battle of Yamen

Yamen, Guangdong, China


Mongol Yuan Dynasty vs. Song Dynasty

Number of soldiers involved:


Yuan commanders deployed deception and audacious tactics to overcome at least 10:1 mismatch in numbers

Winner: Mongol Yuan Dynasty

Song Dynasty (Southern)

Warships: 1,000

Fact: The Song Dynasty was the first Chinese government that built a permanent standing navy to protect its aquatic and land territory.

During the Yamen Battle, the Song emporer Huaizong was just eight years old.

Yuan Dynasty (Mongol)

Warships: 50

3rd Battle of the Leyte Gulf

Leyte, Philippines


United States vs. Japan

Number of soldiers involved:


The U.S. invasion of the Philippines reinforces Allied Forces' control of the Pacific during World War II

Fact: The Battle of Leyte Gulf is remembered as the biggest naval battle ever fought.

Winner: U.S.

The battle spanned over more than 100,000 square miles of sea

United States

Ships: 232


Ships: 53

The Leyte Gulf War consisted of four battles:

Battle of Sibuyan Sea

Battle of Surigao Strait

Battle off Samar

Battle of Cape Engano

2nd Battle of Salamis

Salamis, near Athens

480 B.C.E.

Greeks vs. Persians

Number of soldiers involved:


Ranked as "one of the most decisive military engagements of all time"

due to impact on emergence of Western civilization as a major force in the world.

Winner: Greeks


Ships: 1,207


Ships: 371

1st Battle of the Red Cliffs

Chibi(modern map), Hubei province, China

208 A.D.

Cao Cao vs. Liu Bei & Sun Quan

Number of Soldiers involved:


A classic battle in Chinese history famous for the smaller and weaker defeating the bigger and stronger

Winner: Liu Bei & Sun Quan

The Battle of the Red Cliffs was a battle of the three kingdoms of China

The Largest Naval Sea Battles in Military History

shared by andrewdeen on Jun 07, 2013 in History


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Of the thousands of naval battles taking place on the seas across the world, seven stand out as the largest and most profound in history. From the Battle of Jutland to the Battle of the Red Cliffs, t...
Category: History
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