Most Decisive Naval Battle Nomination thread

As was done in the Worst military leader of all time thread

(winner: Luigi Cadorna, followed closely by Arthur Percival and Francisco Solano López) which I joined late but was amused greatly…I would like to do a similar thing but with:

Most decisive naval battle of all time.

I don’t want to get into the definition of ‘decisive’ so I don’t risk tainting this thread
In order to start the game we need a setup thread for nominations. You may nominate up to five naval battles, describing each in just a few words. All descriptions are subject to editing for brevity, accuracy and clarity.

Define “decisive” as you see fit.

Nominations will close at noon CST a week from today, Weds. Feb. 23. After the deadline, I’ll arrange the nominees alphabetically, and we’ll vote them out much as we did in the the linked worst military leader thread.

My nominees - going for the low hanging, obvious fruit just to get them out of the way :slight_smile: :

Salamis: Greeks turned back Persian fleet
Trafalgar: Brits won against France/Spain in Nap.war
Lepanto: Ottoman high water (heh) mark
Midway: U.S ambushes Japanese fleet
Gravelins: Spanish Armada turned back by England to meet their famous fate.

The Battle of Tsushima - Japan annihilates the Russian fleet

Black May-when the Western Allies finally got the upper hand against the u-boats for good. It may not fit the definition/notion of what a naval “battle” was, given that we are talking about hundreds of ships and subs sprawled all over the North Atlantic over a period of several weeks, but it was decisive.

Continuing the Japanese theme:

Pearl Harbor

Not meaning to hijack with discussion, but really? I’d call Pearl Harbor about the least decisive naval battle–at least in terms on overall impact on the war. Yeah, the Japanese “won” the ambush–but they sealed their own doom in the same instant. They failed to eliminate the U.S. as a player, REALLY pissed us off, and eventually saw two of their cities get nuked before surrendering…

Actium - Octavian defeats Mark Antony; takes Roman Empire.

I suppose Pearl Harbor is a better nom for “most significant”; feel free to vote it out in the first round :).

Battle of the Denmark Strait - The Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen of Germany meet the Prince of Wales and the Hood of Britain. Powerful shelling from the German ships, including at least one direct hit by the Bismarck’s 15-inch cannon, put the Hood on the bottom less than 20 minutes after the ships spotted one another. The German ships then withdrew rather than chase the Prince of Wales.

Battle of the Leyte Gulf: Swan song for Imperial Japan
The Spanish Armada: Protestantism saved in Britain

Since Rickjay also mentioned the Spanish Armada…I am going to change mine to:

Battle of the Masts - Arabs/Islam take to the sea and kick Byzantium butt.

Well, the biggies have already been named, so:

Hampton Roads: USS Monitor vs. CSS Virginia; first ironclad duel
Chesapeake: French defeat British; Cornwallis doomed
Lake Erie: Perry defeats British fleet; “We have met the enemy…”
New Orleans: Farragut captures biggest Confederate city
Glorious First of June: Decisive British win over French

Not only a naval battle, but I’d nominate The Sicilian Expedition: the entire Athenian fleet and expeditionary force is annihilated at Syracuse, signaling the turning point of the Peloponnesian war and the beginning of the end of Athens.

Heh. I’d consider that perhaps the *least *decisive naval battle in history. Not only did the two opponents reach a stalemate, but it was abundantly clear it wasn’t the result of failure to perform by either the leaders or the men: it established that, for the immediate future, no one had demonstrated how to harm an ironclad warship significantly. It sent every navy scrambling to build ships, but ships that they currently had no idea how to decide battles with.

Arrgh, I was composing my own list in a word processor and came back here to find you’ve sniped two of my favorites. :slight_smile: Decisively! Both those battles decided the fates of nations.
Okay, here’s a question to the review board: do air-vs-ship battles count? Do the planes have to be carrier-launched, or does land-based air count?

If so, I have some air-vs-sea nominees:

Battle of Taranto: ascendancy of the airplane over the “fleet in being” (even more notable considering the small, weak, obsolescent air units involved)

Sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse: The blow from which the British Empire never recovered (and cleared the way for Arthur Percival to seize the number two spot on the SDMB’s Worst Military Leader thread!)

Battle of the Bismarck Sea: The Cannae of airpower vs naval power

But those may not count, or maybe only Taranto counts, since ships were involved on both sides. For straight-up, hot ship-on-ship action, I give you

Battle of the Aegates Islands – Rome ends 23-year First Punic War, assumes lasting naval dominance

Jutland During WWI- Germany effectively neutralized.

Well, two to start…

Battle of the Downs - Larger Spanish fleet crushed, rise of Dutch dominance.

Battle of Sluys - Massive French invasion fleet annihilated, preempting a descent on England.

I disagree, but I’ll save my arguments for the debate thread itself.

Another, since we spent some time with him in the Greatest Military Leadersthread…

Battle of Myeongnyang - Shattered remnants of Korean fleet holds off and smashes a massively larger Japanese invasion fleet.

ETA: Hell, I’ll give him two…

Battle of Hansan - Brilliant maneuvering leads to key victory in Imjin War.

Battle of Diu: Portuguese smash the Ottoman/Mamluk/Indian fleet, thus ensuring Portuguese (and later, Dutch and English) naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean - the vital stepping-stone to worldwide European imperialism.

Often overlooked - absolutely decisive.

Well if you want the decisoive naval Battle of the US Civil War then it has to be the Battle of Mobile Bay, which effectively completed the Naval blocakde of the South.

Instead of the whole campaign, I’d nominate the

Second Battle of Syracuse

(name from your link) which is the naval engagement in which the Spartans prevented the Athenian fleet from breaking out of the harbor, pretty much sealing the Athenians’ fate.