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WikiProject Ships (Rated C-class)
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Shouldn't this article be merged with Battleship?

No. A battleship is a type of warship. As is a frigate, a cruiser, a submarine, .... The Land 18:30, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

"War" or "combat"[edit]

  • A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat.
  • A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for war. 05:27, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I just undid an edit...[edit]

because it mangled the second paragraph. i forgot to comment in the edit summary field. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Pictures are mislabeled?[edit]

There is a painting on the page captioned "the boat". However, there is a picture of the same painting on the article on Willem Van de Velde the Younger, called "the cannon shot" Is one of them misnamed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevinzhang27 (talkcontribs) 22:22, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

It's the latter and the year was wrong. Fixed now.
Peter Isotalo 10:44, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Definition of a warship[edit]

I'm getting sick of BilCat reverting to the same completely unreferenced and unsupported definition of a warship, based on nothing other than his personal opinion on the matter. I have supplied a referenced and complete internationally accepted legal definition of a warship from the United Nations Law of the Sea. He has supplied nothing but keeps undoing my edit. This article is already marked as having insufficient referencing and unsubstantiated sources, something I am trying to fix and BilCat doesn't seem to care about. If he is concerned about a historical definition, then he is free to insert a line that says: "Historically, the term "warship" generally referred to...." but at the moment he is just harming attempts at correcting and improving the article. Opinions please? Mounty01 (talk) 09:06, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

There are two definitions around. One is "What is a ship of war?" and the other is "What is the legal status of something to make it a warship, as opposedto an armed pirate?" Now whatever Bill thinks of as his personal stripped-down definition, the two aspects don't go away and need to be dealt with. Your addition here is relevant and sourced, hence I've restored it.
I would welcome some other editor(s) copy editing this. It is currently heavy-handed and "legalese" (as Bill complained of). It would be worth making the distinction of the two aspects: technical and legal, more obvious. It is definitely worth keeping the UN LotS definition in there though. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:26, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
This awkward and stilted definition is shaped by the particular needs the UN have to legally identify what it currently regards as a warship. It contributes little towards explaining what a warship actually is, and nothing towards accommodating the historical context of warships. By contrast, the definition it replaces was relatively clear and appropriate. Why have you provocatively edit warred this back in place Andy instead of discussing it first here? I would think a better approach would be to reinstate the original definition, and then follow it with something about the UN's current legal definition. --Epipelagic (talk) 10:46, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I restored it in the hope that someone would (as you had started) copyedit it to improve the flow whilst still preserving the point about legal status. If I go joy riding in HMS Ark Royal, I'm just a pirate. This has a lot of historical context behind it, particularly into the privateer era. It's also very relevant today when the West and particularly the US are outsourcing their military to commercial contractors (the anti-piracy crew who recently found themselves interned in India) Andy Dingley (talk) 11:38, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I recommend we use the definition from Wiktionary, currently "Any ship built or armed for naval combat." It's short and to the point.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 01:05, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
We don't have to exclude either definition. I would strongly advocate adding back the UN definition, which is sourced, with a line saying that by 19xx UNCLOS was defining a warship as '..'(whatever). It contributes to understanding to have it there, and it definitely helps with sourcing. Buckshot06 (talk) 23:13, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
  • It's also wrong. An accurate definition also implies government ownership and operation. It has done so for several hundred years.
The UN definition is a modern one and may not be a complete or entirely appropriate one. However I think the two-fold aspect of the definition: a ship built or armed for, and also operated by governmental armed forces, is important and worth including. There should be sections within this article on privateers / letters of marque and also separately on Q ships. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:41, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Many warships are not built for combat at all and are not necessarily even armed. This is the danger of excluding a legal definition. Civilians may not realise that warships are not just grey things with guns. A hydrographic survey vessel, if operated by a navy, meets all the requirements for being a warship under international law. It is not, however, something that you would want to fight with! Mounty01 (talk) 06:13, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Are assault troops on an Amphibious Assault Ship crew or passengers? If the latter, then the definition needs expansion.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 02:08, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

What's wrong with "the modern legal definition of a warship is ..."? The UN definition is crucial for an understanding of what constitutes a warship in the modern era. Shem (talk) 20:42, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
The UN definition falls short because the article deals with eras pre-dating the UN.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 00:22, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • So expand it. We have several historical contexts that make the same point: there has often been an overlap between privately owned armed ships acting as warships but legally not being considered as pirates (and implicitly the legal hurdles they must jump to ensure this). Drake, the East India company, the American civil war, BNFL's armed nuclear fuel vessel, contractors off the horn of Africa today. This is good stuff, adding it would significantly improve the article. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:49, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Assault troops are not crew. They are an additional combat capability carried onboard a warship (such as a non-organic helicopter may be). They would fall under their own commander, not the commanding officer of the warship. I don't know that 'passengers' is the best term for them, but irrespective of that, the assault ship itself is still a warship. If the troops are not embarked for a mission (e.g. relief aid or air transport) then the ship neither ceases to be an assault ship nor a warship. Mounty01 (talk) 06:13, 17 July 2015 (UTC)