Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 53

navy - History, Contemporary naval forces, Operations, Traditions, Naval organisation, Marine troops

submarine navies world armed

The branch of the armed forces whose main function is the projection of military power at and by sea. The role of naval forces is manifold, primarily the protection of lines of communication for the safe transport of troops and supplies (and its converse, denying the enemy the freedom of the seas). Navies have been important since early times. The Greek naval victory over the Persians in 480 BC was crucial to world history. The Chinese navy had armed warships by the 10th-c, and totalled 50 000 men. In the two World Wars, naval power was critical, with the added dimensions of submarine, amphibious, and carrier warfare. Since the 1960s, with the advent of the ballistic missile-firing submarine, navies have had the additional responsibility of nuclear deterrence.

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