A list of naval battles of World War 2. These are famous WW2 naval battles; some are the greatest naval battles in history. Pictures included where possible. World War II was the real dawn of aircraft carriers. Naval battles date back all the way to at least 1260 BC. Originally fought primarily with sailing ships, today's navy battles include battleships, submarines, and aircraft carriers. That said, the tactics and decisive nature sea battles often have on warfare has gone unchanged for millennia. Beyond the oceans, maritime forces have also fought conflicts in lakes, rivers, and even on boats within a flooded Roman Colosseum. From the largest naval battle to the smallest, this list contains plenty of them.