There are at least fifteen former naval vessels that saw service during the WW1 era that are currently preserved as museums, in twelve different countries. This number seems surprising since WW1 was not much of a naval war and none of these are U-Boats. Nevertheless, here they are, by order of their year of construction:

SMS Leitha anchored in the Danube River at Budapest, Hungary. Built in 1873, the Leitha is a river monitor that was operated by the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Scheduled for retirement in 1914, the ship spent most of the war as a command headquarters.

HNoMSc Rap at Horten, Norway.  Built in the U.K. in 1873 as a spar torpedo boat but later carried two self-propelled torpedoes instead. Norway was neutral in WW1 so Rap saw no war service.

HSwMS Sölve , on display at Gothenburg Sweden. Built in 1875 as a littoral monitor to protect the coast of neutral Sweden.

USS Olympia

HNLMS Bonaire at Den Helder, Netherlands. A steam-and-sail frigate built in 1877, served as a training ship for neutral Netherlands during WW1.

USS Olympia, berthed at Philadelphia. A protected cruiser built in 1892, Olympia was Admiral Dewey’s flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish American War. During WW1 Olympia performed Atlantic patrols, and afterwards duty in the Adriatic and Black Seas, then in 1921 carried the Unknown Soldier back to the U.S.

Mikasa, situated at Yokosuka, Japan. A pre-dreadnought battleship built in 1900 in the U.K.  Served in all of the battles of the Russo Japanese War, then sank at her moorings in 1905 and was subsequently re-floated. Mikasa spent all of WW1 in home waters and was retired to comply with the Washington Naval Arms Treaty of 1920.


Aurora, located in the Neva River at St. Petersburg, Russia. A protected cruiser built in 1903, Aurora served in the Russo-Japanese War at the Battle of the Tsushima Strait. Aurora’s crew is credited with starting the October Revolution of 1917. Later used as a training ship, Aurora was sunk in the harbor at Leningrad in 1941 by German aircraft and re-floated in 1944.

SMS Bodrog, in the Sava River near Belgrade, Serbia. Another river monitor built in 1904, Bodrog served in the Austro-Hungarian Navy in WW1, the Yugoslav Navy as the Sava in WW2, was sunk twice and served until 1958.

Gergios Averof, moored at Palaio Faliro, Greece. An armored cruiser built in Italy in 1910, the ship was the last of that type to be built worldwide. Served in the Balkan Wars and as a headquarters ship in WW1.

Nusret: The restored original ship was salvaged in 1999 and is displayed on shore in Tarsus, which is in southern Turkey, and there is also a modern replica anchored at Çanakkale, directly across the Dardenelles from Gallipoli, where the Nusrat was based in 1915. The original ship was built in Germany in 1911 and the replica in Turkey in 2003. During WW1 Nusret served the Ottoman Navy as a mine-layer and was responsible for the mine fields that defeated the Anglo-French attempt to force the Dardenelles in February 1915. The twin ships are regarded today as symbols of Turkish patriotism and courage; the replica is commissioned in the Turkish Navy with the designation N-16.

HMCS Acadia at Halifax, NS, Canada. Built in 1913 as a survey ship but served as an antisubmarine patrol vessel in both world wars. Acadia survived the Halifax Harbor Explosion of 1917.

HMS Caroline at Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K.  A light cruiser built in 1914, Caroline served at the Battle of Jutland and later became the Royal Navy’s HQ for Belfast harbor until decommissioned in 2011.

USS Texas anchored at San Jacinto, TX. A dreadnought battleship built in 1914, the Texas served in both world wars and participated in the D-Day landings.


HMS M33 is at Portsmouth, U.K. A littoral monitor built in 1915, M33 saw service at Gallipoli and in the northern Russian rivers in 1919.

HMQS President, on the Thames at London. Built in 1918 as an anti-submarine sloop of the Q-ship type, but used for nearly seventy years as a  duty assignment ship for the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve officers residing in London.

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and is affiliated with the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Salonika Campaign Society and the Gallipoli Association.