The Second World War ended in 1945, but you wouldn’t know it from the look of some navies. At least eight countries still operate warships built for service in World War II—and in at least one case much earlier than that.

Ships that served in the D-Day invasion, or even the Russian Czar’s Imperial Navy are still plugging along, up to a century after they were first built.

Thousands of warships were built by all sides in World War II, from battleships to minesweepers. A large number of these ships, particularly German, Japanese, and Italian ships, were sunk by enemy action or later scrapped. The victors, on the other hand, unloaded ships by the hundreds to friendly postwar navies, many of which ended up bouncing around to two or even three different navies.

Others are veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam War—Vietnam’s ships, in particular, were actually property of the South Korean Navy and were captured when North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam in 1975.

Still others belonging to Egypt, Serbia, and Taiwan are used to train naval personnel for future postings on more modern ships, or to give sea cadets a taste of navy life.

Kommuna in Russian Navy service, 2008.
 
Image: George Chernilevsky (Wikimedia Commons)

By far the oldest ship mentioned in the video is the Russian salvage lifting ship Kommuna, a ship so old it has served in three navies under two different names. Laid down in 1912, she entered service with the Czar’s navy in 1915 under the name Volkhov. After the Russian Revolution she was renamed Kommuna and served with the Soviet Navy.

Today, 104 years old, she serves with the Russian Navy supporting submersibles.

Most of the surviving World War II-era ships are small, displacing two thousand tons or less….

 

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Source: foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com (Kyle Mizokami)


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These ancient warships built for World War II are still in service 74 years later
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