Jane's Fighting Ships

Jane's Fighting Ships is an annual reference book of information on all the world's warships arranged by nation, including information on ships' names, dimensions, armaments, silhouettes and photographs, etc. Each edition describes and illustrates warships of different national naval and paramilitary forces, providing data on their characteristics. The first issue was illustrated with Jane's own ink sketches--photos began to appear with the third volume in 1900. The present title was adopted in 1905.

It was originally published by John Frederick Thomas Jane (usually known as "Fred T.") in London in 1898 as Jane's All the World's Fighting Ships, in order to assist naval officers and the general public in playing naval wargames.[1] Its success eventually launched a number of military publications carrying the name "Jane's". It is a unit of Jane's Information Group, which is now owned by IHS.[2]

Ten early editions of Jane's (those of 1898, 1905-06, 1906-07, 1914, 1919, 1924, 1931, 1939, 1944-45, and 1950-51) were reissued in facsimile reprints by Arco Publishing starting in 1969. All of these appeared in the oblong or "landscape" format that characterized the series into the late 1950s, when the present "portrait" layout was adopted, thus matching the sister Jane's publication on aircraft.

Beginning in the early 2000s, Jane's has also been published online, on CD and microfiche.


1898–1915: Fred T. Jane
1916–1917: Maurice Prendergast
1918–1922: Oscar Parks with Maurice Prendergast
1923–1929: Oscar Parkes with Francis E. McMurtrie
1930–1934: Oscar Parkes
1935–1948: Francis E. McMurtrie
1949–1973: Raymond Blackman
1974–1988: Capt. John Moore (RN)
1988–2000: Capt. Richard Sharpe (RN)
2000–2017 Commodore Stephen Saunders (RN)
2018–present Alex Pape

See also


  1. Caffrey Jr., Matthew. "Toward a History Based Doctrine for Wargaming". Aerospace Power Journal (Fall 2000). Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  2. "IHS Acquires Jane's Information Group". IHS Online Newsroom. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2016.

Brooks, Richard. Fred T. Jane: An Eccentric Visionary. Coulsdon, Surrey: Jane's Information Group, 1997.

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