Division (naval)

A naval division is a subdivision of a squadron or flotilla. It can also be a subdivision of a fleet. A division is the smallest naval formation, most commonly numbering between two to four ships.

The four Iowa-class battleships operating as Battleship Division 2 off the Virginia Capes in 1954; from front to back are USS Iowa (BB-61), USS Wisconsin (BB-64), USS Missouri (BB-63), and USS New Jersey (BB-62).

Command elementEdit

A division is usually commanded by senior flag officer, most commonly a vice admiral or rear admiral, irrespective of the division's size. For example, in the Imperial Japanese Navy the First Carrier Division was commanded by a rear or vice admiral, same as the 18th Cruiser Division.

Division typesEdit

Divisions are most commonly grouped by ship class and type, dependent on how the respective nation's navy is organised. Examples of division types include:

See alsoEdit


  • Peattie, Mark R. (1999). Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909–1941. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-664-X.
  • Morison, Samuel E. (1963). The Two-Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War. New York City: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-5835-2-9