• Smithsonian Channel
    Combat Ships

    S2 E1 Viking Longships

    Over the centuries, longships evolved from swift war canoes to become the preeminent fighting machines of the age. For over 200 years, Vikings depended on these vessels to carry them across the ocean to trade and to plunder. With names such as Surf Dragon and Great Serpent, these ships became part of Viking culture and took on almost magical properties. But what was the secret behind their power? We examine the story of longships and those who built them, a people who were often violent and bloody...but also expert craftsmen.

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Combat Ships
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In times of conflict, controlling the sea often means controlling the war. We tell the stories of some of history's most remarkable combat ships as well as the men and women who sailed them into battle. From Viking longships to missile-carrying destroyers and from stealth, covert conflicts to the greatest sea conflict of all, the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944, we reveal the secrets of these amazing vessels and the remarkable maritime missions they carried out, through rarely seen combat footage and firsthand veteran accounts.
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Combat Ships