Alliance navy

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AllianceAlliance navy
Alliance fleet 1.png
Main leader
  Formerly
Secondary leaders
  Formerly
Race(s)
Capital
Other major settlements
Theater of operations

All major oceans of Azeroth as well as alternate Draenor, Northrend,[2] Deepholm,[3] Broken Isles

Main language
Secondary languages
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Active

General quarters! Get our birds in the air. Clear the decks. Stations, people. Let's go to war!
Sky Admiral Rogers, committing the Skyfire to battle

The Alliance navy[5] is the collective maritime military force of the various members of the Grand Alliance. As the naval wing of the Alliance military, these combined navies protect the Alliance's interests throughout Azeroth and beyond, and have seen particularly frequent service against the Horde, which also fields a formidable naval presence.

Most of the Alliance's material naval power is provided by the Kingdom of Stormwind, supplemented by the engineering innovations of the gnomes and dwarves, and fitted with crews from all Alliance members. Boasting a collection of varied vessels, including battleships, submarines, and gunships, the navy is capable of meeting many different threats, and has been utilized in some of the Alliance's most important operations. Historically, the navy of the Grand Alliance would be the spiritual successor to that of the Alliance of Lordaeron,[6] and often works extremely closely with Alliance land forces during campaigns and in battle to ensure success.

Deployment & history

The navy of the Grand Alliance has evolved significantly in the time since the Alliance's founding in the wake of the Third War. Despite mainly human operated initially, the navy as it currently stands is operated by members of virtually every Alliance race. The navy is presumably under the overall command of both the Alliance Naval Command and the High King of the Alliance, currently Anduin Wrynn. Throughout its existence, the navy has seen deployment across almost every major ocean in Azeroth, as well as those of alternate Draenor. Additionally, navy personnel have taken part in numerous land operations.

The Alliance's naval forces are most often deployed against the ever-present threat of the Horde, though it also deals with pirates,[7] demons, and any other major risk to the stability of the world or the Alliance itself. In relatively recent times, the navy has incorporated groundbreaking new innovations and technologies, particularly those of gnomish and dwarven design. This has allowed for the development of such assets as the gunship and submarine.

The navy's main construction yard and hub is located at Stormwind City Harbor, with many other naval bases and ports scattered throughout the various territories in which the Alliance is active. Spiritual successor to that of the Alliance of Lordaeron, the current Alliance navy has distinguished itself in countless campaigns across numerous worlds, including: the war against the Lich King, war against Deathwing, Alliance-Horde war, war in Draenor, third invasion of the Burning Legion, and the Battle for Azeroth.

Eastern Kingdoms

Kingdom of Stormwind

As one of its strongest members with an established maritime history, the Kingdom of Stormwind contributes an immense deal of materials and personnel to the Alliance's naval effort. The harbor of Stormwind City is the largest Alliance port and naval base on Azeroth, playing host to a massive drydock and dockyard capable of constructing and repairing the vessels of the Alliance fleet. In preparation for naval campaigns and invasions, the harbor is frequently used as an assembly point for fleets; many weapons, supplies, and materials can be found stockpiled throughout the port, which is also fortified against enemy attack. King Varian Wrynn notably set off from the harbor shortly after the destruction of Theramore Isle with a massive fleet bound for Orgrimmar's Bladefist Bay,[8] while the Alliance fleet that took part in the Battle for the Broken Shore would also launch from this location.

Major sea lanes also connect Stormwind Harbor to other key areas controlled by the Alliance, such as Rut'theran Village (and thus the night elf capital of Darnassus) and Valiance Keep in Northrend. Stormwind Harbor in particular has served a pivotal strategic role in combating the navy of the Horde in the eastern Great Sea,[9] and thus protecting Stormwind and the heart of the Alliance itself.

Marshtide Watch in the Swamp of Sorrows is kept supplied and reinforced by a small jetty that allows boats from the Forbidding Sea to dock. This is likely very important for the continued success against the Horde forces based from nearby Stonard.

Wetlands

Alliance ships and marines storm the Shattered Beachhead in the Blasted Lands to push back the Iron Horde incursion

Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands represents one of the Alliance's most northerly naval bases in the Eastern Kingdoms. The Lady Mehley provides transport for Alliance forces to Theramore Isle in Kalimdor. Though a naval connection once existed between Menethil Harbor and Auberdine, this route has been abandoned with the severe damage done to both ports during the Cataclysm.

Menethil Harbor served as an important port for the Valiance Expedition at the time of the War against the Lich King, providing a vital naval connection to the Alliance base of Valgarde in Northrend's Howling Fjord. The icebreaker known as the Northspear mainly services this route.

Blasted Lands

When the Iron Horde led a major incursion into the Blasted Lands from the Dark Portal, the Alliance responded by sending a fleet to the nearby shores in order to halt the orcs' advance. Led by Vindicator Maraad, these marines and sailors landed in the Blasted Lands and quickly engaged the Iron Horde army on the beach while establishing a command post and artillery positions. They eventually began to push inland. At the same time, a Horde naval force carried out a similar operation nearby.[10]

Twilight Highlands

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
An Alliance fleet bound for the Twilight Highlands

Both the Alliance and Horde launched separate incursions into the Twilight Highlands during the war against Deathwing, with both factions dispatching fleets to the area. The Alliance fleet, having left Stormwind Harbor, arrived on the northern coast of the Twilight Highlands after probably having sailed through the Thandol Span. Mainly consisting of transport ships and destroyers, the Alliance fleet possessed no air support during the journey, for which it would suffer when it encountered a Horde airfleet also bound for the highlands.[11]

Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, on board the airfleet, ordered the Horde air guard to seize the opportunity and attack the Alliance armada while it was in close formation. Though the Alliance apparently inflicted heavy casualties,[12] the fleet was left seriously damaged following this ambush. The Horde's zeppelins too would pay for the sudden attack, when they were soon afterwards wiped out by a group of twilight dragons led by Deathwing, having dispatched all their close air support to deal with the Alliance.[13]

Elsewhere, the Horde's sea fleet was also attacked by Alliance naval forces in open waters en route to the Twilight Highlands, inflicting heavy damage.[14]

When the remnants of the Alliance's fleet finally arrived in Highbank, they established a major base and port there. More ships were lost at the nearby Obsidian Breakers when their crews were enchanted by the siren of the Highlands, causing them to run into the rocks.[15] Despite the harsh start to the campaign, the Alliance continued to land its forces on the shores of the Twilight Highlands in preparation for the conflict with the Twilight's Hammer based from the Bastion of Twilight and the Horde of Dragonmaw Port.

Beyond the initial engagement, no further known naval conflict occurred as part of the Twilight Highlands campaign, though the Tidebreaker continued to be stationed in Highbank harbor, presumably for defense or supply purposes.

Gilneas

When the Kingdom of Gilneas was reopened and the Forsaken launched an invasion of the region, a night elven fleet eventually arrived at Keel Harbor to provide relief to Gilneas's beleaguered citizens (many of whom were now worgen). The night elf ships carried with them glaive throwers and other equipment to help in the fight against the Forsaken. The fleet was ultimately able to escape the ruined kingdom with the Gilnean refugees, returning to Darnassus and precipitating the worgen entry into the Alliance. On the way back, the relief fleet encountered a powerful storm that caused great damage and almost resulted in the death of the King of Gilneas Genn Greymane.[16]

The famous 7th Legion led by High Commander Halford Wyrmbane was eventually dispatched with a naval force to aid the Gilneas Liberation Front in driving the Forsaken from Gilneas City and the surrounding region. The X-2 Pincer submarine was stationed near to Keel Harbor and was used as the headquarters of High Commander Wyrmbane during the conflict.[17]

Tol Barad

At the time of the war against Deathwing, an intense conflict erupted between the Alliance and Horde for control of the island chain of Tol Barad. Both sides invested the island heavily, with the Alliance dispatching numerous ships reinforce it. Baradin Base Camp, operated by Baradin's Wardens, served as the main Alliance port on the island, and was known to service ships as part of the conflict. Despite both sides' efforts, the battle has remained inconclusive.

Ghostlands

Night elf ships carrying the Sentinel spies were dispatched to the Ghostlands with the aim of establishing a spying operation on the local blood elves using high elven moon crystals. There they established a base on Shalandis Isle, which was capable of hosting docked boats.

Vashj'ir

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The Pincer X2 engages Ozumat

In response to continued Horde attacks on Alliance trade ships in the western oceans shortly after the Cataclysm, the Alliance committed increasingly more forces to naval engagements of the Eastern Kingdoms' western coast.[18] With the events of the Cataclysm, several new islands had been created in these waters, and fierce fighting broke out over control of the tactically-advantageous land masses. The Alliance felt that if the Horde could gain a naval presence on or around the islands then they could potentially threaten Stormwind City.

The Alliance navy would lose many ships during the conflict in this theater, with the few that did return requiring extensive repairs in Stormwind Harbor. To make up for the shortfall, the navy was forced to commission mercenary ships to help reinforce its forces in the field. The situation became even more dire as numerous Alliance and Horde ships came under attack from the Zin'jatar naga based in the underwater realm of Vashj'ir. The naga used kraken to stop and sink the vessels while they themselves butchered or drowned the crew.

One such mercenary ship carrying Captain Taylor and a contingent of Alliance forces was attacked, though many of the occupants managed to survive with aid of Erunak Stonespeaker. From the Kelp'thar Forest deep below the waves, this force led by Captain Taylor led a series of retaliatory attacks on the naga in the area. Taylor's forces were revealed to be a division of elite Alliance troops—S.E.A.L.Fs—who had been sent not only to deal with the Horde threat, but also to investigate the disturbances in the area resulting from the Cataclysm.[19] The campaign against the naga would eventually bring these forces into the Shimmering Expanse and eventually the Abyssal Depths.

An Alliance rescue fleet was eventually sent to locate the survivors of the earlier shipwrecks led by the Voldrin's Hold. The state-of-the-art Pincer X2 submarine, a new innovation of gnome engineering, was also dispatched from Stormwind City to help hunt the kraken Ozumat who destroyed the previous Alliance ships. The Pincer X2, commanded by Captain Glovaal, was able to temporarily able to drive off the beast from Darkbreak Cove.[20]

Eventually, the Alliance forces on board the Pincer X2 would launch a large attack on the naga forces attempting to defeat Neptulon at the Abyssal Breach. Led by Lady Naz'jar, the naga were successfully able to triumph over Neptulon, after the Pincer X2 was destroyed.[21]

Kalimdor

Teldrassil

The sea route between the night elf capital of Darnassus on Teldrassil and the human capital of Stormwind City has traditionally been extremely important in keeping the Alliance properly connected. Alliance ships thus regularly travel between Stormwind and the major night elf port at Rut'theran Village. Later on, with the entrance of the draenei into the Alliance and the acquisition of the nearby Azuremyst Isle, night elf ships such as the Elune's Blessing frequently make the journey between Rut'theran and Valaar's Berth, creating a link to the Exodar. Refugees from the ruined Kingdom of Gilneas would land at Rut'theran at the time of the Cataclysm, having been rescued by a night elf fleet sent to the Gilnean peninsula.

Azuremyst Isle

Around the time of the Invasion of Outland, an Alliance flotilla commanded by Admiral Odesyus was forced to put to shore on the southern shores of Azuremyst Isle due to the actions of goblins stowed away in the hold. On the beach his crew landed on, they established Odesyus' Landing, and shortly thereafter were contacted by the draenei people, recently arrived on Azeroth. These draenei would eventually join the Alliance itself, and helped the admiral and his crew recover important items stolen by the Venture Co. goblins.[22]

The port of Valaar's Berth was established in the west of the isle, and quickly started hosting Alliance ships, thereby establishing a connection to Teldrassil.

During the third invasion of the Burning Legion when the time came to begin the Argus Campaign, the battleship known as the Wind's Redemption transported prominent members of the Alliance, including Vereesa Windrunner, Arator the Redeemer, and Vindicator Boros, to Valaar's Berth in Azuremyst Isle in preparation for the departure to the world of Argus on board the Vindicaar. The ship was captained by Grand Admiral Jes-Tereth herself.[23]

Ferelas

A major night elf and Alliance base was situated at Feathermoon Stronghold on Sardor Isle, representing one of the Alliance's largest bases in western Kalimdor. The vessel known as the Feathermoon Ferry commanded by Captain Idrilae ferried Alliance members between the stronghold and the shore. Following the Cataclysm, Feathermoon Stronghold was overrun by naga, and the port relocated to the coast.

Dustwallow Marsh

Theramore Isle, once the most important Alliance port on the continent

The Alliance port settlement of Theramore, with its seafaring traditions, was the largest of the faction's naval bases on Kalimdor. An outpost for the Alliance in hostile territory, Theramore was well-connected to the Eastern Kingdoms by sea, specifically Menethil Harbor. Numerous warships and fleets were stationed in Theramore and nearby regions, usually battling the Horde in some capacity.

When Warchief Garrosh Hellscream and the Horde began preparations to march on Theramore Isle during the Alliance-Horde war, Theramore's ruler Lady Jaina Proudmoore was warned in advance and requested support from Stormwind and the rest of the Alliance. Many of the Alliance's best generals, along with copious reinforcements, hurriedly dispatched from Stormwind on board the 7th Fleet. Theramore was well-reinforced by the time the Horde's forces arrived, yet Jaina refused to allow the Alliance naval forces to engage the enemy unless they actually entered Alliance waters. Before the battle itself, a ship was dispatched to Gadgetzan with many of the city's children.

Shortly after the battle began, however, Warchief Hellscream revealed his true plan. He had intentionally gathered a large concentration of Alliance commanders and forces, and now ordered the dropping of a powerful mana bomb on the city. The resulting explosion wiped out virtually everyone and everything on the isle. The destruction of the large fleet present hit the Alliance particularly hard, and in the aftermath of the bombing of Theramore the Horde established an imposing naval blockade on all of Kalimdor.

Among those slain in the mana bombing was Admiral Aubrey, a prominent Alliance naval commander and previously master of Northwatch Hold.

The Barrens

The navy is extremely important to the continued success of the Northwatch Expeditionary Unit against Horde forces in and around the Barrens. Northwatch Hold, a major Alliance outpost in traditionally Horde territory, hosts a large port and is kept well-supplied by ships from Theramore and other areas of the Alliance. The hold's sea route acted as an important lifeline during conflict with the Horde.[24] As of the Cataclysm, the hold was under the command of Admiral Aubrey.

Northwatch naval forces in stationed near the Barrens

At the time of the Cataclysm, the Horde and Alliance once more came into conflict in the area. A large Horde naval and land force of the Rageroar clan subsequently laid siege to Northwatch Hold in an attempt to drive the Alliance from the coast. While the Horde land forces breached the main walls, its ships attacked the Alliance garrison of destroyers. Before long, the majority of the hold's warships were either sunk or forced to return to Theramore for repairs.[25]

Only the Blackpool remained in action, and Rageroar forces eventually attempted a boarding action on the vessel. With the help of some reinforcements from the hold, the Blackpool's crew were successful in repelling the boarders and regaining control of much of the harbor. Following this, the Horde fleet disengaged and instead attempted to land more troops on the mainland, though this too was repelled by Northwatch's defenders.[26]

Alliance naval forces were also active along the Merchant Coast near Ratchet up to and after the Cataclsym. Rear Admiral Hartley led a campaign against the local Southsea Freebooters from his flagship the Bellipotent, forcing the criminals from Fray Island and capturing Baron Longshore. In addition to this, the Rear Admiral's forces also searched and seized Horde vessels in the nearby neutral port of Ratchet. Horde forces would strike back for this incursion (with the aid of Gazlowe) by sabotaging the crew's munitions in their camp along the Merchant Coast and mining the Bellipotent, though the destroyer was not sunk.[27][28]

When the Horde marched on Theramore Isle under Warchief Garrosh Hellscream shortly before the discovery of Pandaria, they would attack and raze the naval port of Northwatch Hold along the way despite a heroic defense. After Theramore's destruction and the subsequent naval battle near Orgrimmar, the Alliance fleet under King Varian Wrynn himself returned to the ruins of Northwatch Hold and routed all Horde forces in the vicinity. Work then began to rebuild the port to its former significance.[29]

Durotar

Durotar, despite being in the very heart of Horde-controlled Kalimdor, has hosted a series of incursions by Alliance naval forces. Tiragarde Keep, once the bastion of Daelin Proudmoore, was eventually retaken by forces from Kul Tiras. Though they were affiliated with the Kingdom of Stormwind, they were not directly aided by any Alliance ships or other forces. This Kul Tiras occupation would eventually be wiped out by the Cataclysm, and in its wake a marine force from the Northwatch Expeditionary Unit occupied the fortress. Being deep in enemy territory with no land route to friendly regions, the keep is presumably fully reinforced and supplied by the sea.

After the Cataclysm, Alliance elements in the form of the Northwatch Expedition also established a foothold in the far south of Durotar. This force was heavily supplied by a destroyer escort from Northwatch Hold, though it drew the aggressive attention of Horde elements based from the nearby Sen'jin Village.[30]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War novel.

Following the Horde's mana bombing of Theramore Isle, news of the attack traveled to Stormwind City and King Varian Wrynn ordered a major Alliance fleet to be dispatched to Durotar to lay siege to Bladefist Bay and potentially seize the Horde's capital. A feint intended to convince the Horde that the Alliance attack would come at Darkshore far to the north to break the recently-established blockade of the continent was organized, while King Varian himself led the real armada destined for Durotar on board the Lion of the Waves.

The feint appeared to have worked, and the Alliance fleet discovered only a few Horde ships stationed in Bladefist Bay upon arrival. Soon, however, Garrosh Hellscream revealed his true plans by summoning magically-enslaved kraken from beneath the waves, which quickly began tearing the Alliance's flotilla apart. Garrosh himself boarded King Varian's flagship and engaged him in combat, though this was interrupted when the Lion of the Waves was abruptly blown apart. Varian managed to get to another vessel and ordered the Alliance ships to retreat from the battle, but the fleet was entirely cut off by the kraken, and many vessels had already been lost.

Combined Alliance and Horde navies bear down on Bladefist Bay during the Siege of Orgrimmar

Before the fleet could be annihilated, Jaina Proudmoore arrived with an army of water elementals (which she had intended to us to destroy Orgrimmar itself) and drove off or killed Garrosh's sea monsters. The remaining Alliance ships subsequently withdrew from the area, sailing to the ruined Northwatch Hold. The fleet quickly defeated and routed all Horde forces in the vicinity and reclaimed the port stronghold. In the wake of the sea battle outside Orgrimmar, Warchief Garrosh was forced to break the continent-wide blockade of Alliance ports on Kalimdor to free forces for the security of Durotar itself.

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

As the Alliance-Horde war began to enter its darkest stage yet, Garrosh Hellscream would form the True Horde as civil war erupted throughout Durotar and the Horde itself. King Varian and the Alliance would dispatch a vast fleet to blockade and seize Bladefist Bay, assisted by the navies of both the Forsaken and the blood elves. Though the Darkspear Rebellion failed to secure a landing point on the beach, the fleet launched its own assault on the shore, and managed to eliminate the Kor'kron shore batteries and defenses.[31]

Soon after, the flagship Turalyon's Might landed at Bladefist Bay and dropped off King Varian, Lady Jaina Proudmoore, and Vereesa Windrunner, along with Alliance troops. Together, these forces overcame Warlord Zaela and her forces, securing the beach for the coalition and pushing inland to the gates of Orgrimmar itself.

An Alliance gunship (possibly the Skyfire) was also used during the ensuing Siege of Orgrimmar, providing air support as it hovered above the city.

Seething Shore

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content exclusive to Battle for Azeroth.

After the wound in Silithus was formed by Sargeras, a major skirmish broke out in the area between the Alliance and Horde for control of the Azerite resource. On a small island known as the Seething Shore off Silithus's coast, the Alliance gunship Skyguard led efforts to recover Azerite from the area. This force, overseen by Master Mathias Shaw, would come into conflict with the Horde on their own gunship. Champions would parachute from both vessels in order to battle for the Azerite appearing on the shore below.

High Seas

"Battle on the High Seas"

While the Alliance's navy is often used to support its land forces in continental campaigns, it has been known to frequently engage with Horde across the seas and oceans of Azeroth.

Shortly after the Cataclysm, the ship of the former Warchief of the Horde Thrall known as Draka's Fury was attacked by a contingent of Alliance ships led by the Vengeance Wake en route to the Maelstrom. The ambush was deliberate, and carried out by the Alliance navy and SI:7 with the goal of taking Thrall into custody. During the engagement, the shaman's ship was sunk and Thrall was indeed taken captive by the Alliance forces. A ship carrying a large group of goblins fleeing the doomed island of Kezan coincidentally arrived during the battle, and was also destroyed by the Alliance ships to ensure there would be no witnesses to the operation. Thrall was eventually liberated from his prison on board the Vengeance Wake when some of the goblins who survived the sea battle launched a raid on the Alliance convoy. Thrall subsequently used his elemental powers to destroy the remaining Alliance naval forces present.[32]

When the final battle against Deathwing the Destroyer came, the Alliance's Skyfire was deployed against the dragon and his allies. Having been injured by the Demon Soul wielded by Thrall, Deathwing fled towards the Maelstrom to escape, but was pursued by Thrall, the Dragon Aspects, and heroes of the Alliance and Horde on the gunship. While the airship was attacked in its pursuit by a force of Deathwing's minions commanded by Warmaster Blackhorn, the Skyfire and its crew were successfully able to repel the invaders and drop forces onto the back of Deathwing himself over the Frozen Sea.

Immediately upon the discovery of Pandaria, the gunship known as the Skyseeker arrived on the new continent on the north coast of the Jade Forest. The gunship was dispatched back to Stormwind City to retrieve reinforcements, but on the way ran into a Horde naval force. The Skyseeker defeated the enemy and took many of the Horde members prisoner on board the ship. As it continued its journey back to the Eastern Kingdoms, it ran into heavy fog, which eventually caused it to crash into the Wandering Isle. In the wake of the crash, the Alliance sailors were forced to work together with the Horde prisoners, along with the local pandaren, to repair the damage done to Shen-zin Su (the great turtle on which the isle sits) by the Skyseeker's crash, and subsequently return home.

At the time of the campaign in Pandaria, both the Alliance and Horde rushed fleets and reinforcements to the continent as part of each's invasion. These fleets regularly engaged one another in the open waters on the way to Pandaria, leading to large-scale naval engagements. At least one Alliance fleet under the command of Admiral Hodgson was embroiled in these skirmishes, which involved numerous battleships.[33]

Deepholm

The Alliance would assign the gunship Llane's Oath to patrol the skies within the elemental realm of Deepholm, located through the swirling Maelstrom. During this mission, however, the crew were infiltrated by members of the Twilight's Hammer cult, and tricked into staging an ambush on the Horde's Storm's Fury, assigned to a similar purpose. After destroying the Horde gunship, almost all of the crew of the Llane's Oath were poisoned by the cult members, the exception being First Mate Moody who attempted to stop the ship from crashing.[34]

Northrend

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

When the war against the Lich King began some time after the conclusion of the Invasion of Outland, both the Horde and Alliance prepared separate expeditions with which to invade the lands of the Undead Scourge on the frigid continent of Northrend. The Alliance's Valiance Expedition was two-pronged and led to the assembly of two major fleets that would land on two separate part of Northrend. The campaign in Northrend would also see the first use of the new icebreaker class of destroyer in the Alliance navy.

One invasion force sailed to the Borean Tundra and established Valiance Keep in its south. The fleet would continue to ship troops and supplies to the keep throughout the conflict in Northrend to fuel the campaign. The Kraken was one such destroyer that regularly made the journey between Valiance Keep and Stormwind City. The Stormbreaker was one of the ships docked in the port that had been secretly infested with members of the Cult of the Damned hoping to reach the continent.[35] Admiral Cantlebree, commanding Alliance naval forces in the region, feared that many more Alliance ships across the continent may have been similarly compromised.[36]

Meanwhile another arm of the Valiance Expedition landed at Valgarde in the Howling Fjord and established a port and fortress there. Like Valiance Keep, this settlement was kept supplied by sea, with the Northspear creating a connection back to Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands. Valgarde itself was under the command of Vice Admiral Keller.

At the same time, Stormwind's North Fleet began to arrive on the eastern coast of the Howling Fjord. There, however, they met and engaged with a large Forsaken force based from Vengeance Landing. Before long, most of the easternmost section of this fleet had been sunk by the Forsaken, while the survivors established a small camp at the Derelict Strand.[37] Using cannons, these surviving crew members were able to hold out against the Horde forces, and even managed to board some of their ships,[38] though they were eventually overwhelmed. A Horde shipment from Undercity carrying a new form of plague was also intercepted and sunk by Alliance ships before it could reach Vengeance Landing.[39]

The Skybreaker, deployed to Icecrown in the war against the Scourge

Another detachment of the North Fleet eventually arrived to reinforce that attacked by the Forsaken. The Royal Apothecary Society at Vengeance Landing employed a new type of plague against the approaching flotilla; though it forced the convoy to retreat, the only negative effects proved to be nausea and stomach pains.[40]

Alliance and Horde forces waged a constant battle over access to the port of Venture Bay in Grizzly Hills. At least one Alliance icebreaker destroyer was involved in the conflict, commanded by Captain Brightwater.

As the Northrend campaign developed, the Alliance, Horde, and Argent Crusade began to push into the Lich King's main stronghold of Icecrown. There, the Alliance deployed the Skybreaker gunship to act as a mobile base in the sky. Under the command of High Captain Justin Bartlett, the Skybreaker's entry into the conflict represented one of the known uses of the Alliance gunship in battle. The Skybreaker would play a pivotal role for Alliance interests in the region, and often engaged with the Horde gunship Orgrim's Hammer in firefights over Icecrown. The Alliance gunship would also go on to rescue Alliance champions who had infiltrated the Halls of Reflection, and even took part in the final assault on Icecrown Citadel, where it distinguished itself under the command of Magni Bronzebeard.

Alliance gunships were also used in the campaign to secure the Isle of Conquest off Northrend's coast, where they frequently served to bombard the Horde Keep. Alliance icebreakers would also take part in naval assaults on the Strand of the Ancients off the coast of Dragonblight in an attempt to wrest the ancient titan citadel.

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

When the war against Deathwing reached its climax, the Alliance gunship Skyfire was stationed at Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight to aid in the fight against Deathwing and his monstrous allies. After providing fire support for much of the battle, it eventually acted as transport for Thrall, the Dragon Aspects, and heroes of the Alliance and Horde as they pursued the Destroyer over the Frozen Sea towards the Maelstrom.

Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Alliance and Horde vessels clash within the mists of Pandaria

Shortly after the conclusion of the war against Deathwing and the fall of Theramore, the royal flagship known as the Vanguard carrying the Prince of Stormwind Anduin Wrynn on a diplomatic mission was attacked by part of the Horde's southern fleet in the South Seas. The ship would eventually run aground on an uncharted landmass that would soon be identified as Pandaria. In the wake of Anduin's disappearance and the discovery of Pandaria, the 7th Fleet was dispatched to the continent, through it would take weeks to arrive. In the meantime, King Varian ordered a small force to be assembled and sent immediately on board the Skyfire gunship to secure Pandaria and locate the prince.[41]

The Skyfire, under the command of Sky Admiral Rogers, quickly arrived in Pandaria's Jade Forest and was immediately engaged by a Horde fleet based around the outpost of Garrosh'ar Point. Unleashing its gyrocopters and artillery upon the Horde force, the Skyfire eventually routed the entire army and managed to seize Garrosh'ar point.

An Alliance fleet, having arrived on the northern coast of the Jade Forest, managed to engage the Horde gunship Hellscream's Fist as it too arrived on the coast near Honeydew Village. The Alliance ships dealt serious damage to the gunship, which soon afterward took additional fire from Alliance forces based at Thunder Hold; it would eventually crash.

Later on in the Pandaria campaign, the Skyfire would spearhead the Assault on Zan'vess against the corrupted mantid.

Operation: Shieldwall

Two months after the discovery of Pandaria, the Alliance 7th Fleet arrived on the continent's southern coast in the Krasarang Wilds, bringing with it a massive invasion force. Making landfall with the army, the expedition led by King Varian Wrynn (known as Operation: Shieldwall) established a large naval base known as Lion's Landing in the east of the region. The 7th Fleet present, consisting of numerous battleships, submarines, and the Skyfire, immediately engaged with the Horde invasion force based from Domination Point some distance down the coast. In the ensuing struggle, the Alliance's naval forces would bottle the Horde's into their harbor at Domination Point, though they suffered some casualties due to mines in the water. The Skyfire would act as a forward command post in the offensive to break the Horde base.

Naval bombardment from the Alliance's fleet caused considerable casualties among the vanguard forces of the Horde, while some of the survivors from sunken Alliance ships also established small positions on the isles close to Domination Point. Back at Lion's Landing, Horde ships were largely kept in check by cannons and coastal batteries protecting the approach by sea.

During the battle in the Krasarang Wilds, the Alliance navy outside Domination Point launched at least one major attempt to seize the Horde base that nearly succeeded, though it was eventually repelled.[42] Similarly, Horde forces managed to infiltrate and threaten Lion's Landing, in doing so sabotaging and sinking several of the Alliance battleships moored there.[43]

Isle of Thunder

When the Kirin Tor Offensive was launched to secure the Isle of Thunder and defeat the resurgent Thunder King, Alliance forces were involved in the subsequent assault. Though regular Alliance soldiers did not directly take part, the ships used to reach and further secure the area belonged to the Alliance navy. Agents of the Sunreaver Onslaught would plant tactical mana bombs on the battleships stationed near Violet Rise during the conflict, though these were disarmed by members of the Alliance before they could detonate.[44]

Alternate Draenor

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

The naval forces of the Alliance played a practically non-existent role in the war in Draenor for much of the conflict, with the fighting taking place on a distant, alternate version of Draenor. When Gul'dan eventually seized control of the Iron Horde and pulled its forces back to Tanaan Jungle, the Alliance's commanders decided to construct a large shipyard at the Lunarfall Garrison in Shadowmoon Valley, with which to launch a less-costly assault on Tanaan.[45]

With the aid of the shipwright Solog Roark, the Alliance was able to erect a formidable shipyard, which was soon capable of producing almost every type of vessel in the Alliance navy. For the campaign against the Horde and Iron Horde, which spanned the all the oceans of Draenor, numerous battleships, destroyers, transport ships, submarines, and even re-purposed Iron Horde dreadnaughts to be used as aircraft carriers. In the ensuing campaign, dozens of missions, sea battles, and operations were carried out by the Lunarfall fleet across Draenor, extending Alliance control throughout the world.

Various new schematics were acquired and used to improve the designs of the fleet, which was ultimately under the command of the commander of the Lunarfall Garrison. With the eventual success of the campaign in Draenor, construction and maintenance of the Alliance's fleet on the world likely ceased.

Broken Isles

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Broken Shore

When the third invasion of the Burning Legion commenced, the majority of Azeroth's factions mobilized to strike against the demonic threat based from the Broken Shore on the Broken Isles. The Alliance navy assembled in great numbers in Stormwind Harbor for the attack, eventually setting sail for the Broken Shore and rendezvousing with a similar Horde fleet. Together, the combined armada began the Battle for the Broken Shore, which mainly occurred in two waves.

The first wave of the attack, led by King Varian Wrynn and Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner, consisted of the bulk of the Stormwind Fleet, with the Lion's Oath gunship acting as the command ship for the Alliance's forces. This first attack force would suffer heavy casualties upon arrival, with the majority of the fleet destroyed, including at least two gunships. The second wave, spearheaded by champions of the Alliance alongside champions of the Horde, managed to successfully land on the Broken Shore on ships of the third fleet and secure a beachhead against the Legion.

The second wave of Alliance and Horde was ultimately destroyed or beaten back too; many of the surviving Alliance only narrowly managed to escape aboard a gunship, while King Varian himself was killed. In the aftermath, the Battle for the Broken Shore proved to be a disastrous defeat for the Alliance, Horde, and others involved, with a sizable amount of the Alliance navy having been lost in the assault.

Stormheim

Following the Battle for the Broken Shore, Alliance and Horde fleets began to converge independantly on the region of Stormheim in the eastern Broken Isles, ostensibly to locate the Aegis of Aggramar, though conflict between the two sides quickly erupted. The Skyfire, having spotted the Forsaken Windrunner Fleet near the coast of Stormheim upon their arrival, immediately engaged the enemy despite being separated from the main Alliance fleet. The Skyfire's opening salvo devastated a number of the enemy ships, and a battle soon broke out between the forces of both sides.

As 7th Legion troops systematically boarded the vessels of the Horde fleet, working their way to the royal flagship. There, however, they discovered that Sylvanas Windrunner had already departed, while at the same time the Skyfire had itself been boarded by Horde forces led by Nathanos Blightcaller. Despite the best efforts of the crew, Forsaken saboteurs managed to seriously damage the Skyfire, which subsequently crashed in western Stormheim. The Windrunner Fleet too was left practically wiped out by the battle.

In the wake of the opening conflict, Alliance naval forces continued to remain active in the area. Much of the crew survived the Skyfire's crash and established the Skyfire Triage Camp near the wreckage. Genn Greymane continued his offensive against Sylvanas's forces throughout Stormheim, and received naval support from at least one ship when he launched an attack on the Forsaken base at Dreadwake's Landing.[46]

Vessels

Name Description Examples Image
Battleship Standard battleship used by the Alliance navy, forming the bulk of many Alliance fleets. This particular class was first used during the campaign in Pandaria, and hosts improved armor around the bow as well as an increased compliment of heavy cannons. Effective at outclassing smaller destroyers but generally susceptible to carriers and air attacks. Turalyon's Might, Seabolt, Wind's Redemption, Valor's Edge, Spellsails, Defiant, Rhonin's Beard Human frigate WoW.jpg
Icebreaker Originally designed and built for the Northrend campaign (hence their name), the icebreaker quickly became the Alliance's main class of destroyer, and as such usually supports larger battleships. Mainly steam-powered, though possesses masts and sails. May utilize gnomish or dwarven engineering in its design. Very heavily armored on all sides. They can be used to counter the threat of submarines but are largely outclassed by larger and more powerful battleships. Blackpool, Northspear, Bellipotent, Assurance, Kraken, Stormbreaker, Frostbreaker Blackpool.jpg
Gunship Highly versatile and complex airships that can act as mobile command centers during battle. First used during the Northrend campaign, eventually becoming common in all major Alliance campaigns. Kept aloft and powered by four main, and numerous auxiliary, propellers. The design heavily incorporates gnomish and dwarven engineering, and can often act as an aircraft carrier by hosting complements of gyrocopters and other craft. Heavily armored and possessing extremely heavy firepower. Have been known to singlehandedly tackle entire enemy fleets. Skyfire, Skybreaker, Llane's Oath, Skyseeker, Sword of Dawn, Lion's Oath, Skyguard Skyfire 4.jpg
Human transport ship Standard multi-purpose sailing ship used by the Alliance navy as both battleships and transport ships during many wars. Can host heavy cannons but possesses little additional armor. They have been largely replaced in a combat setting with the newer class of armored battleship as of the Pandaria campaign. Bravery, Tidebreaker, Lady Mehley, Intrepid, Voldrin's Hold, Maiden's Virtue, Vengeance Wake The Tidebreaker.jpg
Gnomish submarine Submersible and amphibious craft of gnomish design, capable of carrying out many different types of operations. Modern version first deployed in the wake of the Cataclysm. Sophisticated in its design, these vessels are capable of striking both surface and underwater targets, and can even take to the land and function as a ground assault craft. Heavily armored and possessing a varied array of weaponry. Can be effectively negated by destroyers. X-2 Pincer, Pincer X2, M.A.C. Diver Gnomish-submarine.jpg
Carrier Large vessels of Iron Horde design,[47] very similar in appearance to dreadnaughts. Used exclusively during the war in Draenor, by the Alliance navy, acting as mobile bases for gyrocopters and bombers. Heavily armored and generally effective against battleships, but vulnerable to submarines. Alleria's Valor, Theramore's Revenge, Menethil March, Hammer of Justice, Anduin's Prayer Alliance carrier 02.jpg
Darnassian transport Small and light transport vessel used by the night elves of Darnassus. Possesses no in-built firepower and no armor. Used for regional transport and not seen in war fleets, though are capable of crossing large oceans.[48] Propelled by a single, large lateen sail. Elune's Blessing, Moonspray, Feathermoon Ferry Elune's Blessing (docked).jpg

Ranks

Some of the known ranks of the Alliance navy, in order of most to least senior, are:

Rank Role
Grand Admiral Not assigned to any one vessel but in some position of overall command of the navy, under the Alliance's High King.[49]
Admiral,
Sky Admiral[50]
In command of a particular vessel as a flagship, but often responsible for numerous ships, and sometimes whole fleets.
Vice Admiral[51] A senior officer, higher-ranking than a rear admiral but subordinate to an admiral.
Sky Marshal A highly-ranked officer. More than one are typically present per vessel.[52]
Rear Admiral[53] Similar to the role of admiral or vice admiral, but presumably responsible for fewer ships and resources.
High Captain[54] A ship captain presumably granted expanded authority, responsibilities, and resources for their disposal.
Captain,
Sky Captain[55]
Given command of a single ship, which may be part of a larger fleet. Sometimes but not always under the command of an admiral.
Lieutenant[56] Acts somewhat as second-in-command to captains or other high-ranking officers, carrying out orders on the their behalf.[57]
Ensign Not in direct command of a vessel, but known to assist the captain or other high-ranking officer in the running of the ship and other tasks.[58][59]
Sailor, Deckhand
Marine
Lowest-ranking members of the navy; carry out the manual labor and general fighting involved in battle. Marines may not always be present on a ship.

Ranks from across the Alliance's military forces have been known to cross over, or outright overlap, such as Taylor's progression from a naval Admiral to an army General, or Tremblade's holding both the army rank of Grand Marshal as well as the naval rank of Captain.[60]

The Alliance Naval Command likely exercises supreme authority over all naval forces, at least under the authority of the Alliance leaders themselves.

Notable members

Name Description Status
IconSmall Jes-Tereth.gif Grand Admiral Jes-Tereth Grand Admiral and highest-ranking known member of the navy. Liaises with the High King of the Alliance on naval matters and issues orders to the fleet.[61] Major commander during the campaign in Pandaria and briefly captained the Wind's Redemption shortly before the Argus Campaign.[62] Alive
IconSmall Taylor.gif Taylor Captain and eventually admiral in the Alliance navy. First took part in the naval campaign in Vash'jir before being promoted and leading Alliance forces during the war against the Horde in Pandaria. Ultimately promoted to commander, and slain during the the war in Draenor. Active
IconSmall Human Female.gif Sky Admiral Rogers Captain of the Skyfire following the death of Sky Captain Swayze. One of the lead commanders in the field during the early stages of the campaign in Pandaria, and later took part in Operation: Shieldwall. Partly led the attack on the Windrunner Fleet during the war in the Broken Isles, in which the Skyfire was ultimately destroyed, though much of its crew survived.[63] Alive
IconSmall Human Male.gif Admiral Aubrey Admiral in the Northwatch Expeditionary Unit and commander of Northwatch Hold. Led Northwatch's defense against the Horde following the Cataclysm and later survived its eventual destruction. Killed along with many others in the mana bombing of Theramore Isle. Deceased
IconSmall Human Male.gif Admiral Odesyus Admiral of a small fleet which was beached on Odesyus' Landing on Azuremyst Isle, where they made contact with the recently-arrived draenei, precipitating that race's entry into the Alliance. Alive
IconSmall Human Male.gif Vice Admiral Keller Vice Admiral of the fleet and commander of the Valiance Expedition forces in Valgarde during the war against the Lich King. Alive
IconSmall Human Male.gif High Captain Justin Bartlett Captain of the Skyseeker in Icecrown during the Northrend campaign. Under his command, the gunship would play a major role in the defeat of the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel. Alive
IconSmall Human Female.gif Grand Marshal Tremblade Captain of the Skyguard during the conflict on the Seething Shore. Alive
IconSmall NightElf Male.gif Admiral Nightwind Commanding admiral of the night elven fleet that came to the aid of the Gilnean people during the Forsaken invasion of the kingdom. Alive
IconSmall Human Male.gif Rear Admiral Hartley Rear admiral of the Northwatch Expeditionary Unit in the Barrens and commander of the Bellipotent. Involved in the conflict against the Horde near the neutral port of Ratchet, where he harassed vessels suspected of enemy allegiance.[64] Alive
IconSmall Human Male.gif Admiral Dvorek Admiral of a force of Alliance sailors during the conflict with the Horde over the islands above Vash'jir. Eventually captured by Zin'jatar naga and ultimately helped lead a major Alliance campaign against the naga leader Lady Naz'jar. Alive
IconSmall Human Male.gif Sky Captain Swayze Captain of the Skyfire during the war against Deathwing. Commanded the Skyfire during its pursuit of the Destroyer over the Frozen Sea. Would eventually drop to his death from Deathwing's back during the ensuing battle. Deceased
IconSmall Human Female.gif Admiral Cantlebree Admiral of the Valiance Expedition's naval forces in the Borean Tundra of Northrend based from Valiance Keep, during the war against the Lich King. Alive
IconSmall Human Male.gif Admiral Hodgson Admiral of an Alliance fleet sent to reinforce the army on Pandaria. Fought a major naval engagement with a similarly-bound Horde fleet commanded by Admiral Hagman. Killable

Gallery

Notes & trivia

  • The Invasion of Outland remains the only major war to date that the Alliance has engaged in where its navy has played no active role. This is mainly due to the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade expansion being primarily set on the distant world of Outland.
  • It is unclear what the exact size of the Alliance's navy is at any time, though King Varian Wrynn described having "Two hundred ships at [his] disposal" at the beginning of the campaign in Pandaria.[65] This may, however, be in reference to a particular fleet, rather than the navy as a whole.
  • The command structure of the naval forces of the Scarlet Crusade resembles that of the Alliance navy, possessing for example a single Grand Admiral.[66]
  • Numerous members of the Alliance navy have been seen to wear the tabard traditionally associated with Theramore, despite having no apparent connection to the settlement.[67] This might imply that that tabard is also used to represent the Alliance navy itself.
  • By the time of the campaign in Pandaria, the Skyfire gunship was considered the most powerful vessel in the navy.[68]

See also

References

  1. ^ Characters - Varian Wrynn: "Varian's success solidified his position as high king, the commander of all Alliance forces."
  2. ^ The Skybreaker
  3. ^ Llane's Oath
  4. ^ Quest:The Battle for Broken Shore (Alliance)#Stage 1: The Broken Shore
  5. ^ A [100 - 110] Assault and Battery
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
  7. ^ H [16] Find Baron Longshore
  8. ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
  9. ^ A [80] Hero's Call: Vashj'ir!
  10. ^ A [90] Iron Horde Invasion!
  11. ^ H [84] Twilight Skies
  12. ^ A [84] Kurdran's Waitin'
  13. ^ Quest:Twilight Skies (2)#Transcript
  14. ^ Quest:Twilight Skies (2)#Completion
  15. ^ A [84] Siren's Song
  16. ^ Lord of His Pack
  17. ^ H [15] What Tomorrow Brings
  18. ^ A [81] Call of Duty
  19. ^ A [81] Stormwind Elite Aquatic and Land Forces
  20. ^ B [81] Full Circle
  21. ^ B [82] Defending the Rift
  22. ^ A [7] A Small Start
  23. ^ B [110] Two If By Sea
  24. ^ A [30] Repel Boarders!
  25. ^ A [30] Repel Boarders!
  26. ^ A [30] Run Out the Guns
  27. ^ H [16] Love it or Limpet
  28. ^ H [16] Ammo Kerblammo
  29. ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
  30. ^ H [6] Purge the Valley
  31. ^ Siege of Orgrimmar
  32. ^ H [8] Meet me Up Top
  33. ^ Battle on the High Seas scenario
  34. ^ N [82] All Our Friends Are Dead
  35. ^ A [71] Cultists Among Us
  36. ^ A [71] Notify Arlos
  37. ^ H [68] Reports from the Field
  38. ^ H [71] Ambushed!
  39. ^ H [70] The New Plague
  40. ^ H [70] Test at Sea
  41. ^ A [86] The Mission
  42. ^ Domination Point (scenario)
  43. ^ Lion's Landing (scenario)
  44. ^ A [90P Daily] Enough with the Bombs!
  45. ^ B [100] Garrison Campaign: War Council
  46. ^ H [100 - 110] A Gift for Greymane
  47. ^ B [100] Derailment
  48. ^ A [12] Rut'theran Village
  49. ^ Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore and Grand Admiral Jes-Tereth
  50. ^ Sky Admiral Rogers
  51. ^ Vice Admiral Keller
  52. ^ Sky Marshals
  53. ^ Rear Admiral Hartley
  54. ^ High Captain Justin Bartlett
  55. ^ Sky Captain Swayze
  56. ^ Lieutenant Buckland
  57. ^ H [15] A Captain's Vengeance
  58. ^ Ensign Ebbert during B [82] Defending the Rift
  59. ^ Ensign Ward during A [100 - 110] To Catch a Banshee
  60. ^ Grand Marshal Tremblade is Captain of the Skyguard in the Seething Shore
  61. ^ A [86] The King's Command
  62. ^ B [110] The Hand of Fate
  63. ^ A [100 - 110] Making the Rounds
  64. ^ H [16] Club Foote
  65. ^ A [86] The King's Command
  66. ^ Barean Westwind
  67. ^ E.g. Grand Admiral Jes-Tereth, Delora Lionheart, Yanas Seastrike
  68. ^ Sky Admiral Rogers#Quotes