Under a flotilla refers to a smaller group of ships. The term is a diminutive of the word fleet. In military flotillas are naval forces, which consist of several war ships or smaller boats. In some navies flotilla is a generic name for subdivisions of a fleet and can also refer to a non-existent from ships Association.

In Germany, an association was described from small boats such as speed boats, minesweepers and submarines as a flotilla to the end of the Second World War, which often turn consisted of two Halbflottillen. In the Imperial Navy, for example, included a Torpedobootsflottille twelve boats, consisting of a Flottillenführerboot, two Halbflottillen to four boats and the associated two half - Flottillenführerboote and a boat as a material reserve.

In the German Navy the term was first used and not re-introduced until the 1960s. Based on use in the NATO allies a flotilla called since a greater association of several squadrons of similar ships or boats, which was also referred to as type association. In addition, there were non- floating flotillas, as the flotilla of naval aviation. Now that the German Navy for two flotillas, one of which is stationed in the North Sea and the other on the Baltic Sea. They will be led by an officer in the rank of Flottillenadmirals.

The People's Navy of the GDR was divided into three flotillas, which corresponded approximately to the flotilla of the German Navy in size, but they were constructed differently.

The term is sometimes also used in the flotilla sailing. For example, common sailing tours of several boats are called Flotilla.