Barracks ship or barracks barge are terms used to indicate a ship or a non-self-propelled barge containing a superstructure of a type suitable for use as a temporary barracks for sailors. A barracks ship may also be used as a "Receiving Unit" for sailors who need temporary residence prior to being assigned to their ship. In civilian use the terms accommodation vessel or accommodation ship are used.
Barrack ships were common during the era of sailing ships when shore facilities were scarce or non-existent. Barrack ships were usually hulks. At times, barrack ships were also used as prison ships.
Use in World War II
Barracks ships in the combat area provided necessary residence for sailors and merchantmen whose ship had been sunk, or whose ship had been so damaged that on-board berthing was no longer possible. They were also used at advanced bases, and as mobile barracks for units such as construction battalions. Occasionally, they would be used for other roles such as providing office space.