"Most of history's major naval battles, for instance, have been fought inshore, often as an adjunct to land campaign. Opposing naval forces had trouble finding one another the in open ocean, and even as late as World War II distance invariably humbled surveillance systems." - - Robert Crowley as found in the "MILITARY HISTORY: The Readers's Companion".
Consider within the context of World War II the naval engagement Cape Matapan. Thanks to You Tube and the Internet video web site Historigraph.
Matapan. 1941. Naval warfare British and Italian naval forces in mortal combat. Without naval aviation both contingents would have been more or less oblivious of the presence, location and strength of the other side even while steaming more or less directly toward one another.
The aftermath of Matapan the Italian navy for the remainder of the war a relative non-entity.