A battleship is a lairge airmoured warship wi a main battery consistin o hivy calibre guns. During the late 19t an early 20t centuries the battleship wis the maist pouerfu teep o warship, an a fleet o battleships wis vital for ony naition that desired tae mainteen command o the sea.

The firepouer o a battleship demonstratit bi USS Iowa (c. 1984). The muzzle blast distorts the ocean surface.

The wird battleship wis coined aroond 1794 an is a contraction o the phrase line-o-battle ship, the dominant widden warship during the Age o Sail.[1] The term came intae formal uise in the late 1880s tae descrive a teep o airnclad warship,[2] nou referred tae bi historians as pre-dreadnought battleships. In 1906, the commissionin o HMS Dreadnought heraldit a revolution in battleship design. Subsequent battleship designs, influenced bi HMS Dreadnought, war referred tae as "dreadnoughts".

Battleships war a seembol o naval dominance an naitional micht, an for decades the battleship wis a major factor in baith diplomacy an militar strategy.[3] A global airms race in battleship construction began in Europe in the 1890s an culminatit at the decisive Battle o Tsushima in 1905;[4][5][6] the ootcome o which signeeficantly influenced the design o HMS Dreadnought.[7][8] The launch o Dreadnought in 1906 commenced a new naval airms race. Three major fleet actions atween steel battleships teuk place: the decisive battles o the Yellae Sea (1904) an Tsushima (1905) during the Russo-Japanese War, an the inconclusive Battle o Jutland (1916) during the First Warld War. Jutland wis the lairgest naval battle an the anerly full-scale clash o battleships in the war, an it wis the last major battle focht primarily bi battleships in warld history.[9]

The Naval Treaties o the 1920s an 1930s leemitit the nummer o battleships, tho technical innovation in battleship design continued. Baith the Allied an Axis pouers biggit battleships during Warld War II, tho the increasin importance o the aircraft carrier meant that the battleship played a less important role nor haed been expectit.

The value o the battleship haes been quaistened, even during thair heyday.[10] Thare war few o the decisive fleet battles that battleship proponents expectit, an uised tae juistify the vast resoorces spent on biggin battlefleets. Even in spite o thair huge firepouer an pertection, battleships war increasingly vulnerable tae much smawer, cheaper wappens: ineetially the torpedo an the naval mine, an later aircraft an the guidit missile.[11] The growin range o naval engagements led tae the aircraft carrier replacin the battleship as the leadin caipital ship during Warld War II, wi the last battleship tae be launched bein HMS Vanguard in 1944. Battleships war reteened bi the Unitit States Navy intae the Cauld War for fire support purposes afore bein stricken frae the U.S. Naval Vessel Register in the 2000s.


  1. "battleship" The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. April 4, 2000.
  2. Stoll, J. Steaming in the Dark?, Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 36 No. 2, Juin 1992.
  3. Sondhaus, L. Naval Warfare 1815–1914, ISBN 0-415-21478-5.
  4. Herwig pp. 35, 41, 42.
  5. Mahan 1890/Dover 1987 pp. 2, 3.
  6. Preston (1982) p. 24.
  7. Breyer p. 115.
  8. Massie (1991) p. 471.
  9. Jeremy Black, "Jutland's Place in History," Naval History (June 2016) 30#3 pp 16-21.
  10. O'Connell, Robert J. (1993). Sacred vessels: the cult of the battleship and the rise of the U.S. Navy. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508006-8.[page needit]
  11. Lenton, H. T.: Krigsfartyg efter 1860

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