logo

Video encyclopedia

Dreadnought

12:05

Dreadnought: The Battleship that Changed Everything

48:51

French Pre-Dreadnoughts - When Hotels go to War

7:06

HMS Dreadnought - Guide 001 (Human Voice)

2:04

First World War tech: Dreadnoughts

46:37

Jutland Clash of the Dreadnoughts - Part 1 of 2 (World War 1 Naval Battle Documentary) | Timeline

The dreadnought was the predominant type of battleship in the early 20th century. The first of its kind, the Royal Navy's Dreadnought made such a strong impression on people's minds when launched in 1906 that similar battleships built subsequently were referred to generically as "dreadnoughts", and earlier battleships became known as "pre-dreadnoughts". Dreadnought's design had two revolutionary features: an "all-big-gun" armament scheme, with more heavy-calibre guns than previous ships, and steam turbine propulsion. As dreadnoughts became a symbol of national power, the arrival of these new warships was a crucial catalyst in the intensifying naval arms race between the United Kingdom and Germany. With the launch of a single ship, Dreadnought, the scales of naval power were reset overnight. As a result, dreadnought races sprang up around the world, including in South America, during the lead up to World War I. Successive designs increased rapidly in size and made use of improvements in armament, armour, and propulsion throughout the dreadnought era. Within five years, new battleships had outclassed Dreadnought. These more powerful vessels were known as "super-dreadnoughts". Most of the original dreadnoughts were scrapped after the end of World War I under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty, but many of the newer super-dreadnoughts continued to be used throughout World War II. The only surviving dreadnought is USS Texas, located near the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.