Portal:Battleships

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Drawing of the Japanese Yamato in her final configuration before she was sunk in 1945.

A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. As they were the largest, best-armed and most heavily armored ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a nation's naval power from the late nineteenth century until World War II. With the rise of air power, notably aircraft carriers, battleships were no longer able to establish naval superiority, and so all have been withdrawn from active service. The related battlecruiser, a successor to the armored cruiser, shared the very large main armament, general size, and cost of a battleship of the same generation, but they traded armor or firepower for higher speed.

Battleship design evolved to incorporate and adapt technological advances to maintain an edge. The word battleship was coined around 1794 as a contraction of the phrase line-of-battle ship, the dominant wooden warship during the Age of Sail. It came into formal use in the late 1880s to describe a type of ironclad warship, but these are now referred to as "pre-dreadnoughts". In 1906, the launch of HMS Dreadnought heralded a revolution in battleship design. Later designs that were influenced by this ship were referred to as "dreadnoughts". Battlecruisers were developed around this time by the British First Sea Lord Jackie Fisher. They were envisioned as being more effective armored cruisers, able to destroy any normal cruiser while being able to outrun any ships capable of sinking them.

By 1910, so-called "super-dreadnoughts" were entering service. In the four years between Dreadnought and the first super-dreadnoughts, the Orion class, displacement had increased by 25% and weight of broadside had doubled. Many battlecruisers and battleships of all varieties served in the First World War, most notably in the Battle of Jutland. None were built between the Nelsons of the early 1920s and the Dunkerques of the early 1930s due to various treaties, but quite a few battleships were constructed shortly before or during World War II. The last, HMS Vanguard, was commissioned just after the war, in 1946.

From this time on, most battleships and all battlecruisers were decommissioned and broken up. France's Jean Bart and Turkey's Yavuz were the last to be scrapped. However, members of the American Iowa class lasted until 1992 to aid troops with fire support; four were deployed in Korea, one in Vietnam, and two to Iraq. Nine battleships exist today as museum ships; eight from the United States, and Japan's Mikasa. (more...)


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HMS Dreadnought, the namesake of the ship type, steams through calm seas with smoke emanating from her two funnels.

The dreadnought was the predominant type of 20th-century battleship. The first of the kind, the British HMS Dreadnought had such an impact when launched in 1906 that battleships built after her were referred to as 'dreadnoughts', and earlier battleships became known as pre-dreadnoughts. Her design had two revolutionary features: an 'all-big-gun' armament scheme and steam turbine propulsion. The arrival of the dreadnoughts renewed the naval arms race, principally between Britain and Germany but reflected worldwide, as the new class of warships became a crucial symbol of national power. The concept of an all-big-gun ship had been in development for several years before Dreadnought's construction. The Imperial Japanese Navy had begun work on an all-big-gun battleship in 1904, but finished the ship as a pre-dreadnought; the United States Navy was also building all-big-gun battleships. Technical development continued rapidly through the dreadnought era. Successive designs increased rapidly in size and made use of improvements in armament, armor, and propulsion. Within ten years, new battleships outclassed Dreadnought herself. These more powerful vessels were known as 'super-dreadnoughts'. Most of the 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 serving through World War II. While dreadnought building consumed vast resources in the early 20th century, there was only one pitched battle between dreadnought fleets. At the Battle of Jutland, the British and German navies clashed with no decisive result. The term 'dreadnought' gradually dropped from use after World War I, especially after the Washington Naval Treaty, as all remaining battleships shared dreadnought characteristics.

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Photograph of Admiral Franz Ritter von Hipper in dress uniform

Franz Ritter von Hipper (13 September 1863 - 25 May 1932) was a German admiral of the Kaiserliche Marine during the First World War. He is most well-known for commanding the German battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland. After joining the Imperial Navy at age 18 in 1881, he would move on to command torpedo boats, SMS Leipzig, SMS Friedrich Carl, SMS Gneisenau, SMS Yorck, and the High Seas Fleet's I Scouting Group at the Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby, Battle of Dogger Bank and Jutland. Awarded the Iron Cross at Dogger Bank, he was later awarded the Pour le Mérite after Jutland for sinking two Royal Navy ships and ascended to command of the High Seas Fleet in August 1918. Though the war was all but lost by that time, he spent his final days of service attempting to control the Kiel Mutiny and administering the internment of the German Fleet at Scapa Flow (which would later be scuttled), and retired on 30 November 1918. The German cruiser Admiral Hipper, lead ship of the Admiral Hipper-class cruiser, would be named for him shortly after his death.

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HMS Tiger in her post-1918 configuration, with mainmast ahead of her third funnel. The most heavily armoured battlecruiser of the Royal Navy at the start of World War I (through which she was distinguished in the battles of Dogger Bank, Jutland, and Second Heligoland Bight), she was described by Sir John Keegan as "certainly the most beautiful warship in the world then, and perhaps ever".
Credit: Royal Navy photograph, source

HMS Tiger in her post-1918 configuration, with mainmast ahead of her third funnel. The most heavily armoured battlecruiser of the Royal Navy at the start of World War I (through which she was distinguished in the battles of Dogger Bank, Jutland, and Second Heligoland Bight), she was described by Sir John Keegan as "certainly the most beautiful warship in the world then, and perhaps ever".

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We did it.

Captain Wilfred A. Walter, commander of the USS William D. Porter after accidentally firing a torpedo at USS Iowa while the latter carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Battlecruisers of GermanyBayern class battleshipsIndefatigable class battlecruisersIowa class battleshipsKönig class battleshipsRivadavia class battleshipsTosa class battleshipsYamato class battleships

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Almirante Latorre-class battleshipAmagi-class battlecruiserAlaska-class cruiserARA MorenoARA RivadaviaArmament of the Iowa class battleshipBattle of MidwayBattle of the Eastern SolomonsBattle of the Santa Cruz IslandsBattleshipBayern-class battleshipBrazilian battleship Minas GeraesBrazilian battleship São PauloChilean battleship Almirante LatorreCourageous-class battlecruiserDerfflinger-class battlecruiserDesign 1047 battlecruiserDreadnoughtDutch 1913 battleship proposalErnst LindemannFred MoosallyHMAS Australia (1911)HMS Eagle (1918)HMS Indefatigable (1909)HMS Lion (1910)HMS Royal Oak (08)Helgoland-class battleshipIndiana-class battleshipJapanese aircraft carrier AkagiJapanese aircraft carrier KagaJapanese battleship HarunaJapanese battleship TosaJapanese battleship YamatoKaiser-class battleshipKönig-class battleshipMinas Geraes-class battleshipMoltke-class battlecruiserMontana-class battleshipNassau-class battleshipNaval Battle of GuadalcanalNorth Carolina-class battleshipOperation Ten-GoPre-dreadnought battleshipRivadavia-class battleshipRussian battleship SlavaSMS Baden (1915)SMS Bayern (1915)SMS DerfflingerSMS Erzherzog Franz FerdinandSMS Friedrich der Grosse (1911)SMS GoebenSMS Grosser Kurfürst (1913)SMS HelgolandSMS HindenburgSMS KönigSMS Kronprinz (1914)SMS LützowSMS MarkgrafSMS Moltke (1910)SMS RheinlandSMS SeydlitzSMS Von der TannSMS WestfalenSovetsky Soyuz-class battleshipSouth American dreadnought raceUSS Connecticut (BB-18)USS Illinois (BB-65)USS Indiana (BB-1)USS Iowa (BB-61)USS Iowa turret explosionUSS Kentucky (BB-66)USS Massachusetts (BB-2)USS Missouri (BB-63)USS Nevada (BB-36)USS New Jersey (BB-62)USS Wisconsin (BB-64)Yamato-class battleship

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List of battlecruisers of GermanyList of battlecruisers of JapanList of battlecruisers of RussiaList of battlecruisers of the Royal NavyList of battleships of Austria-HungaryList of battleships of GermanyList of battleships of the Ottoman Empire

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Borodino-class battlecruiserDesign A-150 battleshipDeutschland-class battleshipFlorida-class battleshipFusō-class battleshipGerman battleship TirpitzHMS Courageous (50)HMS Hood (51)HMS New Zealand (1911)HMS Princess Royal (1911)HMS Queen MaryJapanese battleship HieiJapanese battleship KirishimaJapanese battleship KongōJapanese battleship MusashiKongō-class battlecruiserLexington-class battlecruiserRussian battleship RostislavRussian battleship Sevastopol (1895)SMS Deutschland (1904)SMS HannoverSMS Kaiser (1911)SMS KaiserinSMS Kurfürst Friedrich WilhelmSMS NassauSMS OstfrieslandSMS PosenTosa-class battleshipUSS Hawaii (CB-3)USS Texas (BB-35)United States Naval Gunfire Support debate

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Battlecruisers of RussiaBattlecruisers of the Royal NavyBattleships of Austria-HungaryBattleships of GermanyCourageous class battlecruisers and aircraft carriersEkaterina II class battleshipsEvstafi class battleshipsGangut class battleshipsImperator Aleksandr II class battleshipsImperatritsa Mariya class battleshipsKongō class battlecruisers

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28 cm SK L/40 gun30.5 cm SK L/50 gunAdmiral class battlecruiserBL 18 inch Mk I naval gunBismarck-class battleshipBrandenburg-class battleshipBraunschweig-class battleshipBretagne-class battleshipColorado-class battleshipCourbet-class battleshipDelaware-class battleshipDesign B-65 cruiserEkaterina II-class battleshipErsatz Monarch-class battleshipErsatz Yorck-class battlecruiserErzherzog Karl-class battleshipEvstafi-class battleshipFranz von HipperFrench battleship Courbet (1911)French battleship DunkerqueFrench battleship FranceFrench battleship Iéna (1898)French battleship JauréguiberryFrench battleship Jean Bart (1911)French battleship ParisFrench battleship SuffrenG3 battlecruiserGangut-class battleshipGerman battleship GneisenauGerman battleship ScharnhorstGreek battleship KilkisGreek battleship LemnosGreek battleship SalamisH class battleship proposalsHabsburg-class battleshipHigh Seas FleetHMS Agamemnon (1906)HMS Agincourt (1913)HMS Anson (79)HMS Dreadnought (1906)HMS Eagle (1918)HMS Furious (47)HMS GloriousHMS Howe (32)HMS Indomitable (1907)HMS Inflexible (1907)HMS Invincible (1907)HMS King George V (41)HMS Lord Nelson (1906)HMS Renown (1916)HMS Repulse (1916)HMS Royal Sovereign (05)HMS Swiftsure (1903)HMS Tiger (1913)HMS Triumph (1903)HMS Vanguard (23)Imperator Aleksandr II-class battleshipImperatritsa Mariya-class battleshipIndefatigable-class battlecruiserInvincible-class battlecruiserIowa-class battleshipIron Duke-class battleshipItalian battleship Roma (1940)Japanese aircraft carrier ShinanoKaiser Friedrich III-class battleshipKronshtadt-class battlecruiserL 20 α class battleshipLion-class battlecruiserLion-class battleshipLittorio-class battleshipMackensen-class battlecruiserMississippi-class battleshipO-class battlecruiserOperation KitaRadetzky-class battleshipReinhard ScheerRenown-class battlecruiserRussian battleship Andrei PervozvannyRussian battleship Chesma (1886)Russian battleship Dvenadsat ApostolovRussian battleship Ekaterina IIRussian battleship EvstafiRussian battleship Gangut (1911)Russian battleship Georgii PobedonosetsRussian battleship Imperator Aleksandr IIRussian battleship Imperator Aleksandr IIIRussian battleship Imperator Nikolai IRussian battleship Imperator Nikolai I (1916)Russian battleship Imperator Pavel IRussian battleship Imperatritsa Ekaterina VelikayaRussian battleship Imperatritsa MariyaRussian battleship Ioann ZlatoustRussian battleship Petropavlovsk (1897)Russian battleship Petropavlovsk (1911)Russian battleship Poltava (1894)Russian battleship Poltava (1911)Russian battleship RetvizanRussian battleship Sevastopol (1911)Russian battleship SinopRussian battleship Tri SviatiteliaScharnhorst-class battleshipSMS ÁrpádSMS BabenburgSMS BrandenburgSMS BraunschweigSMS ElsassSMS Erzherzog Ferdinand MaxSMS Erzherzog FriedrichSMS Erzherzog KarlSMS HabsburgSMS HessenSMS Kaiser BarbarossaSMS Kaiser Friedrich IIISMS Kaiser Karl der GrosseSMS Kaiser Wilhelm der GrosseSMS Kaiser Wilhelm IISMS LothringenSMS MecklenburgSMS Oldenburg (1910)SMS PommernSMS Preussen (1903)SMS Prinz EugenSMS Prinzregent LuitpoldSMS RadetzkySMS SchlesienSMS Schleswig-HolsteinSMS SchwabenSMS Szent IstvánSMS TegetthoffSMS ThüringenSMS Viribus UnitisSMS WeissenburgSMS WettinSMS WittelsbachSMS WörthSMS ZähringenSMS ZrínyiScuttling of the German fleet in Scapa FlowSouth Dakota class battleship (1939)Stalingrad-class battlecruiserSwiftsure-class battleshipTegetthoff-class battleshipUnited States Battleship Division Nine (World War I)USS Alaska (CB-1)USS Guam (CB-2)USS Lexington (CV-2)USS Massachusetts (BB-59)USS Texas (1892)USS Missouri grounding incidentWittelsbach-class battleship

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Operation Majestic Titan is the code name for a long-term Wikipedian project with two primary objectives, the first of which is to create the single largest featured topic on Wikipedia, centered around the battleships considered, planned, built, operated, canceled, or otherwise recorded. There are probably a few hundred articles of this nature which will be included, from the earliest pre-dreadnoughts to the last of the dreadnoughts. Once all articles are featured this project will reorient to ensuring that the articles remain up to standard. If you're interested, please view the project page to familiarize yourself with the guidelines, and simply pick an article to improve! There is also ongoing discussion you can participate in.

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