Battleships: An Illustrated History of Their Impact by Stanley L. Sandler

By Stanley L. Sandler

From precedent days to global struggle II and the postwar interval, Battleships charts the evolution of the vessel that governed the seas―a vessel that, until eventually the arriving of the airplane provider, could be the most costly and intricate human-made relocating item in history.

• Over forty photos clarify the defining gains of every major capital send design

• A chronological directory of battleships, ironclads, and dreadnoughts, together with identify, kingdom, reason behind loss, situation of loss, and date

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Sample text

Royal Navy constructors tiresomely pointed out that the combination of masts and sails with turrets would block the all-around fire that was one of the most compelling of the theoretical arguments for the turret against the broadside. Relying on steam alone might suffice for coastal ironclads, but for the oceanic demands of the Royal Navy, masts and sails were considered essential. Edward James Reed (the British Admiralty’s chief constructor) and Admiral Sir Robert Spencer Robinson, the controller of the Royal Navy (responsible for the service’s materiel) 31 32 BATTLESHIPS both mustered serious objections to Coles’s dreams of low-freeboard oceangoing masted turret ships.

Great Britain’s undoubted naval supremacy rested upon its superior industrial base, as well as its good fortune in having men of genius at the right time administering, designing, and building its new battleships, both wooden and, later, ironclad. What did not change appreciably was the condition and treatment of the men who crewed these wooden walls; this changed remarkably little over the centuries. The gap between seaman and officer was virtually unbridgeable (Captain James Cook was one of the very rare exceptions, rising from cabin boy to captain).

But the following year did see the first Royal Navy steam vessel, a lowly dredger. The world’s first efficient, commercially successful steamship was Robert Fulton’s justly famous Clermont (1807). To Fulton, an American, also goes the honor in 1814 of constructing the world’s first steam warship, Demologos (Voice of the People—Fulton was a committed Jeffersonian republican). This twin-paddle, ship-rigged catamaran steam wooden warship (renamed Fulton after the inventor’s death in February 1815) was built specifically to fight in the War of 1812.

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