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British Battleships 1914–18 (1)

British Battleships 1914–18 (1) Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2014 Title British Battleships 1914–18 (1)
Author Angus Konstam Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780961675
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


"Britannia rules the waves", the lyric goes.  And during World War I, metonymous "dreadnoughts" formed the tip of Albion's naval spear.

Angus Konstam recaps the whole terrific tale in Osprey's excellent British Battleships 1914–18 (1).  And what an informative introduction it is.

Coverage begins with helpful background notes on the design and development of HMS Dreadnought.  Developments in turbine propulsion, main armament, gunnery fire control and metallurgy paved the way for the revolutionary, "all big gun" battleship.  Its 1906 launching irreversibly changed naval warfare's calculus – and world politics.

Text then shifts – class-by-class, ship-by-ship – through all of Britain's "Early Dreadnoughts":

  • Bellerophon
  • St Vincent
  • Neptune
  • Colossus and
  • Agincourt.

Sections review "fighting potential", wartime modifications and WWI operations.  And illuminating illustrations, camouflage comments, extended captions, tables, bibliography, and index season this superb summary.

Enthusiasts will find Osprey's compact compendium an excellent introduction to a spellbinding subject.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!