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British Battleships 1914–18 (2)

British Battleships 1914–18 (2) Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2014 Title British Battleships 1914–18 (2)
Author Angus Konstam Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780961705
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


Angus Konstam continues his handy history of World War I British dreadnoughts with British Battleships 1914–18 (2) from Osprey Publishing.

HMS Dreadnought – the world's first "all big gun" warship – spurred a global arms race.  Maritime powers – major and minor – raced to add increasingly larger, faster and better armed battleships to their fleets.  And Britain responded, maintaining its naval dominance with new "Super Dreadnought" classes:

  • Orion
  • King George V
  • Iron Duke
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Royal Sovereign
  • Erin and
  • Canada.

Konstam's coverage recaps design & development, specifications, WWI modifications, seizures, camouflage and wartime service – including notes on 1916 Battle of Jutland participation.  As before, illustrations, color comments, extended captions, tables, bibliography and index augment the absorbing, informative account.

The direct ancestors of HMS Dreadnought dominated world navies through World War II.  Only with the advent of land- and carrier-based air power did their value wane.  And even then, survivors served another half century as US Navy fleet operations support ships.

Learn where it all started.  Spend an enlightening evening with Konstam's pithy précis – both volumes!  You'll find them splendid springboards to further study of this terrific topic.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!