Launching of the Dreadnought (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The launching of the Dreadnought ushers in a new era in naval technology and improves Britain’s edge in the contest for naval superiority among the European powers.
Summary of Event
By the twentieth century, the battleship was firmly established as the dominant weapon of the world’s navies. The battleship had evolved from the clumsy U.S. Civil War ironclads of the 1860’s into a relatively large and heavily armed vessel. The development of naval technology had been generally consistent in those nations building warships, so battleships shared many characteristics. A typical battleship was armed with four main battery guns (generally of twelve-inch caliber) backed by a multitude of secondary guns in the six-to-eight-inch caliber range, protected by armor belts nine to twelve inches thick, and propelled by piston engines. Naval technology was about to take a huge leap forward, however, as circumstances around the world influenced naval architecture.
By 1900, three elements combined to create an atmosphere in which naval innovation could thrive. The most important of these was the growing international tensions between Germany and its...
(The entire section is 1596 words.)
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