Traditional Chinese/Kyuujitai: 戰艦
Mainland China simplified Chinese: 战列舰
Alternate name on Taiwan: 戰列艦
Alternate name on Hong Kong: 戰鬥艦
A type of large late 19th century to mid 20th century oceangoing warship characterized by its heavy armor and large guns that was ultimately rendered obsolete by advances in airplane and missile technology.
Battleships of this time period can be roughly divided into handful of different categories:
- Pre-dreadnought - usually 4 main battery guns mounted in 2 twin turrets one fore and one aft (with some variations, French for example were quite fond of single turrets and Germans built one class of pre-dreads with 3 twin turrets all centerline), featured large secondary and tertiary batteries of small to medium scale guns meant to compensate the low rate of fire large guns had during this time period and allow ship to engage smaller targets like torpedo boats and destroyers, and heavy armor. Examples: British Majestic-class and Imperial Japanese Navy's Mikasa (sole surviving example of this type of ship).
- Semi-dreadnought - type of advanced pre-dreadnought that mounted larger guns (usually in 8" to 10" range instead of around 6") as their secondary battery than earlier pre-dreadnoughts, were rendered obsolete were quickly by dreadnought battleships. Examples: British Lord Nelson-class and American Kearsarge-class.
- Dreadnought battleship - Inspired by data gathered from Russo-Japanese War and major technical advanced that had taken place in areas of fire control, capital ship gun rate of fire, and machinery development during late 1890s and early 1900s world's navies were looking towards building all big gun battleships. Ultimately First Sea Lord Baron John Fisher's brainchild HMS Dreadnought was the first of these ships to be completed and gave her name to all ships of this type. When HMS Dreadnought first entered service she was superior in speed, armor, and armaments to all pre-existing battleships in the world and rendered they all obsolete. Characteristics of dreadnought battleships were: main battery of 8 to 16 11" or 12" guns mounted usually in twin turrets (Italians, Russians, and Austro-Hungarians had ships with triple turrets), secondary battery in 3" to 6" range, and speed around 21 knots when compared to pre-dreadnoughs which tend to make between 15 and 18 knots. Examples: British HMS Dreadnought, HMS Agincourt, and Italian Dante Alighieri.
- Super-Dreadnought battleship - What happens when even dreadnoughts aren't enough and you need for one reason or another build ships superior to them? You arm your new battleships with significantly larger guns. When compared to dreadnoughts super-dreadnoughts are characterized by their larger guns (between 13.5" and 16"), and, to us, more normal looking turret layouts; no longer were battleships sporting wing turrets and super-firing was widely adopted. Examples: British Orion-class (first super-dreadnoughts) and American New Mexico-class.
- Fast battleship - Result of combining the speed of a battlecruiser with the armor and armaments of a battleship. This type of ship first emerged during WW1 with the British Queen Elizabeth-class battleships (designed to make 24 knots which was estimated to be enough to keep up with earlier Imperial German battlecruisers in combat conditions) but really got popular during 1930s and WW2. Examples: British Queen Elizabeth-class (arguably should be considered plain old super-dreadnoughts by WW2), American Iowa-class, and Japanese Nagato-class (capable of making 26.5 knots when commissioned which made them fastest non-battlecruiser capital ships in the world for almost 20 years).
- Treaty battleship - a battleship built under limitations of Washington Naval Treaty. 1st London Naval Treaty, or 2nd London Naval Treaty all of which heavily restricted building of new capital ships. Treaty battleships were characterized by their limited size and thus various compromises that brought to their designs. While this meant that they weren't exactly the best battleships ever built they still played major role in WW2 and ended up engaging&sinking number of vessels during that war. Examples: British Nelson-class (first treaty battleships, limited in their size and armament by Washington Naval Treaty) and American North Carolina-class (2nd London Naval Treaty).
- Super battleship - not an official term but is sometimes used in casual conversations to describe a number of extremely large battleships either designed or, in case of Japanese, built during late 1930s and early 1940s. These vessels were characterized by their massive sizes, impressive armor&armament, and utter impracticality in a world in which aircraft carriers had became the dominant type of surface warship. Examples: Japanese Yamato-class and (never built) American Montana-class.
No posts found.