These Are the 5 Biggest, Baddest Battleship Battles of All-Time

These Are the 5 Biggest, Baddest Battleship Battles of All-Time

Robert Farley


Let the debate begin. 

Late in the battle, Prince of Wales scored a hit on Bismarck that caused a fuel leak.  This killed Bismarck’s mission; she could not raid into the Atlantic with fuel running low.  Bismarck broke contact with Prince of Wales (which by this time was severely hampered by gunnery breakdowns), and attempted to run for home.  Two days later she was caught by HMS Rodney and HMS King George V, which avenged Hood by sending Bismarck to the bottom.

The age of the steel line-of-battleship really began in the 1880s, with the construction of a series of warships that could carry and independently aim heavy guns external to the hull.  In 1905, HMS Dreadnought brought together an array of innovations in shipbuilding, propulsion, and  gunnery to create a new kind of warship, one that could dominate all existing battleships.

(This first appeared several years ago.)

Although eventually supplanted by the submarine and the aircraft carrier, the battleship took pride of place in the navies of the first half of the twentieth century. The mythology of of the battleship age often understates how active many of the ships were; both World War I and World War II saw numerous battleship engagements. These are the five most important battles of the dreadnought age.

(Recommended: Could Trump Bring Back the Battleship?

Battle of Jutland:

In the years prior to World War I, Britain and Germany raced to outbuild each other, resulting in vast fleets of dreadnought battleships.  The British won the race, but not by so far that they could ignore the power of the German High Seas Fleet.  When war began, the Royal Navy collected most of its modern battleships into the Grand Fleet, based at Scapa Flow.

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