By Peter Padfield
The battleship reigned supreme at sea from the 1860s to the 1940s, the ultimate symbol of naval power and national pride, queen on the naval chessboard.
As a result, strategy and battle tactics changed in response to the mounting of ever larger guns with greater range and penetrative power, and the development of threatening new weapon systems, particularly torpedoes, torpedo boats, mines and submarines.
The author also explores the chilling reality of action with vivid descriptions of major naval battles including the Yalu in the first Sino-Japanese War, Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, Jutland in the First World War and many lesser known engagements.
Battleship describes the evolution from the wooden man-of-war plated with iron armour to the great steel leviathan of the Second World War, and its ultimate displacement as arbiter of naval power by the aircraft carrier.