It is hard to underestimate how influential HMS Dreadnought was when she entered service in 1905. She made all other battleships obsolete overnight, triggered and arms race that set the world alight and the principles of her design would remain the basic tennets of battleship design until the last, U.S., battleships were decomissioned in the 1990s. This new and very powerful warship was obviously a great choice for postcard manufacturers and today we are looking at a colourised image of the ship:
What made HMS Dreadnought revolutionary was that she had a single calibre for her main armament, sporting ten 12″ guns, mounted in five twin turrets. Three turrets were arranged fore and aft to fire over the bow (A turret) and stern (X and Y turrets):
Two further turrets were sited as wing turrets, either side of the superstructure and known as ‘P’ and ‘Q’ turrets:
The other revolutionary feature of Dreadnought was that she was the first capital ship to use steam turbines which gave her a speed of 21 knots. These turbines were powered by 18 boilers in three boiler rooms that vented out through two funnels, aft of the main bridge:
The foremast was situated between the two funnels and contained a spotting top which held rangefinders to help spot the fall of the ship’s guns; she was one of the first ships in the Royal Navy to have electrically transmitted information for range, deflection and the fire orders and this relied heavily on the information from the spotting top:
Technology moved on very quickly in the eight years between Dreadnought’s launch and the outbreak of war and far more capapble ships were by then in service, although Dreadnought was far from obsolete as many pre-Dreadnoughts were still in service. Dreadnought had a comparatively quiet war and her finest moment was ramming and sinking a German U-Boat, the ships she spawned however changed naval warfare for ever and for this she is rightly famous.