“War makes good history, but peace is poor reading.” – Thomas Hardy.
And sardonically enough it is true. Though war may represent a horrible time of man’s history on this earth, it allows learning about various principles, strategies, and consequences that can occur during the course of the conflict and how to handle life to bring it back to peace. Another important aspect of war is often the technological advancement of machinery and bringing up the rapid advancement of weapons, which helps to maintain life even in times of peace. And if you happen to be a fan of all kinds of cool war machinery, this article will definitely pique your interest. It is about the different kinds of battleships available which were used in world war one and the top ten among them!
World war one, or the Great War as it as was known as was the first conflict which involved so many countries altogether had so many casualties and so many consequences all over the world. Starting from technological advancement to military advancement; no stones were left unturned so that this war could be won by the interested parties. While it definitely proved that the motto of necessity being the mother of invention is certainly held up in times of urgency like this, it also shows that human ingenuity has no bounds when it comes to designing war machinery for the sake of victory. And battleships are a major part of that! After all, naval battles were an important and crucial aspect of World War I and allowed rather important quick victories to an otherwise losing side. However, without much further ado, we shall discuss the top 10 battleships present in World War I and their roles and specifications:-
Battleship Overview of WW1
There can be many other battleships which have been important during the course of the first world war but not much is known. Starting from HMS Canopus and HMS Colossus have played a major role in the first World War in various battles. There was a total of 21 Allied ships versus 16 ships of the Central forces, which show just how much the battleships have improved and come by from their previous designs. While the other battleships couldn’t make the cut, these ten battleships are enough for you to be hooked into learning the various intricacies of history. While there are many lost in darkness and do not have sufficient information about them. There are some which have improved and upgraded and it is expected that they will be identifiable as the names in the famous stories and legends of war as time continues to pass. After all, getting to know the grand history of this old battleship is definitely not something you get to know just about every day.
There are many battleships and cruisers belonging to other countries which we have missed mentioning, but which played no less of an important role in the Great War. These include Japanese and German battleships which, due to lack of enough information present on them couldn’t be mentioned properly.
10. Ammiraglio Di Saint Bon
Battleship: Italian Navy
One of the pre-dreadnoughts classified ships in the Italian Navy just before the Great War began, Ammiraglio Di Saint Bon is definitely a battleship to be remembered. It leads to very important victories in the Italo- Turkish War and held its ground in the onslaught against Ottoman Empire, leading to the creation of the state of Libya. With gigantic dimensions of a volume of 10,700 tonnes, 367 feet and the presence of a 69 feet tall beam and a draught of 25 feet. It was fully capable of carrying more than 500 officers of the navy and could easily pick up a speed of 18 knots! Being a well-established battleship, its design included ample space for the armory and ensured that there could be many sets of guns across her fore and back, along with the presence of torpedo tubes which could destroy an enemy vessel from below the waterline.
9. HMS Barham (04)
Battleship: Royal Navy UK,
Well, well, this battleship is what the legends are all about. Build to defeat German excellence and prove the presence of British in the naval combat, this ship was a pretty well-known veteran of World War I. It was a Queen Elizabeth class of ship and had six other similar compatriots in the navy. With the presence of over 24 boilers, this ship held its head up high as one of the fastest as well as strongest ships in the navy. With a top speed of 24 knots and presence of multiple guns and a special twin gun turret, this ship was nothing less than a menace to its enemies. With over 1000 people in its crews and soon after getting torpedoes, HMS Barham took part in the famous Battle of Jutland and definitely proved her worth!
8. Benedetto Brin
Battleship: Italian Regia Marina
Built: 1899 to 1905
Though it had a short operational life, Benedetto Brin certainly jumped head first into the first World War! A pre-dreadnought warship of the Regina Margherita class, it had specialized towards open water conflicts and gave more priority to developing an excellent speed rather than covering the base. Also, true to its nature, it had enough armory to compensate for its lack of protection and made for a precarious enemy on high seas! However, its untimely loss was caused by an onboard explosion during its deployment in Tripoli, which was most probably suspected of being caused by sabotage.
7. Caio Duilio
One of the rare battleships that stood as a testament of time and not only survived both the world wars, but also were in the Cold War as well! With its Dreadnought class capabilities. This battleship certainly did not mince words when it came to standing its own ground in a conflict. With five turrets and over 2000 men onboard, this battleship was a strong WatchGuard which maintained patrols. However, due to the cautiousness of the enemy is not engaging , the battleship didn’t get to see much action in the War but definitely was a safeguard for the Italian Army.
6. FS Bouvet
Battleship: Italian Andrea Doria-class battleship
One of the stars of the French Army, Bouvet played a crucial role in the World War I but unfortunately suffered tremendous casualty and sunk near Dardanelles in March of 1915. One of the major frontier battleships of her time, Bouvet was the pride of the French Navy till it was downgraded to pre-dreadnought battleship. With a strong bridge superstructure and twin masts, it was no less formidable with its characteristics and qualities as a major battleship! It had low profile turrets with one in the front and one in the back and also had single gunned turrets. It rallied and fought against the Turkish land armies and continued till it sank due to its inadvertent presence in a landmine surrounded field.Giulio Cesare
5. Giulio Cesare
Battleship: Royal Italian Navy
Built: June 1910
One of the most mysterious and yet trustworthy battleships of history, Giulio Cesare did have quite an interesting range of exploits in World War I before it was passed on to the Soviets from the Italians. With a total of 31,000 horsepower available in its engines, you can well understand that this battleship was no joke and definitely had quite a good amount of formidable strength! With a crew of 1000 and having a multitude of turrets and torpedoes, this ship did take a crucial part in World War I.
4. HMS Agamemnon
Battleship: Royal Navy Uk
It is the last of the British pre-dreadnought battleships before the ships became obsolete. She definitely became one of the star ships which took part in the grand naval battles of World War I. Here, however, perhaps the ship might have survived if it had been technically more advanced and abridged to dreadnought class. With speed close to 19 knots, it took quite a few battles and managed to survive them safely. With the bombing of the Turkish shores, and surviving several howitzer ships, it managed to keep its crew safe till it was met by the Turkish Fleet to sign an armistice.
3. HMS Agincourt
Battleship: Royal Navy Uk
One of the top dreadnought class battleships, HMS Agincourt definitely lived up to its reputation. Initially meant for the Brazilian n Army, it was sent to the Ottoman Empire before the Royal Navy finally bought it and kept it for active use. With the perfect combination of speed and safety, this ship guaranteed to be one of the top contenders in a naval battle. Already this ship was mired in a controversy where the British took away the ship from a potential enemy like the Turks despite them having paid the price. This did not sit well with the Turks and they made sure they joined the enemy side and became part of the central powers. There were all over seven turrets present in the ship and a high -class special ability gun present. It had a good speed of 22 knots and also supplementary firepower and the presence of torpedoes. It was present in the famous Battle of Jutland where it helped the allies get a step ahead and march for victory!
2. HMS Indefatigable
Battleship: Royal Navy Uk
One of the classic battleship cruiser ships present in maritime history before the first World War, HMS Indefatigable definitely proved that its name was not the mere chance! The HMS Indefatigable definitely had no qualms in sacrificing its heavy armoured protection casing in favour of high speeds; due to which this cruiser warship category was formed. With a range of 7000 nautical miles and over 25 knots in speed, the ship was definitely not one to look over. With two main masts and two hull superstructures, it carried a crew of 800 seamen, though another 200 could be easily accommodated during wartime. A successor of the famous “Invincible” class, the “Indefatigable” class was definitely one of the top battleships available in that range. It was operated in the Mediterranean and had made a mark in the battle of Dardanelles before bravely losing in the Battle of Jutland. Only two of her crew had survived that terrible onslaught.
1. HMS Bellerophon
Battleship: Royal Navy Uk
One of the major participants of the famous battle of Jutland, HMS Bellerophon was among the fastest ships of the British Royal Navy. Mainly inspired by the Germans with their technological advancement, the HMS Bellerophon belonged to a class of ship that revolutionized naval warfare completely since its inception. However, it still had superior capabilities as compared to the normal Dreadnought class that was present. It had increased fore power to its auxiliary guns, improvement in Armor as well as the increase in the number of torpedoes a battleship could carry! Definitely not to be put aside, the HMS Bellerophon definitely did not disappoint with her process and skill against other ships. It bravely protected the important commercial shipping lanes and tried to damage the German fleet as much as possible and to try to limit its onslaught. Later on, after this battle, it continued to patrol the seas while making sure the enemy remains contained and on specific occasions has carried quite a few well-known members of the navy and admiralty.
Thus, the top ten battleships have hopefully enthralled you enough to know and want to learn more about the various kinds of battleships of our time without feeling bored. After all, while this may not be a pretty piece of history; however, it is real and visceral enough and has allowed being needed as a reference to be created in any future conflict. After all, these warships were made solely for conflict using various techniques and had shown us the advantages of shortcomings of the different styles used to design them. For the battleships and their crew, it was nothing less than an hour or a prestige to be able to join and go off to the war, and even now for navies all over the world, there are many friendly open water exercises which allow you to know about the different kinds of ships that are available today. So let your mind wander and let the imagination take wings where it stands among the top battleships of the Great War, trying to comprehend its glory!