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Mr. Mike's

Battleship Page!

British battleship H.M.S.Ramilles

Welcome to my new page devoted to those majestic behemoths of the sea, the Dreadnaught, or, as it's more commonly known, the battleship. During the World War 1 era, the number of battleships a country's navy had determined it's presence in the world. It was the rating system of Nations. It is these early battleships which I will discuss here.

German Battleship S.M.S.Konig circa 1915

Although the battleship was an integral part of the world's navies for the entire century, it reached the height of its power and prestiege early in its life, during the WW1 Battle of Jutland (1915) in the North Sea. The British and German Navies' battleships slugged it out to help decide the fate of the war. The Germans fought bravely; however, the merciless pounding of the Limey 12, 13, and 15 inch guns ended any chance they had to break the British blockade of Germany. An example of the ferocity of this battle can be seen in the case of the Kaiser's Battlecruiser S.M.S. Seydlitz

S.M.S Seydlitz- a model of the (intact!) battlecruiser.

Seydlitz afire after taking large-caliber hits during the battle.

Seydlitz after returning from the battle at anchor...note she is down hard at the bow,the many shell holes, demolished foward turret, and severe list to port.

After Jutland, British and German dreadnaughts never again drew battle during WW1. A part of the Treaty ending the war stipulated that German battleships would have to surender to the British base at Scapa Flow. However the proud German sailors would have no part of this disgrace, and instead scuttled most of their battleships right outside the british anchorage. One of these "defiant ones" was the Bayern, Germany's most advanced and sophisticated battleship produced during the war.

S.M.S. Bayern circa 1916.

Bayern settling into the mud of Scapa Flow. A favorite picture of mine.

Many British and American battleships produced during WW1 lived to fight another day, and take on the axis powers during WW2. Although not as sophisticated as the new ships built during the war, they were rugged and still packed a wallop with their usual armament of 15" guns. An excellent example is the British dreadnought H.M.S. Warspite. Warspite took hits at Jutland; smashed German destroyers at Narvik in 1940; shot up the Italian Navy at Cape Matapan; bombarded Normandy on D-Day, and then went on to fight the Japanese in the Pacific. She lived through both World Wars, but her sister ship H.M.S. Barnham was not so lucky, sinking in a violent explosion after taking torpedoes from a U-boat.

H.M.S. Warspite shelling German positions on D-Day, June 6th 1944.

H.M.S. Barnham listing heavily after taking torpedo hits.

The violent internal explosion which sent her to the bottom. A very famous picture.

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