The Battleship Builders: Constructing
and Arming British Capital Ships
The launch in 1906 of HMS Dreadnought, the world's first all-big-gun battleship, rendered all existing battle fleets obsolete while at the same time wiping out the Royal Navy's numerical advantage. Britain urgently needed to build an entirely new battle fleet of these larger, more complex and more costly vessels. In this she succeeded spectacularly: in little over a decade fifty such ships were completed, almost exactly double what Germany achieved. This heroic achievement was made possible by the country's vast industrial nexus of shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, armament firms and specialist armor producers, whose contribution to the creation of the Grand Fleet is too often ignored.