Are Battleships Still Important to the Navy Today?2
With the feature film “Battleship” coming to movie theaters soon, you may be wondering what real battleships are like. What is the history of the battleship? What is a battleship like? Are there still battleships in use today? Keep reading to learn more about battleships. Also, check out World Book’s encyclopedia online for more information!
A battleship is a large warship that has thicker armor and heavier armaments than most other fighting ships The only fighting ship that is larger than a battleship is the aircraft carrier
Once upon a time, battleships were once the dominant ships in many of the world’s navies. During World War II (1939-1945), however, they were replaced as fleet leaders by aircraft carriers. By the late 1950′s, the U.S. Navy and most other navies had ceased to use battleships in active duty. In the 1980’s the US Navy re-commissioned several battleships before decommissioning them in the 1990’s.
The British Dreadnought, completed in 1906, was the first modern battleship. At the time it was built, it was the most heavily armed ship in history. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, “The Dreadnought displaced 18,500 tons (18,800 metric tons) of water and measured more than 500 feet (150 meters) long. It could achieve a speed of 21 knots, and its ten 12-inch guns were more accurate than earlier big guns.” Soon after the Dreadnought first set sail, other nations began building battleships of their own.
During World War II, increased use of military aircraft rendered battleships obsolete. The two largest battleships ever built were Japan’s Yamato and Musashi, both of which were sunk by Allied aircraft. In the wake of this technological development, battleships fell out of favor with the world’s navies.
Battleships did see limited use during the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and several battleships were modernized and re-commissioned in the 1980’s. Several of these re-commissioned vessels were used during the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990’s before being de-commissioned once again.
Find out more war history with American President books from World Book.
Scheina, Robert L. “Battleship.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2012. Web. 17 May 2012.