Even before the Russo-Japanese War and the Battle of Tsushima, it had become apparent that the type of battleships that were in service at the time were past their prime. Targeting and engineering had greatly improved, especially for the heavy guns, and there was no more need for several calibres in the main battery any more. Several navies reacted to this and began to construct a new brand of battleship, much larger, faster and heavier beweaponed than their predecessors.
Although Admiral Lord Fisher favoured a much faster and less armoured design that would later lead to the construction of another revolutionary ship, the first battlecruiser HMS Invincible, the Admiralty preferred a well-armoured design. The British Royal Navy was the first to complete one of the new capital ships, and its name would become the description for every similar vessel. HMS Dreadnought was designed, constructed, completed and commissioned in record time, as the authorities wished for a stunning psychological effect when revealing the worlds most impressive combat ship and did not want to risk being overtaken by some other country. When Dreadnought made its appearance in 1905 and entered service a year later, she did indeed have a huge impact on politics and naval warfare: every other capital ship in service at the time was rendered obsolete overnight.
Dreadnought was groundbreaking in many ways: she was the first capital ship that sported a turbine engine, which accelerated it to breathtaking 21 knots top speed, the first ship with an all-big-gun layout which eliminated fire control problems imminent to the use of several different gun types with different properties in the main battery, and the largest capital ship of its day. However, since she had been completed in so fast, some problems could not be averted. Despite her revolutionary main battery layout, she lacks an effective anti-torpedoboat armament and only carries a large number of small quick-firing guns. Her hull is not up to modern underwater protection standards, which makes her vulnerable to torpedo and mine damage. Despite all this, she remains a valuable asset to the reserve fleet and still is a symbol for the British determination to defend its rule of the ocean waves against any aggressor.
Relative combat value: 8636
Basic damage control capacity: 75%
Displacement: 18110 tons
Length: 161 m
Width: 25 m
Draught: 9 m
Standard crew: 773
Maximum speed (undamaged): 21 knots
Endurance: 12267 km
Coal capacity: 4020 tons
Conning tower armour: 11
Hull armour: 6
Main belt armour: 14.5 (includes backing slope of deck armour)
Deck armour: 1.75 (sloped at edges to provide additional belt level protection)
Best armour type: Krupp
10 x 12 inch Mk X, centrally controlled. Ammo: 800 rounds
4 x 12-pdr 20cwt HA Mk Is, centrally controlled. Ammo: 500 rounds
12x 12pdr 18cwt QF Mk Is, locally controlled. Ammo: 2000 rounds
4 x 18" Mk VII Torpedoes, locally controlled. Ammo: 15 torpedoes
Ships in class