The Society Lecture 2006: The Battleship is Dead, Long Live the Battleship! H.M.S. Dreadnaught and the Limits of Technological Innovation
HMS Dreadnaught, laid down on 2 October 1905, was the first armoured ship with an all-big gun armament. She was the logical outcome of many years of steady development in ship and engine design, hastened by rapid development in gunnery and fired by the drive and imagination of Admiral Sir John Fisher, the First Sea Lord. Her success was only made possible by the development of efficient fire control and gunnery systems and the use of turbines to achieve the 21½ knots demanded. Laid down at a time when the new torpedoes undermined the utility of warships, HMS Dreadnaught proved that the battleship still had a role in the strategic environment of the period and gave her name to subsequent classes of battleship and an epoch of naval warfare.