Reply To: Fire Control For Pre-Dreadnoughts

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Frank Scott

    Effectively gunnery remained relatively short range (less than 2 miles) until late in the nineteenth century, and guns were controlled by gun captains, rather than centrally. The wide variety of gun sizes fitted to pre-dreadnought battleships made spotting and correcting fall of shot incredibly difficult, which was the major reason for the adoption of the ‘all big gun’ dreadnought battleship concept.

    Percy Scott ‘Fifty Years in the Royal Navy’ (available free on-line at the excellent Internet Archive) is well worth a read for the period 1870-1910. Despite the fact that in his view he was ‘always right’, there is much a value in his book, and it is a good starting point. The Dreadnought Project, is a really good source for more in depth study.