1st.ed., 1959. 352 pp., 13 photo-plates & 15 ills in text ; map e.p's. D.j., 22 x 15cm. V.G. Written at the close of the battleship era when Britain's last battleship, HMS VANGUARD, was destined for the breakers, the author, with his considerable naval experience, accesses the remarkable period of a hundred years when the giants of the seas held sway. He describes the development of these powerful floating gun platforms from the ironclads of the mid-nineteenth century to the mighty capital ships that went to war in 1939. He examines the origins of the modern battleship, the introduction of the turret, ram, quick-firing gun and the torpedo. The first significant clash between opposing battleships came during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. The author goes on to describe their battles through two world wars from the coming of the dreadnoughts which overnight made every other battleship in the world obsolete. He tells of the birth of naval air power which heralded the end of the battleship, describing the destruction of the huge German and Japanese battleships.