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C O N T E N T S
The Spanish Fleet Comes Out to Die, by Walter Millis
The Adventurous Career of the Battlecruiser Goeben
The South American Navies
BBB's Online Battleship Video Directory
C O M P L E T E I N V E N T O R Y
Basic History of Battleship Development, 1860-1908 (This page - use nav at left.)
The Chinese Steam Navy by Richard N.J. Wright - The Definitive Source
S U P P O R T I N G W A R S H I P S
British Torpedo Gunboats, 1887 - 1894
W E A P O N S & S Y S T E M S
Gunnery Department: Guns and Mountings
W A R S & N A V A L B A T T L E S
D R E A D N O U G H T S
The Cost of the Naval Arms Race, 1890 - 1919
A N N E X E S & A P P E N D I C E S
Appendix C: Mine Warfare
Fisher's Large Light Cruisers - Britain's First Full-Size Aircraft Carriers
Welcome to BigBadBattleships.com, the Web's leading pictorial tribute to pre-World War I warships: pre-dreadnought and dreadnought battleships, cruisers, and destroyers.
Nav within each national navy is by the colored nav-bar in your lower left frame. In some cases, subsections have nav menus on their opening pages: cruisers, battles, Russo-Japanese and Spanish-American wars. Links are at the foot of each article and most of the longer articles have text nav at the top of the scroll that can take you to Links, Photos, etc. with a single click. If you want to bail on any subject, there are abundant links in the text, plus one at the foot of the Nav panel at left. To exit the frames, simply right-click any link and choose Ípen Target in New Tab, or Window, as desired.
Although BigBadBattleships.com is not a definitive source, it does feature representative ships and technologies from all the world's major navies in a richly pictorial noncommercial site. You will search long and hard to find a better collection of pictures from the era. Links to other informative or special-interest resources abound in our site, to ease -- or deepen -- your inquiry into naval history and the broader context of the period from 1860 to 1918. So bookmark BBB and make it the starting point for your explorations of those wonderfully weird warships of yesteryear!
Each ship profile contains a history of the ship placing it in context; complete specifications of the ship and its class-mates; and an abundant gallery of photos and graphics of the ship, its crew, and its times. In addition, we offer picture essays on the tecnhologies that made the battleship viable: guns, rams, engines, anti-torpedo protection, living quarters -- even ship decoration and fancywork. And that's not all! Famous battles. Naval heroes. The battleship in film and folklore. Scholarly essays on the course of the pre-World War I naval arms race. Racy cards of the Kaiser's cadets and their molls in imaginative costume. But if you want Ginsu steak knives, you'll have to look elsewhere (www.ginsu.com would be a good place to start).
That completes the preliminaries. Ladies and gentlemen, train your turrets, limber up your mice, and alert your Black Gang to lay in some ready coal -- the pursuit is on!
Who Writes This Stuff, Anyway?
By popular demand, we announce for the first time the identity of the author of this website -- the armchair admiral responsible for content and vision at BigBadBattleships.com. He now stands revealed as none other than the Rt. Hon. Sir Percival Poppycock, KCIE, Vice Commodore of the Royal Tasmanian Yacht Squadron and lifelong maritime history buff. Sir Percy (as he's known at the polo grounds) sports a history degree from Vassar College and is intimately familiar with life at sea. A recognized expert on practically everything, he is eminently qualified to pass judgment on virtually any naval, socioeconomic, or political development of the last millennium. "It's all been downhill since 1912," he said famously in his address to 500 of the nation's historiographic élite at the swank Olympic Hotel in Seattle. The subject of his presentation: the sinking of the Titanic which first tried his faith in man's works. Sir Percival holds 14 decorations from eight nations, including Knight Commander of the Indian Empire (U.K.) and the Order of the Pixellated Star (Fallopia). A long-time Oxonian, the extroverted baronet is a member of the Royal Cowes Yacht Squadron, the Pola Polo Club, the Commonwealth Club, the Reform Club, and the Hasty Pudding Club. A decorated veteran of the Falklands War (in which he dropped a half-dozen Exocet missiles from flight using only his service revolver), he holds the rank of LT CDR in the Royal Tasmanian Naval Reserve.
Sir Percy's electronic amanuensis, Ross "Radar" Radetzky (right), has been indispensable in restoring the antique illustrations used in the site. Videographer, maverick yachtsman, wreck diver, and big game hunter, "Triple-R" is leading an active retirement from his military career as a Navy Seal and soldier of fortune. Radar matches encyclopedic knowledge of the sources of old photos, with world-class wizardry in reviving damaged or aging images. In many cases he has actually resorted to old-fashioned chemical photography, risking lungs, eyesight, and honour to coax latent details from fading negatives. Merely so you may better appreciate the ships! "All in the line of duty, actually" Radar mumbles, averting his eyes and nervously drying chemical-coated fingers on a badly stained lab coat. It has been Sir Percy who has supplied the overarching vision of BBB, however. His has been the restless, probing energy that strove steadily, powerfully, relentlessly, rhythmically toward the consummation of this labour of love: his the cold, dispassionate intelligence that has built this sprawling electronic empire we call BigBadBattleships.com. Indeed, in his position of Ultimate Trust, Sir Percy Poppycock has trekked intrepidly to the furthest frontiers of cyberspace. Mission: to recover little-known documentation, some of it never heretofore seen online. For this site, he has rescued, restored, and published rare material originally preserved in five languages and over 1267 file formats. No stone has been left unturned to bring you unprecedented insight into our topic of study.
So bung-ho, shipmates! Raise a glass to those amazing warships of the past, and all who sailed in them!