Great Britain

H.M.S. Dreadnought postcard

H.M.S. Dreadnought- The HMS Dreadnought revolutionized battleship design. Equipped with 10 heavy guns instead of the usual 4, this ship made all other battleships obsolete. This ship served in World War I, where it gained fame by ramming and sinking the German submarine U-29.

H.M.S. Hood postcard

H.M.S. Hood- An Admiral Class battlecruiser, Hood was the only one completed due Great Britain's poor financial situation following World War I. This ship was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck during World War II.

H.M.S. Warspite postcard

H.M.S. Warspite- A Queen Elizabeth class battleship, the Warpspite was active in both World Wars and gained the distinction of receiving more battle honors than any other Royal Navy ship.

Great Britain dominated naval technology and strategy throughout the 19th century and entered the 20th century with the largest navy in the world, continuing to be at the forefront of technological process as well. This is most clearly evidenced by the HMS Dreadnought launched in 1906. This naval community felt this battleship so revolutionary that it dubbed all earlier battleships “pre-dreadnoughts.” Pre-dreadnoughts were slow and had a mixed battery of guns ships for relatively close combat. The Battle of Tsushima in 1905 emphasized the importance of long-range guns, as the Japanese annihilated the Russian Fleet from miles away resulting in the death of over 4000 Russian sailors. The HMS Dreadnought possessed 10 long-range guns and new steam turbine engines for faster speeds. This escalated the naval arms race, with Germany emerging as naval power. Great Britain continued its policy of outbuilding other navies, and maintained a 2 to 1 advantage in large warships. Interestingly, HMS Dreadnought was soon obsolete itself, a sign of the rapid militarization leading up to the World Wars. By the start of World War I, both Great Britain and Germany possessed massive fleets of battleships. The fleets would only engage one another at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Although the British lost more ships, they successfully discouraged Germany from such direct confrontations through the rest of the war. After the War, Britain and other wealthy nations signed naval treaties that limited tonnage and construction of new ships. As a result, many of Britain scrapped many of its World War I era battleships. The Jewett collection also contains waterline models of several famous British vessels including HMS Iron Duke, Queen Elizabeth and HMS Royal Sovereign.