Military Archive Research
by Dr. Stuart C Blank
Member of the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS)
Member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society (RAFHS)
Member of the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association (NHCRA)
Member of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)
Member of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS)
Member of the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS)




Review of
British Battleships of World War 1
By R A Burt
Seaforth Publishing (
An Imprint of Pen and Sword (
RRP GBP £45.00
ISBN 9781848321472


This book is destined to become one of the primary reference works on the capital ships of the British Fleet during World War 1. It has a relatively short introduction and then the real work of merit starts. The author has listed all the classes of British battleships and then gives each of them expert attention.

For each class of battleship he generally gives a “class” narrative and specifies the “normal” technical parameters of the class / ships. Data such as displacement, dimensions (length, beam, draught), speed, armament specifications and data on the armour are given. Some of these features then receive further special attention and other issues such as machinery are discussed.

After giving the outline parameters for a class most members of each class are then given individual treatment. Virtually all members of each class are specified and discussed. There are no obvious omissions and the term “virtually all” is used in case of the off-chance that the author has missed one – I could not find any! Each capital ship is reviewed and most have a “diary” of significant dates affecting the ship and sometimes its class. These diaries include major equipment modifications, attachments to the various Fleets and outlines of (major) combat actions.

This highly detailed research effort has yielded an outstanding reference volume. It is specialised and is a very useful addition to any naval library – especially those dealing with naval issues and actions of the Great War. The classes and the constituent ships have been painstakingly considered and have been given proficient treatment.

This volume serves as an excellent source of data on the battleships of the British Fleet. It also serves as a brief work on the major activities of each British battleship of the period from just prior to and just after World War 1. Obviously many of the battleships listed were laid-down before the commencement of hostilities and many of the ships also served after the Armistice. Also included are the ships built in wartime.

Any serious student or researcher of British naval history of the Great War period should ensure that they either have a copy of this book or access to it. If you need to know the technical specifications of British Battleships or an outline of their service then this is the book to use. I cannot praise too highly the merits of this work and the produce of the author’s research skills are excellent.

November 2012