SMHS Meeting: Myth of the Battleship

18 Feb 2015

Our February speaker was SMHS Member Dave Dimer, who planned to explode the Myth of the Battleship”. Dave gave us a brief history of the battleship, discussed their effectiveness and whether they were a baroque arsenal”, a weapon too costly to use as it was too costly to lose.

Dave described how with the advent of the torpedo and aeroplanes, battleships became vulnerable and in the words of Admiral Sir Percy Scott submarines and aircraft had entirely revolutionised naval warfare, if the country with which one was at war was in striking distance by submarines, battleships on the high seas would be in great danger - even in harbour they would not be immune from attack unless the harbour was quite a safe one”, as written in a letter to The Times in June 1914.

Dave gave examples of losses from WW2, one being the Bismarck. Following her successful destruction of the battlecruiser HMS Hood then succumbed herself to air and torpedo attack; illustrates that whilst successful when engaged by other ships battleships were poorly equipped for modern warfare.

By the end of WW2 battleships had assumed new roles, for example as monitors off the D-day beaches and in protection of aircraft carriers in the Pacific.

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7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Function Room of the
Royal Oak Public House,
Station Street, Lewes,
East Sussex.

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