A battleship is a heavily armed and armoured warship, designed to destroy the most powerful enemy warships. The word comes from "Line-of-battle-ship", which referred to the the largest wooden sailing warships.
The purpose of this site is to list all of the world's battleships.
Battleships were made obsolete by aircraft and aircraft carriers and in the modern age it is perhaps difficult to comprehend their historic importance. 100 years ago the battleship was the most powerful weapon system in the world, and their ownership a matter of great national prestige. The launch of the HMS Dreadnought by Great Britain signalled the start of a battleship arms race on par with the nuclear arms race between the USA and USSR later in the century. Competition to build the largest battleship fleets was a major contributing factor in Great Britain's decision to join historic enemy France in 1914 in the war against Germany, turning a largely European conflict into the First World War.