This pictorial history of US battleships illustrates the power, versatility, and many combat operations of this naval stalwart across the 20th century.
Between 1895 and 1944, the US Navy commissioned some 60 steel-clad battleships; from the USS Indiana (BB-1) to the USS Missouri (BB-63). After an impressive showing in the Spanish-American War and the Great White Fleet's circumnavigation of the world, US battleships played only a minor role in the First World War. They came into their own in World War II, bombarding enemy-held coastal regions, facing off against their Japanese counterparts, and providing essential protection of aircraft carriers. Their armor, at nearly a foot and a half thick, saved many lives in the face of suicidal kamikaze pilots.
After World War II, battleships were relegated to war reserve status, but their conversion to platforms for cruise missiles gave them a vital new role. The last US battleship retired in 1992, having served in Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq. Combining rare wartime photographs and authoritative text by military expert Michael Green, Battleships of the United States Navy gives the expert and layman a detailed overview of one of the greatest weapon systems in military history.