The late nineteenth century saw an unparalleled revolution in warship development as the Victorian navy found itself grappling with intense technical change to ensure its survival in the modern theatre. From the wooden battleships of the 1800s, naval architecture underwent great change to produce a very different form of capital ship, which would have a huge impact and change naval design forever. The pre-dreadnought was constructed of steel, wholly driven by steam power and carried its rifled ordnance in armoured turrets operated by hydraulics. Electrics, mechanical computers, mines and torpedo weapons were also utilised to create an immensely powerful fighting ship the likes of which had never been seen before. This well-illustrated and fascinating history reveals the process involved in that most rapid development, which in such a short time totally altered the naval forces of Britain and ensured that the British Navy remained the most powerful in the world.