The big-gun battleship served as a symbol of the ultimate power of the world's greatest navies beginning late in the nineteenth century and continuing into the Second World War. So historically important was this vessel that the arms race between Britain and Germany to build navies with larger, more powerful battleships was among the key sources of tension between those nations in the lead up to the First World War. In this book, veteran battleship crew members describe their unforgettable experiences, including those of a young officer in a British battleship at Jutland; tales of the loss of the German warship Scharnhorst in the arctic off the North Cape; the combat experience inside a sixteen-inch gun turret aboard an Iowa-class battleship bombarding Iraq during the Gulf War, and the adventures of HMS Warspite in World War One, in the Mediterranean and on her way to the breaker's yard in 1947. Included too is the story of the great German battleship Bismarck, which sank the pride of the British fleet, the story of HMS Hood, and that of the USS Missouri on whose deck the final surrender document of the Second World War was signed. The text is combined with a compelling selection of historic images representing the era of the great battleships from the early years through the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the preservation of a handful of these vessels as museum pieces today.