The term "pre-dreadnought" designates those battleships built in the fifteen years previous to the introduction of the HMS Dreadnought. We can consider these ships as the first generation of "standardized" battleships, in contrast with the more erratic development of the preceding ironclads. Pre-dreadnought battleships improved protection with the adoption of face-hardened steel and reinforced firepower with the introduction of secondary batteries to accompany the main armament; this one, always placed in the ends of the hull, was made more efficient by decreasing the caliber of the pieces while increasing their length, which allowed for increased range, precision and penetration.

USS Mississippi battleship

American battleship USS MISSISSIPPI in 1914

King Edward VII battleship

British battleship KING EDWARD VII circa 1905

Royal Sovereign battleship

British battleship of the ROYAL SOVEREIGN CLASS circa 1895

Charles Martel battleship

French battleship CHARLES MARTEL circa 1897

Kaiser Barbarossa battleship

German battleship KAISSER BARBAROSSA circa 1902

Knyaz Suvorov battleship

Russian battleship KNYAZ SUVOROV circa 1904

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