Episode Detail: Big Guns - Warship
“Big Guns” (Part 2) traces naval technology from the ironclads of the Civil War to the dreadnought-class battleships, whose heyday was in World War I. The first innovation: the USS Monitor's gun turret. In England, meanwhile, John Reed designs HMS Devastation, a mastless seagoing vessel, in 1871. “The modern battleship was beginning to emerge,” says narrator Stacy Keach. The turbine engine came along some 25 years later, making big battleships possible. But warplanes would make them nearly obsolete, as was vividly demonstrated on Dec. 7, 1941.