Patrick Harris -HMS Dreadnought came about thanks to the naval arms race between many countries at the turn of the 20th century. Admiral "Jacky" Fisher (Later Lord Kilverstone) had created a commitee at the Admiralty that was looking into the possibility of an all big gun ship. Vittorio Cuniberti had first come up with the concept of an all big gun ship in an article in Janes Figting Ships. The Japenese were the first to lay down an all big gun ship, but due to a weapons shortage she was only fitted with four twelve inch guns. She also lacked another major advantage that the British would find in Dreadnought, speed. Dreadnought was powered by steam turbines, making her the fastest capital ship in the world. She was laid down, launched and commisoned in a space of fifteen months, with a good three months being trials. Soon every nation was making their own Dreadnoughts.
Dreadnought has the distinction of being the only battleship to ever sink a submarine. On March 18th 1915, U-29 surfaced near Dreadnought after firing a torpedo (and missing) at HMS Neptune. U-29 was then rammed and cut in half by Dreadnought (naval roadkill). Dreadnought was absent at the battle of Jutland, as she was in a refit. Dreadnought, like every other battleship in the First World War, saw little other action.
Dreadnought was paid off in 1920 and sold for scrap in 1921.