Silver State Dreadnought

The Remarkable Story of Battleship Nevada

Hardcover $11.60
Book: Cover Type


USS Nevada (BB36) was America’s first modern battleship. When her keel was laid in 1912, kings and emperors still ruled much of the world. When she finally slipped beneath the waves in 1948, America was the undisputed global superpower. 

Nevada was revolutionary for her time: the first “superdreadnought;” the first U.S. warship to be oil-fired; the first to have a triple-gun main turret; and, the first to have all-or-nothing armor. In World War I, she was based in Queenstown, Ireland, to provide protection for American convoys bringing troops to Europe. She survived the naval reduction treaties of the 1920s and was rebuilt in 1928 with the latest technology. The only battleship to get underway at Pearl Harbor, Nevada suffered damage from Japanese bombs and torpedoes and sank in shallow water. Raised and repaired, she did convoy duty in the North Atlantic before joining the invasion fleet for D-Day and the landings in Southern France. Shifting to the Pacific, Nevada provided bombardment support at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The end of the war saw her outgunned and outmoded, but her contributions were not over. In 1946, she survived not one but two atomic tests, the second of which left the battleship too radioactive for scrapping.  On a sunny day in 1948, Nevada was towed off the coast of Oahu and used for target practice. After five days of pounding by everything the Navy could throw her, Nevada was dispatched by a torpedo. She died a warrior’s death.

Silver State Dreadnought is the story of a remarkable ship, but it is also the story of the remarkable men who sailed in her. Nevada’s first captain, William S. Sims, brought his unique style of leadership to America’s premiere battleship and set the tone for what became known as the “Cheer Up Ship.” As Nevada aged, the ship gained the affectionate name “The Old Maru,” beloved by all who served in her.  

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“Author Younger does justice to the history of USS Nevada, the Navy’s first modern battleship…. This handsome book features an outstanding selection of photos.” —Seapower
“This is an important history of a battleship that moved the US Navy into the world of super-dreadnoughts and survived many times with service in both World Wars.” FIRE Reviews
Silver State Dreadnought: The Remarkable Story of Battleship Nevada is the true-life story of USS Nevada (BB 36), America's first modern battleship, first put to sea in 1912.... A bibliography, an index, and a wealth of historic black-and-white photographs supplement this well-researched, vividly described account, highly recommended especially for personal and public library Nautical History collections.” Midwest Book Review
“Skillfully using primary source documents including deck logs and war diaries, Younger as written a very readable book about a special warship and the thousands of Sailors who served in her throughout her three decades of service.” Naval Historical Foundation
“There are several types of history books about ships. There are the technical histories.... There are operational histories... And then there are the social histories.... Silver State Dreadnought: The Remarkable Story of Battleship Nevada combines elements of all three of these types of books about a ship, and does so in a very informative and extremely readable style.... Thoroughly recommended.”—Wargaming Miscellany
Silver State Dreadnought reminds readers of one of the forgotten veterans of World War II.” The Daily News
“Stephen Younger's Silver State Dreadnought is tightly-knit, well-paced coverage of the long career of the battleship USS Nevada. In covering the often tedious daily grind of peacetime gunnery practice and seamanship drills with the same detail as battle action, Younger gives the reader necessary insight into how a collection of men and steel becomes a warship.” —Robert C. Stern, author of The Battleship Holiday: The Naval Treaties and Capital Ship Design
“Like some people, certain warships have interesting lives. Nevada was such a ship. Her life spanned two world wars, and in many ways her story reflects the Navy's history in the period from her construction to her demise. Especially engaging are Stephen Younger's descriptions of Nevada's actions in the Atlantic and Pacific in World War II.” —Thomas C. Hone, co-author of Battle Line and editor of The Battle of Midway
“An excellent photographic record of Nevada’s travels, travails and adventures…. The author has skillfully used them as the basis for a thoroughly good history of a very important ship.” —Baird Maritime
Silver State Dreadnought is an excellent book for those interested in naval history.” —Strategy Page
“This is not only the story of a battleship that refused to die but also the story of the thousands of men who built her to outperform any other ship afloat of that time, who served on her and loved her. A story that you must read and will certainly enjoy! This is a great 320-page book with more than 150 unique photographs!” —Naval Analyses
“This well-researched and readable book details the construction, modernizing and life of battleship Nevada…. Readers will the detailed chapter footnotes as well as the general biography and index useful. The large number of photographs add depth to this engaging book.” —The Ensign
“This book is an excellent account of the history of an important ship. It is well-written and very well illustrated with a variety of photographs which cover almost every aspect of her career.” —Warship
“Interestingly, Stephen M. Younger is a physicist and President of the National Laboratories in Albuquerque. He writes convincingly and Eloquently about the USS NEVADA (BB-36), from her revolutionary design as a super-Dreadnought, through to her sinking by the US Navy (after 5 days of battering) off Pearl Harbour in 1948, having survived the Able and Baker Nuclear Tests in 1946 (as part of Operation Crossroads).... Younger [tells] a remarkable story of a great ship. He tells the story of ship and sailors, from the ‘Cheer Up Ship’, to the beloved ‘Old Maru’. A great book in the tradition of all navies – an excellent read.” —The Navy
“Younger delivers an objective yet detailed account of one of America’s most famous warships without straying into minutia or getting bogged down with technical jargon. Those interested in the evolving role of surface warfare during the World Wars or the early development and use of nuclear weapons will likely find this book an excellent addition to their personal library.” —International Journal of Naval History