Silver State Dreadnought

The Remarkable Story of Battleship Nevada
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Published:November 15, 2018

USS Nevada (BB-36) 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. 



List Price: $54.00
Member Price: $32.40
Product Details
  • Subject: World War I
  • Hardcover : 320 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (November 15, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1682472892
  • ISBN-13: 9781682472897
  • Product Dimensions: 7 X 10 in
  • Shipping Weight: 33.76 oz
  • "Silver State Dreadnought reminds readers of one of the forgotten veterans of World War II." —The Daily News
  • “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
  • “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
  • "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
  • “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

Stephen M. Younger is the president of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He previously served as president of National Security Technologies, LLC and director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He has written extensively on national security, anthropology, and physics.


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