The battleships of the Third Reich have been written about exhaustively, but there is little in English devoted to their predecessors of the Second Reich. This new book fills an important gap in the literature of the period by covering these German capital ships in detail and studying the full span of battleship development during this period. The book is arranged as a chronological narrative, with technical details, construction schedules and ultimate fates tabulated throughout, thus avoiding the sometimes disjointed structure that can result from a class-by-class approach. Heavily illustrated with line work and photographs, many from German sources, the book offers readers a fresh visual look at these ships, beyond the limited range of images available from UK sources. A key objective of the book is to make available a full synthesis of the published fruits of archival research by German writers found in the pre-WW2 books of Koop & Schmolke, Großmer's on the construction programme of the dreadnaught era, Forstmeier & Breyer on WW1 projects, and Schenk & Nottelmann's papers in Warship International. As well as providing data not available in English-language books, these sources correct significant errors in the standard' English sources. This entirely fresh study will appeal to historians of WWI German naval developments as well as to enthusiasts and model makers.