Help support TMP

"Historical battles 1 vs 1 - pre-dreadought era battle?" Topic

21 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please remember not to make new product announcements on the forum. Our advertisers pay for the privilege of making such announcements.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Naval Gaming 1898-1929 Message Board

Back to the Spanish-American War Message Board

Back to the Ironclads (1862-1889) Message Board

Areas of Interest

American Civil War
19th Century
World War One

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Recent Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Showcase Article

Blue Moon's Romanian Civilians, Part Five

The last four villagers from Blue Moon's Romanian set, as painted by PhilGreg Painters.

Featured Profile Article

Council of Five Nations 2010

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian is back from Council of Five Nations.

Featured Book Review

1,098 hits since 13 Apr 2023
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
Happy Wanderer13 Apr 2023 6:46 a.m. PST


Can anyone recall any historical encounters between one pre-dreadnought vs another?

Or perhaps between 3-4 ships?

I for the life of me can't put my finger on any…anyone know of any?

Kind regards

Happy W

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2023 9:32 a.m. PST

Battle of Tsushima, 1905.

BillyNM13 Apr 2023 10:28 a.m. PST

Try the Greeks vs the Turks in the First Balkan War.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2023 10:57 a.m. PST

First Balkan War was my thought too, but I think the small actions were limited to catching the enemy ship at anchor and torpedoing or shelling them.

Since this is crossposted to Ironclads, there are a number of relevant actions in that timeframe. Heligoland, Iquique, Angamos, Comet vs. Boulet at Havana,spring to mind.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Apr 2023 11:49 a.m. PST

Yellow Sea is as small as it gets… 6 vs 4. There were a couple predread vs dread skirmishes in WWI, but that is about it.

phssthpok13 Apr 2023 12:28 p.m. PST

Possible South American what ifs?

JMcCarroll13 Apr 2023 1:03 p.m. PST

Spanish-American war. Plenty of actions but as you say fleets at anchor really don't count.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2023 2:09 p.m. PST

Tsushima doesn't really fit the Happy Wanderer's criteria of a "small" action.


Happy Wanderer13 Apr 2023 2:55 p.m. PST

Thanks gents

I couldn't find info on Comet vs Boulet..any idea where I'd find an account of that?

The big actions are out…I'm looking ideally for 1 vs 1.

This looks good



Happy W

TMPWargamerabbit13 Apr 2023 6:14 p.m. PST

Trouble is the dreadnoughts, or pre-dreadnoughts, always come with their fleet of smaller ships…cruisers, destroyers or torpedo boats. Russo-Japanese war is the best I come up as mentioned.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2023 6:33 p.m. PST

Yalu River in Sino Japanese War comes to mind, but was fairly large. Here's a list to reference various naval battles.


Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2023 6:34 p.m. PST

Lots and lots of hypothetical battles, though.

Martin Rapier14 Apr 2023 1:25 a.m. PST

In the RJW the pre dreads were accompanied by swarms of cruisers and destroyers. None of the battles can be described as 'small' although I've fought most of them.

I'm not sure any navy in its right mind would send out a single battleship without any escorts, however much wargamers might want them to.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian14 Apr 2023 4:21 a.m. PST

A long time ago there was a pocket game called "Fire When Ready" that had a neat scenario. If I remember right it was 4 Royal Sovereigns and a couple big cruisers against the 5 ugly sisters and a couple small early armored cruisers. Never played it though. Scenario was called "the Fashoda Affair".

Happy Wanderer14 Apr 2023 5:36 a.m. PST

Thanks for your additional insightful comments chaps…most welcome.

I was reading the Admiralty trilogy supplement for the Russo Japanese war and in it there is 2 1/2 pages on Japanese naval Tactics described by Admiral Togo.

One point that certainly stood out was that the Japanese would concentrate all the fire on one Russian ship to reduce it as quickly as possible before moving onto the next. This would seem to fly in the face of the notion of visually spotting gun shots and making corrections and not confusion different ships shooting at the same target.

The Japanese seem to be able to concentrate their guns on a single target though no doubt many other Russia ships were engaged as well as the Tsushima post battle tally showed.

On a similar topic what would be the doctrine of the Royal Navy and European navies this time regarding fleet battle of tactics? With the Europeans in the ‘fire all at one ship' school or more geared towards each ship duking it out in the battle line? And what of the Americans? What was their doctrine at this time when it came to engaging enemy battle fleets?

Any information on these matters would be most welcome and if you could point me in the direction of some good reading on this topic that would also be welcome.

Thank you

David Taylor14 Apr 2023 12:13 p.m. PST

The Battle of Agamos Point, 8 October 1879, between the Peruvian turret ship Husacar and the Chilean centre-battery ironclads Almirante Cochrane and Blanco Encalada.

Blutarski14 Apr 2023 3:58 p.m. PST

BillyNM wrote -

Try the Greeks vs the Turks in the First Balkan War.

Billy is spot on.
Battle of Elli – 1912
Battle of Lemnos – 1913

Both battles should fit the criteria very nicely.


Blutarski14 Apr 2023 4:06 p.m. PST

BTW , recommend following book:



NCC171714 Apr 2023 4:33 p.m. PST

IRONCLADS IN ACTION by H W Wilson was later revised and expanded as BATTLESHIPS IN ACTION. Both are two volume sets. Prices vary quite a bit for the many printings.


DBS30320 Apr 2023 8:36 p.m. PST

Not quite what you asked, but of course there are the Black Sea actions in WW1 when Goeben/Yavuz, a single dreadnought battlecruiser, fought engagements with Russian pre-dreadnoughts, and in 1918 nearly fought with the British pre-dreadnoughts off Gallipoli having sunk two monitors, but was forced to retire damaged after hitting mines that also sank Breslau/Midilli before HMS Agamemnon could close with her.

Blutarski21 Apr 2023 7:03 a.m. PST

"… Goeben/Yavuz, a single dreadnought battlecruiser, fought engagements with Russian pre-dreadnoughts,"

Battle of Cape Sarych

Interesting engagement, very ticklish for Admiral Souchon.

Great summary here –

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.