The dreadnought was the predominant type of battleship of the 20th century. The revolutionary HMS Dreadnought of 1906 adopted an 'all-big-gun' armament and steam turbine propulsion; her impact was so great that battleships built after her were referred to as 'dreadnoughts' and earlier battleships became known as pre-dreadnoughts. The only other major advance in kind was the US Navy design with all main turrets on the centerline of the ship.
The concept of an all-big-gun ship had been in circulation for several years prior to Dreadnought's construction, and the Imperial Japanese Navy had even begun work on an all-big-gun battleship, the Satsuma, in 1904. The arrival of the dreadnoughts sparked a new arms race, principally between Britain and Germany but reflected worldwide, as the new class of warships became a crucial symbol of national power.
Technical development continued rapidly through the dreadnought era, with rapid changes in armament, armour, and propulsion, meaning that ten years after Dreadnought's commissioning much more powerful ships were being built. These more powerful vessels were known as super-dreadnoughts. The only pitched battle between fleets of dreadnoughts was the Battle of Jutland, an indecisive clash that reflected Britain's continuing strategic dominance. Most of the dreadnoughts were scrapped or scuttled after the end of World War I, though some of the most advanced super-dreadnoughts continued in service through World War II.