This is Hough's second trip through this same subject (see Dreadnought, 1963-p.802) with a less lavish layout. This is a story which would have delighted Shaw, with its pompous admirals, munitions makers and policies. Early in the century Britain sponsored a ""big battleship"" mania which caught on in South America, an admittedly meretricious affair. When the world's largest battleship, the Rio de Janeiro, rolled pristinely into the water, Brazil discovered that it could not pay for it and eventually Turkey came up with the tab and the ship was refitted in several ways, down to its commodes. This led to further ironic incidents, just before WW I, but in spite of its New Yorker appearance, and some wry humor, it seems somewhat special.