In fact, few ships are incompetently designed. "The World's Worst Warships" explores the real reasons behind the bad reputation of such warships as the American monitors U.S.S. Vesuvius, the Russian Popoffkas, the British battle cruiser Invincible, the Japanese light cruiser Mogami, and the "K" class submarines.
Most errors originate at naval staff level, with flawed operational concepts, over-ambitious specifications, poorly designed sub-systems (usually weapons), or financial stringency. Some warships are built to meet a rational tactical need, which disappears before the ships enter service. Further, in wartime, many ships are forced to perform tasks never imagined, bringing their alleged shortcomings into prominence and propelling them even further into disgrace.
Covering the period from 1860 to the present day, "The World's Worst Warships" is a comprehensive and fascinating study of the little-known battles some warships wage.