home

fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

CAPITAL SHIPS & MONITORS

KING GEORGE V battleships (1940-1942)

King George V 1940

Anson 1946

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
King George V 41 10 Vickers-Armstrong, Tyne 1/1/1937 21/2/1939 11/12/1940 stricken 4/1957
Prince of Wales 53 1026 Cammell Laird, Birkenhead 1/1/1937 3/5/1939 31/3/1941 sunk 10/12/1941
Duke of York (ex-Anson) 17 554 John Brown, Clydebank 5/5/1937 28/2/1940 4/11/1941 stricken 4/1957
Anson (ex-Jellicoe) 79 1553 Swan Hunter, Wallsend 20/7/1937 24/2/1940 22/6/1942 stricken 4/1957
Howe (ex-Beatty) 32 669 Fairfield, Govan 1/6/1937 9/4/1940 29/8/1942 stricken 4/1957

 

Displacement standard, t

36727

Displacement full, t

42076

Length, m

213.4 pp 227.1 oa

Breadth, m

31.4

Draught, m

8.84 (9.90 mean at deep load)

No of shafts

4

Machinery

4 sets Parsons geared steam turbines, 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

110000

Max speed, kts

28

Fuel, t

3700 oil, later 4030

Endurance, nm(kts) 15600(10)

Armour, mm

belt: 381 - 114, bulkheads: 305 - 102, barbettes: 330 - 279, turrets: 330 - 152, CT: 114 - 51, secondary guns: 51 - 25, deck: 152 - 64

Armament

King George V: 2 x 4 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 1 x 2 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 8 x 2 - 133/50 QF Mk I, 4 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 4 x 20 - 178 UP rockets projectors, 1 catapult D-III-H, 2 seaplanes (Walrus, Swordfish, Seafox)

Prince of Wales: 2 x 4 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 1 x 2 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 8 x 2 - 133/50 QF Mk I, 1 x 1 - 40/56 Bofors Mk I/III, 4 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 3 x 20 - 178 UP rockets projectors, 1 catapult D-III-H, 2 seaplanes (Walrus, Swordfish, Seafox)

Duke of York: 2 x 4 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 1 x 2 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 8 x 2 - 133/50 QF Mk I, 6 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 6 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 1 catapult D-III-H, 2 seaplanes (Walrus, Swordfish, Seafox)

Anson, Howe: 2 x 4 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 1 x 2 - 356/45 BL Mk VII, 8 x 2 - 133/50 QF Mk I, 6 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 18 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 1 catapult D-III-H, 2 seaplanes (Walrus, Swordfish)

Sensors

King George V, Prince of Wales: type 279, type 284 radars

Duke of York, Anson, Howe: type 281, type 273, type 284, 4x type 285, 6x type 282 radars

Complement

1422

Ship project history: The first British capital ships built after the termination of a "battleship vacation", they also were the unique modern ships of this class had time to serve in wartime. Excessive scrupulousness of the British government which have limited designers by limits of the London conference of 1936 (standard displacement 35 000ts and 356mm caliber, which could be reconsidered next year) has played a negative role in a choice of caliber of main guns. Design of armoring and machinery of a new battleships was conservative enough. Here, as well as on Nelson, the principle "all or nothing" was used. The main belt placed without a declination, connecting over a side shell to plating surface (instead of behind it as on Nelson), but thus was notably more widely. Internal anti-torpedo protection paid can resist explosion of 450 kgs TNT, however a loss Prince of Wales has shown, that underwater protection does not withstand explosion of much lighter aircraft torpedo. Usage of quadruple main turrets became an appreciable innovation. The ships should carry such three turrets on an original design but later it was required to strengthen armor for defense again 15'' shells and a superfiring 'B' turret became twin.
    New 356mm guns have appeared successful enough (their shells almost did not yield of 406mm and 381mm guns on a destruction force) and had 190 cables firing range at the 40°maximum elevation angle. Unfortunately, they were distinguished by insufficient reliability of turret mounts: this defect was corrected only to the second half of war. The auxiliary caliber became for the first time dual-purpose. It consisted from 8 twin 133mm mounts with an 70° elevation angle and has been unified with main guns of Dido class cruisers. Light AA armament should include 4 octuple 40mm pompoms and 4 quadruple 12.7mm MGs, however it has undergone changes during completion.

Protection:  External vertical main belt was 7.16m in height and 126.5m in length, it protected citadel between end barbettes. Upper part, 4.62m in height was 381mm abreast magazines and 356mm abreast machinery. Lower part, 2.54m in height, tapered from upper to lower edges from 381mm to 140mm abreast magazines and from 356mm to 114mm abreast machinery. Lower strike of belt continued for 12.2m fwd and 11.3m aft from citadel. Its thickness was 343 - 305 (upper edge) / 127 - 114mm (lower edge) fore and 343 - 280mm (upper edge) / 127 - 114mm (lower edge) aft. Thickness of bulkheads was 305 (fore) / 254 (aft)mm over lower deck and 51mm under lower deck.

    Flat main deck within citadel was 152mm over magazines and 127mm over machinery, it connected with upper edge of main belt. There was a lower deck outside citadel, connected with upper edge of lengthened parts of lower belt strike. It extended fore up to first water-proof bulkhead and has thickness 127 - 64mm; its aft part was 114mm thick (127mm over steering gear), closed by 102mm bulkhead.

    Thickness of barbettes was 330mm at sides, 280mm to amidships, 305mm to ship ends. Turret faces were 324mm, sides was 224 - 174mm. Conning tower had 114 - 76mm sides and 51mm roof, deck and communication tube.

    Last longitudinal bulkhead was 44mm thick, underwater protection deep was 4.1m. It could resist exploding of 454kg TNT.

Modernizations: 1941, King George V: + type 271 radar

5/1941, Prince of Wales: + 4x type 282, 4x type 285 radars

7/1941, Prince of Wales: - 3 x 20 - 178 UP; + 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, type 271 radar

late 1941, King George V: - 4 x 20 - 178 UP, type 271 radar; + 1 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 1 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 18 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273, 5x type 282 radars

12/1941, Prince of Wales: + 7 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, displacement was 39100/ 44460t.

4/1942, Duke of York: + 8 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

mid-1942, King George V: + 4x type 285 radars

3/1943, Duke of York: + 14 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

5/1943, King George V: + 20 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

mid-1943, Anson: - type 282 radar; + 22 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

mid-1943, Howe: + 22 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

5/1944, Howe: - 6 x 1 - 20/70, 1 catapult with seaplanes, type 273, type 281, type 284 radars; + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Bofors Mk 1/2, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 274, type 277, type 281B, 2x type 282, type 285, type 293 radars, full displacement: 45226t

6/1944, Duke of York: - 2 x 1 - 20/70; + 2 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, full displacement: 44790t

7/1944, King George V: - 1 x 4 - 40/39, 12 x 1 - 20/70, 1 catapult with planes, type 273, type 279 radars; + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Bofors Mk 1/2, 3 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 6 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 277, type 279B, 2x type 282, type 285, type 293 radars.

3/1945, Duke of York: - 1 catapult with planes, type 273, type 281, type 284 radars; + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Bofors Mk 1/2, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 6 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 6 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 15 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 2x type 274, type 277, type 281B, 2x type 282, type 293 radars

3/1945, Anson: - 1 catapult with seaplanes, type 273, type 281, 5x type 282, type 284, 4x type 285 radars; + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Bofors Mk 1/2, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 10 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 13 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 7x type 262, 2x type 274, 4x type 275, type 277, type 281B, type 293 radars, type 651 ECM suite, full displacement: 45360t

1945, Anson: - 2 x 2 - 20/70; + 2 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

9/1945, Howe: - 34 x 1 - 20/70; + 18 x 1 - 40/56 Bofors Mk 1/2, 6 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

12/1945: King George V: - 2 x 4 - 40/56, 2 x 2 - 20/70, 2 x 1 - 20/70; + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Bofors Mk VIII/IX, 2 x 1 - 40/56 Bofors Mk I/III, 2x  type 282 radars

1/1946, King George V: 2 x 4 - 356/45 Mk III, 1 x 2 - 356/45 Mk II, 8 x 2 - 133/50 Mk I, 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk VII, 2 x 1 - 40/60 Mk III, 8 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 24 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, type 274, type 277, type 279B, 9x type 282, 5x type 285, type 293 radars

1/1946, Duke of York: 2 x 4 - 356/45 Mk III, 1 x 2 - 356/45 Mk II, 8 x 2 - 133/50 Mk I, 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 8 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 6 x 4 - 40/39 Mk VII, 8 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 41 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, 2x type 274, type 277, type 281B, 8x type 282, 4x type 285, type 293 radars

1/1946, Anson: 2 x 4 - 356/45 Mk III, 1 x 2 - 356/45 Mk II, 8 x 2 - 133/50 Mk I, 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 8 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 4 x 4 - 40/39 Mk VII, 8 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 53 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, 7x type 262, 2x type 274, 4x type 275, type 277, type 281B, type 293 radars, type 651 ECM suite

1/1946, Howe: 2 x 4 - 356/45 Mk III, 1 x 2 - 356/45 Mk II, 8 x 2 - 133/50 Mk I, 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 18 x 1 - 40/60 Mk 3, 8 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 6 x 4 - 40/39 Mk VII, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, type 274, type 277, type 281B, 8x type 282, 5x type 285, type 293 radars

3/1946, King George V: - 4 x 2 - 20/70, 24 x 1 - 20/70

3/1946, Duke of York: - 4 x 4 - 40/39, 41 x 1 - 20/70

3/1946, Howe: - 8 x 1 - 40/60, 6 x 4 - 40/39

1946, Anson: - 4 x 4 - 40/39, 51 x 1 - 20/70

1949, Anson: - 2 x 4 - 40/39, 8 x 2 - 20/70; + 6 x 1 - 40/60 Mk III

1949, Howe: - 2 x 4 - 40/60

autumn 1951, Duke of York: - 8 x 2 - 20/70; + 6 x 1 - 40/60 Mk III

Naval service: Prince of Wales and King George V participated in operation (at initial and final phases accordingly) on intercept of German battleship Bismarck. The first has achieved three hits to German ship 24/5/1941, but also itself has received 5 380mm and 3 203mm shells and has gone out battle. After two-month repair she was transferred to the Far East and sunk by the Japanese aircraft near Singapore 10/12/1941 (5 torpedo hits). King George V 1/5/1942 rammed and sunk the destroyer Punjabi in a fog and received considerable damages and has failed almost for 3 months. Duke of York 26.12.1943 has sunk German battlecruiser Scharnhorst 26/12/1943, not having received thus any damages. Prince of Wales was sunk by Japanese torpedo-bombers G3M2 and G4M1. Ship was hit by 6 torpedoes and 1 250-kg bomb. 513 men were lost.

King George V 1941

Duke of York 1946

Howe 1946

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.

© Ivan Gogin, 2008-15