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Great Britain's Vanguard Battleship

Photos

HMS Vanguard on trials in 1946:
HMS Vanguard on trials in 1946
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103677

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
©IWM, A-31247

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103731

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103736
HMS Vanguard on trials in 1946:
HMS Vanguard on trials in 1946
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103730

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
©IWM, A-31248

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103733

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103737
HMS Vanguard arriving in Capetown, South Africa with King George VI on board in 1947:
HMS Vanguard arriving in Capetown, South Africa with King George VI on board in 1947
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103732

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
©IWM, A-32207

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103734
HMS Vanguard in 1948:
HMS Vanguard in 1948
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103678

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
©IWM, FL-3956

HMS Vanguard:
HMS Vanguard
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103735

Design

The British Navy wanted a battleship by early 1944 for use in the Far Eastern fleet to counter Japanese battleships under development.2,3 It was felt that the Vanguard could be manned by the Royal Australian Navy.3

Three designs were submitted on July 17, 1939.3 However, with the start of World War II, discussion ceased on September 11, 1939.3 It was picked back up in February 1940.3 After other pauses the final design was approved on April 17, 1941, and ordered on March 14, 1941.3

The Vanguard was similar in layout to the King George V class.2

The HMS Vanguard was to use the 15" turrets that used to be mounted in the HMS Courageous and HMS Glorious.2 The 15" guns could fire a 1,938 lb shell at 2,458'/sec.3

Ships

HMS Vanguard

  • Manufacturer: Clydebank1,4, John Brown2,3
  • £9,000,000: Cost4
  • October 2, 1941: Laid down.2,3,4
  • November 30, 1944: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • April 19464, August 9, 1946: Completed.2,3

 

Usage

The HMS Vanguard didn't see service in World War II.2,3

Specifications

  HMS Vanguard
Crew 1,6001, 1,8932,3, 2,0004
Displacement 42,500 tons1,4, 44,500 tons2,3
Displacement - Loaded 50,000 tons4, 51,420 tons2,3
Physical Characteristics  
Length 814' 3"1, 814' 4"2,3,4
248.2 m2,3
Length - Between Perpendiculars 760'1,2,3
231.64 m2,3
Length - Water Line  
Beam 107' 6"1,4, 108'2,3
32.9 m3, 32.92 m2
Draft / Height 28'1, 30' 9"2,3
9.38 m2,3
Draft / Height - Maximum 34' 10"2
10.62 m2
Performance  
Speed 29 knots4, 29.5 knots1, 30 knots2,3
Range at 10 knots  
Armament 15" L/42: 84
15" twin turrets: 41,3
15" L/52 Mk I twin turrets: 42
5.25": 164
5.25" twin turrets: 81,3
5.25" L/50 QF Mk I twin turrets: 82
Anti-Aircraft 40 mm six mount: 101,2,3
40 mm quad mount: 11
40 mm twin mount: 12,3
40 mm: 71, 112,3, 714
3 pdr saluting: 42,4
Aircraft None3
Torpedo Tubes None3
Armor  
Barbettes 11" - 13"2,3
Belt - Ends 11" - 13"3
Belt - Main 4.5" - 14"1,2, 13" - 14"3
Bulkheads 4" - 12"2, 12"3
Bulkhead - Torpedo 1.5" - 1.75"3
Control Tower 1" - 3"2, 2.5" - 3"3, 13"1
Deck 5" - 6"1
Deck - Lower 2.5" - 5"3
Deck - Main 5" - 6"3
Turrets 4" - 13"1, 6" - 13"2,3
Turrets - Front  
Turrets - Rear  
Turrets - Side  
Turrets - Top  
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty: 82,3,4
Shafts 41,2,3,4
Turbines Geared1
Parsons geared2,3
HP 130,0001,2,3,4
Oil 4,423 tons2,3
Gasoline  

Sources:

  1. Warships of World War II, H. T. Lenton and J. J. Colledge, 1964
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. Battleships of World War Two an International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1998
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site