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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

CAPITAL SHIPS & MONITORS

QUEEN ELIZABETH battleships (1915-1916)

Queen Elizabeth 1915

Barham 1919

Malaya 1937

Barham 1941

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Queen Elizabeth 10, 97, 00   Portsmouth DYd 21/10/1912 16/10/1913 1/1915 sold for BU 3/1948
Warspite 57, A9, 12, 03   Devonport DYd 31/10/1912 26/11/1913 3/1915 sold for BU 7/1946
Barham 97, 10, 34, 04 424 John Brown, Clydebank 24/2/1913 31/10/1914 10/1915 sunk 25/11/1941
Valiant 34, A6, 43, 02 497 Fairfield, Govan 31/1/1913 4/11/1914 2/1916 sold for BU 3/1948
Malaya 3A, 84, 06, 01 867 Armstrong, Elswick 20/10/1913 18/3/1915 2/1916 sold for BU 2/1948

 

Displacement normal, t

27500

Displacement full, t

31500

Length, m

196.8

Breadth, m

27.6

Draught, m

8.80 mean

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Barham, Valiant: Brown-Curtis steam turbines, 24 Yarrow boilers

Malaya, Queen Elizabeth, Warspite: Parsons steam turbines, 24 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Power, h. p.

56000

Max speed, kts

23

Fuel, t

3400 oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 4500(10)

Armour, mm

main belt: 330 - 102, upper belt: 152, bulkheads: 152 - 102, turrets: 330 (face) - 279 (sides) - 127 (roof), barbettes: 254 - 178 (over main deck) - 152 - 102 (under main deck), casemates: 152, main deck: 76 (slopes) - 25 (flat), upper deck: 51 - 32, casemate roof: 25, longitudinal bulkhead: 51, CT: 280

Armament

Queen Elizabeth: 4 x 2 - 381/42 BL Mk I, 16 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk XII, 2 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 4 - 533 TT (beam, 20)

others: 4 x 2 - 381/42 BL Mk I, 14 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk XII, 2 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 4 - 533 TT (beam, 20)

Complement

925 - 951

Ship project history: Under the 1912 Programme three battleships and a batllecruiser were planned. Originally intended to be improved Iron Duke, growing unease aboul rumours that Germany was planning an increase in calibre plus the certainty that Japanese and American dreadnoughts were being armed with 356mm guns, suggested that the new ships should be up-gunned. The gunmakers, the Elswick Ordnance Company, assured the Admiralty that a 381mm gun, firing a 872kg shell, was feasible. Because no 381mm gun had yet been made it would be necessary to start the ships with no certainty that the new gun would be successful, but the Director of Naval Ordnance had no doubts at all. The only concession which Elswick could make was to hurry one gun 4 months ahead of the others, to allow proof-firing and the preparation of range tables in time for the lead ship. In the event DNO`s confidence was more than justified as the 381mm/42cal Mk.I proved even more accurate than the 343mm Mk.V, with the same long barrel-life. What was more important was its greater hitting power and range, which promised to give the Royal Navy a comfortable margin for a few years.

    New designs were hurriedly prepared, initially for a five-turret, 21kts ship similar to the Iron Duke in layout. It was soon realised, however, that a reduction of one turret would still give a broadside of more than 6.8t, as against 6.4t in the Iron Duke. The space thus saved could be used for additional boilers to give a speed of 24-25kts. War College studies had shown that a fast wing to the battleflcet would be far more effective than a force of battlecruisers. To achieve 25kts on 27,000t would be impossible if the ship were to be coal-fired, but the greater thermal efficiency of oil would solve the problem and at the same time reduce weight. The only practical objection was, of course, thai oil fuel was imported from the Middle East whereas anthracite coal was available in Britain. After considerable thought the First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill, made the momentous decision to buy shares in the Iranian oil companies, and thus secure access to the oilfields. Now that a fast wing to the battlefleet was possible there was little point in keeping the battlecruiser in the 1912 Programme, and in its place a fourth fast battleship was ordered to create a complete Fast Division. Then the Federated Malay Slates offered to pay for a fifth unit, and commemorate the gift she was named Malaya. A sixth unit, Agincourt, was ordered under the 1914 Programme but as she had not been laid down the order was cancelled shortly after the outbreak of war.
    Although a great step forward, the Queen Elizabeth design attempted too much on the displacement, and they were not as good as they might have been. All five were seriously overweight when built (33500-34000t) and the refusal yet again to sanction small-tube boilers made 25kts impossible to achieve. It should be noted that the designed speed was 23kts, and 25kts was only intended to be reached at the overload rating of 72000shp. In practice they were good for nearly 24kts at 71000-76000shp.
    Queen Elizabeth was the only one to have the full outfit of 16 152mm guns, but the four guns under the quarterdeck suffered as badly as the same guns did in the Iron Duke. They were hurriedly removed and a single gun in a shield was resited port and starboard above the battery amidships, the remaining four ships being completed this way. As in the Iron Dukes the forward guns in the battery suffered severely in a seaway and the battery was modified in similar fashion, with dwarf walls inside the battery and india-rubber sealing joints to stop water finding its way between revolving shield and the embrasure.

Protection: The main armoured belt in height of 3.96m closed about 90% of a waterline, not reaching stem 15m approximately, and stern about 4m. From barbette "A" up to barbette "Y" the belt had the greatest thickness. Armored plates were non-uniform on thickness: the depth of 330mm part was 2.28m, thickness to the upper edge of a plate decreased up to 152mm, and to lower edge to 203mm. Thickness of the main belt decreased up to 152mm fwd from 'A' barbette and to 152 and 102mm aft from 'Y' barbette. Over the main belt there was an upper belt with 152mm thickness (also between barbettes "A" and "Y"). Abreast barbettes main and upper belts were closed by 152mm bulkheads, forming a citadel. The belt on a waterline was closed by 102mm bulkheads at ship ends.

     Horizontal protection was distributed on four levels, but actually represented three armored decks, within a citadel rising on one level. The main armoured deck within a citadel had thickness of 25mm in a flat part and 76mm on slopes, adjoining to the lower edge of the main armored belt. It fell on one level fore and aft from a citadel  and became flat. Thickness was 25mm fore and 76mm aft. Battery deck, or upper deck within a citadel had thickness 32-51mm. This deck fore and aft from a citadel fell on one level, 32mm plates fastened to the upper edge of an armoured belt. At last, the third level of horizontal protection placed on a roof of a casemate and was 25mm.

     Underwater protection consist from longitudinal 51mm bulkhead, falling from a break of a main armored deck  up to a double bottom. It reached from fore to aft torpedo rooms. Protection depth was 3.1m.

Modernizations: 1915, Queen Elizabeth: - 4 x 1 - 152/45; + 2 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk XII in open mounts

1916, all: + additional 25mm plating over magazines on lower and middle decks levels; - 2 x 1 - 152/45 (in open mounts); + 2 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I

1918, all: + flying-off platforms on turrets "B" & "X".

1919 - 1922, all: - flying-off platforms.

late 1926, all: - 4 x 1 - 76/45, + 4 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V

(10/1924 - 4/1926) Warspite; (5/1926 - 1/1928) Queen Elizabeth; (9/1927 - 2/1929) Malaya: bulges were fitted (beam was increased to 31.7m, depth of underwater protection raised up to 6.1m, it could resist exploding of 335kg TNT). Funnels were trunked into one. Full displacement was 35060-35710t (including 815t of water protection), speed was 23.5kts.

(3/1929 - 12/1930) Valiant: bulges were fitted (beam was increased to 31.7m, depth of underwater protection raised up to 6.1m, it could resist exploding of 335kg TNT). Funnels were trunked into one; - 2 - 533 TT; + 1 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 1 catapult E-I-T (1 seaplane). Full displacement was 35060-35710t (including 815t of water protection), speed was 23.5kts.

1930 - 1931, Warspite, Queen Elizabeth, Malaya: - 2 - 533 TT.

(12/1930 - 1/1934) Barham: bulges were fitted (beam was increased to 31.7m, depth of underwater protection raised up to 6.1m, it could resist exploding of 335kg TNT). Thickness of main deck over magazines was increased to 127mm, 152mm casemates were closed by 38mm rear bulkheads. Funnels were trunked into one; - 2 - 533 TT; + 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62, 1 catapult E-I-T (1 seaplane). Full displacement was 36785t (including 815t of water protection), speed was 23kts.

1935, Queen Elizabeth: + 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

1936, Valiant: + 1 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

(Devonport DYd, 10/1934 - 12/1936) Malaya: thickness of main deck was increased to 89mm over engine rooms and to 127mm over magazines. Old CT was replaced by new light one with 127mm sides; - 4 x 1 - 102/45, 2 - 533 TT; + 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 4 x 4 - 12.7/62, 1 catapult D-II-H (2 seaplanes).

(3/1934 - 3/1937) Warspite: was reconstructed as follows, main guns received 30 maximal elevation angle.

Warspite 1939

Warspite 1942

Name No Reconstructed Yard Fate
Warspite 03 3/1934 - 3/1937 Portsmouth DYd Sold for BU 7/1946

 

Displacement standard, t

 

Displacement full, t

36450 (including 815t of water protection)

Length, m

196.8

Breadth, m

31.7

Draught, m

10.1 deep load

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Parsons geared steam turbines, 6 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

80000

Max speed, kts

23.5

Fuel, t

3501 oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 14300(10)

Armour, mm

main belt: 330 - 102, upper belt: 152, bulkheads: 152 - 102, turrets: 330 (face) - 279 (sides) - 127 (roof), barbettes: 254 - 178 (over main deck) - 152 - 102 (under main deck), casemates: 152 - 51, main deck: 76 (slopes) - 25 (flat) - 127 (over magazines) - 89 (over machinery), upper deck forward of citadel: 79, casemate roof: 25, longitudinal bulkhead: 51, CT: 76 - 51

Armament

4 x 2 - 381/42 BL Mk I, 8 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk XII, 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 4 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 4 x 4 - 12.7/62, 1 catapult D-II-H, 2 seaplanes (Osprey, Seal, Shark, Walrus, Swordfish, Seafox)

Complement

925 - 951

Protection: The main armored belt in height of 3.96m closed about 90 % of a waterline, not reaching stem 15m approximately, and stern about 4m. From barbette "A" to barbette "Y" the belt had the greatest thickness. Armored plates were non-uniform on thickness: the depth of 330mm part was 2.28m, thickness to the upper edge of a plate was decreased to 152mm, and to lower edge to 203mm. Thickness of the main belt was decreased to 152mm fore and to 152 and 102mm aft. Above the main belt there was an upper belt with 152mm thickness (also between barbettes "A" and "Y"). Abreast barbettes main and upper belts were closed by 152mm bulkheads, forming a citadel. Near ship ends the belt on a waterline was closed by 102mm bulkheads.

     Horizontal protection was distributed on four levels, but actually represented three armored decks, within a citadel rising on one level. The main armored deck within a citadel had thickness of 89mm in a flat part over machinery and 127mm over magazines and 76mm on slopes, adjoining to the lower edge of the main armored belt. It fell on one level fore and aft from a citadel  and became flat. Thickness was 76mm fore and aft. Battery deck, or upper deck within a citadel had thickness 32-51mm. This deck fore and aft from a citadel fell on one level, the 32mm plates fastened to the upper edge of an armored belt on a waterline. At last, the third level of horizontal protection was 25mm roof of a casemate.

   Underwater protection consist from longitudinal 51mm bulkhead, falling from a break of a main armored deck  up to a double bottom. It reached from old fore to aft torpedo rooms. Protection depth including bulges was 6.1m. This protection could resist exploding of 335kg TNT.

    New CT had 76mm sides.

1938, Barham: - 4 x 1 - 102/45, 2 - 533 TT, + 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI

Barham 1940

(3/1937 - 11/1939), Valiant; (8/1937 - 1/1941) Queen Elizabeth: were reconstructed as follows: (main guns also received 30 maximal elevation angle).

Queen Elizabeth 1941

Name

No

Reconstructed

Yard

Fate

Valiant

02

3/1937 - 11/1939

Devonport DYd

sold for BU 3/1948

Queen Elizabeth

00

8/1937 - 12/1940

12/1940 - 1/1941

Portsmouth DYd

Rosyth DYd

sold for BU 3/1948

 

Displacement standard, t

 

Displacement full, t

Valiant: 36513 (including 815t of water protection)

Queen Elizabeth: 38450 (as in 1944)

Length, m

196.8

Breadth, m

31.7

Draught, m

Valiant: 10.0 deep

Queen Elizabeth: 10.5 deep (as in 1944)

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Parsons geared steam turbines, 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

80000

Max speed, kts

23.5

Fuel, t

Valiant: 3393 oil

Queen Elizabeth: 3366 oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 13500(10)

Armour, mm

main belt: 330 - 102, upper belt: 152, bulkheads: 152 - 102, turrets: 330 (face) - 279 (sides) - 127 (roof), barbettes: 254 - 178 (over main deck) - 152 - 102 (under main deck), AA guns: 51 - 25, main deck: 76 (slopes) - 25 (flat) - 127 (over magazines) - 63 (over machinery), upper deck forward of citadel: 83 - 70, longitudinal bulkhead: 51, CT: 76 - 51

Armament

Queen Elizabeth: 4 x 2 - 381/42 BL Mk I, 10 x 2 - 114/45 QF Mk I/III (3 Mk I + 7 Mk III), 4 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 4 x 4 - 12.7/62, 1 catapult D-III-H, 2 seaplanes (Walrus, Swordfish, Seafox)

Valiant: 4 x 2 - 381/42 BL Mk I, 10 x 2 - 114/45 QF Mk I/III (5 Mk I + 5 Mk III), 4 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 4 x 4 - 12.7/62, 1 catapult D-III-H, 2 seaplanes (Walrus, Swordfish, Seafox)

Sensors

Queen Elizabeth: type 279, type 284, 4x type 285 radars

Complement

925 - 951

Protection: The main armoured belt in depth of 3.96m closed about 90 % of a waterline, not reaching stem 15m approximately, and stern about 4m. From barbette "A" up to barbette "Y" the belt had the greatest thickness. Armored plates were non-uniform on thickness: the depth of 330mm part was 2.28m, thickness to the upper edge of a plate was decreased to 152mm, and to lower edge to 203mm. Thickness of main belt was decreased to 152mm fore and to 152 and 102mm aft. Above the main belt there was an upper belt with 152mm thickness (also between barbettes "A" and "Y"). Abreast barbettes main and upper belts were closed by 152mm bulkheads, forming a citadel. At ship ends the belt on waterline was closed by 102mm bulkheads.

     Horizontal protection was distributed on four levels, but actually represented three armored decks, within a citadel rising on one level. The main armored deck within a citadel had thickness of 89mm in a flat part over machinery and 127mm over magazines and 76mm on slopes, adjoining to the lower edge of the main armoured belt. It fell on one level fore and aft from a citadel and became flat. Thickness was 76mm fore and aft. Battery deck, or upper deck within a citadel had thickness 32-51mm. This deck fore and aft from a citadel fell on one level, the 32mm plates fastened to the upper edge of main belt. At last, the third level of horizontal protection was 25mm roof of a casemate.

     Underwater protection consist from longitudinal 51mm bulkhead, falling from a break of a main armored deck to a double bottom. It reached from old fore to aft torpedo rooms. Protection depth including bulges was 6.1m. This protection could resist exploding of 335kg TNT.

    New CT had 76mm sides.

3/1940, Barham: + 1 x 20 - 178 UP rockets projector.

12/1939, Valiant: + type 279 radar

Early 1941, Barham: - 1 x 20 - 178 UP; + 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62.

7/1941, Malaya: - 4 x 4 - 12.7/62; + 11 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 281, 2x 282, 284, 2x 285 radars.

9/1941, Malaya: + 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV.

12/1941, Warspite: - 4 x 4 - 12.7/62; + 11 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 271, 281, 4x 282, 284, 2x 285 radars

1942, Warspite: - type 271 radar; + 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273 radar

7/1942, Valiant: - type 279 radar; + 10 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273, 281, 4x 282, 284, 4x 285 radars

11/1942, Malaya: - 1 catapult, 2 seaplanes; + 2 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273 radar.

1/1943, Malaya: + 2 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

4/1943, Valiant: - 1 catapult, 2 seaplanes, 4 x 4 - 12.7/62, type 284 radar; + 6 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 15 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 274 radar

6/1943, Warspite: - 1 catapult, 2 seaplanes; + 16 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

6/1943, Queen Elizabeth: - 4 x 4 - 12.7/62; + 4 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 14 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273, 4x 282, 4x 283 radars.

9/1943, Malaya: - 12 x 1 - 152/45 (armour of casemates was removed, gun ports were closed by 51mm plates); + 20 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

9/1943, Queen Elizabeth: - 1 catapult, 2 seaplanes; + 16 x 2 - 20/20 Oerlikon Mk II/IV; displacement was 34000/37635t

3/1944, Malaya: - type 273, 281 radars; + 8 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 277SQ, 281B radars, type 650 jammer; displacement was 32980/37710t.

4/1944, Warspite (after she was heavily damaged by FX1400 guided AP bomb 16/9/1943): - 1 x 2 - 381/42, 8 x 1 - 152/45, 2 x 1 - 20/70, type 284 radar; + 1 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 274, 283 radars, type 650 jammer; 152mm gun ports were closed by 51mm plates. One boiler room was inoperable.

mid-1944, Valiant: + 10 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 4x type 283 radars

10/1945, Valiant: - 33 x 1 - 20/70; + 16 x 1 - 40/56 Bofors Mk I/III, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 5 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 1 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

1/1946, Queen Elizabeth: 4 x 2 - 381/42 Mk I/N, 10 x 2 - 114/45 Mk IIBD, 4 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 20 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 14 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III

1/1946, Warspite: 3 x 2 - 381/42 Mk I/N, 4 x 2 - 102/45 Mk XIX, 5 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 29 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III

1/1946, Valiant: 4 x 2 - 381/42 Mk I/N, 10 x 2 - 114/45 Mk IIBD, 16 x 1 - 40/60 Mk III, 6 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 5 x 4 - 40/39 Mk VII, 7 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 2 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III

1/1946, Malaya: 4 x 2 - 381/42 Mk I, 6 x 2 - 102/45 Mk XIX, 4 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 47 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III

4/1946, Valiant: - 4 x 1 - 40/60, 3 x 4 - 40/39, full displacement was 38908t.

Naval service: Barham was damaged during Jutland battle 31/5/1916 by 6 heavy shells and repaired one month, also Malaya. Valiant collided with Warspite 24/8/1916 and repaired until September. Warspite was heavily damaged at Jutland 31/5/1916 suffering at least 15 11`` and 12`` shells, one engine room was flooded, rudder was jammed, repair was ended late July but she was again damaged 24/8/1916 by colliding with Valiant and repaired until late September.

    Barham 28/12/1939 took a torpedo from German submarine U30 and was repaired for 3 months. She was sunk 25/11/1941 in Mediterranean sea by three torpedoes from German submarine U331. Year 1941 also has appeared unsuccessful for the remaining ships, all of them have received damages of various severity level: Malaya was torpedoed 20/3/1941 by German submarine U106, Warspite was 22/5/1941 and 23/6/1941 bombed by German aircraft, Queen Elizabeth and Valiant were badly damaged 19/12/1941 by the mines laid by Italian frogmen. They returned to service late 1941 (Malaya) and early 1942 (Warspite and Valiant). Queen Elizabeth received the heaviest damages and has repaired only early 1943. Warspite  has hard suffered by German FX1400 gliding bomb during landing at Salerno 16/9/1943. After repair almost at once she was again incapacitated, having struck by a mine 13/6/1944. Valiant was damaged 8/8/1944 at accident of floating drydock AFD28 and was under repair till the end of war.

 

 

Malaya 1920

 

 

Valiant 1931

 

 

Warspite 1937

 

 

Queen Elizabeth 1946

Ivan Gogin, 2008-15