:: QUEEN ELIZABETH CLASS (1913-1915) ::

HMS Queen Elizabeth battleship (1913) High resolution picture

Queen Elizabeth class battleships (1913-1915) High resolution picture

The Queen Elizabeth class were five British super-dreadnought battleships launched between 1913 and 1915; these ships, derivative from the Iron Duke class but equipped with heavier armament, can be considered as the most powerful battleships of their time. The adoption of the 381-millimeter cannon was necessary since the introduction of the 356-millimeter cannon in the foreign battleships. The first project provided the installation of five turrets, but one of them would be supressed to allow the installation of more powerful machinery necessary to achieve a fast battleship fleet. The utilization of petroleum boilers eased refueling and reduced the size of the engine room.

Across the two world wars, the ships of the Queen Elizabeth class had a long and important actuation. The HMS Malaya, HMS Warham and HMS Warspite suffered and dealt severe damages in the Battle of Jutland. The HMS Queen Elizabeth served in the Dardanelles against the Ottoman Empire, but she did not take part in the Battle of Jutland for she was in maintenance period. In the late 1920s all of the ships of the Queen Elizabeth class suffered a reconstruction; they received extra protection and their funnels were joined together. The HMS Warspite was remodelled in the mid 1930s, being fitted with new machinery and superstructures.

The ships of the Queen Elizabeth class were assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1941. The 25th November 1941 the HMS Barham was sunk near Sollum by three torpedoes launched from the German submarine U-331. The HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant were seriously damaged by Italian human torpedoes the 19th December 1941 in the harbor of Alexandria. The HMS Warspite was severely damaged by a German glider bomb in 1943 in Salerno and she was never used in war operations again. The HMS Malaya was put into reserve and disarmed in 1944 to be used as target ship and later as accommodation ship. After extensive reparations the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Valiant continued serving until the end of the war in diverse theaters of operations. Finally, along with the HMS Malaya they were scrapped in 1948.

The upper illustration shows the HMS Queen Elizabeth as she was completed in 1914; the 152-millimeter hull mountings astern were removed in 1915, because they were too close to the waterline to be used during harsh weather conditions, and the other ships of the class were finished without them. The lower illustration shows one of these battleships as built (perspective) and after the reconstruction of 1927 (profile).

Queen Elizabeth class: 5 units - Barham, Malaya, Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, Warspite

Type: Battleship

Length: 196.2 meters

Beam: 31.7 meters

Draught: 10.2 meters

Displacement (standard): 27500 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 24 x boiler Babcock and Wilcox (later 8 x boiler Admiralty), 75000 horsepower

Speed: 24 knots (44.4 kilometers/hour)

Range: 8600 nautical miles (15900 kilometers) at 12.5 knots

Fuel (as built): 3350 tonnes of petrol Fuel (in 1945): 3630 tonnes of petrol Complement: 925

Armament: 8 x 381-millimeter 42-caliber cannon, 16 x 152-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 2 x 76-millimeter cannon, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 152-330 millimeters in belt, 102-152 millimeters in ends, 25 millimeters in forecastle deck, 32-51 millimeters in upper deck, 32 millimeters in main deck, 25 millimeters in middle deck, 25-76 millimeters in lower deck, 102-254 millimeters in barbettes, 127-330 millimeters in main turrets, 102-152 millimeters in casemates, 279 millimeters in conning tower

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