HMS Vanguard (23)
HMS Vanguard was a British fast battleship built during the Second World War and commissioned afterwards. She was the biggest and fastest of the Royal Navy’s battleships, the only ship of her class, and the last battleship to be built. Vanguard’s first task after completing her sea trial was to convey King George VI and his family on the first Royal Tour of South Africa.
About HMS Vanguard (23) in brief
HMS Vanguard was a British fast battleship built during the Second World War and commissioned afterwards. She was the biggest and fastest of the Royal Navy’s battleships, the only ship of her class, and the last battleship to be built. Vanguard’s first task after completing her sea trial at the end of 1946 was to convey King George VI and his family on the first Royal Tour of South Africa by a reigning monarch. Throughout her career, the battleship usually served as the flagship of any unit to which she was assigned. In 1953 she participated in Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Review. While she was refitting in 1955, the Admiralty announced that the ship was going to be put into reserve upon completion of the work. Vanguard was sold for scrap and was broken up beginning in 1960. The ship had already been ordered on 14 March 1941 under the Emergency War Programme, although the drawings were not turned over to John Brown & Company until ten days later. The square or transom stern was retained as it was estimated to improve speed at full power by 0. 33 knots. This made Vanguard the only British battleshipBuilt in 1939, Vanguard was never finished as the Lion-class battleships were never finished. The design was modified to increase protection against shell splinters on the unprotected sides of the ship’s hull. The armour of the secondary armament was increased to resist 500-pound semi-armour-piercing bombs. A small conning tower was added aft, and four Unrotated Projectile mounts were added to supplement the six octuple-barrel 2-pounder anti-aircraft mounts already planned.
The thickness of the main belt was reduced by 1.5 inches to save weight but the primary method chosen to reduce the draught was to increase the beam by 2.5 feet. This exceeded the width of the docks at Rosyth and limited the number of docks that could handle the ship. More pressing commitments forced the preliminary design work to be suspended again in June and when it resumed in October, the design was revised again in light of recent war experience. These changes were approved by the Board of Admiralty on 17 April 1941. The British had enough 15-inch guns and turrets in storage to allow one ship of a modified Lion- class design with four twin-15-inch turrets to be completed faster than the lion-class vessels. The turrets were originally built for the battlecruisers Courageous and Glorious during the First World War, and were removed during the conversions of these ships to aircraft carriers in the 1920s. The main constraint on the construction of any new battleships was the limited available capacity and the time required to build large-calibre guns and their gun turrets. By early 1939 it was clear that the first two Lion- Class battleships could not be delivered before 1943 at the earliest and that further battleship construction would be necessary to match the German and Japanese battleships already under construction.