HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth was the lead ship of her class of dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the early 1910s, and was often used as a flagship.

She served in the First World War as part of the Grand Fleet, and participated in the inconclusive Action of 19 August 1916.

Her service during the war generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.

She and the other super-dreadnought battleships were the first of their type to be powered by oil instead of coal.

Queen Elizabeth later served in several theatres during the Second World War, and was ultimately scrapped in 1948.

The Queen Elizabeth-class ships were designed to form a fast squadron for the fleet that was intended to operate against the leading ships of the opposing battleline.

This required maximum offensive power and a speed several knots faster than any other battleship to allow them to defeat any type of ship.

Queen Elizabeth had a length overall of 643 feet 9 inches (196.2 m), a beam of 90 feet 7 inches (27.6 m) and a deep draught of 33 feet (10.1 m).

She had a normal displacement of 32,590 long tons (33,110 t) and displaced 33,260 long tons (33,794 t) at deep load. She was powered by two sets of Brown-Curtis steam turbines, each driving two shafts, using steam from 24 Yarrow boilers.

The turbines were rated at 75,000 shp (56,000 kW) and intended to reach a maximum speed of 24 knots (44.4 km/h; 27.6 mph).

Queen Elizabeth had a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,260 km; 5,754 mi) at a cruising speed of 12 knots (22.2 km/h; 13.8 mph).

Her crew numbered 1,262 officers and ratings in 1920 while serving as a flagship.

The Queen Elizabeth class was equipped with eight breech-loading (BL) 15-inch (381 mm) Mk I guns in four twin gun turrets, in two superfiring pairs fore and aft of the superstructure, designated 'A', 'B', 'X', and 'Y' from front to rear.

Queen Elizabeth was the only ship of her class that mounted all sixteen of the designed BL 6-inch (152 mm) Mk XII guns in casemates.

Twelve of these were mounted along the broadside of the vessel amidships and the remaining four were grouped in the stern abreast 'X' and 'Y' turrets.

These latter guns were quickly found to be too close to the water and were frequently flooded at high speed or heavy seas.

Two were removed and the other pair were shifted to positions on the forecastle deck near the aft funnel, protected by gun shields, in May 1915.

The ships' anti-aircraft (AA) armament consisted of two quick-firing (QF) 3-inch (76 mm) 20 cwt Mk I[Note 1] guns. She was fitted with four submerged 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, two on each broadside.

Queen Elizabeth was completed with two fire-control directors fitted with 15-foot (4.6 m) rangefinders. One was mounted above the conning tower, protected by an armoured hood, and the other was in the spotting top above the tripod foremast.

Each turret was also fitted with a 15-foot rangefinder.

The main armament could be controlled by 'B' turret as well. The secondary armament was primarily controlled by directors mounted on each side of the compass platform on the foremast once they were fitted in March 1917, although one temporary director was fitted in November–December 1916.

The waterline belt of the Queen Elizabeth class consisted of Krupp cemented armour (KC) that was 13 inches (330 mm) thick over the ships' vitals.

The gun turrets were protected by 11 to 13 inches (279 to 330 mm) of KC armour and were supported by barbettes 7–10 inches (178–254 mm) thick.

The ships had multiple armoured decks that ranged from 1 to 3 inches (25 to 76 mm) in thickness.

The main conning tower was protected by 13 inches of armour.

After the Battle of Jutland, 1 inch of high-tensile steel was added to the main deck over the magazines and additional anti-flash equipment was added in the magazines

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