Queen Elizabeth Class (1915) BB
five ships of the Queen Elizabeth Class followed on from the Iron
Duke Class (1914) battleships and Tiger
Class (1914) battlecruiser. But the changes made, gave them a major
step forward in battleship design.
They mounted a new 42 calibre15in gun, capable of sending a 1,920ld (870kg) shell 23,400yd. So the 8 x 15in broadside was similar in weight to that of a 10 x 13.5in broadside. The removal of the Q turret meant that space in the centre of the ship, previously devote to magazines and shell rooms could now be used for another boiler room. The Queen Elizabeth's had 24 boilers in four rooms against 18 boilers in three rooms in the Iron Duke's. This gave an increase in speed to 24kts. They were also all oil fired, with no provision for coal.
Secondary armament was mounted in batteries along the side of the upper deck from B turret to the after funnel, but with improvements to reduce flooding in a seaway compared to the Iron Duke's. The rearmost gun was only mounted in HMS Queen Elizabeth so all the others had only 14 x 6in guns.
Armoured protection was similar to the Iron Duke's and all ships had main armament directors fitted during build. They had particularly high metacentric heights and so were very stable.
They were a very successful class and their ability to fight during both World Wars was possible only due to a program of major modifications during their lives.
Stiffening added to the fore part of the ship and improvements to
Queen Elizabeth, Warspite, Malaya and Valiant.
Anti-torpedo bulges fitted to improve torpedo protection and also give
Barham underwent her only major modification.
Malaya was modified for the second time in a similar way to Barham.
Warspite underwent a major reconstruction.
Valiant and Queen Elizabeth were reconstructed along similar lines to Warspite. The main additional change was the complete removal of the 6in guns, and replacement with 20 x 4.5in guns in twin mountings.
All except Barham had radar and additional AA guns fitted.
- Class Ship
This page last edited -
08 September, 2012.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.