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Sister ships: KING GEORGE V, PRINCE OF WALES, DUKE OF YORK (ex-ANSON), HOWE (ex-BEATTY)
Pennant Number: 79
Notes: The KING GEORGE V class was designed and built to limits set by the London Treaty, with displacement at 35,000 tons and 14" guns, although additions during construction and the lapsing of the treaty resulted in them being over the old limit. Their design was more conventional than the preceding NELSON class battleships, with a much greater area of armored side, less armor protection to the main armament, and more power available due to improvements in machinery. The armor belt was external and not inclined, except where it followed the slope of the hull. Between the end barbettes, the main belt was exceptionally deep, extending to 10' above and 13' below the waterline. Each propeller shaft was driven by an independent set of boilers and turbines, though the boilers could be cross-connected if necessary. While the 14" main battery guns were well accepted (with a barrel life of 340 rounds), the two quadruple mounts gave considerable trouble, especially noted when the ships were engaged against an enemy. The 5.25" turrets were cramped, and their rate of fire was too slow to be ideal AA weapons. Anti-aircraft armament was augmented from the earliest stages of the war. In December, 1940, 18 20mm Oerlikon AA guns in single mountings were installed. By the end of 1943, the number of 20mm guns had risen to 38.
Throughout most of World War II, ANSON was "impersonated" by the old battleship CENTURION, thus serving to confuse enemy intelligence. Upon commissioning in 1942, ANSON served with Home Fleet. She served as long-range escort for several of the Murmansk convoys. In 1944, she was refitted at Devonport; during this refit, the catapult and aircraft were removed, and one of the hangars was converted into the ship's cinema! Then in March, 1945, ANSON was transferred to the Pacific Fleet, where she took part in several bombardments of Japanese positions, while accompanying United States forces. Upon war's end, ANSON served as a guard ship off Tokyo. In January, 1946, she was stationed in Australia, but returned to home waters in July and served in the training squadron at Portsmouth; she was paid off into reserve in 1949. Several schemes were discussed into converting the class into missile ships, but the costs were deemed prohibitive. ANSON was scrapped at Faslane in December, 1957.