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KING GEORGE V
Notes: The four battleships ordered by the Royal Navy in the 1910 Program were to have been repeat ORIONs, but lessons learned from their predecessors allowed for some alterations to be made. Most notable was the relocation of the pole foremast ahead of the funnels, instead of between them. Consideration was made to upgrade the secondary battery to 6" guns, but as this would have not only added to the weight (by nearly 2,000 tons), but the overall cost, the 4" battery remained. This decision was soundly criticized, especially when it was compared to the secondary batteries being installed in foreign battleships. However, Lord Fisher believe that the volume of fire from the 4" guns would compensate for the smaller "hitting power" of each individual shell, and they were built with the 4" guns. Later, the criticism proved valid, and succeeding classes carried 6" guns in their secondary batteries. Deck armor in the KING GEORGE V class was improved over the ORION class, and the class was fitted with taller funnels. The 13.5" guns were upgraded, allowing them to fire a slightly heavier shell which aided in accuracy at longer ranges.
KING GEORGE V joined the 2nd Battle Squadron upon completion as Flagship, Home Fleet. Later, she joined the Grand Fleet and served as flagship of the 2nd BS. KING GEORGE V was present at Jutland on 31 May 1916, flying the flag of Vice Admiral Sir Martyn Jerram as commander of the 1st Division. During the battle, German destroyers attempted to torpedo her; a torpedo was seen to pass through her wake approximately 400 yards astern. In return, KING GEORGE V only fired nine rounds of 13.5" ammunition at German ships, and no hits were recorded; it was noted that she had continual problems sighting her opponents due to both smoke laid by German light forces, and the smoke from the funnels of screening British light forces (especially the armored cruiser DUKE OF EDINBURGH and the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron). Following Jutland and through the end of World War I, KING GEORGE V continued to serve with the 2nd BS. From 1919 through 1923, KING GEORGE V was the flagship of the Devonport Reserve; from 1923 through 1926, she served as a gunnery training ship. As a result of the Washington Treaty, KING GEORGE V was sold for breaking up in December, 1926 (to offset completion of the battleships NELSON and RODNEY).