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KING GEORGE V
Sister ships: PRINCE OF WALES, DUKE OF YORK (ex-ANSON), ANSON (ex-JELLICOE), HOWE (ex-BEATTY)
Pennant Number: 41
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 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. Four UP rocket projectile mountings were installed in December, 1940; they were subsequently removed a year later and replaced by quadruple "pom-poms". At the same time, 18-20mm Oerlikon AA guns in single mountings were installed. By the end of 1943, the number of 20mm guns had risen to 38. During a refit at Liverpool in 1944, her aircraft and catapult were removed.
Upon commissioning, KING GEORGE V served with Home Fleet, and was involved in the pursuit and subsequent sinking of the German battleship BISMARCK on 27 May 1941. For a short while in 1943, KING GEORGE V served with Force "H", and took part in both the bombardment of Sicily during the invasion of that island on 11-12 July, 1943, and the surrender of the Italian Fleet at Taranto on 8 September 1943. KING GEORGE V was then was re-assigned to Home Fleet. In 1945, she 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, KING GEORGE V returned to home waters and served as Fleet Flagship in 1946; she was paid off into reserve in 1950. Several schemes were discussed into converting the class into missile ships, but the costs were deemed prohibitive. KING GEORGE V was scrapped at Dalmuir in 1958, with the remnants of her hull being broken up at Troon in 1959.