King George V class battleship (1911)

King George V class battleship (1911)

"This is the 1911 class; for the 1939 class see King George V class battleship (1939)"

The "King George V" class battleships were a series of four Royal Navy battleships built just prior and serving in the First World War. The "King George V" class immediately followed the "Orion" class upon which they were based.


They were of slightly larger displacement than the "Orion"s; the extra tonnage allowed for some small enhancements were incorporated into the design. The most obvious differences of appearance compared to the Orions were the repositioning of the main mast and fore-funnel and the conspicuously slab sided funnels themselves.

They used the same 13.5-inch Mark V gun, but firing a slightly heavier (1,400 lb as against 1,250 lb) shell. Their Secondary armament was re-arranged to improve fire distribution ahead, which had been indicated by tactical modelling to be the most dangerous area for torpedo boat attacks.

Armour was slightly redistributed and, it was thought, improved. Underwater protection was also improved, although these changes did not save the HMS|Audacious|1912|2 when she stumbled into a single German mine late in 1914.

There were slight revisions to the superstructure and masts. Their powerplant was intended to give a design speed of convert|1|kn|km/h|0|sing=on more than the "Orion"s. This gave them slightly easier speed, but in practice they steamed mostly in the company of slower ships anyway.

Overall, they were a successful design, although received without particular enthusiasm by the public and press. They had been substantially promoted as a great advance over the "Orion"s. In particular, it was expected that they would carry 6 inch guns for secondary armament. In fact it was the subsequent "Iron Duke" class battleships that first received 6 inch secondaries.


The ships remaining after the end of the First World War were all decommissioned in the 1920s to allow for the two "Nelson" class battleships under the Washington Naval Treaty.They carried the same armament as the Orion's.


*HMS|King George V|1911|6:Builder: HM Dockyard, Portsmouth :Laid down: 16 January 1911:Launched: 9 October 1911:Completed: November 1912 :Operations: Battle of Jutland:Fate: Decommissioned in 1919 and scrapped in 1926

*HMS|Centurion|1911|6:Builder: HM Dockyard, Devonport:Laid down: 16 January 1911:Launched: 18 November 1911:Completed: May 1913 :Operations: Battle of Jutland, Operation Neptune:Fate: converted to target ship 1927 Converted to decoy 1941/42. Sunk as a breakwater in June 1944

*HMS|Audacious|1912|6:Builder: Cammell Laird:Laid down: March 1911:Launched: 14 September 1912:Commissioned: August 1913:Operations: :Fate: Struck by mine off Northern Ireland, sank on 27 October 1914.

*HMS|Ajax|1912|6:Builder: Scott's at Greenock:Laid down: 27 February 1911:Launched: 21 March 1912:Commissioned: 31 October 1913:Operations: Battle of Jutland:Fate: Decommissioned in 1924 and sold for scrap on 9 November 1926

See also

* List of battleship classes
* Lists of ship launches in: 1911, 1912
* List of ship commissionings in 1913
* Lists of shipwrecks in: 1914, 1944

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