HMS Queen Elizabeth

Vessel Name on Arrival: 
HMS Queen Elizabeth
Vessel Type: 
Battleship
GRT: 
27,500
Draught For'd: 
9' 6"
Draught Aft: 
11' 6"
Year Built: 
1915
Arrival Date: 
14/04/1949
Breakup Started: 
14/04/1949
Date First Beaching: 
14/04/1949
Breakup Completed: 
31/10/1950
Original Builder: 
Royal Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth
Other Information: 

Super-Dreadnought Class Battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth                          Pennant No. 00
 
21-10-1912  :  Keel Laid Down
16-10-1913  :  Launched
19-01-1915  :  Completed
 
Tonnages  :   27,500 / 31,500
 
Dimensions  :  196.8 metres  x  27.6 metres
 
Propulsion :
Four direct-drive steam turbines driving four separate screw-shafts at 300 RPM
Steam supplied from 24 Boilers at a maximum pressure of 285 psig
Power Capacity  :  75,000 SHP
Design Speed  :  24 knots
Range  :  8,600 nautical miles at a mean of 21 knots
 
Armaments :
8  x  15 inch Mk. 1 Guns
16  x  6 inch Mk. XII Guns
2  x  3 inch A.A. Guns
4  x  3-pounder 47mm Saluting Guns
4  x  21 inch Submerged Torpedo Tubes
 
Battle Honours :
Dardanelles - 1915  :  Crete - 1941  :  Burma - 1944/1945  :  Sabang - 1945  :  East Indies - 1945
 
HMS Queen Elizabeth in World War One
Launched on 16 October 1913 at Portsmouth, Hampshire, and entered service in January 1915 during World War 1
 
While still undergoing testing in the Mediterranean, the Queen Elizabeth was sent to the Dardanelles for the Allied attempt to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war. The Queen Elizabeth was the only modern battleship to participate, though a number of battlecruisers and pre-dreadnought battleships were also involved. She became the flagship for the preliminary naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign, leading the first line of British battleships in the battle of 18 March 1915.
 
During the attempted military invasion of the Gallipoli on 25 April, HMS Queen Elizabeth was the flagship for General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.  However, after the sinking of HMS Goliath by a Turkish torpedo boat on 12 May, HMS Queen Elizabeth was immediately withdrawn to a safer position.
 
She joined Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas's 5th Battle Squadron - consisting of HMS Queen Elizabeth-class battleships of the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow, but she missed the Battle of Jutland due to being in dock for maintenance.
 
HMS Queen Elizabeth in the inter-war period                                 
Between the wars she was the flagship of the Atlantic Fleet from 1919 to 1924. The future First Sea Lord John H. D. Cunningham served aboard her as Master of the Fleet  in 1922. From 1924 she was the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet.  Following a refit, she rejoined the Mediterranean Fleet in 1927, went to the Atlantic Fleet in 1929, and later that year returned to the Mediterranean, where she served until 1937. During the 1930s she participated in the non-intervention blockade during the Spanish Civil War.
 
She was rebuilt twice between the world wars; in 1926–1927 bulges were added, the funnels were trunked, four 4 inch guns were added, and a new foretop was installed. In her 1937-1941 rebuild she was fitted with a tower bridge in place of her old bridge; her 6 inch (152 mm) guns were removed and in their place received 20 x 4.5 inch guns and several smaller anti-aircraft guns; horizontal armour was added; engines and boilers were replaced; and the elevation of her main battery was increased to 30 degrees. Deck armour was increased to 5 inches over the magazines, 2.5 inches over the machinery, while the new 4.5" guns had between 1 and 2 inches of armour. She also received facilities for aircraft with a launching catapult amidships. New fire control equipment was installed, including the HACS Mk IV A.A. fire control system and the Admiralty Fire Control Table Mk VII for surface fire control of the main armament. This reconstruction was completed in January 1941, when Britain had been at war for over a year.
 

HMS Elizabeth during World War Two
When her reconstruction was complete, HMS Queen Elizabeth rejoined the Mediterranean Fleet, covering the evacuation of Crete  in June 1941. She, along with HMS Valiant, was mined and seriously damaged by Italian frogmen in an attack on 19 December 1941 in shallow water in the harbour at Alexandria, Egypt, with the loss of nine men of her complement.
 
Although grounded on the harbour bottom, her decks were clear and the Italian crews were captured. For this reason, the British maintained the illusion of full operational status, in order to conceal the weak British position in the Mediterranean during the period the two ships were patched and refloated. However, this concealing action lasted through a few days only, whereas the Valiant went back into service after many months and HMS Queen Elizabeth after more than a year and half.
 
Following completion of temporary repairs in an Alexandria drydock in June 1942, she steamed through the Suez Canal and around Africa to the Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia in the United States. From September of that year until June 1943, she was comprehensively repaired.
 
Queen Elizabeth went to the Home Fleet in July 1943, and in December she left for the Eastern Fleet, which she joined in January 1945. She took part in raids on Japanese bases in Indonesia, and was placed in Reserve in August 1945.  The vessel was paid off in June and scrapped in July 1948 at Dalmuir, Scotland, then as a hulk at Troon in 1949/1950.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

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