World of Warships

WoWs Legends: Real Ship, Building, Paper Ship, Fantasy Ship Guide (British Battleship)

Content of the article: "WoWs Legends: Real Ship, Building, Paper Ship, Fantasy Ship Guide (British Battleship)"

The fourthpost that analyze the historical aspects of the ships of WoWs Legends and dive into a little bit of history.

The American Battleship link is below:

The German Battleship link is below

The Japanese Battleship link is below

As usual let's start with definitions:

Real Ship – Ship that were named, built, commissioned, and put into service. These ships usually have some prefix tied to their such USS – United States Ships for US warships. Though some navies did not have ship prefixes such as the Imperial Japanese navy.

Building – Ship that were built but not completed. These category encompasses ships still on the drydock/slipways or those that were in the water and being fitted out. These ships are typically named.

Paper Ship – Ships that had detailed plans for construction and require minimal leap of faith to bring it into construction. That means shipyards exists with sufficient capacity to build the ships, iron foundries exists to fabricate guns and armor, and infrastructure exists to service and support such warships. These ships are typically named but not all.

Fantasy – Ships that were made up. No blueprints exists other than some preliminary effort, if at all. In addition, zero infrastructure exists to support the construction, service, and support of such ship. These ships are seldom named.

This thread is about the famed Royal Navy Battleships

The Royal Navy was the largest navy for most of the 19th century until it was eclipsed by the industrial might of the United States at the start of WWII. The British were so welded to their naval might that they inacted the Naval Defence Act of 1889, where they formally adopted the "Two Power Standard". That is the Royal Navy would maintain a number of battleships at least equal to the combined strength of the next two largest navies in the world. So at the start of WWI, the Royal Navy is by far the largest in the world.

Tier III Represents the first generation of the All Big Gun Dreadnaught battleships. No surprise that the Royal Navy had the most. Most of this ships have 12 inch guns except for the last two classes.

  • HMS Dreadnought – first all big gun battleship. All ship of this type would be classified by her name. (I wish she was in the game.)
  • Bellorephon Class – Bellerophon, Superb, Temeraire
  • St. Vincent Class – St. Vincent, Collingwood, Vanguard
  • HMS Neptune – First battleship with a super firing (2nd turret above the first) gun
  • Colossus Class – Colossus, Hercules
  • Orion Class – Orion, Monarch, Conqueror, Thunderer

There are also battleships that the British confiscated from other powers due to WWI and put into service:

  • HMS Erin – (former Ottoman Battleship Resideye) Seized at the start of WWI
  • HMS Agincourt – Former Brazilian battleship that was sold to the Ottomans that was seized by the Royal Navy at the start of WWI
  • HMS Canada – A Chilean battleship that the Royal Navy purchased from Chile. Chile ultimately purchased her back in 1920 and renamed Almirante Altorre.
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Also part are the 2 classes of the battlecruiser squadron

  • Invincible Class – Invincible, Inflexible, Indomitable
  • Indefatigable Class – Indefatigable, New Zealand, Australia

HMS Invincible & HMS Indefatigable were sunk at Jutland when there magazines exploded (not the last time Royal Navy battlecruisers would spectacularly explode when facing German capital ships)

Orion – Real Ship

The first battleship armed with 13.5 inch guns. She fought in the the Battle of Jutland.

Tier IV – Represents the 2nd generation of Dreadnought battleships with 13.5 inch guns.

  • King George V Class (not to be confused with the Tier VI ship) – King George V, Centurion, Ajax, Audacious
  • Iron Duke Class – Iron Duke, Marlborough, Benbow, Emperor of India

Also part is the 2nd generation of battlecruisers

  • Lion Class – Lion, Princess Royal
  • HMS Queen Mary
  • HMS Tiger

HMS Queen Mary exploded in the same fashion as HMS Indefatigable and Invincible at the Battle of Jutland

Iron Duke – Real Ship

Flagship of Admiral Jellicoe and fought in the the Battle of Jutland. Was "demoted" as a gunnery training ship in compliance with the Washington Naval Treaty

Tier V – The pinnacle of Royal Navy WWI battleship development. There were two classes the Queen Elizabeth class and the Revenge class. The QEs were expensive, and though they were the fastest and best protected battleships the Royal Navy had, they couldn't keep up with the actual battlecruisers, and were intended to be the RN battle line's fast wing with the battlecruisers serving as the screening and scouting force.

The Revenge class were the budget version of the Queen Elizabeth's, intended to be the final nail in the coffin of the Anglo-German arms race. The Revenge class was a trimmed the Queen Elizabeth design down to be more affordable, which mostly consisted of less machinery so that they were slower: 21 knots for the Rs vs 25 knots for the QEs. This was perfectly adequate for standing in the World War I Royal Navy battle line where most of the British dreadnoughts and superdreadnoughts were around 20 knots, however, in the postwar world the Rs were simply too slow to keep up with the later designs.

  • Queen Elizabeth Class – Queen Elizabeth, Warspite, Valiant Barnham, Malaya
  • Revenge Class – Revenge, Resolution, Royal Oak, Royal Sovereign, Ramillies
  • Renown Class Battles Cruiser – Renown, Repulse (last two Revenge Battleship converted into battlecruisers).

Queen Elizabeth – Real Ship

Fought in Jutland and WWII. She was rebuilt twice.

Warspite – Real Ship

Fought in Jutland and some of the most storied naval battles of WWII like Narvik, Calabria (duel with Giulio Cesare), Matapan, Indian Ocean Raid.

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Tier VI – Represents the Big 7 battleships, the Hood, and the first post Treaty Battleship.

  • Nelson Class – Rodney & Nelson
  • HMS Hood – Battlecruiser. Her sister ships (Anson, Howe, Rodney) were cancelled in 1919.
  • King George V Class – King George V, Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Anson, Howe

HMS Nelson – Real Ship

The only battleship class allowed to be built by the Washington Naval treaty. To comply with the limitations of the Washington Treaty, these ships were of an unusual design with many novel features: being the only ships to carry a main armament of nine 16-inch (406 mm) guns forward of the superstructure. The Royal Navy was given permission to build these ships because both the IJN and USN already have their own 16in gunned battleship.

HMS Hood – Real Ship

The only ship of the Admiral class. She was counted as equal to the Big 7 battleships. That is the reason why the Royal Navy only built two Nelson class as opposed to three. Sunk in the same fashion as other Royal Navy Battlecruisers by German capital ships.

King George V – Real Ship

The King George the V laid down in 1937. The KG V's are comparable to the French Richelieu, German Bismarck class and the American North Carolina class. My opinion, this ship should have been Tier VII.

The British government desperately wanted to limit main battery guns to 14 inches. The United States was lukewarm to this idea, really preferred the 16 inch gun, but went along and initially designed the North Carolina class for 14 inch guns. However, when the Japanese decided not to sign the treaty, the USN in acted the escalator clause and outfitted the North Carolina with 16 inch guns.

Duke of York – Real Ship

Sistership of the King George V. She beat the Scharnhorst into wreck and have her escorting destroyers torpedo her.

Tier VII – Represents the Royal Navy's post treaty ship

  • Lion Class – class of 6 fast battleship armed with 16 inch guns. Two were laid down (HMS Lion & HMS Temeraire) at the start of WWII, one was ordered (HMS Conqueror), and one was scheduled (HMS THunderer). All ships were cancelled
  • HMS Vanguard

HMS Vanguard – Real Ship

Came out of the Royal Navy need to commission fast battleship quickly using spare 15 inch turrets in storage. There were plans to provide Vanguard with sister ships using the guns of long serving yet hopefully obsolete Revenge Class battleships (tier V) assuming the war continued.

HMS Monarch – Papership

The first paper ship of the Royal Navy line and is a very loose interpretation of Design 15C of 1935, one of the designs that was put forward alongside those that would later become King George V class. However, during construction of the KGV, there were plans to rearmed her with 9 15 inch guns. Unfortunately, the Royal Navy studies would delay her commissioning to 1943-1943 instead of the original 1940. As the Royal Navy is in desperate need of fast battleship, these plans were cancelled.

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Legendary Tier

HMS Conqueror – Fantasy Ship

A hypothetical design created by Wargaming, based around the concept of building a large battle ship of the N3 class of the 1920s. Unfortunately, the configuration of 4×3 419 mm guns is fantasy. The original N3 design called for the concentration of the main battery forward of the bridge and machinery spaces (like HMS Nelson) with 3 triple 457mm (18 inch) guns.

Bonus narrative

Assuming WWII is postponed to 1946, the Royal Navy Plans Division had a very ambition construction program for 1940-42. This included two battleships per year (Lion class), a 'battlecruiser' in 1940 (Vanguard) and two battlecruisers in each of 1941 and 1942 (using the turrets from the remaining R class). This would have provided a fleet in 1946 of:

  • 8 x Lion class
  • 5 x KGVs
  • 3 x modernised Queen Elizabeths
  • 2 x partially modernised Queen Elizabeths
  • 5 x Vanguard class battlecruisers (granted, smaller than Vanguard as actually completed)
  • 3 x old battlecruisers – Hood, Renown, Repulse

26 capital ships total…


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