HMS Queen Elizabeth


After the preceding Iron Duke class had turned out well, the Royal Navy decided to move on to a ship armed with 15" guns, and the ships of the 1912 construction programme were designed to bear that new weapon. This was quite a risk, as the gun had not yet been developed, but all went well in the end as the 15" gun turned out to be a full success. The new ships were initially intended to bear five twin turrets like their predecessors, but it was found that eliminating the central turret would allow a much bigger power plant and a greatly increased speed. To allow for a top speed of 25 knots, it would require an all oil-fired power plant, and so the Queen Elizabeth class became the first batch of capital ships fuelled solely by oil.

Initially, the 1912 construction programme planned for three dreadnoughts and one battlecruiser, which would have been an improved version of HMS Tiger, to be named Leopard. But since the new dreadnought plans allowed for very fast ships with a speed close to that of battlecruisers, HMS Leopard was cancelled and supplanted by a fourth Queen Elizabeth ship, and when the Federation of Malayan States offered to finance a further vessel, the number was brought up to five. A sixth ship was ordered in 1914, but due to the outbreak of the war, it had to be cancelled.

The Queen Elizabeth class super-dreadnoughts are easily the most impressive capital ships in the Royal Navy. The new 15" guns are superior to any weapon installed on German ships, although it has been rumoured that the Imperial Navy is working on its own 15" gun. Although the armour above the water line had to be reduced in some places to allow for superior speed, underwater protection has been greatly improved, and the new ships should be a most valuable asset in bringing down the German aggressors.

Ship data

Relative combat value: 22751

Basic damage control capacity: 64%


Displacement: 27500 tons

Length: 197 m

Width: 28 m

Draught: 10 m

Standard crew: 925


Maximum speed (undamaged): 24 knots

Endurance: 8338 km

Coal capacity: 3400 tons

Armour protection

Conning tower armour: 11

Hull armour: 6

Main belt armour: 15 (includes backing slope of deck armour)

Deck armour: 1 (sloped at edges to provide additional belt level protection)

Best armour type: Krupp


8 x 15" Mk I, centrally controlled. Ammo: 800 rounds

2 x 6" BL Mk XII(PVIII), centrally controlled. Ammo: 260 rounds

12 x 6" BL Mk XII(PIX), centrally controlled. Ammo: 1560 rounds

2 x 12pdr 20cwt HA Mk Is, centrally controlled. Ammo: 400 rounds

4 x 21" Mk II(M) Torpedoes, locally controlled. Ammo: 16 torpedoes

Ships in class

  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Barham
  • Malaya
  • Valiant
  • Warspite