Allied Warships

HMS Queen Elizabeth (00)

Battleship of the Queen Elizabeth class

HMS Queen Elizabeth as seen during the Second World War.

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassQueen Elizabeth 
Built byPortsmouth Dockyard (Portsmouth, U.K.) 
OrderedJun 1912 
Laid down21 Oct 1912 
Launched16 Oct 1913 
Commissioned22 Dec 1914 
End service10 Aug 1945 

Rebuilt twice between Wars. In the second rebuild both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant remained almost identical sister ships, the difference being HMS Queen Elizabeth had a tripod mainmast, HMS Valiant a pole mainmast. The changes included improvements to the main guns, allowing 30 degree elevation increasing their range to 32,000 yards. All the secondary armament was replaced with 20 4.5 inch AA gun mounts (10 x 2) (as installed on the Illustious-Class aircraft carriers). 32 2 pdr pom pom guns (4 x 8) were fitted arround the funnel, 16 0.5" (4x4) machine guns were fitted, two on B and 2 on X turret roofs, but these were quickly removed. New aircraft arrangements were made to accommodate 3 aircraft with an athwartships catapult. Throughout the war changes were being made to the anti-aircraft weapons as the threat increased. Her final 20 mm Oerlikons anti-aircraft fit was 52 (26 x 2), the quad machine-guns having been removed. Four HA/LA DCT (High Angle/Low Angle Director Control Tower) were fitted two above and forward of the bridge and two aft. Their heights had to be staggered because of their close proximity. Following the start of the war a Type 273 SR(Surface Radar) on the foremast, a Type SR (Surface Radar) 284 radar on the LA DCT (Low Angle Director Control Tower) and a Type HA (High Angle) 285 on each of the HA DCT's, a Type 291 AW (Air Warning) on the mastheads and an IFF interrogator.

Decommissioned to reserve on 10 August 1945. Sold on 19 March 1948 to Arnott Young, arrived at Dalmuir for scrapping on 7 July 1948.


Commands listed for HMS Queen Elizabeth (00)

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1Cdr. Renfrew Gotto, RN6 Jun 194031 Oct 1940
2Capt. Claud Barrington Barry, DSO, RN31 Oct 194031 Mar 1942
3Cdr. Renfrew Gotto, DSO, RN31 Mar 1942Nov 1942
4Cdr. Reginald Cecil Haskett-Smith, DSO, RNNov 19421 Feb 1943
5Capt. Henry William Urquhart McCall, DSO, RN1 Feb 19434 Feb 1943
6Cdr. Reginald Cecil Haskett-Smith, DSO, RN4 Feb 1943Apr 1943
7Capt. Horace Geoffrey Norman, RNApr 194331 Mar 1945
8Capt. Robert Meyrick Ellis, DSO, RN31 Mar 194513 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Queen Elizabeth include:

18 Dec 1941
At Alexandria HMS Triumph (Lt. J.S. Huddart, RN) and HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr. W.D.A. King, DSO, DSC, RN) were brought alongside either side of the damaged battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) to provide electricity for the salvage operations. Trusty leaves after a few hours but Triumph remains alongside until 22 December.

Media links

British Battleships of World War One

R. A. Burt

British Battleships, 1919-1945, Revised Edition

R. A. Burt

British battleships 1939-45 (1)

Konstam, Angus

A Midshipman's War

Wade, Frank

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