Vanguard class Battleship

This page thanks to Bruce T. Swain.

Name Completed Builder Details
Vanguard 25 April 1946 John Brown Paid of March 1956; scrapped at Faslane from 1960
1:600 side profile of Vanguard, © Andrew Arthur

Early in 1939 it was suggested that a new battleship might be built to utilize four spare twin 15" mountings originally manufactured for Courageous and Glorious during World War I. From this suggestion a design of a 40,000-ton battleship was produced, in which the weight saved by incorporating a comparatively light main armament was used to provide a speed of 30 knots. It was intended that the new ship should form the nucleus for a Far East Fleet, where her high speed and armament would be a match for Japanese warships.
It was hoped that she would complete in 1944, but with the shipbuilding industry already overloaded this proved impossible. She was completed too late to be of any practical use, and became known as the only British battleship never to fire her guns in anger.
After various duties as flagship, training ship and "royal yacht", she was decommissioned after only 10 years’ service.

Photos of Vanguard class Battleship
Vanguard seen in her last commision prior to scrapping. Note sweping bow form
not known before on an RN battleship.


Standard Displacement 44,500 tons Length 799’11"
Full Displacement 51,420 tons Beam 108’
Load tons Draught 30’3"


Performance & Propulsion
Range 14,000nm @ 15 knots, 10,360nm @ 20 knots Speed 29.5 knots
Propulsion 8 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers; 4 x Parsons geared turbines @ 130,000 hp


Armament, Armour & Complement
Complement 1600 peace, 2000 war
  • Gun
    • 4 x 2 x 15"/42-cal
    • 8 x 2 x 5.25" DP
    • 10 x 6 x 40mm Mk.VI AA
    • 1 x 2 x 40mm AA
    • 11 x 1 x 40mm AA
  • 16" Belt
  • 15" Turrets
  • 13"-11" Barbettes
  • 6"-5" Decks
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