HMS King George V (1945 refit)

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

The battleship HMS King George V at sea. The first of a new generation of  capital ship for the Royal Navy, the photo is only slightly spoiled by the  presence of a

Class History


The King George V class were Britain’s second class of Treaty Battleships, and the first new design drawn up for the Royal Navy since the Treaty had been signed. Though they were technically succeeding the Nelson class Battleships, the two classes were intended to serve together with the KGV class replacing the Revenge class Battleships and, after the escalator clause had been invoked, the Lion class was intended to enter service with a similar layout, but improved main battery.

A notable feature of these ships were the two quadruple turrets. Though first envisaged with three triple 15-inch turrets in a more traditional layout, the class instead featured a 10-gun 14-inch main battery in a 4-2-4 configuration, with the twin turret superfiring over the fore quadruple turret. With a 35,000 tonne limit, the Admiralty felt that 16-inch guns such as on the Nelson class could not provide a balanced ship with a satisfactory mix of speed, armour and firepower. 15-inch guns in triple turrets were then settled upon and drawn up, however because Britain had been pushing for a new naval treaty which had a new 14-inch limit to the main battery, as a result they would be downgraded yet another inch to 14-inch weapons and as naval guns are long-lease items, they were ordered and began construction before the escalator clauses were invoked in 1938. Although originally it would have be 3 quadruple turrets in the same configuration, now the superfiring turret lost 2 guns to save weight.

The King George V class would from this point emphasise armour to offset the power found on newer ships and ships with 16-inch guns. This was more than satisfied as they would be the most heavily armoured ships per tonne ever constructed with the Yamato having a thicker belt, but near twice the displacement, this was furthered as Britain had developed significantly improved armour metrology techniques found only otherwise in Germany. This yielded an 8-25% increase in armour effectiveness in reference to those outside of the UK.

The ships also featured significant bursting charges for its 14-inch shells and the KGV’s broadside weight was very comparable to that of Bismarck.

5 ships would be constructed with the first being commissioned in 1940 as the class leader HMS King George V, with Prince of Wales shortly following her in 1941 and the other three (Duke of York, Anson and Howe) joining the fleet within 13 months of Prince of Wales.

They would see action throughout the war and King George V and Prince of Wales would both see action in their most famous actions in the hunt for the Bismarck. Only one would be lost, Prince of Wales, due to Japanese air actions which largely would have been prevented if the ships had revised their AA strategy.

HMS KGV Service record


HMS King George V’s record is extensive (although not as extensive as some other British battleships of the era). Her many actions are widely detailed but here are her key actions in WW2.

HMS King George V (KGV) was a battleship of the British Royal Navy that served during World War II. Here is a brief history of its wartime actions:

Early Operations:

  • Commissioned in December 1940, HMS King George V initially undertook convoy escort duties in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • In May 1941, it participated in the famous hunt for the German battleship Bismarck, which resulted in the sinking of the Bismarck.
    Operation Pedestal:
  • In August 1942, HMS King George V took part in Operation Pedestal, a critical convoy operation to supply the besieged island of Malta in the Mediterranean.
  • During the operation, KGV engaged in combat with enemy aircraft and played a significant role in defending the convoy against attacks.
    North African Campaign:
  • KGV was involved in the Allied operations in North Africa, providing fire support during the landings in Morocco (Operation Torch) in November 1942.
  • The battleship also took part in the bombardment of enemy positions during the Tunisian Campaign in 1943.
    D-Day and Normandy Landings:
  • In June 1944, HMS King George V played a crucial role in supporting the Allied invasion of Normandy (Operation Overlord) on D-Day.
  • It provided fire support to the troops landing on the beaches, targeting German coastal defenses.
    Pacific Operations:
  • After the defeat of Germany, KGV was transferred to the Pacific theater to participate in the war against Japan.
  • Due to the surrender of Japan in August 1945, the she did not see active combat in the Pacific.

King George V (1939) | Royal Museums Greenwich
The below specifications are done to the standard of the ship HMS King George V as of September 1945


  • Standard: 39,100 tons – Deep load: 44,460 tons


  • Length: 745ft 0.13in overall – 740ft 0.25in waterline – 700ft 0.25in between perpendiculars
  • Beam: 112ft 4.25in max – 103ft 2.56in waterline
  • Depth at side: 51ft 1.31in
  • Draught (1940): Standard – 29ft (mean), Deep load – 32ft 6in (mean)


  • Turbines: 4 x Parsons single-reduction geared, 4 shafts
  • Propellers: 4 x 3-bladed manganese bronze 14.5ft diameter
  • Boilers: 8 x Admiralty 3-drum small-tube with superheaters
  • Working pressure (max): 400lb/sq in

Main Battery Armament

  • 10 x 14in, 45 cal. Mk VII guns

Battery performance

  • Length of bore: 45 calibres (630in)
  • Length of gun: 52ft 6in breech to face muzzle – 54ft 2.8in overall
  • Weight of gun (bare): 77tons 14 cwt 84lb
  • Weight of gun (with counter-balance): 89tons 2cwt 84lb
  • Weight of breech mechanism: 1ton 17cwt
  • Rifling: polygroove, 72 grooves plain section uniform right-hand twist of one turn in 30 calibres
  • Weight of shell: 1590lb
  • Weight of charge: 338lb
  • Muzzle velocity: 2475 ft/sec
  • Muzzle energy: 67,520 ft/tons
  • Barrel life: 375 rounds
  • Gun mountings: 1x MkII twin gun turret (forward) – 2x MkIII quadruple gun turrets (1 forward, 1 aft)
  • Maximum elevation: 40 degrees
  • Rate of fire: 2 rounds per gun per minute
  • Max rate of gun elevation: 8 degrees per second
  • Max rate of gun training: 2 degrees per second
  • Maximum range: 36,300 yards
  • Shell stowage: 80 rounds per gun (100 max)

Secondary Battery armament

  • 6 x 5.25in, 50 cal. Mk1 quick-firing guns (Same as on HMS Dido)

Anti-Aircraft Battery (1945)

  • 8 x 8-barrelled MkVI 2pdr pom-poms
  • 24 x single-barrelled MkIIIA 20mm Oerlikons
  • 6 x twin-barrelled MkV 20mm Oerlikons
  • 2 x 4-barrelled American MkII 40mm Bofors
  • 2 x single-barrelled RN pattern 40mm Bofors

Crew complement: 1,300 (peace), 1600 (war).


  • Main Belt: 14.7 in (373 mm)
  • Lower belt: 5.4 in (137 mm)
  • Deck: 4.88–5.88 in (124–149 mm)
  • Main gun turrets: 12.75 in (324 mm)
  • Barbettes: 12.75 in (324 mm)

(This does not account for effective thickness but pure LoS thickness of the armour using commonly cited figures, the armour belt reached ~17-inches when armour quality was accounted for).



Battleship HMS King George V > WW2 Weapons
HMS King George V (Image Ref: warship1565) | Battleship , 19… | ww2images  archive | Flickr
HMS Vanguard next to HMS King George V [1,400x1,552] : r/WarshipPorn
A storm off iceland HMS King George V 1942 | A photo scanned… | Flickr



Research guide B9: The Royal Navy: HMS 'King George V' | Royal Museums Greenwich
14-inch (35.6 cm) Mark VII - NavWeaps
HMS King George V (41) - Wikipedia
King George V-class battleship (1939) - Wikipedia


I am a fan of British battleships and I really like to see this in the game.

1 Like

Capability-wise they are the next step up for the British naval tree along with the Nelson class. I would definitely love to see them in-game.


+1 because I want to see this battleship soon

1 Like

A Definite +1 if we get ships like the Bismarck and Tirpitz.

1 Like

Hopefully along with HMS Vanguard too.

You’re totally wrong with armor. Yes it is 15 inch for main belt, but actually ‘inch’ used in Royal Navy battleships’ armour after Nelson class is not ‘inch’ used widely.

Usual inch: 1 inch = 25.4 mm
‘British inch’ used for Royal Navy battleships’ armour: 1 inch - 24.9 mm

whole discussion about ‘British inch’ is about here, but in summary, Royal Navy tries to define 1 inch armor as ‘armor which one square foot weights about 40 pound’ and to make that true, the thickness of ‘1 inch’ should be 24.9 mm not 25.4 mm

So overall armour should be like this

Main belt: 373.5 mm
Lower belt: 149.4 mm
deck: up to 139.44 mm
main turrets(front): 323.7 mm
barbette: at maximum 323.7 mm


Actually even in the blueprint, armour is showed in weight not thickness.


I should’ve known using a museum website which uses the old fashioned British Inch as a source would screw me somewhere.

But that makes the metric conversion inaccurate, that’s a slight headache.

I’ve edited it, though there are some slight differences between the rough numbers you have, and the one’s i’ve just found.

File:KGV-Armor Scheme.jpg

This is one from the admiralty which still seems to maintain the 15 and 14 inch values. Perhaps if you adjust it for a thinning gradient then you get 14.7 inches average thickness.

It’s been passed on the old-forum so primarily this post is for the AA refit which I have checked and it is accurate.


Plzz Devs, can you add this ship.

1 Like

I decided I would post some more about the armour as just including pure belt thickness is marginally misleading.

You have a 14.7" belt over the magazines.

This provides at minimum 14.7 inches of protection however some research seems to suggest the armour for British BB’s Post-Nelson had an altered composition, this may have lead to it having up to a 25% increase in effective thickness when compared with equivalent thickness in US class A armour as used on Battleships and Cruisers. When used on cruisers the US class A is actually better in thinner plates but not against BB calibre and thickness.

I will do more digging in order to bug report this if necessary as it would give KGV, Vanguard and Lion an advantage too particularly when compared with other BB’s which use thicker and more angled Turtlebacks.

Following that belt, it is laminated onto an 1" of ‘composite material’ which is effectively armour grade cement, I believe this is present on the IJN Kongo already in-game. I am not 100% of its LoS effectiveness but given it is softer than steel I have assumed it has an effectiveness of 0.5".

Then further behind that, you have 0.875" of Ducol steel deliberately designed to act as armour, this is separated from the aforementioned belt and cement and is instead ‘spaced’ acting like a cross between a turtleback (though vertical) and spaced armour.

So at minimum you get ~16" of armour and at absolute optimum, with a bug report for the armour effectiveness this goes to ~19.75" perhaps 20" if the cemented armour has an even higher effectiveness.

I wouldn’t expect anywhere near 20" of armour in-game but now it becomes clearer to understand why KGV’s are the most heavily armoured ships in history tonne for tonne, and also why Vanguard decreased the armour and Lions maintained the same measurements.

1 Like

Such things were usually not presented in normal WT(remember that ‘late war german steel’ on tank removed from this game many years ago. But still KGV and Lion class would be the one of best armored & survivable battleship in this game.

Still firepower is best problem. After seeing my HMS Hood’s 15 AP(with 0.025 seconds fuze delay) unable to detonate broadside USS Alaska while SAP(0.035 seconds fuze delay) can, I have to assess British AP as ‘horrible’

1 Like

That I am looking into, it appears that cemented plates currently are modelled as one ‘type’ of armour with the same thickness modifiers, however they should really be modelled similar to how composite layouts are modelled with distinct thickness modifiers.

Perhaps if I can find enough sources for a bug report they could consider adding it, if not it’s one for the naval wishlist of improvements, we will still likely be good enough in the armour department even excluding the turtlebacks.

With poor penetration in-game, strong armour will have to compensate.

This one I agree certainly, i’m looking into documents for the 15" MK XVIIB shell with the improved AP capping from Cardonald factory in Scotland which were distributed as very high penetration AP rounds, currently the in-game one underperforms severely against this specific factories rounds.

Another suggestion to make for a bug report I suppose.

The fuse’s are also implemented wrong and even so the 15" is missing its no-fuse SAP which irl functioned as a HE round.