Queen Elizabeth-class Battleship, HMS Queen Elizabeth (00) - Semper Eadem

Would you like to see HMS Queen Elizabeth in-game?
  • Yes
  • No
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Where should Queen Elizabeth be added?
  • Tech Tree
  • Event/Gift
  • Squadron
  • Premium
  • I don’t want to see it added
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HMS Queen Elizabeth
As Outfitted in 1945

HMS Queen Elizabeth at Hampton Roads, Virginia, just after being repaired and refitted, 1943.

Background
HMS Queen Elizabeth was the lead ship of her class of battleships. She was laid down on the 21st of October, 1912, launched on the 16th of October, 1913, and commissioned into the Royal Navy on the 22nd of December, 1914. Her motto, “Semper Eadem,” is Latin for “Always the Same.”

The Queen Elizabeth-class battleships were designed as an improvement on the previous Lion-class of battlecruisers, and the Iron Duke-class battleships. While first envisioned to be a fast, 28kt ship, the final speed ended up being dropped to 24kts. The Queen Elizabeths were portrayed as “fast enough to maneuver to, and concentrate fire on, the head of the enemy battle line,” but in reality were intended to prevent the German battlecruisers, much more heavily armed than the British counterparts, from doing that very thing.
Unlike previous ships, these new battleships would be oil burning. The new BL 15" Mk I was an enlarged version of the BL 13.5" Mk V gun, and it was intended specifically for the Queen Elizabeths. The new gun met all expectations despite its rushed development, and would be present in the Royal Navy from WW1 to 1959.

Queen Elizabeth served from the height of WW1 to the end of WW2, ultimately being decommissioned and scrapped in 1948. She would earn five battle honours for her service, which are now carried by a new ship bearing her name.

Service History

HMS Queen Elizabeth was completed at the height of World War 1. After being launched in October of 1913, she was sent to the Dardanelles, even while she was still undergoing testing in the Mediterranean. She was the only dreadnought in this operation, and she was surrounded by pre-dreadnoughts and battlecruisers. Upon her arrival, the new super-dreadnought became the flagship of the fleet, and on February 25th, she and other capital ships launched a new attack with the aim of destroying the outer forts of the Dardanelles at close range, and all the way to the entrance of the Strait. Queen Elizabeth started her career with live combat, only a month after being completed.
She anchored 7 miles southwest of the Cape Helles lighthouse, aiming for the fort at Sedd al Bahr. However, during the first week of March, several bombardments of the forts proved fruitless.
On the 5th of March, she fired at more forts on the European side of the strait, but with no effect. The next day, while firing at Chemenlik, Ottoman shells began to land near the fleet. What was initially thought to be a mobile field howitzer turned out to be the pre-dreadnought SMS Barbaros Hayreddin, which had been moved into the strait, unknown to the Allies. Three shells hit Queen Elizabeth below the waterline, but the belt armor of the new super-dreadnought proved too much for the 28.1cm guns of the Barbaros Hayreddin, and all three failed to penetrate. In order to avoid more damage, Queen Elizabeth was ordered away from this position, but she stayed in the battle line. She was moved north, towards Gaba Tepe, anchoring there for more bombardment missions.


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HMS Queen Elizabeth firing a broadside during shore bombardment at Gallipoli.

In late April, the Ottomans counter-attacked what would be called ANZAC Cove, and again Queen Elizabeth was called upon for fire support. Over the coming days, her presence helped to break up and deter Ottoman attacks, but several battleships were sunk in May due to mines. Due to this, and also due to Queen Elizabeth being such a valuable asset, she left the Dardanelles on May 12th, joining 5th Battle Squadron at Scapa Flow later that month. However, she detached from 5th Battle Squadron on May 22nd, for repairs which lasted until June 4th; consequently, she did not participate in the Battle of Jutland, which took place on the night of May 31st.
Due to battle damage of other ships in the Grand Fleet, Queen Elizabeth was appointed as flagship in late June. She underwent another overhaul in July, lasting until 1917, and would stay in Scapa Flow with the Grand Fleet for the rest of the war.
On the night of the 5th of November, 1918, Rear-Admiral Hugo Meurer, the representative of Admiral Franz von Hipper, met Admiral David Beatty on board the Queen Elizabeth to discuss the terms of armistice regarding the High Seas fleet. Queen Elizabeth would escort the High Seas fleet into Scapa Flow following this agreement. This set in motion a chain of events that would lead to the High Seas Fleet’s scuttling at Scapa Flow, in July 1919.



HMS Queen Elizabeth in Scapa Flow, November, 1918, with elements of the High Seas Fleet in the background.

During the interwar years, she underwent a refit in 1926, and another overhaul in 1932. She took part in the fleet review on the 16th of July, 1935, to mark King George V’s throne jubilee. She took part in another fleet review for the coronation of King George VI, in 1937, also participating in the non-intervention blockade of the Spanish Civil War. In August of 1937, she was decommissioned for an overhaul at Portsmouth. It was during this overhaul that her 6" guns were removed and replaced with 4.5" guns, along with the main turrets being rebuilt to elevate to 30 degrees. She was transferred to Rosyth in December 1940, fearing Luftwaffe attacks. She was recommissioned on the 31st of January, 1941, and assigned to the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Home Fleet.

In May, 1941, Queen Elizabeth was reassigned to the Mediterranean Fleet, departing Gibraltar on May 6th escorting convoys to Malta. She then participated in the defense, and subsequent evacuation, of Crete. Later in May, on the 26th, she and sister ship Barham supported an air attack from HMS Formidable on the German airbase at Karpathos. The next day, Queen Elizabeth became flagship of both 1st Battle Squadron and the 2nd Fleet, replacing Barham in that role after the latter had taken damage during the previous day’s battle.
On the 19th of December, 1941, she and sister ship Valiant were in harbor at Alexandria when they were both badly damaged by limpet mines placed by Italian frogmen during a raid on the harbor. Although she endured a 41.8ft (12.5m) draught, she was not grounded on the harbor bottom. The Royal Navy kept her and Valiant’s decks clear to give the impression of battle readiness, in an attempt to conceal their weakened position. Valiant was back in service in under a few months, her damage being more minor than Queen Elizabeth, which didn’t go back into service for another year. Following temporary repairs in a drydock at Alexandria, Queen Elizabeth went through the Suez Canal and around Africa, bound for the Norfolk Navy Yard for more permanent repairs.


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HMS Queen Elizabeth in Alexandria Harbor, January 1942. At this time, she was not in operational condition due to the previous month’s raid.

After completing repairs at Norfolk Navy Yard, and being upgraded with the latest sensors available to the Royal Navy, she was back in service in June 1943. She returned to the Home Fleet in July, but was reassigned to the Pacific in December. She arrived at Ceylon on January 28th, 1944, participating in Operation Cockpit, a raid on Japanese-held Sabang, on the 19th of April, 1944. She then took part in bombardments in the Andaman Islands, before going to Durban for yet another overhaul and modernization. She then participated in the first combat operation of the British Pacific Fleet, Operation Outflank, in late 1944 and early 1945. She then participated in the recapture of Burma, as part of Operation Dracula, before being replaced as flagship by HMS Nelson, in July, 1945, after which she returned home.

She arrived in Portsmouth on the 7th of August, being placed in reserve on the 10th. She remained in reserve until her decommissioning on the 15th of May, 1948, and she was sold for scrap in July. The ship earned five battle honors during her service.



HMS Queen Elizabeth diagram, post-1941 reconstruction. She would be refitted again in 1943.

Specifications
1945

General Information
Displacement 37,000 tons (full load)
Length 643ft 9in (196.2m)
Beam 90ft 7in (27.6m)
Draft 33ft 7in (10.2m)
Speed 24 knots (44 km/h)
Complement ~1,260 officers and enlisted
Sensors
Type 273 Sea Search/Air Warning
Type 281 Air Warning/Ranging
Type 284 Fire Control (Main Battery)
AFCT/AFCC Fire Control (Main Battery)
Type 285 Fire Control (Secondary Battery)
HACS Mk IV AA Fire Control
Gun Turret/Mount Notes
8 × 15"(381mm)/42 BL Mk I 4 × Mk I/N Twin
20 × 4.5"(113mm)/45 QF Mk III 10 × Mk II BD Twin Actually 4.45" Caliber
8 x QF 2pdr (40/39mm) Pom-Pom Mk VII 2 x Mk VII Quad
52 × 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk I/II 20 x Mk V Twin, 12 x Mk II Single
15" (381mm) Ammunition
Designation Mass Bursting Charge Muzzle Velocity Notes
APC Mk XXIIb (6crh) 1,938lbs (879kg) 48.5lbs (22kg) Shellite 2,458f/s (749m/s)
APC Mk XVIIb (6crh) 1,938lbs (879kg) 48.5lbs (22kg) Shellite 2,458f/s (749m/s) Unknown difference between Mk XVIIb and Mk XXIIb
APC Mk XIIIa (4crh) 1,938lbs (879kg) 48.5lbs (22kg) Shellite 2,467f/s (752m/s)
CPC (4crh) 1,920lbs (871kg) 129.3lbs (58.6kg) TNT 2,467f/s (752m/s)
HE Mk VIIIb (6crh) 1,938lbs (879kg) 130lbs (59kg) TNT 2,458f/s (749m/s)
Armor
Belt 13" (330mm)
Deck 2.8-3.8" (63-89mm)
Turrets 11-13" (279-330mm)
Barbettes 7-10" (178-254mm)
Conning Tower 13" (330mm)
Command Citadel 11" (278mm)

Conclusion
As the lead ship of her class, I think HMS Queen Elizabeth deserves a spot in the game. As of the time of writing, a suggestion for HMS Warspite has been passed already, although in a 1937 configuration and not a late-war one, which compelled me to write this suggestion for Queen Elizabeth. Unlike her sister, Queen Elizabeth enjoys dual-purpose 4.5-inch guns, but in all other respects is the same. Personally, I would prefer that Queen Elizabeth is tech tree instead of Warspite, at least in a late-war configuration, since Queen Elizabeth would get DP guns.
The addition of a Queen Elizabeth-class ship to Britain would allow a return to parity with other nations that hasn’t been seen in some time. The Queen Elizabeths were an important battleship line for the Royal Navy, and the tree lacking one feels like a disservice.


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Crest of HMS Queen Elizabeth, bearing a Tudor rose.

Sources

Wikipedia - HMS Queen Elizabeth (1913)
Wikipedia - Queen Elizabeth-class Battleship
UBoat - Allies - HMS Queen Elizabeth
Naval-Encyclopedia - Queen Elizabeth-class Battleships
NavWeaps - BL 15-inch Mk I
NavWeaps - QF 4.5-inch Mk I
NavWeaps - 2pdr QF Mk VIII
Wikipedia - BL 15-inch Mk I
Wikipedia - List of WW2 British Naval Radar

1 Like

There seems to be some disparity between the AA armament listed in the diagram and in the specifications section. The diagram mentions octuple 40mm pom-pom mounts and quadruple .50 mounts. Were these removed during a refit and replaced with the quad 40mm and various 20mm mounts instead? Either way, +1

Yes, they were removed during the 1937 refit I believe. The quad .50s, at least, were all gone by 1943. The specifications represent Queen Elizabeth in her 1945 fit.

2 Likes

Gotcha. Both versions could be options, perhaps one premium and one TT?

Probably not. At least until now, there has been a semi-official policy of “one version of any given ship.” I’m hoping for the 1945 version, since that’s the one I had in the specifications, but we’ll have to wait and see.

2 Likes

Quick question for those who are seeing this now. Would you rather the 15" APC have standard charges or super charges? With standard charge the muzzle velocity of the 6crh APC is 2,458f/s (749m/s) but with super charges that jumps to 2,638f/s (804m/s).
I did put down two 6crh shells, APC Mk XXIIb and APC MK XVIIb, so maybe one of the two can get super charged propellant. What do you think?

Usually Gaijin think ‘penetration’ is balance factor. So for old battleship of QE class I would rather get standard charge. Give HMS Vanguard super charge.

+1 I can’t wait new battleship top tier for great britain tech tree

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From a quick Google search it seems that “Super Charge” 6crh shells were only issued to non-modernized 15 inch battleships, namely the Royal Sovereigns in order to bring their gun range up to par. The Royal Sovereigns only had 20 degrees of gun elevation, while the modernized 15 inch battleships like the QEs had 30 degrees. Since the British considered the extra wear and tear on the barrels unacceptable, it was never issued, and would never have been issued to modernized battleships

Overall, I’d say don’t add it, or keep it on 1 or 2 unmodernized 15 inch battleships. The main purpose of the super charge was for range as far as I can tell, and while I assume the extra velocity would help with damage I can’t imagine it’d be a lot.

Rounds should be the same or better as Hood’s which are not lacking and the APC Mk XVIIb should improve on that if these ships get it though in war thunder I doubt it will matter.

Still, they’ll be good ships and do fine without the supercharges. Particularly if they are 7.0 where they should be.

Honestly, it baffles me to some extent that we still don’t have this in-game, so take my +1

1 Like