HMS King George V

There has been been two warships to bear the name King George V, both were battleships, and both were named after King George V, each taking their place in the history of the Royal Navy.

HMS King George V (1911-1926)


The first HMS King George V was a King George V-class
dreadnought, with a displacement of 23,400 tonnes and an armament of 10 x 13.5-inch guns in twin turrets and 16 x 4-inch guns and had a crew complement of 870, though this increased substantially by 1916 to 1,110, and had a length of 597 feet. She took part in the infamous Battle of Jutland, being the lead 'ship of the 1st Division of the 2nd Battle Squadron. Her sister-ships were Centurion, Audacious and Ajax. Audacious was sunk by a mine off Northern Ireland, the rest survived WW1, until decommissioned by 1924. King George V herself was decommissioned in 1919, used as a training ship between 1923-26 and scrapped in 1926 .

HMS King George V (1939-1958)

The second HMS King George V was the name-ship of a class of battleships that included such iconic names as Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Anson and Howe. She had a relatively week armament in comparison to other warships of the Royal Navy that were built after ignoring the London Naval Limitation Treaty became common practise. King George V and the four other ships of the Class were most crucially out-gunned by the massive German battleship Bismarck and her sister-ship Tirpitz. She was the flagship of the Home Fleet under the command of Admiral Sir John Tovey, and was involved in the legendary chase for the Bismarck. On the 27th May, she and Rodney, poured an incredible number of shells into to the hull of the ill-fated German ship.

Following the successful destruction of Bismarck, the ship was involved in a tragic accident, in which she collided with the destroyer HMS Punjabi, resulting in the sinking of the latter ship and minimal damage for King George V during the spring of 1942. She also covered the landings at Sicily, as well as having the prestigious honour of taking Churchill back to Britain from the Tehran Conference.


From 1944 to the surrender of Japan, King George V served with the British Pacific Fleet, being present at Japan during the official surrender ceremony. She was recommissioned as flagship of the Home Fleet in 1946, but was decommissioned just three years later into the Reserve Fleet and subsequently scrapped at Dalmuir in 1957. All King George V Class ships survived WWII, with the exception of the Prince of Wales. The other four, including King George V, were scrapped in the same year in 1957, though each secured their place in the history books of the Royal Navy.

King George V Class Statistics

  • Displacement: 44,460 tons
  • Length: 745 feet
  • Beam: 103 feet
  • Draught: 35.5 feet
  • Complement: 1,314 to 1,631
  • Speed: 27.5 knots
  • Armament:
    • 10 x 14-inch guns
    • 16 x 5.2-inch guns
    • 64 x 2-pounders
    • 2 aircraft
  • Machinery: Geared Turbines, 110,000 shp, 4 screws

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