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HMS King George V in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- HMS King George V during the Great War -

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HMS King George V


HMS King George V

King George V, was built by HM Dockyard Portsmouth Laid down 16th January 1911, Launched 9th October 1911, Completed in November 1912. She had a displacement of 23,400 tonnes, Length: 598 ft (182.3 m), Beam: 89 ft (27.1 m), Draught: 28 ft (8.5 m) Her propulsion was 18 boilers feeding 4 Parsons turbines with direct drive to 4 shafts, giving 27,000 shp (20,100 kW) and a top speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) Her Armament consisted of 10 BL 13.5-inch (343 mm) Mk V guns, 16 BL 4-inch (102 mm) Mk VII guns, 4 3-pounder (47-mm) guns and 3 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes. Her Armour Belt was 8 to 12 in (203 to 305 mm), decks 1 to 4 in (25 to 102 mm) barbettes 3 to 10 in (76 to 254 mm) and turrets 11 in (279 mm) She had a crew complement of 870, though this increased substantially by 1916 to 1,110.

On the outbreak of the First World War, the 2nd Battle Squadron became part of the Grand Fleet, with King George V serving as flagship for the squadron. In November 1914, King George V was found to suffer from problems with her condensers. This forced the ship to be withdrawn from operations while her port condenser was retubed, which took until 12 December, with her starboard condenser being retubed in January. The 2nd Battle Squadron, including King George V sailed from Scapa Flow on 15 December in an attempt to combat German warships that were bombarding towns on the East coast of England. When German battlecruisers and cruisers under the command of Franz von Hipper attacked Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby on 16 December, the 2nd Battle Squadron and the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron was deployed to try and intercept the German force, unaware that the German entire High Seas Fleet had been deployed to support Hipper's ships. While the 2nd Battle Squadron came to within 10 miles of the much larger High Seas Fleet, no engagement occurred.

She took part in the Battle of Jutland, on the 31st of May 1916, being the lead ship of the 1st Division of the 2nd Battle Squadron. Her sister-ships were HMS Centurion, HMS Audacious and HMS Ajax. At the Battle of Jutland, the 2nd Battle Squadron was divided into two divisions, with Vice Admiral Martyn Jerram, in command of the 1st Division, flying his flag aboard King George V, while Captain Frederick Field served as the ship's captain. King George V was lightly engaged during the battle, firing nine 13.5 in rounds at the German battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger, which missed. King George V was undamaged in the battle.

HMS King George V was decommissioned in 1919, used as a training ship between 192326 and scrapped in 1926.

John Doran

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HMS King George V

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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