Project Information

During the Second World War, the five ships of the King George V-class were the most modern battleships in commission with the Royal Navy, and all gave invaluable service for the war effort. Built to the Washington Treaty of 1922 which, arguably, was a pointless decision, given that other signatory nations were not adhering to it (Japan, Germany and Italy), the King George V-class had a standard displacement of 35,000 tons, a waterline length of some seven-hundred feet, and a maximum speed of 28.5 knots. They carried ten fourteen-inch guns, mounted in two quadruple and one double turret - a unique arrangement of guns for any battleship, and the class's most distinguishing feature - as their main armament. These turrets were a cause for much vexation, however, as frequently during use the complex safety interlock mechanisms would cause the guns to jam.

The five ships of the class, His Majesty's Ships King George V, Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Anson and Howe, all saw active service during the war, with Anson being the only ship not to fire her guns in anger at the enemy. HMS King George V and HMS Prince of Wales were famously involved in the Battle of Denmark Strait in 1941. Prince of Wales was in company with HMS Hood, when they sighted Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen early on the morning of 24th May. The ensuing battle saw HMS Hood explode, and Prince of Wales damaged. Although many hold that the two German ships won the encounter, mainly due to the destruction of Hood, it is in fact the case that Prince of Wales won the engagement, scoring the same number of hits on Bismarck as the two ships scored on her. However, one of Prince of Wales' shots ruptured two of Bismarck's forward oil tanks, cut their links to the boilers, and caused the ship to take aboard some 2,000 tons of seawater, compelling Admiral Lütjens to head to France for repairs. A second encounter later that day saw Prince of Wales fire several salvos at Bismarck, to no effect. The ship would see no further involvement in this incident, and would famously be sunk by Japanese aircraft, along with the battlecruiser Repulse in the South China Sea later that year.

HMS King George V, along with the battleship HMS Rodney, engaged Bismarck on 27th May. Rodney, with her sixteen-inch guns, opened fire first, at 08h47, with King George V joining the battle less than a minute later. By 10h15, Bismarck had been reduced to a blazing wreck, and less than half an hour later, she had disappeared beneath the waves. Rodney had gained the distinction of being the only battleship to ever torpedo another. King George V was also present at Sagami Bay, with the rest of the British Pacific Fleet, for the Japanese surrender ceremony.

The decision was taken to break up the four surviving ships in 1957.

Leave a comment... (28)

Your Comments

Jun 3 2006

#1   Roger Antrobus says: 17h18:37

This is just a fantastic site. I am in the planning stages of scratchbuilding a 1/128 scale KGV and these 3D images will be so so helpful for interpreting 2D plans.
I have just finished a 1/64 scale Agamemnon - pity I didn't find your site before I started!!
Absolutely great thanks. RA

 

Jan 1 2007

#2   Simon Fowler says: 12h12:06

This is an absolutely /gorgeous/ model. The only thing that's off is the deck - RN battleships of the era had teak decking (aside from the Nelsons, which used pine in order to save a smidgin of weight).

If it's done to the same standards as on the Hood (for which I have documentation) then the planks are 9 inches wide, and (I think) 45 inches long. No idea how much of the deck would be planked on the KGVs, though . . .

Simon

 

Jan 1 2007

#3   Paul says: 12h23:51

All of the weather deck is planked - I just haven't got around to texturing this one yet.

 

Jan 2 2007

#4   Simon Fowler says: 05h46:46

It's hard to tell that it's not textured - the detail is so complete, and the grey is so close to the paint I expected . . .

I repeat: an absolutely /gorgeous/ model.

Simon

 

Jan 4 2007

#5   Paul says: 22h55:04

Thanks! Just so you know, I am planning on finally getting started on the texturing for this model as soon as I've finished work on Mir, which I am currently building. It's about time I finished this ship off...

 

Jan 27 2007

#6   Will Harris says: 06h31:20

Having built a scratch model (144:1 scale) of the HMS KGV, I can say you did an excelent job. The plans I have call for the Armour belt to cover all three main turrents, but you may have other information than I had.

Great Job.

 

Jan 27 2007

#7   Paul says: 16h28:50

Well as I have it, the belt does cover the three main turrets. It extends from a little forward of turret 'A's barbette, to a little astern of turret 'Y's barbette. There would have been no purpose in extending it beyond those points, really.

 

Feb 9 2007

#8   Bob Iley says: 17h12:37

Mine is more a history point. My father was on the KGV during the hunt for the Bismark. He has the fuse from the first shot that was fired at Bismark from the A turret (this cost him a months ration of rum) I still have it in my possession. He also had the ships crest which he made (and it hung in the PO's ward room until he was transfered ashore shortly after the KGV returned to her base (which I think was Scapa Flow). I have photos of both items if anyone is interested

 

Mar 25 2007

#9   wbensen@cogeco.ca says: 22h30:14

for Bob Iley. I would be very interested in seeing your pictures of king george v. W bensen@cogeco.ca

 

Jul 28 2007

#10   Russ says: 22h19:31

Excellent images. Was looking for piccies of HMS Prince of Wales circa Battle of Denmark Strait found this - fantastic.

 

Oct 5 2007

#11   Tracey says: 12h25:50

Trying to track down any photos of friends or information on my grandfather, "Leonard Albert Ludlow". He was a gunner on HMS King George V.

 

Dec 2 2007

#12   Fran says: 22h47:19

Excellent work. I was looking for good diagrams of KGV when I stumbled across this, very well done.

 

Dec 10 2007

#13   Bill says: 19h28:44

Tracy my father was a gunner on the kgv during the hunt for the bismark and I have lots of photos if you would like to contact.

 

Jan 11 2008

#14   Robert Wilkinson says: 10h47:42

As a `live` model maker , I wish I could reproduce the detail that you can.
Excellent.
Of course you could keep going and model the interior!

 

Feb 14 2008

#15   John says: 23h42:00

as the two ships scored on her.

"However",(Better to say "moreover")

one of PoW's shots ruptured two of Bismarck's forward oil tanks,

Like steam engines they fascinate us. I think they seem to represent pride and the warrior spirit with less of the moral ambigutiy of subarines or the soulessness of aircraft carriers.

 

Feb 25 2008

#16   Steve Larsen says: 02h43:27

Fantastic renderings! Bill, please post your KGV photos.

 

Jun 1 2008

#17   krasimir says: 11h25:59

fantastic !

 

Jul 13 2008

#18   Jukka says: 20h01:31

Exellent job !
Thank You very much!
We want more.....

 

Sep 27 2008

#19   John Mustin says: 20h23:13

Saw group of Ex crew members of George V at National Memorial Arboretum yesterday(Friday 26th Sep 2008) what a smart and proud gathering. good luck to you all, and thank you for your brave efforts. John Mustin

 

Oct 8 2008

#20   Herman says: 06h06:16

Beautifully done. I wish I'd had this level of detail available to me when I made a working model of this ship back in the 70's.
I might incorporate some of features shown here yet, as I still have the model (combination of a hardwood hull with a plastic/balsawood/cardboard superstructure).
Thank you mr.Dobson

 

Oct 28 2008

#21   Artem Domnin says: 12h14:21

Very well! Are you going to do it in camouflage from different times? I think, you must make more detailed, because it is one of the few famous 2world war-ships in your country...

 

Oct 28 2008

#22   Paul says: 18h57:56

When I eventually get around to doing the textures (er... 2 years and counting so far!) then she'll be painted up in the scheme she wore during the engagement with Bismack - which was I think one of the Admiralty Standard schemes - though I haven't researched that fully yet.

(and there were many famous WWII ships from our country :p)

 

Jun 5 2009

#23   AndrewBoldman says: 01h00:42

Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

 

Oct 14 2009

#24   ronald pacheco says: 19h31:14

muy bueno aver si me lo manda lo quiero dibujar en autocad 3d

 

Nov 14 2009

#25   G. Clarke says: 13h48:36

Drawn by the need for detail clarification during a KGV kit(s) build, I happened on this site and all I can say in response is this - 'I am literally blown away in admiration'.

If and when I finish my project, I would like to credit this site and your work. I just hope you have many more years, nay decades, left and your interest doesn't wane too much! All the best...

 

Nov 28 2010

#26   Chris Patterson says: 15h23:46

What a fine effort. My grandad was captain of the KGV when is sank the Bismark. Great to see history living on through such efforts...

 

Jan 29 2011

#27   John Newland says: 03h59:01

Looking through some of our family history we found a letter and article regarding a seaman who we think could be Charles W Blandford. All we have is "Wiggy" (nickname) Blandford and his family was from Hempsted, Gloucester. Was this ship ever posted to the area of Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, or Biloxi , Mississippi in or about 1940 to 1942?

Thank you in advance for any reply. John Newland

 

Dec 8 2011

#28   Adrian Stowers says: 06h30:11

To John Newland
How unusual my fathers nickname in the Royal Navy was also \"WIGGY\" He served for many years post-war in the Submarine service out of HMS Dolphin and Faslane in Scotland, he served on Finwhale, Tabard and Grampus also about 2 years (I think) prior to the subs on HMS Vanguard and the Cruiser Newfoundland. Active service included Malaya, Indonesia, Cyprus and the Suez. He retired after 13 years service in 1964 and emigrated to NZ in 1965 where he still lives. Isnt it a small world Cheers Adrian

 

Commenting is currently unavailable.