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Queen Elizabeth file photo; moored in the Forth with the Forth Railway Bridge in the background [3482]

Queen Elizabeth

CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassQueen Elizabeth-class Battleship
BuilderPortsmouth, Hampshire, Britain
Laid Down21 Oct 1912
Launched16 Oct 1913
Commissioned1 Feb 1915
Decommissioned19 Mar 1948
Displacement29,700 tons standard; 33,020 tons full
Length646 feet
Beam90 feet
Draft33 feet
Machinery24 boilers at 285psi maximum pressure, 4 direct drive turbines, 4 shafts, 2 oil driven dynamos, 2 turbine driven dynamos, 1 reciprocating engine driven dynamo
Bunkerage100 tons of coal
Power Output75,000 shaft horsepower
Speed24 knots
Range8,600nm at 12.5 knots, 3,900nm at 21 knots
Armament4x2x15in Mk I, 12x6in Mk XII (pre-1920s refit), 20x114mm (post-1920s refit), 2x4in AA, 2x3in AA, 4x47mm/3lb saluting guns, 4x21in torpedo tubes
Armor4-11in belt, 4-6in bulkheads, 4-11in turrets, 4-10in barbettes, 3-11in conning tower, 4-6in torpedo conning tower


ww2dbaseQueen Elizabeth was the lead ship of her class of dreadnought battleships. She was commissioned during WW1, and she participated in the Dardanelles Campaign almost immediately after her commissioning as the flagship for the preliminary naval operations. At Gallipoli between 25 Feb and 14 May 1915, she was the flagship for General Sir Ian Hamilton and bombarded forts on the Narrows with 86 15-in and 71 6-in shells. In Feb 1917, she became the flagship of the Home Fleet. She was the only ship in her class to have missed the Battle of Jutland because she was receiving maintenance at that time. During the inter-war period, she was the flagship of the Atlantic Fleet from 1919 to 1924, then the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet from 1924 on. During the Spanish Civil War, she participated in the non-intervention blockade.

ww2dbaseAs the European War began, Queen Elizabeth was in the middle of a second refit at Portsmouth. She was moved to Rosyth in 1941 to avoid potential German aerial attack. She was completed and rejoined service in May 1941, taking up the role as the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet. On 18 Dec 1941, while at Alexandria, Egypt, she was mined by Italian frogmen, who were all captured at the end of their operation. Queen Elizabeth sank, but because the water was shallow, the Royal Navy was able to maintain an illusion that she remained in operational status. She was eventually raised and temporarily patched so she could make the journey to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia, United States, where she remained between Sep 1942 and Jun 1943. In Jan 1944, she joined the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean and participated in operations against Japanese bases in Southwest Pacific region.

ww2dbaseNear the end of WW2, Queen Elizabeth returned to Britain in Jul 1945. She was decommissioned in Mar 1948 and was scrapped in Jul 1948.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: May 2007

Battleship Queen Elizabeth Interactive Map

Queen Elizabeth Operational Timeline

1 Feb 1915 Queen Elizabeth was commissioned into service.
12 May 1942 Italian frogmen raided Alexandria harbor, Egypt, but failed to damage their target, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
21 Mar 1944 HMS Cumberland carried out offensive sweep in Indian Ocean with HM Battleships Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, HM Battlecruiser Renown, HM Aircraft Carrier Illustrious, HM Cruisers London, Gambia and Ceylon screened by fleet destroyers. (Operation Diplomat).
25 Jul 1944 HMS Cumberland, along with Eastern Fleet for offensive operation against targets in Sumatra including HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Valiant, HMS Renown, French battleship Richelieu, HM Cruisers Nigeria, Kenya, Ceylon and Gambia and screened by five fleet destroyers, bombarded Japanese positions at Sabang (Operation Crimson).
8 Apr 1945 HMS Cumberland joined Task Group 63.2 with HMS Queen Elizabeth, French Battleship Richelieu and HMS London screened by 5 Fleet destroyers to cover air reconnaissance flights by HM Escort Aircraft Carriers Empress and Khedive at Port Swettenham (now Port Klang) and Port Dickson, Malaya (now Malaysia). (Operation Sunfish).
27 Apr 1945 HMS Cumberland joined Task Force 63 with HMS Queen Elizabeth, French battleship Richelieu, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers Shah and Empress with HM Cruisers Suffolk, Ceylon and Dutch cruiser Tromp escorted by five fleet destroyers for attacks on Nicobar Islands. (Operation Bishop. Note: This was a diversion during assault on Rangoon (Operation Dracula).
10 May 1945 HMS Cumberland deployed in TF61 with HMS Queen Elizabeth, FS Richelieu, HMS Cruiser Royalist, Dutch cruiser Tromp, HMS Hunter, HMS Khedive, HMS Shah and HMS Emperor of 21st Carrier Squadron. Destroyer screen comprised HM Destroyers Saumarez, Venus, Verulam, Virago, Vigilant, Nubian and Rotherham (Operation Dukedom - For interception and sinking of Japanese ships evacuating forces from Burma).
19 Mar 1948 Queen Elizabeth was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Hobilar says:
9 Sep 2007 01:23:09 AM

HMS Queen Elizabeth had the distinction of being the first capital ship in the world to be equipped with oil-burning boilers. These being built by Babcock and Wilcox. The weight saved was utilised to increase her armour.

2. John Odom says:
24 Jun 2008 06:21:28 AM

Is there any truth to the rumor that she "stripped a turbine and cpuld only make 15 knots" at the battles of the Dardanelles?
3. Anonymous says:
15 Aug 2009 07:52:46 PM

Am I able to get alist and any other information about the crew? I am looking for information about Charles Dearden , an engineer.
4. Anonymous says:
25 May 2010 06:41:05 AM

I would be grateful if anyone might be able to give me more information on crew names - especially on one bert jeavons who came from lanesfield near wolverhampton. He was aboard during the time of U.S. refit and then on to operations in Sumatra where he took part in ground assaults.
5. a.de broissia says:
21 Jun 2010 10:52:05 AM

i would like to know if anyone has some information to give me about a certain midshipman called Fryett...i happen to have some documents concerning this person and some poems he wrote when in service on the hms Queen Elisabeth in 1939 -1941
6. Anonymous says:
20 Jul 2010 09:51:24 AM

Can anyone remember G Boultwood Queen Elizabeth WW2.
7. Anonymous says:
17 Mar 2011 09:27:38 AM

my father in law nobby clark was on sonar on the queen elizabeth. i would love to hear from anyone who served with him
8. Terry Dolan says:
2 Jun 2012 09:58:38 AM

My father served ,John Dolan ,CS ,anyone know him ,many years gone by ???? Terry
9. S Blakey says:
30 Nov 2013 04:56:10 AM

Mt father Leslie Park served on the Queen Elizabeth does anyone know of him?
10. Anonymous says:
15 Mar 2014 01:24:01 AM

my great uncle Johnny Helstrom, said he was a cook on board during WW2.
11. Jaytee says:
3 Jul 2014 04:58:15 AM

Sorry - there is an error of fact in this - HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH was very thoroughly SUNK by the Italian Frogmen in l942. There is a photo somewhere that shows this. She was raised and returned to service after extensive repairs in the USA. HMS VALIANT was badly damaged (but not sunk) in the same atttack
12. Iris Griggs says:
31 Jan 2015 06:28:34 AM

I would also like to know where to find a list of the crew on the Queen Elizabeth during WW2 please because I have been given to understand that my Uncle was acting Third Mate on C Deck. He was Thomas O'Brien.
13. Anonymous says:
29 Mar 2015 12:01:33 PM

I came across the passage of writing below on the website and can say that I knew Bert Jeavons - he was my uncle. I'd be interested in hearing from the person who posted this.

regards DRM

Anonymous says:
25 May 2010 06:41:05 AM

I would be grateful if anyone might be able to give me more information on crew names - especially on one bert jeavons who came from lanesfield near wolverhampton. He was aboard during the time of U.S. refit and then on to operations in Sumatra where he took part in ground assaul
14. michael beckley says:
5 May 2015 12:13:06 PM

My grand father was a gunner on board HMS
Queen Elizabeth in his diary there is mention of a problem with the turbine,he also describes in detail action in the dardenelles,i hope to get this published in a magazine soon for all to see
15. Tina Mckenna says:
15 Jul 2015 06:50:26 AM

My Grandfather was a AS Anthony O'Brien, he was also a gunner aboard the Queen Elizabeth 1941-45. I was hoping someone can give me more information.
16. j dixon says:
21 Dec 2015 07:08:56 AM

look for one who knew ted Dixon sonar about 1944
17. Alan says:
28 May 2016 09:29:05 PM

Just wondering if anyone has stories that they can share about the stokers that were on this ship in 1943 to 1945. My grandfather served on the Queen Elizabeth during that time - William Simmonds
18. P. Fields says:
29 Apr 2019 08:53:20 PM

My father John I. Blair III was a Master Sargeant on Queen Elizabeth during World War II. He was in charge of loading wounded soldiers on board quickly in England. He developed a traige system that became widely used. They were able to get in & out of the dock quickly before they were discovered by the enemy. That is about all he ever told me. Does anyone else have any information on this? All his records of service were burned in a building that contained war records.
19. Virginia Eckley says:
6 Mar 2020 01:47:55 PM

My dad was brought back home from ww2 on that ship
20. Anonymous says:
12 Mar 2020 06:47:56 PM

I beieve my father James Michael Marsh served on the queen elizabeth and queen mary during world war 2, looking for any information please,
21. Anonymous says:
15 Aug 2020 01:18:26 PM

My grandfather was taken to America at the end of the war in Japan on this ship. Returned home to England 6 months later
22. mick wilson says:
8 Mar 2021 02:30:24 PM

My uncle served on hms Queen Elizabeth in ww2. I know that he went to Norfolk Verginia USA to do sea trials after repairs I have photos othe ship out there.
23. John says:
14 May 2023 08:13:48 AM

ref. 20. Anonymous says:
12 Mar 2020 06:47:56 PM I beieve my father James Michael Marsh

my dad was on the ship during the attack ww2. i know his story only. he is diseased today. it did not completely sink. they were ordered to remove all non-esentials. the guns were still functional ... all to fool the enemy reconnaisance.

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Event(s) Participated:
» The Spanish Civil War
» Underwater Raid of Alexandria
» Operation Cockpit and Operation Transom
» Third Battle of Arakan

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