Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

King George V (1939)-class Battleship

CountryUnited Kingdom


This article refers to the entire King George V-class (1939); it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseKing George V-class battleships of 1939 were a group of five battleships. They were designed with the expiration of the Washington Naval Treaty in mind. Without the Washington Naval Treaty restrictions, these battleships were heavily armored, second only after the Yamato-class battleships. They carried ten 356-millimeter, or 14-inch, guns; they were arranged in one four-gun forward turret, one two-gun forward turret, and one four-gun turret aft. Three of them participated in surface battles, which were what they were designed for. Only one did not survive WW2; battleship Prince of Wales was lost to Japanese air attack during the Battle off Kuantan off Malaya during the opening days of the Pacific War. The surviving ships were all scrapped in 1957.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Dec 2007

King George V (1939)-class Battleship Interactive Map

King George V (1939)-class Battleship Operational Timeline

1 Jan 1937 Battleship King George V was laid down.
28 Apr 1937 The British Royal Navy issued the order for the future battleship HMS Howe.
1 Jun 1937 The keel of HMS Howe was laid down by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom.
21 Feb 1939 Battleship King George V was launched.
9 Apr 1940 HMS Howe was launched at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom.
16 Oct 1940 Battleship King George V departed Newcastle upon Tyne, England for Rosyth, Scotland, both of which were in the Unite Kingdom.
11 Dec 1940 HMS King George V was commissioned into service.
6 Feb 1941 HMS King George V arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom after delivering Lord Halifax to the United States.
31 Mar 1941 HMS Howe was completed.
31 Mar 1941 Prince of Wales was commissioned into service.
13 Apr 1941 British battleship HMS King George V, light cruiser HMS Nigeria, and destroyers HMS Mashona, HMS Electra, and HMS Escapade departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0107 hours in poor weather.
22 May 1941 HMS King George V patrolled the waters off Iceland.
2 Dec 1941 HMS Prince of Wales arrived at Singapore.
10 Dec 1941 Japanese submarine I-58 spotted British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse off British Malaya, launched five torpedoes, but all of them missed; beginning at 1117 hours, Japanese aircraft began to attack. Overwhelmed, HMS Repulse was sunk at 1233 hours (513 killed), followed by HMS Prince of Wales at 1318 hours (327 killed); destroyers HMS Electra, HMS Express, and HMS Vampire rescued 1,862 survivors. On land, the British commanders dispatched the 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Gurkha Rifles regiment to Changlun and Asun in northern British Malaya to counter the Japanese advance; contact was made at Changlun at 2100 hours, where two Japanese tanks were destroyed before the Punjabi troops fell back toward Asun.
13 Dec 1941 British battleship HMS Duke Of York departed the Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom with Winston Churchill on board, sailing for the United States. The battleship was escorted by destroyers HMS Faulknor, HMS Foresight, and HMS Matabele.
22 Dec 1941 HMS Duke of York arrived at Annapolis, Maryland, United States.
1 May 1942 HMS King George V, in thick Atlantic fog, accidentally rammed and sank HMS Punjabi 165 miles northeast of Iceland at 1545 hours. HMS Punjabi was broken in half, with the stern sinking, depth charges exploding meanwhile, killing 49. The forward piece remained afloat for some time, allowing 169 people to be taken off. An additional 40 survivors were picked from the sea. HMS King George V suffered a 40-foot gash in the bow, forcing her to leave her convoy escort station to sail for Britain for repairs.
4 May 1942 HMS King George V arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
9 May 1942 HMS King George V arrived at the Gladstone Dock in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom to repair the damage caused by the 1 May 1942 collision with HMS Punjabi.
26 Jun 1942 After repairs at HM Dockyard Chatham, Sheerness, England, United Kingdom, HMS Cumberland became part of Home Fleet cover with HM Battleship Duke of York, US Navy Battleship USS Washington, HM Cruiser Negeria and screen of 14 RN/USN destroyers for passage of Russian Convoy PQ17.
1 Jul 1942 HMS King George V arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
10 Jul 1942 HMS Cumberland covered passage of HM Battleship King George V from Liverpool to Scapa Flow.
29 Aug 1942 HMS Howe was commissioned into service.
30 Aug 1942 HMS Howe was assigned to the British Navy Home Fleet.
21 Dec 1942 HMS Cumberland provided distant cover with HM Battleship Anson and HM Destroyers Forester, Icarus, Impulsive, HM Escort Destroyers Blankney and Chiddingfold for passage of Russian Convoy JW51B.
11 Jul 1943 HMS Howe bombarded Trapani and Favignana, Sicily, Italy.
12 Jul 1943 HMS King George V bombarded Trapani, Sicily, Italy.
12 Jul 1943 HMS Howe bombarded Trapani and Favignana, Sicily, Italy.
14 Sep 1943 HMS Howe escorted Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto and Italia to Alexandria, Egypt.
8 Aug 1944 HMS Howe arrived at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
8 Sep 1944 HMS Cumberland exercised with HM Battleship Howe, HMS London and HMS Gambia.
14 Sep 1944 HMS Cumberland provided cover with HMS Howe and Eastern Fleet cruisers during air operations by HM Aircraft Carriers Victorious and Indomitable carriers on Sigli, Northern Sumatra (Operation Light).
28 Oct 1944 HMS King George V departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
1 Dec 1944 HMS King George V departed Alexandria, Egypt.
15 Dec 1944 HMS King George V arrived at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
16 Jan 1945 HMS King George V departed Trincomalee, Ceylon.
30 Mar 1945 British warships including the battleship HMS King George V, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings, and a carrier force led by HMS Illustrious, commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Philip Vian, participated in an attack on the Sakashima Islands, 180 miles south-west of Okinawa, Japan.
4 May 1945 HMS King George V bombarded airfields in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.
18 Jul 1945 American battleships USS North Carolina, USS Alabama, USS Iowa, USS Missouri, and USS Wisconsin and British battleship HMS King George V bombarded Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan with 2,000 shells; the Taga Works and Mito Works of Hitachi Manufacturing Company were moderately damaged, and the Yamate Plant and the copper refining plants of Hitachi Mine were lightly damaged; civilian housing areas were also attacked, causing many deaths. Japanese battleship Nagato was damaged in port at Yokosuka, Japan by aircraft from carrier USS Shangri-La; a Japanese destroyer, a submarine, and three smaller vessels were sunk during the attack on Yokosuka. Aircraft from USS Yorktown struck the Tokyo area. P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang aircraft of US Far East Air Forces attacked various targets on Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands, Japan, focusing largely on communications lines, bridges, shipping, and population centers.
30 Jul 1945 American battleships USS South Dakota, USS Indiana, and USS Massachusetts, joined by British battleship HMS King George V (this would be her final combat action of the war) ended a two-day bombardment of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Meanwhile, carrier fighters from USS Ticonderoga (Air Group 87), USS Shangri-La, and USS Yorktown attacked airfields, railroads, and tactical targets east and west of Hamamatsu, generally the larger Kyoto-Kobe-Osaka region and the Tokyo region. Destroyer Yukikaze suffered minor damage and one killed by carrier aircraft in Miyatsu Bay on the coast of the Sea of Japan.
27 May 1958 HMS Howe was towed to Inverkeithing, Scotland, United Kingdom to be broken up by the firm T. W. Ward and Company.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. hiro says:
2 Apr 2021 03:48:40 AM

what length n beam? for this class of battleship. tnx.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
More on King George V (1939)-class Battleship
Ships of this Class:
» Anson
» Duke of York
» Howe
» King George V
» Prince of Wales

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!