1940 HMS HOWE, one of the five King George V-class battle ships, all of which were put into construction for the Royal Navy in 1937, the year the Washington

Treaty lapsed.


These were the first new battleships to go into construction in the United Kingdom for 15 years, and showed a considerable advance over ships of previous classes, particularly in their machinery and the arrangement of their main armament. HMS Howe was the last ship of the five to be built. Constructed by Fairfield, she was laid down on 1 June 1937, launched on 9 April 1940 and commissioned on 29 August 1942. She had but a short active career, becoming a Training Ship in 1946 before being placed in reserve. She was broken up in 1957.


The ships were built under the limits of the London Naval Treaty, which limited standard displacement of battleships to 35,000 tons; though the British had l5in (380mm) gun mounts available, it was decided that the new ships would be better-balanced with 14in (355mm) guns, and could carry more of them. They were originally to have had 12, in three quadruple turrets, but after trials the super-firing B turret was reduced to a twin. The 16 secondary 5.25in (133mm) guns were in mounts which elevated to 70 degrees, and did double-duty against destroyers and aircraft. In action, the main gun mounts gave considerable trouble, and the secondary turrets were cramped.


Type: Battleship

Machinery: 4-shaft Parsons geared turbines producing 11 0,000shp

Dimensions (overall): Length, 227m (745ft); beam, 31 .4m (1031t)

Displacement: 36,725t standard; 42,075t deep load

Draught: 8.85m (32.51t) deep load