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HMS Duke of York (17): Wikis


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HMS Duke of York (Royal Navy battleship).jpg
HMS Duke of York anchored, circa 1947
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: King George V class battleship
Name: HMS Duke of York
Ordered: 16 November 1936
Builder: John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland
Laid down: 5 May 1937
Launched: 28 February 1940
Commissioned: 4 November 1941
Decommissioned: November 1951
Struck: 18 May 1957
Fate: Scrapped 1957 at Shipbreaking Industries, Ltd., Faslane, Scotland
General characteristics
Displacement: 42,500 tons (trials)
Length: 745 ft 1 in (227.10 m) Overall
740 ft 1 in (225.58 m) Waterline
Beam: 103 ft 2 in (31.45 m)
Draught: 34 ft 4 in (10.46 m)
Propulsion: 8 Admiralty 3-drum small-tube boilers
4 sets Parsons geared turbines
4 3-bladed propellers, 14 feet 6 inches (4.42 m) diameter
110,300 hp to four shafts (trials)
Speed: 28.3 knots (52 km/h)
Range: 6,000 nmi at 14 knots
5,600 nmi at 10 knots (1944)
Complement: 1,556 (1945)
Armament: (1945):
Armour: Main belt: 14.7 inches (370 mm)
lower belt: 5.4 inches (140 mm)
deck: up to 5.38 inches (137 mm)
main turrets: 12.75 inches (324 mm)
barbettes: 12.75 inches (324 mm)
Aircraft carried: Four Supermarine Walrus seaplanes, one double-ended catapult (removed early 1944)
Notes: Pennant number 17

HMS Duke of York (pennant number 17) was a King George V class battleship of the Royal Navy, and the second of the name, the predecessor having been a 4-gun cutter purchased in 1763 and sold in 1766. The ship was originally to be named Anson but adopted her final name in December 1938.

She was laid down at the John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland, 5 May 1937 and launched on 28 February 1940. She was commissioned too late to see action against the Bismarck, or any other German naval surface raider in the early Atlantic battles of World War II. However, Duke of York did play a role in reducing German naval power. On her shakedown cruise in December, 1941, she embarked Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill for a trip to confer with United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, arriving in Annapolis on 22 December 1941. In March, 1942, she escorted the Russia-bound convoy PQ-12 with the intention of intercepting the German battleship Tirpitz. On 6 March, Tirpitz did put to sea, but no contact was made.

In late December 1943, Duke of York was part of the Home Fleet, covering convoys between the UK and the Soviet Union. German surface vessels based in Norway were a constant threat to these convoys, and the German fleet-in-being forced the retention of powerful naval forces in British home waters.

One of those vessels was the battlecruiser Scharnhorst. During the passage of convoy JW55B, Scharnhorst left her base and steamed to engage. In the unfolding battle, Duke of York scored a vital hit in Scharnhorst's boiler room which prevented her escape and led to her destruction in the Battle of North Cape. After the sinking of Scharnhorst and the retreat of most of the other German heavy units from Norway, the need to maintain powerful forces in British home waters was diminished. After a modernization in Liverpool during 1944 which included the enhancement of her anti-aircraft armament, Duke of York headed east to join the British Pacific Fleet, then assembling to take part in the invasion of Okinawa. She was flagship of the British Pacific Fleet when Japan surrendered.

Following the end of the war, Duke of York remained in service until April 1949. On Friday 7 September 1951 the Duke of York was under tow on her way to the breakers in Gareloch when she collided with the MV Royal Iris off Gladstone Dock, Liverpool. The Royal Iris was temporarily out of control and the floodtide carried her against the warship. Some people were hospitalised as a result of the accident.[1] Battleships were now, if not completely obsolete, rapidly approaching obsolescence. They were also money- and crew-intensive units, two things that Britain of the postwar era could not afford. The ship was scrapped in 1957 at Faslane.

A distinguishing feature of the Duke of York was the extended fire control platform located on the after funnel. On this ship it extended out over the boat deck (after the refit during which the aircraft equipment was removed from the ship's configuration). Duke of York also introduced the HACS V*, AA fire control system which is also a distinguishing feature from the King George V and Prince of Wales.

See also


  • Siegfried Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers 1905-1970 (Doubleday and Company; Garden City, New York, 1973) (originally published in German as Schlachtschiffe und Schlachtkreuzer 1905-1970, J.F. Lehmanns, Verlag, Munchen, 1970). Contains various line drawings of the ship as designed and as built.
  • Robert Gardiner, ed., Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1922 - 1946 (Conway Maritime Press, London, 1980)

External links



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