Forgive me Ron but you have been listening to too many Scottish socialist lies. Vanguard was ordered on 14 March 1941; laid down 2 October 1941; launched 30 November 1944 and accepted 9 August 1946. Perhaps Churchill was going to mount a last stand with John Browns rivet guns.
Her 15" guns were second hand, ex HMS Glorious mounted Aft, and HMS Courageous mounted For'd.
HMS Glorious was the only one to fire it's guns, ONCE, it caused so much structural damage that she, and her sister HMC Courageous, were pensioned off into the RNR. When they were converted to Aircraft Carriers, in 1930's, the guns were held spares for the R Class battleships.
Just a pity we couldn't do what the Yanks did with all their big battleships, put them into mothballs for future use.
If anything, it would probably have guaranteed her preservation.
I recall reading somewhere, that if you took all the preserved warships in the US, then you'd have the worlds second largest navy. Is there any credence to that? They certainly have a staggering amount preserved, compared to the pretty p*ss poor efforts we see over here, all the more ridiculous considering our maritime past.
James you are right, even if we have been able to preserve a quarter of what the Americans have done over the years we would have a direct link back into our historic maritime past and be much better off for it in my opinion.
We should not be disparaging about the Vanguard. The four Lion class of battleships were cancelled in 1940, even though the Lion and Temraire had already been laid down, because it was felt that our shipbuilding resources should be devoted to ships that were likely to be completed during the probable duration of hostilities. The problem was that main gun mountings took far longer to design and produce than any battleship.
In December 1939 the DNC, Sir Stanley Goodall suggested that the 15 inch guns removed from Fisher\\\'s follies Courageous and Glorious could be used to arm a battleship that could be rushed into production before the Lion class. By the time that sketch plans and estimates had been drawn up the Lion Class had been abandoned but the decision to go ahead was made so that the ship could join the Singapore Fleet we expected to form when Japan decided to join the war against Britain.
Vanguard was ordered in March 1941 and of course events moved far faster than our bureaucrats imagined, nevertheless this emergency design was a fine ship.
The KG5s were very wet in a seaway and the designers decided to provide a raked bow with more flare. To partially offset this increase in length and increase the number of dry docks that could take the ship and reduce weight a square stern was use. The result was that Vanguard was a magnificent seaboat, dry and steady in the most severe conditions. In combined exercises with USS Iowa in 1953 when green seas came over the forecastle of Vanguard they went no further than the breakwater, while Iowa lost most of her on deck equipment. The maximum roll recorded by Vanguard in the storm was 15 degrees, but Iowa went up to 26 degrees each way.
On the other hand design work on the Iowas began in 1938 and Iowa was completed in February 1943. Yamato was laid down in 1937 and completed in 1941. Unlike the other two ships however, the entire construction of Vanguard took place during wartime.