By Angus Konstam
With the outbreak of worldwide warfare II, Britain's Royal army was once on the leading edge of her defence along with her fleet of battleships as her major amazing strength. even if, ten battleships of this fleet have been already over twenty years previous, venerable veterans of the 1st international clash. As such, within the Nineteen Thirties new sessions have been commissioned - smooth battleships that have been designed to interchange the growing older conflict fleet even though just one may see energetic carrier. including the older battleships, which have been more and more changed within the decade previous the battle and through the clash itself, those vessels held their very own opposed to their German and Italian opposite numbers. This name bargains a finished assessment of the seven battleships of the Nelson and King George V periods from their preliminary commissioning to their peacetime changes and wartime provider. specific descriptions of the most armament of every send will provide additional research of person battleship's effectiveness, discussing how the weapons have been manned while enticing with the enemy. additionally, with particularly commissioned paintings and a dramatic re-telling of key battleship battles, this publication will spotlight what it was once like on board for the sailors who risked their lives at the excessive seas. Describing HMS Rodney struggling with opposed to the Bismarck, the may well of the Kriegsmarine, the writer info how the British battleship closed in on her German adversary at such shut variety that the spotters may stick to the shells onto the objective, arguing that even if the plane provider might ultimately dominate later naval conflicts, it was once the battleship that played a useful provider all through numerous engagements.
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Extra resources for British Battleships 1939-45: Nelson and King George V classes
While gunnery information was passed to the turret officer by phone, the crew also retained the ability to direct their guns themselves in the event that all other forms of fire control were knocked out. 31 The gunnery control locations on HMS Rodney imposed onto a pre-war photograph for use in a wartime training manual. The anti-aircraft and main gun director positions were located high in the superstructure so as to provide the best all-round visibility and be clear of spray or smoke. However, the armoured control tower remained the nerve-centre of the ship during a gunnery engagement.
In September she escorted the surrendered Italian fleet to Malta, then rejoined the Home Fleet a few weeks later. She underwent a refit from February to July 1944, and in October sailed to Ceylon to join the newly-created British Pacific Fleet (formerly the Eastern Fleet). She assumed the role of flagship, and in February 1945 joined in the bombardment of Okinawa. In August she even bombarded the Japanese mainland near Tokyo, in the process becoming the last British battleship to fire her guns in anger.
She rejoined the Home Fleet in November 1 9 4 1 , and operated in support of convoys or in countering German sorties until August 1942, when she returned to the Mediterranean. After taking part in Operation Pedestal she supported the landings in North Africa that November, then went to Scapa Flow for training before returning to Gibraltar in June 1942. Rodney fired her guns in support of the landings in Sicily and Calabria that summer, and in September performed the same naval gunfire support role off the Salerno beachhead.