Talk:HMS Vanguard (23)

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HMS Vanguard (23)[edit]

I used the launch date instead of commission date as per the standard, but doesn't this ship have a pennant number? Stan 15:40, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Vanguard's pennant number was 23 (from British and Empire Warships of the Second World War, H T Lenton). Emoscopes Talk 00:02, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

decomission date[edit]

the 'fact box' says 1959, the main text says 1954. Anyone know which it actually it?

I visited HMS Vanguard for lunch - a measly helping of 'bangers and mash'; I remember it well as I was hoping for something much larger on a battleship - during my one year in the naval section of my school (KCS Wimbledon) Combined Cadet Force (CCF). That was during the 1959/60 school year. The entry now quotes 7 Jun 1960 as the decommission date which fits as that would have been in the lead up to O Level exams so we would have visited before then. AWDE, 7 Jan 2013


It seems far more likely that they copied it from us. Their text matches this revision from March 17, 2005. Our article had existed at this location for nearly a year at that point, and at HMS Vanguard before April 30, 2004. You can see its evolution. TomTheHand (talk) 15:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Switch from {{WikiProjectBannerShell}} to {{WikiProjectBanners}}[edit]

After I added {{WikiProjectBannerShell}} to this talk page on 7 December because this page was tagged by three wikiprojects. My addition was changed by The Giant Puffin (talk · contribs) to {{WikiProjectBanners}} on 14 December without explanation in disregard to the documentation relating to these two templates which states the following:
From Template:WikiProjectBannerShell:

"Please do not implement this template on talk pages already using the {{WikiProjectBanners}} template without first discussing the change on that talk page. WikiProjectBanners is a similar nesting template with an alternate appearance, the use of which is dependent on editor preference. Once one Shell or the other has been established on a talk page, it should not be changed without discussion."

So, my question is, which one should be used? I have left the change intact so-far to avoid a revert-war. -MBK004 00:30, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, as you've pointed out, the change shouldn't have been made without discussion; this is one of those "both ways are OK, and changing it causes fights" issues that are too common. I personally prefer the old banner template, because it briefly lists all the Wikiprojects which cover the article while remaining compact. The new template is even smaller, but honestly, the old one is only about the size of the (IMHO useless) {{talkheader}}, and I don't see the saved space being a big advantage. TomTheHand (talk) 02:20, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I've decided I'm going to change it back because it shows which projects have assessed the page. If you disagree, please bring up your objections here on the talk page before unilaterally reverting the change. Thanks, -MBK004 03:50, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

"never to fire her guns"[edit]

i assume they were fired, just not in anger--Mongreilf (talk) 16:54, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

You're correct. Someone removed the words "in anger" a couple of months ago; they may not have known what the phrase meant. TomTheHand (talk) 17:40, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't this depend on defintions somewhat? For example did HMS Dreadnought (1875) ever see action?Geni 14:41, 1 June 2008 (UTC)


Would it be correct to state the the Vanguard was the last battleship ever built? In the world? It's hard to pin down, because of the gap between the hull being laid down in 1941, its launch in 1944, and its commission in 1946. Perhaps the article could say something to the effect that it was the last ever battleship to be commissioned, and then explain exactly what commissioning means in this context. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 19:58, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Although having said that, a quick glance at the internet suggest that the French Jean Bart postdates it (although its history is odd; it was laid down before the war and completed after it). -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 20:10, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Jean Bart had trials in 1949 but final AA guns were not fitted until 1952. Vanguard was not the last completed. (talk) 00:52, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to adjust the article to state it was the last British battleship to be launched. HammerFilmFan (talk) 14:00, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I've reverted you because you're wrong. Jean Bart launched 1940, Vanguard 1944. Why do you think otherwise?

My view is that the Jean Bart was the last battleship completed. By 1940 the Jean Bart was about 77% complete but it was seriously damaged while in refuge in Nth Africa and the the US Navy regarded it as too different to be completed to US patterns during WW2. Most of its final construction was in France post war, and while it ran trials and by some accounts commissioned in 1952, the Jean Bart's final a/a armament of twin 100mm mounts with a fire rate 20rpm and twin 57mm with fire rate of 120rpm was not fitted until 1953-4 and the ship did not really enter service with its final gun and radar fit until 1955, serving for only two years. By the mid 1950s the light and medium a/a on the Jean Bart was far in advance of the Vanguard or Iowa's and therefore I believe the French ship is better regarded as the last battleship and the the Vanguards old main armament derived from the the Glorious and Courageous also disqualifies it from serious consideration as the last battleship, as I doubt if the British WW1 15 inch was even the equal of the Deflinger.s 12 inch. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

You can certainly make the case that the Jean Bart was the last battleship, period, but she certainly wasn't the last one launched. Her pre-existing armament is irrelevant to any consideration whether or not she was the "last" or not, IMO. But your statement claiming superiority of the German 305 mm over the British 15-inch is profoundly ignorant. Just look at muzzle velocity, shell weight and crunch the numbers and you'll see that the 15-inch gun was vastly superior, especially at long range where the heavier shell better retained velocity. Why do you think that the Baden-class BBs were armed with 381 mm guns?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 01:28, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Vanguard's Place[edit]

HM Battleship Vanguard was classed by the Royal Navy as a battleship, and all official records referring to her so name her; she was commissioned HM Battleship Vanguard, not HM Battlecruiser Vanguard. Unless an official, primary, documented source may be cited to the contrary, the declaration calling Vanguard a "Fully Armored Battlecruiser" is incorrect, and should be deleted. The original concept for a "fast, fully armoured Battle Cruiser" that ultimately led to Vanguard is a part of her development history, not of her design (the proposal was for a fast ship for the Eastern Fleet to counter the over-rated Kongo-Class battlecruisers)

Whether Vanguard was the biggest, largest, &c, battleship, or not, is not particularly important. There are many measures of power in naval warfare, and one of the oldest of them was rapidly becoming obsolete when Vanguard was laid down---the bore of a ship's main battery. A traditional measure of battleship power, in respect of her capabilities relative to other battleships, is displacement. Here, too, the penultimate generation of battleships prove difficult to categorize easily. Vanguard displaced 51,420 Tons deep load (full war load of fuel, stores, and munitions) when she commissioned. At that time, the American Iowa-Class battleships displaced 57,540 Tons Deep Load (more or less, being warships engaged in war operations, it is difficult to know their actual displacements until they went into the yards for refit post-war). Vanguard was a much tougher warship than the Iowas, but she was markedly slower, as well. The very heavy American 16-Inch APC shell could defeat Vanguard's armour protection at battle ranges, but the American battleship's own protection was vulnerable to the British 15-Inch APC shell (the Iowa's "light" protection proved inconsequential in the event).

The honourific of "Last Battleships" is also somewhat inaccurate. The American Iowa-Class battleships are by any true measure the "last" of the battleships, as they remained operational far, far longer than any contemporary, engaging in combat operations up to the end of the Gulf War. Kentucky and Illinois were still building when Vanguard commissioned, and as has been pointed out, Jean Bart completed after Vanguard. What can be said is that Vanguard was the last battleship commissioned into the Royal Navy.

With regard to the German battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz, the comparison is a bit unfair to the German ships. The Germans had no serious blue-water naval plans until the middle of the 1930s, and there is a great deal of opinion that their famous 'Z' Plan was beyond their industrial capacity, barring far-ranging rationalization. Thus the Germans had very little modern experience upon which to base their designs, and the two ships---modern designs derived from the Great War Bayern-Class dreadnoughts---proved to be the only battleships built. While they proved extremely tough to sink, they had a number of vulnerabilities that might have been mitigated in later ships (their communications and fire control systems might fairly be called fragile). They were certainly superior to the 'R'-Class, and the Queen Elizabeths would have had trouble with the faster German ships, particularly Barham and Malaya. The KGVs were generally superior to the German ships, although their appalling rifle-fittings were certainly a disadvantage. Nelson and Rodney were not as strongly built, and were considerably slower, but as Rodney showed, they had the power to shatter the fighting capacity of the German ships. Vanguard was so long building because she absorbed the lessons of the War; she was thus far superior to the early-war designs like Bismarck and Tirpitz. The German ships were extremely vulnerable to hard-hitting American battleships of the North Carolina- and Modified North Carolina-Classes, and the Iowa-Class ships were superior in almost every respect (their armour weakness is somewhat compensated for by the absolutely superlative damage control of American fighting ships).

Had she gone into service in the grim year of 1941, Vanguard might have made a difference, even with the still-problematic 5.25-Inch DP mounts. By 1945, she was a White Elephant with no mission, the flagship of a broken Great Power that could not afford eggs and coffee, much less a big-gun battleship. (talk) 07:50, 7 December 2008 (UTC)


It has a small glitch. 30 knots is not equal to 60 km/h. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

points to ponder[edit]

The Vanguard was the first RN ship to use modern cafeteria type messing and the idea became popular with the crew after a few teething problems.

It could be argued that the Vanguard was a better design than the Bismark. It was to be the damage to the triple propellor arrangement that finally doomed the Bismark. The Vanguard with a quadruple screw arrangement could possible have been steered in a way that the Bismark couldn't.

If battleships can be mothballed it seems unlikely that their ammunition could be.AT Kunene (talk) 11:48, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Certainly the cafeteria type messing was extremely popular with the crew. As probably one of the few contributors to this article who ever went aboard the Vanguard (in Portsmouth habrour in 1960, shortly before she was decommissioned, through the kindness of one of her crew of whom I was a friend, in spite of my youth at that time), I can confirm that she was extremely popular with her personnel. Rif Winfield (talk) 13:26, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Models (moved from article)[edit]

Many models have been made of HMS Vanguard to many scales, but one of the most widely distributed was the mass-produced metal 1:1200 (one inch to 100 feet) scale version introduced by Triang Minic ships in 1960, the year of her decommissioning. This was produced in the UK between 1960 and 1965, and again in a more detailed Hornby Minic Ships version made in Hong Kong between 1975 and 1980. The model is very durable, and remains popular with toy ship collectors to this day. A highly accurate metal miniature is currently produced in small numbers by the German manufacturer 'Albatros', to the international scale of 1:1250.

I'm not sure we'd normally include this sort of information in an article so I've moved it here for now. Bearing in mind that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia we'd need to decide: is information about models notable?; and if it is, would it be better in its own article? Additionally we need reliable sources for the information given and we should avoid phrases like "very durable" and "remains popular" unless demonstrably true (and then they should be directly attributed to a source). Best, EyeSerenetalk 13:50, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Incorrect inch-mm-inch conversion ?[edit]

"Sections of 150-millimetre (5.9 in) thick steel plate were recovered from the scrapping of Vanguard...". This looks to me like a botched approximated conversion from 6 inches to mm and back to exact inches... Britain didn't do metric, AFAIK the plate would have been 6 inches exactly. Rcbutcher (talk) 12:20, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Actually not. British and American armour thicknesses were specified in pounds (armour plate weighing 40.8 lbs per sq ft per 1 inch thickness), so a six-inch plate would be specified as 240-lb armour plate, disregarding the 0.8. This mean that that 6-inch plate was not exactly 6 inches in thickness, but rather 2% less, so around 149 mm.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 21:27, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

modernization during the Fifties[edit]

Was any work ever done on this ship to upgrade its defenses to cope with jet attacks, rockets/missiles of that era, it terms of armament? Any information along these lines would benefit the article. HammerFilmFan (talk) 13:43, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

All changes to her armament are mentioned.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 17:29, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Issues on fire rate of QF 5.25[edit]

The fire rate attributed to the Vanguards 5.25 of 10/12 rounds is just the standard intial estimate for the initial Dido cruiser intallations . In practice as the King George Battleship Wikipedia states actual sustainable performance of the gun was around 7.5 given the heavy 80lb weight of the shell which had to carried on to the tray. In the Mediterranean Battles of Site the other relevant Wikipeida, K George class Battleships and the QF 5.25 inch guns states/ suggests a 10rpm fire rate in the first two minutes of engagement.

The 5.25 turret installations from the start in the KGV class were more automated, (see Wikipedia Commons pic of KGV 5.25 mount 1943) with the last Anson would have incorporated the faster transverse of the later Dido's.
The Gunnery book reference (22), specifically excludes coverage of the different battleship mountings and is only directly relevant to cruiser instalaltions
IN terms of the 5.25's in the Vanguard the standard google ref and ref for many WW2 RN 6 inch and 5.25 turrets states the Vanguards turrets were fully automatic with a fire rate of 18 rpm based on the Gazarke and Dullin (Janes 1980). The secondary ref questions this and suggest 9rpm. However it is clear the fire rate for the 5.25's in Vanguard must have been higher, given the higher degree of automation and lower manual handling. It appears in the Vanguard installation the turrets are larger, for faster loading and train and elevate automatically under radar Mk 37 275 control which should assist easier loading. Given that the Vanguard had a power rammed breach for 5.25 guns and that the shells seem to come pretty directly from the hoist onto the loading tray, its my view the only really manual action would be lifting the lighter cordite brass shell case behind the main shell, and therefore 18 rpm was realistic, if likely prone to some jamming . The similar improvements of the Brooklyn 6 inch loading in the Worcester of Mk 24 version of the Mk 23 and in the orginal 1944 Tiger armament suggest with the lighter 5.25s such refinement might have been reasonably successful, while in the Worchesters the achievable loading rate was only 10rpm rather than the 20 anticipated, the 80lb shells of the 5.25 would have been more managable and shorter than the 112lb of the US Brookly/Worchester or Belfast/ Tiger Mk 23/24 and therefore actually achieving 18rpm entirely possible, particularly by 1949 US low elevation 8 inch 250lb in the USS Newport News could be loaded at a relaible 12rpm with a modified Worchester system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:20, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Possibly quite true, but I'm not that fond of Garzke & Dulin for gunnery stuff. Especially since I'm not at all certain that the US and UK shared weapon mount tech after the end of the war. The RoF for the early 5"/54 is probably a better match than anything else as that weapon was fielded in '45.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 07:42, 27 August 2013 (UTC)