HMS Vanguard. South Atlantic, 1982
Motto: We lead.
A speculative (fictional) plan drawing of HMS Vanguard, the Royal Navys biggest, fastest and last battleship, had she survived in service into the 1980s.
Laid down in 1941, launched in 1944 but not commissioned until 1946, HMS Vanguard was built quickly under wartime conditions by John Brown and Company, on Clydebank. The ship was intended for wartime service, and to speed up construction the Vanguards main guns and mountings were taken out of storage (they had originally been mounted on HMS Courageous and HMS Glorious).
The Vanguard carried out various roles during her career, acting as flagship, training ship and even as a Royal Yacht (carrying the Royal family to South Africa in 1947). She was refitted in 1954-55 and then entered the Royal Navy Reserve Fleet. After efforts to have her turned into a museum ship failed, Britains last battleship was finally scrapped in 1960.
During her naval career HMS Vanguard never fired her guns in anger
but what if?
My speculative design is based on the idea that the Vanguard remained in the naval reserve post-1960, and had been refitted and recalled into the fleet (much like the US Navys Iowa class battleships were in reality).
The Vanguard retains her original primary and secondary armaments, eight massive 15-inch guns in four twin mountings, and sixteen 5.25-inch guns in eight twin mountings. I have added four MM 38 Exocet anti-ship missile launchers, one twin Seaslug AA launcher and four quadruple Seacat AA missile launchers. She also retains eight of her original 40mm Bofors AA guns in single MK VII mountings (genuinely still in use in the 1980s).
I have also completely revamped her communications and radar package and made changes to her upper works and deck (including adding a helicopter landing pad).
[I took the original plan drawing of HMS Vanguard from R.O. Dulin & W.H. Garzkes. Battleships: Allied Battleships of World War II. (1980)]
HMS Vanguard website.[link]
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