USS Washington BB56
HMS King George V

In April through July 1942, The USS Washington Served with British Home Fleet as Flagship Task Force 39, escorting convoys to Murmansk and Archangel Russia. When the Washington (North Carolina Class) was being designed, She was to be built comparable to the British ship built a few years earlier, HMS King George. Below is a comparison of the two ships.
Shipmates: If you have additional information or articles on the Washington Atlantic duty, Please contact Howard

USS Washington BB56 and HMS King George V

USS Washington BB56 vs. HMS King George V

Design Date Washington King George V
Standard displacement 35,000 (35,562) 35,490 (36,060)
Full-load displacement 42,330 (43,009) 40,530 (41,231)
Waterline length 714' (217.627) 740' (227.1)
Waterline beam 104'3" (31.776) 103' (31.3)
Draft 31.6 (10.973) 31.6 (10.973)
Shaft horsepower 115,000 (116,595) 100,000 (101,387)
Maximum speed 27.5 knots 27.5 knots
Endurance 17,850 miles at 15 knots 14,000 miles at 10 knots
Armament Twelve 14"/50 quadruple
See Special Note Below
Twenty 5"/38 paired
Sixteen 1.1" quadruple
Ten 14"/45 (2) quadruple
(1) twin
Sixteen 5.25"/50 paired
Thirty-two 2 pdr pom-pom quadruple
Main side belt 12.0" sloped 15 deg. (305) 14.71" (372)-vert.-mags
13.73" (348)-vert.-machry
Turret face plates 16.0" (406mm) 12.75 (324)
Turret tops 7.8" (198 mm) 5.88 (149)
Barbettes 15.0 (381 mm) 12.75 (324)
Protective decks:
6.3 (160 mm)
5.3 (135 mm)
5.88 (149)
4.90" (124)
Immunity zone versus
USN 16"/45
firing 2,240-lb. AP shell
21,000-26,000 yards
(19,205-23,778 m)
25,000-28,000 yards
(22,360-25,603 m)
23,000-31,000 yards
(main-battery magazine)

Of special note is the main armament of the Washington/ North Carolina. They were designed to carry 12 - 14" (50 caliber) rifles in three quadruple turrets. This was a new, unproven design and the armament was changed to the 9 - 16" (45 caliber) rifles in three triple turrets. The change was made when the Japanese failed to sign the 1936 London Naval Treaty. The main armament change was made in November 1937 after the keel of the North Carolina had been laid. The United States had expected the Japanese not to ratify the treaty so the quadruple 14" and the triple 16" turrets had been deliberately designed to be almost the same size and weight. Only minor alterations to barbette structures and turret fittings were required deliberate design compromises had been accepted and the barbette diameters and foundations were compatible for either gun design. The Navy did good on this one as future events in WW2 would show.

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