The design for Vanguard began to emerge in early 1939 when it was realised that if additional 16" gunned developments of the 1938  Programme Lion class were ordered under the 1940-41 Programme, they would not be able to enter service until late 1944 (due mainly to delays in manufacturing new gun mountings).

To try and circumvent this problem, it was decided to build a new fast capital ship using four existing 15" mountings that were being held in storage. The 'fully armoured battlecruiser' envisaged was intended for service in the Far East where it was thought that she would be needed to counter rumoured Japanese 12' gunned super-cruisers. While her construction was given a high priority it proved beyond the capacity of the exhausted British shipbuilding industry to finish her in time to see any war service.

As the war unfolded numerous alterations were made to the design. Eventually, the space required for additional anti-aircraft weapons and improved fire control systems led to the deletion of the aircraft handing facilities that had been included in the original design. In terms of her protection and machinery Vanguard repeated the basic arrangements introduced for the 1936 Programme King George V class. However, some effort was made to increase speed and bunker capacity so that the ship would be more suitable for service in the Far East.

HMS Vanguard leaves John Brown's Shipyard
Type                                        Battleship

Builder                                   John Brown, Clydebank
  Laid down                                2 October 1941   
  Launched                               30 November 1944
  Commisioned                           9 August 1946
  Arrived breakersyard             9 August 1960

   Standard                                  46155(std) 
   Full Load                                 48500
   Maximum                                51440(dpl)

   Length(OA)                               814' 6" (249.0m)
   Length(W/L)                             785' 0" (239.0m)
   Beam                                         107' 7"   (32.8m)
   Draft                                            30' 6"    (9.3m)

Armament                               8 x 15"(381mm)/42 cal Mk1 mountings
                                                      2 foreward  2 aft (4 x 2)
                                                      16 x 5.25"( (DP)(133mm)/50 cal Mk1 in 8 twin turrets
                                                      4 port 4 aft(8 x 2)
                                                      73 x 40mm AA/56 cal Bofors (10 x 6, 1 x 2, 11 x 1)

Protection                                14.00 - 13.00" belt, 12.00 - 4.00" bulkheads,
                                                      6.00 - 5.00"deck
                                                      1.50" magazines box protection, 13.00 - 6.00" turrets,
                                                      13.00 - 11.00" barbettes, 1.75" anti-torpedo bulkhead,
                                                      12.00" citadel bulkheads.

   Boilers                                       8 Admiralty 3 Drum small tube type with superheaters.
   Turbines                                    4 Parsons single reduction geared turbines.
   Shafts                                         4 ( 2 x 5 bladed inner props;  2 x 3 bladed  outer props.
   Horsepower                               130,000 shp.
   Maximun speed                         29.75 knots.
   Oil bunkerage                           7000  tons of oil.
   Endurance                                 9000 nautical miles at 20 knots.

Radar                                         Types   AR 262
                                                                  SW 268
                                                                  SR  274
                                                                  AR 275     
                                                                  AW 277
                                                                  TI   293
                                                                  GW 960

Complement                              1500  peacetime
                                                         2000 plus wartime

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