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
Builder John Brown, Clydebank
Laid down 2 October 1941
Launched 30 November 1944
Commisioned 9 August 1946
Arrived breakersyard 9 August 1960
Full Load 48500
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)