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HMS King George V


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Scalecraft Price:: $699.00
Item Number: HMS King George V

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Named for the reigning British monarch, HMS King George V was the first of a five-ship class that was criticized because it was weaker than the most powerful German battleships then afloat or building. Designed within the limits established by the 1936 London Naval Limitation Treaty, their relatively weak primary armament comprised 14-inch guns rather than the 16-inch guns mounted by HMS Nelson and Rodney, or the 15-inch guns of Bismarck or Tirpitz. After sailing in support of the Lofoten Islands commando raids on March 4, 1941, King George V became the flagship of the Home Fleet under Admiral Sir John Tovey. In late May she was involved in the pursuit of Bismarck, and on the morning of the 27th, she and Rodney poured endless rounds into the doomed battleship. Earlier in the chase, lack of fuel had forced home Prince of Wales and aircraft carrier Victorious, but destruction of the German ship was of such paramount importance to Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he ordered the following extraordinary—and irresponsible—message sent: "We cannot visualize the situation from your signal. Bismarck must be sunk at all costs and if to do this it is necessary for King George V to remain on the scene she must do even if it subsequently means towing King George V." As it happened, the message was not received until after Bismarck was sunk, and Tovey later asserted that he would have ignored it anyway.

Active in northern waters through mid-1943, King George V collided with and sank the destroyer HMS Punjabi while on convoy duty in the spring of 1942. After covering the invasion of Sicily, she carried Churchill home from the Tehran Conference in December. She served with the British Pacific Fleet from 1944 and was present at the surrender of Japan in September 1945. Recommissioned as flagship of the Home Fleet in 1946, she was decommissioned three years later and scrapped at Dalmuir in 1958.

Mahogany Wood. Scale: 1/350. Length 25 1/2 inches.

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