[WG news] Armada: HMS Duke of York



She is one of five King George V class battleships to have participated in World War II, and one of two such ships to have been brought back to life in World of Warships.

She is also one of the most modern battleships to have been deployed in World War II, displaying a unique layout that faithfully illustrates British exceptionalism in the field of naval design. Renowned for her momentous gun duel with the German battleship Scharnhorst, she is—of course—HMS Duke of York.

Telling Duke of York’s story

In the years preceding the outbreak of the Second World War, the Royal Navy still possessed one of the largest fleets of battleships in the world—but also one of the most dated. To remedy this, the Admiralty set about creating a new big-gun capital ship for a new era of naval warfare. These ships performed significantly better in terms of speed and protection than the older battleships of the fleet, and incorporated the classic British feature of an imposing, yet lightly-armored conning tower. However, the detail that truly set this class apart from other modern battleships being constructed at the time was its gunnery: two quad turrets and one dual turret were implemented to bring the main battery count up to 10 (instead of the usual 9 across three triple turrets seen on other modern battleships). Her irregular mounts weren’t the only standout feature, as the caliber of the guns themselves was only 356 mm—significantly smaller than that of most battleships of that era.

Construction on Duke of York began in 1937 and wasn’t completed until November 1941, by which time the Battle of the Atlantic was already in full swing. The circumstances of the war led to her protecting Arctic convoys against German raids from the get-go. For her next stint, in November 1942, she actively took part in supporting the joint Allied landings in French North Africa as Flagship of Gibraltar-based Force H. She remained in the Mediterranean for two weeks, before being relieved by HMS Nelson and sent back home for a refit. From then on, Duke of York’s operational focus would center on the Arctic Ocean: a unique and often forgotten theater. The main strategic purpose of the Royal Navy’s presence in the region was guaranteeing the safe delivery of much-needed resources to the Soviet Union by escorting convoys. Duke of York, like her sister ships, was part of the protective force for many of these convoys but she is best remembered for her actions on 26 December 1943, while defending convoy JW 55B in what would come to be called the Battle of the North Cape.

In one of the last grand attempts at making a surface raid in the war, German fast battleship Scharnhorst, acting on faulty intelligence gathered in the days prior, set sail on Christmas Day 1943 with a small destroyer flotilla to attack the convoy. After getting separated from her escort in a storm, Scharnhorst unexpectedly stumbled upon British surface ships of the convoy’s distant covering force. The ships skirmished briefly, and Scharnhorst fled, having taken a hit to her radar array. Alerted to the German presence, Duke of York, the only British battleship in the combined Allied force of four cruisers and nine destroyers, closed in and gave chase. The two capital ships quickly targeted one another and began an intense gun duel in which, while Duke of York took some superficial damage, including a hit to her own radar equipment, Scharnhorst—at a clear disadvantage—received over 10 hits from her 14-inch guns, including a fateful direct hit to her boiler room. The ensuing drop in speed left Scharnhorst vulnerable to torpedo attack, and she was promptly surrounded and sunk.

Duke of York continued in her proven role as an Arctic convoy escort until September 1944. She was then sent to the Pacific the following summer, after undergoing another refit. However, by the time she was ready for active duty in the East, Japan was at the brink of collapse. Duke of York went on to participate in the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay.

Recreating Duke of York

In World of Warships, HMS Duke of York is depicted as she would have appeared after her 1944–1945 refit, as she was gearing up for action in the Pacific. Consequently, the battleship no longer has catapult and aircraft facilities (which were removed in 1944), and has two quadruple 40 mm Bofors mounts that were added in 1945. Her other peculiarities include a raised anti-aircraft platform on the aft superstructure, as well as the ship’s unique crest which hangs outside the bridge superstructure—representing the heraldic White Rose of York.

Main armament: Ten 356 mm/45 Mk VII guns in three turrets—two quadruple (one forward and one aft) and one double, superfiring the forward quad turret. This main armament, while being the smallest caliber on a new battleship during World War II, was of a light, durable design. It was capable of a high degree of accuracy in later iterations of her design, as demonstrated in Duke of York’s performance against Scharnhorst.

Secondary armament: Sixteen 133 mm/50 QF Mk I dual purpose rifles in eight double mounts, with four emplacements on either side of the superstructure. Like many naval dual-purpose guns used during the war on both sides of the conflict, their anti-aircraft capabilities were limited by the high air speed of modern aircraft compared to the mount’s turning speed. These guns, deployed in similar mounts, would also be used as the main armament for the Dido-class cruisers of the Royal Navy.

AA: Eight 40 mm Bofors Mk II autocannons in two quadruple mounts on a platform atop the ship’s rear superstructure, a total of eighty-eight British-made 40 mm ‘Pom-poms’ in six quadruple Mk VII and eight octuple Mk VIII mounts, and fifty-five 20 mm Oerlikon machine guns in dual and single mounts. This pairing of Bofors, and Oerlikon was a magic recipe employed by many navies, and one which fielded excellent results towards the end of the war.

Commanding Duke of York

Commander with 10 skill points

  • Priority Target
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Basics of Survivability
  • Fire Prevention

Commander with 19 skill points

  • Priority Target
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Expert Marksman
  • Basics of Survivability
  • Superintendent
  • Fire Prevention
  • Concealment Expert

Equipping Duke of York

Regarding consumables, you have access to Repair Party and Hydroacoustic Search. VII Duke of York has one charge fewer for her Repair Party consumable than her sister ship King George V, so use Hydroacoustic Search strategically to avoid any unnecessary torpedo damage.

For your ship’s upgrades you have four slots, which would be well-employed like so:

  • Damage Control Party Modification 1 or Main Armaments Modification 1
  • Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 or Damage Control System Modification 1
  • AA Guns Modification 1
  • Damage Control System Modification 2

Duke of York. Admiral Pack

  • VII Duke of York
  • Commander with 10 skill points
  • Port Slot
  • 4,500
  • 4,500,000
  • Unique flag


Author: OfficialNews Staff Beloved bot

Hi, I'm OfficialNews and my job is to relay to you the official Wargaming news about World of Warships 🙂

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