Ships of U.K.
Up to and during the First World War, the Germans attempted to challenge the might of the Royal Navy, only to be blockaded and stymied by the latter's superior tactics (drawn from centuries of experience) and numbers; however, the effectiveness of Germany's U-boats on unescorted shipping taught the British important lessons in convoy tactics - a lesson which the Americans would soon learn upon their entry into the Second World War. Although World War I severely depleted the British and consequently the Royal Navy, it was still a formidable force, and after the London and Washington Naval Treaties were no longer being observed by the other nations in 1938, it set about rapidly re-arming itself to reaffirm its place as the most powerful navy in the world. This did not come by easily however, as it suffered heavy losses in the opening stages of World War II with the sinking of HMS Courageous, HMS Glorious, and HMS Hood in the Atlantic, and HMS Hermes, HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales in the Pacific. Nevertheless, the Royal Navy's resilience won through, playing a major part in Operations Dynamo, Husky, Torch, Avalanche, and Overlord; the guarding of supply lines that enabled the British and her allies to fight in all theaters of the War; the British Pacific Fleet distinguished herself in every engagement she was involved in, despite facing various logistical and political difficulties; the systematic cornering and sinking of the Kriegsmarine's powerful battleships and battlecruisers; the seizing of many Enigma-related codebooks and machines; and the near-annihilation of the U-boat fleet in the Battle of the Atlantic. Both World Wars greatly taxed the British Empire, and her decline led to the Royal Navy handing the reins over to the US Navy as the most powerful navy in the world.
Added in Patch 0.7.9.1, British destroyers are primarily meant to be ambushers and close-range specialists, using their excellent concealment and high acceleration to their advantage. Much like their cruiser counterparts, they can launch their torpedoes individually, greatly improving the flexibility of their salvos. Their guns are also decent, though in earlier tiers can have traversal issues. Unfortunately, they also have several major drawbacks: they don't get access to the Engine Boost consumable, their Smoke Generator duration is short in all regards (though they get multiple charges), and their anti-air is extremely weak (even for destroyers) until Tier IX. Their guns also tend to be low in caliber and have below-average ballistics, making them lose a great deal of effectiveness out of close range.
The history of Royal Navy cruisers is one of innovation and economy. Like those of competing naval powers, the Royal Navy had primarily — at the beginning of the 20th century — two basic types of cruiser: the armored cruiser and scout cruiser. Though there were many different designs reflecting the two simultaneous pressures of rapidly advancing technology and naval conservatism, nearly all would have found their place in the battle line (armored cruisers) or serving as the eyes of the fleet or with destroyers (scout cruisers).
By 1907, lessons absorbed by the naval powers of the world following the Battle of Tsushima — as well as the concurrent construction and design of HMS Dreadnought — ensured that the end of the era of the armored cruiser was at hand. For the Royal Navy, this was a time of even greater and more rapid design experimentation. Under the leadership of Sir John Fisher, the Royal Navy was to enter a period of reform and rearmament, the consequences of which would help to shape future of British cruiser development. Because of Fisher’s energetic support for the battlecruiser theory, cruiser design in the Royal Navy began to demonstrate a preference for smaller, faster ships. Cruisers of the Royal Navy built post-HMS Dreadnought but before World War I were stout, well-armed, and possessed of good sea-keeping qualities when compared to their counterparts in other navies. The 152mm rifle became the standard British cruiser armament during this period.
Service during World War I saw Royal Navy cruisers primarily engaged in the protection of Entente shipping, hunting German cruisers engaged in anti-shipping activities, engagements with light elements of the German fleet, and serving the traditional role of fleet scouts. Cruiser construction reached an all-time high, with over fifty produced before the end of the war in 1918; all of them of smaller, faster designs.
The interwar period became one of parsimony and restriction for the Royal Navy. Heavily in debt to the United States, possessing an enormous number of ships needing disposal, and lacking the economic expansion which had driven the pre-war naval construction programs, the United Kingdom readily agreed to become a signatory party to the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. Cruiser production fell off sharply, and design priorities began to change. What would be needed now were cruisers which could be produced cheaply and possessed all-weather operational abilities, low operational cost, and high endurance. The primary armament of choice would remain the 152mm rifle, despite construction of the Hawkins class (which would carry 190mm rifles).
The signing of the London Naval Treaty in 1930 would have far-reaching consequences for cruiser design around the world. Cruisers would now be designated as "light" or "heavy" by their armament, with light cruisers mounting 155mm or smaller rifles and heavy cruisers mounting rifles greater than 155mm to a limit of 203mm. Though the Royal Navy would evolve the Hawkins design — eventually fielding 203mm-armed heavy cruisers beginning with the County class — the preference would remain with the smaller, cheaper to construct and operate 133mm and 152mm-armed light cruisers. This policy would remain in effect throughout World War II, as no heavy cruisers were built after the County and York classes.
World War II would see the cruisers of the Royal Navy come to prominence, engaging in nearly every type of mission conceivable — from naval gunfire support to convoy protection — and they would do so in every ocean of the world. Flexible and capable, British and Commonwealth cruisers would participate in nearly every action fought by their respective navies, from the defeat of Admiral Graf Spee, to the defense of Arctic convoys, to the protection of aircraft carrier task forces in the Pacific. Gun cruisers would remain in high service demand with the Royal Navy through the end of the war and into the post-war and Cold War years, with the last of them, the Tiger class, being retired in the 1970s.
British cruisers in World of Warships share many similarities with American and German cruisers, with fast-firing guns housed in quick-turning turrets; however, they fire only armor-piercing rounds. While the lack of high-explosive shells greatly reduces their versatility against more heavily armored ships or well-angled opponents, their AP shells' fuse lengths and penetration values are improved over other nations' such that shots are able to penetrate in places where they would normally bounce off. In addition, they do not have another mainstay of cruisers: the Defensive AA Fire () consumable. This means that Royal Navy cruisers have to brute force their way through aircraft attacks, which isn't as bad as it sounds given that their AA firepower can be on par with American cruisers (and eventually exceeds them with Neptune and Minotaur). Their armor is quite thin with rather large citadels, although like American cruisers, this weakness is partially offset by their citadels being mostly below the waterline, with exposed parts reinforced with additional armor. However, this is where the bad news ends; while having average rudder shift timings, British cruisers have extremely good acceleration values (and good top speeds) that allow them to maintain near-maximum speeds even while doing sharp turns; their concealment values are among the best for cruisers of all nations; they have additional access to other consumables like Repair Party (), Surveillance Radar (), and Smoke Generator () that most other cruisers can only dream of having, giving them unparalleled utility. Their torpedo armament is sufficient for the most part — having decent ranges with 60-knot speeds – and instead of choosing between wide and narrow spreads, captains can choose to fire off individual torpedoes or expend the entire launcher at once. Skilled captains will use these cruisers' agility and tools to get themselves into advantageous positions or out of sticky situations and dictate engagements on their own terms.
British battleships rule the seas with grace and exemplary combat ability. These formidable ships are a serious threat to ships from every nation. At low tiers, these battleships are well-armored, making them very hard to kill with smaller caliber guns. However, they can be susceptible to large caliber AP shells. Players in British battleships should make an attempt to avoid close-range gunfights with other battleships. Excelling in medium to long range combat, these ships can burn their enemies to the waterline before they have a chance to close the range. British battleships fire some of the best high explosive shells in the game. They have a very high fire chance, which means that many salvoes will result in fires started on the decks of enemy ships. However, their withering firepower isn't limited to HE shells. If an enemy ship is foolish enough to show her broadside, British AP rounds can be a quick ticket to port. Luckily, these ships aren't limited to just gunfighting. As players progress through the line, they will find the power of the anti aircraft armament to increase with each new ship they unlock. When fully specialized for AA in higher tiers, airspace above these battleships is a no-fly zone. Another perk of Tier IX's Lion and Tier X's Conqueror is an extraordinary version of the Repair Party () consumable that makes up for their lower health pools pool compared to similar tier battleships. In certain situations, this repair is capable of restoring nearly half of the ship's total hit points. All of this means that these battleships are truly survivors who fight to their last hit point.
GameplayBritish carriers were intoduced in update 0.8.2. Unlike other carrier lines of the Americans or Japanese, British carriers have HE bombers with the 'level bombing' feature. These are not your typical dive bombers as the planes fly horizontally over the target dropping several small bombs in the targeted area. As the bombs take time to fall, players have to time their drops wisely, taking the momentum of the target into account. British torpedo bombers are the easiest to use of all three nations. Although the damage per torpedo, speed and range are lacking; the torpedo bombers themselves have a tight turning circle and aiming guide. Multiple hits on the target will compensate for its somewhat poor stats. Attack aircraft is also something not to ignore, as they drop their payload faster than the two nations. They also arm faster, making easier for players to hit unplanned targets.
British Navy at the Beginning and End of World War II - 05/04/2018 - News - World of Warships
British Destroyers in World War I - 09/19/2018 - News - World of Warships
British Destroyers: a Historical Perspective - 10/08/2018 - News - World of Warships
British Destroyers: Consumables - 10/15/2018 - News - World of Warships
Everything You Need to Know About the Royal Navy Destroyers Collection - 11/13/2018 - News - World of Warships
British Cruisers are Here! - 10/20/2016 - News - World of Warships (about the light cruisers)
British Cruisers - The Navy Is Here! - Oct 24, 2016 - World of Warships Official Channel - YouTube (about the light cruisers)
British Heavy Cruisers: Ships History - 02/05/2020 - News - World of Warships
British Heavy Cruisers 101. How to prevail in battle? - Feb 12, 2020 - World of Warships Official Channel - YouTube
British Heavy Cruisers: Branch Review - 02/12/2020 - News - World of Warships
Developer Diaries: British Battleships - 08/14/2017 - News - World of Warships
Meet the Monster-Slayer: HMS Bellerophon - 08/17/2017 - News - World of Warships (Developer Diaries: British Battleships)
British Battleships at gamescom! - 23/08/2017 - News - World of Warships
Dasha Presents Update 0.6.10: British Battleships - 08/29/2017 - News - World of Warships
A British Breakfast. British Battleships. Cinematic Trailer - Aug 30, 2017 - World of Warships Official Channel - YouTube
British Battleships - News - World of Warships
Great Britain: The Shift from Second to Third-Generation Fighter Aircraft - 09/02/2018 - News - World of Warships
Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers - Feb 28, 2019 - World of Warships Official Channel - YouTube
British Carriers: Their History and How We Recreated Them - 03/05/2019 - News - World of Warships
British Aircraft Carriers: Unique Characteristics - 03/12/2019 - News - World of Warships
- Royal Navy (Wikipedia) and History of the Royal Navy (Wikipedia) and Royal Navy losses in World War II (Wikipedia)
- British World War II destroyers (Wikipedia) and Destroyer classes of the Royal Navy (Wikipedia)
- Cruiser classes of the Royal Navy (Wikipedia)
- Pre-dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy (Wikipedia) and Dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy (Wikipedia)
- Aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy (Wikipedia)