H.M.S. Rodney was the second of the two "Nelson" class battleships ordered under the 1922 Building Programme, both of which were laid down on 28th December that year. Whilst the order for the nameship (H.M.S. Nelson) went to Armstrong's on the Tyne, that for Rodney went to Cammell Laird at Birkenhead and she was launched there on 17th December 1925. Displacing 33,950 tons (38,000 fully loaded), she measured 710 feet in length with a 106 foot beam and had impressive armour protection ranging up to 16in. in thickness . She and her sister were the only British battleships to mount 16in. guns and, in addition to nine of these grouped in threes on her main turrets, she also mounted 12-6in. guns, an array of anti-aircraft weapons and 2-24in. torpedo tubes submerged forward. Completed in August 1927 at a final cost of 7.6 million, she served first in the Atlantic Fleet (1928-32) and thereafter in the Home Fleet from 1932-41. In April 1940, whilst acting as flagship to Admiral Forbes, she suffered bomb damage during the operations off Norway but was soon repaired and back in service in time to take part in the hunt for the Bismarck in May 1941. Ordered to leave the convoy she was escorting and join the chase for the German raider, her engineers achieved speeds thought to be impossible given some earlier problems with both her engines and boilers, and it was Rodney which scored the first hit on Bismarck with her third salvo. After Bismarck had been sunk, Rodney then returned to convoy escort work until laid up for a major refit (December 1941 -- May 1942) after which she was in action supporting the North African landings in November 1942. In June 1944 she participated in Operation Neptune, the naval contibution to the D-Day landings and later, on 12th August, she knocked out an unseen German battery on Alderney with a celebrated 16in. salvo fired over a hill. By the end of the War she had steamed 156,000 miles since her 1942 refit and was long overdue for another; post-War financial stringency dictated economy however and it was eventually decided to scrap her in February 1948.