HMS Malaya (01)

Malaya as completed. She remained largely unchanged for her entire career. Photo in the collections of the Imperial War Museums.

Laid Down

HMS Malaya was the final Queen Elizabeth-class battleship. Laid down in October, 1913, Malaya was financed by the government of the Federated Malay States, and named for the protectorate. She commissioned on 1 February, 1916, and was one of the newest ships to participate in the Battle of Jutland that May. Malaya took considerable punishment during the Battle, receiving eight shell hits, and losing sixty five of her crew killed, with many wounded. Malaya remained with the Grand Fleet through the end of World War I, and saw extensive deployments to the Mediterranean between the Wars. In 1922, she carried the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to exile in Malta, and she was deployed to Haifa in 1938 to help control the Arab Revolt in Palestine. Malaya went on to serve in World War II, where she spent most of her time escorting convoys. Her presence in one warded off the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau from attacking. She also saw action against the Italians, and bombarded Genoa in February, 1941. She was torpedoed by U-106 in March, 1941, and she spent four months undergoing repairs in the US. Malaya was placed in reserve in late 1943, and her secondary battery was removed to enhance her anti-aircraft guns. She was briefly used as a target for inert bombs, and was a reserve bombardment ship for the Normandy landings, but her sister Warspite received that honor. She was fully decommissioned in late 1944, and used as an accommodation ship. Malaya was sold and scrapped in 1948.

Bonus Photos

An advertisement for Armstrong-Whitworth from the 1923 edition of Brassey's Naval Annual. HMS Malaya is featured proudly at the top as an example of their craftsmanship. Original believed to be in the public domain.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Malaya was flying a unique ensign at Jutland: that of the Federated Malay States.