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HMS Marlborough: The Iron Duke

HMS Marlborough was a British battleship from the Iron Duke-class of super dreadnoughts, constructed just prior to the outbreak of WWI. Soon, this new naval heavyweight will join the top ranks of the British bluewater fleet as part of the next major update, bringing with it improvements in both protection and firepower!

HMS Marlborough, battleship, Britain, rank V


  • Increased up to 13.5” (343mm) main calibre guns
  • Better armour protection in comparison to earlier British battleships
  • Poor AA defences

Designed under the 1911 build program, the Iron Duke class of British super dreadnoughts were considered repeats of the preceding King George V class, but featured a reinforced to 6 inch (152mm) secondary battery and improved protection. HMS Marlborough was the second of four ships of this class to be laid down in January 1912, following HMS Iron Duke - the lead ship of the class. HMS Marlborough was launched in October of the same year and subsequently entered service with the Royal Navy in June 1914, just prior to the outbreak of The Great War.

During WWI, HMS Marlborough faced her most fierce engagement during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Throughout the battle, HMS Marlborough fired off more than 160 primary battery shells, the most from the battleships of the Grand Fleet’s main forces in this battle. In return however, HMS Marlborough also suffered heavy damage from a torpedo launched by a German warship. As a result of the damage, HMS Marlborough was returned to drydock for extended repairs for several months before rejoining the ranks of the Grand Fleet.

In the remaining two years of the war, HMS Marlborough didn’t participate in any large operations. After the war however, the battleship took part in the Russian Civil War against the Bolsheviks and evacuated Russian nobility and civilians from Yalta. 

After the signing of the London Naval Treaty, HMS Marlborough was destined for scrapping. However, before the ship could meet its fate in 1932, HMS Marlborough was used extensively as a test ship on which several weapons tests were carried out, the results of which helped shape the design of subsequent British capital ships.


In War Thunder, HMS Marlborough will be a new battleship awaiting seasoned captains at the top rank of the British bluewater tree following the release of the next major update. Featuring a substantially bolstered weapons arsenal and improved protection and survivability, HMS Marlborough will soon greatly reinforce the British capital ship lineup in the game!

Unlike existing British battleships in the game, HMS Marlborough features an upgunned primary battery consisting of five twin 13.5’’ (343 mm) turrets. Not only being a completely new calibre of weapon arriving in War Thunder naval forces, HMS Malborough’s cannons will also make it easier for her captains to engage other nations’ top battleships thanks to their improved destructive properties over the familiar 12’’ cannons.

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Aside from bigger primary weapons, HMS Marlborough is fitted with a larger calibre of secondary weapons too. Namely, the ship’s secondary battery consists of twelve 6’’ (152 mm) cannons, thus increasing its effectiveness against smaller vessels at closer ranges. In addition, HMS Marlborough also comes fitted with two 21” (533mm) underwater torpedo launchers on either side of the ship’s hull that it can fire at enemies at close range.

Fun Fact: HMS Marlborough was named after a 17th century English nobleman: John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough.

Not only did HMS Marlborough’s firepower see a notable improvement, but its protection also received an update. Namely, when compared to preceding British dreadnoughts, HMS Marlborough’s belt armour is increased up to 12” (305mm), thus providing better protection, especially against armour-piercing rounds fired by other battleships. In addition, the complement of the warship is noticeably larger than those of other British battleships, thus improving the ship’s combat endurance as a direct result.

However, one aspect which didn’t change much compared to its predecessors is its anti-air protection. Like other battleships of the era, HMS Marlborough too, only has lackluster AA capability with its two 3’’ (76mm) and two 4” (102mm) cannons. As a result, aspiring captains of HMS Marlborough are well-advised to stick close to allied vessels, particularly those with strong anti-air defences as those will be able to decrease HMS Marlborough’s vulnerability to air attack.

HMS Marlborough will soon appear in War Thunder naval battles, becoming the new top British blue water vessel with the release of the ‘Ground Breaking’ major update. In the meantime, make sure to stay tuned to the news as we continue unveiling more exciting new additions awaiting you in the upcoming update. Until then, calm seas and happy hunting captains!

You can greatly speed up the research on this vehicle with HMS Belfast, available in game for Golden Eagles

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