Emperor William IV class battleship
Born out of the need for modern battleships shortly before the start of WW2, the BB-29 class of two ships - as it was known during conception - would be laid down in late 1939 and completed in late 1941. Antara had a lack of new battleships to fight the Japanese Navy, as the Ericas were part of the Atlantic Fleet and not the Pacific. At the time the project was being developed, Empress Azura was already under construction. Compared to the previous class, BB-29 was smaller, cheaper and more specialized for her role. While Empress Azura was quite literally designed to do everything well at the cost of massive size and limited dockyards and high maintenance cost, BB-29 was designed primarily with battleship combat in mind, with carrier escort and other roles second. The Admiralty initially wanted a very well armed and armored battleship with titanic tonnage, but the Bureau of Naval Construction shot down the idea. Empress Azura needed her own dockyard in order to take on her size (and was still in it), and while new dockyards were under construction, they were already reserved for new fleet carriers and the second member of Azura's class.
The proposals were therefor tailored towards using existing dockyards. This meant the final design needed to be a full 15k tonnes smaller than Azura, however this did have the added benefit of significantly cutting down costs and construction time (ironically Empress Azura was constructed extremely fast for her size). In order to achieve the smaller tonnage, BB-29 was cut down to 'only' 44 000 tonnes standard. Speed was sacrificed in favor of a 14" main belt and 7" deck. BB-29 had the same main battery armament as Empress Azura but on a smaller platform.
BB-29-1 and BB-29-2 would be laid down in Colonet State Shipyards and St Katherine Naval Shipyards respectively in September 1939. During their construction they would be officially given the names Emperor William IV and Empress Coraline. Both vessels would be commissioned in December 1941 into the Pacific Fleet.
Both ships formed part of the same battleship division throughout World War Two and had active careers. Their first action was covering a carrier fleet during the later stages of the Pacific island hopping campaign that commenced in early 1942. Both vessels, along with ARS Empress Azura bombarded the island of Tarawa and other major land installations in the later stages of that campaign. Empress Coraline took a torpedo hit during a night attack at Tarawa, requiring a brief repair in a dockyard for a week.
Both battleships were present during the Battle of Vescadia on 4 April 1942, providing air defense for their carriers once again and unfortunately missing out of fighting IJN battleships present during the major battle. They would be present for the Solomon Islands campaign of 1942-1943 where Emperor William IV is credited with the destruction on the battleship Haruna, and Empress Coraline with Kongo, in separate, rather horribly mismatched battles.
The Emperor William IVs would be called back and arrive just in time for the Battle of Tuscadia in 1943 where both vessels would further credited with sinking the already damaged Nagato during the battle. In the weeks following the battle, they would return to the Solomon islands for the remainder of the campaign. They would serve as carrier escort during the Battle of Leyte Gulf and by extension the Battle of Samar, trading salvos with Japanese vessels throughout the battle with no major hits.
Following the utter destruction of the Japanese Navy in 1944, they would be assigned as carrier escort and shore bombardment for the rest of the war, from Okinawa in 1945 to mainland Japan in 1945-1947. Both ships would receive 17 battle stars as they were only separated on two occasions throughout the entire war, making them the most decorated battleships of the war, more so than the popular Empress Azura whose only claim to fame was sinking Yamato in 1944. Unlike the latter, both ships were scrapped after the end of hostilities and after successful missile testing.
Blanks - https://imgur.com/a/v36rDLc
Displacement - 44 000 tonnes standard, 48 000 tonnes normal
Speed - 28 knots
Range - 10 000nm at 16 knots
Main battery - 3x3 406mm/50
Secondary battery - 10x2 127mm/45
AA battery - numerous 25mm and 38mm
Main belt - 356mm
Deck - 178mm
Forecastle and quarter deck - 38mm
Turret front plate- 457mm
Turret sides and top - 356mm
Barbettes - 430mm
Forward conning tower - 406mm
Aft conning tower - 256mm
Secondary gun-house front plate - 50mm
Secondary gun-house sides and top - 25mm
Torpedo bulkhead - 76mm, 22 m beam between bulkheads
Ships in class
Emperor William IV - scrapped, 1955
Empress Coraline - scrapped, 1957