On January 19, 1941 the Royal Navy commissioned this battleship, which at that time was the most modern. The 44’800 gross register tons were powered by four 110‘000 horse powered steam turbines which enabled the ship to reach a sailing speed of 27,7 knots. More than 1‘500 officers and sailors operated the ship which had a length of 225 meters and a beam of 31,5 meters.
Together with the HMS Hood her first assignment was to prevent the intrusion of the famous German battleship Bismarck as well as the Prince Eugene into the Atlantic in May 1941. The Bismarck’s salvoes damaged the HMS Prince of Wales severely; she had to retreat. However, the HMS Prince of Wales succeeded to damage the Bismarck beforehand which affected the further progress of the naval war.
After repairs the HMS Prince of Wales was summoned to the Pacific area. During an attack by Japanese aeroplanes on December 10, 1941 the chamber of the drive shaft was hit which caused water to penetrate into the waist of the ship. The ship sank in the floods together with 327 sailors. Fortunately 1‘285 were able to be saved by convoying ships.