- Explore HMS Belfast’s nine decks to discover the stories of life on board this warship during Arctic convoys, D-Day and beyond. Imagine sleeping in one of the tightly packed hammocks during duties in Arctic waters, or being stationed deep in the bowels of the ship when she opened fire in support of Allied troops on D-Day. Venture into the interactive Operations Room, and immerse yourself in the midst of a battle in our Gun Turret Experience. HMS Belfast was ordered by the Admiralty in 1936 and was built by Harland and Wolff at their dockyard in Belfast at a cost of just over £2 million. The vessel was launched by Mrs Neville Chamberlain, wife of the then Prime Minister, on St Patrick's Day, March 17 1938. HMS Belfast was commissioned into the Royal Navy on August 5 1939. Now a branch of the Imperial War Museum, HMS Belfast has been carefully preserved to reflect the different decades of her service and the campaigns that she served in, from the Arctic Convoys and D-Day to the Korean War and the beginning of the Cold War. HMS Belfast played an important role during the Second World War. She played a key role in the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst and opened fire on the D-Day beaches at 05.30am, 6 June 1944, supporting the landing of British and Canadian troops on Gold and Juno beaches. D-Day ultimately provided the turning point in the Second World War and led to victory in Europe. HMS Belfast weighs an incredible 11,553 tons or almost 12 million kilos, and at over 613ft/187m long is the length of nineteen London buses parked end to end. With its nine decks of living history, HMS Belfast appeals to all ages and provides hours of interest, from the Captain's Bridge down to the boiler and engine rooms way below the ship's waterline beneath the surface of the Thames.