HMS Repulse (1916)

Last updated

Renown-7.jpg
Repulse on manoeuvres in the 1920s
History
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Name:Repulse
Ordered: 30 December 1914
Builder: John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland
Laid down: 25 January 1915
Launched: 8 January 1916
Commissioned: 18 August 1916
Identification: Pennant number: 34
Motto:
  • Qui Tangit Frangitur
  • "Who touches me is broken"
Nickname(s):Repair [1]
Fate: Sunk on 10 December 1941 by Japanese air attack off Kuantan, South China Sea
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Renown-class battlecruiser
Displacement:
  • 27,200 long tons (27,600 t) (normal)
  • 32,220 long tons (32,740 t) (deep load)
Length:
  • 750 ft 2 in (228.7 m) p.p.
  • 794 ft 1.5 in (242 m) (o.a.)
Beam: 90 ft 1.75 in (27.5 m)
Draught: 27 ft (8.2 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 4 × shafts, 2 × Steam turbine sets,
Speed: 31.5 knots (58.3 km/h; 36.2 mph)
Crew:
  • 967
  • 1222 (1919)
Armament:
Armour:
General characteristics (1939)
Displacement: 34,600 long tons (35,200 t)
Length: 794 ft 2.5 in (242.1 m) (o/a)
Beam: 89 ft 11.5 in (27.4 m)
Draught: 29 ft 8 in (9 m)
Installed power: 112,000 shp (84,000 kW)
Propulsion: 4 × shafts, 4 × direct-drive steam turbines
Speed: 30.5 knots (56.5 km/h; 35.1 mph)
Range: 3,650  nmi (6,760 km; 4,200 mi)
Complement: 1,181
Armament:
  • 3 × twin 15 in (381 mm) guns
  • 3 × triple 4 in (102 mm) guns
  • 6 × single 4 in (102 mm) AA guns
  • 2 × quadruple 40 mm (1.6 in) 2-pounder "pom-pom" AA guns
Armour:
  • Belt: 2–9 in (51–229 mm)
  • Decks: 1–4 in (25–102 mm)
  • otherwise no change
Aircraft carried: 4 × seaplanes
Aviation facilities: 1 × double-ended aircraft catapult

HMS Repulse was a Renown-class battlecruiser of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. Originally laid down as an improved version of the Revenge-class battleships, her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war because she would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart her construction as a battlecruiser that could be built and enter service quickly. The Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, quickly produced an entirely new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but the ship was delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Repulse, and her sister ship Renown, were the world's fastest capital ships upon completion.

Contents

Repulse participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917; the only combat she saw during the war. She was reconstructed twice between the wars; the 1920s reconstruction increased her armour protection and made lesser improvements, while the 1930s reconstruction was much more thorough. Repulse accompanied the battlecruiser Hood during the Special Service Squadron's round-the-world cruise in 1923–24 and protected international shipping during the Spanish Civil War in 1936–39.

The ship spent the first months of the Second World War hunting for German raiders and blockade runners. She participated in the Norwegian Campaign of April–June 1940 and searched for the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Repulse escorted a troop convoy around the Cape of Good Hope from August to October 1941 and was transferred to East Indies Command. She was assigned in November to Force Z which was supposed to deter Japanese aggression against British possessions in the Far East. Repulse and her consort Prince of Wales were eventually sunk by Japanese aircraft on 10 December 1941 when they attempted to intercept landings in British Malaya.

Design and description

Admiral Lord Fisher first presented his requirements for the new ships to the Director of Naval Construction (DNC) on 18 December 1914, before the ships had even been approved. He wanted a long, high, flared bow, like that on the pre-dreadnought Renown, but higher, four 15-inch guns in two twin-gun turrets, an anti-torpedo boat armament of twenty 4-inch (102 mm) guns mounted high up and protected by gun shields only, speed of 32 knots using oil fuel, and armour on the scale of the battlecruiser Indefatigable. Within a few days, however, Fisher increased the number of guns to six and added two torpedo tubes. Minor revisions in the initial estimate were made until 26 December and a preliminary design was completed on 30 December. [2]

During the following week the DNC's department examined the material delivered for the two battleships and decided what could be used in the new design. The usable material was transferred to the builders who had received enough information from the DNC's department to lay the keels of both ships on 25 January 1915, well before the altered contracts were completed on 10 March. [3]

Repulse had an overall length of 794 feet 2.5 inches (242.1 m), a beam of 89 feet 11.5 inches (27.4 m), and a maximum draught of 29 feet 9 inches (9.1 m). She displaced 26,854 long tons (27,285 t) at normal load and 31,592 long tons (32,099 t) at deep load. [4] The Brown-Curtis direct-drive steam turbines were designed to produce 112,000 shaft horsepower (84,000 kW), which would propel the ship at 32 knots (59  km/h ; 37  mph ). However, during trials in 1916, Repulse's turbines provided 118,913 shp (88,673 kW), allowing her to reach a speed of 31.73 knots (58.76 km/h; 36.51 mph). [5] The ship normally carried 1,000 long tons (1,016 t) of fuel oil, but had a maximum capacity of 4,289 long tons (4,358 t). At full capacity, she could steam at a speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) for 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 km; 4,603 mi). [4]

The ship mounted six 42-calibre BL 15-inch Mk I guns in three twin hydraulically powered gun turrets, designated 'A', 'B', and 'Y' from front to rear. [4] Her secondary armament consisted of 17 BL 4-inch Mark IX guns, fitted in five triple and two single mounts. Repulse mounted a pair of QF 3-inch 20 cwt [Note 1] anti-aircraft guns mounted on the shelter deck abreast the rear funnel. [6] She mounted two submerged tubes for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes, one on each side forward of 'A' barbette. [7]

Repulse's waterline belt of Krupp cemented armour measured 6 inches (152 mm) thick amidships. Her gun turrets were 7–9 inches (178–229 mm) thick with roofs were 4.25 inches (108 mm) thick. As designed the high-tensile-steel decks ranged from 0.75 to 1.5 inches (19 to 38 mm) in thickness. After the Battle of Jutland in 1916, while the ship was still completing, an extra inch of high-tensile steel was added on the main deck over the magazines. [8] Repulse was fitted with a shallow anti-torpedo bulge integral to the hull which was intended to explode the torpedo before it hit the hull proper and vent the underwater explosion to the surface rather than into the ship. [9]

Despite these additions, the ship was still felt to be too vulnerable to plunging fire and Repulse was refitted in Rosyth between 10 November 1916 and 29 January 1917 with additional horizontal armour, weighing approximately 504 long tons (512 t), added to the decks over the magazines and over the steering gear. [8] Repulse was the first capital ship fitted with a flying-off platform when an experimental one was fitted on 'B' turret in the autumn of 1917. Squadron Leader Frederick Rutland took off in a Sopwith Pup on 1 October. Another platform was built on 'Y' turret and Rutland successfully took off from it on 8 October. One fighter and a reconnaissance aircraft were normally carried. [10]

Service history

First World War

Repulse, circa 1916-1917, after post-trials alterations Repulse-1.jpg
Repulse, circa 1916–1917, after post-trials alterations

Repulse was laid down by John Brown, Clydebank, Scotland on 25 January 1915. The ship was launched on 8 January 1916 and completed on 18 August 1916, after the Battle of Jutland. Her construction cost £2,829,087 (£ 159,700,000 in 2020). [4] She served with the Grand Fleet in the North Sea during the remaining two years of the First World War. Repulse relieved Lion as flagship of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron for the duration of the war. [11]

Second Battle of Heligoland Bight

Over the course of 1917 the Admiralty became more concerned about German efforts in the North Sea to sweep paths through the British-laid minefields intended to restrict the actions of the High Seas Fleet and German submarines. A preliminary raid on German minesweeping forces on 31 October by light forces destroyed ten small ships and the Admiralty decided on a larger operation to destroy the minesweepers and their escorting light cruisers. Based on intelligence reports the Admiralty decided on 17 November 1917 to allocate two light cruiser squadrons, the 1st Cruiser Squadron covered by the reinforced 1st BCS (less Renown) and, more distantly, the battleships of the 1st Battle Squadron to the operation. [12]

Repulse in August 1918 HMS Repulse aerial starboard view 1918.jpg
Repulse in August 1918

The German ships, four light cruisers of II Scouting Force, eight destroyers, three divisions of minesweepers, eight Sperrbrechers (cork-filled trawlers, used to detonate mines without sinking) and two trawlers to mark the swept route, were spotted at 7:30 a.m., [Note 2] silhouetted by the rising sun. The light battlecruiser Courageous and the light cruiser Cardiff opened fire with their forward guns seven minutes later. The Germans responded by laying an effective smoke screen. The British continued in pursuit, but lost track of most of the smaller ships in the smoke and concentrated fire on the light cruisers as opportunity permitted. Repulse was detached not long after and raced forward at full speed to engage the enemy ships. She opened fire at about 9:00, [13] scoring a single hit on the light cruiser SMS Königsberg during the battle. [11] When the German battleships SMS Kaiser and SMS Kaiserin were spotted about 9:50 the British broke off their pursuit and Repulse covered their retreat, aided by a heavy fog that came down around 10:40. [14] The ship fired a total of 54 15-inch shells during the battle and scored one hit on the light cruiser Königsberg that temporarily reduced her speed. [15]

On 12 December 1917, Repulse was damaged in a collision with the battlecruiser HMAS Australia. [16] The ship was present at the surrender of the High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow on 21 November 1918. [11]

Inter-war period

Repulse began a major refit at Portsmouth on 17 December 1918 [11] intended to drastically improve her armour protection. Her existing six-inch armour belt was replaced by 9-inch (229 mm) armour plates made surplus by the conversion of the battleship Almirante Cochrane (originally ordered by Chile and purchased after the war began) to the aircraft carrier Eagle. The original armour was fitted between the main and upper decks, above the new armour. Additional high-tensile plating was added to the decks over the magazines. The ship's anti-torpedo bulge was deepened and reworked along the lines of that installed on the battleship Ramillies. The bulge covered her hull from the submerged torpedo room to 'Y' magazine and the inner compartments of which were filled with crushing tubes. The bulges added 12 feet 8 inches (3.9 m) to her beam and 1 foot 4 inches (0.4 m) to her draught. The refit added about 4,500 long tons (4,600 t) to her displacement and raised her metacentric height to 6.4 feet (2 m) at deep load. Three 30-foot (9.1 m) rangefinders were also added as well as eight torpedo tubes in twin mounts on the upper deck. Both flying-off platforms were removed. [17] This refit cost £860,684.

Repulse in 1919 HMS Repulse (1919) profile drawing.png
Repulse in 1919

Repulse was recommissioned on 1 January 1921 and joined the Battlecruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet. In November 1923, Hood, accompanied by Repulse and a number of Danae-class cruisers of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, set out on a world cruise from west to east via the Panama Canal. They returned home ten months later in September 1924. [11] Shortly after her return the ship's pair of three-inch AA guns and her two single four-inch gun mounts were removed and replaced with four QF four-inch Mark V AA guns. [18] The Battlecruiser Squadron visited Lisbon in February 1925 to participate in the Vasco da Gama celebrations before continuing on the Mediterranean for exercises. [19] A squash court was added on the starboard side between the funnels for the Prince of Wales' tour of Africa and South America [18] that lasted from MarchOctober. [20] Upon her return, she was refitted from November 1925July 1926 and had a high-angle control position (HACP) added to her fore-top. [18]

1930s reconstructions

Repulse in July 1938, from the stern Haifa, result of terrorist acts & government measures. H.M.S. Repulse taken from the docks, marine on guard below British flag.1938.jpg
Repulse in July 1938, from the stern

After Repulse completed her 1926 refit, she remained in commission, aside from a brief refit from JulySeptember 1927, with the Battlecruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet until she was paid off in June 1932 prior to beginning her reconstruction in April 1933. Most of the existing layers of high-tensile steel that constituted the ship's horizontal armour were replaced by non-cemented armour plates 2.5–3.5 inches (64–89 mm) in thickness and the torpedo control tower was removed from the aft superstructure. [21] A fixed catapult replaced the midships 4-inch triple mount and a hangar was built on each side of the rear funnel to house two of the ship's Fairey III aircraft. One additional aircraft could be carried on the deck and another on the catapult itself. [22]

Electric cranes were mounted above each hangar to handle the aircraft. The four 4-inch AA guns were moved, one pair abreast the rear funnel at the level of the hangar roof and the other pair abreast the fore funnel on the forecastle deck. Four prototype QF 4-inch Mark XV dual-purpose guns were added in twin-gun Mark XVIII mounts abreast the mainmast. Two octuple Mark VI 2-pounder mounts were fitted on extensions of the conning-tower platform abreast the fore funnel. Above these a pair of quadruple Mark II* mountings for the 0.5-inch Vickers Mark III machine gun were added. [22] These mounts could depress to −10° and elevate to a maximum of 70°. The machine guns fired a 1.326-ounce (37.6 g) bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,520 ft/s (770 m/s). This gave the gun a maximum range of about 5,000 yd (4,600 m), although its effective range was only 800 yd (730 m) [23] Repulse received two High-Angle Control System anti-aircraft directors, one Mark II on the fore-top and a Mark I* mounted on a pedestal above the rear superstructure. The two submerged torpedo tubes were removed and the vacant spaces sub-divided and turned into store-rooms. [24]

Repulse in Haifa harbor during the Arab Revolt, July 1938. HMS Repulse LOC 04034u.jpg
Repulse in Haifa harbor during the Arab Revolt, July 1938.

Repulse was assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet when she recommissioned in April 1936. She transported 500 refugees from Valencia and Palma, Majorca to Marseilles, France in late 1936 after the start of the Spanish Civil War. The ship was present at the Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead on 20 May 1937 for George VI. Repulse was sent to Haifa in July 1938 to maintain order during the Arab Revolt. She was selected to convey the King and Queen during their May 1939 Canadian Tour and she was refitted between October 1938 and March 1939 for this role. The twin 4-inch AA guns were replaced by two more Mark V guns and two additional quadruple .50-calibre mounts were added. The King and Queen ultimately travelled aboard the liner RMS Empress of Australia while Repulse escorting them on the first half of the journey. [25]

Second World War

At the beginning of the Second World War, Repulse was part of the Battlecruiser Squadron of the Home Fleet. She patrolled off the Norwegian coast and in the North Sea in search of German ships, as well as to enforce the blockade for the first couple months of the war. [26] Early in the war, the aft triple 4-inch gun mount was replaced with an 8-barrel 2-pounder mount. [27] In late October, she was transferred to Halifax with the aircraft carrier Furious to protect convoys and search for German raiders. Repulse and Furious sortied from Halifax on 23 November in search of the German battleship Scharnhorst after it had sunk the armed merchant cruiser Rawalpindi, but Repulse was damaged by heavy seas in a storm and was forced to return to port. [28] Repulse escorted the convoy bringing most of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division to Britain from 1023 December 1939 and was reassigned to the Home Fleet. In February 1940, she accompanied the aircraft carrier Ark Royal on a fruitless search for six German blockade runners that had broken out of Vigo, Spain. [29]

Repulse escorting the last convoy to reach Singapore, December 1941 HMS Repulse escorting a troop convoy A6793.jpg
Repulse escorting the last convoy to reach Singapore, December 1941

Repulse was assigned to support Allied operations during the Norwegian Campaign in April–June 1940. On 7 April, Repulse, along with the bulk of the Home Fleet, was ordered to sea to intercept what was thought to be another attempt to break-out into the North Atlantic. The ship was detached the following day to search for a German ship reported by the destroyer Glowworm, but the destroyer had been sunk by the German cruiser Admiral Hipper before Repulse arrived and she was ordered to rendezvous with her sister Renown south of the Lofoten Islands, off the Norwegian coast. [30] On 12 April, Repulse was ordered to return to Scapa Flow to refuel and she escorted a troop convoy upon her return. [31] In early June the ship was sent to the North Atlantic to search for German raiders and played no part in the evacuation of Norway. [32]

Accompanied by Renown and the 1st Cruiser Squadron, Repulse attempted to intercept the German battleship Gneisenau as it sailed from Trondheim to Germany in July. Until May 1941, the ship escorted convoys and unsuccessfully searched for German ships. On 22 May, Repulse was diverted from escorting Convoy WS8B to assist in the search for the German battleship Bismarck, but she had to break off the search early on 25 May as she was running low on fuel. The ship was refitted from JuneAugust [33] and received eight Oerlikon 20-millimetre (0.79 in) autocannon as well as a Type 284 surface gunnery radar. [27] Repulse escorted a troop convoy around the Cape of Good Hope from August to October and was transferred to East Indies Command. [34]

Force Z

Repulse departing from Singapore on 8 December 1941 HMS Repulse leaving Singapore.jpg
Repulse departing from Singapore on 8 December 1941

In late 1941 Winston Churchill decided to send a small group of fast capital ships, along with one modern aircraft carrier to Singapore, to deter expected Japanese aggression. In November, Repulse which was in the Indian Ocean was ordered to Colombo, Ceylon to rendezvous with the new battleship Prince of Wales. The carrier Indomitable, which was assigned to join them, was delayed when she ran aground in the Caribbean. Prince of Wales and Repulse and their escorting destroyers comprised Force Z, which arrived in Singapore on 2 December 1941. On the evening of 8 December, Force Z departed for an attempt to destroy Japanese troop convoys and protect the army's seaward flanks from Japanese landings in their rear. [35]

Force Z was spotted during the afternoon of 9 December by the Japanese submarine I-65, and floatplanes from several Japanese cruisers spotted the British ships later that afternoon and shadowed them until dark. Admiral Sir Tom Phillips decided to cancel the operation as the Japanese were now alerted. Force Z turned back during the evening, after having tried to deceive the Japanese that they were heading to Singora. At 00:50 on 10 December, Admiral Philips received a signal of enemy landings at Kuantan and correspondingly altered course so that he would arrive shortly after dawn. [36]

The crew of I-58 spotted Force Z at 02:20, reported their position, and fired five torpedoes, all of which missed. Based on this report the Japanese launched 11 reconnaissance aircraft before dawn to locate Force Z. Several hours later 86 bombers from the 22nd Air Flotilla based in Saigon were launched carrying bombs or torpedoes. The crew of a Mitsubishi G3M reconnaissance bomber spotted the British at 10:15 and radioed in several reports. The pilot was ordered to maintain contact and to broadcast a directional signal that the other Japanese bombers could follow. [37]

Repulse is at the bottom, having been hit by a bomb, 10 December 1941 Japanese high-level bombing attack on HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse 1941-12-10.jpg
Repulse is at the bottom, having been hit by a bomb, 10 December 1941

The first attack began at 11:13 when 250 kilograms (551 lb) bombs were dropped from eight G3Ms from an altitude of 11,500 feet (3,505 m). The battlecruiser was straddled by two bombs, then hit by a third which penetrated through the hangar to explode on the armoured deck below. This inflicted a number of casualties and damaged the ship's Supermarine Walrus seaplane, which was then pushed over the side to remove a fire hazard.

Anti-aircraft fire damaged five of the Japanese bombers, two so badly that they immediately returned to Saigon. In the ensuing attacks, Repulse was skilfully handled by her captain, Bill Tennant, who managed to avoid 19 torpedoes as well as the remaining bombs from the G3Ms. [38] However, Repulse was then caught by a synchronised pincer attack by 17 Mitsubishi G4M torpedo bombers and hit by four or five torpedoes in rapid succession. The gunners on the Repulse shot down two planes and heavily damaged eight more, but the torpedo damage proved fatal. [39] At 12:23, Repulse listed severely to port and quickly capsized with the loss of 508 officers and men. The destroyers Electra and Vampire rescued the survivors, including Captain Tennant. [40]

The wreck

The wreck site was designated as a 'Protected Place' in 2002 under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986, 60 years after her sinking. [41] Survivors described five torpedo hits on Repulse, four on the port side and one on the starboard side. The four portside hits purportedly were: two amidship, one abreast of the rear turret and one near the propellers. The starboard side hit was amidships. A 2007 diving expedition [42] could confirm only two of the hits by examination of the wreck: the portside hit near the propellers and the starboard hit amidship. Unfortunately, at the time of the expedition, the portside midships section of the wreck was buried in the ocean floor thus the claimed hits there could not be confirmed. However, the area abreast of the port rear turret was accessible and no sign whatsoever of a torpedo hit as described by survivors was found to be there. [43]

In October 2014, the Daily Telegraph reported that both Prince of Wales and Repulse were being "extensively damaged" with explosives by scrap metal dealers. [44]

Notes

  1. "cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 30 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.
  2. The times used in this article are in UTC, which is one hour behind CET, which is often used in German works.

Footnotes

  1. Stephen, p. 103
  2. Roberts, pp. 47–48
  3. Roberts, pp. 45, 47
  4. 1 2 3 4 Burt 1986, p. 297
  5. Roberts, p. 81
  6. Raven and Roberts, p. 48
  7. Roberts, p. 83
  8. 1 2 Burt 1986, p. 294
  9. Roberts, p. 111
  10. Raven and Roberts, p. 51
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 Burt 1986, p. 302
  12. Newbolt, pp. 164–65
  13. Newbolt, pp. 173–75
  14. Newbolt, pp. 175–76
  15. Campbell, p. 64
  16. Roberts, p. 123
  17. Raven and Roberts, pp. 55–56
  18. 1 2 3 Raven and Roberts, p. 143
  19. Burt 1993, p. 220
  20. Burt 1993, pp. 220–21
  21. Raven and Roberts, pp. 206–07
  22. 1 2 Burt, pp. 210, 213
  23. "British 0.50"/62 (12.7 mm) Mark III – Japanese 12 mm/62 "HI" Type". navweaps.com. 27 January 2010. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  24. Raven and Roberts, pp. 207, 209
  25. Burt 1993, pp. 221, 224
  26. Rohwer, pp. 3, 6
  27. 1 2 Raven and Roberts, p. 217
  28. Burt 1993, p. 224
  29. Rohwer, pp. 11, 15
  30. Haarr 2009, pp. 86, 93, 105
  31. Haarr 2010, pp. 116, 139
  32. Rohwer, p. 25
  33. Burt 1993, pp. 224–25
  34. Burt 1993, p. 225
  35. Burt 1993, pp. 226–27
  36. Stephen, pp. 107–08
  37. Shores, et al., pp. 113–16
  38. Shores, et al., pp. 116–20
  39. Shores, et al., pp. 120–21
  40. Stephen, pp. 112–14
  41. "Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 2616 The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designation of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2006". Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament. Archived from the original on 8 July 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  42. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  43. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) See pages 6, 7, 8.)
  44. Julian Ryall, Tokyo and Joel Gunter (25 October 2014). "Celebrated British warships being stripped bare for scrap metal". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.

Related Research Articles

HMS <i>Indomitable</i> (1907) 1907 Invincible-class battlecruiser of the Royal Navy

HMS Indomitable was one of three Invincible-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy before World War I and had an active career during the war. She tried to hunt down the German ships Goeben and Breslau in the Mediterranean when war broke out and bombarded Turkish fortifications protecting the Dardanelles even before the British declared war on Turkey. She helped to sink the German armoured cruiser Blücher during the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915 and towed the damaged British battlecruiser HMS Lion to safety after the battle. She damaged the German battlecruisers Seydlitz and Derfflinger during the Battle of Jutland in mid-1916 and watched her sister ship HMS Invincible explode. Deemed obsolete after the war, she was sold for scrap in 1921.

<i>Revenge</i>-class battleship ship class

The Revenge class, sometimes referred to as the Royal Sovereign class or the R class, was a group of five superdreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the 1910s. All of the ships were completed to see service during the First World War. There were originally to have been eight of the class, but two were later redesigned, becoming the Renown-class battlecruisers, while the other, which was to have been named HMS Resistance, was cancelled outright. The design was based on that of the preceding Queen Elizabeth class, but with reductions in size and speed to make them more economical to build.

HMS <i>Glorious</i> Courageous-class battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy during the First World War

HMS Glorious was the second of the three Courageous-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, they were relatively lightly armed and armoured. Glorious was completed in late 1916 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. She participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917 and was present when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later.

HMS <i>Courageous</i> (50) World War One era British warship later rebuilt as an aircraft carrier

HMS Courageous was the lead ship of the Courageous-class cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by First Sea Lord John Fisher, the ship was very lightly armoured and armed with only a few heavy guns. Courageous was completed in late 1916 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. She participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917 and was present when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later.

HMS <i>Revenge</i> (06) Lead Revenge-class battleship

HMS Revenge was the lead ship of five Revenge-class super-dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy during the First World War in the mid-1910s. The ships were developments of the Queen Elizabeth-class battleships, with reductions in size and speed to offset increases in armour protection whilst retaining the same main battery of eight 15-inch (381 mm) guns. She was laid down in 1913, launched in 1915, and was commissioned in February 1916, early enough to be worked up in time to see action with the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in May that year. During the engagement, she engaged German battlecruisers, damaging two of them before being forced to turn away to avoid torpedoes that damaged her squadron flagship and caused the squadron to lose contact with the rest of the fleet. Revenge emerged from the battle unscathed, but she saw no further action during the war, as the British and German fleets turned to more cautious strategies owing to the risk of submarines and naval mines.

HMS <i>Resolution</i> (09) Battleship

HMS Resolution was one of five Revenge-class battleships built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Completed in December 1916, Resolution saw no combat during the war as both the British and German fleets adopted a more cautious strategy after the Battle of Jutland in May owing to the increasing threat of naval mines and submarines.

HMS <i>Barham</i> (04) Queen Elizabeth-class battleship

HMS Barham was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship built for the Royal Navy during the early 1910s. Often used as a flagship, she participated in the Battle of Jutland during the First World War as part of the Grand Fleet. For the rest of the war, except for the inconclusive Action of 19 August 1916, her service generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.

<i>Renown</i>-class battlecruiser ship class

The Renown class comprised a pair of battlecruisers built during the First World War for the Royal Navy. They were originally laid down as improved versions of the Revenge-class battleships. Their construction was suspended on the outbreak of war on the grounds they would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart their construction as battlecruisers that could be built and enter service quickly. The Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, quickly produced an entirely new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but they were delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. They were the world's fastest capital ships upon their commissioning.

HMS <i>Renown</i> (1916) battlecruiser of the Royal Navy

HMS Renown was the lead ship of her class of battlecruisers of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. She was originally laid down as an improved version of the Revenge-class battleships. Her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war on the grounds she would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart her construction as a battlecruiser that could be built and enter service quickly. The Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, quickly produced an entirely new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but the ship was delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Renown, and her sister HMS Repulse, were the world's fastest capital ships upon completion.

HMS <i>Hercules</i> (1910) 1910 Colossus-class battleship of the Royal Navy

HMS Hercules was the second and last of the two Colossus-class dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy at the end of the first decade of the 20th century. She spent her whole career assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets, often serving as a flagship. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and the inconclusive Action of 19 August, her service during World War I generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. The ship was deemed obsolete after the war and was reduced to reserve. Hercules was sold for scrap in 1921 and broken up the following year.

<i>Courageous</i>-class battlecruiser ship class

The Courageous class consisted of three battlecruisers known as "large light cruisers" built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. The class was nominally designed to support the Baltic Project, a plan by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher that was intended to land troops on the German Baltic Coast. Ships of this class were fast but very lightly armoured, with only a few heavy guns. They were given a shallow draught, in part to allow them to operate in the shallow waters of the Baltic but also reflecting experience gained earlier in the war. To maximize their speed, the Courageous-class battlecruisers were the first capital ships of the Royal Navy to use geared steam turbines and small-tube boilers.

HMS <i>Furious</i> (47) 1917 Royal Navy Courageous-class battlecruiser later converted into an aircraft carrier

HMS Furious was a modified Courageous-class battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy (RN) during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Fisher, the ship was very lightly armoured and designed to be armed with only two heavy guns (18-inch), one forward and one aft, plus a number of lesser guns. Furious was modified and became an aircraft carrier while under construction. Her forward turret was removed and a flight deck was added in its place, such that aircraft had to manoeuvre around the superstructure to land. Later in the war, the ship had her rear turret removed and a second flight deck installed aft of the superstructure, but this was less than satisfactory due to air turbulence. Furious was briefly laid up after the war before she was reconstructed with a full-length flight deck in the early 1920s.

<i>Indefatigable</i>-class battlecruiser

The Indefatigable class were the second class built of British battlecruisers which served in the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy during World War I. The design represented a modest reworking of the preceding Invincible class, featuring increased endurance and an improved cross-deck arc of fire for their midships wing turrets achieved by a lengthening of the hull. Like its predecessor, the design resembled the contemporary dreadnought of the Royal Navy, but sacrificed armour protection and one turret from the main battery for a 4-knot speed advantage.

HMS <i>Defence</i> (1907) Minotaur-class armoured cruiser

HMS Defence was a Minotaur-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century, the last armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy. She was stationed in the Mediterranean when the First World War began and participated in the pursuit of the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and light cruiser SMS Breslau. The ship was transferred to the Grand Fleet in January 1915 and remained there for the rest of her career.

HMS <i>Cornwall</i> (56) County-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy

HMS Cornwall, pennant number 56, was a County-class heavy cruiser of the Kent sub-class built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1920s. The ship spent most of her pre-World War II career assigned to the China Station. Shortly after the war began in August 1939, she was assigned to search for German commerce raiders in the Indian Ocean. Cornwall was transferred to the South Atlantic in late 1939 where she escorted convoys before returning to the Indian Ocean in 1941. She then sank the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin in May. After the start of the Pacific War in December 1941, she began escorting convoys until she was transferred to the Eastern Fleet in March 1942. The ship was sunk on 5 April by dive bombers from three Japanese aircraft carriers during the Indian Ocean Raid.

<i>Minotaur</i>-class cruiser (1906) three-ship class of armoured cruisers built 1905–1909

The Minotaur class was a three-ship class of armoured cruisers built in the first decade of the twentieth century for the Royal Navy. These were the last class of armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy, with that role being substantially replaced by battlecruisers. These initially served with the Home Fleet, generally as the flagships of cruiser squadrons. Minotaur became flagship of the China Station in 1910 and Defence served as flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean from 1912; Shannon remained at home as flagship of several different squadrons.

The Admiral-class battlecruisers were to have been a class of four British Royal Navy battlecruisers designed near the end of World War I. Their design began as an improved version of the Queen Elizabeth-class battleships, but it was recast as a battlecruiser after Admiral John Jellicoe, commander of the Grand Fleet, pointed out that there was no real need for more battleships, but that a number of German battlecruisers had been laid down that were superior to the bulk of the Grand Fleet's battlecruisers and the design was revised to counter these. The class was to have consisted of HMS Hood, Anson, Howe, and Rodney — all names of famous admirals — but the latter three ships were suspended as the material and labour required to complete them was needed for higher-priority merchantmen and escort vessels. Their designs were updated to incorporate the lessons from the Battle of Jutland, but the Admiralty eventually decided that it was better to begin again with a clean-slate design so they were cancelled in 1919. No more battlecruisers would be built due to the arms limitations agreements of the interbellum.

HMS <i>London</i> (1899) ship

HMS London was the lead ship of the London class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the British Royal Navy. The Londons were near repeats of the preceding Formidable-class battleships, but with modified armour protection. The ship was laid down in December 1898, was launched in September 1899, and was completed in June 1902. Commissioned the same month, she served with the Mediterranean Fleet until early 1907. She was assigned to the Nore Division of the Home Fleet for nearly a year before transferring to the Channel Fleet. Rendered obsolete with the emergence of the new dreadnoughts in late 1906, she underwent an extensive refit in 1909, after which she served with the Atlantic Fleet. She was assigned to the Second Home Fleet in 1912 as part of the 5th Battle Squadron, and was temporarily fitted with a makeshift ramp for experiments with naval aircraft until 1913.

HMS <i>Shannon</i> (1906) Minotaur-class armoured cruiser launched in 1906 and sold in 1922

HMS Shannon was a Minotaur-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1900s. Before the First World War, she served with the Home Fleet, generally as the flagship of a cruiser squadron. The ship remained with the Grand Fleet, as the Home Fleet was renamed when the war began, for the entire war, but only participated in a single battle, the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. Shannon spent most of the war unsuccessfully patrolling the North Sea for German warships and commerce raiders. She was paid off in 1919 and sold for scrap in 1922.

References

Further reading

Coordinates: 3°33′36″N104°28′42″E / 3.56000°N 104.47833°E / 3.56000; 104.47833