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Thursday, 6 October 2016

INFOGRAPHICS #22: HMS Repulse battlecruiser of the Royal Ravy

Battlecruiser HMS Repulse
The Renown class comprised a pair of battlecruisers built during the First World War for the Royal Navy, the Renown and Repulse. 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. Having a full displacement of 36,800tons and length of 242m, they were the world's largest and fastest capital ships upon completion. Even in WWI, they were still some of the largest battleships-battlecruisers of the Royal Navy, second only to HMS Hood and HMS Vanguard. 


Photo of Repulse from the stern.
Notice the weird triple gun turrets.
The two Renown class battlecruisers
Repulse was the only ship of her class to see combat in the First World War when she participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917. Both ships were reconstructed twice between the wars; the 1920s reconstruction increased their armour protection and made lesser improvements, while the 1930s reconstruction was much more thorough, especially for Renown (based on that of the battleship Warspite). Both ships served during the Second World War; they searched for the Admiral Graf Spee in 1939, participated in the Norwegian Campaign of April–June 1940 and searched for the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Repulse was sunk on 10 December 1941 in the South China Sea off Kuantan, Pahang by Japanese aircraft. Renown spent much of 1940 and 1941 assigned to Force H at Gibraltar, escorting convoys and she fought in the inconclusive Battle of Cape Spartivento. She was briefly assigned to the Home Fleet and provided cover to several Arctic convoys in early 1942. The ship was transferred back to Force H for Operation Torch and spent much of 1943 refitting or transporting Winston Churchill and his staff to and from various conferences with various Allied leaders. In early 1944 Renown was transferred to the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean where she supported numerous attacks on Japanese-occupied facilities in Indonesia and various island groups in the Indian Ocean. The ship returned to the Home Fleet in early 1945 and was refitted before being placed in reserve after the end of the war. Renown was sold for scrap in 1948. (source: Wikipedia)
HMS Repulse by Illustrated London News (artist: G. H. Davis),  May 6, 1939. For high resolution click here.
The above image was found at http://longstreet.typepad.com

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