Renown Class Battlecruiser

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS Renown
Renown class.  Although carrying two fewer guns than previous battlecruisers theses were of a more powerful type.  The secondary armament reverted to the 4 inch guns mounted in a mixture of single and triple mounts.  The triple mounts never lived up to expectations as they proved complex to operate.

HMS Renown
Built Fairfield, laid down January 1915, completed September 1916, cost 3,117,204.

HMS Repulse
Built John Brown, laid down January 1915, completed August 1916, cost 2,829,087.

Size:
Length 787 feet 9 inches waterline 794 feet 2 inches overall, beam 90 feet 2 inches, draught 30 feet 2 inches deep, displacement 27,320 normal 32,220 tons deep.

Propulsion:
4 shaft Brown-Curtis turbines, 112,000 shp, 30 knots.

Trials:
Renown 126,300 shp = 32.58 knots
Repulse 119,025 shp = 31.73 knots

Armour:
6-3in belt, 7in barbettes, 9in turret faces, 3-1in decks

Armament:
6 x 15in 42cal MK I (3 x 2), 17 x 4in (5 x 3, 2 x 1), 2 x 3in (2 x 1), 4 x 3 pounder, 2 x 21in TT

Comments:
Originally these were laid down as improved Royal Sovereign class battleships of the 1914 programme.  With the outbreak of war the ships were suspended as most people believed the war would be short and the ships would not be ready in time. When Lord Fisher returned from retirement as First Sea Lord in the autumn and following the success of British battlecruisers at the Battle of Heligoland Bight and the Battle of the Falkland Islands he managed to get the two ships rapidly re-designed and authorised as battlecruisers providing that they could be completed quickly.  The design had good firepower with the excellent 15 inch gun and high speed but the protection was along the scale of the original British battlecruisers, totally inadequate for a ship of this size.  The ships had no anti-torpedo bulkheads but instead had bulges.  Crew 953.

World War 1 Service:
Renown
September 1916 joined the Grand Fleet as part of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron
February-April 1917 had additional armour fitted at Rosyth.
1948 sold for scrap.

Repulse
September 1916 joined the Grand Fleet as part of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron
November 1916-Janaury 1917 additional armour fitted at Rosyth.
17 November 1917 took part in the second Battle of Heligoland bight.
9 December 1941 sunk by Japanese aircraft.

HMS Renown.  The protection of the ships was weak and not welcomed by the Grand Fleet when they arrived just a few months after the losses at Jutland.  They were rapidly sent away to have some extra armour added to the magazine areas but protection was still inadequate.  renown.jpg (15144 bytes)
HMS Renown

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