Battlecruiser HMS Renown

The battlecruiser HMS Renown belonged to the same class of ships, which consisted of two ships and were originally planned as battleships before the First World War.


Launching and design:

1913 were ordered by the Royal Navy eight battleships Revenge class. When it became apparent at the end of 1914 that the planned construction times could not be met, the order was reduced from eight to five ships.

However, after Lord John Fisher returned to the First Sea Lord's office in 1915, he ordered new works to be commissioned, with the material of the planned battleships already used for three battlecruisers. For this purpose, the British naval architect and engineer Sir Eustace Henry William Tennyson d 'Eyncourt presented the desired design. He provided for the reduction of the main armament from four to three towers and a lighter armor. This should reduce the construction costs and the construction time and give the ships a higher speed. Due to the war and the resulting limited resources, however, the order had to be reduced from three to two ships before the start of construction.

The launching of HMS Renown took place on 4 March 1916, the commissioning on 20 September 1916.



HMS Renown




Use in the war:

After the commissioning and the test drives the HMS Renown was assigned to the Grand Fleet.

With this squadron, the ship also took part in the second naval battle at Helgoland on November 17, 1917, scoring and receiving no hits. It was also the only battle in which the ship participated during the First World War.

Until the end of the war, although some attempts were made in the North Sea, but without enemy contact.




Use after the war:

After the First World War, HMS Renown was assigned to the battlecruiser squadron of the Grand Fleet. The ship was also followed by the sister ship HMS Repulse, the HMS Hood and the HMS Tiger in the squadron.

In the period from 1920 to 1921 and from September 1936 to August 1939, extensive reconstruction and modernization measures were carried out on the ship. The bridge construction was completely renewed, mounted an aircraft hangar and a catapult for a seaplane and the air defense was reinforced with ten guns of caliber 11.4 cm.



HMS Renown in Fremantle, Western Australia around 1927


HMS Renown on September 13, 1920 in Pedro Miguel Lock, Panama Canal


View on the fore ship of HMS Renown




Use in the Second World War:

Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, the HMS Renown was relocated to the South Atlantic in late 1939 to join the search for the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee. It could be sighted on December 2, 1939 together with the cruiser HMS Sussex the German passenger steamer Watussi, but sunk himself before the arrival of the ships themselves.

After the German ironclad had sunk in the port of Montevideo on December 17, 1939, the HMS Renown was ordered back to Britain back.

With the beginning of Operation Wilfred, the British occupation of Norway from 8 April 1940, the HMS Renown was one of the ships used. Along with four destroyers, the laying of sea mines began on the morning of 8 April in front of the Norwegian port of Narvik. By the abortion of the destroyer HMS Glowworm from the federation, this could be sighted and sunk by the German destroyer Z 11 Bernd of Arnim and later by the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. The Renown and the British destroyers joined the battle later, with the two German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau on April 9, and thus could drive out the British ships. The HMS Renown received two hits, the damage but only small and no crew member died.

After the capitulation of France, the ship was relocated to Gibraltar in late 1940 and was to operate in the Mediterranean. On November 27, 1940 came to the south of Sardinia to a battle with the Italian Navy, which was terminated without loss.

On February 6, 1941 Renown participated in the bombardment of the Italian port of Genoa, with four warships sunk and 18 others were seriously damaged.

1942 and 1943, the ship served as escort for the transports to the Russian Murmansk or the aircraft carrier to Malta.

End of 1943 until the end of the war was the transfer to the Indian Ocean. There, the ship also undertook escort duties, especially for the aircraft carriers in the attacks on Dutch India, which were occupied by the Japanese at that time.



HMS Renown in August 1945


HMS Renown with camouflage paint during World War II





After the Second World War, the HMS Renown served until 1948 as a training ship. After that, the decommissioning took place as the last battlecruiser of the Royal Navy.

In the same year the ship was sold and scrapped in the Faslane-on-Clyde in Scotland.




Ship data:


HMS Renown


Great Britain

Ship Type:  





Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. , Glasgow




March 4, 1916


September 20, 1916


Sold in 1948 and scrapped in the same year in Faslane-on-Clyde, Scotland


242 meters


27,4 meters


8,94 meters


Max. 32.730 tons


970 men


42 oil-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers

2 sets of direct-acting Brown Curtis steam turbines


120.000 shp (89 MW)

Maximum speed:  

32 kn (57 km/h)




6 x 38,1 cm guns

17 x 10,2 cm guns

2 x 7,62 cm guns

2 x torpedo tubes 53,3 cm


From 1939 after reconstruction:

6 x 38,1 cm guns

20 x 11,4 cm guns

28 x 40 mm guns

64 x 20 mm anti-aircraft guns


Side armor 229 mm

Armored deck 64 - 102 mm

Lower deck 102 mm

Main Artillery 178 - 279 mm

Conning tower 254 mm

Exhaust ducts 51 mm






You can find the right literature here:


British Battleships of World War One

British Battleships of World War One Hardcover – November 15, 2012

This new edition of a classic work on British battleships is the most sought after book on the subject. Containing many new photographs from the author's exhaustive collection this superb reference book presents the complete technical history of British capital ship design and construction during the dreadnought era. Beginning with Dreadnought, all of the fifty dreadnoughts, 'super-dreadnoughts' and battlecruisers that served the Royal Navy during this era are described and superbly illustrated with photographs and line drawings.

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The British Battleship: 1906-1946

The British Battleship: 1906-1946 Hardcover – October 15, 2015

Norman Friedman brings a new perspective to an ever-popular subject in The British Battleship: 1906-1946. With a unique ability to frame technologies within the context of politics, economics, and strategy, he offers unique insight into the development of the Royal Navy capital ships. With plans of the important classes commissioned from John Roberts and A D Baker III and a color section featuring the original Admiralty draughts, this book offers something to even the most knowledgeable enthusiast.

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British Battlecruisers 1905-1920

British Battlecruisers 1905-1920 Hardcover – December 15, 2016

The brainchild of Admiral Sir John Fisher, battlecruisers combined heavy guns and high speed in the largest hulls of their era. Conceived as "super-cruisers" whose job it was to hunt down and destroy commerce raiders, their size and gun-power led to their inclusion in the battlefleet as a fast squadron of capital ships. This book traces in detail the development of Fisher's original idea into the first battlecruiser Invincible of 1908, through to the "Splendid Cats" of the Lion class, and culminating in HMS Hood in 1920, the largest warship in the world for the next twenty years. The origins of the unusual "light battlecruisers" of the Courageous type are also covered.

The well-publicized problems of British battlecruisers are examined, including the latest research throwing light on the catastrophic loss of three of the ships at the Battle of Jutland. The developmental history is backed by chapters covering machinery, armament, and armor, with a full listing of important technical data. The comprehensive collection of illustrations includes the author's superb drawings and original Admiralty plans reproduced in full color. This revised and updated edition of the classic work first published in 1997 will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the most charismatic and controversial warships of the dreadnought era.

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British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel)

British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel) Paperback – November 19, 2013

Battles at Dogger Bank and Jutland revealed critical firepower, armor, and speed differences in Royal Navy and Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) Battlecruiser designs.

Fast-moving and formidably armed, the battlecruisers of the British and German navies first encountered one another in 1915 at Dogger Bank and in the following year clashed near Jutland in the biggest battleship action of all time. In the decade before World War I Britain and Germany were locked in a naval arms race that saw the advent of first the revolutionary dreadnought, the powerful, fast-moving battleship that rendered earlier designs obsolete, and then an entirely new kind of vessel - the battlecruiser. The brainchild of the visionary British admiral John 'Jacky' Fisher, the battlecruiser was designed to operate at long range in 'flying squadrons', using its superior speed and powerful armament to hunt, outmanoeuvre and destroy any opponent. The penalty paid to reach higher speeds was a relative lack of armour, but Fisher believed that 'speed equals protection'. By 1914 the British had ten battlecruisers in service and they proved their worth when two battlecruisers, Invincible and Inflexible, sank the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the Falklands in December 1914.

Based on a divergent design philosophy that emphasised protection over firepower, the Germans' battlecruisers numbered six by January 1915, when the rival battlecruisers first clashed at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. By this time the British battlecruisers had been given a new role - to locate the enemy fleet. Five British battlecruisers accompanied by other vessels intercepted and pursued a German force including three battlecruisers; although the battle was a British tactical victory with neither side losing any of its battlecruisers, the differences in the designs of the British and German ships were already apparent. The two sides responded very differently to this first clash; while the Germans improved their ammunition-handling procedures to lessen the risk of disabling explosions, the British drew the opposite lesson and stockpiled ammunition in an effort to improve their rate of fire, rendering their battlecruisers more vulnerable. The British also failed to improve the quality of their ammunition, which had often failed to penetrate the German ships' armour.

These differences were highlighted more starkly during the battle of Jutland in May 1916. Of the nine British battlecruisers committed, three were destroyed, all by their German counterparts. Five German battlecruisers were present, and of these, only one was sunk and the remainder damaged. The limitations of some of the British battlecruisers' fire-control systems, range-finders and ammunition quality were made clear; the Germans not only found the range more quickly, but spread their fire more effectively, and the German battlecruisers' superior protection meant that despite being severely mauled, all but one were able to evade the British fleet at the close of the battle. British communication was poor, with British crews relying on ship-to-ship flag and lamp signals even though wireless communication was available. Even so, both sides claimed victory and the controversy continues to this day.

Click here!






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