Repulse Class (1916) BC

The two ships of the Repulse Class were a further class of battlecruiser. Although the value of a fast ship was proved during the actions at the Falkland Islands and Heligoland Bight. The vulnerability of reduced armour at Jutland, was not realised until after they had been launched. 

The design requirements of these ships were that they be fast but have a limited draught that could operate in the Baltic in support of amphibious landings on the north coast of Germany.  

Their main armament was reduced to six guns. The secondary armament reduced to 15 x 4in guns mounted in triple turrets, but  which would be limited in effectiveness against destroyers of the day.

Armour protection was limited especially their side armour. But they were the first ships to have anti-torpedo bulges designed as an integral part of the hull.

Deck armour was improved over earlier classes and anti-flash arrangements built into the magazines after Jutland. they had the most powerful propulsion machinery then fitted to a warship, having 42 boilers in six boiler rooms.

Like the Queen Elizabeth Class (1915) and Royal Sovereign Class (1916), they underwent a series of modifications between the Wars.




Flying off platform fitted to both ships on B and X turrets. Anti-torpedo bulges modified. Improved side and deck armour fitted. 
8 x 21in torpedo tubes added above water.
2 x 3in and 2 x 4in low angle guns replaced by 4 x 4in HA guns.


Both ship were reconstructed, but that done on Renown was more extensive than the work done on Repulse. So by WW2 they were quite different ships.

Was reconstructed 1933-36. 
Deck armour improved, flying off platform removed, and catapult fitted.
The 4in guns were rearranged, 2pdr pom-pom AA guns added and 0.5in machine guns added. 
Submerged torpedo tubes removed.
Some changes made to the bridge and superstructure.

This reconstruction took place 1936-39 and was similar to the work done on HMS Warspite
15in guns elevation increased to 30.
4in guns removed and replaced with 4.5in guns;
new anti-aircraft armament added.
Submerged torpedo tubes removed.
Deck armour increased.
New engines and boilers fitted.
Bridge and superstructure completely rebuilt.

World War 2

As the war progressed both ships had more anti-aircraft guns added, and radar fitted.


- Class Ship
- Specifications as built
- Modifications 1917-24
- Modifications 1930-39
- Modifications WW2
- Specifications 1941
- Ships
- Plans/Schematics
- Pictures

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This page last edited - 21 January, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.