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HMS Renown

Renown Class BC

Renown 1926
Renown 1926
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Renown on completion joined the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron, Grand Fleet, and then served post-war with the Atlantic Fleet until detached to carry HRH the Prince of Wales on a tour of Canada and the USA from August to December 1919. She made a second tour, to Australasia, from March to October 1920. On her return she paid off into care and maintenance on 5 November 1920 and remained in reserve until starting a refit in 1921. She recommissioned again on 15 September 1921, then embarked on a third tour with the Prince of Wales, this time to India, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, returning home on 20 June 1922. On 28 July she was again reduced to reserve until July 1926 when a refit was begun. On 3 September 1926 Renown recommissioned for the Atlantic Fleet, but undertook another Royal Tour to Australasia in 1927. She remained in the Atlantic and Home Fleets until transferred to the Mediterranean in January 1936, not returning to England until May that year. She paid off for refit on 2 September 1936 and did not recommission until 28 August 1939.

At the outbreak of hostilities she joined the Home Fleet and carried out patrols in the Iceland-Faeroes area before being detached to join Force K on 2 October in the South Atlantic Command at Freetown, one of the Hunting Groups formed to find the German raiders then at large. After Admiral Graf Spee had been sighted in the Indian Ocean, Renown was sent to join Force H at the Cape to try to intercept the raider when she broke back into the South Atlantic. She was not found, but Renown, accompanied by the cruiser Sussex , intercepted the merchantman Watussi, (9,552 tons) on 2 December, whereupon the merchantman scuttled herself. She was then ordered back to the South Atlantic and, following the scuttling of Admiral Graf Spee, rejoined the Home Fleet. In February 1940 she assisted French ships in the interception of German merchant vessels which had broken out of Vigo, and in April took part in the Norwegian campaign, during which she came into action off Narvik on 9 April with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, scoring hits on the latter and causing damage to guns and fire control. She herself received two minor hits. In August 1940 Renown was transferred to Force H at Gibraltar as Flagship. In the western Mediterranean she supported operations to reinforce Malta with fighters and took part in the action off Cape Spartivento on 27 November, engaging Italian cruisers indecisively. On 9 February 1941 she participated in the bombardment of Genoa, then covered Malta convoys until being thrown into the hunt for Bismarck in May. In the aftermath of this operation she took part in the interception of one of the German supply ships, Gonzenheim, which was sunk by the cruiser Neptune on 4 June. After another Malta convoy in July, Renown returned home for a refit from August to November. On completion she rejoined the Home Fleet at Scapa on 22 November 1941, but on 14 April 1942, with Force W, she sailed to cover the Anglo-US operation to reinforce Malta's fighter defences by aircraft flown off the US carrier Wasp. She returned to Scapa on 27 April. This was repeated 9-15 May 1942. After a period based in Iceland in support of Atlantic convoys, she returned to Force H in October for the landings in North Africa. In February 1943 she returned home for a refit which was completed in June, then went to the Home Fleet. In December 1943 she was transferred to the Eastern Fleet and sailed for Colombo on the 23rd, arriving on 27 January 1944. She covered the attack on Sabang by Illustrious and the US carrier Saratoga on 19 April, the bombardment of the Andaman Islands 30 April-1 May, the attack by carrier aircraft on Surabaya on 17 May and the subsequent attack on Port Blair on 21 June. On 25 July she was part of the force that bombarded Sabang and later that year took part in carrier raids and bombardments of the Nicobar Islands 17-19 October. On the formation of the British Pacific Fleet, Renown remained with the newly renamed East Indies Fleet as part of the 3rd Battle Squadron. She was under refit at Durban from December 1944 to February 1945 and was recalled home in March, arriving at Scapa on 14 April. She rejoined the Home Fleet but reduced to reserve on 15 May and was partially disarmed in July when the forward six 4.5in turrets and all light AA were landed. In October 1946 she reduced to Category C reserve where she remained until placed on the disposal list on 1 June 1948. Transferred to BISCO for scrapping, she was allocated to Metal Industries for breaking up and was towed from Devonport to Faslane on 3 August 1948.

Renown in 1934
Renown in 1934
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Renown in 1935
Renown in 1935
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great pic - Renown astern of Hood around 1935
great pic - Renown astern of Hood around 1935
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Renown around 1936, with Rodney leading
Renown around 1936, with Rodney leading
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Renown entering Portsmouth harbour, 1936
Renown entering Portsmouth harbour, 1936
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Renown, pre the 1936-39 reconstruction
Renown, pre the 1936-39 reconstruction
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Renown, pre the 1936-39 reconstruction
Renown, pre the 1936-39 reconstruction
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Renown 1939-40
Renown 1939-40
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nice photo - Renown taken from Ark Royal, Force H 1940-41
nice photo - Renown taken from Ark Royal, Force H 1940-41
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Renown with USS Texas astern
Renown with USS Texas astern
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Renown with USS Texas astern - colourized version
Renown with USS Texas astern - colourized version
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a fine photo of Renown in the Indian Ocean in 1943
a fine photo of Renown in the Indian Ocean in 1943
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