Allied Warships

HMS Repulse (34)

Battlecruiser of the Renown class

HMS Repulse prewar

NavyThe Royal Navy
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered29 Dec 1914 
Laid down25 Jan 1915 
Launched8 Jan 1916 
Commissioned18 Aug 1916 
Lost10 Dec 1941 
Loss position3° 34'N, 104° 26'E

HMS Repulse joined the Grand Fleet following post-trials modifications and operated in the North Sea for the remainder of World War I. The light protection of this class of two battlecruisers was a considerable cause for concern and, soon after the Armistice, Repulse received an extensive refit. This significantly increased her armor, and her displacement, which rose some six-thousand tons. The work was completed in 1922, after which the ship began a peacetime career of fleet operations and long-distance cruises. In 1933-36, Repulse was again modernized, emerging with improved deck armor, a hangar and catapult for aircraft, and a greatly increased anti-aircraft gun battery. She operated with the Home Fleet in the North Sea and Atlantic during the first two years of the Second World War, taking part in the pursuit of the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941. Later in the year she was sent to the Far East, accompanying the new battleship HMS Prince of Wales. The two ships arrived at Singapore just before Japan began the Pacific War. As soon as hostilities commenced, both steamed northwards to intercept a reported invasion force. While returning to Singapore on 10 December 1941, Repulse and Prince of Wales were attacked by Japanese high-level bombers and torpedo planes. Repulse (Capt. Sir William George Tennant, CB, RN) was moderately damaged by bombs early in the action and was later hit by several torpedoes. After receiving this heavy underwater damage, she sank rapidly in position 03º34'N, 104º26'E, followed less than an hour later by the Prince of Wales.


Commands listed for HMS Repulse (34)

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1Capt. Ernest John Spooner, DSO, RN19 Dec 193818 Jun 1940
2Capt. Sir William George Tennant, RN18 Jun 194010 Dec 1941

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Notable events involving Repulse include:

Photograph taken by Charles James Sadler, RCNVR, first class stoker, official number V-4963

Media links

British Battleships, 1919-1945, Revised Edition

R. A. Burt

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