HMS Royal Sovereign (05)

HMS Royal Sovereign (05)

HMS "Royal Sovereign" (pennant number 05), launched in May 1915, was a "Revenge"-class (also known as "Royal Sovereign" and "R"-class) battleship of the Royal Navy displacing 27,500 tons and armed with eight 381 mm (15 in) guns in four twin turrents.

She did not enter service before the Battle of Jutland in First World War and had a relatively quiet Second World War service.

econd World War

At the outset of war in September 1939, "Royal Sovereign" was with the Home Fleet. By mid 1940, she had moved to the Mediterranean Fleet, where she was present at the Battle of Punta Stilo on July 18, but her slow speed prevented Cunningham forcing Italian battleships "Giulio Cesare" and "Conte di Cavour" to a decisive fight.

She performed Atlantic convoy escort duty during 1940-41. In October 1942, "Royal Sovereign" was briefly assigned to the Eastern Fleet. Initially based at Trincomalee, Ceylon, she was withdrawn, together with the other older battleships of the fleet ("Ramillies", "Resolution" and "Revenge"), to Kilindini, Kenya. These warships had been deemed too obsolete to challenge the Japanese Navy's warships or to be risked against naval air power.

During 1942–43, "Royal Sovereign" underwent a refit in the United States.

On 30 May 1944 she was transferred on loan to the Soviet Navy as "Arkhangelsk" in lieu of war reparations from Italy. A Soviet crew commissioned the "Arkhangelsk" on 30 May 1944 and she sailed with convoy JW.59 on 24 August 1944. The "Arkhangelsk" remained inactive in the Arctic for the remainder of the war and she was returned to the Royal Navy on 4 February 1949. She arrived at Inverkeithing on the 18 May 1949 to be scrapped.

Part of her gun turret mechanism was later reused in the convert|250|ft|m|0|sing=on "Mark I" radio telescope at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire built in 1955-57.

ee also

See HMS "Royal Sovereign" for other ships of this name.


* Meister, Jurg."Soviet Warships of the Second World War". London: Macdonald and Janes, 1977. ISBN 0-356-08402-7.

External links

* [ Maritimequest HMS Royal Sovereign Photo Gallery]
* [ Photos of Russian Northern Fleet during WWII]
* [ Article in World War II magazine] describing Churchill's plan to convert HMS Royal Sovereign and other R-class battleships into "armoured turtles" to invade the Baltic Sea in 1940.

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