HMS Revenge (BB-1916 (1940-mod))

HMSAS Zimbabwe (BB-1916 (1939-mod))


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The Royal Sovereign Class battleships were the Iron Duke with a 15" main armament. As ordered the Royal Sovereign Class were to be a class of 7 ships but two were redesigned as battlecruisers (see Renown). Less graceful and speedy than the Queen class they were massive and powerful ships for their time.

They were oil fired throughout, although originally designed for coal, on the grounds that oil might be in short supply during wartime. HMS Ramillies was the first large ship to be built with anti-torpedo bulges. The Royal Sovereign Class were the last of the Royal Navy battleships to be rebuilt having been taken in hand in late 1938 through early 1939 so completion dates were 1940-41. The Royal navy ships kept their original engines which sped up their reconstructions by up to six months but left them at the 21 knot range of speed. Back in service they were paired with Albatross class escort carriers and put on convoy escort duties. This was necessary as the Germanic States battle-raiders were causing havoc through the North and South Atlantics, and Indian Oceans. The Australis Navy was given the task of clearing the Indian Ocean and did so with the last raider KM Seydlitz being sunk by the battlecruiser Australis. Royal Navy and Southern African hunting groups dealt with the Atlantics and either sunk or forced the Germanic States ships back to port (see Battle of Tristan da Cunha).

In 1929 with the completion of Rodney the Resolution was transferred to the Southern African Navy, where she served out the rest of her service life. Being in Africa meant that Resolution was rebuilt out of synch with her sisterships and was rebuilt under Southern African Navy policies rather than Royal Navy ones. This gave two very distinct looks between the African and Royal Navy ships as seen by their side views.

HMS Royal Oak in 1938 just before being taken in hand for rebuilding. Note twin 4" under funnel.


Displacement 28,000 tons std, 32,500 tons full load
Length 624 ft
Breadth 88.5 ft (hull)
Draught 28 ft
Machinery 4 shaft geared turbines, 70,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 4500 at 16 knots
Armour 13" side, 4.5" deck, 13" turrets
Armament Royal Navy

8 x 15" (4x2)

16 x 5.25" (8x2)

40 x 2pd (5x8)

8 x 40mm (8x1)

Southern African

8 x 15" (4x2)

16 x 4.5" (8x2)

40 x 2pd (5x8)

12 x 20mm (4x2 4x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1200
Notes HMS Revenge 03/16

HMS Royal Sovereign 05/16

HMS Royal Oak 05/16

HMSAS Zimbabwe (ex Resolution) 12/16

HMS Ramillies 09/17


Forward turrets of R class battleship. Below the Royal Sovereign Class ships of the 1920's.


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