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Sister ships: RAMILLIES, RESOLUTION, REVENGE (ex-RENOWN) and ROYAL OAK; RENOWN, REPULSE and RESISTANCE cancelled
Pennant Number: 05
Notes: Although later known as the ROYAL SOVEREIGN class, this class was laid down as the REVENGE class. They were a cheaper design than the QUEEN ELIZABETHs, with a speed of 21.5 knots and were to revert to a mix of coal and oil fuel. In January, 1915, the design was altered to oil fuel only and shp was increased from 31,000 to 40,000 to increase speed to 23 knots. Eight ships were planned, but on 26 August 1914, work stopped on all new capital ships. The new First Sea Lord, Admiral Fisher, succeeded in getting contracts for two suspended with a view to redesigning them as battlecruisers; these became the RENOWN class. Although smaller than the QUEEN ELIZABETHs, their armor was better disposed. They were good gun platforms, but tended to heel excessively when turning. The class were fitted with the latest improvements, including director control for the 6" guns as well as the main armament, although the secondary directors were not fitted until March-April, 1917. ROYAL SOVEREIGN was commissioned in May, 1916 to the First Battle Squadron, but did not participate at Jutland. Transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in 1919. By late 1928, 4-4" QF guns had been added to her AA armament, with the two forecastle deck 6" guns being removed. Torpedo tubes were reduced to two in 1931, and the remaining two were removed in 1938. By 1939, the 4" guns had been increased to eight (in four twin mounts), and two 8-barreled "pom-poms" (20mm AA guns) were added. ROYAL SOVEREIGN served with the Home Fleet in 1939; Atlantic escort duties in 1940-41; refitted in the United States in 1942-43, returned to duty with Home Fleet. Transferred to the Soviet Union on 30 May 1944 (under terms of the Italian surrender in 1943) and renamed ARKHANGELSK; escorted Convoy JW.59 and arrived at Kola Inlet on 24 August 1944; thereafter remained completely inactive in the Arctic. Returned to the Royal Navy at Inverkeithing on 18 May 1949 and sold for scrapping.