His Majesty's Ships - H.M.S. Renown

The War Illustrated, Volume 10, No. 237, Page 202, July 19, 1946.

Motto: “Guardian of Ancient Renown.”

A ship of 32,000 tons, launched on the Clyde in 1916, the Renown is the only remaining battle cruiser in the Royal Navy. She has a main armament of six 15-inch guns. From 1920 to 1922 the Renown was employed on special service, taking the Prince of Wales on official visits to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, India and Japan. Five years later our present King and Queen, then Duke and Duchess of York, went to Australia in her.

In 1936-39 the ship was completely rebuilt and re-engined at a cost of over £3,000,000, equal to the original expense of construction. Her first action after recommissioning was with the German battleship Scharnhorst and cruiser Admiral Hipper, off Northern Norway, in April 1940. After the Scharnhorst had been hit the enemy vessels managed to break off the engagement under cover of heavy weather. Not long afterwards the Renown became the flagship of Sir James Somerville in the Western Mediterranean. After engaging two Italian battleships at long range off Sardinia, she took part in the bombardment of Genoa. In May 1941 she was one of the ships engaged in rounding up the German battleship Bismarck.

It was in the Renown that Mr. Churchill returned from the United States in 1943. A little later she joined the Eastern Fleet, but was back in home waters in 1945. The first meeting with German naval representatives to arrange for the surrender of enemy forces in Norway was held in the Renown at Rosyth on May 7, 1945; and on August 2 following, the King received President Truman on board her at Plymouth. Few ships have had so many associations with distinguished personages.

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