HMS Revenge (06) was the lead ship of the Revenge-class of dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy, the ninth to bear the name. She was launched during World War I in 1915. Though the class is often referred to as the Royal Sovereign-class, official documents of 1914–1918 refer to the class as the Revenge-class. She was commissioned in 1916, just before the Battle of Jutland. During World War II, the Revenge was sunk during the Battle of the Blockade, when it interposed itself between the Rodney and several torpedoes launched by aircraft from the German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin. Revenge was hit six times, tearing a hole in her side and causing her to capsize rapidly. She sunk quickly, taking her crew with her.
Deployment[edit | edit source]
First World War[edit | edit source]
Revenge was present at the Battle of Jutland, where she was under the command of Captain E. B. Kiddle, and served in the powerful 1st Battle Squadron, second in line behind Marlborough flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil Burney. During the ensuing battle, Marlborough was torpedoed, which forced Burney to transfer his flag to Revenge. Revenge was engaged with the enemy for an hour and a half, suffering no casualties or battle damage.
The day before the Grand Fleet departed their base to confront the surrendering German High Seas Fleet in Operation ZZ, a visit was made by senior members of the British Royal Family: King George V, Queen Mary and Edward, Prince of Wales. The King and his son visited USS New York, HMS Lion (flagship of the Commander-in-Chief David Beatty when he commanded the battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland), and Revenge, flagship of the Second-in-Command. Queen Mary had tea in Revenge.
Interwar years[edit | edit source]
In 1919, at HMNB Scapa Flow, Admiral Ludwig von Reuter issued the order to the now interned German High Seas Fleet to scuttle the entire fleet of 74 ships to prevent their use by the victorious Allies. After the incident, von Reuter was brought to the quarterdeck of Revenge, flagship of Vice-Admiral Sydney Fremantle and accused of breaching naval honour. Von Reuter replied to the accusation, "I am convinced that any English naval officer, placed as I was, would have acted in the same way." No charges were brought against him.
In January 1920, the 1st Battle Squadron was detached to the Mediterranean due to crises in the region. While in the area, Revenge supported Greek forces and remained in the Black Sea, due to concerns about the Russian Civil War until July, when she returned to the British Atlantic Fleet.
In 1922, Revenge, with her sister ships Ramillies, Resolution and Royal Sovereign, was again sent to the Mediterranean due to further crises, in no small part due to the forced abdication of King Constantine I of Greece. Revenge was stationed at Constantinople and the Dardanelles throughout her deployment to that region. She rejoined the Atlantic Fleet the following year.
In 1928 she was paid off for refit at Devonport Dockyard. She was recommissioned after the refit in March 1929 into the British Mediterranean Fleet. On 16 July 1935, Revenge was part of the Naval Review of 160 warships at Spithead in celebration of the Silver Jubilee of George V. Later in 1935 she was stationed at Alexandria due to potential dangers posed by the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
In 1936 she was paid off for yet another refit. She was recommissioned a year later into the 2nd Battle Squadron of the immense Grand Fleet. On 9 August 1939 she was part of another Fleet Review, Royal Navy that was observed by King George VI.
Second World War[edit | edit source]
On October 5th 1939, the very day she was attached to the North Atlantic Escort Force, she departed from home shores to head for Canada, carrying valuable gold bullion. During one stop in Halifax on May 12th 1940, she accidentally rammed and sank the Canadian Battle-class trawler HMCS Ypres, although without loss of life.
Revenge was assigned to the blockade of German ports in mid-1940. On November 7th 1940, Revenge participated in the Battle of the Blockade, where she interposed herself between between Rodney and several torpedoes. Revenge was sunk with heavy casualties.