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Photo identification - (probably) HMS Renown


Vlad

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Hi all,

 

I recently came across the photos below, claimed to be of HMS Repulse damaged during the sinking of Force Z. Now, that's clearly hogwash of the highest order as there are major identifying features (camouflage, hangar) amiss.

 

I initially went off on a wild goose chase assuming these pictures were photoshopped, however I have now edited this post to reflect the answers in this thread.

 

I can, despite the low quality of the picture, identify some features that would indicate this is HMS Renown sometime in the 1920s or early 1930s. There is no large rangefinder hanging off the back of A turret, so it's not Repulse post-1922. The amidships 4" triple is still there, so if it's Renown it must be before 1933 when this was removed to make way for a catapult. Finally, the box/house structure adjacent to the funnels is consistent with those carried by Renown during royal yacht duties in 1921-22 and 1927.

 

I would really like to have some help confirming the authenticity and origin of these pictures.

 

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Edited by Vlad
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Plausible, though I find it weird that the smoke is enveloping the bridge. Something about it looked fake or pasted on to me, but now I'm not sure, could just be the old photo quality.

 

I actually forgot, there was a second image (now in original post), with consistent smoke formations but from even further away so harder to discern anything useful.

Edited by Vlad
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It's in the Atlantic fleet dark grey so that conclusively rules out a late WW1 shot I think? As you say definitely a pre- mid-30s shot based on the midships 4-inch position. On just seeing the first shot I was wondering if the white might just be dispersing gun smoke immediately following the firing of A turret, but there's clearly a separate source right aft and it's extremely unlikely such a similar pattern of smoke would recur in the second picture taken from a different distance, so (assuming it hasn't been doctored) it must be artificial smoke. I agree that it's some kind of exercise. Following the gas attacks in the trenches did the inter-war RN run gas attack drills at sea?

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1 hour ago, Vulcanicity said:

It's in the Atlantic fleet dark grey so that conclusively rules out a late WW1 shot I think? As you say definitely a pre- mid-30s shot based on the midships 4-inch position. On just seeing the first shot I was wondering if the white might just be dispersing gun smoke immediately following the firing of A turret, but there's clearly a separate source right aft and it's extremely unlikely such a similar pattern of smoke would recur in the second picture taken from a different distance, so (assuming it hasn't been doctored) it must be artificial smoke. I agree that it's some kind of exercise. Following the gas attacks in the trenches did the inter-war RN run gas attack drills at sea?

 

Interestingly enough, the weird smoke sources at the bow and stern were among the things making me think it was doctored, but I guess a chemical barrel can be placed anywhere and the pictures aren't clear enough to see it or any crew activating it.

 

One more, perhaps tenuous detail, is the apparent absence of the foremast topgallant. This would place the ship post-1928. The Atlantic fleet dark grey that you point out is consistent with Renown being the flagship of said force while Hood was refitting in 1929-1931.

 

Well, perhaps I should apologise for causing a stir and edit the opening post, if indeed evidence points to the pictures being genuine. If that's the case, then they're a rare and fascinating find (to me at least).

 

I can also see how them being mislabelled as Repulse, or just found by someone uninitiated, could be misconstrued as the ship being on fire or otherwise heavily damaged. That combined with the aerial angles could lead someone down the wrong path to assuming the pictures were taken the only time one of the class suffered catastrophic air attack (even if you'd have to be rather blind to a number of very clear identifying features to conclude that).

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Gidday, I noticed the midships 4-inch mount too. There appears to be a second row of scuttles in the hull under it. I thought Repulse had an extra belt of 9-inch armour added that Renown didn't, which could cover the lower level of scuttles, but I don't know when it was fitted. Hence possibly HMS Renown? Either way they're interesting photos.

Regards, Jeff.

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10 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday, I noticed the midships 4-inch mount too. There appears to be a second row of scuttles in the hull under it. I thought Repulse had an extra belt of 9-inch armour added that Renown didn't, which could cover the lower level of scuttles, but I don't know when it was fitted. Hence possibly HMS Renown? Either way they're interesting photos.

Regards, Jeff.

 

If you can see two rows of scuttles, then that indeed confirms Renown. I also think I can see a slight light area above the boot stripe, which could be the angled top edge of Renown's torpedo bulge, again distinct from Repulse.

 

Thank you all for your help, I have now edited the opening post.

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