Battleship Arkhangelsk

Russian Battleship Arkhangelsk of the British Royal Sovereign class.
History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model.

battleship Arkhangelsk in June 1944
The battleship Arkhangelsk in June 1944, shortly after commissioning in the Soviet navy.

Type: Russian battleship of British Royal Sovereign class.


The moment Italy gave up in Sept 1943 the Russians right away laid claim to 1/3 of the Italian navy as reparations for the destruction created by Italian ships in the Black Sea. However, the Allies had limited option with no motivation to make this agreement, they sacrificed by relocating several of their own vessels on loan, until such moment as the captured Italian ships could be apportioned.

As elements of this settlement the British made available the aged battleship Royal Sovereign, which had been launched in 1915, together with four submarines (U and S class) and nine ex-US Flush-decker destroyers.

The Royal Sovereign class (or short ‘R’-class) was the last British battleships built during World War One. This class was originally to have comprised eight ships, but only five were actually completed: Resolution, Revenge, Royal Oak, Ramillies and Royal Sovereign.
Their dimensions were slightly smaller than the Queen Elizabeth class, but the armor distribution was better, while the main armament of eight 15in (381 mm) in four twin turrets was the same.

These five ships were refitted but not modernized in the inter-war years and during WW2 they undertook second-line, but nevertheless important duties such as protecting convoys against attacks by German surface raiders.

The only war loss was Royal Oak, which was sunk in Scapa Flow by U-boat U-47 on October 14, 1939. Resolution was torpedoed by a French submarine in 1940 and Ramillies by a Japanese midget-submarine in 1942, but both were repaired and returned to service. Ramillies was used for shore bombardment during the Allied landings in Normandy and south of France.

Battleship Royal Sovereign
Battleship Royal Sovereign after handed over to the Soviet navy as Arkhangelsk.
The old battleship Royal Sovereign had previously been provided with fresh anti-aircraft guns and radar equipment, however she was unwanted to Royal Navy demands aside from shore bombardment duties. A Russian crew found its way to the United Kingdom at the beginning of 1944 and commissioned the battleship officially as the Arkhangelsk on May 30, 1944. She steamed in the direction of Kola Inlet with Arctic convoy JW59 in August 1944 and stayed in the Arctic without having fired just one shell for the remainder of WW2.

Like a strange sidelight on the Russian nature at these days, the moment she had been gone back in February 1949 it had been discovered that each and every weapon of the ship was still loaded, from 15-inch heavy artillery right down to Two-Pounder AA-guns. Furthermore, the mess decks had been covered within human excrement.

User: British Royal Navy, Russian (Soviet) navy.

Animated 3D model of Battleship Revenge of Royal Sovereign class

Specification battleship Arkhangelsk


Displacement 29,150 tons
Displacement (full loaded) 32,500 tons
Length (over all) 620 ft 6 in (190.95 m)
Beam 101 ft 6 in (30.94 m)
Draught 28.6 ft (9.76 m)
Boiler 18 boilers
Propulsion 4-shaft Parsons turbines
Power 40,000 hp
Bunkerage ? (3,630 tons oil for 10% bigger Queen-Elizabeth class with double range)
Speed 23 kts
Range 4,200 nm at 10 kts
Complement 1,146


Main Armament 8 x 15-in (381-mm) guns in 4 turrets
Secondary Armament 12 x 6-in (152mm) in single turrets
Anti-Aircraft guns 4 x twin-4-in (102mm), 8 x quadruble 2-pdr (40mm), 17 x single 20-mm AA guns
Torpedo tubes original 4 x 21-in (533mm)
Anti-Submarine weapons -
Mines -
Aircrafts -

Armor Protection:

Side (belt) 4 - 13 in (102-330 mm)
Main deck 3/43 - 2 1/2 in (20-64 mm)
Armoured deck-
Main turrets 11 - 13 in (280-330 mm)
Secondary turrets?
Barbetts 4 - 10 in (100-250 mm)
Conning towers 6 - 11 in (152-280 mm)

Service Statistics:

Completed Resolution, Revenge, Royal Oak and Royal Sovereign in 1916, Ramilles in 1917
Remaining Royal Oak sunk October 14, 1939. Royal Sovereign transferred to Soviet navy as Arkhangelsk on May 30, 1944. All surviving ships scrapped in the late 1940s.

References and literature

Kriegsschiffe von 1900 bis heute – Technik und Einsatz (Buch und Zeit Verlagsgesellschaft)
The Illustrated Directory of Warships from 1860 to the present day (David Miller)
Flotten des 2. Weltkrieges (Antony Preston)

for sharing:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top