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An early 20th century novelty steel cigar cutter modelled as a ship’s wheel and supported on a circular base. The wheel is inscribed: H.M.S. Repulse 1930-31

English, circa 1930


Height (to top of wheel): 13cm / 5”
Diameter (of base): 7.5cm / 3”

H.M.S. Repulse was one of two Royal Navy battle cruisers. Repulse and her sister ship Renown were the world’s fastest battleships upon completion. Repulse was built in 1916 and saw action during the First World War. She was delivered to the Royal Navy in 1916 a few months after the battle of Jutland. Repulse saw combat in the second battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917. In the 1920s Repulse was reconstructed to increase her armour protection and in the 1930s she underwent a more thorough reconstruction. At the beginning of the Second World War Repulse was part of the Home Fleet and again saw active service hunting German raiders and blockade runners. She participated in the Norwegian Campaign in 1940 and was one of the ships ordered to search for the Bismarck in the Atlantic in 1941. In late 1941 Repulse was transferred to the East Indies Command. On the 10th December 1941 Repulse and her consort, the battleship Prince of Wales, were sunk by Japanese bombers in the South China Sea when they attempted to intercept the landings in British Malaya. Repulse was hit by four or five torpedoes in rapid succession. The gunners onboard Repulse shot down two Japanese planes and damaged eight more during the action. Sadly the torpedo damage proved fatal and she capsized and sunk with the loss of 508 men. The destroyers Electra and Vampire rescued the survivors, including Captain William Tennant who commanded Repulse.

H.M.S. Repulse Steel Cigar Cutter, c.1930

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