1937 photo British battleship Royal Oak during Spanish Civil War

$20.00 CAD

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Press photo of battleship with description (in French) on paper attached to photo:

Here is the English ship of the line the “ROYAL OAK” that barely escaped a bombardment by Spanish planes


Stamp on back: 'PHOTOS N.Y.T - WIDE WORLD PHOTOS – 37 Rue Caumartin PARIS’.

Description tag glued to back of photo.

Crease UL corner, some color browning right side, few marks UR corner. Paper of tag yellowed.

13 x 18 cm.

(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)


HMS Royal Oak was one of five Revenge-class battleships built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Launched in 1914 and completed in 1916, Royal Oak first saw combat at the Battle of Jutland as part of the Grand Fleet. In peacetime, she served in the Atlantic, Home and Mediterranean fleets, more than once coming under accidental attack. The ship drew worldwide attention in 1928 when her senior officers were controversially court-martialled. Attempts to modernise Royal Oak throughout her 25-year career could not fix her fundamental lack of speed and by the start of the Second World War, she was no longer suitable to front-line duty.

On 14 October 1939, Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-47. Of Royal Oak's complement of 1,234 men and boys, 833 were killed that night or died later of their wounds.

During the Spanish Civil War, Royal Oak was tasked with conducting 'non-intervention patrols' around the Iberian Peninsula. On such a patrol and steaming some 30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 mi) east of Gibraltar on 2 February 1937, she came under aerial attack by three aircraft of the Republican forces. They dropped three bombs (two of which exploded) within 3 cables (555 m) of the starboard bow, though causing no damage] The British chargé d'affaires protested about the incident to the Republican Government, which admitted its error and apologised for the attack.