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Hood
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: July 11th, 2020, 2:19 pm
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An excellent set of additions, this thread is very educational as well as good to look at.

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Yqueleden
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: July 14th, 2020, 7:26 am
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I haven't seen this thread before. Amazing! My congratulations.

Greetings

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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: August 18th, 2020, 3:20 am
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Thanks for your input guys!

After the disastrous rout in the Spanish-American War, the Spanish fleet was to being reconstructed thanks to the Naval Law of 1908 (Plan Maura-Ferrandiz), which included the construction a 3 battleships, 3 destroyers, 4 gunboats and 24 torpedo boats.

After a competition between Italian (Ansaldo), French (Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée) and british designs (SECN, a Spanish-British consortium that grouped Vickers, Armstrong-Withworth and John Brown), the British design was selected. It was a dreadnought of a very constricted size and displacement (in fact, it was the smallest dreadnought class ever built), with a main 12 inch battery of 4 twin turrets placed one forward, one aft, and two amidships "en echelon". The secondary battery was made by 20 4 inch guns in side casemates, and two Vickers 47 mm guns over the fore and aft turrets as modest AA artillery. The main belt armor was 8 inch thick (but only 4 inch on either end of the central citadel). The casemate guns were protected by a 6 inch thick belt. Each turret had 8 in sides and a 10 in thick barbette. The propulsion system consisted of four-shaft Parsons steam turbines and twelve coal-fired Yarrow boilers for a total of 15500 SHP giving a rather low top speed of only 19.5 knots.

[ img ]

The first battleship, España, gives her name to the class and was completed in October 1913, the next vessel was Alfonso XII in August 1915 and the final of the trio was Jaime I which was hampered by logical supply problems derived of WWI was not ready until December 1921. The 3 battleships formed the First Battle Squadron and were active during the Moroccan Rif War (1921-1926). During a bombardment mission off Melilla, España ran aground in Cape Tres Forcas and become a total loss (but the artillery was saved).

In 1931, after the overthrow of King Alfonso XIII and the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic, his namesake battleship was renamed España to erase links of the former ruling Borbon dinasty.

During the Great Depression both battleships were decommissioned to reduce costs, though Jaime I was recommissioned in 1933 and served as fleet flagship. In 1936 España was drydocked at Ferrol. when the coup of July 1936 initiated the SCW. España was seized by the rebel forces. In Jaime I, the sailors mutinied against the rebel officers and gained the ship for the Republic, forming a committee of anarchist nature.

After being quickly returned to service (only 12 out of 20 4 inch guns, but with the addition of 4 88 AA guns of german origin and 2 x 20 mm over the fore and aft turrets, also of german origin), España was used together with the cruiser Cervera and the destroyer Velasco to enforce the blockade of Republican ports in northern Spain, including Gijón, Santander, and Bilbao, frequently seizing vessels carrying supplies to the Republicans.

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España was lost on 30 April 1937 off Santander while on blockade duty, having struck a single mine that had been laid some days earlier by the Nationalist minelayer Jupiter. She remained afloat long enough for the destroyer Velasco to take off most of her crew and only 5 men were lost.

Jaime I was the core of the Spanish Republican Navy. The Republican fleet tried to block the Army of Africa in Morocco and in August 7th 1936, Jaime I shelled Algeciras, sinking the gunboat Eduardo Dato. In August 12th that year, Jaime I was attacked by two Junkers Ju-52 from the Condor Legion off Malaga, being slightly damaged by a hit in the bow.

The Republican Navy briefly deployed Jaime I, a pair of light cruisers, and six destroyers to the Bay of Biscay arriving Gijon on 25 September, but the squadron departed already on 13 October without any particular success, at the cost of lefting behind the Gibraltar strait unprotected, which allowed the complete passing of the francoist Army of Africa from Morocco to the peninsula. When the Republican ships departed Jaime I's left 4 secondary guns, which were later being installed on four armed bous.

After the fall of Malaga to rebel troops, the republican Navy placed Jaime I in Almeria as a floating battery, with the complete secondary battery and the addition of a twin 25 mm Hotchkiss ligth AA guns in the stern, and 2 twin 13.2 mm Hotchkiss machine guns in the opposite side of the amidships turrets. In May 21st 1937, the battleship was attacked by 5 italian Savoia SM-79, more than 60 220 pounder bombs were launched, attained 3 hits which caused damage beyond local repairs, so the vessel went to Cartagena.

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In June 17th that year, a huge internal explosion crippled the battleship (causes could be sabotage, lack of care while using torches in repairing plates near the powder rooms or lack of discipline with sailors smoking in the powder rooms) which sunk in the harbor, with heavy loss of live (between 170 and 300 deaths). A year after, the hull was refloated, but was beyond economical return to service, so the secondary battery was used to arm several coastal fortifications. Six of the main guns were landed, but only placed near Tarifa during the francoist rule, until being discarded in 1999.

Credits: Well, this is until now, my most complex project. I had done the drawings, but the brain behind me was Colombamike: he aids me with surprisingly good blueprints (1.400 scale :shock: ), his very trained eye even for minor details, and excellent documentation (from placing the armor belts and the light AA guns in Jaime I, to the variation of the armament due the dates, and so). Lots of thanks to him! Cheers.


Last edited by reytuerto on August 19th, 2020, 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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eswube
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: August 18th, 2020, 9:32 pm
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Good work!
But first drawing lacks credits. ;)


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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: August 28th, 2020, 2:33 am
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Good evening, guys:

The armed trawlers of the Spanish Civil War, the final chapter:

After the battle of Cape Machichaco, the badly damaged bou Gipuzkoa was docked at Bilbao and repaired. The superstructure was very modified, adding an armoured pilothouse. Unfortunatelly, repairings were done just in time to permit the escape of the vessel from Bilbao, going to Santoña. In this harbour, the Basque Navy was disbanded and Gipuzkoa was renamed Guipuzcoa as it begaun to be operated by the republican Navy. The bou was disarmed and begun to be used as a transport, mainly of refugees, both to foreigner harbours (french) and republican held territories within the Bay of Biscay. After the fall of Santander, Guipuzcoa fled to Gijon, the last republican in the North, and few weeks later this port was also conquered by the francoist forces, so the bou went to Bordeaux. In France, the vessel was docked, the machinery was repaired and she was rearmed with two 4 inch and two 47 mm Vickers guns, but she never left Bordeaux as the spanish owners got an order from the local courthouse forbiding the vessel going to sea, so Guipuzcoa remained moored until the end of the war.
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Another trawler from PYSBE handed over by the Basque Navy was Hispania. A french built steel vessel (by Société Provençale des Constructions Navales at La Ciotat), first named Alfonso XIII was renamed Hispania in 1931. In 1936 was confiscated and armed first with a 3 inch gun, later with a 4 inch gun and renamed Araba.
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Hampered by several problems in the machinery, she was docked at Bilbao and recived an extensive modernization including a new armoured bridge. Unfortunatelly, the bou was unable to escape when Bilbao fell to the francoist army, so it was sunk in her mooring by her crew. A month later, the nationalist refloated her and was towed to Ferrol when she was put in service again as the coastguard vessel Alava, armed with a pair of german made 88 mm guns fore and aft, two 47 mm Vickers guns amidships, and a 13.2 Breda AA machine gun. When she begun her operations, the war in the North was over, and the main naval theater was in the Mediterranean, so together with Galerna, were the most powerful francoist vessels at the Bay of Biscay.
[ img ]
Alava remained in tedious patrol work in Northen waters until the end of the war. She returned to fishery missions until paid off in 1965.
Credits: Another pair of drawings made with Colombamike help! Thanks a lot! Cheers.


Last edited by reytuerto on September 1st, 2020, 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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eswube
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: August 28th, 2020, 10:14 am
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Very interesting. Keep up the good work!


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Hood
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: August 29th, 2020, 10:04 am
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Great additions to this thread, still learning a lot from the ships presented here.

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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: September 1st, 2020, 1:36 am
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Thanks, guys!
Do you know something? I am learning a lot too! A year ago or so, I had much more voids (specially in the maritime part of the war) about the SCW than now!


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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: September 7th, 2020, 9:52 pm
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Good evening, gentlemen:

A pair of little Trasmediterránea liners of a very interesting life before, during and after de Spanish Civil War: Ciudad de Valencia and Ciudad de Alicante:

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The vessels were built at Union Naval de Levante, at Valencia in 1931 for the routes between the cities of Barcelona and Valencia, and the Balearic Islands. The coup d´etat of July 18th 1936 caught Ciudad de Valencia at Tenerife (Canary Islands) and Ciudad de Alicante at Villa Sanjurjo (Spanish Morocco) so both vessels were sized by the rebels. In October 1936 both ships were armed at the factory of Matagorda (Cadiz) as auxiliary cruisers with the superstructures painted in gray and with the patognomonic black band in the funnel, characteristic of all rebel vessels: Ciudad de Valencia war armed with a 120 mm gun, and a pair or 105 mm AA gun (from Cadiz's the AA defense battery), two 47 mm Vickers guns and a pair of 13.2 mm Breda MG (some sources said only one). Ciudad de Alicante was equiped with a 120 mm gun, two 102 mm gun from the gunboat Canalejas, a 47 mm gun and a Breda 13.2 mm MG:

[ img ]

While Ciudad de Alicante sailed with troops to reinforce the garrisons in Spanish Guinea in late 1936 securing this colony for the rebels, Ciudad de Valencia was dispatched almost immediately to the Northen waters, as the rebel fleet was insufficient (one old battleship, one 203 cruiser, one 152 mm cruiser, one 4 funneled destroyer, one big armed trawler and several dozens of lesser trawlers with makeshift equipment) to made an effective blockade of the republican harbours in the Bay of Biscay.

In February 1937 Ciudad de Valencia captured the bulk carrier Fernando Ybarra and in March was part (being in station off Santander) of the trap mounted for the capture of the motor vessel Mar Cantabrico (qv) with an important load of weapons from Mexico and the United States. Later in that month, captured the steamer Eretza Mendi also in the Bay of Biscay area.

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In May, Ciudad de Valencia almost captured the oiler Campoamor, forcing the tanker going Bordeaux instead Santander (several days after, a francoist bording party took the vessel and went to Pasajes, a Basque port near the border recently captured by the nationalists). In the meantime, Ciudad de Alicante was at the Mediterranean Sea and in July captured the Greek oiler Nausicaa, and in September helped in the capture of the packet ships J.J. Sister and Jaime II.

After the fell of the republican territories at the Bay of Biscay,several dozens of Spanish vessels under republican control (most of them Basque or Cantabric ships) flew to several north European harbours, mainly in British islands, Belgium and France. In September 1938, knowing that the republican government was planning the concentration of all the merchant fleet in Russian Baltic harbours, the francoist navy decided to sent two corsair ships to the North Sea: Both Ciudad de Valencia and Ciudad de Alicante were prepared for that sortie at Ferrol and had the superstructures painted in beige, with a white flotation line, were renamed Nadir the former and Noaik the later, with a false Norwegian flag and the homeport of Bartha.

[ img ]

In November 1938, Ciudad de Valencia captured the ore ship Rio Miera with a load of barley from Russia, and a couple of days later, sunk with gunfire the steamer Cantabria off Norfolk, after several hours of active chase and just out British jurisdictional waters.

[ img ]

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Finally, the auxiliary cruiser made a sortie into the Baltic, and the steamer Guernica, trying to avoid the capture ran aground in the Swedish coast and become a total loss. After these actions, all the republican navigation in Northen waters was paralyzed until the end of the war in April 1939.

After the war, both vessels were handed over to Trasmediterranea until being paid off in the mid 1970s, after an intense career both in war and peace.

Credits: Of course, Colombamike aid me from the inception of these drawings! Lots of thanks! Cheers.


Last edited by reytuerto on September 10th, 2020, 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Novice
Post subject: Re: Spanish Civil War vesselsPosted: September 8th, 2020, 7:10 pm
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Excellent drawings of all vessels my friend :)

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