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Another auxiliary cruiser: Ciudad de Palma. Built in Monfalcone in 1930 as Principe Alfonso for Trasmediterranea. In 1931 as the Spanish Monarchy was replaced by the Republic, the ship was renamed as Ciudad de Palma. It was a fast (17 kts) motor vessel with 2 B&W diesel engines designed for the profitable route between Barcelona and Balearic islands (Mallorca), and was almost identical to the vessel Ciudad de Barcelona (also Italian made, qv).
The coup d´etat of July 18th 1936 surprised Ciudad de Palma at Mallorca, so she was seized by the rebel forces. In October she was armed as an auxiliary cruiser in La Spezia with two 120 mm guns side by side amidships, two 76 mm guns fore and aft, and a 20 mm machine gun of German origin over the bridge, and was almost immediately dispatched to the Bay of Biscay, flying several times the ensign of Rear Admiral Castro Arizcún, commanding officer of the blockade fleet (mainly composed of auxiliary cruisers and armed trawlers).
In April 1937, under command of Cmdr. Nuñez Iglesias and making a clever use of the wireless telegraph, Ciudad de Palma captured the cargo vessels Aguirre Mendi and Unbe Mendi, the later was a Spanish (Euskalduna, at Bilbao) built version of the Eretza Mendi (qv) but slightly longer and heavier.
After the conquest of the republican territories in the North, the Ciudad de Palma was disarmed and converted into a hospital ship, which was a fortunately decision because in July the fierce battle of the Ebro begun and lasted until November, with a terrible cost in lives and in wounded. Ciudad de Palma was at Bilbao and was moving the wounded arriving to that Basque harbour from the frontline, to several hospitals in various cities in the Bay of Biscay.
After the war, she was returned to Trasmediterranea and remained an active until being paid off in 1967.
Credits: These drawings were possible thanks to Colombamike´s unrestricted aid. Lots of thanks to you! Cheers!