READ THIS BEFORE JUDGING MY SHIP
The year was 1939. In order to protect there convoys which are delivering vital supplies to the Mexican empires colonies in South America, the Navy design bureau began designing brand new class of destroyer escorts, made to protect the Mexican trade fleet from the menace of Argentinian patrol boats and frigates. Work began on the hull design and construction almost immediately, with the weaponry and powerplant following several months later.
As the Mexican navy worked on the designs, they realized that as far as modern ship building experience went, they had almost none. In addition, there were no guns suitable for a DE. With trade losses mounting by the month, the Mexican government contacted several foreign world powers, hoping to get there hands on weapon designs. As it turned out, many of them were too busy fighting their own war to devote resources to Mexico, and all trade offers were turned down. In a desperate bid, The navy design bureau contacted a patch of Austrian resistance fighters, hoping that they could steal tech from the Germans. The Austrians agreed, and in a daring raid on the German shipyard at Hamburg, they managed to capture several new and old blueprints, which were sent to the Mexicans. Unfortunately however, there were no Spanish speakers among the Austrian resistance, and so when the Mexican naval design bureau put in a request for the designs for a 12cm gun, they received a 12in gun. The 30.5cm SK L/50 to be precise, the type used on the Derfflinger class of battlecruisers.
Upon receiving the designs, the Design bureau immediately sent it out to all of its naval factories, and began mass production. Within a few weeks of the production order, odd reports began coming in from factories, questioning what they were building. The design bureau investigated, and found out that the factories were in fact building 12in. guns. After several junior officers in the design bureau were fired for not checking up on weather the designs were what they had asked for before copying and shipping them out for production, the design bureau sat down to discuss what to do next. They couldn't ask for another gun, because the resistance group which had supplied them the 30.5cm weapon had been eradicated by the SS days after the raid. There would have to either design a new weapon from scratch, or implement the massive 30.5cm SK L/50 on there DE's.
An intense debate raged, but it was finally decided that with what little industry Mexico had geared for production of the 30.5cm gun, and cargo losses mounting, the DE design would have to be modified to mount the gun, and then put into service. The hull design was quickly edited, with the boilers moved forward, into the space which was originally planned to fit the forward magazines, and the engine room moved farther aft. The 30.5cm gun turret itself was also stripped of most of its armor, leaving only about an inch on all sides, but even without the extra weight, the turret and barbet still weight roughly 450 tons. In order to provide some semblance of defense from light patrol boats and aircraft, several 40 and 20mm guns were fitted, which had been stolen from a pair of liberty ships that had washed up on Mexican coastline. In addition sever Japanese rangefinders which a cartel had acquired for the government in exchange for handguns were fitted, and linked to the main gun, in order to provide a decent long range firing system.
Soon after the launch of the first ship, massive instability issues caused by the placement of the 30.5cm gun high up in the ship caused the lead ship, Guadalajara, to capsize in port. It was quickly righted, but the problem of instability remained. Some quick thinking on the part of a navy jr. engineer caused a pair of empty oil tanks to be strapped onto the sides of the ship, fixing its instability. Soon after, these tanks were rived onto the sides of the ship, and a ballistic cap was fitted in order to improve hydrodynamics. This was soon incorporated into the design of the ship, and all further ships of the class had the tanks built on during construction. it was also found out that if the tanks wee partially filed with fuel oil, the operational range of the Guadalajara class could be greatly improved. The main downside to this was that in order to move the fuel from the external tanks to the internal ones, someone had to be lowered off of the side of the ship with a rubber hose, which then had to be run across the ships deck, and attached to an electrical pump which pumped fuel out of the pontoons and into the internal tanks. The other downside was that pontoons filled with oil had catastrophic results when hit in battle. There would be a total of seven ships in the class produced, which saw combat all over the waters of south America, with the most notable instance being when the Guadalajara, San Phillipe, Pajapan, and San Andres Tuxala sank 3 Argentinian cruiser in the space of 2 hours with accurate salvoes of long-range gunfire.
Displacement (full load): 5,300 tons
Width: 23.4m (11 without pontoons)
Machinery: triple expansion steam engines, 2 shafts, 16,500 SHP
Speed without pontoons: 23kn
Range: 8,400 nautical miles at 11kn
Range without fuel in pontoons: 3,200 nautical miles at 11kn
1x2 30.5cm SK L/50
3x4 40mm L/60 Bofors
4x1 20mm L/70 Oerlikons
Turret face: 25mm
Turret sides: 20mm
Turret roof: 20mm
This was my first ever ship in ship bucket scale yay!