ARA Entre Rios (BB-1912) ex-Kaiser Class

 

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The Allied War Reparations Commission was a godsend for the Argentinian Navy. With the end of WW1 and the Washington Naval Treaty (or Geneva Arms Limitation Treaty, depending on which AU I am in) meant that the United States and Britain were having to divest themselves of hundreds of thousands of ton of warships. Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and other South American countries made use of this time to upgrade their old ships to much more modern vessels. Argentina had to follow suit. The ex-German units were more than useful and Argentina spent all it could afford and then some to buy a 'fleet'.  Battleships, Battlecruiser, cruisers, destroyers and other miscelaneous units, Argentina bought them all. What's more with the rampant inflation and no job situation in the Weimar Republic, Argentina offered sailors, yard workers and other workers and most importantly their families as well, a new life to live in Argentina. Thousands took up this offer.




Ex Kaiser as arrived in Argentinian waters 1921.

Displacement:
  •  27,000 tons full load
Length: 172.40 m (565 ft 7 in)
Beam: 29 m (95 ft 2 in)
Draft: 9.10 m (29 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: 3-shaft Parsons turbines, 27,617  (20,594 kW)
Speed: 23.4 knots
Range: 9600 miles at 12 knots
Crew:
  • 41 officers
  • 1,043 enlisted
Armament:
  • 10 12" (5x2)
  • 14 5.9"
  • 12 88mm
  • 5 50 cm (20 in) torpedo tubes (submerged)
Armor:
  • Belt: 350 mm
  • Conning tower: 400 mm
  • Turrets: 300 mm


Two of the first units to arrive in Argentinian waters were the two ex-Kaiser Class battleships which were renamed Entre Rios, and Chubut. These two ships would spend the next eight years as training ships to help provide the thousands of personnel required by the influx of the ex-German naval units. Beginning of 1930 and both ships are put in the builders hands as the plan for the retaking of Las Malvinas Islands takes shape. These two ships were to be central to the plan. They were to be converted into battle-raiders, and prey on the British merchantmen in the South Atlantic to draw off the British Naval units to allow the Las Malvinas expedition a free run to land the land forces and prepare the airstrip for the arrival of the airforce units.



When compared to some of the other ships rebuilds, these two were very comprehensive. The superstructure from A to X turrets was completely removed. This included the two wing turrets and all of their associated shell handling equipment. The engines were removed as well. The 5.9" casemate batteries were removed and where they had been was plated in. Eight of the 5.9" were fitted into light turrets and resited one deck higher. A pair of 88mm guns were fitted each side of the boat deck around the funnel and these were replaced with the 88mm/L56 twin turrets in 1939. It was felt that an aircraft for scouting would be essential and room was made to fit one. The removal of the wing turrets allowed for a much larger machinery system and just as important longer range at higher speed. The biggest job was the reconfiguration of the bow section. It had been found that the ships handling in the South Atlantic would not have been good enough for the extra speed that could be generated by the new engines.

Displacement: 28,500 tons full load
Dimensions: 603 ft x 95 ft x 30 ft
Machinery: 3 shaft, geared turbines, 90,000shp
Speed: 28 knots
Endurance: 10,000 miles at 18 knots
Armour: 350mm belt, 130mm deck, 300mm turrets.
Armament:
6 x 12" (3x2)
8 x 5.9" (8x1)
8 x 88mm (4x2)
8 x 37mm (4x2)
16 x20mm (2x4, 2x2, 4x1)
Aircraft: 1
Crew: 1,150



 

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