CNS Santiago (CL-1909 (1924-mod))


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As part of the reparations for the Almirante's Latorre and Cochrane, were the 4 scout cruisers of the Boadicea class completed 1909-11. These were taken in hand in 1920-21 for a refit to modernise them to modern light cruisers before they were accepted into the Chilean Navy. The single 4" were removed and replaced with the very handy 5.5" single guns as fitted in the latest battlecruisers; the fore funnel was trunked into the second funnel to allow a larger bridge superstructure to take the gunnery director. Eventually half a dozen 20mm were fitted as AA guns otherwise the ships remained as they were received. (All the Naval budget went to the care and maintenance of the big ships).

Original drawing of the Boadicea class before rebuilding for transfer to the Chilean Navy.

The Chileans receiving the new/used ships from the UK sparked another round of South American acquisitions from the major naval suppliers, but as the Allied War Commission was looking to sell the seized Germanic States ships, that were not to be returned, there were also a lot of good used German ships for sale..

That's a good looking cruiser. Placing the 5.5" on the center line make them much more useful. Replaces the old broadside cruiser with a much more modern ship. Eventually the 4" are replaced with quad 2 pounder mountings (or twin 40mm if refitted in the US) and the single 2 pounder and quad 0.5" are replaced with twin and single 20mm. Radar appears in 1941-42 and the torpedoes are removed to balance out the weight. No thought was given to changing the engines to oil fired boilers as Chile had its own first class coal reserves. It is very good when your fuel costs you next to nothing. These four ships made excellent escort commander vessels, and were fitted with asdic (sonar) and a few depth charges to make them more useful as convoy escorts.

Displacement 3200 tons std, 4,100 tons full load
Length 405 ft
Breadth 41 ft
Draught 14 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 19,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 4500 miles at 12 knots
Armour 2" side, 1" deck
Armament 5 x 5.5" (5x1)
2 x 4" AA (2x1)
3 x 2pd (3x1)
8 x 0.5" mg (2x4)
Torpedoes 4 x 18" (2x2)
Complement 320
Notes CNS Santiago (ex Boadicea)

CNS Iquique (ex Bellona)

CNS Antofagasta (ex Blanche)

CNS Temuco (ex Blonde)


HMS Bellona as completed and before upgrading for Chilean service.

Very old drawing, definitely showing its age.

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