CNS Valdivia River (MS-1916-17)


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The basic Hunt class Minesweeper / Escorts, came in at least three different batches.  Used in a large variety of roles including survey vessels on which duties 2 were lost having run aground. A 4" AA gun and mounting was placed in the forward position in place of the low angle either 12 pounder or 4" gun that was the original armament. 3 x 2 pounder AA weapons were fitted during the 1920's. Below are some of the varied shapes and armaments carried by the Hunt class. The ships were built in commercial yards to a set of specifications that allowed a bit of leeway for each yard to leave its own stamp on the design.

These were very necessary ships as the best way to close the Straits of Magellan was to mine them. To keep them open required sweepers. The ships were rotated in pairs to Punta Arenas for short duration duty. During peacetime they also acted as training vessels.

The Valdivia River, shown above, was the variant the eight ships sent to Chile came from. All eight were the same to make it easier for the Chileans to service the ships when necessary. WW2 additions were few and mainly limited to the addition of 2-4 20mm Oerlikon's. The remaining six ships were still used in the Magellan Straits for their prime task of keeping the straits open. Minelaying U-boats were sent on several occasions to the choke points of the Straits of Magellan and the Cape of Good Hope to hinder passage and sink ships.


Displacement 700 tons std, 900 tons full load
Length 231.5 ft
Breadth 28.5 ft
Draught 8 ft
Machinery 2 shaft triple expansion, 2000ihp
Speed 16 knots
Range 1500 miles at 12 knots
Armament 1 x 4" AA (1x1)
3 x 2pd AA (3x1)
Complement 70-75
Notes Bío-Bío River

Bueno River

Maipo River (Lost 1927)

Pascua River

Imperial River

Limarí River (Lost 1932)

Copiapó River

Valdivia River



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