HMSAS Gauteng (BB-1915 (1938-mod))

 

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I always retain the Gauteng for the Commonwealth navies. It is too good a partner for the Eagle to let it go back to Chile. In place of Gauteng & Eagle I give the Chileans the 3 remaining ships of the King George V class completed in 1912/13 and an Invincible class BC with some light cruisers of the same vintage and either L or M class destroyers to go with the Botha class leaders. This gives Chile a force to be reckoned with and binds the Chileans to the UK sphere of influence.

Gautengs biggest problem was the side armour. A belt armour of 9 inches put it in the battlecruiser class of armour. The easiest answer to this was to replace it with the 11 inch armour removed from the St Vincent class ex-battleships when they were converted to training ships. The 9 inch belt being placed above the 11 inch belt.

This re-armouring took place during the 1935-37 rebuilding that the older battleships went through during the 1930s. New superstructure, new engines (changed from coal to oil firing), newish side armour, new deck armour, new dual purpose secondary armament, replaced the old broadside 6 inch guns which were plated over, the removal of  Q 14 inch turret, new bow structure. All these changes gave the ship a complete new look.

HMSAS Gauteng as originally completed.

Displacement 30,000 standard, 34,890 full load
Length 689 feet (funny that)
Breadth 96 feet
Draught 28 feet
Machinery steam turbines, 4 shafts, 90,000shp
Speed 27.5 knots
Armour 11-9 side, 4.5 deck
Armament 8 x 14 (4x2)

20 x 4.5 (10x2)

64 x 2pd (8x8)

10 x 40mm (10x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil

 

As the ship is to be paired with Eagle on operations the aircraft handling facilities were never fitted, the hangar area being used as extra offices and accommodation for the extra staff that being a fleet flagship entailed. The catapult area was built in and used for the ships boats.

In that other Universe the Canada was returned to Chile in 1920 and spent the next 40 years with little alteration.

 

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