USS Puerto Rico (BC-1913 (1938-mod))


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This pair of ships showed the way the doctrine of the Confederate States Navy would continue throughout the building of its Capital Ships. These two ships were true fast battleships (CSA designation until the term battlecruiser came into general use) where the previous Monterey class were large armoured cruisers.

In 1910 the CS Navy laid down a fast battleship (the term battlecruiser did not enter common useage till 1912) that would have the armament of a battleship but be 5-6 knots faster. Puerto Rico achieved this on trials making over 26 knots on 48,000shp. Maximum horsepower was 50,000 for 27 knots, but that was only produced once during trials. Normal maximum service speed was 25 knots on 45,000shp. The ships had the same armament as the UK early BC's but the superfiring layout made the broadside superior. The Invincibles were 567ft to the Puerto Rico's 556ft which is where the superfiring gun turrets also made a difference. At full speed it was found that the forward 5" casemate gun was totally unuseable and that mounting was removed and plated over in 1915. The ship was joined by the Cuba class battlecruisers in 1916 but those ships were three knots faster so the battle groups were made up of the 2 Puerto Rico's, 2 Monterey's and the three Chester class scouts, which made up one group while the 2 Cubas and 4 Tijuana class cruisers made up the other group. In 1917 the 1st Fleet group was the first CSN fleet units to cross the North Atlantic (provided escort to a convoy while transiting) and joined the 2nd Squadron of the British Battlecruiser fleet at Rosyth. The 2nd Squadron comprised the remaining British and Australis 12" battlecruisers. The Puerto Rico with its four superfiring turrets made a distinct difference to the British ships. A 1924 refit added tripod masts in place of the original cage masts. While 1935 saw the ship again taken in hand this time for a major refit.

The ship was virtually stripped from 'B' to 'X' turret leaving only the tripods in place. New fore and aft bridge superstructures were fitted with modern fire control for both the main and secondary armament topping the new structures. New boilers and engines were fitted which were then covered with a new amount of deck armour. This change only required two funnels. New secondary armament as fitted to the building New Mexico class ships were fitted. Minor AA weaponry was fitted as it became available.

Displacement 21,500 tons std 25,800 tons full load
Length 556.5 ft orig  (565 ft as rebuilt)
Breadth 82.5 ft
Draught 28.5 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 47,500shp orig

4 shaft steam turbines 75,000shp as rebuilt

Speed 26 knots orig (29 knots as rebuilt)
Range 8000 miles at 15 knots (3,250 nm at 25 knots)
Armour 10" side, 2" deck, 9"/7" turrets  (5" deck, rebuild)
Armament 8 x 12" (4x2)

14 x 5" (14x1)

16 x 3" AA (16x1)


8 x 12" (4x2)

12 x 5.1" (6x2)

20 x 40mm (5x4)

18 x 20mm (18x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1400
Notes USS Puerto Rico BC-3


Puerto Rico suffers the indignity of the dockyard as the ship is stripped ready for rebuilding.


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