GRN Hungaria (BB-1927 (1939-mod))
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With the end of WW1 the various Central Powers surrendered and the major centers of arms manufacture were inspected as to what could be useful either for the victorious Allied powers or sold off to pay off the reparations leveed against the losers. When the shipyards of Austro-Hungaria were inspected the inspectors found many vessels under construction from Battleships down to small escorts and minesweepers. Each ship was inspected as to how complete they were and what would be required to complete the vessel. Two battleships of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand class were among those inspected. One was found to be about 45% complete and at the pace of peacetime progress and availability of money to pay for it was approximately 3-4 years away from completion. One problem with the ship was that the 16" guns for it had been put on rail mountings and sent off to the front, where three of them had become constructive losses. It would take some time to produce a new set of main armament replacements. The ship was stricken and sold for scrap. A sistership however was found to be much closer to completion at 75-80%. Because it was closer to completion most of the main armament was available and had been installed, what was missing was canibalised from its sistership, the propulsion system was installed and ready to go, it was the superstructure and secondary guns that required further work. The detailing of the ship was what was required. The ship was earmarked for completion as the minor work required could be used to keep the labour force employed. The ship was to be transferred to the Galician Navy on completion.
Four months after the battlecruiser was towed away the ex-Monarch was also towed to Devonport, UK, for completion. Like the battlecruiser the newly christened Hungaria was to be completed as cheaply as possible. The light battlecruiser Courageous, which was laid up and due to be converted to an aircraft carrier, was stripped of its superstructure which was fitted to the Hungaria. On completion in 1927 the ship compared favourably with the US and Japanese ships of the same vintage and armament while only the Nelson was more heavily armed.
The design of the Archduke Franz Ferdinands was the Central Powers answer to the Queen Elizabeth class ships. The Germanic States Baden class ships were their equivalent to the British 'R' class battleships. To match the Queen Elizabeth class these ships were fitted with 80,000shp propulsion units for a sea speed of 25 knots. The 16" Skoda guns were designed in conjunction with the German foundrys and turned out to be a very useful weapon. Four twin turrets were fitted. The turrets being slightly longer and narrower than the Galicias triple turrets. The ships were fitted with a large secondary battery of 5.9" casemate guns while a smaller battery of 100mm guns rounded out a more than useful armament. This was a big good looking vessel and was inspected closely by interested Allied parties on its completion and before it was handed over to the Galicians.
In 1937 the Hungaria was taken in hand for an 18 month rebuilding to bring it up to date with the other rebuilt battleships from around the world. The rebuilding did not go as far as some countries such as Britain took their rebuilding programmes as Galicia did not have the funds for that. The rebuilding removed the older 5.9" and 3.9" guns, plated the hull up to the forecastle deck level and used the space provided to fit four twin 125mm (4.9") per side while a new battery of octuple 2pd and the new 20mm AA guns were fitted. No improvements were made to the armour or machinery.
The Skoda foundry produced the 15" guns mounted on the Bucharesti. The sistership Brabenbergs weapons were purloined for the army and mounted on railway mountings for use at the front.
My original Drawings of this class are shown below:
Stats for Bucharesti class BB
|Displacement||As built 1921
33,400 tons std
43,400 tons full load
|As rebuilt 1938-40
33,800 tons std
45,700 tons full load
|Machinery||4 shaft steam turbines, 80,000shp (85,000shp)|
|Speed||25 knots as built (25 knots as rebuilt)|
|Range||7000 miles at 15 knots (3000 at 24knots)|
|Armour||12" side, 5.1" deck, 13.8"/12"/8" turrets|
8 x 15" (4x2)
18 x 5.9" (18x1)
10 x 88mm (10x1)
|As Rebuilt 1936-38
8 x 15" (4x2)
24 x 5.3" (8x3)
10 x 37 mm (5x2)
24 x 20mm (18x1)
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