IRN Lisboa (BB-1913 (BBR-1935))


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The Germanic States had always had long range raiders in their minds for overseas merchant warfare. The five Kaiser class battleships were perfect for conversion to long range raiders that would partner the Admiral class battlecruisers that had been built for the same duties. The only problem was that the five Kaiser class ships had been dispersed with the Germanic States loss of WW1. The Germanic States had retained three, while Iberia had purchased two from the Allied War Reparations Commission. The Germanic States were happy that the ships had gone to a country that they had a good association with. In 1931 the Germanic States started converting their three Kaiser class ships to long range raiders. In 1932 the Iberian Naval Attache was invited to look at the ship and plans with the offer of technical assistance in converting the Iberians ex-Kaisers. Telegrams flew between the interested parties with the outcome being the Iberian acceptance of help with the conversion of their nearly 16 year old ships.

Displacement: 25,400 tons normal displacement, 27,100 tons full load
Dimensions: 580 x 97 x 30 feet
Machinery: 4 shaft turbines, 42,000shp
Speed: 22 knots
Endurance: 7,500 nmi at 12 knots
Armour: 350mm (13.75") belt, 30mm (1.2") deck, 300mm/170mm/105mm turrets
10 x 12" (5x2)
14 x 5.9" (14x1)
10 x 88mm AA (10x1)
Torpedoes: 6 x 500mm (6x1 underwater)
Crew: 1100 (1175 as Flagship)

To provide the long range and cruising speed necessary for the long range raiders required the removal of the B and X turrets, handling rooms and magazines. The three remaining turrets are refurbished to enhance the range out to 30,000 yards. While the old deck armour is up to replace the powerplant, the chance is taken to improve the deck armour to 105mm thickness. New bridge structures, aircraft handling facilities, new secondary, tertiary and AA armaments are fitted into the space provided by the removal of the turrets. The old engines and boilers also are removed and replaced with modern steam and diesel propulsion to raise the speed of the ships to a rate where the older French, British and American battleships would not be fast enough to catch them. This premise is processed through the late 1920's and early 1930's and so did not take into account the aircraft carrier and fast battleship. Though there were not enough aircraft carriers available for search duties at the start of the war for the size of the search area.

Displacement: 26,500 tons normal displacement, 32,200 tons full load
Dimensions: 607 x 97 x 30 feet
Machinery: 4 shaft, geared turbines 105,000shp
Speed: 29 knots
Endurance: 10,000 nmi at 15 knots
Armour: 350mm (13.75") belt, 105mm (4.1") deck, 300mm/170mm/105mm turrets
6 x 12" (3x2)
12 x 4.5" (6x2)
12 x 37mm (6x2)
26 x 20mm (13x2)
Torpedoes: 6 x 21" (2x3)
Aircraft: 2
Crew: 1150 (1220 as Flagship)

IRN Lisboa (ex-Prinz Regent Luitpold-1913) Lost
IRN Madrid (ex-Koenig Albert-1913) Lost

The fourteen 5.9" secondary guns were replaced, one deck higher, with the dual purpose 4.5" weapons. Three dual purpose directors were fitted to direct the fire of these guns. One main and two secondary directors were fitted for the 12" guns which was very useful when in amongst a convoy of merchantmen as the three turrets would have one director each and would fire at independent targets. A heavy AA battery showed where the ships thought their main threat may come from. To aid the ships own search capabilities a pair of spotter aircraft were fitted. There was no hangar for the aircraft (there not being enough space for one) so aircraft maintenance was carried out on the aircraft in the space aft of the funnel where there was enough space for the air-mechanics to be able to walk around the aircraft. This meant that one aircraft had to be on its catapult, while the other was under maintenance. During the early part of the war the raiders were hard to find.

It is easy to forget (with modern technology) that a ship by itself, with no radar or own aircraft, is limited to the vision range from the highest spotting point on the ship. Depending on visibility this would be a range of 15-20 miles. On a 1 meter map of the world, that would not even be a pin prick. Radar might go out to 40 miles, still no pin prick. Own aircraft or from a carrier raises the search area considerably maybe as much as 150 miles from base and greatly increases the chances of interception (maybe a 1-2mm circle on map). Land based airpower with its greater range keep the raider from enemy coast lines. Any raider commander just has to draw the appropriate circles on the map as to where land airpower can reach and the rest of the map is his to play hide and seek in.

The Iberian ship was converted to a different plan than the Germanic States ships (See Kaiser). Being started slightly earlier the GS ships kept the secondary - tertiary gun arrangement of 5.9"(LA) and 88mm(HA) where the Lisboa had dual purpose weapons. The other divergence was in the propulsion units, the GS units had the mixed diesel and turbine installation where the Iberian ships had turbines only. The Iberian ships were to be used in the Central Atlantic and Western Mediterranean, their natural areas of influence. Those areas did not require the extra long range of the GS ships hence the turbines only.



Original drawings and details of the real time line Kaiser class and the raider upgrade drawing I did for them.

Displacement 24,400 tons std, 27,250 tons full load 25,500 tons std, 30,800 tons full load
Length 580 ft 587 ft
Breadth 97 ft 97 ft
Draught 30 ft 30 ft
Machinery 3 shaft turbines, 42,000shp Geared turbines 100,000shp
Speed 22 knots 28 knots
Range 8000 at 12 knots 17,000 @ 15 knots
Armour 13.75" side, 1.2" deck, 12-4.1" turrets  
Armament As built

10 x 12" (5x2)

14 x 5.9" (14x1)

12 x 88mm (12x1)


As rebuilt

6 x 12" (3x2)

12 x 4.5" (6x2)

8 x 37mm (4x2)

44 x 20mm (9x4 2x2 4x1)

Aircraft nil 2
Torpedoes 5 submerged 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 1200
Notes IRN Lisboa

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