IRN Canarias (CB-1935)

 

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Last of the British inspired ships, the Canarias class utilised a Vickers design with South African main armament. The South Africans had received the ex-Gorgon with its long range 9.2" guns. Which they continued to build under license, said license purchased by the Iberians for the South African made guns (See HMSAS Angola for further details) complete with the design of the triple turret for them.

Four triple turrets were fitted into a design that was almost 60% bigger than the Treaty Cruisers the Major Powers had been forced to build for over 15 years. The Iberians classed the ships as Armoured Cruisers (CB) and the ships were all of that with a 5.5" armoured belt with 3" of deck armour. This made the ships very effective against other cruisers and made first class raiders, being able to overwhelm a convoys escorts with long range gunfire. Even the convoys with an old battleship as escort would find itself outranged by the Canarias' long range guns. A full secondary armament of twelve 4.5" along with 2 pounder and 20mm AA guns made up one of the best pre-war cruisers yet built. Torpedoes and aircraft were considered necessary for the ships role and were fitted amidships.

 

Displacement 16,500 tons std, 27,750 tons full load
Length 646 ft
Breadth 75.5 ft
Draught 23 ft
Machinery 4 shaft geared turbines, 110,000shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 9000 at 12 knots
Armour 5.5" side, 3" deck, 5.5"-3" turrets
Armament 12 x 9.2" (4x3)

12 x 4.5" (6x2)

32 x 2pd (4x8)

18 x 20mm (9x2)

Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3)
Aircraft 2 - 3 max
Complement 1000
Notes IRN Canarias

IRN Baleares

 

Once the license for the long range 9.2" had been obtained, the Iberian Armoury started producing them as fast as possible. The guns were used not only on ships like the Canarias and Algarve but also as coast defence weapons guarding the ports and other shore installations. The octuple 2 pounder mounting may have been slowere firing than later guns, but the sheer volume of fire from the weapon made them stay in production for 20 years which is a long time considering the pace of gun development.

 

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