IRN Espana (1925 (1940-mod))


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First pair of new dreadnoughts to be ordered with the purchase of the two ex-Helgoland class battleships. There was no thought of keeping the ships in their original echelon armament arrangement as events had proved that superfiring turrets were the way to go. Two new ships were ordered in 1919 but work was slowed dramatically as what was to be called the Iberian flu decimated the workforce. The two ships, Espana and Portugesa, were not finally completed till 1925-26. The layout of the ships were revolutionary in the layout of the main guns aft, which were laid out in a three tier superfiring group which nominated the turrets as X, Y and Z.

The new ships had a very Germanic look as the Iberians had received assistance from the Blohm and Voss group with the required spacing and levels required for the 12" turrets but also provided details for the bridge superstructures. The ships were armed with casemate 5.9" for their secondary armament which had also been sourced off the ex-Helgoland class ships.

The ships had always had an old fashioned look which stayed with them till their 1938 rebuilding program was undertaken at the Rota shipyards. By this time the Germanic States were providing the technical assistance to the Iberians so the superstructures were of Germanic nature but the 4.5" dual purpose guns were kept with as the Iberians had a license to produce that weapon system. The superstructure was reproduced from the one being built on the Armoured Ship Ebro.


Displacement 31,200 tons std, 37,250 tons full load
Length 647.5 ft
Breadth 90 ft
Draught 26 ft
Machinery 4 shaft geared turbines, 95,000shp
Speed 27 knots
Range 7000 at 16 knots
Armour 12" side, 5" deck, 12-8" turrets
Armament As built

10 x 12" (5x2)

12 x 5.9" (12x1)

8 x 88mm (8x1)


As rebuilt

10 x 12" (5x2)

14 x 4.5" (7x2)

12 x 37mm (6x2)

18 x 20mm (9x2)

Aircraft 2
Torpedoes nil 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 1200
Notes IRN Espana

IRN Portugesa



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