IRN Reina Victoria Eugenia (BB-1916 (1937-mod))
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The Eugenia class came directly from Vickers-Armstrongs pointing out to the Iberian Government how far behind their contempories the Iberians were falling in the way of Naval vessels, especially of the new Dreadnought type. Iberia's biggest vessel at that time (1910) was the Pelayo pre-dreadnought type from the late 1890's that was hopelessly outclassed even by the later pre-dreadnoughts. When the Pelayo had been designed and started to build it was at the forefront of naval designs. As with all Iberian built ships, the length of time taken to build the ship (six years) allowed other nations building programs to pass the Pelayo by in technical advances. By the time the ship was complete it was already obsolete. The design work Vickers showed the Iberians was of the latest super-Dreadnoughts being built for Britain, and Vickers latest order received from Chile for the Almirante Lattorre class ships. The Iberians dithered and consulted their finances and place a tentative order for the materiel to build one vessel of the Lattorre type. Before anything from the order materialised the 1912 Commonwealth shipbuilding program showed for the first time the new 15" mk1 weapons to be fitted to a dozen battleships. Those 15" guns would be more powerful than the 14" of the Lattorre design and the Iberians asked for their design to be reworked to take advantage of the new guns. The design changes took place and were sent to the Iberians who increased their order from one to two ships.
The Iberians did very well, the Eugenia took just five years to build and its sistership 12 months more because of the delays to equipment and materiel arriving due to the advent of WW1. What the Iberians had had designed and then built was equivalent to the Commonwealths Queen Elizabeth class ships. The major changes were the Eugenia's were 30 feet longer and 2-3 knots faster but had 2" less of side armour. The extra length also allowed an increase in secondary armament. Originally the design had 10 x 4" in single mounts but four of these weapons were swapped out for four 3" AA guns.
Updated drawing with new 4.5" turrets and 2pd pom poms.
The 1930's saw the start of the refurbishment wars where all of the old WW1 battleships and battlecruisers went through rebuilding programs to keep them up to date with the new build ships that started completing 1935-36. The Iberian Navy through to 1935 was still closely tied to the Royal Navy through its connection with Vickers-Armstrongs, and the plans for the rebuilding of the Eugenia class ships was based on the latest designs used on the same vintage Royal Navy battleships. The rebuilding undertaken was one of the most comprehensive for its time taking 3 years and produced a very well balanced fast battleship. It can be seen from comparing the two drawings how much work was done. What can not be seen is the upgraded propulsion systems and deck armour (increased to 5.5").
|Displacement||32,500 tons std, 39,440 tons full load|
|Length||659 ft||706 ft|
|Breadth||92.5 ft||106 ft (over bulges)|
|Draught||32 ft||32 ft|
|Machinery||4 shaft geared turbines, 100,000shp|
|Range||6500 at 16 knots|
|Armour||11" side, 5.5" deck, 13" turrets|
|Armament||8 x 15" (4x2)
16 x 4.5" (8x2)
48 x 2pd (6x8)
16 x 20mm (8x2)
|Notes||IRN Reina Victoria Eugenia
IRN Jaime 1
Good photo of Eugenia showing double story 6" casemates, while the next photo shows the barbette and handling rooms, with the final photo showing a twin 15" turret under construction.
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