IRN Zaragoza (BB-1911 (T/S-1933))


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The two Zaragoza (ex-Helgoland class) were purchased from the Allied War Reparations Commission expressly for the purpose of stripping the ships of armour and armament to build new ships with. What was left of the ships was to be used as training ships and coastal patrol ships along the long sea borders of the Iberian and Iberian North African coasts.

Just to show how much work can be involved to take a linedrawing and colour it, compare the above linedrawing with the below pixel artwork.

The Helgoland and Thuringen arrived in Iberian waters, in early1920, manned by a scratch crew of Germanic States sailors, who had accepted a transfer to the Iberian Navy to teach the Iberian recruits what would be required to man the ships that the Iberians were looking to build. The ships were taken in hand for stripping in 1923 to provide the five turrets each and the casemate 5.9" secondary guns, and armour required for the new Espana class battleships.

As can be seen there was no extensive rebuilding to the ships. Though  continual periods of refits every year or two kept updating and adding to the usefulness of the ships. A new bridge superstructure was added to give some much needed height to the dirctor fitted for the 12" guns. While later in the early 30's a pair of dual purpose directors were fitted on sponsons off the side of the bridge to control the new 4.5" turrets of which two were fitted to each broadside to replace the old low angle 3.4" guns previously sited in the same area. A new strake of 75mm armour was fitted to cover the propulsion spaces forward to the ammunition handling rooms of the 12" turret. A slab sided hangar for four aircraft was constructed where the old rear turrets had been fitted. The hangar could take up to four aircraft but usually only two were carried as an austerity measure. The hangar at the top level had the cadet barracks (where they were easily supervised) that could be used to carry troops as well. Normally a group of Marines was carried in the rear half of the unused part of the hangar and these would be landed by their landing craft and ships boats. The aircraft would spot the trouble, the guns would shell the problem, while the Marines would clean up the remains. The two ships were also very good for taking humanitarian aid to disaster areas and were used several times in their careers for this.


Displacement As Built

22,800 tons std, 26,250 tons full load

As Training Ship

20,400 tons std, 23,700 tons full load

Length 547.5 ft
Breadth 93.5 ft
Draught 27 ft
Machinery 3shaft Triple Expansion, 28,000shp
Speed 20 knots
Range 5000 miles at 16 knots
Armour 12" side, 5" deck, 12-8" turrets 3" side, 2.4" deck, 12"-8" turrets
Armament As built

12 x 12" (6x2)

14 x 5.9" (14x1)

14 x 88mm (14x1)

As rebuilt

2 x 12" (1x2)

8 x 4.5" (4x2)

30 x 20mm (15x2)

Aircraft nil 2-4
Complement 1100 600+Cadets+Marines
Notes IRN Zaragoza

IRN Guadalajara



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