ARA Buenos Aires (BB-1935)


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1930 and Argentina was in a much better position financially than most. Argentina's main export to the world is beef. Cash and carry. No future crop prices. Just beef. The world monetary crash of 1929 did not effect Argentina like those in the US and Europe. People still had to eat.

The Argentinian Navy had been proponents of the German Naval weapons and ships after seeing how they had performed against the British ships in the First World War. The Germans may have lost the war, but the German Navy had performed well. Their ships had taken more punishment and survived where their British equivalents had exploded and sunk. When the Allied War Reparations Committee started selling off bits of the German Navy, the Argentinians were some of the first in line. One lot they were particularly interested in was the main armament of the second Mackensen class ship (Graf Spee), four twin 13.8" turrets and guns. The Argentinians may not have been able to build ships of their own - yet - but they could still afford to have the Germans build one for them.

Laid down in 1931, at the Blohm and Voss Yard, Hamburg. The Germanic States were very happy to be able to build a full blown capital ship, rather than the reduced ships that the Versailles Treaty had relegated them to. The Buenos Ares allowed the Germans to try out many parts that they would start fitting to their own capital ship construction in just three to four years time. New high pressure boilers, dual purpose 5" weapon system, 37mm auto cannons, cross deck aircraft handling facilities, all were fitted and trialed aboard the Buenos Ares.

On finishing its three months of trials and training for the Germans and Argentinians in the new systems aboard, the Buenos Ares completed its complement with Argentinian Naval personnel and started the long journey down the Atlantic Oceans to Argentina. Passed around the major seaside cities and ports, the Buenos Ares made a fine show wherever it went. Fleet flagships from then on, the Buenos Ares swung around its anchor with two or three trips to see each year. Mainly to train up new recruits.

Depending on which scenario I am playing, Las Malvinas attack as opening to WW2 or a straight September 1939 WW2 start, the Buenos Ares may survive past the end of WW2 or be sunk. Yet to be decided.


Displacement 32,500 tons std, 37,800 full load
Length 750 ft
Breadth 92 ft
Draught 30 ft
Machinery 3 shaft Steam Turbines 115,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 7000 miles at 15 knots
Armour 12" side, 5" deck, 12" turrets
Armament 8 x 13.8" (4x2)

12 x 5" (12x1)

16 x 37mm (8x2)

16 x 20mm (16x1)

Aircraft 2
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1650
Notes Buenos Aires

German twin turrets for main armament.


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