BAV Merida (AC-1917 (CB-1937-mod))


Back to Venezuelan Navy page:


The Merida (ex-Rostov) was the first of the Russian cruisers to graduate to tripple turrets as used in the battleships. The Rostov was always to be a large armoured cruiser or light battlecruiser when compared to the Borodino class which were designed a couple of years later. There were to be two in the class but the other ship had not been laid down on the outbreak of WW1 and it was cancelled in favour of other light vessels. The Rostov was to be an advance on the Pallada (see Nueva Esparta) with the gun size increased to 10" weapons and with three triple turrets that were able to fire 9 gun broadsides where the Pallada was firing 8 gun 8" broadsides. The ship also had the 5.1" as the secondary armament which was an improved weapon over the older 6" & 4.7".

The ship made a very good impression on the US officers that were stationed on the ship when the US and Venezuela went throught their three year cycle of Naval manouvers in the Caribbean Sea and even out into the Atlantic. Wargames between the two fleets honed the skills of both navies. As the years went by the ship started looking older when placed against the more modern cruisers, and in 1934 the Venezuelan Navy decided the time had come to send the ship in for refurbishment.

The ship emerged in 1937 in a state that pleased the eye. The single 5.1" casemates were plated over with the guns themselves being fitted into the US pattern twin turret and then resited on the main deck. The three funnels being trunked into one uptake with a pleasing rake. The new dual purpose turrets were controlled by three dual-purpose directors while the main armament was controlled by two main directors. With the completion of the ships refurbishment it was given the new designation of CB.


Displacement 18,500 tons std 21,800 tons full load
Length 564.5 ft
Breadth 79 ft
Draught 28.5 ft
Machinery 3 shaft steam turbines, 75,500shp
Speed 29 knots
Range 5000 miles at 15 knots (2,200 nm at 25 knots)
Armour 7" side, 3.4" deck, 7/5.1" turrets
Armament Original 1917

9 x 10" (3x3)

16 x 5.1" (16x1)

14 x 12pd (14x1)

Upgrade 1934

9 x 10" (3x3)

10 x 5.1" (5x2)

24 x 40mm (6x4)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 860
Notes BAV Merida (ex Rostov-1917)


Center section of Merida showing new superstructure.


Back to Venezuelan Navy page: