BAV Nueva Esparta (AC-1910 (1932-mod))

 

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Half sister to the Rurik of 1908 built in the UK for the Baltic Fleet, the ex-Pallada (1910) was built for the Black Sea Fleet in reply to the German Blucher and UK Invincible classes (which was leaked to be armed with 9.2"). The ship was the first Russian armoured cruiser to be completed with one large gun armament. In this case 12 x 8". A secondary armament of 6" casemate guns were fitted and an antiaircraft armament was fitted in 1916. Joined Wrangels Fleet when it sailed from Turkey to Venezuela in 1921.

The Nueva Esparta was the lead cruiser which outshone the the 2 ex-US armoured cruisers the Venezuelans had purchased in 1920 prior to Wrangels Fleet becoming available. The ship went to the US as escort to the Zulia and trained with the US Atlantic fleet vessels during 1924-25. The ship returned to US waters in 1931 for rebuilding and refurbishment and emerged a year later with new superstructures funnels and engines/boilers. The casemate guns were removed and replaced with 5.1" AA guns at main deck level.

The superstructures were copied from the latest US cruiser class (Astoria) as this was cheaper to fit than designing and building a set of structures especially for the ship. The new boilers and engines changed the ship from a 3 funnel to a 2 funnel type. Further updates and refits were carried out through to 1942, which changed the single 5.1" out for twin 5.1", four of which were fitted (2 a side). This made room for 3 quad 40mm mounts to be fitted, 2 aft of the aft funnel and one on the stern of the ship.

Updated directors and the first signs of Radar being fitted to Venezuelan ships. The main armament received its second refurbishment trying to increase the range of the 8" guns so that they were not so badly outclassed by the more modern light and heavy cruisers. The guns original 20 degree elevation gave them a range of 18,000 yards. With better shells and propellant and an increase of elevation to 32 degrees the guns then fired out to 22,500 yards. With the guns elevation increased to 40 degrees the shells reached 27,000 yards. In comparrison the latest UK 6" guns was firing 25,500 yards, while their 7.5" gun was firing 30,500 yards. For a 30 odd year old gun, when the ships shells hit their target they still made the big bang that was expected of them.

 

Displacement 15,500 tons std 18,300 tons full load
Length 529 ft
Breadth 75 ft
Draught 26 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 40,500shp
Speed 24 knots
Range 5500 miles at 14 knots (2,200 nm at 23 knots)
Armour 6" side, 2" deck, 8-5" turrets
Armament As arrived 1922.

12 x 8" (6x2)

8 x 6" (8x1)

4 x 4" AA (4x1)

6 x 6pd (6x1)

US Upgrade 1931-2

12 x 8" (6x2)

6 x 5.1" (6x1)

14 x 20mm (14x1)

 

US Upgrade 1942

12 x 8" (6x2)

8 x 5.1" (4x2)

12 x 40mm (3x4)

20 x 20mm (6x2 8x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 920
Notes BAV Nueva Esparta (1910 ex-Pallada)

 

 

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