BAV San Cristobal (DD-1914 (DDE-1940))


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Part of Wrangels fleet, the nine ex-Derzky class destroyers were the oldest destroyers brought with the fleet. The older ships had triple expansion engines and it was thought that they would not have the range to reach Venezuela. Renamed after Venezuelan cities the ships showed the elan and dash that destroyers evoked. But as the years went past the San Cristobals duties became more minor.

The first upgrades/refits to all of the ex-Russian destroyers was to replace the older low angle 4"/4.7" with the dual-purpose mounted 5.1" guns. In most csaes this also entailed removal of some of the older torpedo mountings as well. The torpedo tubes fitted to the earlier destroyers were the popular 17.7" (also called 18") size of which up to ten tubes in five twin mountings were fitted. This number of tubes required a longer hull than that used in the equivalent UK and German designs. With the opening of WW2 the Venezuelans were perturbed to find that the German U-boats were happy to sink their tankers as well as other countries tankers carrying their oil products accross the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. All of their current destroyers were rather short ranged so the Navy decided that its oldest destroyers could remain useful if converted to long range escorts which could be used to escort the tankers to where the US and UK forces would take over the escort duties. This entailed the removal of the forward boiler room and funnel of which the boiler room was sealed and used to store extra fuel oil. The remaining four twin 17.7" torpedo mountings were removed and replaced with one triple 21" set. Light AA weapons were fitted where necessary. Asdic and a larger array of depth charge dispensers completed the armament.


Displacement 1,150 tons std 1,410 tons full load
Length 313 ft
Breadth 30.5 ft
Draught 11.5 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 26,000shp (16,000shp as Escort)
Speed 34 knots (24 knots as Escort)
Range 2500 miles at 15 knots (5,200 nm at 17 knots as Escort)
Armour nil
Armament Original 1914.

3 x 4" or 4.7" (3x1)

2 x 47mm AA (2x1)


Upgrade 1932

3 x 5.1" (3x1)

2 x 47mm (2x1)


As LR Escort

3 x 5.1" (3x1)

4 x 40mm (2x2)

6 x 20mm (6x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 10 x 17.7" (5x2)  /  8 x 17.7" (4x2)  /  3 x 21" (1x3)
Complement 130
Notes BAV San Cristobal (1914) ex-Derzky



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