BAV Sucre (CA-1940)


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The Venezuelan Navy had had a pair of 10" turrets that had been sourced from the scrapping of the Russian Rurik II in 1924. The turrets had originally been to replace the forward turrets of the Nueva Esparta (ex-Pallada) which had had teething troubles when in use in the Baltic Sea Fleet. The problems were finally sorted out on Wrangel's Fleet arriving at Puerto Cabello, and the artisans having time to fix the problem. Fast forward to 1932 and the Nueva Esparta is to be converted to an Area Defense Vessel. Part of the conversion is to remove the aft pair of turrets and fittings. This gave the Venezuelan Navy four twin 10" turrets of Russian origin that could be used for a new ship. The funds for the ship were not made available till after the three Falcon class cruisers were under construction.

The Falcon class were big ships for cruisers and it was felt that the next ship, while utilising the same displacement would have a shorter hull. The armour on the ship would be improved. This ship was to be an 'Armoured' cruiser worthy of the old name. Being built later meant that the most modern parts could be fitted. The 10" on the Sucre were better than those on the Falcon class. Those guns were 10"/40caliber weapons and needed the refurbishment they got to increase the range. The ex Russian 10" were 50 caliber weapons and both fired a 500-510lb shell. A bit of tweaking for the ex Russian weapons got them out to 28,000 yards, where a lot of work had to be done to the ex-US weapons to get extra range out of them. The ships first visit to the US would add an electronic suite.

I must admit that I normally do the write up before I actually do the drawing. I use what I have written as inspiration to make up the drawing parts and keep adding things till I get what looks like what I intended. I have used the fore bridge and after bridge from the Falcon class but revamped the middle of the ship to still have aircraft handling facilities and boats, but still save on space (40 feet). The saving in size is turned into extra armour.

Displacement 15,500 tons std 18,500 tons full load
Length 627 ft
Breadth 72 ft
Draught 24 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 115,000shp
Speed 33 knots
Range 8000 miles at 15 knots (2,200 nm at 28 knots)
Armour 7" belt, 4" deck, 7" turrets
Armament As completed

8 x 10" (4x2)
8 x 5.1" (4x2)
12 x 40mm (6x2)
22 x 20mm (22x1)
Aircraft 3
Torpedoes nil
Complement 890
Notes BAV Sucre


1924 the Rurik II is being scrapped in Leningrad. Both of its turrets are purchased and end up on the Sucre.



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