:: ESPAÑA (1912) ::

España battleship (1912) High resolution picture

España battleship (1912) High resolution picture

The España was a Spanish dreadnought battleship launched in 1912, leader of her class composed of three battleships. The Spanish Navy ordered to the British consortium formed by Armstrong Withworth, Vickers and John Brown the design of a battleship to be built in Spain, armed with eight 305-millimeter cannons and of a minimal cost. This was achieved mainly at the expenses of protection, which was the true weak point in these ships. It was considered the possibility of adopting superimposed turrets, but this would have required a larger and more expensive hull. A drawback shared with other foreign battleships of that time was that the secondary battery, integrated in the hull, was too close to the waterline, being unusable in harsh sea conditions.

These, along with the ships of the South Carolina class, were the smallest dreadnought battleships on the world, but they were effective and well balanced, comparable to any of the first dreadnought built. Compared with the American battleships of the South Carolina class they had similar armament and superior speed, but they had the disadvantage of the weak armor. Another problem was that the considerable delay in the construction caused the España to be outdated already in the very moment of being launched; this problem worsened in the other ships of the class since they were completed further later.

In the end, the worst enemy of the España was the fog, which caused her to run aground in Cape Tres Forcas in 1923, being impossible to free the hull from the stones. Her main artillery was rescued to be later reused as coastal artillery, before the autumn gales would destroy and sink the hull in November 1924. Her twin Alfonso XIII was as well an ill-fated ship, which ended her life abruptly when hitting a mine near Cape Galizano in April 1937. And the following month, the Jaime I resulted severely damaged by an air attack and withdrawn to Cartagena, where some mysterious explosions sank the ship and killed 300 crewmen. In 1939 the remains of the ship were finally scrapped, whereas her artillery pieces were reused.

The line drawings show the España as she was in 1920; note the simplistic design, with the superstructures reduced to the minimum expression, not even two funnels are present in the ship. The drawings have been colored to display the color schemes used in 1913 (upper) and 1923 (lower).

Class: España (3 units - Alfonso XIII, España, Jaime I)

Type: Battleship

Length: 139.9 meters

Beam: 24 meters

Draught: 7.8 meters

Displacement (normal): 15699 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 12 x boiler Yarrow, 22260 horsepower

Speed: 20.5 knots (38 kilometers/hour)

Range: 5040 nautical miles (9334 kilometers) at 10 knots

Fuel: 910-1930 tonnes of coal

Complement: 850-1100

Armament: 8 x 305-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 20 x 102-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 2 x 47-millimeter cannon

Armor: 203 millimeters in belt, 76 millimeters in fore end, 102 millimeters in aft end, 38 millimeters in torpedo bulwark, 38 millimeters in deck, 203 millimeters in main turrets, 76 millimeters in secondary battery, 254 millimeters in conning tower

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