CRUISER OF LATIN AMERICATo test the dynamite gun in a combat situation was not an easy task. Although auxiliary cruiser “niterói” was commissioned in late 1893 , it constantly broke down and failed, and due to an oversight, a private crew, and outright sabotage. 18 Feb 1894 g. the commander of “Niteroi” was ordered to carry up to 300 paratroopers landing in Rio de Janeiro and bombard the fortifications of the rebels at Villegagnon. At the critical moment it turned out that the missing miner, serving the “miracle gun”. Sounded a welcome shot in the last and decisive battle for Rio on March 13. Only on 15 March when the outcome of the battle was already a foregone conclusion, the day of the final surrender of the rebels, the ill-fated shot still managed to produce.

Invited on Board by many journalists, “niterói”, was released in the middle of the Bay and was abeam of the island pie. And then it happened. Unlike traditional artillery, the shot sounded relatively quiet and more like a loud cough than a cannonade. But the exploding shell produced a spectacle is truly beautiful: he gave a bright flash, raised above a huge pillar of the earth… without any harm for the rebels. Thus ended the world’s first combat trials of the dynamite guns. And what is particularly noteworthy — produced them not advanced naval power, and godforsaken Brazil!
In 1869 Alfred Nobel, nitroglycerin impregnated porous silica — diatomaceous earth, invented dynamite — an explosive, unprecedented in its destructive power. In 1876, Nobel created a more effective explosive, named for their jelly-like state of “blasting jelly” that could handle a slight overload in the channel of artillery. Nobel suggested the military “blasting gelatin” as the charge for torpedoes.
In the early 1880s, a Polish immigrant, who lived in the United States, Edmund Zalinski, proposed construction of guns, capable of firing shells filled with “explosive city”. The secret was quite simple: the projectile accelerates inside the barrel, not powder gases, and compressed air. And in this case, you can always pick up the pressure, excluding the explosion of the projectile when fired. The idea Zelinskogo liked the Military Department that sponsored all further experiments.
In September 1887 an experienced pneumatic dynamite gun for projectiles mounted on the ground, and in dry firing it quite quickly sent to the bottom allocated for experiments decommissioned schooner. Supporters dynamite weapons celebrate. Indeed, with a very significant destructive power of the new weapon could carry the ship of a modest size. Gunboat with the firepower of the battleship — the Golden dream of any Creator weapons.
Like in advance in anticipation of success, the Office of shipbuilding has already started designing special dynamite cruiser bearing the highly symbolic “Vesuvius”. In September 1887, just after the results of the experiments at the shipyard Kramp in Philadelphia was held the ceremony of laying the ship, launched just a few months. Beholding the comparative ease and relative cheapness of construction, in March 1889, the US Congress voted to allocate funds for one dynamite cruiser, and approved the program of construction of fifteen of the ships!
However, despite rave reviews from journalists who saw another “genius of American thought”, already the first experiments with the “Vesuvius” forced to think about his fate. The new building had such a bouquet of congenital problems that Girardi Admiral, whose squadron was “Vesuvius”, calling it a “nail in the ass”.
Fairly tightly linked the ship was distinguished by extraordinary overcrowding of the premises. Suffice it to mention the fact that when it turned out absolutely lack of power steering, replace it with another was not possible, because it just wasn’t enough room! In addition, the “Vesuvius” had a weak case, absolutely useless maneuverability and seaworthiness. For example, the ship became the absolute “champion” in the U.S. fleet by the diameter of the circulation, leaving behind not only cruisers and gunboats, but many times larger armadillos!
Did not remain in debt and the pneumatic gun. Nice idea in practice turned into a real headache for the command. For several years the crew of the ship and the factory engineers have struggled with pneumoautomatics, and not being able to offer anything more or less satisfactory. In the end, extremely powerful shells flew in the “white light as a penny”.
In the end, the last remaining fans of dynamite weapons could prove that most of the problems of pneumatic artillery is inextricably linked to issues of media. Splurge on a new vehicle is quite problematic value Congress no longer wished, and then how to order civil war began in Brazil.
In the internecine slaughter of the American government decided to support the Pro-American Marshal, Peixoto. And since almost the whole fleet was on the side of the rebels, the Americans gave him a few warships.
As the second dynamite cruiser was chosen just built the Newport ship “El CID”. The significant size of the ship allowed us to not only set on the upper deck 267 mm dynamite gun, but very well equip conventional artillery: 127-, 102 -, and 57-mm caliber. Among other things, on Board there are two Mononoke — “Must” and “Inagua”.
And then began the above-described suffering from a “miracle weapon” of the leadership of the Brazilian Navy, so the first salvo was the last. After the civil war completely useless dynamite gun was dismantled and in 1898 the zealous Brazilians sold their auxiliary cruiser ago. Due to the outbreak of the Spanish-American war the Americans were in need of ships for conversion into an auxiliary cruiser.
Also, in General, was ignominiously and career “Vesuvius”. Laid already in 1895, it is the beginning of Hispanic war was recommissioned. As Admiral Sampson was considered a 381-mm cannon dynamite a very useful acquisition for the attack blocked by Santiago. And really, sneaking at night to the Spanish positions, and producing a silent shooting, the cruiser has always been a serious commotion among the enemy. For reviews of prisoners of the Spaniards, the powerful shells left craters in which you can hide a squadron of cavalry, vitalive Caye clearing in the woods, and once even lifted above the water the destroyer.
But all these efforts cost them only a few wounded — a very modest price, not even recoup the production costs of the shells! So the “Vesuvius,” according to the Americans, left a real “monument to the readiness of the us Navy to experiment”.
But back to the cruisers of Brazil. To understand what “niterói” was not a random vehicle, should be transported even half a century ago. And start a story about a truly remarkable cruising fleet of the largest Latin American power, maybe you should have a line that starts if not the most famous, but certainly the most publicized novel by Brazilian writer B. Guimaraes — “Slave Izaura”: “And all happened during our glorious Emperor Dom Pedro…”
Not to say that Brazilian admirals do not understand the importance of cruisers. On the contrary, winning in the most important “sea” battles in the war with Paraguay, Brazil almost entirely owes to the presence of the frigate “Amazonas”. His appearance on the battlefield every time was like the presence of “big guy” on the Playground. Indeed, when fighting armed steamers and tugs, one silhouette 2000-ton monster seemed threatening. In the future, when river power President Lopez was destroyed, the main burden fell on the Ironsides and monitors. Here, Brazil has not struck in a dirt the person, creating a fleet of armored ships.
It ended with the overthrow of the Royal power in 1889, the Richest country in South America entered a period of multiple conspiracies, coups, contrarevolution, rebellions and civil wars, in the small periods of peace rests remembering the order of the next fleet of ships. So if you compare cruising force “alphabetical” fleets — as in English literature called the fleets of Argentina, Brazil and Chile (ABC fleets), — it creates a depressing picture: Brazilian cruisers of that time were a diverse and motley collection of ships of own construction, French, English and German, as well as an impressive state auxiliary cruisers. But we must pay tribute to the seamen of this country. Brazilian ships were distinguished by quite a high percentage of innovations: so, except for Brazil, no Latin American country did not dare to resort to private construction.
And as a starting point in the review of the Brazilian createrestore you can select the already mentioned “Amazonas”. Not to say that it is the Brazilians did not have their cruisers, but this ship was the first steam frigate, which was cruising to implement these tasks. Not surprisingly, unique to Brazil, the ship had to order abroad. Brazilian firstborn launched on 25 September 1851 in the shipyard in Birkenhead (Liverpool) and on 2 June of the following year, having made a transatlantic crossing under the leadership of its first commander Lieutenant-commander Antonio DOS Santos, the ship “de facto” joined the fleet.
Best for Brazil, but by English standards it was a pretty trivial steam frigate standard displacement of 1800 tons he was carrying a full sailing mast, assisted by a 350-horsepower steam engine. Under favorable conditions of sea and wind, the ship could reach a speed of 10 knots. All the armament of the ship consisted of two 70-pounders and four 32-pounder guns, you can move on the rails. This not only facilitates the guidance, but also gave the opportunity to focus fire on one Board.
With the beginning of the Paraguayan war in 1865 frigate as the flagship joined the squadron of Admiral Barrus and took part in all more or less significant battles. In contrast to the “wild youth”, the further career of the frigate was not so remarkable. Having been a flagship before the end of the 1870s, and in 1884 he was transferred as a training torpedo-artillery ship (!) the naval school. Probably Brazilians in memory of their naval traditions eventually converted would be the legendary frigate ship Museum, but, in his grief, during the civil war of 1893, he fell into the hands of the rebels. Pretty “pohozyaynichat” on the old ship, they left it in the waterlogged condition in the Western part of the island Anadas. After returning to civilian life it became clear that to save the “Amazonas,” already late. Fragments of its mast, bow decoration, the steering wheel and a number of other relics end up in the collections of the naval Museum, and the frigate was sold for firewood. The final pieces of the case went for scrap in 1897
163. Dynamite cruiser “Vesuvius”, USA, 1888
Built in Philadelphia, founded in September 1887, launched on 28 April 1888, stocked 2 June 1890, a Displacement of 930 tons, waterline length 76,91 m, width 8,06 m, draught of 2.74 m. Capacity twin-shaft machinery installation 3200 HP, speed 21 KTS. Armament: three 381-mm dynamite guns, three small-caliber gun. The crew of 70 people Disarmed in 1904, sold for scrapping in 1922
164. Dynamite cruiser “niterói,” Brazil, 1893
Built in Newport, incorporated under the name “El CID” in 1893, launched on 31 may 1893, commissioned as a ship 24 August 1893, re-commissioned as auxiliary cruiser in November 1893 the Tonnage of 6530 tons, waterline length 123,76 m, width of 14.70 m, draft of 6.33 m. the Capacity of a single-shaft machine setup 3600 HP, a speed of 14.5 KTS. Armament: one 267 mm dynamite, one 127-mm and two 102-mm rapid-fire guns, eight small caliber cannons. The crew of about 400 people Just built four almost identical ship: “Niteroi” (ex. “El CID”), “El Sud”, “El Norte”, “El Rio”. “Niterói” in 1898, purchased by the US government, renamed “Buffalo” and converted into an auxiliary cruiser (two 127-mm and four 102-mm guns, six small-caliber guns and two machine guns). Rest in 1898 was used as an auxiliary cruiser: “Elimite”, “Yankee” and “Dixie.”
165. The cruiser of 2nd rank “Republica”, Brazil, 1899
Built in Newcastle, laid down in June 1891, launched on 26 may 1892, staffed by 20 October 1892, the Displacement of 1630 tons Length 75 m, width 11,8 m, draft 4,45 m Power plant—two-shaft power of 5000 HP., speed 20 knots, cruising range of 4200 miles, the coal reserves of 322 T. Booking: deck 30 — 37 mm, cutting 51 mm. Armament: four 150-mm, two 100 mm guns, four small guns, two torpedo tubes. The crew of 273 In 1894 renamed “Queens de Novembre”, but the following year returned to its former name. Excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1920

Even after the war with Paraguay, Brazilians have sought to a greater or lesser extent, to reproduce a successful project. But they succeeded only in 1880, when at the shipyard in Rio de Janeiro laid the body of the “Almirante the Barrus”. This ship was first officially classified as a cruiser.
Named after the commander of the Brazilian Navy in the Paraguayan war Admiral Francisco Manuel Barros, cruiser, after the eponymous battleship, was the second ship with this name. And that’s during the life of the Admiral! However, if you do not pay attention to such immodesty, new development could be the basis for national pride. The ship design was developed by the Brazilian Lieutenant Joao de Candido, project cars — also, the Brazilian Lieutenant Manoel Alves Barboza. Virtually all materials and components has also been made to the Brazilian industry. Thus, the metal structure was recently derived on design capacity of the national iron-making factory “Ipanema”. So it is no wonder that on April 17, 1882, during the descent of the cruiser on water was attended by virtually all the Brazilian “elite”, including the Emperor Dom Pedro II and the Admiral Barros.
With a standard displacement of over 2,000 tons, the ship was carrying a full sailing rig of the Corvette. Steam machine on it will not perform a supporting role, and could be used for long transitions on mechanical traction, good capacity of 2200 horsepower is quite allowed. In this case, the speed in optimal conditions up to 12 knots. “The Almirante Barrus” bore advanced at that time the armament of the six 70-pound guns Whitehead on the Central pin, four 25-mm and six 11-mm Miralles of Nordenfeld. Finally, did honor to the Brazilian shipbuilders and timing of construction: June 19, 1882, he raised the flag, started the campaign just two years after laying!
In 1884, the “Almirante the Barrus” made the first transatlantic voyage by visiting the United States and Europe, demonstrating a good seaworthiness. So the Brazilians could be proud of — the cruiser is quite consistent with international standards. In 1888 on Board the ship in her voyage went the Lieutenant, already during the trip he was promoted to first Lieutenant Augusto Leopoldo the crown Prince of Brazilian throne. By the way, in Europe six guns in the Central Barbet was replaced by the latest 120-mm guns of Armstrong, so in 1890 from the circumnavigation in Brazil is back and more powerful cruiser.
Soon the ship started its second circumnavigation. But this time it didn’t go so well. May 21, 1893 in the Red sea the ship struck on a reef of RAS Zeit and sank. And the crew was rescued by the British gunboat “Dolphin”, which was commanded by the then Lieutenant Cradock, subsequently, in the rank of Admiral who was killed during a battle with the squadron of von Spee.
Thus, the “Almirante the Barrus” showed that Brazilians quite suitable for the construction of a modern ship. The result was a more ambitious project Giovanni de Candido (who were by this time a captain) who wanted to show the world that the country is not just building a good and reliable ships, but cruisers become the strongest representatives of its class in the world.
If compared to major British and French cruisers he clearly looked weak, definitely deserved the title the largest ship in Latin America. When the displacement of nearly 4,500 tons the ship had a steel hull and a double bottom with a very decent division into watertight compartments. Two engines developed a capacity of up to 7,500 horsepower and a reported speed of 17 knots. Twelve 150 – and 120-mm guns of the latest Armstrong could be a pretty powerful argument not only in domestic Latin American showdown, but to adequately respond to the great countries. As an obvious relic on the ship was kept sailing full mast. However, at the time bezygolnyj cruisers have not had time to have its say.
Second Brazilian cruiser received the name of another hero of the Paraguayan war Admiral Camacari, as well as the cruiser “Almirante the Barrus”, he became the second ship with this name, after the namesake of a battleship and the same fact during the life of the “boss”. But Brazilian new building has ruined the revolution and the overthrow of Emperor Dom Pedro. As is usually the case in such situations, the new government was not to the sea ambitions. As a result, after multiple rearrangements, and suspend the construction of the “Almirante Temalari” was commissioned, only to become the target for all sorts of ridicule.
By the way, the unfinished cruiser took quite an active part in the revolution of 1893, the Rebels quite appreciated the strong broadside cruiser, and used it as a floating battery. Finally, in 1897, the ship long-suffering, having lost his mast and having adopted the latest quick-firing artillery, joined the fleet. Although during all these disturbances, he received a number of technical innovations (for example, a very good ventilation system), most of the decisions inherent in the project almost two decades, have become anachronisms and proved to be insurmountable. And delivery fleet also was not easy: the customer was three times rejected the ship. In the end, the cruiser was commissioned only to… become a barracks for the cadets!
Finally, in 1906 the user decides to give “the newest” cruiser in a “Professional school” (old School steering). So, becoming a “multidisciplinary” training ship in 1913 “Almirante Temalari” passed technical inspection, demonstrated the need for docking. In July of the same year he was sent to Doc Guanabara, where replaced from 145 shell plates. But this was only a palliative, technical condition of ship by this time it was more than deplorable. Of course, then he still was operated as a floating barracks, but only to in 1915 eventually be deleted from the lists of the fleet.
Meanwhile, the irrepressible Joao de Candide began a project to develop the next cruiser. The displacement of buildings that did not have time to call in the project did not exceed 4500 tons. Layout, design and protection of the cruiser was little different from the “Camacari”, but due to the growth of displacement and to ensure the design 17 knots had to significantly raise the power of machines. But the weapons are truly inspired respect not only in Brazilian but in world standards. Ten six-inch Armstrong was accompanied by four 12-ton vosmidesyati. Unfortunately, the ambitious cruiser Giovanni de Candido with the overthrow of the Royal power in 1889 had to be dismantled on the slipway.
However, a few years later, amid increasing fleets of their age-old enemies on the continent, the Brazilian military came to the conclusion about the necessity to continue the race for naval armaments, which was allocated for the construction of two new cruisers. Seeing the complexity of the construction of ships to private shipyards on their own, both ships were originally planned under the foreign supplier. Originally intended to give the order in one hand, but grown by this time to rear Admiral Cândido was able to prove the need for the construction of one of the cruisers on the already developed project that gave small savings funds released. As a result, he went to France to supervise and subsequent acceptance laid down at the shipyard in L a Seine cruiser “Benjamin Constant”.
This decision has discouraged sir Armstrong, who reasonably assumed that the order for both cruisers will get him. Nevertheless, he managed to convince Brazilians that can for almost the same price to build “half a cruiser”, that is actually the ship itself and as a Supplement it is reduced in two times copy. So in Newcastle were laid in the same 1891 two more ships for Brazil: of the second rank cruiser “Republica” and the gunboat “Tiradentes”. Both ships launched in one day — may 26, 1892, and in the autumn of that year they hoisted the Brazilian flag, being able to arrive home in the winter following, 1893, the construction of the “Benjamin Constant” lasted longer: in may 1893, he went out on sea trials.
In the summer of 1893, the ensuing events lit cruisers on different sides of the barricades. “Republica”, as most of the existing ships of the fleet, joined the rebels, “Tiradentes”, while on docking in Uruguay, remained loyal to the government, “Benjamin Constantine” was detained by the French authorities before the end of the civil war, let him go home only in 1895
Overall, the outcome of the war was another proof of the wickedness of economy in the Navy. The result is a new government, rejecting this thesis, ordered from the Armstrong three cruisers of the “Amazonas”. With a relatively small standard displacement (a total of 2300 tons) ships could develop a good speed of 20 knots and carried ten six and five inch skorostrel. Simultaneously a contract was signed with German shipyards for the construction of three cruisers smaller: “Tupi”, “Timber and Tamoio”, which received its name in honor of the warlike Indian tribes. When the displacement is almost two times less, and they carried two modest 100-mm skorostrel, but developed a speed of over 23 knots. In the end, Brazil had planned to completely re-equip their cruising power, having achieved some semblance of parity over their neighbors in “alphabetical” fleets.
But then again in the country followed by political complications, resulting in two cruisers — “Amazonas” and “Almirante Abreu” joined the United States Navy… the Cruisers included in operation until 1897, was more fortunate.
25 Aug 1896 in “Barrus” raised the Brazilian flag. But almost all my long 35-year career, the cruiser performed a representative function, the most paradoxical of which was waiting for him in 1908 — the transportation of the remains of his patron Admiral Barrus from Montevideo to Rio. With the outbreak of the First world war, the cruiser, along with three ships of the “Tupi” brought up together, loudly called the 3rd naval division. But the following year was excluded from the lists of the fleet first, “Tupi”, a year — “Tomoyo” in 1917 — “Timber”. Himself “Barrus” went for scrapping only in 1931, having your main gauge for installation on the Fort Coimbra.
Much longer in the lists of the fleet is listed as “Benjamin Constant”. Although he was disarmed in 1926, the building of the former cruiser was chosen by the staff of the service. But in 1938, on Board the floating headquarters of the fire occurred, after which to recover had nothing. But the most interesting was the biography of “the Republic”, during the First world war turned into a memo in the Amazon. In 1920 the ship was disarmed, but two years later it was followed by “reincarnation” — the old cruiser was needed to ensure the flight across the Atlantic Portuguese pilots J. Kutina and S. Cabrala!

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