WITH THE NAME OF SPANISH SAILORSIn the dark night of 18 to 19 September 1895 cruiser “Sanchez-Barkataki” out to sea. Yesterday, during a secret meeting, his commander captain 2nd rank ibáñez, Francisco Varela was ordered to intercept gun smugglers in the area Kalasa. The operation was given so much importance that the Board was attended by the chief of the naval forces in Cuba rear Admiral Manuel Delgado Parejo.

Shortly after midnight, leaving from Havana, on the bridge of the cruiser noticed the starboard running him across to the ship “Conde de La Morter”. Since the lighthouse because of fears of provocation of the insurgents (rebels) on the night time off, “Sanchez of Barkataki” merged with the beach, on the boat, and didn’t see it. Realizing the danger of the situation, the cruiser began to apply a light signal, which “Conde de La Morter” noticed too late to prevent a blow became impossible. The agony of the “Sanchez-Barkataki” can be extended, stay the nose of the ship in the hole of the cruiser at least for the period of the rescue crew. But, alas, almost immediately, the captain of the “Conde de La Mortera” Vinola gave the order “full speed astern”, and the cruiser sank within a few minutes, dragging the few already descended on the water sailors. Together with the cruiser he shared the fate of three dozen people, including the commander and the Admiral.
And in 1898 to the bottom went “Jorge Juan”, equipped and re-armed as floating batteries due to the outbreak of the Spanish-American war. Its in the middle of June due to the evacuation of the garrison in the nip began to prepare for flooding, but the situation has accelerated the approaching Americans. When June 21, the port included the gunboat “Wasp”, “Leiden”, “Topeka” and “Annapolis”, the crew of the “Jorge Juan” hastily cleared by the enemy both guns and evacuated. Not seeing the catch, the American squad was subjected to their imaginary enemy attack. Only after plumbtree managed to shoot down pipe and main rigging, the Americans realized that he ceased resistance and sinks. So for the three years ended career the first of a series of cruisers of the second rank of the Spanish fleet.
Not to say that the Spaniards did not understand the value of small ships for cruising operations. On the contrary, throughout the nineteenth century the family sailing, screw corvettes and armed steamers were well represented in the lists of the Spanish fleet. Traditionally, they lay down sentries and messengers missions with the squadron, as well as many small but useful instructions of the heads of ports and naval bases. But it just so happened that the first to articulate the challenges facing the ships of the new type, failed when in the ranks there were some “random” members of this class.
29 Oct 1863 by the famous Scottish firm of Thompson by order of the confederates launched a new cruiser Texas, to preserve the secrecy of the transaction constructed under the fictitious name “Canton”. Since the British government a deal with the confederates still broke, Thompson, again in violation of the neutrality act, sold it in September 1865 by the other belligerent in the country of Chile. Renamed “Tornado”, August 22, 1866 near Madeira the cruiser under a false flag was detained by the frigate “Girona”. After years of litigation, in 1869, the international Tribunal declared the ship a prize of war, and he went to Arsenal Carrak for the weapons and bring it in line with the requirements of the Spanish Navy. In October 1870, “Tornado”, under the same name, included in the lists of the Spanish fleet, immediately sending to Cuba.
But so, apparently, were destined for the newly acquired cruisers to reside at the center of scandals! 31 Oct 1873 “Tornado” detained ship”, Virginius” with a cargo of Cuban weapons to illegal armed groups and with several field commanders on Board. But after the execution of the decision of the Tribunal was that some shot have American citizenship. This gave rise to a serious political crisis with the United States.
If the case of the Tornado, despite the unusually high percentage of iron constructions, still should be called composite, the next cruiser also happened to be under the red-and-yellow flag was already full metal.
Started in 1873 the civil war with the carlists, the government was faced with the problem, which is not even suspected. Since the main brunt of the fighting moved to the rugged mountains of Asturias and Navarre, the fleet was absolutely not prepared to change traditionally solved problems. Despite the mighty appearance, frigates and battleships that constituted a “big club” Queen Isabel, had nothing to oppose to the enemy, had taken refuge in a small, remote and difficult of navigation in the coves of Northern Spain. And the pursuit of numerous smuggling weapons to large ships were somehow not to face.
In this situation, the greatest efficiency was shown by the armed steamers, the number of which more peaceful times was considerable. But, alas, even when meeting with the enemy, armed only with small arms, absolutely deprived of the protection of the ships suffered heavy losses in personnel. Perhaps the most significant loss in such clashes was the death on the ship “colon” in may 1875, the legendary Victoriano sánchez-Berastegi.
In the end, the question arose about the speedy completion of the fleet with a small screw special ships built with an iron hull. But due to the lack of in Spanish the term “cruiser” they were then called in official documents “memo”.
The first series of “memos”, with record speed built in France (“Marques del Duero” and “Fernando El Catolico”), was, according to the Spanish Chief of naval staff, too slabogorki and unseaworthy, but the second (“Sanchez-Barkataki” and “Jorge Juan”), was built in less than a year, fully satisfied the demanding requirements of seafarers.
By the way, this second series was a little iffy. The fact that immediately upon entering battle cruisers in the system (leading French reference on the navies of the world) “ed Memoir L Officier de Marin” was placed in the “case material” information, what it’s made of wood. Interestingly, soon this error has repeated the parrot “Estados General de Armada”, and since then often, even in quite respectable publications, pop up information about a wooden enclosure.
At the end of the carlist wars, kananitskogo uprising and other small armed “showdown” came to power, the king Alfonso XII began actively to restore the ailing fleet. He did not forget the plans of the Renaissance and type “enhanced vouchers”, found so hard.
Almost immediately, the performance characteristics of the “Jorge Juan” was referred to as technical task to the British. Those basing traditional British colonial sloop, quickly found consensus with the customer. So in 1882, the Spanish fleet was supplemented by two more cruisers of the second rank: “Velasco” and “Gravina”, continuing the tradition of names in honor of the great sailors of Spain.
85. The cruiser of 2nd rank “Sanchez-Barkataki”, Spain, 1875
Built in La Seine, “uh forges Chantiers de La Méditerranée”. A displacement of 935 tons, waterline length 62 m, width 7.2 m, draft 4,72 m. Capacity single-shaft machinery installation 1100 HP., speed 12 KTS. Armament: three 160-mm system, the Parrot, two 75-mm gun company of Croup and one 80-mm bronze gun, two machine guns. Just built two units. In the mid-1890s rearmed with three 120-mm gun system Antoria with a barrel length of 25 calibers.
86. The cruiser of 2nd rank “the Rio de La Plata” in Spain, 1898
Built in Le Havre by “e forges Chantiers”. The displacement of 1715 tons, waterline length 75 m, width 10.6 m, draught 4,35 m. Capacity twin-shaft machinery installation 7100 HP., speed 20 KTS. Booking: deck 12 — 20 mm Armament: two 140-mm guns Kane with a barrel length of 45 calibers, four 105 mm Krupp guns with a barrel length of 35 calibers, four 57-mm guns, four machine guns, two torpedo tubes.
87. The cruiser of 2nd rank “Extremadura”, Spain, 1900
Built in Cadiz by the firm “vey Murgia”. The 2030 tons displacement, length of waterline 88,39 m, width 10,97 m, draught 4,26 m. Capacity twin-shaft machinery installation 7000 HP., speed 20 KTS. Reservations: the deck is 20 — 25 mm. Armament: eight 102-mm guns Vickers with a barrel length of 50 calibers, four 57-mm guns, four machine guns.

Critically reflect on both the type of cruisers traditional rivals, the Spaniards had already developed his project, essentially repeating the British development. Only it had built six ships (“Infanta Isabel”, “don Juan de Austria”, “Isabel II”, “colon”, “don Antonio de Hive” and “Conde de Venadito”). It was the biggest series of cruisers of the Spanish fleet in its history.
Three guns of the main caliber was considered insufficient, so in the project of the ship with a displacement of little more than a thousand tons entered at once five! But very quickly it became clear that due to the fifth gun on the tank ship will be hard to dig the nose. So finally all the ships left only four guns. And the rest of the new cruiser inherited the high hell of the English prototype.
If on the true combat value built cruisers can be a long debate, it isn’t an exaggeration the assertion that they literally revived the shipbuilding industry. And in Spain, were built not only housing, but virtually all the “stuffing”, from artillery and finishing machines and boilers. And the construction of the “Infanta Isabel” even the first time used a riveting machine, whereby she had become the first cruiser of the Spanish metal buildings.
But given the typical Spanish unfinished, the whole series of ships was put into operation already completely outdated. Although the cruiser of the second rank quite organically fit into the existing structure of the fleet, would give the report that the fleet is obsolete. In 1890, published “Notes on the composition of the fleet” was explicitly stated that the “Infanta Isabel” — a disgusting type of cruiser and is well known for all its unattractiveness for squadrons.
The first reaction of the Chief of naval staff began the task of adjusting project, in which traditional reinforcement weapons for the same tonnage laid a prerequisite to the availability of the armored deck.
As announced in August, 1885, the competition was attended by 14 foreign firms, and was recognized as the best project of Armstrong. In March of the following year signed a contract for the construction of two cruisers — “Isla de Cuba” and “Isla de Luzon”, with the subsequent transfer of a set of factory drawings of the Spanish side (but instead of an expected series of them built only one “Marques de La Ensenada”),
Despite the rapid and high-quality Assembly and first used in the Spanish Navy steel case, cheat, technological progress has failed. Six guns has proved to be excessive for such a small boat, so that soon the guns from the forecastle and the poop went to the arsenals. Valkosti housing has been partially offset by the installation of bilge keels, but the archaic nature of the requirements specification shipbuilders to liquidate failed.
However, by this time, the Main marine headquarters have lost interest in cruisers of the second rank, focusing on the alleged “stanove the backbone” of the fleet, in the Spanish interpretation — armored and large armored cruisers.
Would remain “Isla de Cuba” and “ISlate Lesson” the most modern cruisers of the second rank in the Spanish Navy, if not a tragedy. In the autumn of 1895, in time of peace, literally within a couple of months on the bottom went from three representative class cruisers of Spain! About the tragedy of the “Sanchez-Bar-castigi” already mentioned, after it ran aground and was completely destroyed by the outbreak of Typhoon “colon”, and to top it all the troubles disappeared with the crew of the cruiser “Reina Regente”.
Since Spain at this point was at the peak of the shipbuilding activity, all three drowned men needed immediate replacement. Thus an entirely non-trivial situation, when, lo and behold, under the new unplanned construction was needed.
The country began unprecedented in the history of public campaign to raise funds for the construction of the fleet. When, in 1897, adopted amendments to the existing ship-building program, it turned out that the collected funds will be enough for four cruisers! Them secured the names of the sponsors. Cruiser, builtin tools of the Spanish immigrants in Argentina and Uruguay, was named “Rio de La Plata”, of Mexico and Central America, “Mexico,” the Caribbean colonies — “Puerto Rico” and the metropolis — “Patria”. Two more of the same type — “Isabel La católica” and “don Fernando de aragón”, which was supposed to be built with funds raised by subscription among the Spaniards in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and El Salvador, and hung in the air. The required amount has not been collected, so that the received funds were reallocated in favor of other cruisers.
The problem remained only in the project. This time in the course of the contest the best recognized French cruiser company “Forge Chantiers”, offering the Spaniards a modernized project of the Portuguese “San Gabriel” with the Spanish side set of drawings.
But subsequent events, primarily the Spanish-American war and General gloom from the heavy defeat, the most fatal impact on construction plans.
Head of the “Rio de La Plata”, constructed in Le Havre, in September, 1898 launched, so it was nowhere to retreat. To cover the debt at its completion, it became necessary to sell the transatlantic mail steamers, “Cadiz” and “Barcelona”. A second cruiser, was laid down in January 1898 in Ferrol, after the loss of “Puerto Rico” was renamed the “General Liniers”.
The construction of both cruisers, the materials of which have begun to harvest Carraca, was supposed to cancel. But intervened “his Majesty the case”. Firm of Cadiz “vey Murgia”, already built ships and vessels for Spain (the largest of which was the cruiser “Carlos V”), by upgrading its capacity with the company “Vickers”, suddenly took the initiative to build the “Mexico”. Making an offer that was impossible to refuse, she has achieved little redistribution of existing financial flows. In the end, the order “General Liniers” canceled 27 Aug 1903, and the elements of its structure has already been erected on the slipway, and harvested material went on being built next to the second “Rhine Regente”.
The project “Extremadura” (renamed “Mexico city” because of the loss of the colonies in the Caribbean) is formally based on the “Rio de La Plata”, but in fact represented a fundamentally new type, having more similarities with the English “Belarusami”. Changed even the Holy of holies — the regular artillery.
By the time of the order “Rio de La Plata”, it became clear that a 120-mm gun system Ontoria also obsolete on all counts. As a result, for the weapons of the cruisers main guns approved in the form of a mixture of 140-mm guns Kane (as on the cruisers “Catalunya”) and 105-mm guns Krup-PA (as in the cruiser “Carlos V”). French cruiser were, respectively, two and four such guns. Increased to 300 tons displacement “Extremadura” was used to accommodate two 140-mm guns. But in the end, for the weapons of the cruiser went the latest 102-mm gun Vickers, who had shown themselves so well that they subsequently used in many of the Spanish ships from gunships to dreadnoughts.
Thus ended the history of the Spanish cruisers, second class. Cruising stagnation provoked the Spanish-American war, ended only during the First world war, giving birth to a new subclass of cruisers of the Spanish scouts. But that’s another story. But what was the fate of the already constructed Armada of cruisers of the second rank? Of the sixteen ships of this type drowned nine — a fact clearly showing the burden that lay on them, despite the birth defects and the obsolescence of the design!
About the tragic fate of the cruisers of the first series mentioned. Surprisingly, the fate of the ships of the second series repeated the first: one died in peacetime, and the second is not claimed in the military. Almost immediately after the commissioning of both cruisers was transferred to the Philippines. It was here, on 10 July 1884 at the island Fugue (North of Luzon) in the Typhoon killed “Gravina”. The same type of “Velasco” is quite actively used for actions against pirates and insurgents. From 1885 to 1890, due to German claims to Carolina he guarded the sovereignty of these overseas territories. By the beginning of the Spanish-American war because of its extreme dilapidation he stood disarmed dismantled machines at the Arsenal of Cavite and the appearance of the Americans was destroyed by his own crew.
Of the six cruisers of the second series lost exactly half. First during a Typhoon in Cuba sank colon. By the way, despite his short career, he managed to write his name in the history of the submarine force. It is the first time in Spain was carried out the first successful, though training, attack submarine. It was in 1890 during the tests, the submarine of Isaac Peral.
After the “colon” in the battle at Cavite on may 1, 1898, to the bottom went “don Antonio de Hive” and “don Juan de Austria”.
When, after the first phase of the battle followed the order of Admiral Montejo to evacuate the personnel and ships to sink, it could run only on “Don Juan”. And “Antonio” at the very beginning of the battle, a heavy shell exploded and killed its commander. Given that the machine it was in the shop, and artillery partially dismantled, the ship was the only one who took the brunt of the second phase of the battle. Because it was waving the flag, but about the evacuation of the crew of the Americans do not even thought its just a “leveled” because the ship was already sitting on the rocks.
After the war, both cruisers raised, but if the “don Juan de Austria” re-entered into operation the us Navy, the recovery of the second due to severe injuries admitted to be feasible.
After overhaul in Hong Kong and upgrading (four 102-mm skorostrel), “don Juan de Austria” was able to be celebrated in the “boxer” rebellion, and action against Philippine insurgents, but under the American flag. In the end, it was in 1904 transferred to Portsmouth, where later he goes to a part of the naval militia of Michigan. After exclusion of in 1919 from the Navy it was sold to private persons and converted into ordinary steamer operated until the mid 1930s.
“Infanta Isabel” and “Conde de Venadito” had survived the war in Havana. “Isabel II”, despite a number of fights with the Americans in Puerto Rico, also remained afloat. All three cruisers in 1899 repatriated to their homeland. But then their fate is divided. The last two in 1900 was excluded from the lists of the fleet. Both still pretty solid body is altered in blockily: “Isabel II” — for the needs of the Cartagena school of mine, “Conde de Venadito” — as the mine and torpedo warehouse for Versalskogo Arsenal. “Isabel” was probably killed by Franco’s bombs during the civil war, and the second sunk as a target in 1936, during the exercise of cruisers.
“Infanta Isabel” 3 Aug 1900 suffered greatly from the explosion of the boiler, whereby he went for overhaul. And therefore, when in 1901 there was a question about its further destiny, to exclude from the lists of the fleet of newly-repaired ship did not dare. “Princess” is reclassified in a gunboat and dismantled her main guns with torpedo tubes. In 1910-1911 “Infante Isabel” was radically rebuilt with significant changes in the appearance and rearmed, installing 66-mm cannon “Skoda” and ten 57-mm guns Nordenfelt. The rest of her career she performed the role often in Guinea, Fernando Po and Rio Muni, while in 1926 it did not exclude from the lists of the fleet.
“Isla de Cuba” and “Isla de Luzon” was also sunk by their crews after the first phase of the battle of Cavite. And both, as “don Juan de Austria” were also raised, repaired and commissioned in the American Navy under the same names, while receiving four new rapid-fire 102-mm guns. At the end of major operations against Filipino insurgents moved to metropolis and put at the disposal of the naval militia of the States of Louisiana and Maryland.
But the further career of the former Spanish cruisers differed most dramatically. “Isla de Luzon” after the delisting of the fleet in 1920 was sold to a small firm with the Bahamas and to its delivery for scrapping in 1931, worked as rescue vessel “Reviver”.
But “Isla de Cuba” in 1912, bought the Venezuelan government. Wanting to reform his fleet, who came to power in Venezuela, General Gomez has allocated a small sum for the purchase of ships. It was under this program and hit the “Isla de Cuba”, after conversion to a training ship renamed Mariscal Sucre. In a new guise in the former cruiser was only two 102-mm and eight small-caliber skorostrel, but if necessary he could shift to any point of the Venezuelan coast up to 300 Marines. In 1929, the former cruiser was excluded from the lists of the fleet, but to scrap almost the largest ship of the Venezuelan Navy decided not to. In the result until the end of world war II, he acted as a floating battery and towed the training-artillery ship. The veteran ship went to the bottom as a target on 22 January 1952, during the artillery exercises of the latest Venezuelan corvettes.
“Islam” is the only cruiser of this type of “marqués de La Ensenada” Spanish built anything particularly heroic are not distinguished. Although immediately after commissioning, he was deployed to Guinea to protect its overseas possessions from the territorial claims of France, but in 1897 he, like most of his “classmates”, went to the Caribbean. Safely after repairs to the Havana Arsenal throughout the war, he returned to metropolis, where in 1901 he was expelled from the lists of the fleet. But until his passing to be scrapped in 1913 “Marques de La Ensenada” still managed to serve in the role of warehouse torpedo armament for Carmaxcom Arsenal.
But “the Rio de La Plata” and “Extremadura”, being after the “great purge” of the fleet in the beginning of the century perhaps the most modern units, is used actively. Mainly for various tests and experiments.
So, “Rio de La Plata” had become the first Spanish cruiser to circumnavigate the world voyage. Later, he visited the first Spanish mine layers, and at the end of his career and even the detachment of naval aviation, but alas, only as a floating barracks and schools.
“Extremadura” at the same time inscribed his name in the history of radio in the Spanish Navy, for the first time in 1904 by a steady radio contact with another ship. And after the commissioning of the Navy’s first submarine, she became a supply ship, charging from your cars battery, giving the on Board shelter to weary sailors, and placed in its hold workshops and warehouses necessary for the boat materials.
However, this noble mission did not save both cruisers from webbing military service. Both are quite actively involved in the operations in Morocco. And “Rio de La Plata” probably was the only cruiser of the Spanish Navy, Potapushin submarine. However, much of heroism in this action were not. March 24, 1918 in El Ferrol interned German submarine is-48. And when on March 14, 1919 she tried to go to sea, in violation of all international norms and rules, “the Rio de La Plata” immediately opened fire, forcing the German crew to sink their ship.
Both cruisers because of bad technical condition in 1931 was excluded from the lists of the fleet and the following year handed over for scrapping.
But oddly enough, the longest career was the first cruiser of the second rank — “Tornado”. Upon returning from Cuba to the mother country he joined the Practical squadron until the end of the 1880s, completely obsolete, it is not reclassified in the pontoon. After the Spanish-American war, among others of the old ships of the “Tornado” was supposed to pass to be scrapped, but ironically, quite durable hull of the cruiser was as it is impossible more by the way, when at the end of 1898 there was a need to organize a boarding school for children whose parents died during the war (a kind of analogue of the Nakhimov naval school). This image of “Tornado” has outlasted all of its even more young contemporaries, having gone to the bottom 28 November 1938 under the bombs of the five Italian “Savoy”, having to raise a generation of sailors, in whose honor was named already other ships of the Spanish fleet.

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