España-class Battleship, España - A Sorry Affair

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España-class Battleship, España (II)


España (ex-Alfonso XIII) in 1931, there seems to be a lack of wartime photos of it online

Bluewater vessel, Spanish battleship, smallest dreadnoughts ever made. Most similar ship to it is probably HMS Invincible, but more armoured and slower. Has a small amount of AA.

After Spain’s disasterous defeat in the Spanish-American War, the Spanish Navy was looking to rebuild the fleet with modern battleships. The first few plans in the early 1900s fell through, until the 1907 Fleet Plan, which called for 3 battleships. Preliminary planning of the new battleship class had already begun when the Plan was signed, but the new HMS Dreadnought drastically changed the specifications. The Spanish Navy wanted to build the ships domestically, which meant the size would have to be constrained as there was insufficient money to both enlarge shipyards and build the battleships. The Navy began a design competition which received 4 bids, from a joint Italian, Austro-Hungarian, and French group, a consortium of French companies, the Spanish SECN, set up by various British firms, and a group of Spanish businessmen and other British firms. Ultimately in 1909 the SECN bid was chosen, which was revised to have more armour coverage and better seakeeping. The resulting design was the smallest dreadnought battleships ever built, being only 130m long and displacing only 16k tons (compared to HMS Dreadnought’s 160m and 18k tons), and were armed with only 4 twin 305mm guns.

All 3 ships were laid down at the SECN shipyard in El Ferrol with British-supplied parts, and the first ship, España, completed in 1913. However España was actually destroyed in 1923 after running aground during the Rif War. This España was the second ship, originally named Alfonso XIII and completed in 1915. After the overthrow of the Spanish monarchy (and King Alfonso XIII himself) in 1931, the ship took the name of the sunken España, but because of the Great Depression was decommissioned and put in reserve. By the mid-1930s, the Navy had plans to recommission and modernize it, but because of the Spanish Civil War these plans never came to fruition. At the start of the war in 1936, España was in drydock undergoing repairs in preparation for its recommissioning with 2 of its turrets inoperable and 8 of its secondary guns missing. The ship was seized by the Nationalists and put into water, but the crew supported the Republicans and murdered their Nationalist officers, but after being bombarded by coastal batteries they surrendered the ship. By October of that year, one of its inoperable turrets was brought operational, and some German anti-aircraft guns were fitted. España would be used to block and bombard Republican ports, seizing incoming transports. While on patrol in 1937, the ship struck a mine, which ironically had been laid by a Nationalist ship. The ship slowly sank and most of the crew was successfully rescued. A few months later, its Republican sister Jaime I would suffer an accidental explosion in port, destroying it too, leaving all 3 of Spain’s dreadnoughts with an inglorious fate.

Specifications: (October 1936)

4x2 305mm/50 Vickers Mark H
12 or 20x1 102mm/50 Vickers Mark E
4x1 88mm/45 SK C/13
2x1 20mm/65 C/30

Armour: (Krupp cemented steel)

234mm turrets
250mm fore and aft turret barbettes
140mm side turret barbettes
75mm casemates
230mm main belt
150mm upper belt
125mm lower belt
250mm fore and aft bulkhead
25mm mid deck
50mm aft deck
40mm fore deck
38mm underwater bulkheads
25mm conning tower

15 700 tons standard
16 400 tons full

Length: 139.9m

Beam: 24m

Draft: 7.8m

Propulsion: 4 Parsons geared steam turbines with 12 Yarrow boilers, 15 500 hp, driving 4 shafts

Speed: 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h)

Range: 5000nmi (at 10 knots)

Crew: 854

4 Rangefinders



Konstam. A. (2021) Warships in the Spanish Civil War. New Vanguard (I got pics from this, also RIP Other Ship Game forums)
Error - Blueprint not found - lol, this is why you should always save your images

There seems to be a good source with detailed drawings of Espana: “Battleships and Battle Cruisers, 1905-1970”, unfortunately it’s out of print, not available on epub, and I am currently too poor to buy it used.


I hope this ship yo be added the next year.

As a fan of ships that took part in the Spanish Civil War, Españas are definitely deserving of some representation within the game. So an easy +1 from me (let’s see if they have a mechanic to accidentally explode in game too XD )

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