Monday, 1 October 2012

SCW Naval: Republican Cruisers

While researching and building the opposing fleets I found these two sites invaluable: SCW Warships 1 & SCW Warships 2.

Two of the cruisers featured were the mainstay of the the Republican naval effort as far as heavy units were concerned. These were Libertad & Mendez Nunes. These two were involved in many of the war's engagements and proved their worth time and again against the heavier guns of Canarias & Baleares. Of which, more later.

It has also become apparent that many Spanish ships were based upon RN designs, although with some modifications. It also seems that numbers of British naval engineers remained at various Spanish naval bases, eg El Ferrol & Cartagena, for the duration of the war. It would appear that they assisted both sides in repairs and maintenance.

Cervera Class

ShipsLibertad (ex-Príncipe Alfonso) and Miguel de Cervantes (Republican Navy), Almirante Cervera (Nationalist Navy)
Displacement7,975 tons standard, 9,240 full load
DimensionsLength: 176.62 m (579' 6'') Beam: 16.61 m (54' 6'') Draft: 5.03 m (16' 6'')
Machinery4 Screws, Turbines Parsons, 8 Boilers Yarrow 80,000 HP.= 33-34 knots. 4,950 miles/15 knots
Armament8x152 mm (6'') /50 cal (3 double mounts and 2 single mounts) -4x101.6 mm (4'') /45 cal. AA -2x47mm AA -12 torpedo tubes - 533.4 mm (21'') (4 triple mounts)
ArmorV=75-50 mm H=25 mm

These light cruisers were designed after the British "E" class ( Emerald and Enterprise), though differences in armament arrangement, funnels, torpedoes and other details made them considerably superior to their Royal Navy counterparts. 

Good ships, their main disadvantage being the main guns in opened mounts, oddly in two single and three double mounts. Handsome, fast and well armed for their displacement, at the beginning of the war they were among the most valuable assets for either navies.

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Laid down: 24 November 1922. Launched: 3 January 1925. Completed: 20 September 1927. Retired : 2 January 1970

Libertad 1

Libertad 2

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Miguel de Cervantes 

Laid down: March 1926. Launched: 18 May 1928. Completed: 14 February 1930 Retired: 1 July 1964.

Miguel de Cervantes 1

Miguel de Cervantes 2

Méndez Núñez Class

ShipsMéndez Núñez (Republican Navy ), Blas de Lezo
Displacement4,780 tons standard, 6,045 full load
DimensionsLength: 140.80 m (462') Beam: 14.02 m (46) Draft: 4.72 m (15' 6'')
Machinery4 Screws, Turbines Parsons, 12 Boilers (6- fuel and 6-coal) Yarrow 43,000 HP.= 29 knots. 5,000 miles/13 knots
Armament6x152 mm (6'') /50 cal. -4x47 mm. AA -4 machine guns AA -12 torpedo tubes 533.4 (21'') mm.(4 triple mounts)
ArmorV= 75-50 mm (3''-2'') H=25 mm (1'')
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Méndez Núñez

Laid down: 1915. Launched: July 1922. Completed: September 1924 Retired : 8 February 1964.
The Méndez Núñez had a sister ship named Blas de Lezo who accidentally sank in 1932. Both these cruisers were based on the British "C" class, but better armed. Over the entire life Méndez Núñez maintained a mixed combustion machinery that handicapped her performance.

Mendez Nunez 1

Mendez Nunez 2

I've included images of Blas de Lezo, sunk 1932, with a view to a 'what if?' campaign. Given the Nationalist preponderance of heavy units, and my own bias, she will be Republican.

Blas de Lezo 1

Blas de Lezo 2

All the ship models are from Navwar Naval Vessels Pg18 and are all 1/3000 scale.

Welcome to new blog followers QuantrillRoy who has done some top work in modelling and FLW. Hello also to Geordie who runs another boss blog! I now follow them, and so should you!

All the best!


  1. Interesting stuff - and useful links too. What scale are the models?