Belgrano Class Cruisers
arg-belgranosmall.jpg
Note: drawing contains some parts taken from Shipbucket.com)

Ship Characteristics

Dimensions Length 673.5 ft
Beam 71 ft
Draft 26 ft
Displacement (Standard) 13,600 tons
Displacement (Full Load) 17,065 tons
Performance Speed (max) 34 knots
Speed (cruising) 15 knots
Endurance 7,900 nautical miles at 15 knots
Armament Guns 9 8 inch L55, 12 5 inch L38, 12 3 inch L50

Background

Of the 18 Baltimore and six Albany class cruisers completed duriing the Second World War, two Baltimores (Boston and Canberra) were converted to experimental missile cruisers as test beds for the mass conversion of the class. Five of the six Albany Class and seven of the remaining sixteen Baltimores were then fully converted to missile cruisers. The remaining nine Baltimore class cruisers and the remaining Albany clas (Oregon City, the ship have been determined to have defective) were declared surplus to requirements and offered for sale or scrap. Argentina put in a bid for two of the Baltimores and purchased Baltimore and St. Paul. These ships were transferred to Argentina in 1958.

The ships were modified in Argentine service to allow for the severe weather conditions in the far South Atlantic. Their bows were raised and the three inch batteries drastically reduced. In this guise they served as flagships, one of the class always being stationed at Ushuaia. There, they engaged in a constant exercise of brinksmanship against Chilean warships patrolling in the same waters. Belgrano in particular became a great favorite in the Argentine Navy and her crew included a large number of relatives of senior members of the government.

Both cruisers were intended for major rebuilds in the 1970s that would have seen them receiving new secondary batteries and anti-aircraft missiles. Due to Argentina's collapsing economy, these conversions were never carried out.

Class Members

Name Ordered Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
General Belgrano (ex Baltimore) 1940 1941 1942 1943
Pueyrredon (ex St Paul) 1940 1941 1943 1943
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