Good evening, guys:
Sota y Aznar was the main shipping company in Spain. This Basque company tried to import oil and derivatives and begun talks with the Dutch Shell company and ordered an oil tanker to the also Basque shipyard Euskalduna. But two facts were against Sota y Aznar: the talks with Shell were fruitless; and in 1927 CAMPSA, a monopoly of all the oil trade in Spain, was created. This means that the oil buisness was killed before born, and Sota y Aznat sold the sole oil tanker of the fleet: Artza Mendi.
Artza Mendi was a steam tanker of Sir Joseph Isherwood license. A 114 meters long and 4600 tons vessel, equipped with a single triple expantion steam engine and three boilers the ship was capable of 10.5 knots. She was the first oil tanker built in Spain, in 1921 at a cost of 8,100,000 pesetas, but was sold at a bargain cost of only 2,100,000 (more than 65,000 pounds) to CAMPSA in 1927 and renamed Zorroza.
During the SCW Zorroza was mainly at the Mediterranean Sea, In March 1937 she was torpedoed by the nationalist submarine General Sanjurjo (qv), and survived two torpedo impacts but was able to reach damaged Barcelona. After being repaired in that harbour, in July 1937 she was part of a small convoy of two oilers and one cargo vessel and were sailing close to the French coast of the Gulf of Lyon. Once again the submarine Genaral Sanjurjo found the convoy and begun to shell them (she had expended her load of torpedoes). The cargo ship, Andutz Mendi was heavily shelled but managed to return to Barcelona, as Zorroza and the other tanker did.
After the war Zorroza continued with CAMPSA until being paid off in 1965.
Arnus was a ship ordered by Compañia de Tabacos de Filipinas and designed for the trade of coconut oil. She was built by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson, Ltd in 1922; a 111 meters long and 6500 tons vessel, equipped with twin Neptune diesel engines. In 1928 she was bought by CAMPSA (together with 2 other coconut oil tankers) and renamed Badalona.
In July 1936 she was sailing from Tenerife to Coruña, so she was the only oil tanker in rebel hands at the beginning of the SCW. During the very critical first months of the war was the replenisher oiler of the backbone of the nationalist fleet, the battleship España, the cruisers Canarias and Cervera and the destroyer Velasco. But when sailing alone to the Canary Islands (the main spanish oil refinery was in Tenerife) as a measure of protection, she sailed under german flag with the false name of Sirius.
Badalona survived the Civil War, but had a sad end: in December 1941 she was torpedoed and sunk by the german U-453 submarine (Lt. Egon Reiner von Schlippenbach), off Motril, with 3 KIA, despite the huge neutrality flags painted in the hull.
Credits: In both drawings I had the enormous help of Colombamike, since the inception. Thanks and cheers.