Good morning, gentlemen:
Probably the most appealing vessels of the Spanish Navy of the interwar period, and pivotal ships of both sides during the Spanish Civil War: the light cruisers of Almirante Cervera Class.
Making some archeology I found the previous drawing before the existence of Shipbucket, and almost every item was wrong: since the lack of a scale (any scale!), to a bad historical research; and since the worst shading imaginable, to a very inaccurate drawing. Fortunately, here in the bucket since my first drawing (thanks, B!!), I had a friendly help from the veteran fellow artists, and during the last year that help was in form of lessons in every item important for a nice and historical correct drawing (lot of thanks to Colombamike), lessons given with amicable generosity.
Designed by Sir James Watts after the RN E class cruisers, Almirante Cervera had a better broadside (8 vs 6) despite having only one more 6 inch gun, due a better arrangement of the main artillery (all in the centerline), and a powerful torpedo armament in the form of 4 triple 533 mm torpedo tubes. In addition, 4 4 inch AA guns gave her an adequate antiaircraft punch specially for the era.
Here is shown Principe Alfonso flying the personal royal flag of King Alfonso XIII during the naval manouvres in the Mediterranean Sea during 1927. After the fall of the Monarchy in 1931, Principe Alfonso was the vessel selected to made the final trip of Alfonso XIII as king, and after returning to home waters she was renamed Libertad (Freedom).
After 1936 coup d'etat, 2 cruisers remained loyal to the republic and one was with the rebels. The main task of the republican fleet was to block the Strait of Gibraltar, avoiding the maritime comunications from Spanish Morocco and the most powerful corps of the rebels, Army of Africa with Metropolitan Spain. But in September 1936, the Republican fleet went to the Bay of Biscay, loosing the control of the straits in the worst strategical decision of the war. Here is shown cruiser Miguel de Cervantes at Bilbao in the futile attempt to regain the naval iniciative in northen waters.
During 1937, the Republic lost the northen territories, including the Basque steelworks, shipyards and arms factories, and the Asturian iron ore and coal mines, and almost all the naval operations were focused at the Mediterranean Sea. In March 1938 the most important naval victory of the Republican Navy was achieved, sinking the 8 inch francoist cruiser at Cabo de Palos. Here is shown cruiser Libertad flying the ensing of Commander Ubieta, CinC of the republican fleet, with a twin 25 mm Hotchkiss at stern and only 3 4 inch Vickers AA gun. Cervantes was absent at Cabo de Palos because since late 1937 she was docked after being strucked by two italian submarine torpedoes.
In the meantime, the francoist ship was very active. Being with Canarias of paramount importance in theBay of Biscay campaign and in gaining the control of the Straits, she was present at the route of Cabo de Palos. Shortly before she was damaged by republican bombers. After being docked, she was refited with 4 german AA replacing the Vickers and 4 also 4 20 mm guns of german origin.
The war begun with a coup d'etat, the francoist one; and ended with another one, the Colonel Casado's republican coup against the Negrin's adminstration in March 1939. The last chapter of the republican fleet was the internment of all the available republican ships at Bizerta. Here is shown Libertad with two single40mm Bofors guns and 4 20 mm single Oerlikons, very late in the war.
Finally, after the end of the war, Libertad was renamed Galicia. The main gun arrengement was changed, all the mounts being doble, and the heavy AA were landed, being replaced by 37 mm and 20 mm guns; Cervantes was modified in the same way.
Credits: Colombamike helped me with this series since the very beginning. Thanks a lot.