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RegiaMarina1939
Post subject: The Brazilian EmpirePosted: October 25th, 2021, 2:20 am
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(a good portion of this is the same as in OTL, with a few changes in years and actual events for continuity sake, please keep in mind not all history is posted and it is still a work in progress, what you are seeing here is an extremely basic overview. I will attempt to elaborate my history and write a backstory for everything in due time. Please be patient because time is not something I have much of, lol.)
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In the early years of the 19th Century, South America was in a state of immense turmoil. Nations were rising against their former colonial masters around the continent, and bloody wars for independence broke out in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia, among others. Brazil, long loyal to the Portugese crown, proved no differnet. Portugal at the time was suffering from immense internal political turmoil as a result of the chaotic nature of the Royal Family, a group that was constantly bickering and fighting amongst themselves. As a result, Brazil was neglected as a colony. Infrastructure lay in disrepair, and the population struggled under immense taxes to fund the Royal Family's projects back in Portugal. In 1822, Brazilians declared their independence from Portugal, and for the next 3 years, war wracked the country, with loyalist units being besieged in most of the former colony's major cities. However, hopelessly outnumbered, they were eventually forced to surrender, and in 1825 the new Brazilian nation was recognized by their former masters as independent.
However, things would not prove to be so easy for the fledlging nation. It would take until 1840 for the government to establish itself and bring order to the nation that had been lawless for the last several years. Instituting programs of public works and spending on the people, the new government rapidly brought the nation up to speed with the rest of the continent, and even some European observers noted the country as being a bright example of progress. However, a new Emperor was appointed in 1845, Emperor Pedro II. He rapidly built up the country's military, with a fleet of some 15 ships and a standing army of 75,000 men by 1850. The people had long looked to Portugal as their former oppressor, and were not content with their victory in the war of independence. In their mind, Portugal should be made to pay for the atrocities and injustices committed against the people of the new nation. In April of 1852, a Brazilian vessel docked in a harbor in Angola, a Portuguese colony, was boarded by Portuguese customs officials and military personnel, who violently searched the vessel in suspicion of it partaking in the illegal opium trade. Several Brazilian sailors were savagely beaten and 2 were shot execution style for resisting arrest. The following month, after an exchange of insults between diplomats, Brazil formally declared war on their former colonial overlords. The Brazilian fleet, largely composed of wooden sailing vessels and muzzle loading guns, outnumbered the Portuguese fleet nearly 2:1, but her ships were considerably less well built and maintained. However, the war opened with the fleet escorting a convoy carrying over 25,000 troops and 150 artillery pieces to Angola. The Portuguese colonial squadron, comprised of 2 large warships and 5 smaller sloops and brigs, engaged the Brazilian fleet of 8 44-gun vessels and 13 24-gun brigs and 12-gun sloops on the morning of May the 21st, 1852. The Portuguese inflicted heavy damage on the Brazilian fleet, sinking 2 brigs, a sloop, and 2 frigates, but were forced to retreat when their flagship, Maria I, exploded in a massive detonation of her magazines.
The Brazilian force landed later that day, and the heavily outnumbered Portuguese colonial garrison troops (only about 10,000 men were ready to defend the colony, though 15,000 more were available) struggled to contain the invaders. Over the next 2 years, Brazilian and Portuguese soldiers fought relentlessly over the colony, and it was only in January of 1854 that the Portuguese surrendered after a massive defeat while defending their last stronghold in the country's rugged interior, Luena. The battle was decided by Portugal being unable to supply her troops, 2/3 of the colony's major ports were controlled by the Brazilian army. A relief attempt by 8 warships and over 12,000 men of the Portuguese army was soundly defeated by entrenched Brazilian marines with artillery and naval support. In April of 1854, Portugal surrendered, and ceded the entire colony of Angola to Brazil. The population was ecstatic.
As a result of this acquisition, the nation was flooded with new internal trade, and the additional tax revenue made it possible to expand infrastructure and industry around the nation. Several of the countrys major ports were expanded drastically, and factories and railroads began to line the coast. The First Brazilian Empire was proclaimed in 1860, when Uruguay was absorbed. By 1875, Brazil was militarily and economically the most powerful nation in South America, and forged an alliance with the United States to uphold the Monroe Doctrine. American trade and investment also greatly aided the economy, which had grown to include heavy industries like steel and armaments manufacturing by 1880. The steady economic growth and peaceful foreign affairs meant that the Brazilian military had steadily grown into a force to be reckoned with by 1900, and that is where our story shall begin...
Brazil at the turn of the century was in a relative economic boom. With industry growing up all over the world, demand for Brazilian rubber was at an all-time high, and Brazilian sugar and coffee exports made many rich. A significant amount of Italian immigrants were among those exploiting Brazil's vast natural resources, and their influence on the government grew considerably over the next few years. In 1890, a new Emperor, Matteo I, ascended to the throne. As his name implies, he was of Italian descent. The nephew of Pedro II, he was also a cousin of the Italian King, Vittorio Emmanuele III. These close ties with the Italian regency, as well as popularity among the rich and powerful Italian population of Brazil, led to good relations with the Kingdom. By 1900, he had used his country's economic boom to transform the economy and infrastructure of Brazil. The railroad network was expanded, ironworks, shipyards, and other manufacturing plants dotted the coastline where the major population centers were concentrated. Brazilian literacy and healthcare improved, and with Italian investment, the Amazon became more easily traversed and exploited for it's vast resources than ever before, owing to a network of ferry lines and new railroads expanded with foreign capital. All this focus on the economy had left the Brazilian military neglected, and by 1900, it was behind it's major competitors in Argentina and Chile considerably. Chile's army stood at over 100,000 active servicemen, recently battle-hardened after a war against Bolivia and Peru for control of the Bolivian coastline. Their fleet numbered 4 ironclads and a large, modern cruiser in 1900, the ironclads all having been thoroughly modernized recently. Argentina, comparatively, had a standing army of 125,000 men, and a fleet of 3 large modernized ironclads and 2 fast light cruisers, as well as a handful of British and American-built destroyers and torpedo boats. To combat this, Brazil had a standing army of just 75,000 men, mostly still armed with older, single-shot rifles, and a fleet of 2 large ironclads of 1880's vintage, as well as a 2 older smaller ironclads and a handful of torpedo boats and gunboats. To combat this deficiency, Matteo I issued a decree for a new fleet program, and immediately expanded the army to 125,000 men and began production of a new service rifle, the Arma Modelo 1900, designed locally with Italian assistance. The fleet program began immediately as well, ordering 2 large, modern Italian-built battleships, 2 Italian-built scout cruisers, 18 destroyers (later increased to 24), and a handful of locally built gunboats, as well as provisions for the most powerful ironclads, Riachuelo and Aquidaban, to be thoroughly modernized in Italy.
The new ships of the fleet had all been delivered by 1906/07, after which a healthy shipbuilding industry domestically was able to further produce warships for the navy. Between 1910 and 1916, the navy acquired 4 dreadnoughts, 2 large armored cruisers, 4 colonial cruisers, and a further 12 destroyers, as well as 6 submarines. The old ironclads Riachuelo and Aquidaban were reclassified as armored cruisers and were renamed Matto Grosso and Christo Redentor. Together with the pre-dreadnoughts Pedro-II and Barroso, they formed the reserve division of the battleship fleet. Meanwhile, the new dreadnoughts of the Riachuelo-class, though comparatively budget-sized with only 6 x 305-mm guns formed the core of the battle fleet. Despite their diminutive size, 4 were able to be built on local yards with Italian assistance, as superiority in numbers was all the admiralty really cared about upon their commissioning in 1908, this was deemed acceptable. 1914-1916 was relatively quiet for Brazil. The fleet stood at 6 battleships, 2 large modern armored cruisers and 2 modernized ironclads classed as armored cruisers, 6 light cruisers, 36 destroyers, 48 torpedo boats, and 10 submarines, the largest fleet in the South Atlantic, let alone South America. The army was expanded another 20,000 men in 1914, due to the outbreak of war in Europe and requests by the Italians for Brazilian contribution.
It took another 2 years for Brazil to join the conflict. Motivated by Mexican involvement with the Central Powers that involved the acquisition of 2 pre-dreadnoughts in 1905, as well as the purchase of a brand new German cruiser in 1914, Brazil declared war on the central powers when Mexico proclaimed their support for them. The Americans followed suit upon discovery of the infamous Zimmerman telegram. In April of 1916, a year before the American declaration of war, a Brazilian fleet met the Mexicans off the Yucatan Penninsula. The Mexicans fielded 2 pre-dreadnoughts, 2 modernized ironclads, a modern scout cruiser, 4 torpedo gunboat cruisers, 9 destroyers and 14 torpedo boats. Arranged against them was Brazil's 1st Battleship division, the battleships Riachuelo and Espirito Santo, the large armored cruiser Pedro I the light cruiser Atlantico, the colonial light cruisers Tiradentes and Rio De Janeiro, 7 destroyers and 12 torpedo boats, as well as the Reserve Battleship Squadron of the pre-dreadnoughts Pedro-II and Barroso, the modernized ironclads-turned armored cruisers Matto Grosso and Christo Redentor, and another 5 torpedo boats. The Brazilian fleet, under the command of Admiral Julio Vargas, who had been thoroughly educated on naval combat in Italy, sighted the Mexican fleet in calm, clear weather off the tip of the Yucatan penninsula on the morning of April 15th, 1916. The Brazilians immediately raised steam and moved towards the Mexicans, who by now were forming up their fleet into a column and steaming at full speed towards the Brazilians. Both fleets began long-distance firing, with the Mexican gunnery proving surprisingly accurate, with Ricahuelo taking 3 x 305-mm hits from the Mexican pre-dreadnought Monarco that caused a fire that had to be extinguished before they could reply with a salvo of their own. The Mexican Admiral, Juan Carlos del Toro, deployed his light forces to attempt to scatter the Brazilians with a torpedo attack before they could reply with a salvo of their own, but they were forced to turn back when the lead ship, the modern light cruiser Aguila was sunk in a hail of shells by the Brazilian cruiser force which had moved to intercept the attack. 3 more Mexican destroyers were sunk before they broke off the attack. Meanwhile, the Brazilian battleships had utilized their superior speed to cross the enemy fleet's T, a salvo from the dreadnoughts instantly detonating the old ironclad Mexico, and damaging the pre-dreadnought Soberano so severely she had to break away from the fighting and make for Tampico navy base. The rest of the Mexican fleet withdrew, but not before one of the remaining destroyers sank the colonial cruiser Rio De Janeiro with a torpedo attack as the Brazilian cruiser squadron chased after the fleeing Mexican Armada. Soberano made it about 2/3 of the way to Tampico, before a fire caused a huge explosion in her magazines which lifted the aft turret out of it's mounting and instantly snapped the ship's keel. The Mexican fleet would not sail again in it's entirety for the duration of the war.
It took the Brazilians another year to deploy ground forces, landing 35,000 men on the Yucatan Penninsula, with the support of 20,000 American Marines. Though the first stages of the Yucatan campaign went well, the fighting eventually stabilized 6 months into the operation, with lines of trenches crisscrossing the region. Nevertheless, determined Mexican counterattacks were beaten back by entrenched Allied forces with machine guns and artillery, and nearly 60,000 Mexican troops were funneled into the defense, away from the main front against the Americans to the North. Brazil imported a further 15,000 colonial troops by the beginning of 1918, but the war against the American's was going so poorly for the Mexican army that they had no choice but to capitulate by the middle of the year, with shells already falling on Mexico City. The rest of the central powers followed suit a few months later. Brazil's peace terms proposed against Mexico were harsh. They were to surrender every ship larger than a destroyer to the Brazilan fleet, and their new ship tonnage was not to exceed 100,000 tons. Furthermore, their army would be banned from possessing artillery larger than 75-mm in caliber, as well as heavy machine guns or chemical weapons. The Americans, fearing this would create a vengeful Mexico that would destabilize their sphere of influence over Central America, allowed the Mexicans to keep their fleet, but only ships of light cruiser size or smaller could be built, aircraft were forbidden and the rest of the Brazilian terms were retained, though a standing army of 100,000 was allowed and artillery caliber upped to 105-mm. Brazil grudgingly agreed, and the fleet helped repatriate troops from Europe and Mexico for the next 2 years.
Following the Navy's victory over the Mexicans, hailed as the Battle of Yucatan, lead to widespread public praise for the fleet, and public demand lead to the order of 2 super-dreadnoughts, built locally with Italian technical assistance, and 2 more scout cruisers, as well as 6 destroyers and 4 more submarines. The naval budget was stretched to it's limits by these last acquisitions, and the Admiralty was forced to cut some spending in the form of scrapping the older modernized ironclads, as well as the first destroyer and torpedo boat generations in service. The pre-dreadnoughts would be mothballed and sold for scrap just a year later. The ships of this last program would not be completed until well after the end of the war, the battleships and cruisers being delivered in 1921-23, with the smaller units commissioning in 1919-20. By 1925, the Brazilian fleet numbered 6 battleships, 2 large armored cruisers, now reaching nearly 10 years of age, 5 light cruisers, all of which were due for a replacement, and some 32 destroyers and 40 torpedo boats. The submarine force sat at around 10 boats, though this would grow over the next decade as their importance was realized. Under the Washington Naval Treaty, Brazil was allowed to retain it's 2 newest battleships, forced to scrap 2 of it's 4 Riachuelo-class dreadnoughts, and was allowed to replace all of it's cruisers with modern units following treaty stipulations when it saw fit. Though protested at first, this force reduction did a lot to keep the country from becoming totally bankrupt just a few years later, when the Great Depression hit, which would usher in a radically different time in Brazilian history...
(I have 6-7 drawings ready and they will all be posted with history tomorrow. Stay tuned. I welcome all criticism of my work so long as it is constructive. Thanks!)
(Additional history on colonial expansion will be included)

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RegiaMarina1939

Current Worklist:
-Real designs
-Brazil AU


Last edited by RegiaMarina1939 on October 31st, 2021, 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RegiaMarina1939
Post subject: Re: The Brazilian EmpirePosted: October 26th, 2021, 1:34 am
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The contract for their construction went to Ansaldo, the last foreign-built battleships of the Empire. Short-tubby ships based on contemporary Italian pre-dreadnoughts designed for the Mediterranean, their seakeeping left much to be desired. Nevertheless, they were laid down in April of 1902, launched in January 1903, and commissioned in October 1904. Their names were Pedro-II and Barroso.
Upon commissioning, they looked like this:
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-At just shy of 120 meters long and nearly 24 meters wide, they were short, beamy little battleships with a high superstructure, making them poor seaboats. As a result of their abysmal seakeeping, they were almost entirely kept in the Home Fleet's 1st battleship division, based in Rio De Janeiro. Despite their shortcomings, they were nevertheless exceptionally well-protected, with a 240-mm thick main armor belt, 305-mm on the turrets and conning tower, and 190-mm on the secondaries, with 40-mm bulkheads between the guns. Deck armor was almost entirely 20-mm thick, with 76-mm over the machinery spaces. Grates were fitted atop the funnels to stop debris and projectiles from falling into them during battle. In terms of armament, they were rather well-off, with a main battery of 4 x 305-mm/45-caliber guns in twin turrets fore and aft, as well as 6 x 152-mm/45-caliber guns forming the secondary battery. These were complimented by no less than 10 x 76-mm/45-caliber guns and 10 x 57-mm guns forming the anti-torpedo boat battery. Strangely, no torpedo tubes or machine guns were fitted, but the bow was made exceptionally strong for ramming actions against enemy vessels (the Admiralty's thinking in this regard was rather antiquated, and still envisioned pitched ramming battles with the ironclads in Chile and Argentina.) Their machinery was of the vertical triple-expansion type, supplied with steam from 8 x Babcock/Wilcox coal-fired boilers for a trial speed of 16.5 knots, though 15/14 was more common in service.
-Upon their commissioning, they sparked a panic among the rest of the South American navies, with Argentina and Chile instantly sending their capital ships abroad for extensive modernization and drawing up plans to build their own new capital ships. Argentina even went so purchase a pair of British 9.2-inch guns and emplace them in a fortified battery outside Buenos Aires. They were by far the most powerful capital ships in service in South America, and spent the first 5 years of their lives sailing around the Americas and Europe, showing the flag. During this time, their crews developed a serious hatred for them for their terrible seakeeping ability, Barroso's captain refusing to continue the rest of his European tour and demanding to be allowed to sail to Brazilian Guinea or Sao Tome so his crew could rest. In 1913, the ships formed the Reserve battleship squadron with the old ironclads Matto Grosso and Christo Redentor, and were present at the Battle of Yucatan, where their gunnery struck the Mexican flagship Soberano, leading to her eventual demise. Hopelessly obsolete by the end of the war, they were scrapped immediately after completing their duties repatriating Brazilian troops from Mexico.
-Another result of the 1900 fleet program were the light cruisers of the Atlantico-class. These were the first and largest Brazilian ships to be built locally. Planned as a class of 5, only 3 were ever completed. Atlantico and Independencia were laid down at the Imperial Naval Arsenal in Rio De Janeiro, while Bahia was built by the Royal Ironworks in Brasilia. They were built to an Italian design, and were finally laid down in 1903 after a lengthy design and bidding process. Completed in late 1904, they commissioned early 1905, and were the last large triple-expansion engined ships built for the fleet. As completed, they looked like this:
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-At 106 meters long, they were relatively short for a scout cruiser of the time, and carried a tall, vertical superstructure to maximize deck space for as much armament as could be carried. They were thinly built ships, at just 12 meters wide. Nevertheless, they still managed to mount a heavy armament of 2 x 152mm-pieces and 8 x 120-mm pieces, all of Italian manufacture (mainly license-made English ordnance). 6 x 76-mm guns in hull casemates at the bow, amidships, and stern were also shipped. Armament was completed by 4 x 57-mm guns, 4 x 7.7-mm machine guns, and 4 x 457-mm torpedo tubes. They were exceptionally lightly-protected, to help free up displacement for their armament, with just 76-mm on the conning tower and 20-mm deck protection. On trials, their triple expansion machinery made 24 knots, impressively fast for a technology that would be outmoded just 2 years after their commissioning date. Upon their commissioning, Atlantico and Bahia were immediately earmarked for colonial service, serving in Angola and Rio Muni/Sao Tome, respectively. Meanwhile, Independencia complimented the battleships on home duty. Atlantico was the only ship to see action before the First World War, fighting off pirates attacking the shipping lanes off the Ivory Coast. During a chase of a pirate vessel, one of her boiler tubes exploded, and she lost engine power and was forced to limp back to Sao Tome at 12 knots. Atlantico and Independencia were both present at the Battle of Yucatan against Mexico, they were instrumental in the destruction of the Mexican light forces attempting to torpedo the Brazilian capital ships, their heavy armament sinking the Mexican cruiser Aguila and helping to sink 3 destroyers. Retained in service, after the war, they were not replaced due to budgetary restrictions until their replacements were laid down in 1928, by which time they were hopelessly obsolete.
-Also outlined under the 1900 fleet study were 18 destroyers. Realizing this would never be enough to fulfill the Empire's needs, the order was expanded to 24, to be spread across 2 classes. One of 10 and one of 14. The smaller and more numerous class of destroyers were to be built on local yards, while the larger, more advanced ones were to be built in Italy, namely at Ansaldo as with the battleships. The first 10 vessels, laid down locally, were called the Curituba-class. Small vessels of just 56 meters, they were intended for a mix of colonial and local service, though they lacked the range for a transatlantic voyage several made the crossing with colliers following. 4 of them made the crossing, another 3 were built in the colonies, namely the navy base in Luanda and in Sao Tome. All ships were laid down in 1904, after a lengthy debate over where the armaments and machinery would be sourced, eventually Italian artillery was decided upon due to the excellent performance of the equipment fitted aboard the Atlanticos, while machinery was sourced in Germany. All were completed and commissioned in 1905/1906, and were the first vessels of the navy to feature turbine propulsion. As commissioned, they looked like this:
[ img ]
-Lightly armed, they carried just 1 x 76-mm gun and 2 x twin 457-mm torpedo tubes on swiveling deck mounts. Intended as cheap, fast combatants that were easy to produce, crew, and maintain, they were exactly what their designers envisioned them as. The ships were very simple, with little crew accomodation, and could be docked, built and maintained even in the colonies. As designed, they made 28 knots on trials, making them the fastest ships in any South American navy, almost entirely negating their armament deficiency. 6 of these vessels were present at the Battle of Yucatan, their torpedoes sinking 1 Mexican destroyer and chasing away the fleet after the battle was concluded. They also provided valuable coast defense service off the homeland and the colonies. Several were refitted as minelayers by the end of the war, and 2 were even sunk by their own mines off Angola. They were scrapped in 1918-1920 as a result of budget limitations.
The last batch of destroyers built between 1900 and 1910 were the destroyers of the Porto-class. Marked improvements over their predecessors, they were also considerably larger at nearly 90 meters. Much more capable and heavily-armed, they were all built in Italy, laid down in 1906 and delivered in 1908. A total of 10 were delivered, of which 4 served in the colonies before the Great War. Intended for full-scale fleet operations, they were much less of a cheap effort to build up a force of coast defense ships than their locally-built predecessors, and were wholly capable of transatlantic voyages. As delivered, they looked like this:
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-Though torpedo armament remained the same at 2 rotating sets of 457-mm tubes, gun armament was largely improved, with 2 x 102-mm pieces and 1 x 76-mm gun top the aft superstructure. Plans for a forward fixed tube were scrapped to save weight and streamline the bow for a speed of 29 knots, achieved with Parsons turbines. They served alongside the Atlantico off the Ivory Coast fighting pirates in 1912-13, filling in for the cruiser when her boiler tube exploded and she was under repair, seizing 3 pirate vessels and thwarting no less than 9 attempts to board civilian shipping. During the Great War, the 4 of the ships were present at the Battle of Yucatan, where they torpedoed and sank 2 Mexican destroyers, damaging another 3 with gunnery. 2 were lost to mines and coastal artillery off the Mexican coast during operations between 1916 and 1918, while another was torpedoed and blown up off the Yucatan Peninsula while covering troop movements on the Southern shore. No more of the class were lost before the end of the war, and the 7 surviving ships of the class were retained in service until the 1930's, when they were sold off to finance new construction. During the 1920's, all vessels of the class had their 76-mm mount replaced with a 40-mm "Pom-Pom" anti-aircraft gun and received shields over their 102-mm pieces.
-The last vessels to be ordered between 1900 and 1910 were the largely-improvised gunboats of the Jacare and Cobra-classes. Their construction was ordered in 1906 when there was a war scare with the Union of Southern Peru over claims in the westernmost Amazon basin and Mato Grosso. Intended to support army operations and aid in potential defense of the Amazon basin, 4 of each class were ordered, though only 2 Cobra-class vessels were ever completed, the funding used for 4 more Jacare's. Cobra was designed as a floating battery vessel to provide artillery support to Brazilian army forces, while the Jacare-class was more of a patrol vessel intended to project Brazilian power down the Amazon river and protect commerce. When war never materialized against Peru, the vessels saw action during "Pacification" campaigns in the Amazon interior. In 1911, 4 Jacare-class boats and the Cobra herself bombarded a native cannibal village that had been traced as the source for the disappearance of a state-sponsored Catholic missionary mission, paving the way to land infantry and massacre the natives. Campaigns like this against local tribes continued until 1914, when the vessels were rebased to the mouth of the Amazon, as a result of fears that German U-boats would sail into the river and attack ports and villages. Both classes served throughout the war without seeing action, and were promptly retired in 1919, when all were sold for scrap and replaced.
As commissioned, all members of the Jacare-class appeared as follows:
[ img ]
-50-meter long vessels with extremely shallow drafts, they made only 10 knots with their triple-expansion machinery, and were not fitted with armor besides a 105-mm conning tower atop the forward superstructure. 2 x 76-mm pieces and a 57-mm piece were shipped, though in 1912 this was augmented with the addition of 2 x 7.7-mm machine guns on either side of the funnel, and in 1911 3 members of the class had their 57-mm guns replaced by 85-mm infantry mortars for indirect fire against native villages. They could also between 20-40 infantry tops, making them ideal for troop deployments around the Amazon basin, and were fitted with an extensive armory for storing weapons and equipment for land campaigns.
The Cobra-class vessels, Cobra and Caiman were commissioned as follows:
[ img ]
-Built on a similar hull with the same machinery, these lumbering vessels were serverly overweight, and could really only safely fire their guns forward without nearly capsizing. This was eventually somewhat rectified by widening the hull, though still not really a solution. The guns were 152-mm pieces manufactured in Italy for the cancelled units of the Atlantico-class light cruisers, which lay idle as a result of the additional 2 ships' cancellation. The only other armament carried was a 57-mm piece mounted aft to repel any attacks by natives on canoes, later complimented by 2 x 7.7-mm machine guns. These vessels lacked the troop carrying capacity of their more reasonably-built companions, being intended exclusively as floating artillery. After extensive use in the wars against the native tribes, their weakly-built hulls were excessively worn from repeated firing of their guns, and they were scrapped as a result of their major hull crossmembers cracking from firing the weapons.

_________________
Best regards,

RegiaMarina1939

Current Worklist:
-Real designs
-Brazil AU


Last edited by RegiaMarina1939 on October 31st, 2021, 2:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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RegiaMarina1939
Post subject: Re: The Brazilian EmpirePosted: October 27th, 2021, 1:48 am
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The Rio De Janeiro class colonial cruisers:
The need for a turbine-driven class of cruisers was all too apparent after the launch of the Atlantico-class ships came just a year before their total obsolescence. As a result, the Empire needed something fast. There was still leftover funding from the fiscal year of 1908, enough to fund 3 large or 6 small cruisers. Since they only had 2 units in service at the time, the Admiralty opted for the second option (quantity over quality would be a recurring theme in Brazilian naval doctrine.) Ansaldo of Italy was once again an instrumental part of the design process, though repeated Brazilian re-working of their specifications frustrated even the most patient architects in the Yard's employ. This additionally lead to a prolonged and overcomplicated design process. Eventually, a contract was awarded to 2 domestic yards, the Cisplatina Ironworks in Montevideo and the Royal Colonial Ironworks in Luanda. 6 were laid down, 3 in Brazil and 3 in the colonies, though 2 of the colonial-built units were cancelled a year in to construction, their material being used to hasten the building of their sister. The design requirements were simple: a small, shallow draft colonial cruiser capable of leading destroyer flotillas in times of war and maintain the peace in the colonies during peacetime, serving as a platform for commanders and a shipping protection unit. Their names were Rio de Janeiro, Imperio, Tamandare, and Tiradentes. Laid down in 1910, launched 1912, and completed 1913, they looked like this:
[ img ]
Curiously-designed ships, they were woefully undergunned. Many officers and architects were perplexed by the choice of armament, with just 2 x 152-mm pieces on a hull that could have carried 6-8 102-mm guns. The decision was the result of leftover guns being available due to the cancellation of the additional units of the Atlantico-class, with more available for production. Gun armament was completed by 4 x 76-mm guns, 2 abreast the forecastle and 2 abreast the afterfunnel, with 2 x 57-mm weapons in the fighting tops (these were almost immediately replaced by Vickers machine guns of 7.7-mm caliber) Torpedo armament was heavy, with 2 x 457-mm twin swiveling tubes amidships and 4 more submerged, 2 on either side. Plans for a bow tube were shelved in the interest of hull dynamics. The first turbine-powered cruisers of the fleet, they were intended for 28 knots, though only 26 was achieved on trial. Steam was supplied by 6 Yarrow coal-fired boilers, though mixed firing equipment was added in 1915. When war broke out in 1916, 2 were active in Angola, 1 in Sao Tome, and 1 in the Cabo Verde. Tiradentes and Imperio were tasked with patrols around Africa's West Coast, while the remaining 2 ships were recalled for duty against Mexico. They saw little action aside from the Battle of Yucatan, though in early 1918 Imperio , 2 destroyers, and a sloop intercepted the German armed merchant cruiser Mowe in the South Atlantic, cornering her in a cove off the Angolan coast. After a lengthy chase, the German ship surrendered without firing a shot, and was taken over by Brazilian forces and used as a convoy escort until the end of the war when she was disarmed and sold to a civilian shipping firm. Tiradentes struck rocks while avoiding a friendly minefield in early 1918, and spent the rest of the war in the repair yard, while Tamandare was hit by a torpedo from U-22 just 2 months before the end of the war. The hit crippled her steering, and she had to be towed to Sao Tome for repairs. All vessels received 4 x 40-mm Pom-Pom antiaircraft guns in mid-1918. The remaining 3 vessels helped repatriate Brazilian troops from Europe, and from 1926-28, all went to the breakers.

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Best regards,

RegiaMarina1939

Current Worklist:
-Real designs
-Brazil AU


Last edited by RegiaMarina1939 on November 1st, 2021, 2:04 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Hood
Post subject: Re: The Brazilian EmpirePosted: October 27th, 2021, 7:57 am
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An interesting AU and one to keep an eye on.

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Interwar RN Capital Ships
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