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WhyMe
Post subject: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 6th, 2017, 11:12 pm
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DISCLAIMER

I’ve been playing with this idea for some time and eventually wrote some text I liked and made a few drawings. It covers about 12 years of history (from 1908 to 1920) of Portugal and focuses mainly on the country’s naval doctrine. Unfortunately I have no idea if this AU is going to be developed any further but there’s a chance I’ll draw some original designs in SB scale and perhaps a few seaplanes in FD scale. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts :)

POINT OF DIVERGENCE

The Lisbon Regicide of 1908 ended up differently: infante Manuel, the youngest son of King Carlos I, was killed along with his father but the prince Luis Filipe survived suffering only a slight concussion (the assassin’s bullet grazed his forehead leaving a nasty scar above the left eyebrow). He was crowned as the new king Luis II soon after and right away started a course of political reforms aimed at restoration of the Portuguese Monarchy and her former glory. As a result of that the parliamentary dictatorship was replaced with a more democratic government and the Carbonaria, who were blamed for the assassination, got completely outlawed and underwent serious persecution. Moreover the Treaty of Windsor was officially dissolved and restoration of the colonial empire according to the Pink Map was announced. It was quite a risky move but it allowed Portugal to acquire political and more importantly financial aid from Germany, who was interested in weakening British positions in Africa.
Thanks to these actions and the fact that unlike his brother Manuel King Luis II had many supporters among the high-ranking military officers, the Portuguese Republican Party never really came to power and the 1910 revolution didn’t happen. On the contrary, patriotic and monarchist movements became extremely popular because of the confrontation with Britain in Africa. Portuguese volunteers armed with modern rifles and machine-guns (timely provided by the Germans) gushed into North-West Rhodesia to harass the British expeditionary forces in attempt to kick the “treacherous Brits” out of the “primordially Portuguese” territories. However the conflict didn’t develop into a full-scale war mostly because the British were preoccupied with Kaiserliche Marine flexing its muscles in the North Sea.
In the meantime intensive German-Portuguese negotiations resulted in a pact of friendship between the two nations. During his first official visit to Germany King Luis met Kaiser’s youngest daughter Victoria Louise who was quite intrigued by the young monarch with a scar. Since then the two kept exchanging correspondence and paying occasional visits to each other and soon enough announced their engagement. The wedding took place in Lisbon in 1913 and became one of the largest gatherings of European royalty before World War I began a year later. Kaiser Wilhelm II presented the newlyweds with a recently constructed steam turbine yacht named after the bride which became the new Portuguese royal yacht replacing the british-built “Amelia”. It was a loaded political gesture that didn’t go unnoticed by the press: the world’s largest newspapers declared Portugal a pro-German nation.
Thanks to close interaction between the two countries in both Europe and African colonies, the Portuguese economy experienced an intense climb, which allowed for beginning of extensive development and modernization of Portugal’s industry. Some necessary but unpopular reforms were successfully conducted under the pretext of fighting revolutionaries and British agents resulting in drastically increased industrial capacity and significantly raised living standards in the country. By the beginning of the Great War, Portugal could be safely ranked as one of modern industrial powers.

GREAT WAR

In 1914 the problem of modernization of Portuguese military was long overdue; the Navy didn’t received new ships since 1901 (except for a couple of domestically built small gunboats). The government was presented with numerous ship-building programs but they were inevitably declined in favor of industrial development. Despite nearly incapable military King Luis II seriously intended to participate in the war on the German side. However, secret negotiations between him and Kaiser Wilhelm II concluded that it would be more beneficial to keep Portugal neutral; this way German business could keep operating internationally via Portuguese frontmen and Lisbon could serve as one of very few safe ports for German ships. In addition the neutrality allowed Portuguese military observers to gather vital data and hands-on experience from all sides of the conflict which would become extremely useful for modernization of both Army and Navy. Specifically for this purpose a special committee of analysts was created with King Luis II as its chief secretary.
The war came about pretty much the same way as in our history with some minor alterations. One of them was a compromise decision between Portugal and Great Britain regarding the African territories that snuffed out the conflict. Also, due to heavy restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, some German manufacturers chose to relocate to Portugal where they were welcomed as the country required “fresh blood” to support her industrial growth.

NEW NAVAL DOCTRINE

The new naval doctrine developed by the end of the war emphasised usage of naval mines and torpedoes delivered by inexpensive (comparing to capital ships) submarines, destroyers, minelayers and torpedo boats. In addition the committee recognized the importance of military aviation, both land and water based. The doctrine was dubbed “Funda de Davi” (“David’s sling”) as an allusion to a cheap weapon that can be devastating in skillful hands.
As a result two new military branches were established: the Coast Guard (Guarda Costeira Portuguesa - GCP) and the Naval Aviation Service (Serviço de Aviação da Marinha - SAM).
Coast Guard was supposed to act as the Navy reserve and conduct routine anti-submarine patrols and convoy escorts. In the peace times it was also required to do the following:
  • maritime law enforcement,
  • customs duties,
  • search and rescue,
  • weather patrol and hydrographic services,
  • fisheries research and protection.
The first coast guard vessel to enter service was BGC Dona Amelia, a former royal yacht modified to a hydrographic ship.
The Naval Aviation Service replicated the structure of the existing Army Aviation Service but was equipped with seaplanes and required to closely cooperate with the Navy and the Coast Guard.
A core of the new Navy would be formed out of destroyers, submarines, torpedo boats, minesweepers and depot ships. The colonial forces were to be equipped with long range and high endurance sloops and shallow draft gunboats for inland waters.
Despite the complete lack of capital ships a naval reform of such scale was really challenging for a small country like Portugal. Fortunately the end of the Great War provided an outstanding opportunity to purchase large numbers of naval ships for the price of metal (quite literally in many cases) they were built from. The Portuguese tried to acquire whole classes of ships in order to cut down future logistic costs. Also they preferred unfinished ships whenever possible which helped to lower the spendings as well as allowed domestic shipbuilders to gain valuable experience (and earn some cash) completing them.
Unification of the armament and ordnance also took place. A large number of German 105mm quick firing cannons and 37mm machine cannons was purchased to arm all suitable ships. In addition Portugal acquired licenses and equipment to manufacture ammo for these two types.

FLEET STRENGTH AS OF 1920

Purchases
  • 3 German destroyers (unfinished) of V170 class
  • 6 Austro-Hungarian torpedo boats of 82F class
  • 5 Italian submarines of F class
  • 10 German coastal submarines (completed but never entered service) of UB-III class
  • 15 German shallow draft minesweepers of FM class
  • 15 German minesweepers (unfinished) of M1915 class
  • 20 American built French sub-chasers of SC class (Coast Guard)
Domestic orders
  • 5 600-ton destroyers
  • 10 patrol ships in hulls of fishing trawlers (Coast Guard)
  • 2 submarine depot ships
  • 4 colonial sloops
Existing ships
  • Armoured cruiser Vasco da Gama - reclassified as a coastal defence and training ship
  • Protected cruiser Dom Carlos I - temporary out of service for modernization
  • Protected cruiser Adamastor - reclassified as a colonial sloop
  • Protected cruisers Rainha Dona Amelia, S. Gabriel and S. Raphael - scrapped
  • Torpedo gunboat Tejo - completed as a minelayer Rio Tejo
  • Old torpedo boats - scrapped
  • Old gunboats (various types) - scrapped or reclassified as auxiliaries
  • Old submarine - scrapped
  • Royal yacht Amelia IV - reclassified as a hydrographic vessel Dona Amelia (Coast Guard)

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Worklist: Portuguese Navy and Barnegat class seaplane tenders


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WhyMe
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 6th, 2017, 11:12 pm
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NAVY
(incomplete)

Fundeiro class
[ img ]
King Luis II considered new German destroyers of V-170 class the best ships of their kind. Three of them were purchased unfinished after the end of Great War to become the vanguard of Portuguese Navy.

Cotiara class
[ img ]
Six Austro-Hungarian torpedo boats were purchased without armament to be used for training crews and officers of future destroyers. While in the shipyard for installation of the new equipment the forecastles of all ships were extended backwards which, with removal of the front torpedo tubes, allowed to increase the crew accommodations and the bridge area. These little ships turned out to be quite tenacious and were kept in active service for a long time.

Beluga and Lula classes, NRP Hidra
[ img ]
[ img ]
[ img ]
When 10 submarines of UB-III class got delivered, the Portuguese were surprised to find out that there were some differences between the ships since they were built in three separate shipyards. The Admiralty refused to accept these subs unless all of them were completely identical (the high-ranks in the government were kissing up to King Luis II who was already known to sacrifice everything in favor of unification in order to reduce logistic spendings as much as possible) and the situation eventually escalated to a certain level and became a political issue. During negotiations with Germans a compromise have been reached: Portugal would keep the ships and pay the full price if Germany provided technical assistance (including personnel and equipment) to the Lisbon Naval Arsenal in order to modify three of the subs into minelayers. Thus instead of a single class of ten submarines Portugal got 5 regular subs (built by Weser) which formed the Beluga class, 3 minelayers (built by Vulkan, modified by Lisbon Naval Arsenal) of Lula class and 2 submarines built by Krupp one of which was assigned to the Naval Academy as a training ship NRP Hidra and the other to Lisbon Naval Arsenal for studying and reverse engineering (as well as spare parts donor).

NRP Rio Tejo
[ img ]
Tejo was built in 1901 as a torpedo gunboat. In 1909 her superstructure got completely destroyed in a fire (which was thought to be a sabotage organized by the Carbonaria) and the ship was towed back to Lisbon Naval Arsenal for repairs. However the lack of funding prevented any work to be done for nearly a decade. With adoption of the new naval doctrine it was decided to rebuilt the ship into a fast minelayer, which was done by 1919. Re-commissioned as NRP Rio Tejo she became the flagship of mine warfare forces of the Navy.

Aveleira class
[ img ]
15 unfinished ships of M1915 class was acquired from Germany after the end of World War and completed in Lisbon Naval Arsenal as “universal mine warfare ships” capable of deploying and clearing mine fields as well as protecting them from enemy minesweepers. Named after kinds of trees they formed the Aveleira class which became one of the most successful and longest serving types of ships in Portuguese Navy.

NRP Adamastor
[ img ]
Adamastor was built in Italy in 1896. It was a nice little cruiser back then but by the end of the World War it barely could pass as a gunboat. However she had a very decent range of 4,600 miles and her outdated yet reliable boilers were easily maintainable. Thus, after several minor changes to the masts and the bridge, she was transferred to colonial service as an “artillery gunboat” thanks to her old 150mm guns that were only good for shore bombardment. The rest of the armament was updated to the new standard: 105mm quick firing guns and 37mm machine-cannons. The bow-mounted torpedo tube was removed, the other two got replaced with new ones.

Zaire class
[ img ]
Former German shallow draft minesweepers were chosen for colonial service thanks to their ability to operate in open sea and inland waters. They were classified as gunboats and sent to Africa. Armed with 105mm and 37mm guns and carrying twenty marines they proved to be quite indispensable.

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Worklist: Portuguese Navy and Barnegat class seaplane tenders


Last edited by WhyMe on April 20th, 2017, 5:55 am, edited 7 times in total.

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WhyMe
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 6th, 2017, 11:13 pm
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COAST GUARD
(incomplete)

BGC Dona Amelia
[ img ]
The royal yacht of late King Carlos I “Amelia IV” was already equipped with some hydrographic equipment so when replaced by the German built “Vitória Luísa” she was transferred to the Navy as a hydrographic ship. The beginning of World War prevented using her in this capacity and the vessel stayed moored in Lisbon until Portuguese Coast Guard was founded in 1918. Recommissioned as BGC Dona Amelia she became the first vessel of the Coast Guard. Several modifications have been made to accommodate larger crew, scientific staff and equipment as well as new guns. From then on the vessel was extensively used for charting the coastlines of Portugal and her African colonies, episodically performing the other Coast Guard duties such as helping ships in distress thanks to her high speed and long range.

Arenque class
[ img ]
Ten patrol boats were ordered for the newly formed Coast Guard in 1918 at a domestic shipyard specialized in fishing boats. They had hulls of a typical fishing trawler of the time, were armed with one 105mm and one 37mm guns and carried minesweeping gear as well as several depth charges. Named after different kinds of fish these ships were delivered during 1919-1920 and formed the Arenque class. Planned as Coast Guard “jacks of all trades” they turned out to be “masters of none” having low speed, limited range and confined crew accommodations. Later in their career they were partially disarmed and used mostly for fisheries research and protection.

Alcatraz class
[ img ]
After the end of World War France was trying to get rid of numerous American built submarine chasers because they were no longer needed. Portugal used this opportunity to promptly and inexpensively fulfill the need in patrol boats of the newly formed Coast Guard. These nimble wooden boats armed with automatic 37mm cannons quickly became a nightmare for smugglers and poachers establishing GCP’s good reputation for many years to come.

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Worklist: Portuguese Navy and Barnegat class seaplane tenders


Last edited by WhyMe on April 9th, 2017, 1:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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WhyMe
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 6th, 2017, 11:13 pm
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NAVAL AVIATION SERVICE

(for future use)

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Worklist: Portuguese Navy and Barnegat class seaplane tenders


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HyperHiggsHelix
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 7th, 2017, 4:57 am
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I like it so far.

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Hood
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 7th, 2017, 7:51 am
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Very nice drawings and an interesting AU scenario.
Will we see the non-AU versions of the SC-1 and FM classes?

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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 7th, 2017, 8:23 am
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Hello everyone

Now that's a real neat little AU, with very well executed drawings.

As it happens, the German UB-III type is at this moment being drawn for my Ottoman AU, expect results after the weekend; of course you don't have to use mine if you want to draw them yourself.

Greetings
GD


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odysseus1980
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 7th, 2017, 8:27 am
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I like very much all the ships involved in this interesting scenario.


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WhyMe
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 8th, 2017, 9:42 pm
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Thanks everyone!
Hood wrote: *
Will we see the non-AU versions of the SC-1 and FM classes?
I've done them a while ago, they are available in the main archive. I'm going to include links to the appropriate forum threads in each ship description.
Garlicdesign wrote: *
As it happens, the German UB-III type is at this moment being drawn for my Ottoman AU, expect results after the weekend
That's great, I'd love to add another one of your drawings in my AU :)

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Worklist: Portuguese Navy and Barnegat class seaplane tenders


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RegiaMarina1939
Post subject: Re: Kingdom of PortugalPosted: April 8th, 2017, 10:55 pm
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Very well executed AU and drawings, WhyMe. I look forward to the Naval Aviation section and those aforementioned subs!

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RegiaMarina1939

Current Worklist:
-Real designs
-Nicaragua AU
-Emperia Group AU
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