On page 102 of Peter Brook's Warships for Export
In November 1894, a tender was submitted to Chile for a 4800 ton sheathed cruiser with a speed of 23-23.5 knots, with the same armament as BLANCO ENCALADA of if required 2 extra 6 in guns. In May 1895 the tender was accepted but the size of this ship had grown to 6000 tons. Two months later, the Chileans asked Armstrongs to consider the possibility of altering the ship to a belted cruiser. The design submitted was for a vessel with a 6 in armour belt, 7 ft wide and 330 ft long: six extra 6 in guns were to be added and the ship was to be lengthened by 28ft. This modified design was ordered, but Armstrong's strongly advised that the ship be completed as originally contemplated, and that Chile should in addition order a second vessel, an armour-clad of 7000 tons which could be delivered in 15 months...
As we know, the Chilean Navy ordered O'Higgins
some time later anyways, but what would've happened if they had proceeded as Armstrongs suggested immediately?
I'm assuming here that "armour-clad" would mean an Armoured Cruiser, and that the design would've grown like every design seems to do, up to 9000 tons in this case.
Here's an armoured cruiser based off of Esmeralda IV
, a sort of cousin ship if you will. It's armed with four 8"/45 and fourteen 6"/45 guns and has a belt 7" thick around the vitals.
I would expect such a ship to do 22 knots with 18,000 hp and 23.5 knots with forced draft.
If Covadonga II
would've been ordered, then Esmeralda IV
could've been completed as a protected cruiser instead, with no belt and less draft, maybe she could've looked like this. I didn't bother shortening her though :p
Now, as 1898 dawned, the US government attempted to buy foreign warships recently completed and soon to be so, as we know successfully acquiring Albany
and New Orleans
, but they also requested to purchase O'Higgins
. In this case, I've drawn a hypothetical purchase of Covadonga
, not like it would've made a difference either in Santiago or Manila.
Your comments are most welcome as usual!