Category Archives: World War One

The 10th Light Horse Rides Again

Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta, recently saw the return to the Australian Army, in regimental strength, of the venerable 10th Light Horse Regiment. With a lineage that hails back to the country’s colonial militia units, notably the Western Australia Mounted Infantry (WAMI) of Boer War fame, the 10th LHR was officially formed 10 October 1914 for service in the Great War.

Mounted on his horse in front of the Pyramids, 244 Trooper T. Buckingham, 10th Light Horse. He died of wounds on 10 August 1915 at Gallipoli. AWM photo H05686A

And serve it did, earning battle honors at Gallipoli (with its doomed action at A-Nek immortalized in the 1981 Mel Gibson film of the same name), Gaza-Beersheba, Jerusalem, Megiddo, and Damascus.

Notably, one of the 10th’s squadron commanders, Capt. Hugo Vivian Hope Throssell, was the only light horseman during the “War to End All Wars” to receive the Victoria Cross, appropriately earned at Gallipoli.

During WWII, the unit was the last Australian Army outfit to be mounted on horses, maintaining them into April 1944, spending the war patrolling the remote Western Australian coastline for landings and saboteurs.

Disbanded as a regiment once the threat of Japanese invasion disappeared, it was only reformed in understrength squadron strength in 1949, using a combination of Land Rovers, armored cars, and APCs since then in the light reconnaissance role.

Now, on 10 October, the 107th anniversary of its founding prior to heading out to fight the Ottomans, the regiment is back.

As noted by the Australian Army:

The sound of hooves has blended with the dull roar of protected mobility vehicle engines during the re-raising of a historic Australian Army unit in Western Australia.

The 10th Light Horse Regiment has been re-raised at a ceremony in Perth, which also marked the 107th anniversary of the raising of the regiment in 1914.

The return of the unit to Army’s Order of Battle is a significant milestone of the Army Objective Force in enhancing Army Capability and Defence in Western Australia.

The regiment will now considerably increase its size to form a well-trained and capable new cavalry squadron for the West as part of the Australian Army’s modernisation program to be Future Ready.

Rather than horse, however, they will use Hawkei PMVs and Bushmasters (6×6 up-armored variants of the G-Wagon), in at least two squadrons and an HHC unit.

Their regimental motto is Percute et Percute Velociter (Strike and Strike Swiftly)

“Members of the 10th Light Horse Regiment fire a Feu-de Joie at the ceremonial parade to commemorating the re-raising of the Regiment at Langley Park, Perth.”

Von Der Tann’s Volcanic

So this just surfaced at an upcoming auction by Milestone. 

SERIAL NUMBER 1738. BARREL 6″. CALIBER .41. The Volcanic lever-action repeating pistol was made by Volcanic Arms in New Haven after the original pistols made by Smith & Wesson. Made circa 1855-1857. Standard features include a factory engraved brass frame, two-piece walnut grips with square butt, blued octagon barrel and tube, ring lever, wind drift rear sight, and bead front. Condition. Superb, 95% smooth blue patina on barrel, legends sharp, crisp engraving on the frame, excellent grips, the frame never cleaned. Fine working order. The bore is near mint. A wonderful condition one-of-a-kind historic German presentation Volcanic.

This is where this pistol gets both interesting and possibly one of less than a handful ever presented to a foreign dignitary or power. The Volcanic Arms patent New Haven stamp is clearly placed on top of barrel. On the right side of the barrel, engraved and silver inlaid is “ZUR ERINNERUNG AN EXC.” which translates “to be remembered.”

On right side is engraved and silver inlay “General v.d. Tann 26 iv 1881.” Ludwig von der Tann’s death date

Ludwig Freiherr von der Tann (1815-1881), Hanfstaengl, Fotographie ca. 1860, Hintergrund mit Aquarellfarben übermalt

Born in Waterloo, Ludwig Samson Heinrich Arthur Freiherr von und zu der Tann-Rathsamhausen, best just known as Von Der Tann, started his military career in 1833.

Promoted to major in 1848, he was well connected with Bavarian Crown Prince Maximilian who soon became king. He was awarded the Order of the Red Eagle by the king of Prussian during the war with Denmark. Tann served Bavaria in the Austro-Prussian war then was promoted to the rank of general in 1869 and commanded troops during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71.

Naval history buffs, of course, will recognize the name from the unique battlecruiser that carried the general’s name. The fastest battlewagon in the world when she was commissioned, the 21,000 ton SMS Von Der Tann was mauled at Jutland and later scrapped at Scapa Flow in 1919. Her construction sparked the growth of the evolutionary dead-end Invincible-class battlecruisers and similar vessels.

While the battlecruiser was raised by the British and scrapped, and the late general himself is entombed at the Alter Nordfriedhof in Munich, at least his pistol is up for grabs. The estimate for it is $7,500-$9,500.

Kulbir Thapa Magar, VC

A new memorial, dedicated to the first Gurkha to win the Victoria Cross, Kulbir Thapa Magar, has been unveiled in Princes Gardens, Aldershot.

“The statue will serve as a lasting memorial as well as a symbol of their long history and friendship with the (British) Army.”

Kulbir was born in Nepal in 1889 and enlisted as a Rifleman (Rfn) in 1907 in the 1st Battalion, 3rd Queen’s Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles, transferring to the 2nd Battalion at the outbreak of World War One. On 25 September 1915 at Mauquissart in France Rfn Thapa, having been wounded himself, found a badly injured soldier from the Leicestershire Regiment behind the first line German trench and stayed with him throughout the night.

Early the next day, he carried the soldier through German wire, taking him to a place of comparative safety and then returned to bring in two wounded Gurkhas. Eventually, he went back in broad daylight to retrieve the British soldier and complete the rescue under enemy fire.

He later achieved the rank of Havildar (equivalent to sergeant, a rank still maintained in Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese armies today) and retired after 30 years of service. He died in 1956, aged 67.

His Victoria Cross and other medals are displayed at The Gurkha Museum in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Happy 157th QAMR!

Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles, the oldest regular force unit in the New Zealand Army, turned 157 this month.

Formed 16 September 1864 as the Alexandra Troop of the Wanganui Cavalry Volunteers, the unit’s motto is Ake Ake Kia Kaha (Forever and Ever Be Strong). First deploying overseas in the Boer Wars, they continued to be very active in both World Wars as well as in recent years. 

Hard-riding New Zealand horse soldiers guard German prisoners of war captured in Palestine near Jericho in 1918.

As noted by the Army, “QAMR has a proud tradition of Operational service from South Africa, Egypt, Greece, Crete, North Africa, Italy and, more recently, in Bosnia and Afghanistan.”

These days, they ride iron horses as they have since 1942, today forming a squadron of NZLAVs, the Kiwi version of the LAV III 6×6.

Warship Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021: Behold, the Destroyerzooka

Here at LSOZI, we take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1954 period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021: Behold, the Destroyerzooka

Here we see the Soviet Orfey (Orpheus)-class destroyer Engels (formerly Desna) with his (Russian warships are always masculine by tradition) unique stern 12-inch (305mm) Kurchevsky pattern “Dynamo-Reactive” recoilless rifle, circa the summer of 1934. A tough little ship going past his goofy one-off experimental gun, he had an interesting life.

Background

With a shredded naval list after the Russo-Japanese War, having lost two out of three fleets, the Tsarist Imperial Navy needed new ships of every stripe in the 1910s as they were facing an increasingly modern Ottoman fleet in the Black Sea as well as the Swedes (always a possible opponent) and the German juggernaut in the Baltic. Part of the naval buildout was a series of 52 destroyers derived from the Novik.

Novik was a great destroyer for 1910. At some 1,600-tons full load, he could make 37.3 knots, which is still fast for a destroyer today, and carried four twin 18-inch torpedo tubes (eight tubes total) as well as four 4-inch guns.

The follow-on Orfey-class upgrade from Novik, planned to number 23 vessels, ended up being trimmed back to just 16 due to the Great War and Russia’s series of revolutions and civil war, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Some 1,440-tons when fully loaded, the 321-foot tin cans used a plant that had two Curtis-AEG-Vulkan turbines and four Normand-Vulkan boilers on two shafts to make 32 knots, making them still very fast for the age but slightly slower than the 6-boiler/3-turbine/3-shaft plant seen in Novik. However, they carried more torpedo tubes, a total of nine, in addition to their four 4″/60 Vickers-Obukhovski Pattern 1911 guns.

Ofrey class destroyer plan. These ships, benefiting from the Russo-Japanese war experience, had double the main transverse bulkheads of pre-1904 Russian destroyers with 12 watertight sections (each with their own pumping systems) as well as individually compartmentalized boilers, hence all the funnels. The keel was made of doubled 6mm steel sheets set at angles to each other, creating a double hull of sorts. Lacking true armor, the conning tower/bridge was made of half-inch ordnance steel sheets to provide splinter and small arms protection. Interestingly, the topside radio room (one 2 kW transmitter and two receivers) and two 45-cm searchlights were fed by a separate 10kW Penta kerosene dynamo protected centrally, rather than the rest of the ship’s power which was provided by two 20 kW turbo generators.

Desna, shown here in fitting out at the Kolpino Metalworks in Petrograd (Great War-era St. Petersburg) had nine 18-inch torpedo tubes.

Closer detail on those tubes

And even closer

His initial armament, as with the rest of the class, included four long-barreled 4″/60 Vickers-Obukhovski Pattern 1911 guns, one over the bow, and three crowding her stern. These could fire a 66-pound HE or 52-pound “Diving” shell at 12 rounds per minute, providing the crew was drilled properly, to a range of 17,600 yards. Two 150-shell magazines, fore, and aft, were installed below deck. The guns were directed by a 9-foot Barr & Stroud 30x stereoscopic rangefinder of RN F.Q. 2 pattern.

Laid down in November 1914, three months into the Great War, Desna was named after the famed tributary of the Dnieper that runs through Smolensk to Kyiv.

Commissioned 16 August 1916, he was rushed into operations and famously came to the defense of the heroic but obsolete Borodino-class battleship Slava during the long-running Battle of Moon Sound, in which the Russian battlewagon gave, by all accounts, a full measure against a much larger and more powerful German force.

Slava, after the Battle of Moon Sound

Helping to evacuate Slava’s crew, Desna fired torpedoes into the stricken battlewagon to prevent it from falling into German hands. Desna’s brother, Grom, was sunk during the operation.

Caption: A newly -completed Destroyer of the improved “Novik” Type, either DESNA (1915-1941) or AZARD (1916-1919). Courtesy of Mr. Boris V. Drashpil of Margate, Fla., 1983. Catalog #: NH 94295

Same, NH 94294

Same, NH 94296

Civil War

Becoming part of the Red Baltic Fleet by default during the Russian Revolution and Civil War, Desna took part in the “Ice Campaign” during which the force broke through the frozen Baltic to escape Helsinki ahead of the Germans in April 1918.

Based at the fortress island of Kronstadt, Desna took part in operations against the British in 1918-19. (During this period, brother Gavriil helped sink HM Submarine L-55 and three British torpedo boats, while brothers Konstantin and Vladimir/Svoboda were sunk in turn by British mines. Another classmate, Kapitan Miklucha Maklai/Spartak, was captured by the British and turned over to the Estonians.)

Then, in the continued evolution of counterrevolution, Desna and company fought against the Bolsheviks in the 1921 revolt of the Red Fleet.

Rudolf Franz’s 1936 painting depicts the storming of Kronstadt by the Red Army to put down the revolt. Over a thousand were killed on both sides and an estimated 2,100 rebellious sailors were executed or disappeared into labor camps.

In part to wipe out the stain of his role in the brutally suppressed Kronstadt revolt, Desna was renamed in 1922 to Engels, celebrating the German socialist philosopher of the same name who helped develop Marxism.

An ice-bound Engels

Then came several years of lingering operations and refits, as the Soviets were cash strapped for operational funds throughout the rest of the decade. During this period, classmates Orfey and Letun, in bad technical condition after Great War damage, were broken up after the Civil war.

Dynamo-Reactive!

In 1932, Engels was refitted and rebuilt, emerging two years later with a new engineering plant as well as a new gun over his stern in place of two of his 4-inchers.

A design came from the mind of weapon engineer Leonid Kurchevsky, who was fascinated with recoilless rifles. He had spent time in Stalin’s gulag system then emerged in 1929 to catch the eye of Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the “Red Napolean” military theoretician who wanted to see Kurchevsky’s simple designs fitted on everything.

Kurchevsky and some of his recoilless rifles in the early 1930s.

The Kurchevsky gun fitted on Engels was awkward, only able to fire to port and starboard with a low train and elevation.

It fired a 660-pound shell to 14,000 yards but proved inaccurate, unreliable, and prone to malfunction. A larger 15-inch model was to be installed on a cruiser but never made it off the drawing board.

I mean, come on…

While some 2,000~ Kurchevsky guns were delivered, fitted to tanks and vehicles as well as ships, it turns out they sucked.

Via Global Security: 

Soon the “bubble” burst. It turned out that the armor-piercing shells of anti-tank DRP, even when fired at point-blank, were not able to penetrate armor thicker than 30 mm. The accuracy and range of field artillery guns do not meet the requirements at all. At the same time, the guns themselves are unreliable and unsafe during operation, there had been numerous cases of rupture of barrels during firing.

Aircraft and naval automatic cannons of the Kurchevsky caliber from 37 to 152 mm gave constant failures and delays during firing due to incomplete combustion of the nitro-fabric sleeves and the unreliable operation of the pneumatic recharge mechanism, which made this weapon absolutely not combat-ready. Soon all PDDs were removed from the troops and destroyed. By June 22, 1941, there was not a single Kurchevsky gun in service with the Red Army.

While Tukhachevsky was sacked in 1937 for other reasons and scapegoated as a Trotskyist in the Great Purge before WWII, Kurchevsky got the wrap at around the same time directly for his funky weaponry. Thrown back in the gulag the inventor was executed sometime in the late 1930s.

War, again, and again

With the Russians flexing against the Finns in the 1939-40 Winter War, Desna/Engels, his Kurchevsky gun landed, and his old 4-inchers reinstalled, bombarded Finnish positions and installations, a task for which his 9-foot draft no doubt assisted.

When the Germans invaded in 1941, Engels was used in coastal minelaying and convoy duty.

Just two weeks after Barbarossa kicked off, on 6 July, he and two other destroyers (Serditogo and Sil’nyy) clashed with two German minesweepers (M-23 and M-31) in what is known today as the Battle of the Irbensky Strait. Famed in Russian naval lore as it was the largest surface battle they fought in the Baltic in WWII; it is much less known outside of the Motherland. This is probably because all vessels involved sailed away after the engagement, a tactical draw.

Damaged extensively on 7 August 1941 by a 550-pound bomb dropped via Stuka, Engels was soon patched up and two weeks later sailed from Tallinn in occupied Estonia to Kronstadt as part of one of the desperate convoys headed north from the doomed port. That month, some 190 Soviet ships and 40,000 souls attempted to escape. The seaborne evacuation of encircled Tallin to Krondstadt and Leningrad went down in history as the “Soviet Dunkirk.” 

With the route obvious to the Germans and Finns, the Axis planted 2,000 mines in what became known as the Juminda Barrage. 

A German map from 1941 showing the location of the Juminda mine barrage

It was on this voyage that he stumbled across a German minefield off Cape Juminda, hitting one with his bow and shrugged it off, damage control successful. However, while the damaged destroyer was being rigged for towing by the icebreaker Oktyabr, Engels hit a second mine that exploded under her stern and triggered the aft 4-inch magazine. That was it and she rolled over and sank. 

Four days later, classmates Pobiditel/Volodarski and Azard/Artyom were lost in a similar minefield in the same Tallinn-to-Kronstadt run. Some 80 ships eventually hit mines in the Jumidia Barrage, with at least 21 Soviet warships, including five destroyers sent to the bottom in August alone. 

Epilogue

As with Desna/Engels, few Orfey-class destroyers made it out of WWII. Three units that survived by nature of serving with the Northern Fleet out of Murmansk and two more with the Pacific Fleet out of Vladivostok remained in service into the early 1950s but were soon discarded. The last remaining example of the class, Spartak, spent her final days in Peru’s Pacific coast as the Estonians had sold her to that Latin American country in the 1930s.

The class is remembered in some Soviet-era maritime art.

Meanwhile, a fishing net-wrapped wreck off Estonia’s Cape Yuminda, documented in 2016, could be the bones of Engels.

As for Leonid Kurchevsky, he was “rehabilitated posthumously in 1956” after the end of the Stalin regime. The next year, Marshal Tukhachevsky and his codefendants in the Purge trial were declared innocent of all charges and rehabilitated, posthumously.

Specs:


Displacement: 1,260 tons (standard) 1,440 tons (full load)
Length 321 ft 6 in
Beam 30 ft 6 in
Draught 9 ft 10 in
Machinery: 4 boilers (30,500 shp) 2 steam turbines, 2 shafts
Speed 32 knots
Range: 1,680 miles @21 knots
Complement: 150 (8 officers, 6 michman, 136 ratings)
Armament:
(1917)
4 x 4″/60 Vickers-Obukhovski Pattern 1911 guns in single unprotected mounts
1 x 40/39 Vickers AAA pom-pom anti-balloon gun
2 x Maxim machine guns (7.62×54)
9 x 18-inch torpedo tubes (3×3)
80 M1908 style sea anchor mines
10 depth charges

(1934)
1 x 12-inch recoilless rifle (experimental)
2 x 4″/60 Vickers-Obukhovski Pattern 1911 guns in single unprotected mounts
1 x 3″/28 Lender AAA
4 x 1 12.7mm/79 DK Heavy machine gun (drum fed)
9 x 18-inch torpedo tubes (3×3) with more modern 45-36Н torpedoes
2 x depth charge racks
58 mines

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

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A Splash of Color in a Sea of Doughboy Brown

American Expeditionary Forces Distinctive Cloth Insignia Chart.

For reference, on 6 April 1917, when the U.S. declared war against Imperial Germany, the nation had a standing army of 127,500 officers and men while the entire National Guard had another 181,620 members. The concept of full divisional-sized operations was almost alien, an abstract theory.

By Armistice Day, one cavalry division and a staggering 63 infantry divisions were planned, although many of those never took the field. By the end of the war, over four million men had served in the United States Army, with an additional 800,000 in other military service branches. While 24,234,021 men registered for the draft, a full third of those that served in the ranks were volunteers. Some 745,845 left in the American Expeditionary Forces. 

1917 Government Issue

I recently got a chance to check out this beauty

What we have here is a beautiful Colt Model of 1911 U.S. Army whose serial number, 164462, puts its production squarely in the range of guns made in 1917, during the ramp-up between American pre-war examples and the simplified “Black Army” Colts. For reference, Colt in 1917 produced some 70,000 GIs while in 1918 they made over 360,000.

The frame is correctly marked with the “GHS” stamp of U.S. Army Major Gilbert H. Stewart, who was the inspector of ordnance from Sept. 1914 to Jan. 1918. Accepted martial Colts in the serial number range between 101,500 and 230,000 should have Stewart’s initials.

Intact M1911 models are rarely encountered even though some 650,000 or so were made between 1912 and 1925. After that time, most still in military stores were reworked to the updated M1911A1 standard which saw a different mainspring housing and small parts. Further arsenal rebuilds saw blued finishes replaced with a heavy parkerized coating. Likewise, such reworks will have a variety of arsenal codes (AA, SA, RIA, etc.), which this pistol does not carry.

As the price of even Black Army models skyrocket, nicely blued military-marked M1911s will likely continue to gain value.

103 Years Ago Today (ish?), Pulling the 75s

September 9, 1918: Six-horse artillery caissons of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, “The Big Red One,” moving up through the woods in Mandres aux Tours (Mandres-aux-Quatre-Tours?), in north-east France’s Lorraine region. The guns should be famed “French 75s” (Canon de 75 modèle 1897) of which the American Expeditionary Forces used some 1,900 during 1917-18, dubbed the more GI “75 mm Gun M1897.”

Note the consistency of the horse’s coats and the doughboys smoking cigarettes as they ride. Photo via the Society of the First Infantry Division 

However, a 1936 Christmas Card for the veterans of the 1st ID’s 76th Field Artillery Regiment, signed by John J. Waterman, Lieutenant Colonel, reads:

Battery B moving through the woods, Mandres aux Tours, France, August 9, 1918. 

A copy of this picture enlarged by two by three feet hung in the office of the Chief of Field Artillery. The regiment spent a little over two weeks at Mandres, re-equipping, and training for the St. Michel offensive.

Of note, the commander of the regiment’s Battery D should be familiar to students of military history.

Besides St. Mihiel, the regiment fought during the Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, and Meuse-Argonne offensives in the Great War, for which it was presented the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star, and completed occupation duty in Germany.
 
During WWII, it was converted from horse-drawn to motorized operation then landed in France (again) at Utah Beach in 1944, then fought assigned in elements to the 7th, 8th, 3rd, and 1st Infantry Divisions (the regiment had five battalions). 
 
The last active element of the regiment, 1st Battalion, was part of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and carried its 105mm howitzers to Iraq three times and once to Afghanistan before inactivation in 2015.

Happy Labor Day, Almost Inverted Jenny edition

Sept. 1918, via the Ledger Art Service: “Airplane coming down at a difficult angle after a flight over Philadelphia’ Labor Day Parade.” From the looks of it, it seems to be an Army Curtiss JN-4 Jenny trainer, of the same type as the famous stamp.

Signal Corps photo 111-SC-45453 via the National Archives. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/86697115

Enjoy your day. See you tomorrow.

Warship Wednesday, August 11, 2021: The Guacolda-class submarines, via Quincy, Mass

Here at LSOZI, we take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1954 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger
 
Warship Wednesday, August 11, 2021: The Guacolda-class submarines, via Quincy, Mass

Original caption: July 4, 1917, Boston (Charlestown) Navy Yard, “Six British subs bottled up in Navy Yard because of U.S. Neutrality are given to the Chilean government in exchange for a Man of War which could not be built by England.”

The Chilean flag was hoisted in that day over six Holland-type submarines, marking the creation of the Chilean Navy’s submarine branch, which has the motto, “Semper Fidelis.” Photo by Leslie Jones, via Boston Public Library, Print Department. Note the famed “original six” frigate USS Constitution in the background. 

Ordered in 1914 from the Fore River Yard at Quincy, Massachusetts, once the Great War kicked off, then-neutral Uncle Sam interned HMS H11 through HMS H20 for the duration of hostilities (or at least, it turned out, American neutrality), despite the fact they did not have their torpedo tubes installed.

Holland 602 type submarines designed to meet Royal Navy specifications, nine other 150-foot/360-ton H-class boats were built by Vickers Canada in Monreal for the Admiralty while another 23 were ordered from Vickers, Cammell Laird, Armstrong Whitworth, and William Beardmore in Britain.

HM Submarine H.4, one of the Canadian Vickers-made boats, at Brindisi, August 1916. Notably, H4 sank U-boat UB-52 in the Adriatic on 23 May 1918, one of the biggest wins for the class. Photograph SP 578 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums

Of the 10 Yankee “H” boats, the British eventually transferred two, later christened HMCS CH-14 and CH-15, to Canadian service, while HMS H11 and H12 were cleared to sail after the U.S. entered the war in April 1917 only to be scrapped shortly after the conflict.

CH14 and CH15, Canadian submarines 1920-22

Likewise, the Canucks laid up their H-boats by 1922 and disposed of them soon after.

The remainder, H13 along with H16 through H20, were transferred to the Chilean government to partially compensate for Chilean vessels under construction in Britain that were seized in 1914 (such as the dreadnoughts Almirante Latorre/HMS Canada and Almirante Cochrane/HMS Eagle) for the fight against the Kaiser.

Commissioned into the Chilean Navy as Guacolda (H1), Tegualda (H2), Rucumilla (H3), Guale (H4), Quidora (H5), and Fresia (H6), on 28 March 1918, the flotilla set sail for Valparaíso on its maiden voyage under the command of RADM Luis Gomez Carreño.

These obsolete craft remained in service in Latin American waters through WWII, with the last only scrapping in 1949. Rucumilla had a particularly interesting rescue/salvage after she was lost at sea. 

As far as I can tell, they were the last pre-WWI Holland design sent to the breakers, and probably the last to submarines to carry 18-inch tubes on active duty. Of note, the Brits completed H21 and above with 21-inch tubes, some of whom continued to serve in WWII. 

Chilian Guacolda (Holland 602/H-class) submarines, via Jane’s 1946

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International
 
They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm 
 
The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.
 
With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.
 
PRINT still has its place. If you LOVE warships you should belong.
 
I’m a member, so should you be!
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