Tag Archive | ARA Garibaldi

Warship Wednesday, July 31, 2019: “80 Sen,” or a young Yamamoto’s Italian Stallion

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 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, July 31, 2019: 80 Sen

NHHC Collection Photo # NH 83034

Here we see a crooked image from the files of the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, likely a quick snapshot taken from the deck of a rented junk, showing the coastal defense ship (formerly classified as an armored cruiser, or junjokan) Nisshin of the Imperial Japanese Navy as she sat at a Hong Kong mooring buoy, in October 1920. Note the Emperor’s chrysanthemum marking on the bow, and inquisitive members of her crew on the side– likely wondering just who was in the approaching small boat with the camera. You wouldn’t know it to look at her, but this ship had once gone toe-to-toe with a much larger opponent and come out on top, although with the scars to show it.

If you like that photo, how about another two taken the same day, with her crew’s laundry drying and a picturesque junk added for Hong Kong flavor:

NH 83032

NH 83033

Anywho, you didn’t come here for Hong Kong laundry stories.

Built around the turn of the Century by Gio. Ansaldo & C shipbuilders, Genoa, Italy, as an updated version of the Giuseppe Garibaldi armored cruiser class, Nisshin (or Nissin, a name that roughly translates to “Japan”) was designed by Italian naval architect Edoardo Masdea as a vessel only smaller than a 1st-rate (pre-dreadnought) battleship of the era, yet larger and stronger than most cruisers that could oppose it.

The Garibaldi class was innovative (for 1894,) with a 344-foot long/7,200-ton hull capable of making 20-knots and sustaining a range of more than 7,000 nm at 12 when stuffed with enough coal. Although made in Italy, she was almost all-British from her Armstrong batteries to her Bellville boilers, Whitehead torpedoes, and Harvey armor.

Armored with a belt that ran up-to 5.9-inches thick, Garibaldi could take hits from faster cruisers and gunboats while being able to dish out punishment from a pair of Elswick (Armstrong) 10-inch guns that no ship smaller than her could absorb. Capable of outrunning larger ships, she also had a quartet of casemate-mounted torpedo tubes and extensive rapid-fire secondary batteries to make life hard on the enemy’s small ships and merchantmen.

These cruisers were designed for power projection on a budget and the Argentine Navy, facing a quiet arms race between Brazil and Chile on each side, needed modern ships. They, therefore, scooped up not only the Garibaldi (commissioned in 1895) but also the follow-on sister-ships General Belgrano and General San Martín (built by Orlando of Livorno in 1896) and Genoa-made Pueyrredón (1898) to make a quartet of powerful cruisers. These ships, coupled with a pair of battleships ordered later in the U.S., helped make the Argentine navy for about two decades the eighth most powerful in the world (after the big five European powers, Japan, and the United States), and the largest in Latin America.

The design was well-liked, with Spain moving to buy two (but only taking delivery of one in the end, the ill-fated Cristóbal Colón, which was sunk at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish American War) and Italy electing to purchase five further examples of the type.

Why all the talk about Argentina and Italy?

Well, because Nisshin and her sistership Kasuga were originally ordered by the Italians in 1900 as Mitra (Yard #130) and Roca (#129), respectively, but then sold while still on the ways to Argentina to further flesh out the fleet of that South American country’s naval forces, who dutifully renamed them Mariano Moreno and Rivadavia.

At some 8,500-tons (full), these final Garibaldis were 364-feet long overall and were roughly the same speed and carried the same armor plan (with Terni plate) as their predecessors.

However, they differed in armament, with Mitra/Rivadavia/Kasuga carrying a single 10-inch EOC gun forward and twin 8″/45s aft, while Roca/Moreno/Nisshin carried the twin 8-inchers both forward and aft.

Stern 8"/45 (20.3 cm) turret on armored cruiser Nisshin on 24 October 1908. Ship's officers with USN officers from USS Missouri (B-11) during "Great White Fleet" around the world cruise. Note the landing guns on the upper platform. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 82511.

Stern 8″/45 (20.3 cm) turret on armored cruiser Nisshin on 24 October 1908. Ship’s officers with USN officers from USS Missouri (B-11) during “Great White Fleet” around the world cruise. Note the landing guns on the upper platform. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 82511.

[Of note, the same 8-inch EOC guns were also used on other British-built Japanese armored cruisers (Adzuma, Asama, Iwate, Izumo, Tokiwa, and Yakumo) so they weren’t too out of place when Japan took delivery of these ships in 1904 instead of Argentina.]

Both Mitra/Rivadavia/Kasuga and Roca/Moreno/Nisshin were launched, fitted out and ran builders’ trials in Italy under the Argentine flag.

Armada Argentina crucero acorazado ARA Moreno, at 1903 launch. Note Italian and Argentine flags. Colorized photo by Atsushi Yamashita/Monochrome Specter http://blog.livedoor.jp/irootoko_jr/

Nisshin Running trials under the Argentine flag, probably in late 1903, just before her purchase by the Japanese NH 58664

Running trials under the Argentine flag, probably in late 1903, just before her purchase by the Japanese. Photo credited to her builder Ansaldo. NH 58665

With the Japanese and Imperial Russia circling each other tensely in late 1903, and Argentina not really wanting to take final delivery of these new cruisers, Buenos Aries shopped them to the Tsar’s kopeck-pinching Admiralty only to be rebuffed over sticker shock, leaving the Tokyo to pick them up for £760,000 each– considered a high price at the time but a bargain that the Russians would likely later regret. The Argentines would later reuse the briefly-issued Moreno and Rivadavia names for their matching pair of Massachusetts-built battleships in 1911

Nisshin photographed at Genoa, Italy in January 1904. This ship was built in Italy by Ansaldo of Genoa and competed on January 17, 1904. Courtesy of Mr. Tom Stribling, 1987. NH 101923

With a scratch British/Italian contract delivery crew, Kasuga and Nisshin (their names are taken from Meiji-period steam warships of the 1860s) set sail immediately for the Far East and were already outbound of Singapore by the time the balloon finally went up between the Russians and Japanese in February 1904. The sisters were soon in the gun line off Russian-held Port Arthur, lending their fine British-made batteries to reducing that fortress, and took part in both the ineffective Battle of the Yellow Sea in August 1904 (where Nisshin was lightly damaged) and the much more epic Battle of Tsushima in May 1905.

Carrying the flag of VADM Baron Misu Sotarō, Nisshin fired something on the order of 180 heavy shells during Tsushima, exchanging heavy damage with the 15,000-ton Russian battleship Oslyabya and others– taking several 12-inch hits to show for it. The Japanese cruiser had three of her four 8-inch guns sliced off and a number of her crew, to include a young Ensign Isoroku Yamamoto, wounded. The future commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II had the index and middle fingers on his left hand shorn off by a splinter, earning him the wardrobe nickname “80 sen” as a manicure cost 10 sen per digit at the time.

The forward gun turret and superstructure of the Japanese armored cruiser Nisshin following the Battle of Tsushima, showing 8-inch guns severed by Russian 12-inch shells

From a different angle

Another view

Aft turret of Armored Cruiser Nisshin damaged in the Battle of Tsushima

Starboard 12-pound gun of Armored Cruiser Nisshin damaged in the Battle of Tsushima

Oslyabya, in turn, was ultimately lost in the course of the battle, taking the Russian Squadron’s second-in-command, Capt. Vladimir Ber, and half of her crew with her to the bottom of the Korea Strait.

Japanese cruiser Nisshin, listed as June 24, 1905, at Kure, which is just a month after Tsushima and may be an incorrect date as she looks almost brand new. Colorized photo by Atsushi Yamashita/Monochrome Specter http://blog.livedoor.jp/irootoko_jr/

For both Kasuga and Nisshin, Tsushima was their brightest moment under the Rising Sun.

Greatly modified later with Japanese-made Kampon boilers replacing their Italian ones, along with a host of other improvements, Kasuga went on to serve as a destroyer squadron flagship in World War I looking out for German surface raiders and escorting Allied shipping between Australia and Singapore. She later took Imperial troops to Vladivostok in 1918 as part of the Allied Intervention into the Russian Civil War.

Nisshin during WWI. Colorized photo by Atsushi Yamashita/Monochrome Specter http://blog.livedoor.jp/irootoko_jr/

As for Nisshin, she also spent her time as a destroyer squadron leader on the lookout for the Kaiser’s wolves and was later dispatched to the Mediterranean as part of the Japanese 2nd Special Squadron (Suma-class cruiser Akashi, the cruiser Izumo, 8 Kaba-class destroyers and 4 Momo-class destroyers). Deployed in late 1917, the squadron was tasked with riding shotgun over Allied troopships steaming between Malta and Salonica and from Alexandria to Taranto and Marseille.

Photographed at Port Said, Egypt, on October 27, 1917. The early French mixed battery pre-dreadnought Jauréguiberry (1893-1934) can be seen at left background. Courtesy of Mr. Tom Stribling, 1987. NH 101922

In all, the force escorted nearly 800 ships and engaged German and Austrian subs something like 40 times (although without sinking any).
After the Armistice, selected crews from the Squadron marched in the 1919 victory parades in Paris and London.

To close out Japan’s involvement in the Great War, Nisshin returned home with seven captured German U-boats, (U-46, U-55, U-125, UC-90, UC-99, UB-125, and UB-143) after stops in Malta and other friendly ports along the way from England to Yokosuka, arriving there in June 1919. The former German boats went on to an uninteresting life of their own under the Kyokujitsu-ki, used for testing, salvage exercises and floating jetties. While most of these submarines were low-mileage vessels of little notoriety, U-46 (Hillebrand) and U-55 (Blue Max winner Willy Werner) were very successful during the war, accounting for 116 Allied vessels of some 273,000 tons between them.

IJN Nissin at Malta with captured German UC-90 U-boat, via IWM

Nisshin, photographed March 1919, with the ex-German submarines O-4 (ex-UC-90) and O-5 (ex-UC-99) alongside. NH 58666

Nisshin, photographed in March 1919, with the ex-German submarines O-4 (ex-UC-90) and O-5 (ex-UC-99) alongside. NH 58667

Japanese Cruiser Nisshin U-boats escorting surrendered German submarines allocated to Japan, March 1919, Malta, by Frank Henry Algernon Mason, via the IWM

Disarmed and largely relegated to training tasks, Nisshin and Kasuga were put on the sidelines after the Great War, replaced by much better ships in the Japanese battle line.

Hulked, Nisshin was eventually disposed of as part of a sinkex in the Inland Sea in 1936, then raised by Shentian Maritime Industry Co., Ltd, patched up and sunk a second time in 1942 during WWII by the new super battleship Yamato, whose 18.1″/45cal Type 94 guns likely made quick work of her.

Her immediate sister, Kasuga, used as a floating barracks at Yokosuka, was sunk by U.S. carrier aircraft in July 1945 then later raised and scrapped after the war. Incidentally, the two Japanese Garibaldis outlasted their Italian sisters, all of which were disposed of by the 1930s. Their everlasting Argentine classmates, however, lingered on until as late as 1954 with the last of their kind, ARA Pueyrredon, ironically being towed to Japan for scrapping that year.

Of note, the British 8″/45s EOCs removed from Nisshin, Kasuga and the other Japanese 1900s armored cruisers in the 1920s and 30s were recycled and used as coastal artillery, including four at Tokyo Bay, four at Tarawa (Betio) and another four at Wake Island once it was captured in 1941.

Japanese Special Naval Landing Force troops mount a British-made, Vickers eight-inch naval cannon into its turret on Betio before the battle. This film was developed from a Japanese camera found in the ruins while the battle was still on. Via http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Tarawa/index.html

Destruction of one of the four Japanese eight-inch EOC guns on Betio caused by naval gunfire and airstrikes, 1943. Department of Defense photo (USMC) 63618

Nisshin’s name was reused for use on a well-armed seaplane/midget submarine carrier that saw extensive action in WWII during the Guadalcanal campaign, where she was lost.  It has not been reused further.

Specs:

Jane 1914 entry, listing the class as first-class cruisers

Displacement: 7,700 t (7,578 long tons) std, 8,500 full
Length: 366 ft 7 in (o/a), 357 wl
Beam: 61 ft 5 in
Draft: 24 ft 1 in, 25.5 max
Machinery: (1904)
13,500 ihp, 2 vertical triple-expansion steam engines, 8 Ansaldo marine boilers, 2 shafts
Speed: 20 knots at 14,000 shp, although in practice were limited to 18 at full load.
Range: 5,500 nmi at 10 knots on 1316 tons of coal, typically just 650 carried
Complement: 600 as built, 568 in Japanese service.
Armor: (Terni)
Belt: 2.8–5.9 in
Deck: 0.79–1.57 in
Barbette: 3.9–5.9 in
Conning tower: 5.9 in
Armament:
(1904)
2 twin 8″/45 EOC (classified as Type 41 guns by the Japanese)
14 single QF 6″/45 Armstrong “Z” guns
10 single QF 3″/40 12-pdr Armstrong “N” guns
6 single QF 3-pounder Hotchkiss guns
2 Maxim machine guns
2 landing howitzers
4 × 457 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes in casemates
(1930)
4 single QF 6″/45 Armstrong “Z” guns
4 single QF 3″/40 12-pdr Armstrong “N” guns
1 single 76/40 AAA

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Warship Wednesday Sept 3: Four Italian sisters in Argentine service

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.

– Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday Sept 3: Four Italian sisters in Argentine service.

click to bigup

click to bigup

Here we see the Giuseppe Garibaldi-class armored cruiser Armada de la República Argentina (ARA) General Giuseppe Garibaldi of the Argentine Navy as she appeared around the turn of the century in her gleaming white and buff scheme. She was a ship representative of her time, and her class outlived most of their contemporaries.

Ordered from Gio. Ansaldo & C shipbuilders, Genoa, Italy, in 1894 the General Giuseppe Garibaldi was designed by Italian naval architect Edoardo Masdea to provide a ship, smaller than a 1st-rate battleship, yet larger and stronger than any cruiser that could oppose it.

One large 10-inch gun fore and another aft gave these ships some punch.

One large 10-inch gun fore and another aft gave these ships some punch.

The concept predated battle cruisers by a decade or two and had its apex at the Battle of Tsushima, where so-called ‘armored cruisers’ gave a poor showing of themselves. The final nail in the coffin of the armored cruiser design was the Battle of the Falklands in 1914 in which a German force of armored and light cruisers under Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee was annihilated by a group of larger and faster RN battle cruisers of Vice-Admiral Doveton Sturdee.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves…

The Garibaldi class was innovative for 1894, with a 344-foot long, 7200-ton hull capable of making 20-knots and sustaining a range of more than 7,000 nm at 12. Although made in Italy, she was almost all-British from her Armstrong batteries to her Bellville boilers to her Whitehead torpedoes and Harvey armor.

Armored with a belt that ran up-to 5.9-inches thick, she could take hits from faster cruisers and gunboats while being able to dish out punishment from a pair of Armstrong 10-inch guns that no ship smaller than her could absorb. Capable of outrunning larger ships, she also had a quartet of torpedo tubes and extensive rapid fire secondary batteries to make life hard on the enemy’s small ships and merchantmen.

ARA San Martin
She was designed for power projection on a budget and the Argentine Navy, facing a quiet arms race between Brazil and Chile on each side, needed modern ships.

They therefore scooped up not only the Garibaldi (commissioned in 1895) but also the follow-on sister-ships General Belgrano and General San Martín ( built by Orlando of Livorno in 1896) and Genoa-made Pueyrredón (1898) to make a quartet of powerful cruisers. These ships, coupled with the Rivadavia-class battleships ordered later in the U.S., helped make the Argentine navy for a period of about two decades the eighth most powerful in the world (after the big five European powers, Japan, and the United States), and the largest in Latin America.

Belgrao making steam with a bone in her mouth. These chunky cruisers could make 20-knots, which was fast for 1894 when they were designed

Belgrano making steam with a bone in her mouth. These chunky cruisers could make 20-knots, which was fast for 1894 when they were designed

The gunboat diplomacy of these ships soon paid off, with Belgrano being used as the signing platform for the 1899 peace treaty between Argentina and Chile to settle the Puna de Atacama dispute.

These ships proved so popular when built, in fact, that Spain quickly ordered a pair (one of which, Cristóbal Colón, was soon sunk in the Spanish-American War), Italy picked up three more (including confusingly enough, one also named Giuseppe Garibaldi-– he was an Italian hero after all!) and Japan acquired two of their own in the 1900s.

ARA Pueyrredon. Note deck awnings in use.

ARA Pueyrredon. Note deck awnings in use and extensive view of broadside secondary casemated guns

The four Argentine ships long outlived their foreign sisters.

Although the country had built a huge naval armada, they remained on the sidelines during a number of crisis in their time. The country remained more or less (some would contend less) neutral in both World Wars as well as in regional conflicts. They did, however, often sail the world and show the flag. Garibaldi for instance, was often seen in Caribbean ports while Belgrano made an extensive European tour in 1927, spending most of that year overseas.

Argentine Garibaldi class cruiser San Martin

Argentine Garibaldi class cruiser San Martin

One of the more popular assignments for theses ships over their lifetimes were yearly midshipmen cruises. Typically from August to December, they would alternate between circumnavigating the continent to trips to Europe and Africa.

El ARA Pueyrredónn

For example, in 1941, with the world at war, ARA Pueyrredon still had time to travel some 14,964 miles from Puerto Belgrano to New Orleans and back, stopping for lengthy port stays at such popular destinations as Havana, Rio, and Aruba.

San Martin warping into harbor

San Martin warping into harbor. Photo by City of Art

By 1920 Garibaldi— the Argentine one– was in poor condition and relegated to duty as a training ship while her three sisters were modernized, disarmed a good bit, and overhauled. By 20 March 1934, with the world in a global recession, Garibaldi was stricken, cannibalized so that her classmates could live longer lives, and sold for scrap at the end of 1936.

ara_belgrano_chococard

ARA San Martin was stricken 8 December 1935 but retained for twelve years as a dockside depot ship and scrapped in 1947.

El ARA San Martín, fue un crucero acorazado perteneciente a la Clase italiana Giuseppe Garibaldi, via Postales Navales

ARA Gen. Belgrano, who was used after 1933 as a submarine tender, was stricken May 8, 1947 and sold in 1953.

ARA Pueyrredon in Dublin in 1951. At this point this pre-SpanAm War vet was pushing her sixth decade at sea.

ARA Pueyrredon in Dublin in 1951. At this point this pre-SpanAm War vet was pushing her sixth decade at sea. Her white and buff scheme long since replaced by haze gray with black caps. Note, she still has her 10-inch Armstrong guns, although by the 1950s 254mm blackpowder bagged naval shells were very out of style to say the least. Photo by Historymar

Finally, ARA Pueyrredon, as far as I can tell, was the last ‘operational’ armored cruiser in naval service in the world. As late as 1951 the veteran was making cruises to Europe to show the blue and white banner of the Argentine navy while training naval officers. That summer she moved more than 20,000 miles underway on a round trip from Buenos Aires, Pernambuco, Liverpool, Dublin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Le Havre, Naples, Genoa, Villefranche, Barcelona, Casa-blanca, Dakar, Santos, back to Buenos Aires.

She was stricken on 2 August 1954 after nearly six decades in commission, spending half of that as a training ship assigned to the Naval Academy, and towed in 1954 to Japan to be scrapped.

ex-Pueyrredon being towed, 1954

ex-Pueyrredon being towed, 1954. Photo by Historymar

Thus she outlived by two years what is considered by many to be the last armored cruiser afloat, the Greek Navy’s Georgios Averof (c.1911) which was decommissioned in 1952.

Sadly, the only monument to these beautiful and hard-serving Argentine ships is the bow coat of arms from ARA Pueyrredon, preserved on the grounds of Argentine Naval Academy.

The Argentine Sun of May (Spanish: Sol de Mayo) national emblem on the bowcrest of ARA Pueyrredon

The Argentine Sun of May (Spanish: Sol de Mayo) national emblem on the bowcrest of ARA Pueyrredon

Specs:

Planta-GiuseppeGaribaldi

Displacement: 7,069 long tons (7,182 t)
Length:     344 ft 2 in (104.9 m)
Beam:     50 ft 8 in (15.4 m)
Draught:     23 ft 4 in (7.1 m)
Installed power:     13,000 ihp (9,700 kW)
Propulsion:     2 shafts, vertical triple-expansion steam engines
8 cylindrical Bellville boilers (replaced 1920s)
Speed:     20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) as designed. Later 15-knots after 1925.
Range: 7000 nm at 12 knots on 1,000 tons coal. Later 4200 nm at 9kts after 1925 refits.
Complement: 520 as designed (typical Argentine service, 25 officers, 300 crew or 28 officers; 60-95 cadets; 275 crew)

Armament:     (As commissioned, greatly reduced after 1925)
2×1 – Armstrong 10-inch (254 mm) guns
10×1 – 152mm Armstrong rapid fire (120mm in Garibaldi)
10×1 – 57mm 6-pounder Nordenfeldt guns
8×1 37mm Hotchkiss guns
2×1 8mm Maxim water cooled machine guns
4×1 – 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes with Whitehead fish (Five tubes in ARA Pueyrredon)
+ 2×1 – 3-inch (75 mm) guns landing guns (cañones de desembarcode)

Armour:  (All Harvey-type armor)
Belt: 3.1–5.9 in (79–150 mm)
Barbettes: 5.9 in (150 mm)
Gun turrets: 5.9 in (150 mm)
Conning tower: 5.9 in (150 mm)

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/

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.

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