Spanish 1st Class Gunboats

(The CORTEZ Class & The QUIROS Class)
By Nick Mitiuckov

General:

The following is some basic information on the 1st Class Spanish Gunboats. The author is searching for more information on these vessels, and would like verification of the facts as listed below. If you can in either of these items, please contact the website administrator, and he will put us in contact! We need your help!

Total there were five 1st Class gunboats, which were named for great Spanish explorers, navigators and conquistadors: HERNAN CORTES,  PIZARRO, QUIROS, VASCO NUNEZ DE BALBOA, VILLALOBOS.



The following royal decree set the classification of this type of vessel:
 
REAL DECRETO

En atencion a lo expuesto por el Ministro de Marina y de conformidad con el Consejo de Ministors:

En nombre de mi Augusto hijo el Rey D. Alfonso XIII, y como Reina Regente del reino,

Venego en decretar lo siguiente:

Articulo 1. Se aprueba el adjunto estado de nueva clasificacion de buques de la Armada.

CANONEROS DE PRIMERA
LOS COMPRENDIDOS ENTRE 500 Y 300 TONELADAS.

Madrid, 18 de Agosto de 1895 -
El Ministro de Marina, Jose Maria de Beranger.


HERNAN CORTES
 
Builder
Laid down
Launched
Commissioned
Clydebank,Scotland
May, 1895
August 24, 1895
1896

 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
300 tons
41.2m x 5.8m x 2.0m
600
13 knots
2900 miles
60 tons
Cortez
The vessel had one shaft with a triple expansion engine. In her trials, she reached 14.5 knots. Her armament consisted of  2 x 57mm/43cal QF guns, 2 machine gun. She had a complement of  53 men.

In 1896, the vessel was transferred to Cuba. During the Spanish American War, she was in the Caribbean at Nuevitas. Her commander was Lt. Izquierdo. In 1899, she  returned to Spain. She Took part on the actions against Moroccans, but without success. Stricken on 1929

The vessel was named for Hernan Cortez (1485-1547)  Spanish conquistador. In 1519-21 he led an expedition to and conquered the Mexico.



PIZARRO
 
Builder
Laid down
Launched
Commissioned
Clydebank,Scotland
May, 1895
June 30, 1895
1896

 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
300 tons
41.2m x 5.8m x 2.0m
600
13 knots
2900 miles
60 tons
Cortez
The vessel had one shaft with a triple expansion engine. In her trials, she reached 14.5 knots. Her armament consisted of  2 x 57mm/43cal QF guns, 2 machine gun. She had a complement of  53 men.

In 1896, the vessel was transferred to Cuba. During the Spanish American War, she was in the Caribbean at Nuevitas. Her commander was Lt. Leal. In August, when Nuevitas was captured, she was destroyed.

The vessel was named for Francisco Pizarro (1475-1541),  Spanish conquistador. Pizarro led the expedition in Panama and Peru that conquered the Inca nation.



QUIROS
 
Builder
Laid down
Launched
Commissioned
Wanpoa, Hong Kong
1895
1895
1896

 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
347 tons
44.3m x 6.9m x 2.3m
500
12 knots
3800 miles
75 tons
Quiros

The vessel had one shaft with a triple expansion engine. Her armament consisted of  2 x 57mm/43cal QF guns, 2 x 37 mm/30cal. machine guns. She had a complement of  37 men.

The vessel was sent to the Philippines in 1896 and was used against the Filipino Insurgents. After the Spanish American War, Spain planned to return her to Spain, but this proved to be costly endeavor, and with somewhat doubtful chance of success. In February of 1900, she was sold to the U.S., and dropped from the Spanish rolls. The vessel joined the American fleet on March 14, 1900, and took part in the Philippine-American War. She was sunk as a target in 1923.

The vessel was named for Pedro Fernandes Quiros (1560-1614), Portuguese explorer and leader of a Spanish expedition that searched for the "South Land". He explored many isles in the Pacific Ocean.



VASCO NUNEZ DE BALBOA
 
Builder
Laid down
Launched
Commissioned
Clydebank,Scotland
June, 1895
September 9, 1895
1896

 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
300 tons
41.2m x 5.8m x 2.0m
600
13 knots
2900 miles
60 tons
Cortez
The vessel had one shaft with a triple expansion engine. In her trials, she reached 14.5 knots. Her armament consisted of  2 x 57mm/43cal QF guns, 2 machine gun. She had a complement of  53 men.

In 1896, the vessel was transferred to Cuba. During the Spanish American War, she was at Cienfuegos. On April 28, 1898, in company with GALICIA, she took part in an action with American forces when the Americans tried to capture the steamer ARGONAUTA. The Americans reported hits on her with their 57mm/g pdr. guns,but this is not confirmed by Spanish reports. On June 13, again with GALICIA, she attacked the USS YANKEE, which confused her with a dreaded torpedo boat and retired. During this action BALBOA was struck once with a 127 mm/5 inch round, killing three of her crew and wounding ten. In 1899, she was returned to Spain. Later, she took part in the actions against the Moroccans, but without success. She was stricken from the rolls in 1929.

The vessel was named for Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1517) - Spanish Conquistador, who, in 1513 crossed the Panama isthmus and "discovered" the Pacific ocean.



VILLALOBOS
 
Builder
Laid down
Launched
Commissioned
Wanpoa, Hong Kong
1895
1895
1896

 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
302 tons
42.0m x 6.5m x 2.3m
500
13 knots
3200 miles
54 tons
Quiros

Took part at the actions against Insurgents. After war Spanish planned returned gunboat to Spain, but this plan was too expensive and very doubtful. On the February 1900 sold to Americans, and left out from fleet lists. Come to American fleet on 5.03.1900. Took part on war against Philippine insurgents. Sunk as target on 1933.

The vessel had one shaft with a triple expansion engine. Her armament consisted of  2 x 25mm/42cal RF guns. She had a complement of  37 men.

The vessel was sent to the Philippines (probably to Panay) in 1896 and was used against the Filipino Insurgents. After the Spanish American War, Spain planned to return her to Spain, but this proved to be costly endeavor, and with somewhat doubtful chance of success. In February of 1900, she was sold to the U.S., and dropped from the Spanish rolls. The vessel joined the American fleet on June 3, 1900, and took part in the Philippine-American War. She was sunk as a target in 1933.

The vessel was named for Ruy Lopez de la Villalobos, the Spanish navigator, who explored the Bonin isles on 1543. He named the Philippines by calling them Real Filippe or "King Filippe's Islands."


Bibliography:

Mitiuckov, Nick, Naval Historian, Izhevsk, Russia (personal correspondence)


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