Spanish Torpedo Boats

(TORPEDEROS DE SEGUNDA)

 By Nick Mitiuckov


General:

The following is some basic information on the Spanish Torpedo boats, Second Class. These vessel were intended for port and coastal defense. 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!

In the era of the Spanish-American War, Spain had a larger torpedoboat force than the United States. The Spanish Naval Staff had been following the growth and evolution in the field of torpedo boat construction very attentively. As a result, the Spanish Navy had a unique collection of vessels of this class by the time of the war.

At the large naval maneuvers of 1887-88, it was found that the Spanish torpedo boats were not in combat condition. The technical condition of all of the vessels was poor. Only one, the BARCELO was able to reach its designed maximum speed. However, in spite of what they saw at the maneuvers, the Spanish Navy did not make improvements and during the next ten years leading up to the Spanish American War the situation did not improve. The crews of the torpedo boats were not well-trained, and the vessels themselves had continued to decline. By 1898, none of the Spanish torpedo boats were capable of going into action. At the beginning of  the Spanish American War  only two torpedo boats were assigned to the Reserve Squadron (ORION and RETAMOSA), but they did not take part in the expedition to try to relieve the Philippine.

The "Real Decreto de 29 Octubre 1890" divided all torpedo boats between the various naval stations.

The Cadiz Naval Region received the following: RETAMOSA,ORION, HABANA, and BARCELO. The El Ferrol Naval Region received the EJERCITO. The Cartagena Naval Region received the RIGEL, ACEVEDO, and ORDONES.



The official decree related to these vessels is as follows:

"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.

TERPEDEROS DE SEGUNDA LOS DE COSTA Y PUERTO INFERIORES A 100 TONELADAS."

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



ACEVEDO, JULIAN ORDONEZ

Click here for a profile and image of the ORDONEZ!
 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
66 tons
35.87m x 3.84m x 1.67m
660
20 knots
500 miles
20 tons
Acevedo
These vessels were launched in 1885 by Thorncroft, in England and had one shaft. Their armament consisted of two 25mm/42 cal. RV, and two 356 torpedo tubes. They had a crew of 18 men.

The two vessels of this class were ACEVEDO (later named #7, and later yet, # 43) and JULIAN ORDONEZ (later named # 6, and later yet, # 44). By 1908-1910, neither had any combat capability. In 1910, they were dropped from the navy rolls, and were scrapped in 1919.

The vessels were named for Julian Ordonez and Acevedo, who were, respectively, a major lieutenant and a boatswain in the Spanish Navy, and who were killed on January 20, 1878 at Cavite during a Filipino rebellion.



AIRE
 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
25 tons
           
CASTOR was built in Cartagena, Spain


BARCELO, BUSTAMENTE

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Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
65 tons
38.40m x 3.32m x 1.19m
800
20 knots
1200 miles
25 tons
Barcelo
BARCELO was was launched by Normand of Le Havre, France in 1886. BUSTAMENTE, based on the Normand design was produced in Spain in 1887. The armament of these vessels consisted of two 25mm/42 cal RV (BARCELO) or two 42mm/42 cal RV (BUSTAMENTE), with two 356 torpedo tubes with four torpedoes. They had a crew of  18 men.

The BARCELO was renamed #9 and saw service until 1911. BUSTAMENTE's career is not known. Since they were built in France, the two vessels had an unusual silhouette: both funnels were asymmetrical, dismissal to starboard. The vessels left the navy rolls in 1912.

BARCELO was named for a Spanish naval captain with a successful record against the Barbary pirates.


CASTOR
 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
23 tons
           
CASTOR was built in Le Sayne, France in 1878. She saw service until 1900.


EJERCITO

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Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
60 tons
33.98m x 3.96m x 1.00m
1000
25 knots
? miles
15 tons
 
The vessel, launched on November 30, 1888 by Gil y Cia (La Grana, near El Ferrol, Spain), had one shaft. Her armament consisted of two 42mm/42 cal RV, and two 356 torpedo tubes. She had a crew of  17 men.

The vessel was built under an initiative of Madrid's Army Society (this is reason for the vessel's name).Her design was based on a German design but was built in Spain since the cost was less (about 200000 pesetas, versust 300000 pesetas). However, the ship had very bad performance levels, and Spain refused to continue the building of any other similar ships.

EJERCITO was designed to make 25 knots, but in her trials only reached 18 knots. Here speed was generally less than this. She was dropped from the navy rolls in 1900. Her boilers were removed and reused in the gunboat CONDOR

The vessel was named for the word "army" in Spanish.


HABANA

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Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
67 tons
38.89m x 3.84m x 1.55m
780
24.5 knots
3000 miles
15 tons
 
The vessel, launched in 1886 by Thorncroft in England, had one shaft. Her armament consisted of one 25 mm/42cal RV and two 356 torpedo tubes. She had a crew of  17 men.

The vessel was built from funds raised by subscription from the public and was based on British class torpedoboats # 41-60. Later HABANA was renamed  # 8, an then #45. By 1910, she ws determined to have no combat capability, was struck from the navy rolls in 1918.

The vessel was named for the capital of Cuba. .



ORION

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Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
88 tons
37.70m x 4.78m x 2.04m
1000
20 knots
2000 miles
16 tons
 
The vessel, launched on November 24, 1885 by Germania-Werf of Kiel, Germany, had one shaft. Her armament consisted of two 25 mm/42cal RV, and two 356 torpedo tubes with four torpedoes. She had a crew of 18 men.

The vessel was later renamed #5 and then #42. She had a long beam and, as a result, had good seagoing capabilities, as was found during her passage from Kiel to Ferrol it the winter of 1886. In 1907, the vessel was reboilered (new boilers of Yarrow-system), but in 1908 she was determined to have no combat capability. She was dropped from the navy rolls in 1914.

The vessel was named for a hero of Greek mythology.


POLUX
 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
33 tons
           
CASTOR was built in Yarrow, England in 1879. She saw service until 1895.



RETAMOSA

Click here for a profile of the RETAMOSA
 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
70 tons
35.66m x 3.84m x 1.55m
700
20.25 knots
350miles
15 tons
 
The vessel was launched in 1885 by Yarrow, in England. Her armament consisted of two 25mm/43 cal RV, and two 356 torpedo tubes, with four torpedo tubes. She had a crew of 17 men.

She was dropped from the navy rolls in 1900.

The vessel was named for a Spanish naval captain with a successful career against the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean.


RIGEL

Click here for a profile of the RIGEL
 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
57 tons
32m x 3.75m x 1.0/2.4m
700
19 knots
500 miles
13 tons
 
The vessel, built in 1883 by Aktien Gessellschaft, Veser (Germany, near Bremen), had one shaft. Her armament consisted of one 42mm/42cal RV, two 356 Torpedo tubes with four torpedoes. The vessel  breechloading gun and 2 machine gun. She had a crew of  18 men.

The RIGEL was based on the German SCHUTZE-class torpedoboat. The vessel had a very comfortable state-room for crew (in contrast to the other torpedoboats of this period.). She had an armoured conning tower. Her main armarment were bronze torpedo of the Schwartzcopf-class, that were antiquated for this times. The RIGEL travelled without assistance from Germany to La Coruna. By the middle of the 1890's, RIGAL was assigned to the Naval School of Cartagena. She was dropped from the navy rolls in 1900.

She was named for a star in the Orion Constellation.



SEZA
 
Displacement
 Dimensions
Horsepower
Speed
Range
Bunker capacity
Class
85 tons
38.40m x 4.75m x 1.13m
1000
14 knots
? miles
16 tons
 
The vessel, launched in 1885 in El Ferrol, Spain, had one shaft. Her armament consisted of two 357 Torpedo Tubes. She had a crew of 18.

There is no more information available on this vessel. She was probably an experimental vessel and didn't appear on the Navy rolls.



Bibliography:

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

Diaz Diaz, Francisco Jose

FOCK's Schwartze Gesellan,

CONWAY's All the World's Fighting Ships, Vol 1 and 2.

AGUILERA's Buques de la Armada Espanola (Madrid: Editorial Silex, 1999), 344-345, 479-480.

Voennie floty i morskaya spravochnaya knizhka. Under edition of

 His Emperor Highness, Great Kniaz Alexander Mikhailovich.

(Information on the AZOR Class and the RAYO Class provided by Luis Diaz)


Please note that we are looking for more information on these vessels. If you have additional data, please contact us!
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