Early in the Cuban Insurrection, to contain the United States, Spain planned convert about ten vessels into auxiliary cruisers. However, the main need at the time was for transports to carry Spanish troops to Cuba. Most of the intended auxiliary cruisers were altered to serve as transports instead.
Therefore, when the War began, Spain had about ten armored steamers. The vessels became part of Gruppo E of the Reserve Squadron. Though intended for action against American lines of communication, most of these vessels were used as blockade runners.
Built at Stettin as a liner for the North-German Lloyd Lines, HAVEL could carry 274 first class passengers, 148 second class passengers and 384 third class passengers.
She was a single screw steamer, which was an outdated and unreliable design. In 1898 HAVEL was sold to Spain and converted to the auxiliary cruiser METEORO. The vessel was commissioned on June 8. She saw no action during the war.
In 1899 METEORO was sold as the liner ALFONSO XII. She was scrapped in 1926.
|Armament:||Four 120mm/40mm Quickfire Skoda guns|
|57mm/43mm Quickfire guns (number not known)|
Machine guns (number unknown)
|Displacement||8,900 tons (6963brt)|
|Engine Type:||Single screw, 12,500 hp.|
"Spanish auxiliary cruisers of 1898" Warship International. - 1970. # 1. - P.88.
Wilson H.W., Downfall of Spain.