Vouga class

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Vouga class
The type ship Vouga
The type ship Vouga
Ship data
country PortugalPortugal Portugal Colombia
Ship type destroyer
Shipyard Yarrow (Shipbuilders) Ltd. ,
Scotstoun, Glasgow (2)
Estaleiro Real de Lisboa (5)
Construction period 1931 to 1936
Launch of the type ship January 25, 1933
Units built 7th
period of service 1933 to 1967
Ship dimensions and crew
98.5 m ( Lüa )
93.6 m ( Lpp )
width 9.45 m
Draft Max. 3.35 m
displacement Standard : 1,219 tons,
maximum: 1,563 tons
crew 147 men / 184 men from 1948
Machine system
machine 3 Yarrow boilers
2 sets of Parsons turbines
33,000 PS (24,271 kW)
36 kn (67 km / h)
propeller 2

1. Modernization every 5 port. Ships :

2. Modernization of 4 port ships :

US modernization of the Colombia. Ships:

The Vouga (also Douro ) -class was a destroyer class of the Portuguese Navy and a further development of the experimental destroyer HMS Ambuscade of the Royal Navy . Yarrow delivered two of the seven destroyers of the class to Portugal in 1933. The other ships were built according to the plans of Yarrow and with machines and weapons manufactured in Great Britain until 1936 at the State Shipyard in Lisbon. The first two licensed builds were sold to Colombia even before they were completed with the help of Yarrow , where they were in service as the Antioquia class from 1934 to 1961 . The five ships of the Portuguese Navy were modernized several times and decommissioned between 1959 and 1967.

Building history

The British Royal Navy’s first post-war orders for destroyers was a tender for new destroyers in 1924, from which only orders for two prototypes were issued. The shipyard of John I. Thornycroft received the order for the HMS Amazon and developed from it the destroyers of the Chilean Serrano class , of which they delivered six.
Also Yarrow , the Shipyard of the second prototype HMS Ambuscade tried variations of their design to sell and could commandeer a 1931 by the Portuguese government. However, only two of the ships were to be completely built on the Clyde . The three other ships were built under construction supervision by Yarrow at the state shipyard in Lisbon. Yarrow supplied the machinery for these ships and brokered the purchase of additional equipment in Great Britain.

The Guadiana of
the first Portuguese class destroyer

The Portuguese Navy had put five destroyers into service by this order. The first was the single ship Tejo , completed in 1906 by the State Shipyard in Lisbon , followed by the four Douro (also Guadiana ) class ships from 1913 to 1924, which were assembled from prefabricated sections at the same shipyard according to Yarrow's plans .

The new Portuguese boats were 98.5 m long, 9.45 m wide, had a draft of 3.35 m and corresponded roughly to the British destroyers of the A and B class . They displaced 1219 t, a maximum of 1563 t. Three superheated steam boilers from the shipyard supplied two Parsons turbine sets with a Curtiss gearbox that developed up to 33,000 hp and enabled a top speed of 36 knots via two propellers. Like the starting type Ambuscade , the destroyers of the Vouga class had marching turbines.
The main armament consisted of four 4.7-inch (12-cm) guns of the Armstrong export version "G" of the British standard destroyer
gun . Three 2 pdr (40 mm) flak of the export version Vickers Mk VIII were installed for anti- aircraft defense . The two quadruple sets for 21-inch torpedoes corresponded to the British standard destroyers. For anti-submarine defense, two launchers and twelve depth charges were standard equipment on board. The ships were prepared for 20 mines, the transport of which, however, changed the ships' center of gravity unfavorably. Since the First World War , the British destroyers have therefore usually dismantled parts of the artillery during mine operations.

In autumn 1931, the keel of the two ships to be built by Yarrow with construction numbers 1624/1625 took place at the shipyard in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow . In 1932, construction of the first two licensed buildings began in Lisbon. Border disputes between Colombia and Peru in autumn 1932 led to a change in the planned execution of the orders. The Colombian government wanted its navy to be quickly reinforced. Through the mediation of Yarrow, the two unfinished ships in Lisbon, Tejo and Douro , were sold to Colombia on March 27, 1933 and replacement ships were ordered from Portugal.
The Glasgow-built destroyers Vouga and Lima were taken over by the Portuguese Navy on June 24th and October 1933. In February and April 1934, the new buildings sold to Colombia as Antioquia and Caldas were completed . The three other ships of the Vouga class were completed in Lisbon on January 5 ( Dăo ) and October 12, 1935 ( Tejo ) and on March 11, 1936 ( Douro ).
All Portuguese ships were named Portuguese rivers, with the Tejo , Douro and Vouga also previously named destroyers of the Portuguese Navy. The preceding Tejo was the aforementioned single ship of 522 ts and the first destroyer built in Portugal. She was in the fleet as a torpedo cannon boat from 1904 to 1910, converted into a destroyer from 1917 to 1927 and, at 25 knots, her fastest ship. The previous destroyers Douro and Vouga were ships of the aforementioned 670 ts large Douro / Guadiana class and were in service with the Portuguese Navy from 1913 to 1927 and from 1920 to 1931, respectively.

The ships in the Portuguese service

NRP Lima
The Afonso de Albuquerque

In 1936, the class's five destroyers were in service. On their hulls they had the first letter of their name ( Dăo = D, Douro = DR). On September 8, 1936 rebelled sailors of Avisos Afonso de Albuquerque and Bartolomeu Dias and the destroyer Dao on the Tagus and tried to leak after the elimination of their officers in order on the part of the Spanish Republic against Franco to fight. At the mouth of the Tagus, the mutineers were fired at by the Portuguese forts of Almada and Alto do Duque and gave up. Ten sailors died during the “Revolta na Marinha” and many of the mutineers were banished to the Campo do Tarrafal and other overseas territories.

When Portugal remained neutral during World War II, one of the main tasks of the Portuguese Navy was to secure the Azores against invasion. Until 1941, Portugal systematically increased the security of the islands with ground and air forces and stationed destroyers and other ships there. Also, Madeira and Cape Verde were also enhances military to a lesser extent. The Western Allies, like the Axis Powers, had developed plans to occupy the Portuguese islands, but did not implement them because the Portuguese's readiness to defend was taken seriously.
Destroyer of Vouga class were always stationed in the Azores for a time and changed their stations again. On their transfer trips and when securing the sea area around the Azores, they also repeatedly rescued Allied sailors who were drifting shipwrecked on boats or rafts on the North Atlantic after submarine attacks. In some cases, they received information from the Allies in order to be able to search specifically for shipwrecked people.
When, on October 12, 1943, the British occupied the
Lajes airfield on Terceira with Operation Alacrity, which had been expanded by the Portuguese since 1942 , they did so on the basis of an agreement negotiated with the Portuguese in August 1943 . The activities of the Portuguese Navy shifted from the Azores back to Europe, as this turn to the side of the Western Allies increased the danger of an advance by the Axis powers against continental Portugal, even if the Salazar government no longer believed in such capabilities of Germany. After the end of World War II, Portugal openly cooperated with the Western powers and was one of the founding members of NATO . The ships of the Vouga class have all been modernized one after the other at Yarrow in Scotland since 1947 and were given the IDs D 331 to D 335 in NATO . In the course of the uprisings in the Portuguese colonies, operations were carried out as far as Portuguese Guinea . From 1957, the ships were modernized again to strengthen their anti-submarine defenses; the Douro was not affected by these measures and was finally decommissioned in December 1959 as the first ship of the class. The last ship to be decommissioned in June 1967 was the Vouga , so that the youngest ship was the first out of service and the first ship was ultimately the last in service with the Portuguese Navy.

The ships of the class

Surname start of building Launch finished No. period of service
Vouga 10.1931 01/25/1933 06/24/1933 D 334 BauN ° 1624 Yarrow, 3 June 1967 deleted
Lima 10.1931 05/29/1933 10/12/1933 D 333 BauN ° 1625 Yarrow, October 16, 1965 deleted    
Antioquia  ex  Tagus 1932 May 10, 1933 02.1934 May 14, 1934 in Colombia, January 23, 1961 a. D.    
Caldas ex Douro 1932 11/18/1933 04.1934 May 14, 1934 in Colombia, March 3, 1961 a. D.    
Dăo 1933 07/30/1934 05/01/1935 D 331 November 9, 1960 deleted        
Tagus river 1934 4.05.1935 October 12, 1935 D 335 Deleted February 9, 1965  
Douro 1934 08/16/1935 03/11/1936 D 332 December 1959 deleted        

The destroyers for Colombia

The Caldas

While still on the Helligen, the first two of the ships to be built in Portugal were sold to Colombia on March 27, 1933 through the brokerage of the British shipyard. The first ship was launched on May 10, 1933 as the Antioquia and was completed in February 1934, followed by the Caldas, launched on November 18, 1933 . When it was completed in April 1934, the British brokers hired transfer teams, which transported the two destroyers to Colombia by May 14, 1934. The destroyers were named after the Departamentos de Antioquia and de Caldas .
The Colombian-Peruvian War, which broke out in the area around the Amazon port of Leticia in autumn 1932, had caused the reconstruction of a Colombian navy , as the Peruvian navy wanted to prevent support for the fight across the Amazon in the Atlantic. In addition to the two destroyers, Colombia had also bought two former German minesweepers that transported French crews to the Brazilian port of Belem , where they were taken over by the Colombian Navy on February 24, 1933 as patrol and river cannon boats Bogotá and Córdoba . On March 5th, the American yacht Flying Fox was also taken over in Belem . The two-chimney of 125 tons with the appearance of a torpedo boat was adopted as the gunboat Mariscal Sucre . The war with Peru had been brought to a standstill by a ceasefire on May 24, 1933, and ended in May 1934 with a peace treaty that restored the pre-war territories and regulated access, customs and trade issues.

Colombia remained neutral when the Second World War broke out, especially since the war was largely confined to Europe until 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor , the country broke off diplomatic relations with the Axis powers and began working more closely with the United States to join the war on November 23, 1943 on the Allied side. From this point on, the Colombian Navy was involved in the Allied patrols in the Caribbean and off the Panama Canal and used the two destroyers for this purpose. While securing a tanker en route to Panama, the Caldas discovered a submarine on March 29, 1944. The attack of the destroyer on the submarine was reported in the press, but U 154 escaped this attack.
The two destroyers were overhauled in the United States in the 1950s and converted to US weapons. Events of the return journey of the Caldas from the overhaul carried out in Mobile are the subject of the authentic story Report of a shipwrecked man (original title: Relato de un náufrago) by Gabriel García Márquez from the year 1955. In 1961 the two destroyers were canceled.

The lead ship of the current Caldas and Antioquia

The name ARC Antioquia was used from 1961 to 1973 by the former USS Hale (DD-642) of the Fletcher class , the name of ARC Caldas from 1972 to 1977 by USS Willard Keith (DD-775) of the Allen M. Sumner class .
Since 1984 two frigates of the Almirante Padilla class of the type FS 1500 of the HDW have been named Caldas (FM-52) and Antioquia (FL 53).

Individual evidence

  1. Another destroyer of 600 tons was built by Ansaldo as Liz in 1914 . It was bought by Great Britain as the only ship built abroad for use in the Mediterranean as HMS Arno .
  2. annotating article 1991 span.


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