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Canarias during the Spanish Civil War
Class overview
Name: Canarias class
Builders: Sociedad Española de Construcción Naval in Ferrol
Operators:  Spanish Navy
Preceded by: Almirante Cervera-class cruiser
Succeeded by: N/A
Planned: 3
Completed: 2
Cancelled: 1
Lost: 1
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Class and type: Canarias-class heavy cruiser
Displacement: 10,670 long tons (10,840 t) standard
13,500 long tons (13,700 t) full load
Length: 636 ft (194 m)
Beam: 64 ft (20 m)
Draught: 21 ft 5 in (6.53 m)
Propulsion: 4 shafts, Parsons type geared turbines, * Yarrow type boilers, 90,000 hp
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
Complement: 679
Armament: • 8 × 8-inch (203 mm) guns in four twin turrets
• 8 × 4.7-inch (119 mm) guns
• 12 × 40 mm AA guns
• 3 × 20 mm AA guns
• 12 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes in triple tubes above water
Armour: Belt 2 inch, 1.5 - 1 inch deck, 4 inch box around magazines, 1 inch turret , 1 inch conning tower

The Canarias class was a class of heavy cruiser of the Spanish Navy. Two ships of the class were completed in the 1930s. They were designed in the United Kingdom and were modified versions of the Royal Navy's County class cruiser. They were built in Spain by the Vickers-Armstrongs subsidiary Sociedad Española de Construcción Naval. The two ships completed, Canarias and Baleares, both saw service during the Spanish Civil War, the latter being sunk.



The ships were ordered in 1926 and were based on the British County-class cruisers. The designer was Sir Phillip Watts. These ships had anti-torpedo bulges and a slightly narrower beam as well as more powerful machinery. The boiler rooms were re-arranged compared to the British design and trunked into a single massive funnel rather than three funnels used on the British cruisers. The Spanish ships had a stronger secondary armament and although the original design included a catapult for a seaplane this was never installed.


Both ships were built by SECN in Ferrol

Ship Launched Completed Fate
Canarias 28 May 1931 1936 Decommissioned 1975
Baleares 20 April 1932 1937 Sunk 6 March 1938 by Republican destroyers in the Battle of Cape Palos

A third ship was projected but not ordered.

Both ships were making their final sea trials when seized by the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War. Both of them were fitting out and completed with makeshift fire control and secondary armament.

The Canarias was the flagship of the Nationalist Navy and sunk 34 ships including the Republican destroyer Almirante Ferradiz, the Soviet merchant Komsomol and damaged the destroyer Jose Luis Diez forcing her to seek refuge at Gibraltar. During World War II she took part in the search of survivors from the German battleship Bismarck.

The Baleares was completed without Y turret which was fitted in 1937. In September 1937 she engaged two Republican light cruisers in the Battle of Cape Cherchell. During a raid on Palma de Majorca in March 1938 she was intercepted by Republican destroyers and torpedoed by the Lepanto. The torpedoes blew up the forward magazines disintegrating the fore part of the ship. The stern half remained afloat and 372 of her crew of 765 were saved by British destroyers HMS Boreas and HMS Kempenfelt.

See also


External links

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