:: NUMANCIA (1863) ::

Numancia ironclad (1863) High resolution picture

Numancia ironclad (1863) High resolution picture

The Numancia, launched in 1863, was a French-built ironclad ordered and commissioned by the Spanish Navy. This ship is considered the most important attempt to return the Spanish Navy to the prime position lost after the disaster of Trafalgar in 1805 and the Peninsular War of 1808. The Numancia enjoyed a long life, for the situation of the Spanish Navy only allowed to decommission ships when they were totally useless. So, this remarkable warship took part in every important event in which the Spanish Navy was involved during the last third of the 19th century. And she was the first ironclad that performed a circumnavigation around the Earth.

The Numancia was as well the first warship built with an all-iron hull that served in the Spanish Navy. The French shipyards, which few years ago had created the Gloire, created a ship that looked much like to that one but was rather technically superior. As a whole, we can consider the Numancia as equivalent to the HMS Warrior. While the British ship had a slightly superior firepower and better performance on propulsion power, the Numancia featured a more effective armor scheme. As in previous French ironclads, the rigging was of lesser importance than in British counterparts. The Numancia had capacity for 1100 tonnes of coal, which could keep the steam engine running during twelve days at economic speed.

Already in 1910, the military value of the Numancia was obviously null and she was kept as a floating battery in Tanger until 1912, when she was decommissioned. In 1911 her crew had started a mutiny, attributable to the unrest caused by the rotten political situation that Spain had been carrying from the previous century. A popular movement tried to preserve the prominent vessel as a museum ship, but sadly the attempt failed. Finally, while in route towards a scrapyard in Bilbao, the Numancia resulted stranded near the coasts of Portugal in the last days of 1916. Thus, the ship had to be scrapped in situ, remaining to this day a few leftovers several meters under the sea.

Class: Numancia (1 unit)

Type: Ironclad

Length: 96.1 meters

Beam: 17.3 meters

Draft: 7.9 meters

Displacement (standard): 7500 tonnes

Sail area: 1846 square meters

Propulsion: 1 x shaft, 1 x return connecting rod compound steam engine, 8 x boiler, 3770 indicated horsepower

Speed: 13 knots (24 kilometers/hour)

Range: 3000 nautical miles (5600 kilometers) at 10 knots

Complement: 561

Armament (as designed): 40 x 68-pound smoothbore cannon

Armament (as commissioned): 34 x 68-pound smoothbore cannon

Armor: 100-130 millimeters in belt, 120 millimeters in battery

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