Friday, 13 September 2013

Dutch light cruiser Hr.Ms. De Ruyter 1939-1972 and Peruvian cruiser Almirante Grau (CLM-81) 1973-

The Dutch navy counted before the outbreak of the Second World War the five cruisers, namely the sister ships Java and Sumatra, De Ruyter, Tromp and Jacob van Heemskerck, the latter two also called flotilla leaders. The first two cruisers dated from the First World War although completed after this war and which were already outdated at the time they were commissioned. In 1939 were the keels laid down of two new cruisers to replace the Java and the Sumatra which however were still on stocks when the Germans invaded the Netherlands fallen in their hands. They were however not completed until the early fifties. The Java, Sumatra and De Ruyter were lost during the war and the Tromp and Jacob van Heemskerck caused by their intensive use during the same war in fact worn out.

On 5 September 1939 was as the shipyard of Wilton-Fijenoord at Schiedam, Netherlands the keel laid down of the light cruiser De Zeven Provinciën and which was renamed De Ruyter while on 22 August 1950 her sister ship was launched under the name of De Zeven Provinciën (earlier called Eendracht en Kijkduin and by the Germans KH-2). The Eendracht-class was later renamed De Zeven Provincën-class.

Captured by the German was she renamed KH 1 and since August 1941 they tried to complete her. She was launched on 24 December 1944 to be used for blocking the Nieuwe Waterweg which intention was however not executed. The Nieuwe Waterweg is one of the most important waterways of the Netherlands giving entrance to sea ports like Schiedam and Rotterdam. After the war she was completed although her design was altered using the lessons of the war. She was finally commissioned on 18 November 1953.

Decommissioned on 13 October 1972 and sold to Peru on 7 March 1973 and commissioned on 23 May 1973 commissioned as the Peruvian BAP Almirante Grau and nowadays still serving. Nowadays she is the last gun cruiser in the world still afloat and in active service.

With a displacement of 9.725 (standard)-11.930 (full loaded) were her dimensions 187,3 (over all) x 17,5 (maximum) x 5,64 (mean) metres. Since then she is modernized. The original horsepower of 82.500 hp allowed a speed of 32 knots. In Dutch service numbered her crew 973 men. The original armament when completed consisted of 4x2-15,2 cm guns, 4x2-5,7cm guns and 8-4cm guns. In the original pre-war armament was she to be armed with 10-15cm guns, 12-4cm guns,8-0.50 machineguns, 6-53cm guns and she could carry two planes with her.

Added on 27-09-2017 decommissioned on 26-9-2017