Alfonso XII (1887)

Alfonso XII in the early 1890s. Photo in the collection of the US Navy Historical Center.

Nation
Ship Class
Laid Down
1881
Launched
1887
Commissioned
1891
Decommissioned
1900
AD/BC
AD
History

Laid down in 1881, Alfonso XII was a Spanish unprotected cruiser, and lead of a three-ship class. A shortage of materials meant that she was not commissioned until 1891, but she was pretty heavily armed for her 3,042 ton displacement. Five 356mm (14") torpedo tubes backed six 160mm (6.3") guns, eight 6-pounder Hotchkiss QF guns, and six 3-pounder Hotchkiss revolvers. Alfonso had a top speed of 17 knots, and a crew of 370. Stationed in Cuba, the ships condition deteriorated quickly, to the point of being immobile by 1897, with her boilers needing replacement. Her crew was involved in rescuing survivors from the USS Maine when the latter exploded in February, 1898, and also participated in the funeral procession for the deceased. Alfonso XII had landed most of her guns for use by the Army by the time the Spanish-American War broke out later that year, and she just sat around in Havana harbor during hostilities, due to the abysmal condition of her boilers. This did, however, mean that she survived. After the War, Alfonso returned to Spain, decommissioning in 1900. She was sold for scrap in 1907.