Minas Geraes (1908)

Minas Geraes en route to Brazil from the builders in 1910. Photo in the collection of the National Museum of the US Navy.

Ship Class
Laid Down

The Brazilian dreadnought Minas Geraes, built by Armstrong-Whitworth, made the Brazilians the third country to enter the dreadnought age, and sparked a new naval arms race in South America. Laid down in 1907, she was completed in January, 1910, and arrived in Brazil that April, escorting the USS North Carolina, which was carrying the body of the late Brazilian ambassador home. Five months after commissioning, Minas Geraes was instrumental in the Revolt of the Lash, which started on her decks in November, 1910, and saw the abolition of flogging in the Brazilian Navy. Minas Geraes visited the United States in 1913, and when Brazil joined the Great War, Minas Geraes was offered to be loaned to the Royal Navy. The offer was declined due to her poor condition, and due to the lack of modern fire control. She was modernized in the US in 1921, and helped suppress additional mutinies in 1922 and 1924. Modernized extensively in the 1930s, she spent most of her World War II career as a floating battery in the port of Salvador, due to still being in poor condition, despite her rebuild. Ending her career as a training ship, she decommissioned in 1952, and was towed to Italy for scraping in 1954.

Bonus Photos

Aerial view of Minas Geraes after her modernization in the mid-1930s. Brazilian Navy photo.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: The magazine Scientific American described her as "the last word in heavy battleship design and the ... most powerfully armed warship afloat" two months after her completion in January, 1910.