|This gun is from the spanish battleship ESPANA. |
Laid down on February 5, 1909, launched on February 5, 1912 and commissioned on October 23, 1913, Espana carried a main armament of eight 12 inch main guns mounted two per turret; one centerline forward, one centerline aft and one wing turret on each side that could fire to both sides and forward and aft. Espana was the name ship of three in what proved to be the first and only Spanish battleship class and all three were built in Spanish yards, although they were British-designed and British main guns, engines and other fittings were installed. “Espana” is simply “Spain” in Spanish. These ships were powered by coal-fired turbine engines. The Spanish Navy had been almost swept from the seas during the Spanish-American War of 1898 and these three ships, designed as the smallest dreadnought battleships ever, were part of a hopeful rebuilding program. The Espana had a routine existence until it ran aground in a fog on August 26, 1923 off the coast of Morocco. After salvaging the heavy guns and other materials, the wreck was left to the elements.