Spanish cruiser Aragon

Aragon was an Aragon-class unprotected cruiser of the Spanish Navy in the late 19th century.

Name: Aragon
Namesake: The Kingdom of Aragon
Ordered: January 1869
Builder: Naval shipyard at Cartagena, Spain
Laid down: 2 May 1869
Launched: 31 July 1879
Completed: 1880
Decommissioned: mid-1890s
Fate: Hulked 1896. Either sold for scrap 1900[1] or stricken c. 1905[2]
General characteristics
Class and type: Aragon-class unprotected cruiser
Displacement: 3,289 tons
Length: 236 ft 0 in (71.93 m)
Beam: 44 ft 0 in (13.41 m)
Draft: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m) maximum
Installed power: 1,400 ihp (1,000 kW)
Propulsion: 1-shaft, 3-cylinder, horizontal compound
Sail plan: barque-rigged
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Range: 1,660 nmi (3,070 km; 1,910 mi)
Complement: 392 officers and enlisted
  • As completed, included 8 × 8 in (203 mm) 180-pounder rifled muzzle-loading guns
  • In 1885:
  • 6 × 6.4 in (163 mm) guns
  • 2 × 87 mm (3 in) guns
  • 4 × 75 mm (3 in) guns
  • 10 × machine guns
  • 2 × 14 in (356 mm) torpedo tubes
Notes: 460 tons of coal (normal)

Technical characteristics

Aragon was built at the naval shipyard at Cartagena, Spain. Her construction as an armored corvette with a central battery ironclad design began on 2 May 1869, with plans to give her 890 tons of armor and 500 millimetres (20 in) of armor at the waterline. Political events delayed her construction. In 1870, her design was changed to that of an unprotected cruiser or wooden corvette,[1][3] and she finally was launched in this form on 31 July 1879 and completed in 1880[1] Her original conception as an armored ship and the change to an unarmored one during construction left her with an overly heavy wooden hull that was obsolescent by the time of her launch.[4]

Designed for colonial service,[3] she had two funnels and was rigged as a barque.[4] Her machinery was manufactured by the John Penn Company of Greenwich, United Kingdom.[1] The original main battery of Armstrong-built 8-inch (203 mm) guns was obsolescent when she was completed, and were quickly replaced with more modern Hontoria-built 6.4-inch (163 mm) guns (a heavier main battery than that carried by her two sisters Castilla and Navarra), at least four of which were mounted in sponsons.[4]

Operational history

In the 1890s, Aragon was assigned to the Cadiz Naval Group. She went out of service in the mid-1890s, became a floating hulk in 1896. Sources differ on her ultimate fate; either she was sold for scrap in 1900[1] or stricken c. 1905[4]


  1. The Spanish–American War Centennial Website: Spanish Wooden Cruisers
  2. Per Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, p. 383
  3. The Spanish–American War Centennial Website: Castilla
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, p. 383


  • Chesneau, Roger, and Eugene M. Kolesnik, Eds. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. New York, New York: Mayflower Books Inc., 1979. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.
  • Nofi, Albert A. The Spanish–American War, 1898. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania:Combined Books, Inc., 1996. ISBN 0-938289-57-8.
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