Spanish Navy


History: the creation of the organization of the Submarine Force. - Submarine Flotilla - Organization - Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - document to 13:52:32

History: the creation of the organization of the Submarine Force. Organization

The submarines appeared for the first time on paper in the Act of 7 of January, 1908(D.O. nº 5 of 08/01/1908), which was called Maura:

"3 destroyers of about 350 tons at a price of 6,000 pesetas each ton with full weaponry or 3 submersibles or submarines of 250 to 300 tons at a price of 7000 pesetas each ton with full weaponry and special guarantee of construction of this type of ships 6,300,000 pesetas"

None of those submarines were built in Spain or abroad; only the 3 destroyers were built.

In 1912 the President of the government Jose Canalejas y Mendez gathered a selection process for the navy and established a navy draft made up by: /p>

  • 3 new destroyers of 21,000 tons.
  • 3 destroyers of 1,000 tons.
  • 6 submarines of 400 tons in surface.
  • 9 torpedo boats of 250 tons.
  • 4 gunboats of 1,500 tons.

Unfortunately, Canalejas was assassinated on 12 of December, 1912 and his project was not proposed.

ROMANONES Romanones succeeded Canalejas and took over the naval program of his late predecessor but the short political life of his government prevented him from performing his naval planning.

In 1913 the Secretary of the Navy AMALIO GIMENO planned the construction of 8 submarines of 400 tons, but another change of government caused the naval program to fail.

In 1914, Admiral AUGUSTO MIRANDA Y GODOY projected a program of new constructions as a continuation of 1908 program and he presented it to the cabinet of ministers in April of the same year. It was approved, the king Alfonso XIII signed the Royal Decree on 29 of April, 1914, authorizing the parliament for the project which was signed by Miranda on 7 May of the same year, consisting of:

"3 submersibles, which shall be finished by 1918, costing 3 million thus, 9 million pesetas are allocated for their construction or purchase until the end of 1917…"

The international politics worsened and this first program by Miranda stopped. On the 4 of August, 1914 England declared the war to Germany. The Austro-hungarian submarines were very active during the campaign. Having this political scene & with the possibility of similar actions, Miranda decided to postpone the construction of battleships, then basing his new project on light surface ships & submarines in a reasonable number.

On 17 of February, 1915, Alphonse XIII signed the law which has gone down in the history of the Spanish Navy as `Miranda Law ´. its first article said:

"With the purpose of providing the nation in a short time with the elements for the maritime defense, which are absolutely indispensable for the maintenance of the autonomy & integrity of its territory, the government will contract the following works, accordingly with the estimates included in the Law of 7 of January, 1908, unless the ones abolished in the present law"

Among the different ships to be constructed we point out :

"…28 submersibles of the type & characteristics set by the Secretary of the Navy, taking into account the missions to be developed by each of the units and including the necessary stuff for salvage , repairs & supplies….the amount of 110,000,000 pesetas"

It is also emphasized in another section of the text that:

"The ships, with the exception of strikers & coastguard vessels, will be hired as they are being built in the following immediate groups or series: 2 groups of 2, the cruisers; 2 groups of 3, the torpedo-hunters and 4 series of 6 & 1 of 4 , the submersibles. Each of the series will be built, taking advantage of the progress made by the naval industry"

With the intention of speeding up the start of the naval program, Admiral Miranda introduced an additional article to the Law of 7 of February, 1915, stating:

"The secretary of the Navy has been given authorization to purchase directly and at the expense of the credits granted by this law the amount of up to 4 submersibles & the necessary stuff for the instruction & training of the crew as well as a rescue ship. It is also authorized for the organization of the submarine service provided with officers and the reorganization of the engineer corps, the boatswains, the constables and the rest of the subordinates, adjusting the staff & the services to the needs of the same stuff to the credits allocated for the staff in the current budget".

The ships were to be purchased abroad compulsorily and the choice was not wide due to the war happening at that moment. A contract was signed with the Electric Boat Company from America for the purchase of the first unit.

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