Historic Relic Huascar

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  • Año:1865
  • Desplazamiento:1180 t (B.O.M. *)
  • Potencia de Maquinaria300 HP


1 0.44 Gatling gun

1 12 lb cannon

2 40 lb cannons

2 300 lb cannons

  • Velocidad Máxima11 knots
  • Eslora:195 ft
  • Manga:
  • Puntal:
  • Calado:15 ft
  • Comandante Commander Rodrigo Lledo Moraga

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Historic Relic Huascar

In 1864 Peru ordered the construction of the Huascar to the Laird Brothers Yards in Birkenhead, Poplar on Thames, England, according to the "Ericsson" design plans of the Commodore Cowper Coles of the English Royal Navy.
The construction contract was signed on August 12, 1864 by the Laird Brothers Yards and the Commodore Jose Maria Salcedo, in representation of the Peruvian government.
The hull is numbered 321, has double bottom and is divided by four 5/8'' iron partitions into five watertight compartments with watertight gates. The bow is reinforced and has a bowsprit. The deck is protected by 2'' thick iron boards.
The 300 lb cannons (10'') were of frontal load, mounted on a gyratory circular turret, installed in the midship gangway, according to the design of the Commodore Cowper Coles of the British Royal Navy. The vessel had a lateral armor 4.5'' wide in the center of the ship, which decreased in width down to 2.5'' ahead and astern. The armor extended 3' 6'' below the waterline at full load displacement. The turret had a 5.5'' blindage.
The Huascar was launched on October 7, 1865 and her construction was completed by December of the same year. Departed from England on January 20, 1866, but she did not arrive on time for battle in the war against Spain.
Fought in the Peruvian civil wars and as part of the rebel party, she confronted the English vessels Amethyst and Sha in Ilo. In that occasion, a torpedo was fired against the Huascar, which she eluded.
She was the brightest ship of the Peruvian Army during the Guerra del Pacifico, in 1879, fighting under the command of the Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario, notable brave Peruvian seaman.
On May 21, 1879 the Huascar sank the Chilean corvette Esmeralda at the Naval Combat of Iquique. On October 8, 1879, she was captured at the Naval Battle of Angamos, where her commander, Admiral Miguel Grau died.
For the remaining of the Pacific War, she fought under Chilean command. Performed an outstanding act in the cannoning of Arica, where Manuel Thompson Porto Mariño died, and in the Siege of El Callao.
In 1887 she was refitted at the Lever, Murphy & Co. Yards in Caleta de la Barca (what is known today as Caleta Abarca); four boilers were installed, as well as a steam driven device to turn the cannon turret, and a new propeller designed by the Laird Brothers yards. She also got a new chimney, taller than the original one. The smoke boxes and the funnels were renewed. The main deck was also refitted and the upper deck planking was changed. The double bottom and the engines were repaired as well.
In 1887 was installed a two horizontal cylinder steam engine, built by the Morrison company, in order to turn the artillery turret.
During the Civil War, in 1891, she took part in the battle in favor of the parliamentary band.
The Huascar was part of the National Squadron until 1897, when she was decommissioned in Talcahuano because of a smoke explosion in one of the boilers.
In 1934, she was restored as a historical relic and was painted in grey and yellow. Four cannons were installed in the gun carrying deck and the ensign of the Second Naval Zone Command in Chief was raised. This tradition continues being kept until the present.
In 1951 and 1952, thanks to the original idea and perseverance of the Commander in Chief of the Second Naval Zone, Rear Admiral Pedro Espina Ritchie, a complete refurnish of the vessel begins, with the aim of restoring her just as she looked in 1878 and turn her into a memorial to remember the Naval Glory of Chile and Peru.
Numerous historical objects were found, as well as pieces of furniture and accessories, which had been kept in excellent condition at the Naval Arsenal Storehouse in Talcahuano.
Moreover, several institutions and individuals collaborated to the restoring work by donating relics and paintings of naval heroes of the Naval Combats of Iquique and Punta Gruesa, the Naval Battle of Angamos and the Arica Siege. The restoring was carried out always keeping in mind the glory lived by the Chilean and Peruvian Navies. The portraits of the three Commanders of the Huascar who died on her decks, Arturo Prat, Miguel Grau and Manuel Thompson, are hung in the Commander Chamber.
In the former boiler room now is found a portrait gallery and an Oratory, authorized by the Archbishop of Concepcion, Monsignor Alfredo Silva Santiago.
The entire refitting and the ornaments give to the vessel a special and everlasting spirit of not being it just a simple war trophy, but a place to honor and express respect and reverence for those who gave their lives for the Nation.
On October 8, 1952, date of the anniversary of the Angamos Battle, the restoration was officially inaugurated and the Monitor Huascar was turned into a Sanctuary of the Naval Glory of Chile and Peru.
In 1971 and 1972 the Commander in Chief of the Second Naval Zone, Rear Admiral Carlos Chubretovich, decides to begin the second part of the restoration, since the monitor required urgent repair of her hull and frame. The repair work was carried out by the ASMAR Navy Yards in Talcahuano, under the personal direction of the Yards Director, Commodore Gerald Wood. The monitor entered dry dock and her hull was completely refurnished and her entire machinery was rebuilt, according to the original plans obtained from England, so visitors can see the original design of the vessel.
From then on, the monitor is under a strict maintenance schedule, which will keep her in good condition for many more years. The Huascar is not only a historical relic, but a floating sanctuary of the Naval Glory of Chile and Peru.
In 1995 the World Ship Trust granted the Chilean Navy the Maritime Heritage Award, because of the excellent restoration of the Huascar and the testimony she bears to Chile and Peru.
The Monitor Huascar is anchored at the Bay of Concepcion, in the Naval Docks of Talcahuano, right in front of the Command in Chief of the Second Naval Zone. The Huascar is open to the general public in the following hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 09.30 to 12.30 in the morning and 13.30 to 19.30.
See a Quicktime VR movie of the Huascar
* B.O.M= Builders Old Measurements.

Last Modification: 25/08/2008