Chilean Battleship Almirante Latorre - Chilean Service - Later Career

Later Career

Still in the midst of the depression, Almirante Latorre was deactivated at Talcahuano in 1933 to lessen government expenditures, and only a caretaker crew was assigned to tend to the mothballed ship into the mid-1930s. In a 1937 refit in the Talcahuano dockyard, the aircraft catapult was taken off and anti-aircraft weaponry was added. Almirante Latorre was never fully modernized, however, and by the Second World War her main battery was comparatively short-ranged and her armor protection, designed before the "all or nothing" principle was put into practice, was wholly inadequate. Nevertheless, soon after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States approached the Chilean naval attaché and the vice admiral heading Chile's naval commission to the United States with the aim of purchasing Almirante Latorre and a few destroyers to bolster the United States' navy. The offer was declined, and Almirante Latorre was used for neutrality patrols during the Second World War.

Almirante Latorre was active until 1951, when an accident in the ship's engine room killed three crewmen. Moored at Talcahuano, the battleship became a storage facility for fuel oil. She was decommissioned in October 1958, and was sold to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in February 1959 for $881,110 to be broken up for scrap. On 29 May 1959, to the salutes of the assembled Chilean fleet, the old dreadnought was taken under tow by the tug Cambrian Salvos, and reached Yokohama, Japan, at the end of August, though the scrapping process did not begin immediately on arrival.

Read more about this topic:  Chilean Battleship Almirante Latorre, Chilean Service

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