What-If: Riachuelo Class Battleship

Article by Redditor thezerech


After the overthrow of Brazil’s Emperor Pedro II in 1889 Brazil’s Navy had been almost completely ignored due to a series of revolts and conflicts within the country. By the beginning of the twentieth century the situation was very dire, both Chile and Argentina had been in a naval arms race and purchased a number of new modern warships, including the Italian Garibaldi class of armored cruisers. By 1905 the Brazilian government decided to launch a new naval expansion program, that would include the Bahia class light cruisers, as well as number of destroyers, not to mention three pre-dreadnought battleships. However after the battle of Tsushima it was decided to order newer battleships to reflect new naval knowledge. These would eventually become the Minas Geraes class dreadnoughts, ordered from Britain. After the delivery of the Minas Geraes Brazil became the owner of the most powerful battleships in the world this title would be very quickly lost, however it sent shock waves throughout the world, especially in Chile and Argentina, who had just finished a naval arms race of their own. This would become known as the South American Dreadnought race. Argentina received their battleships during the first world war from the United States, after they were built at Fore River, in Quincy, Massachusetts. While Chile chose to have their battleships be built in the U.K however once the first world war commenced the U.K purchased both of Chile’s battleships. The Almirante Latorre would be finally delivered to Chile after the war, while the second Almirante Cochrane would remain in British hands and eventually be converted into an Aircraft carrier, HMS Eagle. Brazil seeing these developments decided to sell the Sao Paolo to the Ottoman Empire, and order a new set of battleships, to be named after the Battle of Riachuelo. However while she was ordered from Vickers she was canceled due to the outbreak of the first world war. She would have been at the time of her completion a very powerful battleship similar to the Queen Elizabeth class and the Bayern class in size, armament and displacement.


The Riachuelo Class of Battleships were designed by Vickers-Armstrong. The Brazilian Navy placed an order for these battleships in late 1914, just before the outbreak of the first world war. She would have weighed in at just over 30,000 t. Her armor protection boasted a 13.5 in. main belt, nine inch upper belt, and six and four inch bow and aft respectively. Overall a well armored ship, inline with her theoretical contemporaries, the Queen Elizabeth’s and the Bayern class. Her torpedo protection however was lacking, in that it only covered her magazines and not other important parts of the ship. She boasted a powerful armament of eight 15” guns, mounted in four turrets similar to the Queen Elizabeth class. She would have also carried fourteen six inch guns, and ten four inch guns, very similar to the HMS Warspite in game. She would have also had four three inch AA guns, and four three pounder guns which would/could double as DP secondary batteries. She would have likely received a refit in Britain during the 1920s or 1930s, likely giving her a new AA suit, though it likely would still be inferior to the HMS Warspite for example. She could have made 22.5 Kts, slightly slower than the Warspite but faster than her American counterparts.

In-game implementation lessboring

In my opinion there cannot be a tech tree for any of the ABC powers. However I think they can have many fun and interesting premium vessels for us to purchase! (You hear that WG?!) I think Riachuelo can really only appear at tier VI along with the Warspite and Bayern (fucking confirmed get German BB hype!). She has the same main armament as both aforementioned battleships, and has her larger caliber compared to the Fusou and New Mexico balanced out by having four less guns. One of life’s greatest questions? More smaller guns? Or less bigger guns? The Riachuelo would have poor AA even if they include a fictional 1930s refit, like they did for ships like the Myogi. However this would be balanced out because she has superior armor to the Queen Elizabeth class battleships which would have superior AA and likely fire control. What role would she play? Her design was very similar to the QE’s so my guess is like a QE, but with slightly better armor and shit AA. Kinda like the Arizona/New Mexico relationship at the same tier. She is also slightly slower than the Warspite, another balancing factor to her slightly superior armor. We should all be very excited for her, and hope WG implements her. We all know how brawly the Warspite is, armor bugs and all, the Riachuelo would have outclass the QE in armor, slightly. Assuming they don’t bug/fuck up her armor cough cough. Either way I know I’m very excited with the possibility of this lovely design entering the game. The Brazilian community on WoWS is large enough where they would certainly be very happy with her possible addition. It’s certainly a shame so many countries ordered BBs in 1913/1914. I suppose WWI is a larger shame depending on how you look at it…

9 thoughts on “What-If: Riachuelo Class Battleship

  1. I was talking to a mate of mine about this kind thing. They could make a pan-European tree of warships or even an tech tree based around all the other powers in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those ‘what if’ dreadnoughts were always tantalising, as was the ambition of the ABC rivals with their ‘mini-naval race’. My great uncle served on HMS Eagle, originally a battleship under construction for Chile.

    Liked by 1 person

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