Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

BNS Minas Gerais

Dreadnought Battleship

Brazil | 1910

"Minas Gerais was a powerful warship when first introduced in 1910 but her value decreased over time as technology passed her by."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/10/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Internal strife limited the power and expansion of the Brazilian Navy during the late-1800s and the fleet fell largely out of touch with advancements seen in Europe and elsewhere. An naval arms race brewed with neighboring Chile and Argentina which prompted the service to eventually seek out new warships from Europe in response. The Minas Gerais-class, set to number two strong, was ordered and included lead ship Minas Gerais and her sister, the Sao Paulo.

Minas Gerais (also "Minas Geraes") was ordered in 1906 and constructed in Britain by Armstrong Whitworth at Yard No. 791. Her keel was laid down on April 17th, 1907 and the vessel put out to sea on September 10th, 1908. She was formally commissioned on April 18th, 1910. Although originally designed as a predreadnought warship, the vessel evolved to become a full-fledged Dreadnought-type before she set sail. Dreadnoughts were the call-of-the-day thanks to the arrival of HMS Dreadnought of the Royal Navy in 1906 - rewriting the book on warships through an "all-big-gun" armament scheme and reliance on a steam turbine-based propulsion system.

As built, Minas Gerais displaced 21,555 tons under normal loads and up to 23,400 tons under full loads. She held a length of 543 feet with a beam of 83 feet and a draught down to 25 feet. Her propulsion scheme involved 18 x Babcock & Wilcox boiler units feeding Vickers vertical triple expansion steam engines developing 23,500 horsepower to 2 x shafts. Maximum speed in ideal conditions could reach 21 knots with a 12,000 mile operational range.

Armament was led by 12 x 12" (305mm) /45 caliber main guns set across six twin-gunned turrets. A pair was featured fore and aft of the superstructure while the remaining two were offset at midships. Secondary armament was 22 x 4.7" (120mm)/50 caliber guns running along the sides of the warship with limited traversal. There were also 8 x 3-pounder (37mm) guns fitted for close-in work. The vessel did not carry a torpedo-launching capability.

The ship's profile included a twin-funnel approach and single main mast. The bridge was set aft of the second primary turret. The crew numbered 900. Armor protection was 9" at the belt with casemates covered over in 9" of steel. The turrets held up to 12" of armor plating while the conning tower was protected up to 12" as well.

When introduced, Minas Gerais was a respectable warship of the period and marked the first true Dreadnought of note completed for a minor navy. She was part of the "Revolt of the Lash" mutiny that infected the Brazilian Navy in November of 1910. The situation was defused by capitulation of the Brazilian government to the mutineer's demands.

The warship remained in active service when World War 1 (1914-1918) began in the summer of 1914. Brazil maintained its neutrality until October 1917 after one of its merchants was attacked by a German submarine. Minas Gerais was offered to the Royal Navy as part of the Grand Fleet but the Brazilian warship was in no condition to keep pace with the war - it lacked a modern Fire Control System (FCS) and range-finders for accuracy.

Missing out on combat actions in World War 1, the warship was finally modernized some in the United States in the early 1920s. She then served as a show-of-force during the Tenente Revolts. Another mutiny, this one failing, put Minas Gerais in the forefront once more. From 1939 to 1943, the vessel was modernized again though this time in a Rio de Jainero shipyard.

Despite the work to keep her a viable battleship, Minas Gerais was relegated to nothing more than a floating battery for the duration of World War 2 (1939-1945) - she anchored at Salvador as a fixed defensive platform. With her military usefulness all but over after the war ended in 1945, she was decommissioned (May 16th, 1952) and towed to Italy for scrapping (March 1954).

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for BNS Minas Gerais.
18 x Babcock & Wilcox boilers feeding Vickers vertical triple expansion engines developing 23,500 horsepower to 2 x shafts.
21.0 kts
24.2 mph
Surface Speed
10,428 nm
12,000 miles | 19,312 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of BNS Minas Gerais.
543.0 ft
165.51 meters
O/A Length
83.0 ft
25.30 meters
25.0 ft
7.62 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of BNS Minas Gerais.
12 x 12" (305mm) /45 caliber main guns (six twin-gunned turrets).
22 x 4.7" (120mm) /50 caliber secondary guns
8 x 3-pounder (37mm) guns
Ships-in-Class (2)
Notable series variants as part of the BNS Minas Gerais family line as relating to the Minas Gerais-class group.
BNS Minas Gerais; BNS Sao Paulo
Global operator(s) of the BNS Minas Gerais. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of Brazil

[ Brazil ]
1 / 1
Image of the BNS Minas Gerais
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
BNS Minas Gerais Dreadnought Battleship appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)