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Almirante Cochrane

Photo of Almirante Cochrane and Almirante Latorre

MoD photo
Displacement 23,000 tons
Armament 9x1 6",
Light AA
Aircraft 22
Speed 23 knots
VTS Rating   1   2  3 1

Two battleships, the Almirante Cochrane and Almirante Latorre, were being built for Chile in British yards at the time WW I started. Almirante Latorre was completed as a battleship, but Almirante Cochrane was converted to the British aircraft carrier Eagle and had an illustrious career in the Royal Navy until her sinking in 1942 during the famous "Pedestal" convoy to Malta.

In "Grand Fleet" she was indeed converted to HMS Eagle, but when the Washington Treaty demanded tonnage reductions, Britain wanted to sell the Eagle to make room for better CV's. Chile saw the aircraft carrier as the "capital ship of the future" and couldn't wait to impress her South American rivals with the aquisition of a real CV! Given back her Chilean name, she was equipped with British Albacore torpedo aircraft (the last but best biplanes), and Sea Hurricane fighters just prior to war breaking out in Europe.

Once the Japanese declared war, Chile offerred to patrol the coast of the Americas and to protect the Panama Canal on the Pacific side (is that the west, east, or south side?). After codebreakers discovered a Japanese plan to send a cruiser to the Aleutians to shell Dutch Harbor, Almirante Cochrane (glad to be in chillier waters) intercepted and dutifully sank it. Returning to the Panama area she "got in the way" of an attack by Japanese floatplane bombers from seven I-400 submarines on their way to attack the Panama Canal. While the first attack wave ignored the carrier and continued on to Panama, the second wave attacked and sank the Almirante Cochrane.

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