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Line drawing of Utrecht

Displacement 25,200 tons
Armament 4 x 2 14"
12 x 1 4.7" + AA
Speed 22 knots
VTS Rating   3   3   3

Twice in this century, just when the Netherlands decided on a capital ship building program, a World War intervened. Both times it was the invader who was building the ships.

In "Grand Fleet", however, the construction progresses sufficiently to provide the Dutch navy with a kernel of a battlefleet before war breaks out. The Utrecht heralded a new age of worldwide seapower for the Netherlands. With much fanfare she was commissioned in 1913 and sent to the Netherlands East Indies as the harbinger of a battlefleet to follow. Though relatively untouched by WW I, Holland's depressed economy, tied to Europe's, curtailed the building of sister ships. Utrecht, a reasonable warship for WW I, remained un-modernized to deal with aerial assault when WII arrived at her gangplank.

In the late 30's an uprising by East Moluccan rebels allowed Utrecht's big guns to fire in anger at rebel towns far inland. Thereafter, rebel spies kept a close watch on her movements. The Japanese were courting the rebels with promises of land whenever the Dutch were driven out. When the Pacific war started, Utrecht sailed from Batavia harbor to join the British battleships opposing the Japanese thrust southward. "Coastwatcher" rebels radioed her position to the Japanese. Within hours, dive bombers from IJN CVL Ryujo had put the biggest guns in the Dutch navy on the ocean floor.

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