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Picture. SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)

Built 1910

Tonnage 23.243 ton

Length 164. 60 m

Beam 25.30 m

Draught 7.65 m

Armour plates 229 mm amidships; 152 mm bow and stern; Main turrets - 229 mm ahead and 203 mm both sides; decks - 51 mm.


12 12"/L45 guns (6x2)

14 4.7"/L50 guns (14x1)

4 3" AA guns (4x1)

Range 10 000 miles at 10 knots.

Complement 1200

Battleship São Paulo was the second ship to bear this name after the City of São Paulo. She was built by Vickers Sons and Maxim, Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid up on 30/Apr/1907, launched 19/Apr/1909, and was incorporated on12/Jul/1910. The first commander was Captain Francisco Gavião Pereira Pinto, soon replaced by Captain Francisco Marques Pereira de Souza.

São Paulo was one of the most powerful ships of her age, however in the verge of the WW II she was obsolete due to great evolution of naval technology and any refitting would be too costly to pay any dividends, thus the Brazilian Navy decided to place her as a floating coastal battery at the entrance of Recife harbor. On 23 Nov 1942 Sao Paulo suspended from Rio de Janeiro to Recife escorted by US Destroyers Davis and Badger. 

She was sold to England for scrap, having departed 1st November 1951, by towing. However during the night of 6/Nov the cables ruptured due to the rolling sea. The vessel went adrift and lost visual contact with the tugs and vanished in the darkness taking with her the crew of eight men. They sunk without traces.

Sao Paulo seen when moored at the outer quay at Recife harbor. Picture. SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)

Picture. SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)

Battleship Sao Paulo seen at Recife harbor. Despite her firepower the old ship was outclassed by mid 42 when ASW tactics had greatly evolved. Sao Paulo remained there throughout the war as a floating fortress and poised as a strong deterrence against any intruder u-boat. Picture. SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)

In Recife, the battleship Battleship "São Paulo" was initially under subordination of the Northeast Naval Command, however due to one aggreement she finally headquartered the Northeast Naval Force, i.e., Commander Soares Dutra and his high command. Picture. SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)

"São Paulo" remained moored at the outer quay with four Anchors but with a poor communication system with land, that impaired the contact with an ever growing number of ships arriving each day. Then the Brazilian Navy authorities decided to bring the Destroyer Tender Belmonte to Recife where she would serve under FNN. Picture. SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)

Fitted conveniently with update electronic and radio equipment she left Rio de Janeiro Navy Arsenal 26/Jan/43 under Captain Felicís­simo Vilanova Machado and Commander Gerson de Macedo Soares; in charge of Ship’s Repair and Chief of Force Major State, arriving at Recife 2/Feb/43. The escort was performed by corvette "Carioca", Tender "Belmonte" and "Rio Branco", former survey ship converted into Corvette. Picture. SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)

Sao Paulo seen docked at Rio de Janeiro Navy Arsenal shortly before her departure for Recife. Pictures by SDGM (Serviço de Documentação Geral da Marinha)



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