Protected Cruiser Almirante Tamandaré - 1885/1893

The cruiser TAMANDARE at Rio de Janeiro - Photo by Marco Ferrez
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The Tamandaré was a Brazilian-built protected cruiser of 5,000 tons, seen here at Río with wind sails to assist ventilation. On commissioning in 1893, she was the third largest ship in the Brazilian fleet, after the battleships Aquidaban and Riachuelo. The previous Tamandaré was also native-built, an ironclad river steamer of the Paraguayan War. Both ships were named for Brazil's legendary Admiral Joaquim Marques Lisbõa, Marquis of Tamandaré (1807-1897).   Enlarge photo

Plans and Specifications

Specifications for the Tamanadaré:
Dimensions: 294'6" x 47'4" x 19'9"    Displacement: 4,735 tons. Armament: (10) 6"/35, (2) 4.7”/40, and (10) 3-pdr guns; (3) above water 18" TT. Armor: Nickel-steel type. 3" casemates, 2” CT, 1˝" deck. Fuel capacity: 400 tons of coal normal; 750 tons maximum. Propulsion: (2) horizontal triple expansion engines developing 7,500 hp, shafted to twin screw. Speed: 17 knots. Crew: 400.

Metric Specs:
Dimensions: 89.7m x 14.4m x 6m    Displacement: 4,735 tons. Armament: (10) 152 mm/35, (2) 120 mm/40, and (10) 3-pdr guns; (3) above water 45 cm TT. Armor: Nickel-steel type, in mm. Casemates 76, CT 51, deck 41. Fuel capacity: 400 tons of coal normal; 750 tons maximum. Propulsion: (2) horizontal triple expansion engines developing 5,593 kW, shafted to twin screw. Speed: 31 km/hr. Crew: 400.


The Almirante Tamandaré, with her armament of ten 6" guns, resembled the British Leander class (completed 1882-1884), considered the prototype protected cruisers. The Almirante Tamandaré was also similar to the U.S. protected cruisers Newark, San Francisco, and Philadelphia which emulated the concept of the Leanders. Unlike most major warships in South American navies, the Almirante Tamandaré was not ordered from a foreign shipyard but was built by the naval dockyard at Río de Janeiro.

The completion of the Tamandaré coincided with the Revolta da Armada (Revolt of the Navy), an 1893-1894 mutiny by most of Brazil's navy, playing for high stakes as a faction in the country's body politic. The revolt was unsuccessful, as the naval officers did not have effective support from their allies on land. In time, the government was able to purchase or improvise naval vessels of their own abroad. Often operating with mercenary crews, these makeshift forces were sufficient to reestablish government control of the coastline, depriving the fleet of its bases.

Las Fotografías

The Bahia in port, profile
The Tamandaré as shown in Jane's Fighting Ships, 1914 edition.

The Tamandare anchored post 1897 refit
The ship late in her career, saddled with an ungainly three-mast military rig.

Fouled anchorArms of the Brazilian Empire, 1847-1889Fouled anchor