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Battle Ships

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On 6 July 1910, the National Congress of Chile passed a bill allocating 400,000 pounds sterling to the navy for two 28,000-long-ton (28,449 t) battleships—which would eventually be named Almirante Latorre and Almirante Cochrane[N 1]—sixdestroyers, and two submarines.[10] The contract to build the battleships was awarded to Armstrong Whitworth on 25 July 1911.[11] Almirante Latorre was officially ordered on 2 November 1911, and was laid down less than a month later on 27 November,[9][12] becoming the largest ship built by Armstrong at the time.[13] The New York Tribune reported on 2 November 1913 that Greece had reached an accord to purchase Almirante Latorre during a war scare with the Ottoman Empire,[14] but despite a developing sentiment within Chile to sell one or both of the dreadnoughts, no deal was made.[15][16][N 2]
Almirante Latorre was launched on 27 November 1913,[18][19][N 3] in an elaborate ceremony that was attended by various dignitaries and presided over by Chile's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Agustín Edwards Mac Clure. The battleship was christened by the ambassador's wife, Olga Budge de Edwards.[10] After the First World War broke out in Europe, Almirante Latorre was formally purchased by the United Kingdom on 9 September 1914;[9][18][20][21] she was not forcibly seized like the Ottoman Reshadieh and Sultan Osman I, two other ships being built for a foreign navy, because of Chile's "friendly neutral" status with the United Kingdom.[20] fter the end of the war in Europe, Chile began to seek additional ships to bolster its fleet. The United Kingdom offered many of its surplus warships, including the two remaining Invincible-class battlecruisers.[N 4] The news that Chile could possibly buy a ship to compete…...

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