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Saturday, March 25th 2017, 10:41am

Noticias Argentinas 1948

1 January
At the AFNE Shipyard at Bahia Blanca a new large vessel was laid down on the biggest slipway possessed by the yard. The new Project 720 Replenishment Ship, to be named Proveedor, is the first such ship to be purpose-built for the Navy and when completed will allow Argentine warships at sea to be re-supplied with food, supplies and ammunition. The vessel is due to be completed during the summer of 1949.

8 January
The Foreign Affairs Minister Alfredo Castagone today confirmed in an interview with a journalist for the newspaper Noticias Argentinas that high level discussions have been with held with Peru regarding economic co-operation. Though he wouldn't be drawn on specific details he outlined a deal whereby machine goods, medical supplies, vehicles and chemicals would be traded or licenced to Peru in return for mineral ores and monetary payments.

15 January
At the AFNE Shipyard at Bahia Blanca the destroyers Jujuy and Hercules were launched in a joint ceremony, attended by the President and his wife. Each pressed a button to release the two bottles of champagne simultaneously. Both ships have been towed into the fitting out basin and should complete this summer.
A sistership, Heroina, was also launched today at the Astillero Nav. Yard in Puerto Belgrano. The ship was launched by a famous local Tango dancer, Juan de Pissaro.
In other naval news, the large light cruiser General Belgrano has begun a refit in Bahia Blanca harbour to modernise her equipment to allow her to remain a potent cruiser into the early 1950s.

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Thursday, April 13th 2017, 3:42pm

Naval Commander Changes

There have been a few changes of commanders this year.

Almirante Velazco, in command of Naval Brigada V (the unit responsible for all training and supply vessels) has retired this year at the age of 60. He has been replaced by newly promoted Almirante Teisaire. Teisaire has been one of the premier training officers of his generation having commanded the training sail ship Presidente Sarmiento in 1917-22 and taught at the Naval Academy from 1932 and he has held numerous policy-making posts in that service followed by experience in the Argentine Naval delegations to the United States and Europe. He became the assistant director of the Navy Mechanics' School and since 1941 has commanded the Training Squadron.

Teisaire's old command has been taken by Contra Almirante Salvero (promoted to Vice Almirante shortly after taking post). He has commanded most of the transport vessels in the Navy and spent three years commanding the training ship Presidente Sarimento before being given command of the Auxiliary Squadron where, since 1939, he has led the training and support for underway replenishment at sea. Some traditional old-school gunnery offices believe the post should have gone to one of the many cruiser protégés but Salvero has proved himself a solid and capable trainer with sound programmes and ability to see integrate new thinking. He is due to retire in 1951 so his replacement may well ultimately fall into one of the more dashing war heros of the 1930s.

Capitan de Navio Hoho, formerly commander of the 2nd River Squadron and a veteran of the bitter river battles during the SA War has been able to finally make use of his decade of merchant service before joining the Navy on his promotion to Contra Almirante to take charge of the Auxiliary Fleet. Hoho has handed his old command over to Capitan de Navio Bouchard, one of the foremost experts of Motor Torpedo Boats in the Navy and well suited to lead the small river gunboats and modernise their fighting tactics.

Bouchard's old 4th MTB Squadron is in capable hands with Captain de Navio Spinetti. This young officer joined the Navy after leaving school in 1936 as one of the wartime expansion intakes. Selected for officer training in 1937 he has served a variety of junior officer roles on destroyers until he completed his qualifications to become a torpedo officer in 1942. Serving in that capacity aboard the destroyer Lynch he found his only chance of further promotion and command was to join either the submarine or MTB branches of the service. He chose the latter in 1945 and took command of MAS M-25 in September 1946, later serving as second-in-command of the 5th MTB squadron within a year.

Almirante Smith-Sabatini in command of Naval Brigada III has retired this year at the age of 60. He has been succeeded by newly promoted Almirante Martinez Muhon. Muhon is perhaps one of the most gifted engineers of the Navy, having qualified as an engineer at the AFNE shipyards before joining the Navy in 1923. In 1931 he joined the Mine Warfare Department of the Naval Academy and in 1933 commanded the Minesweeper and Escort Squadron before heading the Technical Section of the Naval Staff from 1936. Known to his crews as 'The Walking Brain’, a very intellectual man he lacked real command and sea experience while also lacking diplomacy and prone to being heavy handed on punishments to his crews. His lack of sea experience has been rectified from 1939 with four years as in command of the 3rd and 4th Destroyer Squadrons before becoming Flag Officer Destroyers, a role he has served faithfully since 1942 and during that time taking steps to modernise the force and the 1948 Class destroyers with their world-leading armament and systems married with an Argentine hull being his greatest achievement after many years of lobbying the Naval Staff for the most powerful destroyers to counter the RSAN fleets.

Contra Almirante Bahia has been promoted to Vice Almirante and is the second Flag Officer Destroyers to hold the post. He is one of Almirante Peablo’s protégés and has been promoted very quickly and has seventeen years experience of cruisers, destroyers and torpedo boats. A skilled seaman he has won the hearts of his crews and seems to combine all the best elements of an able officer with all the vigour of youth. His old command has gone to former Capitan de Navio Guerra-Rajo, newly promoted to Contra Almirante. A graduate of the Naval Academy he has served mainly on destroyers and during the SA War was wounded and spent three months in hospital. In early 1937 he taught at the Academy and eventually became an ASW instructor. In late 1939 he was given command of the 2nd Patrol Squadron.

The new commander of the 2nd Patrol Squadron is Captain de Navio King, who joined the Navy at 15. During the SA War he served aboard the cruiser Veinticinco de Mayo and survived her sinking. After recovering from wounds he was posted ashore and in 1938 took command of a tug at Bahia Blanca, from there he has stepped to MTBs and latterly has commanded the 2nd MTB Squadron. He handed over command to Capitan de Navio Fernandez. He joined the Navy during the SA War recruitment drive, after graduation from the Naval Academy in 1938 he has served aboard several patrol craft and minesweepers. During 1945-46 he served as an ASW instructor at the Academy and has written a thesis on the topic which has been widely read through the Navy. Command of his own ship came in January 1947 with a new patrol craft, P7. In 1948 eager for a formation command he took the next available opportunity, the 2nd MTB Squadron.

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Saturday, April 29th 2017, 5:55pm

20 January
In San Juan thirty new school teachers have arrived at the town's main secondary school, which was rebuilt in 1946 following the devastating earthquake. The school is now ready to take around two-thirds of all the children aged between 11-15 within the San Juan catchment area. The school has been built around modern teaching strategies and features open-plan rooms, plenty of natural light and fresh air and has inbuilt earthquake resistant features. The gymnasium and swimming pool also doubles as community facilities. It is among the best equipped schools in the rural regions.

28 January
Escuadrilla 1.I of the Portaaviones Grupo Aéreo Independencia based at Bahia Blanca today took delivery of the first batch of four FMA I-02IIIN carrier-based fighters. The aircraft is a naval version of the I-02III with the folding wings and strengthened fuselage with arrestor gear of the I-02N. 48 were ordered in July 1947 and deliveries should complete this year. Keen plane spotters will note that the prototype of the original-series I-02 Pulqui II made its maiden flight on 6 January 1938, a decade ago. While the latest fighters have moved on the basic solidity of its design is clear and its constant upgrading has kept it a viable fighter.

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Saturday, May 13th 2017, 10:23am

8 February
Erhard Milch, Technical Director of Research and Development at the Instituto Aerotechico outlined for the government today the forthcoming imports of aircraft for the air forces of Argentina. All are British types, some are repeat orders and some are new types. The order book includes three additional BCAC Freighters for the Air Force, who will also receive twelve Gloster Meteor Trainers (to be designated T-07). The Prefectura Naval Argentina will receive nine de Havilland DH.104 T-06P Dove light-airliners for coastal patrol and transport work along the coast.

Milch also outlined the most important project his department is currently working on. Projecto Tábano (Project Gadfly) will see the construction of several test articles which will be flight tested as a fixed pod beneath an I.Ae.28 bomber. The pod will feature a rocket engine. This engine has a combustion chamber with a regenerative cooling jacket. The engine and its propellant tanks are contained in a streamlined winged body. The primary aim of the project is to research fuel types and performances and guidance systems for a future air-to-ground missile.

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Sunday, June 4th 2017, 2:15pm

12 February
Rumours that a major change in the organisation of the Navy are circulating around the officer circles of the Navy.

20 February
The patrol icebreaker ARA Piedra Buena rescued thirty sailors today from a stricken fishing vessel off the Strait of Magellan in heavy seas after the boat's engine had broken down and they began to drift and take on water.

26 February
The patrol boats ARA P17 and P17 commissioned with the 3rd Patrol Squadron at Puerto Santa Cruz today. These new boats have replaced older 1930s vintage boats and well ensure the continued patrolling and search and rescue duties along the Patagonian coast.

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Wednesday, June 21st 2017, 6:06pm

7 March
Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) today opened their new Fábrica de Motores de Aviación (Aviation Engine Factory) in Cordoba. The Fábrica de Motores de Aviación also forms a new division of the company and has been formed from the previous Engine Department.

The products of this division are;
450hp El Gaucho R-1/1 9-cylinder radial
740hp El Indio R-2/1 9-cylinder radial
840hp El Indio R-2/2 9-cylinder radial

Another new Division of FMA is La Fábrica de Hélices y Accesorios (Propellers and Accessories Factory), formed to take over running of the propeller workshop which had been part of the main Cordoba factory since 1928. Moved to new premises alongside the Fábrica de Motores de Aviación it will also design and manufacture engine accessories and gear-driven equipment.

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Saturday, July 15th 2017, 11:33am

14 March
The Ministry of Defence has placed a repeat order for 72 8.8cm FlaK 43 anti-aircraft guns from Rheinmetall-Borsig. Last year the first batch of 72 identical guns were delivered to modernise the aerial defences of the nation.

18 March
The notorious D’Silva ranch has today been given an export licence, marking the rehabilitation of disgraced tycoon Antonio D’Silva’s business dealings. The ranch is the only business holdings he retains after the State stripped him of most of his assets.

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Saturday, July 29th 2017, 10:31am

22 March
Aboard the destroyer ARA Ingeniero Alfrez de Navio (Sub-Lieutenant) Enrico de Galvez looked out to starboard to see the dark grey outlines of the battlecruisers ARA Veinticinco de Mayo, and the recently acquired and rebuilt ARA Pampas about two miles south. The wind was blowing the sea into crests of waves but the skies were sunny. Scanning the horizon again with his binoculars he couldn't help but feel pride in his new ship and the chance to sail out into the South Atlantic so soon after joining the ship and seeing some of the mightiest ships the Navy had to offer. He knew somewhere astern of them was the carrier ARA Guardabosques. He would give anything to serve aboard her, indeed he hoped in his career that he would get to serve one of the carriers. Hearing the drone of piston engines aloft he gazed up to see four Pulqui II fighters already gaining altitude above them, Enrico knew this summer exercise was going to be exciting.