Today in Transportation History – 1932: Goodbye to ARA Almirante Brown

After more than a half-century of service with the Argentine Navy, the vessel ARA Almirante Brown (Admiral Brown) was decommissioned. ARA Almirante Brown had been built by the British shipbuilding firm Samuda Brothers and launched in 1880. Maria Josefa Martinez de Hoz, whose husband Carlos Casares was a prominent rancher and politician who had recently stepped down as governor of the province of Buenos Aires, served as the sponsor (also known as godmother) of the new ship and christened her.

Admiral Brown, c. 1865

The new vessel was named after William Brown (1777-1857), an Irish-born Argentine admiral who helped establish Argentina’s first maritime force in 1810 and achieved a number of significant military victories on behalf of his adopted country. Brown remains widely known today as the Father of the Argentine Navy; in recent years, as a matter of fact, a replica of his sword has been worn by Argentine Navy admirals.

His namesake ship was delivered to the Argentine Navy in 1881. At the time, the 240-foot (73.2-meter)-long ship was the largest vessel in that navy’s fleet and would retain this distinction for the next 15 years. In addition, the ironclad ARA Almirante Brown was one of the first major warships anywhere to be fitted with steel armor. During her many years of service, ARA Almirante Brown not only took part in military actions but also participated in high-profile ceremonies such as the 1889 opening of the south basin in the harbor of Buenos Aires. She was also used for Argentina’s coastal defense and the training of navy personnel.

For more information about ARA Almirante Brown, please check out

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