Chilean torpedo gunboat Almirante Lynch

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Torpedero Patricio Lynch.jpg
Torpedo gunboat Almirante Lynch
Name: Almirante Lynch
Namesake: Patricio Lynch
Builder: Laird Brothers, Birkenhead
Laid down: 1889
Launched: 1890
Commissioned: 1890
General characteristics
Type: torpedo gunboat
Displacement: 713 t (702 long tons)
Length: 70 m (229 ft 8 in) p/p
Beam: 8 m (26 ft 3 in)
  • 1 m (3 ft 3 in) forward
  • 6 m (19 ft 8 in) aft
  • 2 steam engines, 3.38 MW (4,533 hp)
  • 4 cylindrical boilers
  • 2 screws
Speed: 20.2 knots (37.4 km/h; 23.2 mph)
Range: 2,500 nmi (4,600 km; 2,900 mi)
Complement: 87

The torpedo gunboats Almirante Lynch and her sister ship Almirante Condell, were purchased in England and launched in 1890.


The vessels had a high forecastle and poop, and a ram on the bow. the hulls were steel. The principal armament was five Whitehead torpedo tubes, one in the bow and two in each broadside. They also had two fourteen-pounder guns in echelon on the forecastle and one on the poop, four 3-pounder guns, and two machine guns.[1]

Service history[edit]

Almirante Lynch was part of the small force of ships at disposal of President José Manuel Balmaceda in the 1891 Chilean Civil War. During the war, on April 23, 1891, Almirante Lynch and her sister ship Almirante Condell attacked and sank the rebel ironclad frigate Blanco Encalada. Early in April a portion of the revolutionary squadron, comprising Blanco Encalada and other ships, was sent southward for reconnoitring purposes and put into the port of Caldera. During the night of April 23, and whilst Blanco Encalada was lying quietly at anchor in Caldera Bay, Almirante Lynch, belonging to the Balmaceda faction, steamed into the bay of Caldera and discharged a torpedo at the rebel ship. Blanco Encalada sank in a few minutes and 300 of her crew perished. This coup severely weakened the Congressional squadron. This was the first successful torpedo attack on a warship.[2]

After the arrival of the destroyer Almirante Lynch the torpedo gunboat was renamed Tomas.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New York Times: Battle of Caldera Bay
  2. ^ Edwyn Gray, The Devil's device: the story of Robert Whitehead, inventor of the torpedo, Seeley, 1975, Page 147; and R. A. Fletcher, Warships and Their Story, 2004, Page 209.
  3. ^ Chilean Navy site Almirante Lynch, retrieved on 5 November 2012