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Construction of Alfonso XIII was authorized by the Navy Law of 7 January 1908. She was laid down on 23 February 1910, launched on 7 May 1913, and completed on 16 August 1915.

Inorder to avoid rebuilding existing docks, she was constructed with a shorter hull than a purely rational design required, and her class were the smallest dreadnought-typebattleships ever built.[1] Amidships freeboard was only 15 feet (4.6 m), and the main battery guns were 24 feet 6 inches (7.5 m) above the waterline.[1]

With a single stack amidships, twotripod masts, and small superstructure, the Alfonso XIII had a broadside of eight 12-inch (305-mm) guns, each weighing 67.1 tons, firing an 850-pound (385-kg) shell at a muzzlevelocity of 2950fps (902 m/s) with a maximum range of 23,500 yards (21500 meters, or 11.6 nautical miles), at a rate of fire of one round per minute.[citation needed] The four twinturrets were arranged with "A" and "Y" on the centerline, and the other two turrets in the wings ("B" to starboard, "Q" to port). This was done in preference to superimposed turrets,as was done in the South Carolinas, to save weight and cost.[2] Alfonso XIII was able to fire a full broadside, and employ six guns in pursuit or retirement.[citation needed] Thesecondary battery was poorly laid out[2] in casemates along the hull too close to the waterline.[1]

Alfonso XIII was held up somewhat by a lack of materials from the United Kingdomas a result of the outbreak of World War I.[2])

Built for coastal defense and national pride, more than combat, the Alfonso XIII and her sisters provided Spain with formidableships at reasonable cost. Unfortunately, due to rapid technological change at the time and the lengthy construction time of the class, Alfonso XIII was obsolescent before completion.[
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