The Peruvian Navy retired the world’s last operational gun cruiser, its historic flagship the Almirante Grau, in the fall of 2017. The 12,000-ton Almirante Grau was an ex-Dutch De Ruyter-class light cruiser fitted with four twin six-inch guns and an armor belt of up to four inches thick. Construction began on the vessel in the Netherlands less than a week after the start of World War II. She was launched in December 1944, while the Dutch remained under German occupation. The light cruiser remained unfinished for nearly a decade, finally entering service in November of 1953. After serving the Netherlands for nearly 20 years, the warship was purchased by Peru in 1973 and recommissioned as the Almirante Grau. The warship received numerous upgrades and modifications during her long career. She has been replaced by the Lupo-class frigate Montero, which has been renamed Almirante Grau and designated as the new Peruvian flagship.
Combat Fleets of the World
By Eric Wertheim