Esmeralda (1894)

Armada de Chile - 1894-96

The largest Chilean cruiser of WW1: Esmeralda

The previous Cruiser Esmeralda, a 1884 British-built ship was soled to Japan on 5 february 1895 to Japan, and became the Izumi, participating to the Battle of Tushima. Before that, in 1891, the Chilean admiralty was embroiled into a vivid naval rivalry with Argentina, the first, eventually closed after difficult negociations in London. There was second one, the "battleship race" initiated by the Brazilians in 1907.

Esmeralda in 1896
Esmeralda in 1896

Context: The Argentine-Chilean naval arms race

The first rivalry called the Argentine–Chilean naval arms race, started by the Chileans which purchased in 1887 three important vessels, the battleship Capitán Prat, and the Presidente Errázuriz and Presidente Pinto, protected cruisers made in France and UK respectively. The Argentinians ordered two armored ships, the Libertad and Independencia and the next years the armored cruiser Veinticinco de Mayo and Nueve de Julio. Chile replicated in 1892 with the Blanco Encalada, another protected cruiser, and in 1895, the Argentines ordered the Buenos Aires, followed by the Chileans with the cruisers Esmeralda and Ministro Zenteno, Argentina with the Garibaldi (From the prolific Italian class of the same name), Chile in 1896 came with the O'Higgins and the Argentines bought two more of the Garibaldi class, San martin and Pueyrredón, and hammered the point by also ordering again two more ships of the same type, the Rivadavia and Moreno. In 1901, Chile, not to be undone, ordered two battleships, second-class Swiftsure class pre-dreadnoughts, named Constitución and Libertad, and the protected cruiser Chacabuco. Argentina was to order two even more massive battleship to Ansaldo when negociations in Great Britain put this madness to an end. Indeed Chile was using an increasing part of its gold reserve to pay for them, risking the country's future economy for what was considered, even inside the country as a naval folly.


Large model of the Esmeralda, kept in Swiss archives.

Increased tensions, near state of war and near-bankrupcy of both rivals pushed the UK, by then, THE respected superpower on the international stage, to start a negotiations process with Argentina and Chile, and argued for a resolution. This was largely due to their strong economic interests in the region, massive exports of raw materials (including Chilean nitrates for explosives and Argentine grain) and also its own trade goods to both countries, likely to be severely disrupted. Talks were at first held in Santiago de Chile, between the British ambassador and Argentine ambassador and local foreign minister and President, Germán Riesco.

Three Pacts were agreed, signed on 28 May 1902, ending the dispute. Naval armaments were limited, and both countries were forbidden of any new acquisitions for five years, unless giving an eighteen months advance notice. Those under construction were resold to the builder, UK. Chile's battleships became the Swiftsure class, Japan obtained a cruiser, and the last two Garibaldi class armored cruisers were also resold to Japan (Kasuga class). The two planned Argentine Battleships were never ordered, Garibaldi, Pueyrredón and Capitán Prat were partially disarmed.

Name:

The Esmeralda could originate to pay homage to the Line Regiment 7 "Esmeralda" which in 1820 participated in the Pacific War, or to Vasco Da Gama's Galleon during his second expeditions to the Indies in 1503. It was also given before 1894 to a 1753 and 1733 Spanish Frigates involved in the region, or the one captured by the Chileans in 1820 (likely) or the 1855 steam Corvette which participated in the second war of the Pacific. There was also a 1885 unprotected Cruiser of the same name. After the 1890s protected cruiser was discarded, the name was passed onto a 1946 frigate and the sailing schoolship of the Chilean Navy as of today. It is perhaps the most remembered ship name by the Chileans.

Genesis of the design

Both to replace the previous Esmeralda, sold to the IJN on 15 November 1894. The funds also helped purchasing a more modern ship. The Chilean Admiralty obtained a vote for the parliament to purchase another cruiser, despite the expensive Chilean Civil War (1891) and finally ordered her on 15 May 1895. Previously, they had seen the Argentinians purchase the ARA Buenos Aires on 27 November 1893, added to the earlier Veinticinco de Mayo and the more recent Nueve de Julio which entered service also in 1893. ARA Buenos Aires has been a Philip Watts design built on private funds by Armstrong-Elswick. Meanwhile the Blanco Encalada, purchased for £333.500, just entered service. She was closely based on the Japanese Yoshino cruiser design, with some alterations.

Blanco Encalada

For the Esmeralda, the Chilean looked at both the Argentine designs and their own Encalada, a 4,420 tons ship. The Buenos Aires, purchased on stocks was displacing more, 4,788 long tons, and armed about the same, with two main guns (8 in) and ten secondaries (6 in) for the Chilean cruiser, whereas the Argentinian choose to mix four 6-in and six 4.7 in (119 mm)/45 QF guns instead. They loose in broadside weight but gained much in terms of rate of fire. Therefore for the next design, the Chileans choose an even heavier 6-in battery, to just overwhelm their adversary in a single broadside, expecting to disable much of the secondary battery at the same time. A very ambitious ship, the Esmeralda was also the first fitted with torpedo tubes, and significantly heavier and better managed Harvey armor. She was also to be as fast as the Buenos Aires, one knot faster than the Encalada, although design figures were only reached by overheating the boilers. All this made the displacement rose to 7,032 long tons (7,145 t), nearly 3,000 tons more than the previous cruisers.

ARA Buenos Aires
ARA Buenos Aires.

After the Esmeralda was released, Argentina opted for an Italian design instead of British one, the 6800 tonnes Garibaldi-class, which sported 10 in guns instead of 8-in, had a larger battery of 6-in (10), and added to this six fast-firing 4.7 in guns to keep and edge on the rate of fire, plus a good overall armor, but at the expense of speed.

Design of the Esmeralda


Blueprint of the Esmeralda, part of a 1890s review of Elswick cruisers

Philip Watts, the lead designer of Vickers Armstrong gained over time the patina of late recoignition by authors and historians alike for his role in the worldwide advances in cruiser designs, as during his career he probably drawned more cruiser blueprints than anyone else in History. The main reason was the fantastic capabilities of the Vickers yards to deliver these classes of ships on the export market almost like sausages, and to both camps if necessary, like in the Chilean-Argentinian case. The foggy and controversial figure of Basil Zarahoff was not stranger to this either, also feeding on tension areas like later between Russia and Japan. Watts designed 19 cruisers for customers on a broad spectrum, from Romania to the United States, Italy, Portugal, Brazil and Japan (and many battleships including the HMS Dreadnought). He was replaced in 1912 by Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt and became an adviser for the admiralty.
Watts in 1895 when receiving Chilean specifications could not really take on an existing design as a basis. The contemporary Powerful class were giant cruisers designed for the sole purpose of beating the Russian Gromoboi and Russia, and the earlier Edgar class (1890) were very different ships although of a similar tonnage. Therefore he simply took the previous Blanco Encalada and scaled it up. It is particularly evident when seeing both blueprints and silhouettes. Both had two center spaced funnels, two short masts with military tops, and their main bridge was located behind the mainmast. They were also both flush-deck.

Nevertheless, the Esmeralda being much longer (20 meters), larger (2 meters) and with a higher draught, the flush-deck hull was also taller, which avoided the use of a turtleback forward deck and wave breaker in front of the forward main gun, for example. Another difference, outside the armament, was the enclosed deck superstructure, allowing to built enclosed corner casemates, whereas the Encalada secondary guns were all in open air sponsons. Construction-wise, the ship was steel-hulled, wood and copper-sheated.

brasseys depiction esmeralda
Brassey's depiction of the Esmeralda

Armor protection of the Esmeralda


Brassey's drawing of the Esmeralda
Protection was rather standard but with haigher figures than the previous cruisers: The armoured belt was 152 mm thick (6"), extending 350 feet in the central section and connected to an armoured deck between 25,4 and 50,8 mm (1-2"). There was no specific protection for the machinery or ammo rooms. In addition there were 18 ASW built-in compartments. She was considered one of the most powerful cruisers in the world, incorporating the latest technological advances.

Armament of the Esmeralda


Stern view of the ship in the 1900s

The main armament comprised the classic 208 mm (8 "/40), four guns in all in thick shields fore and aft. The secondary armament was impressive, all made of 152 mm ,6 "/ 40) guns, sixteen in all.
To deal with torpedo boats, eight 12-pounder cannons, nine 6-pound cannons, 2 3-pound cannons and 8 Maxim machine guns were installed. In addition these ships had three torpedo tubesof 18 inches (457 mm) on the water line, one in the prow, two in the hull, submersible.

Powerplant of the Esmeralda

She was fitted by two propellers connected to four-cylinder, TE (triple expansion), and later two modern cylindricical model replaced them diring her 1910 refit, with two multitubular Niclausse models. Thanks to this increase in power, she could reach 23 knots.

History



After her service commission, she joined the main cruiser Squadron. Nothing is noted about her service years. On May 2, 1910, she sailed alongside the O'Higgins on a state cruise to Buenos Aires, to participate in the Naval review of the centenary of the Argentine Republic. Later on September 14, she participated in the Great Naval review celebration, on the occasion of the centenary of Chile. Both gestures underlined the good will between countries after the 1890s naval race, but this coincided with the "dreadnought race". In 1910, still, until the end of the year, Essmeradla was taken in hands in a dockyard for refitting. She was given new cylindrical boilers, multicubular models from Niclausse and the removal of four of her 152 mm (6-in) cannons from the main superstructure. She stayed active during WW1 and the early 1920s but was outdated by technological advances she was discharged and decommissioned in 1930, after which she was sold on auction for scrapping in 1933.



Specifications of Esmeralda (1897)

Dimensions132.89 m/142.72 m oa x 15.98 m x 6.25 m
Displacement7,032 long tons (7,145 t) FL
Crew500
PropulsionTwo shaft VTE, 6 cylindrical boilers, 16,000 ihp-18,000 ihp on forced draft
Speed22,25 knots (42.13 km/h; 26.18 mph)
Range8,000 km? 550 t normal/1350 t wartime coal reserve
Armament2 x 208 mm/40 (8-in), 16 x 152 mm/40 (6-in), 8 x 12 Pdr, 9 x 6 Pdr, 2 x 3 Pdr, 8 Maxim MGs, 3 TTs.
Armor6 in (152 mm) belt, armored deck 25,4-50,8 mm (1-2 in) thickness


Esmeralda 1896
Esmeralda
Author's illustration of Esmeralda in the early 1900s.

Read More/Src

Conway's all the world's fighting ships 1906-21 and 1922-47.
web.archive.org - from armada.cl
Garrett, James L. "The Beagle Channel Dispute: Confrontation and Negotiation in the Southern Cone".
Sater, William F. "The Abortive Kronstadt: The Chilean Naval Mutiny of 1931".
Scheina, Robert L. Latin America: A Naval History 1810–1987.6.
Somervell, Philip. "Naval Affairs in Chilean Politics, 1910–1932".
Worth, Richard. Fleets of World War II. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2001.
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esmeralda_(1896)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilean_cruiser_Esmeralda
See on ISSUU (escuadra nacional, p.115)

More photos:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Esmeralda_(ship,_1895)

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Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1943)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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