Russian and Soviet Battleships

Russian and Soviet Dreadnoughts
Russian and Soviet battleships were often influenced by Italian designs. The first Italian dreadnought, Dante Aligheri was the basis for the Gangut class, and thus the Imperitricia Maria and Izmail classes as well. Later on, the Sovietsky Soyuz class was based on a set of plans by Cantieri Ansaldo of Genoa known as the UP-41 design. The UP-41 design was derived from the Littorio class. "Ship X" was designed by the American firm Gibbs and Cox.

Russian and Soviet Battlecruisers
The Izmail class were derived from the Italian-influenced Gangut and Imperitricia Maria classes. There is a strong family resemblance.

The Project 69 battlecruisers were a pure Soviet design, related to their contemporary cruiser projects. The Project 82 battlecruisers were an evolution of this design.

The Kirov class (Project 1144) battlecruisers are another pure Soviet design, and they differ substantially from earlier gun-armed designs. Their primary armament is a large array of heavy anti-ship missiles. They also have a large compliment of anti-aircraft missiles. Despite these radical differences, their size and speed still puts them in the general category of battlecruisers.

Soviet name prefixes
Some sources use the prefix "USSRS" for Soviet era ships, but not in official publications. Nothing official suggests the use of any prefix.

Russian/Soviet Battleship Chronology

Feb 1904-1905: Russo-Japanese War. A major defeat for Russia.
Oct 1904-May 1905: Baltic Fleet travels to the Far East.
5 Dec 1904: Port Arthur: Pacific fleet defeated
27-28 May 1905: Battle of Tsushima: Russian Baltic fleet defeated as it arrives.
1905: Treaty of Portsmouth

August 1914-20 Dec 1917: World War I. Defeat for Russia.
8 March 1917: First Russian Revolution. Czar Nicholas II overthrown, republic established.
17 October 1917: Battle of Moon Island. German dreadnoughts Kronprinz and König defeat Russian pre-dreadnoughts Tsessarevitch and Slava. Slava was scuttled, Tsessarevitch escaped.
November 1917: Second Russian Revolution. Lenin established USSR.
20 December 1917: Russia negotiates treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany and Austria Hungary, effectively ending Russia's participation in World War I.
3 March 1918: Russia ratifies treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

1918-1920: Russian Civil War

Jun 1941-May 1945: World War II. Victory for USSR, though primarily through ground action, not sea power.

5 Mar 1953: Stalin dies. Stalingrad class cancelled.

Dec 1980: Missile armed, nuclear powered battlecruiser Kirov enters service. She is the first battlecruiser built by any nation since World War II.

31 Dec 1991: USSR collapses
1992: Kirov class battlecruisers renamed

Key to builders:
GalerniGalerni Island, St. Petersburg, (Russia)
LenningradBal'tiyske Ob'yedineniye, St. Petersburg, (Russia)
61 Kommuna 61 Kommunara SY 445, Nikolayev [North], (Ukraine)
NosenkoNosenko SY 444, Nikolayev, Ukraine.

War Prizes - Great Patriotic War

War Prize Battleships

The Soviet battleship 'Novorossiysk' was a prize of war taken from the Italians after World War II. The Italian battleship Giulio Cesare was ceded to the Soviet Union as compensation of war damages, and on 1949-02-03, was commissioned into the Soviet Navy as Novorossiysk. The Italian Conte di Cavour-class battleship "Giulio Cesare" had served in the Regia Marina in both World Wars before joining the Soviet Navy.

On the night of 1955-10-29, the Novorossiysk was moored in Sevastopol Bay, 300 meters (1000 feet) from shore and opposite a hospital. At 1:30am, an explosion estimated to be the equivalent of 1,200 kilograms of TNT under the bow of the ship pierced all decks from the bottom plating to the forecastle deck. In the forecastle deck there was one hole which measured 144 meters in size. The damage extended from the bow aft 22 meters. The ship sank slowly, capsizing at 4:15am, 2 hours 45 minutes after the explosion, and 18 hours after that fully submerged. The capsizing resulted in the death of 608 sailors, most of whom were staying in the ship's compartments. The loss of life as well as the complete destruction of the ship was directly caused by the incompetent actions of her captain, Fleet Commander Vice Admiral V. Parkhomenko.

Name Keel
Launch Comm Builder Notes
Royal OakArkhangelsk
(formerly Royal Sovereign)
15 Jan 191429 Apr 19151943Portsmouth Returned to UK 1949, scrapped.
Conte di CavourNovorossisk
(formerly Giulio Cesare
24 Jun 191015 Oct 19113 Feb 1949Ansaldo Awarded to USSR at the end of WWII. Sunk 29 Oct 1955 at Sevastopol. Mine??

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