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Russian and Soviet Cruisers

The construction of cruisers in Russia during the period after the Russo-Japanse War of 1905 received lukewarm support. Without heavy cruisers, it was decided to use old ships of earlier construction. A light cruiser that began as a project in 1908, because of the ever-changing concepts, was laid down only in 1913. The main armament for them was 130 mm, the same as in the auxiliary cruisers and battleships of the Black Sea. This was done in order to unify the 130-mm gun, which turned out very nice, and provide a powerful solution to all problems pinned on it. Basically it was intended to destroy the destroyers.

In the Baltic and Black seas, four cruisers were built, slightly different from each other. Baltic cruisers had a displacement of 6,800 tons, and the Black Sea 7,600 tons. Engineering was passed by the factory, and they tried as best they could, to the point that each set was with different turbines. Russian-Baltic Shipyard in Revel for cruisers "Svetlana" and "Admiral Greig" supposed to install turbines of German company "Volcano" as it helped in the design. The Putilovskaya shipyard, with "Admiral Butakova" and "Admiral Spiridova", was to use British turbine system designed by Parsons. The Black Sea light cruisers "Admiral Lazarev", "Admiral Nakhimov" were designed at the beginning of the French turbine. The fact that the Baltic cruisers can reach speeds of 26.5 knots and would move on Black increase to at least 28 knots. But the war put everything in place, with only the English delivery, including the Black Sea for the cruisers "Admiral Kornilov" and "Admiral Istomin."

With the construction of the light cruisers, Russia did not not really take much time. First, the majority of machinery and equipment ordered, including that abroad, lagged. And most importantly, because of the lack of speed, cruisers would be unable to perform its primary function - the extermination of destroyers, as the destroyers had long crossed the threshold of 30 knots. All the cruisers by the end of the war were left unfinished, and the last two Black Sea cruisers had not even been launched.

The next stage of the Soviet-cruiser-building was design and keel-laying of the light cruisers under project 68. Seven cruisers in accordance with this project were laid in Leningrad and Nikolaev in 1939-1940. They managed to launch five of them before the war started.

By the beginning of the Great Patriotic war, the lead cruiser Chapaev was finished by 35%. She was commissioned in 1950 under project 68K, which had been revised and modified taking into account the battle experience (chief designer - N.A. Kiselev). An extended series of cruisers was constructed following the project 68-bis (chief designer - A.S. Savichev). The lead cruiser Sverdlov was allotted to the Baltic Fleet in 1952.

Among the lessons of the war were that in a time of war the Soviet Union cannot compensate for the loss in large and medium-sized ships. Were any conclusions made from this analysis? Absolutely not! Rather on the contrary, the German doctrine of raiding was adopted. In terms of military shipbuilding, in 19461955 priority was given to cruisers. Originally it was expected to finish 5 pre-war cruisers on a modified design of the 68K family. Then 7 cruisers on improved Project 68bis. These were the light cruisers with 152-mm artillery. By increasing the displacement, Project 68bis light cruiser became more seaworthy, with increased cruising range. But the design was not modern enough.

In 1948 the USSR began a program of construction of more modern ships, with the anticipated start of construction on the Project 65 light cruisers and Project 82 heavy (line) cruisers with 305-mm artillery. It was anticipated to build 4 units. In 1953 it was planned to lay down 3 heavy cruisers of Project 66 with 220-mm artillery, and in 1955 two battleships of Project 24. The first of these programs was the Project 65. It turned out that with 152-mm artillery, anti-aircraft artillery and enhanced protection, speed of 35 knots and a specified displacement 8000-8500 tons - the ship failed. So in 1947, Stalin decided to stop all work on the Project 65, increasing the number of Project 68bis light cruisers under construction up to 25 units.


 1144 / Orlan /Kirov

 1164 / Atlant /Krasina / Slava

 1134 / Berkut/Kresta

 58 / Grozny/Kynda

 68-bis / /Sverdlov




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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:25:02 ZULU