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GANGUT

  (later, OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA)

 

Nationality:

Russia

Type: BB
Class: GANGUT - four in class
Builder: Admiralty Yard, St. Petersburg
Completed: December, 1914
Displacement: 23,360 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

590' 6" x 87' 3" x 27' 6"
Armor:
PLACEMENT THICKNESS
Belt: 4" - 9"
Decks: 1.5" - 3"
Barbettes: 8"
Turrets: 5" - 8"
CT: 10"
Machinery: 4-shaft Parsons turbines, 25 Yarrow boilers; 42,000shp.  Oil:  1,170 tons.  Coal:  3,000 tons
Speed: 23 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
12 12" / 52 cal. 4x3
16 4.7" / 50 cal. 16x1
4 47mm 4x1
4 18" TT submerged
Compliment: 1,126

 

 

Sister ships:  PETROPAVLOVSK, POLTAVA, SEVASTOPOL

 

 

Notes:  Despite strong opposition from the Duma, Czar Nicholas II authorized these ships, the first Russian "DREADNOUGHT-type" battleships, at the end of 1908.  Their principal characteristics had been worked out by the Naval Staff in 1906-07, and tenders for the design were made in early 1908.  Six Russian yards and 21 foreign yards submitted designs; various factions supported different designs.  The contract was to be awarded to the German firm of Blohm and Voss, but the government intervened and stated that they were to be built in Russian yards.  Therefore, the Naval Staff produced a "fresh" design, influenced heavily by the Italian designer Vittorio Cuniberti, and with the help of the British firm John Brown.

Four triple turrets were mounted on the centerline, giving a broadside nearly a third heavier than contemporary British and German designs.  However, the casemates for the 4.7" guns were mounted directly below the 12" guns, and those positions suffered from muzzle blast.  Experience gained from the Russo-Japanese war led to a desire for the armor to be extended over much more of the ship; in order to do this, the overall thickness of the armored belt was 1" to 3" less than in contemporary foreign battleships.  And in the summer of 1910, construction was halted due to concerns about the hull's overall strength, and reinforcement had to be added.  In SOVIET WARSHIPS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, Jürg Meister notes that "the hull could not withstand a full broadside."  (Meister, SOVIET WARSHIPS, p. 15; see Bibliography.)  The class was fitted with an ice-breaking bow.  Cage masts were to be fitted, but after extensive vibrations were experienced in the trials of the IMPERATOR PAVEL I class pre-DREADNOUGHTS, pole masts were substituted instead.  They were noted as being poorly ventilated.  Design faults (with "too many cooks stirring the pot", producing a ship with a "cobbled-together" plan instead of a "unified whole") and shipyard shortcomings, combined with inertia in the state bureaucracy delayed completion of the ships by well over two years, which made the class somewhat obsolescent.  While they were faster than most of their contemporaries, the GANGUT class were more lightly armored, and their 12" main battery guns had since been outclassed by the 13.5" guns in several foreign battleships.

During World War I, GANGUT and her sisters (which formed the First Battleship Brigade of the Baltic Fleet, operating out of Helsinki) were used for defense at the entrance to the Gulf of Finland, and did not venture far from their bases.  GANGUT (along with PETROPAVLOVSK) did occasionally accompany minelaying forces as far as Gotland.  GANGUT received four 63mm AA guns in 1917, which were mounted in pairs on top of the "A" and "D" turrets.  After the February, 1917 revolution, the crews joined in with the Bolshevik revolutionaries, and the four ships came under Bolshevik control in July/August, 1917.  They were demobilized six months later on 29 January 1918.  All four of the GANGUTs were then moved to Kronstadt in April where they sat idle.  They fell into a state of disrepair, and GANGUT did not take part in any of the actions of that time.  Her 4.7" guns were removed in 1920 and used in shore installations.

GANGUT was renamed OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA on 27 May 1925.  She had a complete refit in 1926-28, her 4.7" guns were reinstalled, and she returned to service.  She had another major refit in 1931-34 at the Baltic Shipyard.  OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA had her bridge and after superstructure modified, and her forefunnel was given a "s-shaped-bend" astern approximately two-thirds up from the base.  Her turbine machinery was replaced with the units originally intended for the battlecruiser IZMAIL, and the coal-fired boilers replaced with oil-fired ones.  (Following this refit, her top speed was about 22.5 knots.)  Two beam cranes were mounted on the aft superstructure for handling a seaplane, which was stowed atop the "C" turret.  (She also reportedly carried a few MTB's from time to time.)  OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA was fitted with six 45mm guns, and 24 machine guns in quadruple mounts.  Later, these were replaced by eight 76mm guns (in twin mounts) and 16 - 37mm AA guns in single mounts.

Shortly before or early during World War II, OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA had her cranes, aircraft and torpedo tubes removed, along with several of her 4.7" guns.  In place of those guns, at least eight 3.9" and 12 - 37mm AA guns were added.  During World War II, OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA took part in shore bombardments against Finland in late 1939 - early 1940.  On 23 September 1941, she was hit by six to eight aerial bombs in Kronstadt, and took another four bomb hits on 4 April 1942.  She was repaired at the Baltic Shipyard; repairs were finished in November, 1942.  While repairs were being carried out, many of her crew fought alongside Russian Army units in the defense of their homeland.  OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA was then used for shore bombardment against German forces through the end of World War II; most notably in the Soviet defense of Sevastopol in 1942, and in offensive operations around Leningrad in 1944.  She was removed from service in 1956 at Kronstadt, and scrapped at Leningrad in 1958-59.

 

Pictures

navis_600_gangut_bb_1914_-_01.jpg (19822 bytes) Navis 600
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