(later, PARIZHSKAYA KOMMUNA)
||GANGUT - four in class
||Baltic Yard, St. Petersburg
Dimensions: (in feet and
590' 6" x 87' 3" x 27' 6"
||4" - 9"
||1.5" - 3"
||5" - 8"
||4-shaft Parsons turbines, 25 Yarrow boilers;
42,000shp. Oil: 1,170 tons. Coal: 3,000 tons
||12" / 52 cal.
||4.7" / 50 cal.
Sister ships: GANGUT,
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, SEVASTOPOL 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.
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.
This situation did not last long as the Civil War intensified and foreign troops began landing in Russia to fight the Bolsheviks.
SEVASTOPOL was renamed PARIZHSKAYA KOMMUNA and was to be transferred to the Black Sea Fleet in 1929.
She sailed from the Baltic in December, 1929, but was heavily damaged during a severe storm in the North Atlantic and had to put in at the French port of Brest for repairs.
Unlike her sisters, few modifications were carried out with the PARIZHSKAYA KOMMUNA in the Black Sea during the 1930's.
The only significant modification was the installation of a catapult system for launching aircraft on the number 3 turret.
This system was similar to those used on the KIROV class cruisers. However in 1938, the PARIZHSKAYA KOMMUNA received an extensive refit, emerging from the yards as nearly identical to her sister, OKTYABRSKAYA REVOLYUTSIYA.
During World War II, PARIZHSKAYA KOMMUNA continued to be stationed in the Black Sea.
She provided fire support the Red Army during the German invasion of the Crimea.
As the fighting intensified, she was pulled back to the eastern Black Sea ports which were out of the range of German air strikes.
Only when the Red Army regained the offensive late in the war did the PARIZHSKAYA KOMMUNA move out to strike the positions of retreating German forces.
She was renamed SEVASTOPOL in 1943. Following World War II,
SEVASTOPOL was used as a training ship in the Black Sea. She was
finally scrapped in her namesake city, Sevastopol, in 1957.