Warship Wednesday, February 20 2013
Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. – Christopher Eger
Warship Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Here we see the Second Battleship Squadron of the Imperial Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet with the ice and snow-clad Russian battleship Slava (Russian: Слава “Glory“) at anchor forefront in Helsinki during WWI. The Slava was one of the most famous and unlikely of Russian warships.
The last commissioned of a class of five Borodino-class battleships, her four sister ships: Borodino, Imperator Alexander III, Knyaz Suvorov, and Oryol, were all either sunk or captured at the Battle of Tsushima, 27 May 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. Slava herself would more than likely have shared the same fate if it wasn’t for the fact that she was still under construction until October of that year.
As the largest and best-equipped battleship left in the Tsar’s Baltic Fleet until the Gangut class dreadnoughts were built, the Slava became a default flagship for the decade of service before WWI. During the war, she was the head of the Second Battleship Squadron (the Ganguts were the First) of three other pre-dreadnoughts. Slava, with just a pair of gunboats as escorts, sailed into the Gulf of Riga in 1915 to challenge the Germans there.
She exchanged fire first with the German pre-dreadnoughts Elsass and Braunschweig, then the Nassau and Posen a week later. Slava flooded her side compartments to give herself a 3° list which increased her maximum range to about 18,000 yards. For two years, Slava slugged it out with German ships and engaged the Kaisers troops onshore. Finally in 1917 the large modern dreadnoughts König and Kronprinz sailed into the Gulf and exchanged heavy fire with the old obsolete Slava in what became known as the Battle of Moon Sound.
Her 12-inch magazine exploded just after her crew scuttled her and the Russians fired six torpedoes into her hull for good measure. Her remains were salvaged in 1935.
In the end, her four sisters were sunk before she was born, but she successfully fought off four German battleships of the same vintage on her home territory before the Kaiser had to send a pair of his most modern sluggers to overwhelm her.
Displacement: 14,415 long tons (14,646 t) normally
15,275 long tons (15,520 t) full load
Length: 397 ft 3 in (121.1 m)
Beam: 76 ft 1 in (23.2 m)
Draft: 29 ft 2 in (8.9 m)
Installed power: 15,800 ihp (11,800 kW)
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 vertical triple-expansion steam engines
20 water-tube boilers
Speed: 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h; 20.1 mph)
Range: 2,590 nautical miles (4,800 km; 2,980 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Armament: 2 × 2 – 12-inch (305 mm) guns
6 × 2 – 6-inch (152 mm) guns
20 × 1 – 75-millimeter (3.0 in) guns
4 × 1 – 47-millimeter (1.9 in) saluting guns
4 × 1 – 15-inch (381 mm) torpedo tubes
Armor: Krupp armor
Waterline belt: 145–194 mm (5.7–7.6 in)
Deck: 25.4–51 mm (1–2 in)
Turrets: 254 mm (10.0 in)
Barbettes: 178–229 mm (7–9 in)
Conning tower: 203 mm (8.0 in)
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