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Posted by: AdamC Russian/Soviet Battleships 1905-1956
Posted on: 10/02/2016 12:45:08

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Posted by: AdamC
Total Posts: 268
Joined Date: Thursday, 22 January 2009

Ok chaps what do you all think of this one then;

 

Russian/Soviet Battleships 1905-1956

 

What’s it all about?

This title would look at the design, development and deployment of Imperial Russian and Soviet Navy big gun Battleships from the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 to their disappearance in the mid 1950s. It would look at the lessons learned following the destruction of the Russian battle fleet by the Japanese and how this experience shaped Russian and later Soviet naval policy towards the idea of big gun capital ships.

It would start with a look at the two ships Andrei Pervozvanny Class which were heavily influenced and redesigned as a result of experience in the Far East and would cover their service in World War I and, more importantly, their roles during the Russian Revolution and Civil War.

It would then move on to the four ships of the Gangut Class, Russia’s first Dreadnaughts, looking at their convoluted design and construction followed by their service in both World Wars (particularly the Second!) and the revolution and Civil War.

The title would then move on to the three ships of the Imperatritsa Mariya Class, built for the Black Sea Fleet, which saw some interesting service in World War I (including several ship to ship actions against German/Turkish capital ships) before passing out of service in the 1920s.

It would also cover the proposed successor to the Imperatritsa Mariya Class, the cancelled Imperator Nikolai I and then move on to the similarly still born Sovetsky Soyuz-class of the 1930s which were to be built in response to Nazi Germany’s new generation of Battleships. Thought could be given to the potential of these ships when compared to their rivals in contemporary foreign navies and the reasons for their ultimate demise. This would then be followed up with a look at the fabled K-1000, the mythical Soviet high-tech guided missile Battleship that so worried the West in the late 1940s and early 1950s thanks to a fascinating Soviet counter intelligence effort (it even appeared in Jane’s Fighting Ships so effective was the ruse!).

Finally it would finish with a look at the two foreign Battleships in Soviet service – namely HMS Royal Sovereign and Giulio Cesare. Here it would deal with their transfer to Soviet service and their operation under Soviet control finishing with the return to the UK in 1949 of the former and the sinking of the latter at the hands of an old German mine in 1955. Finally a look at the change in Soviet naval attitudes to big gun battleships that saw their disappearance from the Cold War Soviet Navy.

So that’s nine Battleships in three classes, three unbuilt classes and two foreign ships in Soviet service over a 50 period covering two World Wars, the Russian Revolution, Civil War and the start of the Cold War.

 

Sources

I would imagine that sources on this subject are fairly abundant, even in the west, and I wouldn’t expect an experienced researcher to have too much trouble especially given the greater availability of Russian achieves these days.

 

Plates

Plenty to go at here with nine actual ships to pick from plus the unbuilt designs. Action shots could included  Andrei Pervozvanny and Petropavlovsk bombarding Fort Krasnaya Gorka in June 1919, Marat and Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya firing on advancing German troops in September 1941, Imperatritsa Mariya engaging the Turkish/German Light Cruiser Midilli (AKA Breslau) in 1916, Imperatritsa Ekaterina Velikaya engaging Yavuz Sultan Selim (AKA Goeben) in January the same year or Giulio Cesare hitting a mine in 1955. Plenty of other shore bombardments are available for illustration.

 

Would it Sell?

That’s the big question isn’t it? Big gun battleships tend to be popular subjects and I think this title has the right mix of being a little bit different without being off the wall obscure so I think it has a decent chance. It could also lead on to other Russian naval titles if sales were promising.

 

So what do you all think??? Worth a look or sunk without a trace???

Posted on: 10/02/2016 12:45:09
Posted by: ASM
Total Posts: 23
Joined Date: Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Excellent suggestion. Very thought through in the extent of its content I think. I will certainly back it (and buy it)! Maybe even obvious enough to be on next year’s list... If not it looks like its half written already :-) I really hope Osprey will do it.



Posted on: 10/02/2016 18:12:15
Posted by: kuvaszsleepybear
Total Posts: 291
Joined Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2013

DA DA !!

Posted on: 10/02/2016 19:16:35
Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 357
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

A very good idea indeed, AdamC. I do like the scope of your proposal and the way you have tailored it to fit the format of Ospreys books. Like yourself, I would be especially interested in this subject if the author went beyond the mere "nuts and bolts" of these ships, but gave us some insight into Russian/Soviet design philosophy and naval thinking. 

Posted on: 11/02/2016 08:39:11
Posted by: achim
Total Posts: 40
Joined Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Excellent Idea, AdamC!

you are indeed missing the two "Kronstadt" Battlecruisers, whose construction indeed begun  shortly before WWII and were designed to "speed ahead" of the Sovietsky Soyuz Class battleships!
Siegfried Breyer's Books and Articles on Russian and Soviet Battleships might propably complete the Source Materials! Hewrote widely on the subject from the late sixties until at least the early eighties!

Posted on: 11/02/2016 18:38:27
Posted by: PAUL W
Total Posts: 294
Joined Date: Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sounds really interesting, however covering 50 years in 48 pages, would there be any mileage in having it split into two books?

Posted on: 14/02/2016 15:02:48
Posted by: KenA
Total Posts: 119
Joined Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2013

You’ve put a lot of thought into this AdamC and come up with a great proposal.  My major regret is that Osprey doesn’t have a book series to do it justice.  I have to admit though that my personal interest in things Russian nautical is in a period just a little earlier than you are considering.  I have a fascination with the Imperial Russian Navy from after the Turko-Russian War to the end of WWI (i.e. 1878-1917).  This was a period of great change and experimentation for the Imperial Russian Navy and all sorts of developments (strange and otherwise) took place.  Oh yes, they had the odd battle or two in the meantime and didn’t do very well but they had some magnificent looking ships and some horrors.  Oh for some volumes covering that period.  Sigh.

Posted on: 14/02/2016 19:56:56
Posted by: AdamC
Total Posts: 268
Joined Date: Thursday, 22 January 2009

Hi Guys,

 

Sorry it’s taken me a while to reply to you all.

 

First of all thanks for all your enthusiastic support, I’m glad you like the idea. Or as Kuvaszsleepybear would say – “Spasibo za vse vashi goryachuyu podderzhku , ya rad vam nravitsya ideya”.

 

Achim – I did indeed leave out the Battlecruisers, that’s a fair point. My thinking here was two fold. Firstly Russian never actually built a Battlecrusier during the period covered. There were proposals for at least two classes but they never left the slipways and while that didn’t stop me including unbuilt Battleship classes that decision was largely driven by the fact that they did actually build some of those. Secondly the period I was looking at is quite lengthy (more on that later) and I didn’t want to over crowd the book by pushing another ship type – i.e. Battlecrusiers – into it. I thought it would be a better use of the available space to stick to Battleships. I think they it would be fair to at least give passing reference to the Battlecruiser proposals but only where their design and development crossed or affected their larger cousins.

 

Paul W & KenA – You both make a fair point about the length of my time period being accommodated by NVG. It was a concern that crossed my mind too. 50 years is a long time to cover in a book this size but realistically we are only talking about 9 actual ships (11 if you include the two foreign types but they don’t necessarily need to be covered in the same detail as the 9 purely Russian units). Also for significant parts of the 50 year period many of these units spend a long time swinging their anchors. For example the two Andrei Pervozvanny Class ships both have a very quite First World War, its not until the Revolution and Civil war that they really see any serious action. Personally I’d leave it at one volume as I think stretching it to two would be pushing Osprey’s interest boundary but I might be wrong, who knows!

 

KenA – Not so sure you are going to see anything on the Turko-Russian war any time soon but I agree it’s a fascinating period of Russian naval experimentation, I love the circular Novgorod monitor of the 1870s! A mad ship design!!! I think you have a fair chance of seeing a title on “The Russian Navy of the Russo-Japanese War 1904-05” though. With the corresponding Japanese title out in a couple of months time it would seen like a logical follow up. Also my suggested title does overlap your area of interest to some degree with the Andrei Pervozvanny Class ships, Gangut Class and Imperatritsa Mariya Class all falling within the latter end of your 1878-1917 time period. 

Posted on: 15/02/2016 09:14:24
Posted by: achim
Total Posts: 40
Joined Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2013

I see, AdamC, but actually, i understand "Izmail" made it off the Slipway!? I have seen some Illustrations on it's launch, and I know that there were some discussions during the 20' and early 30's on how to finish the Ship to a improved design!

Those four Ships, and the two "Kronstadt"  should be included, so to cover Russian/Soviet Big Gun Ships....

If something is to be left out..., well, look at the 50's scare of the "Missle Armed" Battleship...!! This was neither really planned, and of course never laid down! But then again..., not mention this one?? It was such an successful deception of the West..., and, the Line Drawings that are available ....well..., they make a Battleship Lover DREAM on....!!

yeah..., all of that isa little too much of a NVG propably!! Alternatively, Osprey could do a 300 Page GNM Book, with in depth analysis and collect all Drawings and Photos available... (that would be something...would it?? sure buy for me though)  

   

Posted on: 15/02/2016 22:56:33
Posted by: KenA
Total Posts: 119
Joined Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ah Achim, don’t tempt me with a General Military title.  I’d be fighting you all the way for one on the Imperial Russian Navy 1878-1917.  Now such a book as that could be magnificent.

AdamC.  You are not the only admirer of the Russian circular ironclads or monitors: the Popovkas (Novgorod and Vitse-admiral Popov).  Absolutely fascinating vessels and absolutely useless.  The last decent article (17 pages long with B&W photos, drawings, tables, etc.) that I saw on this subject was by Stephen McLaughlin in “Warship 2015” published by Conway, an imprint of Bloomsbury Plc, the owner of Osprey no less.  This book can still be purchased new in hardback or eBook form, or maybe libraries have it.

Posted on: 16/02/2016 01:06:15
Posted by: achim
Total Posts: 40
Joined Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2013

oh, yes, KenA..., Russian/Soviet Armoured Vessels from 1878 to the 1950's..., that would make really a great Title for a GNM Book!
the Period from 1878 to the early 1900's had not only the famed Popofka's...; there are Vessels like "Pjotr Veliki" (british Officers remarked: "If the Russians sail this Ship into any British Harbour, we can not do a damn thing against it"), "Kreml" and a goodly deal more!!


Well, ok, I think this might remain a Dream....unfortunately....    

Posted on: 16/02/2016 16:47:44
Posted by: PAUL W
Total Posts: 294
Joined Date: Sunday, 4 January 2015

Adam, hopefully your proposal will see the light of day. I too assume a new vanguard for the russian navy in the Russo-Japanese War 1904-05 will be coming to much te japaneese one.

Posted on: 31/05/2016 23:36:14

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