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fighting ships of the world

SOVIET NAVY (USSR)

CAPITAL SHIPS

STALINGRAD heavy cruisers (project 82)

Stalingrad

Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
Сталинград <Stalingrad> 400 444 Marti Yd, Nikolayev 31/12/1951 early 1953 --- cancelled 6/1953
Москва <Moskva> 406 189 Ordzhonikidze Yd, Leningrad 9/1952 --- --- cancelled 4/1953
unnamed 401 402 Yd, Molotovsk 10/1952 --- --- cancelled 4/1953

 

Displacement standard, t

36500

Displacement full, t

43000

Length, m

250.5

Breadth, m

31.6

Draught, m

9.70

No of shafts

4

Machinery

4 TV-4 geared steam turbines, 12 boilers

Power, h. p.

280000

Max speed, kts

34

Fuel, t

oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 5000(15)

Armour, mm

belt: 180, deck: 145, turrets: 240, CT: 260

Armament

3 x 3 - 305/62 SM-31, 6 x 2 - 130/60 BL-109A, 6 x 4 - 45/78 SM-20-ZIF, 10 x 4 - 25/79 BL-120

Sensors Rif, 2x Zalp, 3x Yakor', 2x Fut-B radars

Complement

1481

Ship project history: Project 82 was among the first true Soviet postwar warship designs. It began in 1941 as a heavy cruiser armed with 203mm guns (the prewar programme also included a pair of 305mm battlecruisers, the Kronshtadt class (Project 69)). Reviewing the design in 1945, Stalin suggested that it be armed with 305mm guns. Admiral Kuznetsov countered that he preferred a new 230mm gun with a very high rate of fire. Studies were conducted in 1943-1947, and at the end of 1947 TsKB-17 and the central naval design office began work on sketch designs with various main batteries, protection, displacement and speed. Apparently by this time Stalin himself had decided that the ships should be armed with 305mm guns. Although the TTZ included a variety of fleet missions, Stalin always thought of the ships as raiders. When he reviewed the sketch designs in March 1948, he asked whether the ship could not be made fast enough to catch lesser enemy ships and to escape from more powerful ones, virtually the same terms applied before the Second World War to the German 'pocket battleships'. The other roles were stiffening of light forces, operating with a manoeuvering force, escorting convoys, destroying enemy cruisers, and attacks on coastal installations in support of the army's flanks. The sketch design was rejected, and the designer ordered to cut displacement (then 39500t) in order to increase speed (from 32kts). A new sketch design was ready late in 1949. To obtain the desired 35kts, power had to be increased by nearly 30% (to four 70000shp turbines). Displacement was reduced partly by reducing side and transverse armour.

    TsKB-17 was badly overloaded; it I was also working on light cruisers (Projects 68K and 68bis) and battleships (Project 24). A new bureau, TsKB-16, was hived off to deal with the battleships and battlecruisers. The basic design formally approved on 25 March 1950 showed reduced dual-purpose and AA armament (compared to those in the approved TTZ), increased displacement (36500t rather than 36000) and a speed of 35kts.

    Stalin badly wanted these ships. To accelerate them, it was decided during 1950 that the detailed (technical) design would be completed in February 1951 without further sketch work. At that time the Ministry of Ship Production committed to begin two ships during the second quarter of 1951 (at Nikolayev and Leningrad) for delivery in 1954-1955. In fact the technical design was approved only in June 1951, with parts of the basic TTZ not yet ready.

    Stalin considered Project 82 a key part of the postwar building programme. At the end of 1951, a third ship was ordered from Molotovsk. The programme was quite expensive; on 28 August 1951 Admiral Kuznetsov, who had only recently returned from exile in the Pacific Fleet, told Stalin that these ships were not worth building. Remarkably, he did not suffer for his audacity. No one else supported Kuznetsov, and every effort was made to speed up work. The builders promised to launch the lead ship on the eve of the anniversary of the Revolution, 6 November 1953; in fact by the end of 1952 it was clear that work was five to six months behind schedule. The ships were cancelled soon after Stalin died in March 1953.

    In 1954 part of the hull of the lead ship, including the citadel, was launched for use as a target. Trials the following year apparently proved that the protective design would have worked.

Ship protection: 180mm main belt between end barbettes was inclined at 15° and was extended from middle deck to 1.7m under lwl. It was closed by 140mm fore and 125mm aft bulkheads. CT had 260mm sides and 100mm roof. Inside the citadel there were 50mm upper, 75mm middle and 20mm lower decks. Outside citadel these decks had 20-8, 50 and 10mm thickness. Turrets had 240mm faces, 225mm sides, 125mm roofs and 760-40mm rears. Underwater protection included 4 longitudinal bulkheads: first flat 15-8mm-thick, 2nd (25-8mm) and 3rd (50mm) had cylindrical form, 4th (30-15mm) was also flat. This protection was designed to resist the explosion of 400-500kg TNT.

 

© Ivan Gogin, 2015