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Kronshtadt Class Battlecruiser (Project 69)

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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The Kronshtadt class (Project 69) were a class of battlecruisers ordered for the Soviet Navy in the late 1930s. In the Soviet Union they were called "heavy cruisers" or thyazholyi kreyser.

Two ships were started, but none were completed due to World War II. These ships had a complex and prolonged design process which was hampered by the imprisonment of most of the design team due to Stalin's Purges. Germany sold the Soviet Union six surplus twin 15-inch (380 mm) gun turrets, similar to those used in the Bismarck-class battleships. Rearming these ships with the German weapons was considered, known as Project 69I, but no turrets were actually delivered.

Only one hull of the pre-war Kronshtadt class survived the conflict intact and was about 10% complete in 1945. She was judged obsolete and a new design was begun to take war experience and new technology into account. The new design was ordered as the Project 82 Stalingrad-class battlecruiser but was also never completed.

Ships of the Class

Kronshtadt - built by Baltic Shipyard Leningrad - laid down 15 July 1939 - Scrapped 1948

Sevastopol - built by Marti Yard, Nikolaev - laid down 1939 - incomplete hull captured by the Germans in 1941 and scrapped

General Characteristics
Type: Battlecruiser
Displacement: 35,240 tons standard; 41,539 tons full load
Length: 250 m
Beam: 31.6 m
Propulsion: 3 shafts, geared steam turbines, 12 boilers, 201,000 hp
Speed: 32 knots
Range: 8300 nm at 14 knots
Complement:1837

Armament:
* 9 - 12 inch guns (3 × 3)
* 8 - 6 inch guns (4 × 2)
* 8 - 100 mm AA guns (4 × 2)
* 28 - 37 mm AA guns, (7 × 4

Armour:
* 230 mm belt
* 305 mm turrets
* 330 mm barbettes
* 330 mm conning tower
* 90 mm deck

Aircraft carried: 2 Beriev KOR-1 seaplanes
Aviation facilities: 1 catapult

Kronshtadt is also spelled Kronstadt and Cronstadt.

Artist's impressions of Kronshtadt-class battlecruiser and line drawings of both the Project 69 and Project 69I configurations.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronshtadt_class_battlecruiser
 

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Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Proposed completion of Kronshtadt as an aircraft carrier, Project 69AB, but the hull was scrapped in 1948.
 

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Grey Havoc

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Triton said:
Germany sold the Soviet Union six surplus twin 15-inch (380 mm) gun turrets, similar to those used in the Bismarck-class battleships. Rearming these ships with the German weapons was considered, known as Project 69I, but no turrets were actually delivered.

I found it interesting that there were actually such turrets surplus. From the looks of things they were originally built for the first battlecruiser (designated as Schlachtkreuzer O, assigned construction no. 265) ordered in the Kriegsmarine O class. The actual manufacture of the turrets was probably in the 1940/41 timeframe.

Overall construction of the 3 ships of the O class was suspended prior to laying down of the kneels (indefinitely as it turned out) sometime around late 1940, so the sale of the turrets to the Soviet Union was probably suggested then, with the actual sale agreed as part of the German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement of January 1941, or in follow up negotiations to the same.

It seems to me that the entire sale was just a ploy by the Nazis to help allay Soviet suspicions about their true intentions, and that they never had any intention of actually delivering the turrets, especially since construction of the O class was only supposed to be merely suspended.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-class_battlecruiser
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/38_cm_SK_C/34_naval_gun
 

gollevainen

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Here is my inturpteration of the Kronstads:
BC%20Kronshtadt.png
 

eltf177

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royabulgaf said:
How were these turrets to be transported from Germany to the USSR?

I've always suspected that no such transfer was intended, it was empty talk. The incomplete heavy cruiser Lutzow _was_ transferred but missing enought equipment to insure the Soviets could never operate her (she was used as a floating battery).
 

Abraham Gubler

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royabulgaf said:
How were these turrets to be transported from Germany to the USSR?

Like verything else that is very big and heavy. By barge.
 

Sea Skimmer

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Some proper cargo ships also existed which could move turrets during the war, including one Japan built which could move one 46cm turret, turntable and three guns all at the same named Kashino. She became an ammunition ship once her turret moving days were ended.
http://static.hlj.com/images/pit/pitspr-08.jpg

The diameter of big gun turrets is not so overwhelming that you can't fit them on a freighter deck, the key thing is just having enough bracing for strength and ballast for stability. Having a crane massive enough to lift the ever larger and heavier WW2 era turrets was probably the larger problem then equipping freighters for transport. Some of the cranes the US used for the Iowa class turrets were not in fact rated for the weight by a few tons; this is with all armor and guns removed, but the lifts went ahead anyway as required and with fingers crossed.
 

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