Few ocean giants — “Rurik”, Gromoboy and Rossiya, though it presented a menace to navigation “ancestral enemy” — Britain in the case seemed such a possible war, but the scale of such threats were clearly insufficient. Three ships, even very powerful, did not make the weather. Cruisers need to have a lot; this postulate was confirmed by the experience of past wars and the logic has not yet occurred.


Therefore, the leadership of the Russian fleet simultaneously with the construction of the cruisers decided to join the ranks of future raiders of cheaper armored units. In 1894, the Naval Technical Committee (MTK) announced a competition to design a new “hunter”. The initial task included a fair-sized ship, with a displacement of “not more than 8 thousand tons” of weapons from^Zara 8-Dujmovic and eight 120-mm skorostrel. The highlight was their location: in the nose and stern had to fire at least half of artillery.
The contest is successfully completed, gave out awards to domestic engineers I. Bubnova, Coromaldi L., H. Schlesinger and P. Veshkurtsev (each of them subsequently left his name in the history of shipbuilding), but… to implement their projects and were not going to. Long dormant Navy Department suddenly decided “to drive horses” at full speed: in March 1895, the designers of the Baltic plant have been ordered to urgently proceed with the development of the cruiser based on the British “astrei”. So quickly that it was ordered to pass the stage of the blueprints and immediately draw the final version!
This race in the absence of proper experience (which is simply nowhere to take: single representatives of the “fleet of samples” were created randomly, on a completely different principles, and that a significant part of their foreign drafts) could hardly give good results. Indeed, the miracle did not happen. Although the tonnage of Russian raider dropped slightly (up to 6,700 t), the original is quite powerful for such a case the arms of a pair of 8-Dujmovic, four 6-Dujmovic and six 120-millimetrovogo undergone a number of changes, at each of which the power of fire… gradually decreased. Vosmidesyati gave way to the six-inch and 120-mm guns — less useful 75 mm. In the result of a fairly larger ships, received the names of ancient goddesses Diana, Pallada and Aurora had a strange set of eight 152-mm guns and two dozen “mine” trehdyuymovok, little useful in combat, cruising, and sinking merchant ships. And the situation when this many “collection” might need a lone raider for protection from destroyers, generally difficult to imagine.
To improve the seaworthiness Board made high, and even added the lofty forecastle. However, the main feature of the cruiser — speed left much to be desired. And it is very mildly. Moreover, in the project it is limited to 20 nodes (and this is when the build battleships could already develop 18, and some more). Tests revealed a sad fact: the newest water-tube boilers give steam even in excess, the car showed abuse of power by 10% compared to contract, overload was within the then limits, but the speed was almost a knot less! He said the most a hurry: package models poverty tests in the testing tank are proposed pool when were built. In General, all the innovations were either a little useful or just fanciful as three-shaft machinery installation, selected only because “all German cruiser trevisovia”.
Among the more successful innovations include the deck armour of Nickel steel new French production, the designation “extra gentle”. In fact, the steel of this brand in a few years came the ships of all countries. In General, the main illness of our shipbuilding industry at that time — the long duration of construction, — put a final end to future raiders. The last unit of the series, the future of “revolution” — “Aurora” was launched in mid-1903, when most high-speed cruisers have progressed to 5 knots more “menacing dogs”. No wonder the experts handed “goddesses” biting unflattering characteristics, arguing that from the then steamers they differ… Yes the lower speed pair of six-inch.
In fact, the project had substantial reserves of weapons, which in the end failed to prove, by establishing the “Aurora,” some 130-mm guns. However, this occurred too late: by the time the war ended.
In December, 1897, at the apartment of the sea Minister, held a secret meeting, which was attended by many prominent admirals. The fate of our far East fleet, which has quite clearly had to compete with the Japanese. Particular attention was drawn to the plight of the truly with the cruisers. According to the norms of that time on a battleship in the squadron should have at least two cruisers, and in fact the proportion was reverse. So as a result of the “last supper” was the decision to build as many as two dozen cruisers, scouts, equally two types in 6000 and 3000 tons displacement.
It is clear that domestic shipyards, and so painted for some years forward, could not cope with the order. Therefore, it was decided to build the ships abroad.
As the prototype in the Naval Ministry chose the most powerful in this class, the enemy ships — the cruiser “Kasagi” and “Chitose”, very similar to armstrongism the Champions, but built in the United States. In order to standardize the mixture is too heavy, in the opinion of specialists, vospityvat and too light 120-millimetrovogo was replaced with a uniform armament of twelve six-inch guns. Their location and General layout of the case, the number of boilers and type of cars decided to leave at the discretion of the developers.
Followed by an endless contest in which the first and second place among the “shestidesyatnikov” took the German project companies “Germany” and “Volcano”, deservedly received their orders. Since the third place also belonged to the Germans (the company “sihou”), created a curious situation: in this country, could build a cruiser fleet for Russia (there was also supposed to order a 3000-ton “Novik”), But then the Americans intervened in the face of the company “crump and sons”, who created a Japanese cruiser. Her head personally arrived to St. Petersburg and literally shook the elbows of competitors, having a seductive order, although the project took more than a modest second place. Their influence and seductive price: crump promised to put his “product” cheaper than other contestants.
As a result, after 2.5 years (best foreign firms built quickly) Russian Navy received three units, which had a much more differences than similarities. Suffice it to say that were all different number of pipes: more than five had the “Askold”, kempowski “Varyag” received one less, and “volkanovski” “hero” dovolstvovatsya three. But much more significant was the differences in location and protection of artillery. To become the head of “Vikings” on Board at the same time could shoot only 6 of the 12 six-inch guns; moreover, they had no cover, even light shields.
Many experts of that time, including such respected as S. O. Makarov, believed that if you can not provide invulnerability gun installations, it is better not to have any protection, to reduce the size of vulnerable targets. It could have made sense when firing armor-piercing projectiles with a large slowdown, but became disastrous when you use bombs of a new sample with a large number of strong explosives and a detonator triggered by contact with any obstacle. (Unfortunately, that such missiles were used by our opponents.) The rest of the cruisers have not had such “holes”.
On the “Askold” artillery was located more successful and covered by boards, but the most progressive in this respect was the “hero”. Four of his 12 six-inch was located in two towers of the Russian draft in the bow and stern, and of the remaining four — in armored casemates, and the rest in shields. As a result of his broadside one-third exceeded wargowsky. However, as in other countries, the first two-gun turret medium caliber had a lot of flaws and was susceptible to “childhood diseases”. What’s all the “foreigners” were at the height, so it is in the high-speed characteristics. They test significantly exceeded 24 knots, becoming the most speed and large cruisers of the time. But it is not all was smooth: installed in the “Varyag” difficult to operate boilers Niklass were often damaged; the disorder was observed in the machines. The result soon after the entry into operation has begun repairs, but before the death of the ship and failed to finally lead in the original “record” state.
73. Armored cruiser “Oleg” (Russia, 1904)
Built in the New Admiralty in St. Petersburg. Displacement 6645 t, length of maximum 134,0 m, width 16.6 m, draught of 6.25 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam engine triple expansion installation of 26,000 HP, speed 23 KTS. Booking: deck 33 mm (bevels 53-68 mm), cylinders of all cars of 88 mm, towers mm 127-88, casemates 83 mm, feed of ammunition 63-76 mm, cutting 140 mm. Armament: twelve 152/45-mm and twelve 75-mm rapid-fire guns, eight 47-mm and two 37-mm small-calibre, two 380-mm torpedo tubes. Just 1902-1907 years built 4 units: “hero” (at the shipyard Vulkan in Germany), “Oleg”, “Ochakov” (renamed “Cahul”), “Cahul” (renamed “Memory of mercury”), “Oleg” and “hero” participated in the Russian-Japanese-Russian war; the 1st world war rearmed sixteen 130-mm guns and four 75 mm anti-aircraft guns Pender; could carry up to 100 min. “Cahul” and “Memory of mercury” also rearmed (twelve 130-mm, two 75-mm anti-aircraft) and participated actively in the fighting on the Black sea. “Oleg”, sunk by British torpedo boat in June 1919, “Cahul” in 1920 went with the white Navy in Bizerte; scrapped; “Memory of mercury” after the revolution and the Civil war, restored and incorporated into the Soviet fleet under the name “Komintern”. Damaged by German aircraft, sunk in July 1942.
74. Armored cruiser “Askold” (Russia, 1901)
Built in Germany by the company “Krupp-Germany”. A displacement of 5900 tons, maximum length of 131.2 m, width 15.0 m, draught of 6.22 m. the three-shaft Power of steam-powered machinery installation triple action 20 450 HP, speed of 23.5 KTS. Booking: deck 40 mm (bevels 75 mm), feeding ammunition 37 mm, cutting 152 mm Armament: twelve 152/45-mm and twelve 75-mm rapid-fire guns, two landing 63,5-mm Baranovsky guns, eight 47-mm and three 37-mm small-caliber, six 380-mm torpedo tubes. His team sunk 9 Feb 1904, raised by the Japanese. Participated in the Russo-Japanese and 1st world war. After the revolution of 1917 captured by the British in 1918, and sailed under the British flag called “glory IV.” Scrapped in 1921
75. Armored cruiser “Aurora” (Russia, 1903)
Built in the New Admiralty in St. Petersburg. Displacement, 6650 tons, length of maximum 126,69 m, a width of 16.76 m, draught of 6.43 m. Capacity three-shaft machinery installation steam triple expansion 12 000 HP, speed 19 KTS. Booking: deck 51 mm (bevels 76 mm), feeding ammunition 37 mm, cutting 152 mm Armament: eight 152/45-mm and twenty-four 75-mm rapid-fire guns, eight 37-mm small-caliber, three 380-mm torpedo tubes. Only in 1902 — 1903 built 3 units: “Aurora”, “Pallada” and “Diana”. Participants of the Russian-Japanese war; “Pallada” sunk by siege artillery in Port Arthur, raised by the Japanese, served as a training ship under the name “Tsugaru”, excluded from the lists in 1923. “Diana” and “Aurora” interned, returned after the war to Russia and participated in the 1st world war. Artillery weapons are reinforced to fourteen 152 mm (“Aurora”) or ten 130-mm (“Diana”) guns. Diana scrapped in 1922, Aurora was upgraded in 1916-1917, (see picture on the 4th page of the cover); now used as a Museum.

The benefits of “Heroes” to their “cousins” seemed so obvious that it reasonably chose as a reference to build further “shestidesyatnikov” at domestic shipyards. It is on the model in 1901 in St. Petersburg laid the “hero”, however, finished almost half of the body was burned in a fire that broke out in a wooden shed. Instead, he immediately began the construction of “Oleg”, but to complete it by the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war failed. Another two units laid on the Black sea, but they are also very lucky. Almost ready Ochakov in November, 1905, came under fire from Russian guns: at the outbreak of the uprising under the leadership of P. Schmidt was quickly suppressed, but the ship completely burnt out and on his recovery took almost 4 years. “Disgraced” the name was replaced with “Cahul”, for some reason, subtracting it from his “brother”, which, in turn, was renamed the “Memory of mercury”, the Traditional protracted has led to the fact that the fleet both became established only in 1907 — 1908 years, in very different times, from the point of view of technique and tactics.
So far not a triumphant fate of our “shestidesyatnikov”. In the course of construction they were criticized, however, not quite fair: they are clearly superior to the “goddesses” for all combat characteristics, had good speed and strong arms.
In parallel, they were built and small, 3000-ton scouts. It is clear that such a displacement could not manage to accommodate and a powerful artillery, high speed and thick armor, but still had the requirement of a sufficiently long range! However, a well-known manufacturer of light ships (especially destroyers and torpedo boats), the German firm “shihou”, able to manage conflicting requirements. She built the “Novik” on the test was able to reach 26 knots — a phenomenal result for 1901.
The British criticized the new Russian cruiser, and… immediately started to build a similar to his scouts. Two years later appeared “Novik” Russian production — Zhemchug and Izumrud, which repeated all the features of its predecessor. Unfortunately, they had to experience and bring in extra preparation for the transition to the far East in the 2nd Pacific squadron, and they were overwhelmed and not so fast.
However, even less speed was the fourth small scout, “Lord”. Country selection and construction place — Danish capital Copenhagen — seems very strange unless you remember that the Dowager Empress-mother Maria Fyodorovna, Princess Dagmar, lived in a time there. The Danes have made every effort, but their cruiser inferior to the German in the course of 4 knots, with no any significant advantages in other elements.
Despite some diversity caused by the construction in different countries, the Russian squadron scouts, both large and small, the idea was a good ship. The main and perhaps the only drawback was our traditional disease — timeliness. Instead, ten large cruisers to the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war in the ranks there were only 3 “goddess”, “Vikings”, “Askold” and “hero”, and of the same planned number of small scouts only the “Novik” and the slower “Lord”. “6-thousanders” considerably exceeded the power of any Japanese armored cruiser, except that their prototypes “Chitose” and “Kasagi”.
So when “Varyag” trapped neutral Korean port of Chemulpo, which became the site of the first Japanese landing, the enemy has paid special attention to it. 4th combat unit Admiral Uriu, consisting of four cruisers, we had to strengthen the fifth armored “Asami”, much more powerful than a Russian ship. However, the commander of the “Varyag” V. F. Rudnev brought him together with the gunboats “Korean” in an unequal battle. In terms of long and narrow fairway, besides the mutual support associated with the 12-node “Korean”, our cruiser has not given the full course (which he could hardly sustain due to a failure in a mechanical setting). He got a few hits, which caused heavy losses among the personnel, especially among workers unprotected artillery, then Rudnev decided to return to the roadstead where the ship was scuttled by the crew. Our sailors took on Board foreign STA-tionery. In Russia all returned knights of St. George: such a bright episode in the beginning of the war set off the continuous failures of the fleet and army.
These failures occurred and the share of Russian cruisers. “Dasha” and “Alaska” as familiarly called “goddesses” “Diana” and “Pallada” sailors, was in Port Arthur, and “PAL-Lada” became one of the victims of treacherous attack by the Japanese destroyers attacked the night before war was declared. Her repairs lasted until the surrender of the fortress; siege artillery sunk the cruiser fell into the hands of the Japanese and served another 17 years as “Tsugaru”. “Diana” together with the Navy tried to break the siege, but the result was in Saigon, where I had interned until the end of the war. The same fate befell the “Askold”, managed in the same battle to take advantage of its high speed and successfully pass several of the enemy troops, who even did not manage to fire him. Speed helped and “Novik”, also famously started the breakthrough. Unlike other Russian cruisers scattered neutral ports and internetoffice there, he, as required by the order and duty, went to Vladivostok. However, at the southern end of Sakhalin during Parking in the port of Korsakov he was overtaken by Japanese cruiser “Tsushima”, armed with six-inch. In the battle both ships were damaged, but the “Novik” has suffered so much, that the team had to blow it up and leave. In the end, he then was raised and became “Japanese”. Another trophy, the cruiser “Suzuya” served in the land of the rising sun to the end of his career in 1913. “Lord” in the beginning of the war, covering mine production, was undermined on own mine and sank.
So with heroic surges (but without much sense) from the game lost all our cruisers stationed in the far East. But hecatombs were not completed. The unfortunate part of the 2nd Pacific squadron, sent on the connection with the blocked Port Arthur 1st, joined the rest of the ships have just entered into operation on 6 th “Oleg” small scouts “Emerald” and “Pearl”, and stuck at home, “Aurora”. The morning after the battle of Tsushima with the remnants of the squadron remained the only “Emerald”; the remaining 3 of their cruisers commanded by rear-Admiral Enkvist took to the Philippines, who were then an American possession. There they had to disarm: not honorable and not valiantly, but they managed to save the ships for Russia.
The captain of the “Emerald” Fersen and his staff showed their best side. When many Japanese troops surrounded a few badly beaten Russian battleships under the command of Admiral Nebogatoff, forcing him to raise the white flag, “Emerald” gave full speed and passed by the enemy, ignoring the fact that he could pursue almost two dozen cruisers. The Japanese was too late and quickly fell behind. However, Fersen was afraid to go straight to Vladivostok: the enemy, which now appeared to be completely free hand, might have to wait for him at their base. The result was sad. Upon entering the poorly understood unsociable Bay cruiser is firmly seated on the ground. After unsuccessful attempts to refloat it had to blow up the ship, which would be no less a standard of courage and resilience than the “Varyag”, adorning the end of this tragic war for Russia.
Lucky only silent and invisible “Aurora”. During the second, Bolshevik, revolution of 1917, the cruiser was under capital repairs and refurbishing in St. Petersburg.
Is not easily conducted along the Neva river close to the last stronghold of the Provisional government, the Winter Palace, he gave the signal for the performance of the armed forces of the Reds. Contrary to have arisen out of nothing legend, “Aurora” do not shoot in the Palace, giving only one single shot from the bow gun, which did not prevent the ship to become a real symbol of the October revolution. His image (more or less similar) was printed in billions of copies on a variety of items ranging from matchboxes. So noisy campaign has clearly played a positive role: cruiser safely survived until our days. In the 80 years it almost completely replaced the underwater part that caused a lot of protests, but without this measure it would have been unlikely to survive the devastation of the 90s and remain the only being afloat the ship of the Russian-Japanese war.

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