We have already talked about several episodes of the British cruisers, latecomers to participate in fighting the Great (First world) war. But the “mistress of the seas” and are not left alone. The others made where large and absurd mistakes, remained throughout the five years of war entirely without much-needed combat units, which are then rebuilt “into the void”, or even never born.
If English “losers” become established due to excessive diligence of the Admiralty, it is a sad situation with cruisers in Russia have largely been the result of indecision and inconsistency of a management of the fleet and the country. The original “swing” seemed to be very impressive. Adopted shortly after the unfortunate Russo-Japanese war, a Large shipbuilding program provided for the return of the country to the club of leading naval powers in the world within 10 to 15 years, and was supposed to build ships exclusively in the domestic shipyards. On each of the seas was supposed to be a powerful homogeneous squadron of four dreadnoughts — battle cruisers or battleships, four light cruisers and 36 destroyers. However, to implement such extensive plans and had no money, no shipbuilding capacity. To replace a Large program came more modest Mala. But in 1912, when the threat of war has become quite distinct forms, Small was replaced by a program of so-called enhanced shipbuilding in 1912 — 1916. In the final “enhanced” version on the Baltic sea was provided by a team of four light cruisers, while the Black sea was considered sufficient to have only a few.
All would be nice, but is full of debates about these strategic plans, the real deal the design of the cruisers departed on the second plan. Work began in late 1907, when Colonel I. A. Gavrilov introduced the Maritime headquarters of the first version of the sketch, a light cruiser. I must say that after the Russo-Japanese war actions against enemy communications is clearly relegated to second, if not third plan. New ships were intended for operations in the combat squadrons, primarily reconnaissance, patrols, and repel light torpedo attacks of enemy forces and support their destroyers. According to the officers, this would require accelerating the development of such characteristics as the speed and cruising range, even to the detriment of artillery armament and booking. In accordance with the above installations, the displacement of the cruiser should not exceed 4500 so it was Assumed that he would have three or four turbines with a total capacity of 29 000 HP and a speed of 28 knots. Very curious looked armament, consisting of one 203-mm guns in the tower and six 120-millimetrovogo in three twin tower installations, supplemented by two torpedo tubes. Protection was limited to a thin 25 mm armour deck.
At first the work went very successfully. The meeting of the Admiralty Board decided to develop three version of the light cruiser. The first option was based on the development Gavrilova the only difference is that a solitary vosmidesyati replaced by another 120-mm gun, making a new cruiser in the likeness of a faster and more far “Pearls” of the early XX century. Much more solid look of the second option, which provided for the reservation side and the strengthening of the artillery another 203-mm gun in the turret and bringing the number of 120-mm guns to twelve with the location of the twin towers or the dungeons. The rate of the cruiser increased to 29 knots. The third option resembled the second, but with a limited displacement of 6000 tons, due to partial “surrender of positions” in the reservation and weaponry.
And then typing course train design dropped a couple. Quite interesting the projects were implemented even on paper very slowly. Affected by the numerous revisions of the shipbuilding programs and the utilization of engineers priority projects of turbine destroyers and battleships.
It was year after year, and none of the projects were never completed. Only in 1910, with the advent of the chief inspector of shipbuilding, the famous shipbuilder A. N. Krylov develop light cruisers continued. As the primary elected “maximum” the second option, increasing its speed to 30 knots and armour side up to 75 mm. But military officials and ship builders could not stop. In the middle of 1910 to facilitate the cruiser decided to weaken the side armor, though at this time the British and the Germans finally abandoned armored units. In the debate, and the debate another year has passed. To compensate for the lack of side armor, Naval staff has proposed to significantly strengthen the artillery armament of the cruiser, setting twelve long-barreled 152-mm guns in four treforedling towers. And this despite the agreed vehicles speed in 32 knots!
The idea itself was truly revolutionary: a similar pattern and speed, the British implemented their “cities” only in the mid 1930-ies. However, the chances to implement it in Russia in 1911 is practically not available, and the design had to start again, passing the same road again in a circle. Tower has decided to replace a combination of deck and casemate installations, but to increase the speed to fantastic for that time of 34 knots. The sailors wanted at the same time to get the ship, with improved seakeeping that is a high case, and even with icebreaking contours of the bow and stern extremities. And again one wishes clashed with the other, slowing the decision about the beginning of construction.