Ships Armageddon (Part 1)

History linkornogo Fleet, construction, battle and death, "the Empress Maria" and linkorna "Novorossiysk".

The battleship "Empress Maria"

Displacement: 23,413 tons
Dimensions: length — 168 m, width — 27.43 m, draft — 9 pm
Maximum travel speed: 21.5 knots.
Range: 2,960 miles at 12 knots.
Powerplant: 4 screws, 33,200 hp
: Deck — 25-37 mm, the tower — 125-250 mm, 100 mm casemates, cutting — 250-300 mm.
Armament: 4×3 305-mm turret, 20 130 mm, 5 75-mm guns, 4,450-mm torpedo tubes.
The crew of 1386 people.

History of ship:
The reinforcement of the Black Sea fleet with new ships of the line was due to Turkey's intention to acquire overseas three modern battleship Dreadnought type that would be immediately provided them with an advantage of the vast Black Sea. To maintain the balance of power Russian Navy Department insisted on strengthening Eager Black Sea Fleet. To speed up the construction of battleships building type and main design decisions are taken in the main from the experience, and the standard laid down in 1909 in St. Petersburg, 4 battleships of "Sevastopol". A similar approach has permitted greatly accelerate the development of strategic and tactical assignments for new capital ships of the Black Sea to the Black Sea on the battleships and fled pros such as three-gun turrets, is rightly considered a remarkable achievement Russian technology.

The bet was made on an extensive verbovanie bank capital and private entrepreneurship. Construction of dreadnoughts (and other ships of the Black applets) commissioned two private factories in Nikolaev (ONZiV and Russud). Preference is given project Russud that "with the permission of" the Ministry of Marine led a group of prominent, who were on a real ship's service engineers. As a result, Russud received an order for two ships, the third (in his drawings) tasked to build ONZiV.

June 11, 1911 simultaneously with the official ceremony bookmark the new ships have been enrolled in the lists of the fleet under the names of "Empress Maria", "Ruler of Alexander III" and "Empress Catherine majestic. "In connection with the decision to equip the lead ship as a flagship, all ships of a series order of the Secretary of the Navy, Ivan Grigorovich was ordered to call ships of" The Mary. "

Hull construction and reservation system "Black Sea" in the main match of the Baltic dreadnoughts, but some have been finalized. On the "Empress Marie" had 18 major transverse bulkheads. 20 water-tube boilers fueled the triangular type turbine units worked for four propeller shaft with brass screws with a diameter 2.4 m (speed, with 21-knot speed of 320 rev / min). The total capacity of the ship's power plant was 1,840 kW.

According to the agreement of 31 March 1912, signed by the Marine Department of the factory Russud, "the Empress Maria" followed into the water not later than July. Full readiness of the ship (presentment for acceptance testing) was planned for August 20, 1915, four months set aside for the tests themselves. Such highest rate, not inferior to the rate of the leading European companies, which were practically sustained: the plant, under construction, and pulled the boat on the water Oct. 6, 1913. Tightly to the approaching war has forced, despite the sad experience of the past, to lead the development of working drawings directly to the construction of ships.

How annoying would it not seem, on the progress of work affects not only the growth of diseases of plants that were built for the first time such large ships, and so appropriate for the Russian ship "improvement" is already under construction, leading to an overload beyond the design that exceeded 860 tons . As a result, apart from the growth precipitation of 0.3 m, was formed and offensive trim on the nose. In other words, the ship "took a pig." Fortunately, a meaningful rise in the bow deck it conceals. Brought a lot of excitement and order in the UK turbines, accessories, propeller shafts and stern tube devices placed at the factory, John Brown Russud society. The air smelled of gunpowder, and only by sheer luck "Empress Maria" was able to get their turbines in May 1914, delivered to slip through the straits British steamer. Palpable failure of counterparty delivery by November 1914 forced the ministry to accept the new terms of readiness of ships, "the Empress Mary"In March and April 1915. All forces were sent to the early introduction of" Mary "in the system. For her, as agreed plants builders handed received from Putilov machines 305 mm guns and electrical equipment towers.

Approved by 11 January 1915 a complete set wartime command of Empress Maria was prescribed 30 conductors and 1,135 enlisted men (out of 194 enlistees), which were combined into eight ships mouth. In April-July, with new orders of the commander of the fleet have added another 50, and the number of officers brought up to 33.

And then came the unique, always crowded troubles special day, when the ship was starting an independent life, away from the waterfront factory. By the evening of June 23, 1915 after the consecration of the ship, raising over Ingul raid sprinkled holy water on the flag, a jack and a pennant, "Empress Maria" started the company. Deepest NIGHT MODE 25 June, apparently to pass the river before dark, cast off, and at 4 am the battleship passed the turn. In readiness to repel a torpedo attack, passing Adzhigolsky lighthouse, the ship entered the Ochakivs'kyi raid. The next day had a test firing, and 27, under the protection of aircraft, destroyers and minesweepers battleship arrived in Odessa. With all of this major naval forces to form three bands cover (directly to the Bosphorus!), Held in the sea.

By taking 700 tons of coal, days of June 29 "Empress Maria" came out in the sea just behind the cruiser Memory of Mercury and 5:00 am on June 30 met a major naval forces …

Sluggishness in the minds of his own greatness and significance of the moment, set "Empress Maria" at Sevastopol raid days of June 30, 1915. And the jubilation that gripped the city in one day and the fleet was like, sure, the general joy of the happiest days in November 1853, when the same raid after his brilliant victory at Sinop vorachivalas flagged PS Nakhimov 84-gun "Empress Maria." The entire fleet was looking forward to the time when Empress Maria went out to sea, beyond sweep away much ostochertevshih "Gebena" and "Breslau". Even those expectations, "Mary" was given the role of the first favorite of the fleet.

What are the changes in the balance of power in the sea has brought the entry into service, "the Empress Maria," as it has changed from the beginning of the war and what impact has had on the construction of the next ship? Very grave situation before the war, when the Black Sea was expected occurrence is kitted out in the UK to sail Turkish dreadnoughts, and remained tense after the United Kingdom has not released the ships ordered by the Turks. The lates
t and the real danger is now represented by the German battle cruiser "Goeben" and the cruiser "Yureslau" because of political maneuvering to the British Admiralty either because of its own phenomenal vezuchesti smogshy cheat the allied Anglo-French naval forces and burst through the Dardanelles. Now this superiority "Empress Maria" eliminated, and the entry into service the following battleships gave the obvious advantage the Black Sea Fleet. Also changed the values and the pace of construction of ships. The outbreak of war in particular has escalated the need for destroyers, submarines and necessary for future operations Bosphorus amphibious vehicles. Their orders halt the construction of battleships.

On the "Empress Maria" did their best to speed up the start with the departure of the program from Nikolaev acceptance tests. For almost all, of course, had to close my eyes and, relying on the commitment of the plant, to delay the elimination of defects in the time after the formal acceptance of the ship. So there is not enough prirekany system caused aerorefrizheratsii cellars ammunition. It turned out that all the "cold", regularly produced by the "chiller" absorbed warms up the electric fans that instead of a theoretical "cold" were driven into the cellar of ammunition its heat. Forced jittery and turbines, but how much, or significant problems failed.

July 9 battleship entered drydock in the Sevastopol port for inspection and colors of the underwater hull. Directly measured the bearing clearances stern tube and propeller shaft mounting. After 10 days, when the ship was in dry dock, the Commission has started to test submarine torpedo tubes. Following the withdrawal of the battleship from the dock devices tested shooting. They were all taken by the Commission.

August 6, 1915 the battleship Empress Maria went out to sea to test mine-caliber artillery. On board was the commander of the Black Sea Fleet A.A.Ebergard. Shooting from the 130-mm guns, was carried on the move 15 — 18 knots and was completed successfully. August 13th selection committee met on board the battleship testing devices. Battleship withdrew from the barrel and out to sea. Mean draft vessel was 8.94 meters, which corresponds to 24,400 tons displacement. By 4 hours of day or turbine speed was adjusted to 300 per minute and started the three-hour test of the ship at full speed. Battleship committed tacks between Cape Ai-Todor and Mount Ayu-Dag, a distance of 5 — 7 miles from the coast deep water. At 7:00 pm test devices at full capacity and were completed on August 15 at 10 am, the battleship returned to Sevastopol. The Commission noted that during 50 hours of continuous main and auxiliary machinery operated satisfactorily and the commission had found probable take them to the treasury. In the period from 19 to 25 August, the Commission adopted the treasury torpedo tubes, all the ship's systems, dewatering equipment and capstan device.

By August 25 reception tests completed, although finishing the ship lasted for many months. As directed by the commander of the fleet to fight by the head had to reduce the ammo 2-nasal towers (from 100 to 70 shots) and the bow of 130 mm guns (from 245 to 100 shots).

Everyone knew that with the entry into service of the Empress Maria "Goeben" with no last need now from the Bosporus will not work. Fleet managed systematically and on a larger scale to solve their strategic tasks. At the same time for rapid action in the sea, saving administrative brigade structure, formed by several mobile temporary connections, named agile teams. The first group included "The Mary" and the cruiser "Cahul" with distinguished for their protection destroyers. This organization allows (with the assistance of submarines and aircraft) to produce more effective blockade of the Bosphorus. Exclusively in the September-December 1915 maneuverable out of 10 times to the shores of the enemy and spent 29 days at sea: Bosphorus Zunguldak, Novorossiysk, Batumi, Trabzon, Varna, Constanta at all the shores of the Black Sea could create then prostrate on the water very long and chunky silhouette of the battleship's stern.

And yet capture "Gebena" remained blue dream of the entire crew. Not just have to remember officers Mary unkind word Admiralty control together with the Minister of AS Voevodskii, cut off from their ship at least the last 2 knots progress in the preparation of project tasks, leaving no hope for the success of the chase.

Information on exit "Breslau" for the latest diversion from Novorossiisk were received on July 9, and the new commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral AV Kolchak once on "Empress Maria" was released into the sea. Everything was going perfectly. The course and time to Breslau were known intercept point is calculated without error. Seaplanes, seeing off "Mary", successfully bombed its way out of the guard submarine UB-7, not allowing her to go on the attack, destroyers, marching in front "Mary" in the target intercept point "Breslau" and tied him fight. Hunt turned on all the rules. Destroyers stubbornly pinned trying to leave the German cruiser to the shore, "Cahul" relentlessly hung on the tail, scaring the Germans own, however, did not reach volleys. "Empress Maria" which developed full speed, had only to choose the correct time for volleys. Or destroyers but were not ready to take on the adjustment of fire "Mary" or economized on her rounds of ammunition Acronym nose turret without risking throwing them at random in that smoke Zahav, which "Breslau" immediately wrapped himself in unsafe close downs shells, but the decisive volley, which would cover the "Breslau" does not go. Forced desperate maneuver (machines, wrote the German historian, was already at the limit of endurance), "Breslau", despite its 27-node speed, inexorably lost in the distance traversed in a straight line, which decreased from 136 to 95 cables. Saved by accident flown flurry. Hidden behind a veil of rain, "Breslau" almost slipped out of the ring of Russian ships and, hugging the shore, jumped into the Bosphorus.

In October 1916 all our homeland was shocked by the news of the death of the new battleship of the Russian Navy, "the Empress Maria." Oct. 20 about a quarter of an hour after the morning rise in men who were in the area of the first tower battleship "Empress Maria" standing together with other ships in Sevastopol Bay, heard the hiss inherent burning gunpowder, and then saw the smoke and flames knocked out of the embrasures towers, manholes and fans Neighborhood her. On the ship played a fire alarm, the sailors carried the fire hoses and began to fill with water turret compartment. At 6 h 20 min violent explosion shook the ship in the cellar of 305-mm charge of the first tower. A column of flame and smoke shot up to a height of 300 meters

When the smoke cleared, has seen a terrible picture of destruction. The explosion threw the deck area behind the first tower, demolished the conning tower, bridge, nasal tube and foremast. In the body of the ship behind the failure of the tower was formed, from which protruded pieces of twisted metal, beaten out the flames and smoke. A huge number of sailors and non-commissioned officers who were in the bow of the ship, were killed, seriously injured, burned and dumped over the side force of the explosion. Smote the steam line of accessories, finished working fire pumps, electric lighting turned off. Then followed a number of small explosions. On the ship were given orders to flooding cellars second, third and fourth towers, taken with a fire hose port boats that approached the battleship.
Putting out the fire lasted. The ship towed launched a lag in the wind.

By 7 o'clock in the morning the fire began to die down, the ship was on rovnenky keel, it seemed that he would be saved. But after two minutes there was another explosion, more powerful than the last. The battleship was rapidly settle nose and nakrenyatsya to starboard. When the nose of the gun ports and disappeared under the water, Battleship, losing stability, capsized and sank the keel up to a depth of 18 m in the nose and 14, 5 m at the rear with a small trim on the nose. Died Mechanical Engineer Warrant Officer Ignatieff, two conductor and 225 sailors.

On another day, October 21, 1916, by train from Petrograd to Sevastopol left for a special commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the battleship "Empress Maria", chaired by Admiral N. Yakovlev. One of its members was appointed General for assignments at the Naval Minister Krylov. Over one and a half weeks of work before the committee went through all the surviving sailors and officers of the battleship "Empress Maria." It was found that the ship served as a prerequisite for the death of the fire, which appeared in the nasal cellar 305mm charges and entailed an explosion of gunpowder and ammunition in it, as the explosion in the cellars of the 130-mm guns and torpedo warhead section. As a result, the board has been destroyed and torn Kingston flooded cellars, and the ship, with enormous destruction decks and bulkheads, sank. Prevent death ship after damage to the outer board, aligning the tilt and trim filling the other sections, it was impossible, because it would take some time.

Having considered the likely prerequisites for a fire in the cellar, the commission braked on 3 more possible: spontaneous combustion of gunpowder, negligence appeal with the fire or by the powder and, in the end, evil intent. Finally, the Commission stated that "come to a clear and evidence-based conclusion is not probable, it is necessary only to assess the possibility of speculation …". Spontaneous combustion of gunpowder and negligence appeal with fire and gunpowder were considered unlikely. At the same time it was noted that on the battleship "Empress Maria" were significant deviations from the requirements of the statute with regard to access to artillery cellar. During the stay in Sevastopol on the battleship worked representatives of different plants, and the amount of up to 150 people a day. The work was done in the cellar slug of the first tower — they made four people with Putilov. In family artisan roll call was not carried out, and checked only the total number of people. The Commission does not exclude the possibility of "bad faith", in fact, saying not a good company service on the battleship, she pointed out, "is comparable to an easy opportunity to bring malice carried out."

In the near future version of "malice" has received the imminent development. Namely, in the work of Elkin stated that the plant "Russud" in Nikolaev during the construction of the battleship "Empress Maria" acted German agents, at the direction of which the sabotage was carried on the ship. But there are many questions. For example, why there was sabotage on the Baltic battleships? After all, the Eastern Front was then the major warring coalitions in the war. In addition, the Baltic battleships previously entered into a line, and of access control for their unlikely l was more severe when they poludostroennymi with a huge number of industrial workers on board at the end of 1914 left Kpon Stadt. Well, the German espionage agents in the imperial capital Petrograd was more developed. That could give the liquidation of the 1st battleship in the Black Sea? Relieve some of the acts "Gebena" and "Breslau"? But by the time the Bosphorus was firmly blocked by Russian minefields and pass it through the German cruiser was considered unlikely. Because a version of "malice" can not be considered entirely proven. Undercover "Empress Maria" as before waiting own clues.

The death of the battleship "Empress Maria" has caused great repercussions in the whole country. Marine Department has begun to develop urgent measures to lift the ship and putting it into operation. Offers Italian and Japanese professionals have been rejected because of the difficulty and overhead. Then Krylov in a note to the Commission for consideration of the draft proposed standard lifting battleship and unique method. He foresaw the rise battleship keel up by the gradual displacement of water from the compartments with compressed air input in such a position in the dock and sealing of all the destruction and side deck. Then completely sealed the ship offered to bring to the deepest place and turn, filling it with water compartments reverse side.

For the implementation of the project Krylov took Sidensner naval architect, senior naval port of Sevastopol. By the end of 1916 all water from the feed compartment was pressed air feed and floated to the surface. In 1917 he swam the entire body. In January-April 1918 ship towed closer to shore and unloaded the remaining ammunition. Exclusively in August 1918, harbor tugs, "Aquarius", "Fit" and "Elizabeth" took the battleship to the dock.

On the battleship lifted 130-mm artillery piece of assistive devices and other equipment, the ship itself in the dock remained in the position until the keel up in 1923 for four years with excessive wood cells, which rested body rotted. Because of the load transfer cracks appeared at the bottom of the dock. "Mary" was taken and put aground at the entrance of the bay, where she stood up keel for another three years. In 1926, the battleship's hull was re-introduced in the dock in the same position in 1927 and completely disassembled. The work done EPRON.

In a rollover crash battleship during the multi-ton tower 305-mm guns, the ship broke down with the military pin and sank. Shortly before the Russian war majestically towers were raised epronovtsami, and in 1939 a 305-mm gun battleship found at Sevastopol on the famous 30th Battery, part of the 1st of coastal defense artillery battalion. Battery heroically defended Sevastopol, June 17, 1942 during the final assault on the town she was fire on the fascist hordes, Belbeksky break into the plain. Having spent all the shells, the battery fired blank cartridges, holding head battle to June 25. So, after more than a quarter of a century after the shooting at Kaiser cruisers "Goeben" and "Breslau" gun battleship "Empress Maria" started talking again, attacking 305-mm shells now on Hitler's forces.

Ships Armageddon (Part 2)

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