Unfortunately, neither “Peresvet” nor “Oslyabya” became those “battleships-cruisers” that the Navy Department wanted to receive. Errors in their design and construction led to the fact that these ships, due to the relatively short range, could not perform the functions of ocean raiders. And yet it is impossible to say that Peresvet turned out to be quite a failure of the ships - they also had some advantages.
We can only welcome the fact that during the discussion of the project, the admirals stopped at an increased (for our fleet) speeds of 18 knots. As a matter of fact, at the time of laying down the “Relight”, this was not a big break even for the battleships - the French were building the eighteen-node Charlemagne, and indeed, from the very beginning of the 1890s, they had been trying to provide such a move to their squadron battleships. The Germans expected to get 17,5 knots from the Kaisers, and the first class British armadillos of the Majestic type were to develop 1 knots with natural draft, with at least 16 expected from them with forced blasting. In fact, some “Majestics” managed to exceed 17 bonds with forced blasting. Well, by the time Peresvet entered service, it was precisely 18 knots that became the speed standard for the line ship, so at least our cruiser armadillos had sufficient speed to interact with the latest armadillos. The high side and the forecastle provided good seaworthiness and conditions for the operation of artillery during unrest.
Of course, in terms of strength and protection, Peresvet was quite mediocre ships, whose fighting qualities only slightly exceeded those of the British battleships of the 2 class. They approximately corresponded to the German squadron battleships, but this can hardly please us, because the capabilities of the Kaiser Friedrichs, with their non-optimal armor protection scheme, and only 240-mm artillery of the main caliber (and far from the best characteristics) more likely corresponded to 2. class of British battleships, rather than 1 th.
But, on the other hand, Peresvet were much cheaper than full-fledged battleships. According to the “General Marine Report for 1897-1900 years” “successor” of “Peresvetov”, the squadron battleship “Victory”, laid down at the Baltic plant in 1898 g, should have cost the treasury 9 535 924 rubles. (in fact, it turned out to be a bit more expensive, 10,05 million), while it was pledged two years later at the same enterprise “Alexander III” (like “Borodino”) was estimated at 13 978 824 rubles. In other words, two battleships of the Borodino type had a cost approximately like the Victory 3. The contrast with the ships laid in foreign shipyards was also quite striking - according to the same “Report”, the cost of building the “Tsarevich” was determined in 14 004 286 rubles, and even the cheapest of all the newest Russian battleships, Retvizan, cost 12 553 277 rub., Also had to become more expensive than the "Victory".
At the same time, being significantly cheaper than full-fledged battleships, Peresvet ships were able to stand in line. Peresvet itself showed good stability in 28 battle in July 1904 g in the Yellow Sea - then 40 shells hit the ship, including 11 - 305-mm, 1 - 254-mm, and one more 254-mm or 305-mm, and the rest - a smaller caliber. Let us dwell a little more on the damage of the armadillo.
"Relight" after the battle 28 July 1904 g
9 shells got into the vertical armor of the hull and, in general, she coped well with the challenges she faced. The 305-mm armor-piercing projectile hit the edge of the 229 mm plate of the armor belt, perhaps, caused the greatest damage: it could not pierce it, but the hard (hardened) layer went cracked and the soft part was bent. The tightness of the side was broken, so that 160 tons of water entered the ship. Three projectiles (of which two were caliber 6-10 dm and another of unknown caliber) hit the 178 mm belt, armor was not broken, but as a result of one of the hits 5 frames and the bulkhead were dented. The shells hit the 178 mm armor plates damaged the copper and wood plating, but this did not lead to a leak and had no effect on the ship’s combat capability. The 102 mm belt took the blows of one 305-mm and two 152-mm projectiles, and the latter did not cause any damage to the armor plates, but at the point of impact the twelve-inch armor broke up - however, the projectile did not enter inside and did not do any other damage. Another 305-mm projectile struck the armored belt under the lower casemates (it is unclear whether it was the 229 mm or the 102 mm belt), but the armor was not broken, although a shell fragment destroyed the 152-mm cannon. One projectile of unknown caliber landed in the casemate’s armor, but could not penetrate it, and this hit did not produce any other consequences.
The main caliber towers had 3 hits. The stern turret was surprisingly small - only one, and most likely small-caliber projectile (this is 75-152-mm, but still, rather, 75-mm) hit the roof of the tower and slightly bent it, fragments penetrated through the viewing slots the commander, why the latter (bent at the moment of hitting) was wounded in the arm. The nasal one suffered much more: one 10-12 dm projectile struck the hinged cover over the right cannon, while the tower did not receive serious damage, but the piercing commander and two commanders who had penetrated into the fragments and injured the other servants. The second projectile (305-mm) also did not pierce the armor, but the mamerinet was bent so that the rotation of the tower turned out to be extremely difficult (the 10 man had difficulty turning it). Not least, the fire control cables and the negotiation tube in the nose tower were broken.
In general, the damage to the nose tower well demonstrates how hard the ship can be damaged, even if its armor was not pierced. The installation of the main-caliber nose guns lost its centralized fire control, it jammed, and the commanders suffered heavy losses. Here we can talk about the almost complete loss of combat effectiveness: of course, the tower could still occasionally shoot "somewhere in the wrong direction", but without a commander and central fire control it was unlikely to have a chance to get into the enemy. On the other hand, if there were no armor, the tower would have been irreparably damaged, and the calculation would most likely have been killed, and the flames could have reached the cellars ... The role of armor in sea battles of the Russian-Japanese war is extremely important, but you should always remember that the battleship could lose its combat capability, even if its armor was not penetrated.
The next example of the above is the only hit in the conning tower, more precisely, in the traversing of the aft conning tower, where a shell of an unidentified (but most likely large) caliber struck. From this blow, the wheelhouse did not suffer at all, the armor fully fulfilled its purpose, but fragments of the projectile crushed the engine hatch and put one of the battleship’s machines out of operation, and only after about half an hour it was able to be put into action. Fortunately for Peresvet, the Russian squadron was on very moderate 13 nodes, which the ship could keep even with two working machines, but had it been different - the ship would have been forced to leave the battle line, with all the ensuing consequences. Another extremely unpleasant hit hit the foremast - 305-mm projectile exploded right in it and knocked out the rangefinder Barr and Strouda, which obviously affected the accuracy of the battleship.
One of the holes of the battleship Peresvet
The rest (more than twenty) hits occurred in the unarmored parts of the ship, but only two of them had a really serious impact. The 305-mm projectile landed almost on the waterline to an unprotected nasal tip, in the galvanic workshop area. Nevertheless, the ship was lucky - in spite of the fact that the bulkheads and the door to the workshop were distended, and the water that poured through the hole washed out everything overboard, yet there was no extensive flooding - it can be considered a miracle that there were no holes in the bulkheads surrounding the compartment . In addition, it turned out that the karapasnaya deck was not pierced, the tightness was not broken, why the water did not go down, and well-established bulkheads limited its distribution horizontally. As if the pre-war calculations, which relied on the ability of the armored decks and sealed compartments to protect the unarmored ends of the ship, were fully confirmed, but ... the second hit of the 305-mm projectile around the same place led to much more trouble. Water penetrated everywhere - in the turret section, bomb cellars and submarine torpedo tubes. In essence, the 25 people who were supplying projectiles and charges to the nasal 254-mm tower were captured by water — they could only get out through the feed pipes. The battleship itself, picking up with the nose of the water, held out in the best way. After shifting the rudder, the ship slowly tilted towards the 7-8 hail in the opposite direction, and kept this roll until the next rudder shifted to another side - the fault was that the water spilled in the nasal compartments of the residential deck and flowed toward the roll. However, when the commander of the ship ordered to counter-flooding the double bottom compartments of the battleship (except for the bow ones), the Peresvet regained its navigability.
In that battle, Peresvet received the greatest number of hits from all the Russian ships, but it was not going to sink or explode, or even just leave the system. Nevertheless, two hits of 305-mm shells into the bow, unarmored part seriously threatened the combat capability of the ship. Fortunately, at that time everything went well, and the crew coped with the problems.
But "Oslyabya" no luck. It is not known how many shells the ship received before its death, however, judging by the available data, there were only three twelve-inch shells - however, they pleased so “in place” that they led to the death of the battleship. It should be borne in mind that, unlike Peresvet and Pobeda, Oslyabya was very badly built, and it is possible that the quality of construction affected its premature death. Interestingly, the coal transshipment from the list of possible causes of the death of this ship, most likely, should be deleted - before the battle, the coal supply did not exceed the normal one.
On the whole, it can be assumed that Peresvet could, without prejudice to their combat capability, make a significant number of hits, but they were extremely dangerous for severe damage to the extremities, if they were inflicted in a short period of time, as happened with Oslyaby. On the other hand, it was a common weak point of many old battleships who did not have a full reservation of the waterline - it can be assumed that the survivability of Peresvet in this respect did not differ fundamentally from the same Poltava, Sevastopol or Fuji. And, of course, they couldn’t withstand the fire impact that the Borodino-type battleships at Borodino in Tsushima suffered - they would have died many earlier.
As for firepower, we have already said that the average caliber of squadron battleships - rapid six-inch guns - turned out to be, if not completely useless, then absolutely insufficient to cause any serious damage to armored ships. First of all, this was due to the low accuracy of medium caliber shooting. So, for example, in a battle in the Yellow Sea, the 1 and 3-y combat troops of the Japanese, together with the armored cruiser “Asama”, jointly launched 603 twelve-inch shells and 4095 six-inch shells, the latter were released almost 6,8 times more. But according to the results of the battle, the 57 of twelve-inch shells hit the Russian ships; four more hits had an undefined caliber 254-305-mm, but the “identified” 152-mm hits were only 29. However, 51 was also hit by shells, the caliber of which could not be determined, but even if they were all written in six-inch ones (which is wrong, as some of them could be 203-mm and 76-mm, and even the same 305- mm), then and on 57-61 305-mm projectiles hit only six-inch 80.
At the same time, the relatively low power of 152-mm projectiles did not allow serious damage to the armored ship, and we can conclude that the presence of the entire 11 six-inch carriage from Peresvet, of which only the 5 could participate in the onboard salvo Russian, English and Japanese battleships in the number of such guns in the side salvo reached 6-7, did not seriously affect the firepower of the ship.
But the lightweight main caliber is another matter. The mass of the British 305-mm projectile guns exceeded the Russian 70-mm projectile by more than 254%, which had the most significant effect on the weight of the explosive in the projectile and, therefore, on its striking effect. The mass of explosives in the British armor-piercing projectile reached 11,9 kg, while in Russian 254-mm armor-piercing - only 2,9 kg, and high-explosive only 6,7 kg. At the same time, despite their rather high ballistic qualities, 254-mm guns, mounted on Peresvet and Oslyab, were lost in armor penetration by British 305-mm guns with 35 caliber barrels mounted on Majestic and Canopus battleships ", And the improved 254-mm guns, which the battleship Victory received, were still inferior in armor penetration to the newest English twelve-inch 40 caliber. Thus, in a long-range battle, the Peresvet high-explosive shells would be inferior to the modern English 305-mm battleship due to the weakness of the damaging effects of 254-mm shells, and in a short distance the Russian armor-piercing shells would have lower armor penetration and much weaker armor action .
All this, of course, does not mean that the Russian 254-mm guns were safe for the squadron battleship. By no means. In addition, a small amount of explosives in Russian shells was to a certain extent compensated for by its quality - if the British used to equip their shells with gunpowder, then the Russians - with pyroxylin. But still, the twelve-inch guns had a significant advantage and one can only regret that when designing the Peresvet, the admirals sacrificed to other qualities the main caliber of these ships ... Of course, their reasons can be understood. First, the 254-mm cannon turret weighed significantly less than a similar turret with 305-mm cannons, and saving weights was very important for reducing the displacement and cost of the ship. Secondly, we must not forget that Peresvet was made high-breasted, with a high forecastle, so that the nose tower gave a great upper weight - for reasons of stability, it was better to be easier. And finally, thirdly (and this was the most important), the Russian 254-mm gun had superiority over the 240-254-mm artillery systems of their potential opponents - the German squadrons, and the English 2-class battleships. Thus, the decision to ease the main caliber of Peresvetov suggested itself ...
As always, the cunning of Albion are to blame for everything. In fact, the English shipbuilders chose a completely different path for their “second-class” battleships: having built a Centurion-type ship 2, they were not satisfied with the 254-mm artillery, finding it too weak. Therefore, the third British battleship 2 rank, "Rinaun" was supposed to get a full-fledged 305-mm guns, but their development was unexpectedly delayed, causing the British, with a wave of their hand, hoisted on him old, but industry-developed 254-mm guns, similar to stood on the "Centurion."
If the British observed the development schedules of their new twelve-inch unit, then it would be the main caliber of Rinaun, and the latter would have been taken as the “starting point” when designing Peresvet! There is no doubt that if Rinown had 305-mm artillery, the Russian admirals would have demanded a gun of the same caliber for Peresvet.
Interestingly, the General-Admiral, Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich himself thought about this. Of course, this statesman devoted too little time to state affairs in general and the fleet in particular, preferring foreign recreation and entertainment, which made the unpleasant nickname “7 pounds of the most august meat” completely deserved. But in this case, he came up with a quite reasonable initiative: 1898 g, in the year of the “Victory” bookmark, he asked the sailors whether it was impossible to replace 254-mm guns with 305-mm. Unfortunately, this was not the slightest opportunity.
It was already quite clear that Peresvet would turn out to be pretty overloaded. And therefore, in the Victory project, the main emphasis should be placed not on the improvement of its combat qualities by strengthening the artillery, since such improvements would require additional weight, but on the contrary, an all-out saving of weights. As a result, Victory was limited to improved, heavier, but still only 254-mm guns, and also widely used Krupp armor, instead of armor, hardened by the method of Harvey, which gave an increase in protection for the same thickness (and, therefore, mass ) armor plates. In addition, they removed the wooden and copper underwater cladding, as it was then believed, to protect the ship from fouling, reduce the height of the residential deck, abandoned the aft log house. As a result of the above, “Victory” got off with a minimum overload relative to its predecessors: only 646 t, against 1136 t “Peresvet” and 1734 t “Oslyab”.
Undoubtedly, Pobeda became the most advanced ship of the series - more powerful main-caliber guns, more robust Krupp protection, about the same speed, but less overload, thanks to which it was possible to increase coal reserves and thereby bring the estimated range of the 10 nodes to 6080 miles . All this allows us to consider Victory not the third ship in the Peresvet series, as is usually done, but the first ship of a new type: and yet, despite all the above-mentioned advantages, the construction of Victory should be considered a mistake. It was already quite clear to 1898 in Japan that Japan is gaining strength in Far Eastern waters, which forms its sea power on the basis of large squadron battleships, which are quite appropriate and, perhaps, even superior to British battleships of the 1 class. At the same time as England for service in the Far Eastern waters lays powerful battleships like "Canopus". The confrontation of the ships listed above required much more serious combat qualities than those possessed by the Victory.
The British began to build a series of battleships of the Canopus type, intended for service in Asian waters, the year after the tabs of Peresvet and Oslyabi. Six British ships were laid in 1896-1898 and entered service in 1899-1902 - it was with these ships that Peresvet in the Far East would have had to meet if there was a war with Great Britain.
Unlike the Rinaun, the Canopus, like the Peresvet, received the Belleville boilers progressive for that time, with which the newest British ships were able to develop 18 ties (and some ships of the series - and more) without forced blowing i.e. in speed, the Canopuses were at least as good as Peresvet. Their booking was a little less powerful, but more rational. The very high, 4,26 m, armor belt towering above the waterline on the 2,74 m consisted of 152 mm Krupp armor plates, which (according to English tests) was equivalent to about 198 mm Harvey armor. Peresveta carried the 229 mm, but it was Garvey’s armor .... On the Canopus, the British provided for a high belt covering the nasal tip - it was very thin, only 51 mm and did not guarantee, of course, the protection of the extremities from the enemy’s heavy projectiles.
In the 28 battle of July 1904 of Retvizan, whose extremities had the same thickness of protection, received an extremely unpleasant 10-12 dm projectile in 51 mm of armor in the bow from a long distance. Apparently, the projectile was high-explosive and did not pierce the armor, but the plate cracked and deformed, the tightness of the bead was broken, and the water flowed into the body. Of course, if the nose of the Russian battleship had no armor at all, the explosion of the high-explosive projectile would have created a much larger hole, and even worse - the fragments could damage the internal watertight bulkheads, thereby causing more extensive flooding than it actually did. You can say that 51 mm armor could not protect the ship from trouble, but it still significantly minimized the possible damage - even from a large-caliber projectile.
The Canopus armored deck with bevels within the citadel had a thickness of 51 mm, which approximately corresponded to, or was slightly larger than that of Peresvet. The latter had 38,1 mm on a steel base in 12,7 mm, respectively, the total thickness of the armor was 50,8 mm. It is not known how the British considered their 51 mm, i.e. did they ignore the thickness of the steel substrate or did the 51 mm indicated by them include it as well, but in any case, the bevels of the English battleship were not at least inferior to those of Peresvet. On top of the citadel, the British placed another additional armored deck in 25 mm (most likely an inch thick). There was a slight mystification - the British heard about French experiments on howitzer use in naval combat and feared that against the shells falling almost vertically from their 51 mm deck would not be enough. Accordingly, they put the upper armored deck so that it would ensure the exploding of the shells, then the lower armored deck would have to reflect the fragments, which she was quite capable of. In fact, the French experiments with howitzers were completely unsuccessful, so the precaution of the British was superfluous. The traverses and barbets of the British battleships defended themselves better than those of Peresvet, but in general, the protection of Russian and English battleships can be considered comparable.
But the main caliber - no. The Canopus received 305-mm / 35 guns, whose armor penetration exceeded the Peresvet and Oslyabi 254 guns (perhaps roughly corresponding to the Victory artillery), although the power of the English projectile was much higher. In the aggregate of the fighting qualities, the Canopus, perhaps, did not have a decisive superiority over Peresvet, but it was still stronger (about the same amount as Peresvet was stronger than the Rinaun). Another thing - laid in 1898 g "Victory". Due to the quality improvement of the armor (the transition from Harvey to Krupp) and the installation of several more powerful 254-mm cannons, the Victory can still be considered equal to the Canopus. But in 1898, when the construction of the last Peresvet began, the British laid a series of three Formideable-style ships. Their citadel formed armor plate thickness 229 mm (Krupp armor), nasal tip were covered 76 mm bronepoyasom and aft - 38 mm, though armadilloes carried latest 305-mm / 40 implements superior in armor penetration 254-mm "Win" cannon. At the same time, the British battleships showed 30 - 4 knots at rated power with an 5 / 16,8 full-time test with full-power 17,5 / 18,2 and reached 900 knots when forcing. And this is despite the fact that the mass of coal approximately corresponded to that of Pobeda (2000 in normal and XNUMX in full displacement). These ships were also intended to operate in the Far East, and were significantly superior in their fighting qualities to the Victory battleship.
However, the Russian Empire had no choice - by stopping the development of classic squadron battleships, which the ships of the Poltava series were at the time of their laying-in, the Navy relied on lightweight cruisers, which were to successfully solve the problems of defense of the Baltic and cruising war in the ocean. And now the Naval Department simply did not have a project of a modern squadron battleship capable of equal combat with Japanese ships of the same class!
The concept of building "battleships-cruisers" was logical, economically justified, but it contained only one (but fatal) error. The versatility of the “battleships-cruisers” was “bought” at the cost of reducing their combat qualities to the level of battleships of the 2 class. It seemed reasonable at the time of laying the Peresvetov, since among their likely opponents were not considered more powerful ships. But one should have guessed that such a concept would be viable until some country decides to counterfeit Peresvet with full-fledged squadron battleships with which cruiser-battleships are no longer able to fight. After all, it would be enough for the Germans to go on to build full-fledged 1 class battleships - and the fleet made up of ships like the Peresvet lost control of the Baltic even in the unlikely event if they could manage to equal the German Navy in the number of keels. As soon as Japan began ordering battleships of the 1 class in England, the Peresvets immediately lost the ability to “rationalize” this Asian country on their own, without reinforcement of the first-class battleships. It was enough for the Royal Navy to design high-speed armadillos with 305-mm guns for service in the Far Eastern waters - and the Peresvet from the position of ocean hunters immediately moved to the “game” column. Although in fairness, we note that the “game” from Peresvet turned out to be quite toothed and capable of pretty much fooling the “hunter”.
We can say that in those years, Great Britain created a certain standard of sea power - a squadron battleship of the 1 class with a displacement of 15 000 tons. Such a ship was the top of the "food pyramid" at sea - being able to fight at least on equal terms with any military the ship of the world, such a battleship was not yet overly large and expensive for serial construction, and the offensive, defensive and seaworthy qualities in it merged harmoniously enough. And the rejection of the construction of ships capable of equal "transfer" with the British fifteen thousand, was, alas, a very gross mistake, no matter how well-intentioned it was dictated.
And this is science for us, for today. No matter how desirable, no matter how profitable it is to create ships that are weaker than those that our potential adversaries have, no matter how much affection the corvettes and frigates cause, “almost the same” as the destroyers of “sworn friends”, but the implementation of such a strategy will only lead to the fact that the underfinanced by the ruble during the creation will be in full, with large percentages paid for with the blood of the crews forced to fight against a more powerful opponent.
Of course, the attempt of the Russian fleet to realize the concept of cruising warfare by imparting raider capabilities to linear forces is extremely interesting. However, such an attempt could have a chance of success only if the Russian Empire had created 1-class battleships capable of such operations. In other words, for the successful implementation of the concept of “battleships-cruisers”, it was necessary to create not Peresvet, but ships, in everything similar to fifteen thousand British squadron battleships, but also capable of pirating in the ocean for a long time. But such ships a priori would have to become larger and more expensive than their English "counterparts", to which the constrained Russian Empire could not go ...
Interestingly, only Nazi Germany subsequently managed to achieve something similar - by building Bismarck and Tirpitz, the Germans got a pair of almost perfect anti-English raiders. Each of these ships at least was not inferior (and actually even superior) in combat power to its main opponent - the latest British battleship such as "King George V", but also had superiority in range. Nevertheless, the German battleships were a little late with birth - raiding single large ships in the era aviation could not be successful for a long time.
Sometimes “Peresvety” is called the forerunner of the battle cruisers, but this is a completely erroneous opinion. First, the battlecruisers were still created for service in the linear squadrons and did not dispute the need for battleships. Peresveta, in the opinion of their creators, should have become a class that will replace the classic battleships in the Russian fleet (in the Baltic and the Far East). Secondly, we must not forget that the battle cruiser is a ship that has the same main caliber as the battleship, but a higher speed, for which it has to pay either with a weakened protection, or with a greater displacement than the battleship. Peresveta had no equal caliber with modern battleships, and if you really try to look for the forerunners of battle cruisers among the battleships of the beginning of the 20 of the 20th century, then the British Canopus are much better suited to this role - although, strictly speaking, the battle cruisers also have no relationship.
In conclusion - a couple of words about comparing ships of the “Peresvet” type with the armored cruisers of Japan. By and large, neither one nor the other was intended to stand in a line against full-fledged squadron battleships, but those and others were forced to do so. However, the Japanese armored cruisers could not be considered equal to Peresvet - and the matter is not weakened, the 178 mm armor of the Japanese ships, especially since Asama and Tokiwa were protected by Harvey’s armor, and other armored cruisers received Krupp armor plates. But the 203-mm main caliber of the Japanese ships was too weak to inflict decisive damage to well-defended ships with a displacement of 10 thousand tons and more - just recall the Korean Strait battle when Russia and Thunderstorm Jessen fought against the enemy twice in two hours. The battle came out extremely fierce, Kamimura made every effort to defeat the Russian ships, but both Russian armored cruisers did not receive any life-threatening damage - despite the fact that they were protected worse than Peresvet. Analysis of the damage inflicted by 203-mm projectiles, clearly indicates that for the battleships this caliber was not a big threat. But the 254-mm guns of Peresvetov were fully capable of inflicting decisive damage on any ship of Admiral H. Kamimura, or on the Nissin with the Kasuga. The Japanese ships were very powerful and well protected, but only armored cruisers, and they could not withstand Peresvet, which had combat capabilities of an 2 class battleship, of course, first of all due to the very powerful Russian 254-mm guns.
Interestingly, the statistics hit ten-inch "Peresvetov" raises doubts about the accuracy of these guns. In the battle at Shantung, the Russian battleships used 344 305-mm projectile and 224 - 254-mm, but 305-mm guns made 12 hits, and 254-mm - only four. It turns out that the firing accuracy of the twelve-inch guns is much higher than the Peresvet 254-mm guns - 3,49% hits against 1,78%. Sometimes you hear the opinion that the almost double superiority of 305-mm guns as a percentage of hits indicates some structural defects of the 254-mm guns (or their installations) that did not allow firing with the same accuracy as 305-mm. This opinion, of course, has the right to life, because it is confirmed by the actual results of the shooting, but one more thing to consider. Training gunners "Victory" and "Peresvet" was much worse than the "Retvizana", "Sevastopol" and "Poltava", as he wrote S.I. Lutonin on artillery exercises 1903 g:
““ Poltava ”, taking the first prize, knocked out 168 points, followed by“ Sevastopol ”- 148, then“ Retvizan ”- 90,“ Peresvet ”- 80,“ Victory ”- 75,“ Petropavlovsk ”- 50.”
If we assume that Tsesarevich fired no better than Petropavlovsk, and that the number of points is proportional to the accuracy of the ships, then the 4 “twelve-inch” battleship (taking into account the actual expenditure of projectiles in July 28 battle for each battleship) would have to provide 8-9 hits 305-mm against 4 hits "Victory" and "Peresvet". In other words, a significant discrepancy in the number of hits may be based on the bad preparation of the gunnery-cruisers' gunners, and not at all the hardware of their guns.
But, in addition, we must not forget that the Russian 254-mm high-explosive projectile ... could well be much more powerful than the Russian twelve-inch. This “cute” naval anecdote is related to the fact that the amount of explosives in the domestic ten-inch projectile slightly exceeded that of the twelve-inch - 6,71 kg versus 5,98 kg. What is even worse is due to the lack of pyroxylin, domestic 305-mm shells were filled with smokeless powder, while 254-mm were filled with pyroxylin. This is reliably known for the 2 Pacific squadron, but according to Lieutenant V.N. Cherkasov, senior gunner Peresvet, a similar situation was in Port Arthur. And in this case, the 254-mm high-explosive projectile had the advantage not only in mass, but also in the power of the explosives contained in it.
The caliber of the projectile caught in the ship is determined by fragments, but this is not always possible: for example, getting into the 178 mm “Mikasa” plate when the plate was damaged, but still did not let the projectile go inside. Then it remains only to assess the power of the gap and determine the caliber from it. The Japanese, as reasonable people, understood that the 305-mm projectile, in any case, should be more powerful than the lighter 254-mm. It would hardly have occurred to them that the Russians have the opposite ... And therefore, it cannot be excluded that some Russian hits with high-explosive 254-mm shells are ranked by them as twelve-inch.
By virtue of the foregoing, the author of this article has no reason to believe that the Peresvet and Pobeda 254-mm guns had a lower firing accuracy than the other Russian battleships 305-mm guns. And that meant the extremely unenviable position of any “asamoid”, one-on-one against “Peresvet” - with a comparable level of training for the commandors, of course.
List of used literature:
1. V. Polomoshnov “Fight 28 July 1904 (the battle in the Yellow Sea (the battle at Cape Shantung))
2. V.B. Mujenikov "Battleships type" Kaiser ""
3. V. Maltsev, “On the Question of Accuracy of Shooting in the Russian-Japanese War” Part III-IV
4. V.N. Cherkasov “Notes of the artillery officer of the battleship Peresvet”
5. V.Krestyaninov, S.Molodtsov "Armadillos of type" Peresvet ". “Heroic Tragedy” ”
6. V.Krestyaninov, S.Molodtsov "Squadron battleships like" Peresvet "
7. O. Parks «British Empire's battleships. Part IV: His Majesty Standard
8. O. Parks «British Empire's battleships. Part V: At the turn of the century "
9. R.M. Melnikov "Squadron battleships like" Peresvet ""
10. Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 Fleet actions. Documents. Division III 1 Pacific squadron. Book One. Actions on the southern maritime theater of war. Release 6 th. Fight 28 July 1904 g