History the design and construction of the first domestic turbine light cruisers is described in great detail in the literature, and we will not repeat it. But if someone wants to quickly refresh his memory, then perhaps the best way is to re-read the chapters from the book “Guards cruisers of Stalin” by Alexander Chernyshev, which were already laid out on “Topvar” separate articles.
Light cruiser "Profintern", aka "Red Crimea", nee "Svetlana"
We will consider the creation of light cruisers of the Svetlana type from a slightly different angle and try to figure out why these cruisers were created at all and why ships of this class were built in other countries. By doing this, we will be able to assess how successful the shipbuilding engineers are in their designs.
Unfortunately, sources contain a lot of conflicting information about Svetlana. We will not try to dot the “i”, but still consider the main “oddities” in terms of tactical and technical characteristics of cruisers, because without this comparison with foreign ships can not be correct.
It should be noted that the analogue of "Svetlana" in other fleets it is necessary to count not any light cruisers, but only those that carried the armor belt. This was a fundamental difference from armored light cruisers. As the experience of the Russo-Japanese War (and not only it) has shown, the armored deck with bevels alone does not give the ship the required degree of protection. Of course, the armored deck is useful if only because it protects the cruiser's cars and boilers from fragments and other effects of shells exploding in the hull. But it does not at all interfere with the flow of water into the ship when the latter is damaged in the area of the waterline. The developers of the "carapace" armored deck assumed that since its bevels would be attached to the hull below sea level, a shell hitting the waterline or even slightly below would explode on the armor. And, although the side will be perforated, there will be no serious flooding.
But it was an erroneous point of view. As practice has shown, in this case the armor from a strong blow and concussion departed from the fixings, or it was “handed over” to the fixation of the armor plates at the side. In any case, the armored cruisers received almost as extensive flooding as if the ship had no armor at all. Suffice it to recall the cruiser "Varyag". He received four hits on the waterline in the port side.
As a result, the cruiser acquired such an "elegant" list that it was out of the question to continue the battle.
By the way, the above photo is highly recommended for viewing to anyone who reproaches the commander of the Varyag, V.F. Rudnev that he did not go on a breakthrough again.
Cruisers, whose sides are armored, have no such problems. They do not get any serious flooding, rolls and do not lose speed when getting hits at the waterline, unless they were hit by heavy projectiles that cruiser armor could not withstand. Thus, the armor belt gives the light cruiser a fundamental advantage over its armored "fellow", which is so weighty that it makes one think about separating the "armored" light cruisers into a separate class of ships.
Russian "Svetlana" received armored board. In addition to the Russian Empire, the "armored" light cruisers were built only by England, Germany and Austria-Hungary. It is surprising that each of the four countries had its own concept of light cruisers, and these concepts in no case completely coincided.
Domestic MGSH for light cruisers set the following tasks:
1. Intelligence service.
2. Sentinel and guard service.
3. Actions against destroyers; support of their destroyers, participation in the development of success.
4. A single battle with the same type of enemy cruisers.
5. Setting minefields in enemy waters.
The primary task of the Russian cruiser was to serve in the squadron, protecting it from enemy destroyers and bringing its destroyers to the attack, but this does not mean that ships of this type should not have acted on communications at all. They were not cruisers in the classical sense of the word, because they were not intended for raiding in the oceans and remote sea areas. But it was assumed that ships of the type “Svetlana” would participate in active mine settings and interrupt enemy shipping together with destroyers, i.e. act against enemy communications within the Baltic (and for the Black Sea series, respectively, the Black) Sea. Svetlana-class cruisers were not conceived as killer-cruisers, but it was assumed that in a one-on-one battle, the domestic cruiser should still have an advantage or, at least, not give in to enemy ships of the same class.
Very close to the Russian concept was Austro-Hungarian. We can say that she repeated in everything the domestic understanding of the light cruiser, with one exception - the Austro-Hungarians believed that "Tanks they don’t fight with tanks ”and the only destroyers listed as adversaries for their cruisers. Well, if all of a sudden you encounter enemy cruisers, you should have gone under the protection of heavy ships. At the same time, the armored belt was just to guarantee that a random projectile would not slow down the "Austrian" speed in retreat.
Germany. A distinctive feature of its concept was that of all countries, it alone provided for its light cruisers the destruction of enemy trade in ocean communications. The Germans wanted to get a universal cruiser that could both serve in the squadron, lead destroyers, act in the ocean, and, if necessary, fight with British ships of its class.
Unlike the Germans, the British preferred specialization to universalism, but here some explanations are needed. After the Russian-Japanese war, the British considered that, in addition to full-fledged armored cruisers, they would only need scout cruisers, designed to lead destroyer squadrons and reconnaissance. No other tasks (actions on communications or battles with enemy cruisers) were set for the scouts.
However, the famous John Arbetnot Fisher, when he was the first sea lord, considered that the small cruisers had completely outlived theirs. The British admiral assumed that the light cruiser was too unstable artillery platform and that large destroyers would cope with the tasks of reconnaissance, because, due to their size, the leaders would not be needed. As for the battle with the enemy cruisers, then, according to J. Fisher, this was the task for the battle cruisers.
But this idea of Fisher was not crowned with success. An attempt to build a large destroyer (they became the famous "Swift") led to the creation of a ship with a displacement of more than 2000 tons, which, nevertheless, by its capabilities, with the exception of speed, was inferior in all things to cruisers scouts. Yes, and with speed everything was completely ambiguous, because, although the ship developed 35 nodes, the fuel consumption was fantastic. Thus, the creation of the ship, combining the functionality of the destroyer and the cruiser suffered a fiasco, and the British fleet returned to the construction of the scouts, and their tasks remained the same.
But later the British drew attention to the danger arising for their ocean transport routes from the increasingly numerous German light cruisers. Armored cruisers could not effectively counteract them, because they were relatively slow-moving, linear - because they were very expensive and could not be built as massively as before, armored cruisers, and scouts - because they were too weak for this.
The way out was found in the creation of “trade defenders” - light cruisers of the “town” type (city), which had sufficient seaworthiness and fire power to counteract German cruisers in the ocean. At the same time, the British did not abandon the construction of scout cruisers, who eventually received armor and powerful enough artillery, comparable to that of the "cities". It can be said that the two lines of English cruising, the "cities" and the scouts, eventually merged into a single type of high-speed, armored and well-armed light cruiser.
Russian "Svetlana" were laid in 1913 year. For comparison, we will take the following light cruisers:
1. Koenigsberg, Germany. The best Kaiser light cruisers, the first of which was laid in the 1914 year and which were laid on the 1916 year inclusive. Strictly speaking, it would be better to choose a Wittelsbach-type cruiser, because by the date of the bookmark it is the same year as the Svetlana, but in the end, the difference in a year is not only great.
2. Chester, UK. The last representative of the British "cities", laid in 1914
3. “Caroline” is a “descendant” of scouts-cruisers and the first representative of light cruisers of the type “C”, revered in the English fleet rather successful. Also laid out in 1914.
4. Danae, United Kingdom. The most advanced light cruiser of Great Britain during the First World War, the first of which was laid in 1916. It is, of course, not the same age as the Svetlana by the date of the bookmark, but it is still interesting to consider the ideas of the Svetlana against the background of the British experience of the cruiser.
5. Admiral Spoon, Austria-Hungary. I must say that this cruiser is absolutely not suitable for comparison with the ships listed above. It was laid a lot before them all, in 1908 g, and 5-6 years for the then pace of scientific and technological progress in the naval business, this is a whole era. But this is the only type of armored cruiser of Austria-Hungary (and also one of the most successful light cruisers in the world at the time of entry into service), so we will not ignore it.
The main tactical and technical characteristics of cruisers are shown in the table below.
The values in brackets for the displacement of Svetlana-type cruisers arose for the simple reason that the displacement of this cruiser is not quite clear. Often 6800 t normal and 7200 t full displacement are indicated for Svetlan, but these figures cause some doubt, and the sources, alas, enchant the matter.
Take, for example, a very detailed monograph by A. Chernyshov. "Stalin's guards cruisers: Red Caucasus, Red Crimea, Chervona Ukraine." On page 16 in the table “Comparative characteristics of projects of cruisers for the Black and Baltic Seas” we read that 6800 T is the normal displacement of Svetlana (Baltic) type cruisers. This is very similar to the truth and logically follows from the history of the design of the ship. However, a page earlier, where the respected author gave the masses of the Svetlana cruiser, the normal displacement was calculated within 6950 t for some reason. A little further, on p. 69, the author apparently tried to somehow reconcile this discrepancy and indicated that 6 The 950 T is the normal displacement of the cruiser, and the 6 800 is the standard.
It is well known that the standard displacement is the weight of a fully equipped ship with a crew, but without stocks of fuel, lubricants and drinking water in tanks. Full displacement is equal to the standard plus full reserves of fuel, lubricants and drinking water, and the normal takes into account only half of such reserves.
In the calculation of the mass of the Svetlana cruiser A. Chernyshov indicates the presence of 500 tons of fuel, therefore, it can be argued that with a normal displacement in 6 950 t the standard should be below 6 450 t, but not at all 6 800 t. The term "standard displacement" in military shipbuilding appeared only in 1922 g as a result of the ratification of the Washington Maritime Agreement, and before that, the normal and full displacement was widely used, but not the standard and nothing in the documents of the Russian Empire tsya not.
The next mystery is the ship’s total displacement in the amount of 7 200 t. It is only 400 t more than normal (6 800 t), although it must be at least 500 t, since the normal displacement of the 500 fuel mass is ½ full fuel supply. However, if we look at the fuel data, we will find another tangle of contradictions.
A. Chernyshev, on p. 15, reports that, in accordance with the draft design, the normal supply of fuel should have been 500 tons, including 130 tons of coal and 370 tons of oil. The total fuel supply was 1 167 tons (probably all the same 130 tons of coal and 1 037 tons of oil). In this case, the full fuel supply was different from the normal one on the 667 t and one would expect a total displacement of 7 467 - 7 617 t (with a normal displacement of 6 800 - 6 950 t). Later on, on page 64, A. Chernyshev indicates that the above-mentioned fuel reserves figures are correct for the cruiser “Profintern” in 1928 (i.e. for the completed “Svetlana”) but literally right there (on page 69) reporting the full supply of 1 290 tons for the initial Svetlana project, 1 660 tons (!) for the Profintern on 1928 g and only 950 tons (!!) for the Red Crimea cruiser. But these three completely different cruisers are one and the same ship: the “Svetlana” built into 1913 g was completed and transferred to the fleet in 1928 g under the new name “Profintern”, which was replaced by the new name “Red Crimea” in 1939!
What is the reason for such discrepancies? Most likely, on receipt of the technical assignment, domestic engineers have developed a draft design of a “Svetlana-type cruiser” with a displacement of 6 800 t ”. But later, as it often happens, as the development of a more detailed project, the displacement of the ship went up. At the same time, it was being completed under a modified project, with additional weapons and equipment, and, of course, its displacement has increased even more.
In view of the above, we can assume that as of 1913 g normal and total displacement pledged in the Baltic cruisers was not 6 800 and 7 200 t respectively, and the 6 950 and 7 617 t, which was reflected in the table of performance characteristics compared cruisers.
Another mystery of our cruisers was their range. Surprisingly, but the fact - reference books give the values differing many times! For example, the same A. Chernyshev gives for the “Red Crimea” only some 1 227-1 230 miles on the 12 nodes, but for the “Profintern” and A. Chernyshov and I.F. Flowers indicate 3 350 miles on 14 nodes! The answer here most likely lies in the fact that for the “Red Crimea” data is used as of 1944 g, when, due to war and lack of proper maintenance, the power plant strongly “passed”.
According to the draft design, the Svetlana-type cruisers were calculated for the 2000 range of miles at the speed of the 24 node. Probably, something, as always, did not go according to plan, and the ship’s displacement nevertheless increased during the design, so 3750 miles for Svetlana and 3350 miles for Profintern look reasonable at 14 nodes, if not even understated.
We will return to this issue when we compare the Svetlana power plant with the EU of foreign cruisers, but later. And the next article will be devoted to the comparison of the artillery of these cruisers.
To be continued ...