At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the quantitative composition fleet The USSR was, of course, huge, but ...
To understand, you must first understand the types of ships in service, and then with their distribution among fleets. And start, of course, with battleships, because Pearl Harbor did not exist yet, and it was the battleships that were considered the rulers of the seas. The USSR had three battleships, in two fleets.
Много это или мало?
With what to compare - the Germans, for example, on 22.06.1941/XNUMX/XNUMX had one battleship, plus two battle cruisers. So, it seems like parity, but the question was not quantity, but quality.
Battleships of the Sevastopol class were good ships at the time of laying in 1909. At the time of commissioning in 1914, they were already so-so, at the time of the end of the First World War - below average, and later twenty three (23) years it was possible to call them battleships only for propaganda purposes, they say, we also have.
Any battleship built in the 30s, including even underdogs like the Dunkirk and Scharnhorst, would have carried our trinity through one gate. Simply because of the superiority in speed, fire control devices and a new generation of artillery. I'm not talking about "Tirpitz", our artillery would not even scratch it in a hypothetical battle. Plus air defense, in the sense of outdated, ineffective, and even that was delivered during the modernization, that is, it was irrational.
When the Sevas were born, there was no air threat yet. No, they could be used - as floating batteries for firing on land. Or in mine and artillery positions, like coastal defense battleships, no more. In the Russo-Japanese, here "Peter the Great" was listed as an battleship, but for some reason did not go to the Pacific Ocean ...
To summarize, we had three coastal defense ships and zero battleships.
But what about the cruiser? Is there order here?
Yes, almost like.
As many as 8 pieces, of which 6 are on the Black Sea. True, one of them is the "Comintern", the buildings of the times of the Russian-Japanese and converted into a minesag, because it was impossible to use this old man in any other way. Another "improved" "Krasny Kavkaz" with a shot with the main caliber, the number of as many as four barrels. And two more - "Svetlana", ships of the same generation with battleships. I mean, you can still shoot along the coast, but go into battle with cruisers, perhaps, which is not worth it - they will drown and not even sweat.
As a result, we had 4 (four) cruisers - two in the Baltic and two in the Black Sea. Moreover, the cruisers are strange - the three-gun turrets of the main battery of irrational design with a caliber of 180 mm guns were pushed into the hull of the Italian light cruiser. The armor is weak, the anti-aircraft artillery is not very good. But new and fast. All four.
It's easier with them.
True, to consider 17 Noviks as destroyers is somehow ... creative. For 1941, this is a TFR, and not bad, to drive submarines - quite suitable. But okay, but there were seven new leaders. And the destroyers of projects "7" and "7U" in the amount of 28 and 18 pieces, respectively. They had their own problems, both structural (the Italians still built ships for the Mediterranean, hence the weakness of the hull and air defense), and operational.
But who didn't have them?
In any case, 46 destroyers for 4 fleets is clearly not what was required.
What about submarines?
Was there a lot of them?
Yes, even a lot, as many as 271. The largest submarine fleet in the world at that time. But...
First, five of them during the First World War, American "AG", which, after decades, have dubious combat value. Not counting the three submarines of the "P" series, unsuccessful and incapable of combat. But the rest ...
And what about the rest, by the way?
Here is the "M" series 6, 30 units, two torpedo tubes, 0 torpedo stock, scanty autonomy ... Why did they build? And what they could, then they built, in the late 20s there was no time for frills. True, then, inspired by the cheapness, they built another 66 babies, slightly improved, but still stupid. That's the result - take away 104 boats from the Soviet submarine armada, divide them into four fleets and ... You will get a strong submarine fleet, approximately at the level of other states.
Well, if you don't look at this:
... lagging in submerged cruising range, immersion depth and sinking speed ... Domestic submarines by the beginning of the war did not have modern electronic detection equipment, torpedo automatic weapons, bubbleless firing devices, depth stabilizers, radio direction finders, shock absorbers, devices, etc. mechanisms, but they were distinguished by the great noise of mechanisms and devices. The issue of communication with the submarine, which is in a submerged position, has not been resolved. Practically the only source of information about the surface situation of a submerged submarine was a periscope with very unimportant optics. The Mars type sound direction finders that were in service made it possible by ear to determine the direction to the noise source with an accuracy of plus or minus 2 degrees. The operating range of the equipment with good hydrology did not exceed 40 kb.
But this is the main trump card of the Soviet Navy, in the absence of others. Well, the staff. Yes, building is not a problem, but where to get qualified submariners, if we build more than 12 boats in 200 years, and write off less than 20? Question.
But did we still have light powers?
Here is a TKA type "G-5", as many as 300 pieces, however, seaworthiness as much as 4 points, and you can shoot at two maximum, but a lot ... And the speed is high, 50 knots in the absence of excitement. There were, however, still quite normal "D-3", but they began to build a year before the war. So TKA is also that ...
And again, the reasons are objective - they copied the British, not to rivet, of course, the concept. They copied, because they knew how to experience. As a result, the war was different, and TKA needed others.
You can also talk about minesweepers. "Fugas" is a good ship, but built so that both the TFR and the minesweeper, the keels were wildly lacking.
It is possible about the landing ships. They, in general, were not built, and then the whole war amphibious operations with improvised means. Or maybe about the Air Force, there were a lot of coastal-based aircraft in 1941, but there was very little sense, however, like all other countries. Coastal aviation requires perfect intelligence and jewelry engagement.
In the fleets
On the fleets, the picture was as follows - in the Baltic there were two cruisers, two leaders, 14 destroyers, 41 submarines (without babies, Pravd and ancient Latvians), 7 TFR and 7 Noviks, 24 minesweepers and many boats and purely auxiliary ships ... All this good was blocked by the Germans, come to their head to arrange sea battles, at once, despite the presence of two ancient dreadnoughts. It was also bad with the basing system, the Baltic ports returned home only in 1940, and the army's retreat was rapid. As a result, the only base is Kronstadt, which was blocked from land until 1944.
On the Black Sea, on the one hand, it was easier - two cruisers, three leaders, 11 destroyers, 25 submarines, 2 + 5 Novikovs were not opposed by anyone, that is, in general. Well, do not count the Romanian fleet as an enemy, in fact ... If the Baltic was not covered enough, then the Black Sea, where they were preparing for a new Crimean war, is redundant. Although it came in handy - it was on the Black Sea that large landings were carried out and defended Odessa and Sevastopol. The only thing - why the "Paris Commune" was there, I can't imagine - it belongs to the Baltic, the third floating battery for the defense of the Gulf of Finland and Leningrad.
In the North, everything was sad, how much it can be in the maritime theater, through which our communication with the allies was maintained. Six destroyers and 15 submarines, plus 2 Noviks and the TFR are not strong enough to cover even the country's shores. On the positive side were the Northern Sea Route and the White Sea Canal, which made it possible to transfer reinforcements from the Baltic and the Pacific Ocean. With the latter, however, not everything is so simple - there were two leaders, 10 destroyers (two of them "Novik") and 78 submarines, including useless "babies". Two cruisers were just being completed, they were just thinking about something bigger.
As a result, if you count only modern ships, no fleet was able to carry out its tasks. And this is an objective reality, if, of course, you do not play with numbers. Otherwise, one can count that the Baltic Fleet was stronger than the Kriegsmarine, and the submarine forces of the Pacific Fleet were superior to the Imperial Japanese fleet.
Why this happened is an interesting question.
Well, firstly, the Soviet Navy did not come from nowhere, it is the heir and successor of the imperial fleet. And the inheritance passed to us in order pogroms, in the North and the Pacific Ocean there were no ships at all, only stubs passed from the Black Sea Fleet, many ships were lost in the Baltic, and most importantly - personnel.
All this was aggravated by the Civil War and the post-war devastation.
So, relatively good "Izmail" was not completed due to the impossibility of both work at domestic enterprises and the inaccessibility of foreign components, for example. The same thing happened - projects of the pre-war period, which by the beginning of the 30s no longer met the requirements of the time more than completely.
In the 20s, there was no time for the fleet, but when money appeared, it was decided to build light coastal defense forces, which is logical - both relatively simple and cheap. So more than controversial submarines like "M" and TKA "Sh-4" and "G-5" went into production.
In the early 30s, money seemed to appear, and factories were built, but ... practice has shown that the design school is lost. The firstborns among the relatively large ships of the TFR of the "Uragan" type and the submarines of the "Decembrist" type gave birth in agony, and it turned out, rather, as in the verse "the queen gave birth to a son or a daughter in the night." And if the Germans helped with the Decembrists, the Hurricanes were openly screwed up.
I had to buy, for this they chose Italy, which was clearly not an optimal solution, but a budget one. Still, most of the resources were consumed by the army, which is true, without it there is absolutely nothing with our borders.
The fleet was taken up seriously after the Spanish war, when it became clear that a strong and authoritative state was impossible without it. Only now they did not have time ...
More precisely - not everyone had time. With submarines of the "C" type, they managed, having received an analogue of their Series VII, the best boats of that war, which is nice - from the Germans, they purchased the drawings and part of the instruments. With mosquito forces, they almost had time, the hunters created and ran in, with seaworthy TKA they were late, and with large ...
The battleships of the project 23 frankly did not pull. Were it not for the war they would have been completed, perhaps, by 1944-1945. Battlecruisers, even with the purchase of German turret guns, are about the same. But the destroyers of project 30, leaders of project 48 and light cruisers of project 68 could well begin to enter service in 1942, so that the balance of forces on the seas could fundamentally change. But...
Couldn't, or rather - didn't have time. Alas, it is in fiction that Stalin needs to know the future, and the ships begin to bake like hot cakes. In a sad reality, everything is a little different. In any country, they do exactly as much for which they have enough strength and funds.
And what is not enough - they pay for the lack of iron in blood, and at a terrible rate.
And in that war, we paid, proving that even with a shortage of iron, you can fight and win. And submarine campaigns through minefields without sonar in the Baltic, and attacks by non-seaworthy TKA in the Arctic, and the Black Sea winter landings without landing ships and trained marines - all this was scary, bloody, but often successful.
And it was stupid to look for the guilty, which turned out that way, at first they could not, then they did not have time. There was also nonsense, of course, but not so critical, such as an incomprehensible love for the caliber of 180 mm or the construction of almost a hundred "Babies" and 300 TKA of a reduced type. You can understand this - it is better bad, but much than nothing at all.
The desire of some publicists is simply amazing - to show us strong (and therefore stupid, since that Hitler was not immediately erased into powder) where this power was not even close.
For example, in terms of the number of modern cruisers, we, of course, overtook Argentina, four against three. But they lagged behind the Netherlands, they had five of them ...