Military Review

Round court admiral Popov. Part of 1. The history of the creation of round armadillos for the Black Sea

The rapid development of naval technology in the 1850-1870-ies, associated with the use of steam engines, bombing guns, as well as reservations in combat ships, led to a revolution in military shipbuilding and the rapid development of related industries. The value of the wooden ships that were in the second half of the 1850-ies. with the advent of the first battleships, the main strength of the naval fleets was depreciated so much that all the maritime powers, due to their political and economic capabilities, were forced to start rebuilding their fleets. Unprecedented armored monsters, armed with multi-ton guns, constantly descended from the stocks and ... immediately obsolete, "slain" by new inventions and improvements.

Round court admiral Popov. Part of 1. The history of the creation of round armadillos for the Black Sea

This coup in Russia occurred during the reign of Alexander II. The head of the naval department, the Ministry of the Sea, was the brother of the emperor - Admiral General and Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, direct administration of the department was carried out by Vice Admiral N.Krabbe The Maritime Technical Committee (MTC), an organ of the same ministry, was in charge of all matters of creating new vessels. However, they did not always determine the “politics” and shipbuilding technique of the 1860-1870s. Rear Admiral Andrei Alexandrovich Popov (in 1873 he became vice admiral), using the confidence of the admiral, "worked" as the unofficial general designer of the naval fleet Of Russia. This energetic and talented man, a competent shipbuilder and sailor, was able, relying on his assistants chosen by him, to realize a large number of his ideas embedded in projects of ships of various purposes. Among them: the ocean-going armored cruiser General Admiral, the naval battleship Peter the Great and round ships - the battleships Novgorod, Vice Admiral Popov and the royal yacht Livadia.

Ocean armored cruiser "General-Admiral"

Battleship "Peter the Great"

After the Crimean War, the Russian Black Sea navy practically ceased to exist. The revival of the Black Sea fleet was politically hindered by the terms of the Paris Peace Treaty signed in 1856 on the neutralization of the Black Sea. This agreement did not allow Russia to have more than 6 ships of 800 tonnes and 4 ships of 200 tonnes in naval forces. Economic reasons also played an important role: for more than a decade after an unsuccessful and difficult war, it took a lot of internal reforms in the country, the limited funds of the treasury were enough only to maintain and create the ships of the Baltic Fleet. In this regard, the repeated proposals of the military ministry to build at least non-seaworthy armored floating batteries for the defense of the most vulnerable places of the Black Sea coast have not been implemented.

Only in the second half of 1869, after the Baltic Shipyards Defensive Shipbuilding Program was carried out, to the Minister of War, General DA Milutin. they gave permission to raise the issue of “building armored vessels in the south of Russia”, and again it was exclusively about strengthening the defense of the Kerch Strait and the Dnieper-Bug estuary. During the preliminary study of the problem in the Maritime Ministry Popov A.A. He proposed to solve it with the help of round ships: “An adversary who decides to attack our coastal fortified points can dare to do so only with the tools of the largest caliber, which at that time will be possible for practical use. In order to reflect it, we must have similar tools, and therefore, when designing vessels serving to supplement our coastal protection as machine tools for guns, we need to select artillery with the largest caliber available from us for their armament: therefore, we propose to supply 11 d (280 mm) rifled or 20 d (508 mm) smooth guns. By reducing the length while increasing the width of the vessel, you can reduce its cost and increase the displacement. After bringing this axiom to a finite degree, that is, by making the length and width equal, we will achieve the most favorable conditions in terms of cost and displacement. Therefore, all its waterlines are formed of circles. Of all the ships, the monitor type is least subject to rolling and has the smallest area to cover with armor; the designed ship, as a machine for guns, has a monitor; in the center it has a fixed tower covered with armor, as well as the ship’s side and deck ... Although circular formations of water lines do not represent favorable conditions for high speeds, but this deficiency is completely compensated by the absence of obstacles for turning and excess displacement. In order to take full advantage of the agility, the projected type was given two screws, and the excess displacement is loaded with a machine ... "

Battleship Novgorod

(Round ships were created in ancient times and were used by various nations. In 1868, the Englishman Elder proposed an original round ship. In the underwater part, its outlines had a spherical shape: the wetted surface decreased, and, consequently, the water resistance decreased. The inventor proposed it used as an armadillo, “carrier of the largest caliber with a quiet rolling and great stability.” It was Elder, in some publications of that time, who called the idea of ​​a round b . Onenostsa but offers significantly different: the bottom of the "Monitor" Popov was flat, and therefore, there has been much less rainfall).

Judging by the events that occurred further, this proposal was immediately interested by the leadership of the maritime department; to check the behavior of an unusual vessel in the water Krabbe N.K. he immediately allowed us to make a full-scale model: a round boat with a diameter of 3,35 m, with two steam engines temporarily removed from Kronstadt from working boats.

There was no particular choice on the issue of determining the construction site of future ships. Modern shipbuilding base was available only in the area of ​​St. Petersburg. In the south of the country in Nikolaev, from the time of the sailing fleet, the state admiralty remained, where they continued to build wooden ships for the Black Sea Flotilla. ROPiT (Russian Company of Shipping and Trade) worked in Sevastopol, whose ship repairmen only assembled small steamers from ready-made parts. Here was the only slipway on the entire Black Sea basin for the repair of large vessels. Having no means for building new or reconstructing existing enterprises, the sailors proposed a compromise solution - to build new ships in St. Petersburg, and assemble them on the territory of the Nikolaev Admiralty. For the assembly work proposed to equip on the bank of the river. Ingul, one or two open stocks and not far from them to build an "armored workshop" - a kind of shop for processing armor and metal structures, delivered from industrial areas; from the same place it was supposed to write out experienced shipbuilders. The higher ranks of the maritime and military ministries, who met at a "special" meeting in the second half of December, chaired by the admiral general, discussed ideas on the construction of battleships. It was decided to assemble for two years in the Nikolaevsky Admiralty four small battleships for a total of 4 million rubles, of which 200 thousand were allocated for the addition of the Admiralty equipment. The type of ship was not considered in detail, Popov A.A. it was entrusted only to work out his future project in two versions: “dimensions of double-winged boats”, i.e. monitors such as "Mermaid", as well as the "round ship".

Battleship Vice Admiral Popov

A month later, Alexander II approved the decision of the meeting, as well as the requirements of the military department for the elements of the ships: the minimum caliber of guns - 280 mm; draft - 3,3 m, thickness of armor - “more than on the largest foreign battleships” (actually it had to be equal to the caliber of guns). Only the round ship proposed by Andrei Aleksandrovich satisfied such strict requirements in full! The mermaid with a displacement of 2100 tons and a draft of 3,5 meter carried 4 guns of caliber 229 mm, having a belt armor of thickness 114 mm. The more advanced Admiral Chichagov monitor, which has two 280 mm caliber guns in its arsenal and is protected by 102-178-mm armor, had a 3500 meters draft when displacing 5 tons. Thus, the demands of army engineers became an excuse for choosing a new type of ship as the Black Sea battleship, although along with it there were other reasons. In April, 1870, the Marine Department manager, wrote: “The election of this type for battleships in the south will save us from the significant costs of building ships of the previous types that cannot meet the requirements of modern defense by local conditions and will deprive foreign powers of any reason to make us objections and protests. .. Without any stretch round ships can be ranked as floating fortresses and will not be included in the lists of ships of the fleet. "


In April, tests were conducted on a round boat built at the Kronstadt steamboat plant. She rather briskly moved in a channel cut through the ice, confirming the right to the existence of a new vessel. 27 numbers were reported to the emperor about successful trials, after which “highest” was ordered round vessels designed by Popov A.A. called "popovkah".

Andrei Alexandrovich and his assistants, until May, worked on several variants of the technical assignment for the construction of round ships of different diameters, and the question of choosing the type of guns (smooth-bore or rifled) and towers for them (closed or open, rotating or stationary) remained open. To obtain practical data on seaworthiness and installation of steam engines with screws on the backs, a new model with a diameter of 7,3 meter with 4 screws and steam engines (power of each 8 nominal force) was started at the same factory. It is known that this boat, bearing the name "Flounder", showed progress in 5 nodes and "unusually fast turning." After the tests, which ended by the summer of 1871, the mechanisms were removed from this popovka, and the iron hull was used in the Petersburg port as a floating craft.

26 General-Admiral May “listened to the commission regarding the dimensions and system of alleged battleships” and chose a round vessel with a diameter of 46 meters with a fixed open turret, 550 mm armor, armed with 4 XM mm mm smooth-bore guns. The vessel’s total displacement with the 508 draft of the meter should have been 3,8 tons. After consideration by the Marine Technical Committee, smooth-bore guns were replaced with five Krupp 6054 caliber mm rifled guns; in June Krabbe N.K. The ship engineer and engineer Lieutenant Mordvinov AV, the future builder of both popovki, approved the assignment, began to make an estimate "for materials needed for its construction" ... By this time for the Nikolaev Admiralty they had drafted a "workshop of armored shipbuilding", and also a group of officers was selected executors. Rear Admiral I.F. A naval agent in England began to procure the necessary equipment for the workshop.

In July 1870, the Franco-Prussian War began. The ensuing defeat of France enabled the Russian government to abolish the articles of the treaty regarding the neutralization of the Black Sea, which was confirmed by the International London Conference in January 1871. But despite this, the sailors continued to consider the task of restoring the Black Sea Fleet "unthinkable" due to the lack of state funds for the creation of shipbuilding and metallurgical and enterprises in the south, and equipment bases for ships of "new menacing types." Therefore, they proposed to act consistently - first to build a defensive, "monitor" fleet consisting of popovok. The manager of the Marine Ministry 23 July instructed the Commander-in-Chief of the Petersburg port to work out a construction program for the defense of the Black Sea 10 backpacks, with their construction in Petersburg and Kronstadt, and assembly in Nikolaev. At the same time, in order to reduce the cost and speed up the construction, it was proposed to use steam engines taken from old gunboats, clippers and corvettes. After half a month, the port presented the calculations. From the development of Popov A.A. Engineers have chosen a prim diameter 24,4 meter as a model. With a displacement of 1200 tons, this ship was armed with two 229 mm caliber guns in a fixed open turret, armored with 152-203-mm plates; The power plant consisted of 4 steam engines from gunboats, power each 70 rated forces. There were 32 such machines, 8 had to produce. The total cost of the program was determined in 9,5 million rubles, the readiness period of all vessels is 15 months.

Having received these data, the sailors proposed to build such ships in September, without leaving the decisions of the “special” meeting. Firstly, it allowed to keep within the declared amounts and terms, secondly, “with the novelty of round ships ... to solve in practice, with less loss of money and time, all the issues that need to be clarified before spending the million rubles necessary for the construction of at least one popovka 152 foot size (46 m) diameter ... "(cost, with weapons and delivery, was 4,14 million rubles, and the production time was determined in 3 year!).

In response to the "restless admiral", 6 variants of round ships were developed. In October, one of them finally chose a popovka with a diameter of 29,26 meter: 2 guns of caliber 280 mm in a fixed open turret, armor thickness 305 mm, 4 steam engines (total power 480 nominal forces). The total cost of the battleship, including delivery to the south - 1,94 million rubles.

It remained only to solve the problem of the number of ships. The “Program of Action ...” compiled by the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich and highly approved was proclaimed: “The Black Sea armored fleet must have an exclusively defensive character, before the time ... The basis of this fleet must be the pledges now laid, perhaps the shortest possible time ... "Probably, in this, the maximum, program, the opinions of experts on the possibility of using old kanonerok cars, as well as the construction of round ships of smaller size were taken into account ramie. In January, 1871 of the year returned to the proposal to build 4 popovki with a diameter of 29 meters: 2 in St. Petersburg, with a subsequent assembly in the south, 2 - right in the Nikolaevsky Admiralty. This program required two times more funds compared to the initial calculations. The final amount was 8,5 million rubles. However, while supporting all these “programs” and “plans”, the government was in no hurry to finance their implementation. So, after Alexander II allowed 14 on December 1870 to build the first popovka in St. Petersburg and the general-admiral ordered to speed up work in Nikolaev for laying a second vessel there, in the middle of next year, it turned out that only 1871 million was allocated for the program in 1,66. rub. (a little over 1 million rubles for the first and 600 thousand for the other three). In subsequent years, allocations were planned at the same level. Build new ships on such funds could only be consistent! Moreover, the ministry officials estimated that it would be possible to complete the program in these conditions only for 1875, and even suggested that the laying of the second ship be delayed for a year. Popov A.A. I had to worry a lot, but in April 1871 of the year was followed by the final order of the General-Admiral about the beginning of the construction in the same year in Nikolaev of the second popovka.
Articles from this series:
Round court admiral Popov. Part of 1. The history of the creation of round armadillos for the Black Sea
Round court admiral Popov. Part of 2. Bookmark "Novgorod"
Round court admiral Popov. Part of 3. "Vice Admiral Popov"
Round court admiral Popov. Part of 4. Popovki in the Russian-Turkish war and new ideas
Round court admiral Popov. Part of 5. Imperial yacht "Livadia"
Round court admiral Popov. Part of 6. The fate of pardons

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  1. Iraclius
    Iraclius 7 February 2013 08: 59
    After the Sinop battle, which became the swan song of the sailing fleet, the race of armor and calibers began. From time to time, very interesting, unusual ships appeared.
    From this point of view, interesting and peculiar battleships! The Popovka, however, are closer to the floating coastal defense batteries (or floating forts) than to seagoing ships. I would also like to say about Popov himself and Krabbe. This is what kind of love for the Motherland, civil courage and initiative is needed to make a decision on the construction of such unique ships.
  2. Sakhalininsk
    Sakhalininsk 7 February 2013 09: 14
    Vice-Admiral Popov was a talented shipbuilder, but unlike Peter the Great, its round ships can hardly be called a successful project.
    1. avt
      avt 7 February 2013 09: 36
      Quote: Sakhalininets
      Vice-Admiral Popov was a talented shipbuilder, but unlike Peter the Great, its round ships can hardly be called a successful project.

      This is still put it mildly. With kruglyashami he missed a lot, one yacht Livadia what is worth. In general, just crush on kruglyashi smile And he was an ENGINEER from God! A series of his monitors went about at sea even when the sea was rough. Well, "Peter the Great" is a classic! good No wonder the shaved strive to challenge the championship with their Devastation.
      1. Iraclius
        Iraclius 7 February 2013 09: 51
        I think that these ships should be treated more condescendingly. This is not a full-fledged squadron battleship, but a means of coastal defense. In addition, the fantastic streamlined shape had stunningly rational angles of inclination of the armor and piercing it with armor-piercing, and even more so bombing shells, it would be awesome. good
        But just with Peter the Great is not so clear. An almost exact copy of HMS Devastation. In addition, with weak machines, because later it was re-equipped. request And the monitor-type armadillos themselves had many shortcomings, including disgusting seaworthiness - remember the death of Captain.
        1. avt
          avt 7 February 2013 10: 31
          Quote: Iraclius
          But just with Peter the Great is not so clear. An almost exact copy of HMS Devastation. In addition, with weak machines, because later it was re-equipped. request Yes, and the monitor-type armadillos themselves had many shortcomings, including disgusting seaworthiness - remember the death of Captain.

          I disagree. Monitors, in principle, are not adapted to the open sea. This is a design feature. Captain is not a monitor, a turret battleship and capsized due to an uncalculated metacentric height and navigation error. To assess Devastation and Peter Velikov, you need to consider all the elements of the structure as a whole - well, for example, booking, etc. And so you can say, well, it floats and what's new. As for the "weak" machines - well, if you still compare with the reactors of modern nuclear submarines ... request laughing
          1. Iraclius
            Iraclius 7 February 2013 10: 47
            And I did not say that these are monitors. I said that these are monitor-type armadillos, in other words, low-breasted armadillos. English ships of the type HMS Devastation were supposed to be used on the high seas. They were originally designed as seagoing vessels. HMS Devastation was generally planned for use in the Atlantic. So, excuse me, sir, but madame history is on my side! hi
            As for Captain - it is known that as a result of an overload, the freeboard was higher than the 2 m above the waterline - the monitor did, yes! laughing
            Well, and about the weakness of Peter the Great's cars - the capacity was less than the designed one. Because of this, and went later for re-equipment.
            And do not forget that HMS Devastation gave rise to a whole family of ships. Unfortunately, Peter the Great was the only one for the Russian fleet for almost a decade. The construction of the battleships froze; the report of the Naval Ministry for the 1879 year sadly noted that "Peter the Great" is our only strong warship. "
            Something like that.
            1. Bosk
              Bosk 8 February 2013 21: 58
              By the way, analogues in the world did not seem to be observed ...
  3. AK-47
    AK-47 7 February 2013 09: 21
    2 guns of caliber 280 mm in a stationary open turret,

    An informative article that opens little-known pages of the history of the fleet.

    Aiming the guns at the target was carried out by maneuvering the ship, after each shot the aiming was adjusted, because as a result of the return, the position of the vessel changed and the goal changed its position during this time.
    It was not easy for artillerymen.
    1. borisst64
      borisst64 7 February 2013 11: 04
      Quote: AK-47
      Gun guidance on the target was carried out by maneuvering the ship

      Yeah, really! Rate of fire 7 shots (per week). The bet was on a large caliber, once hit a wooden ship, a second is not required.
  4. Iraclius
    Iraclius 7 February 2013 09: 23
    To justify Admiral Popov, I note that he did not have a large maneuver. The decisions of the Paris Treaty fettered the military and engineers hand and foot. In any case, the speed of appearance and implementation of technical solutions at that time led to very rapid obsolescence any, the most advanced armadillos at the time. yes
    1. Kibb
      Kibb 7 February 2013 14: 20
      Quote: Iraclius
      The decisions of the Paris Treaty fettered the military and engineers hand and foot.
      These decisions did not in any way forbid Russia to build railways in the Crimea and in the Taurida province, in addition, it did not forbid the construction of auxiliary cruisers, which, as practice showed, was quite enough to counter the Turks. As for the "popovok", they were never conceived as seaworthy ships, just a floating fort. Among other things, the guns were installed on them on rotating platforms, i.e. were induced in g.p. 360 degrees
  5. shurup
    shurup 7 February 2013 11: 19
    Popovki were floating self-propelled batteries. In the database, all batteries practically did not have to take part. But many technical and construction solutions were worked out on them. Well-known boules - from this opera.
    By the way, it would be nice to study the history of round ships for aircraft designers who are fond of flying saucers (and do not forget that Mozhaysky was a naval officer).
  6. AlNikolaich
    AlNikolaich 7 February 2013 12: 47
    On the subject from N.A. Nekrasov, from the poem "Contemporaries":
    - Hello, smart head! Have you been from foreign countries for a long time?
    By the way, what's your "popovka", Did she swim into the ocean?
    - Poorly! business does not argue, Experience does not confuse:
    Everything is spinning and spinning, Everything is spinning ... does not swim ...
    - This is the brother of the emblem of the century, if you really understand
    there is no person in Russia with whom there wouldn’t be!
    Something is awkward for everyone, in something, somewhere there is a sin
    we spin like a "popovka"
    and forward - not to the top!
    1. Iraclius
      Iraclius 7 February 2013 14: 13
      AlNikolaichthanks for the poem. N.A. Nekrasov did not know this. Very modern and topical verse. good
  7. Kibb
    Kibb 7 February 2013 14: 48
    The name indicates that this is the first part, the ships went into operation with a different artillery, and in other installations, can we wait for the second part?
  8. Taidrem
    Taidrem 14 July 2013 21: 59
    Like the present Peter the Great, the Battleship Peter the Great when he first appeared was the most powerful ship in the world. Frankly, the creation of a 3D model of this ship was worth many nerves.