Corruption in the office of the Grand Duke Alexei Aleksandrovich, brother of Alexander the Third, reached such astronomical proportions that the armor plates of the ships were fastened with wooden sleeves. Non-explosive shells and the Tsushima pogrom - these are, in brief, the results of the work of the Naval Department, headed by the Grand Duke. No one has done more to defeat Russia in the Russo-Japanese War than this man.
Already scolded by the mention of the fact that the Russian cruiser Varyag was built in the USA. It would seem that there is nothing strange in this. The cruiser was ordered, paid for and built on time - where is the crime here?
However, it is rarely mentioned that the second participant of the legendary battle of Chemulpo - the gunboat "Koreyets" - was built at the shipyard Bergsund Mekaniksa in Sweden.
Gentlemen, let me ask one question: Did anything ever build in the Russian Empire at the turn of the XIX – XX centuries?
Armored cruiser "Svetlana", the place of construction - Le Havre, France;
Armored cruiser "Admiral Kornilov" - Saint-Nazaire, France;
Armored Cruiser "Askold" - Kiel, Germany;
Armored cruiser "Boyar" - Copenhagen, Denmark;
The armored cruiser Bayan - Toulon, France;
Armored cruiser "Admiral Makarov", built at the shipyard "Forge & Chantier", France;
The armored cruiser Rurik was built at the Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, England;
Battleship Retvizan, built by William Cram & Sans, Philadelphia, USA;
The battleship "Tsesarevich" - built in La Seyne-sur-Mer in France ...
This could be ridiculous if it were not for our homeland. A situation in which half of the domestic fleet built on foreign shipyards, clearly pointed out the steep problems in the Russian Empire in the late XIX - early XX centuries: domestic industry was in deep decline and stagnation. Sometimes she could not afford even the simplest destroyers and destroyers - almost all of them were built abroad.
The “Whale” destroyers series, the construction site was the shipyard of Friedrich Schiechau, Elbing, Germany;
The series "Trout" ("Attentive"), were built at the factory of A. Norman in France;
Series "Lieutenant Burakov" - "Forge & Chantier" and the Norman plant, France;
A series of destroyers "Mechanical Engineer Zverev" - Shipyard Schihau, Germany.
The destroyers of the series "Rider" and "Falcon" - built in Germany and, accordingly, in the UK; Pernov destroyer - plant of A. Norman, France; Batum - Yarrow Shipyard in Glasgow, UK; "Adler" - Shipyard Schihau, Germany ...
Dear gentlemen, comrades, what is written here is just a cry from the heart. When the liberal public once again sang a song about how well Russia's development proceeded at the beginning of the century, and then the damned “commies” came along and ruined everything - don’t believe a single word of these scoundrels.
The armored cruiser Varyag from America and the armored cruiser Admiral Makarov, built in France, are the true picture of those events. Before the First World War, the Russian Empire bought everything abroad - from ships and airplanes to small ones. weapons. With such a pace of development, we had every chance to push through the next, second world war, forever disappearing from the political map of the world. Fortunately, fate decreed otherwise.
A country called the Soviet Union has learned to do everything on their own.
Saga of not built battleships
On the vast expanses of the Internet, a most amusing poster-de-motivator walks along:
Gulag and battleships - it is strong. However, the author of the poster is somehow right: the Soviet Union really did not launch and did not commission a single battleship (despite the fact that it was twice adopted for their construction).
What a contrast against this background are the achievements of the pre-revolutionary domestic shipbuilding!
Between 1909 and 1917 7 battleship dreadnoughts of the types “Sevastopol” and “Empress Maria” were added to the navy of the Russian Empire.
This is not counting the unfinished battleship "Emperor Nicholas I" and four super dreadnoughts of the type "Izmail", which were already launched and were in high degree of readiness - only World War I and the Revolution did not allow Russian shipbuilders to complete what they had begun.
Linear ship "Gangut" - the first Russian dreadnought of the type "Sevastopol"
The harsh truth is that “Sevastopol” and “Empress Maria” are simply ashamed to be compared with their peers - the British super-dreadnoughts “Orion”, “King George V” or Japanese Congo-class battlecruisers. "Sevastopol" and "Empress Maria" were built on deliberately outdated projects, and delays in their construction, caused by unprecedented corruption in the Navy Department, weak industry and the general unfavorable situation in the country, led to the fact that at the time of entry into service Russian "dreadnoughts" were almost the weakest in the world.
The main caliber of "Sevastopol" (305 mm) look curious against the background of 343 mm guns "Orion" or 356 mm artillery Japanese "Congo". As for the armor - it was just a shame: "Tsushima syndrome" and the fear of high-explosive shells took up over common sense. Even without that, thin armor was “smeared” all over the ship - this was at the time when the “probable enemy” had built battleships with 13,5 and 14-inch guns - one of their projectiles could sew Sevastopol through and undermine the ammunition cellars.
Uncompleted “Izmail” was a little better - despite its solid firepower (12 x 356 mm - in this parameter Izmail could compare with the best foreign analogues) and high speed (estimated value - more than 27 nodes), the newest Russian super-dreadnought could hardly have become a serious argument in a dispute with his British peer Queen Elizabeth or Japanese Fuso. The armor is too weak - the security of the “Izmailov” was below any criticism.
Speaking of domestic shipbuilding of the beginning of the twentieth century, one cannot help mentioning the legendary Noviki, the world's best destroyers at the start of the First World War. Four excellent 102 mm guns of the Obukhovsky Plant, liquid fuel boilers, 36 nodes, the ability to take on board up to 50 mines - Noviki became the world standard in designing destroyers.
Well, Novik is the exception that confirms the general rule. The glory of Novikov was like a falling star - the brightest, but quickly extinguished flash in the impenetrable blackness of the everyday life of the imperial Navy.
It remains to state an obvious fact: the attempt of pre-revolutionary Russia to become a naval power failed miserably - the underdeveloped industry of the Russian Empire lost the “arms race” to the leading world powers.
By the way, the USSR twice took up the construction of battleships. Unlike the “pre-revolutionary” battleships, which were morally outdated at the laying stage, the Soviet project 23 (“Soviet Union”) and the project 82 (“Stalingrad”) were quite modern ships — powerful, balanced and in no way inferior in terms of characteristics to their foreign counterparts. .
The first time to finish the battleships prevented the war. A lot has affected pre-revolutionary backwardness of the domestic industry. Industrialization only gained momentum, and such an ambitious project turned out to be a “tough nut” for Soviet shipbuilders - the battleships turned little by little into long-term construction.
The second attempt was made at the beginning of 1950's - alas, the era of dreadnoughts and hot artillery duels inexorably disappeared. The completion of the "Stalingrad" was canceled a couple of years after their laying.
Did the USSR buy ships abroad?
Yes, I bought it. Before the war, the Union acquired the unfinished German cruiser Luttsov (Petropavlovsk) and the leader of the destroyers Tashkent, built in Italy according to the original design.
Something else? Yes.
For example, MAN ordered twenty ship diesel engines of the type G7Z52 / 70 with power 2200 hp. and type G7V74 power 1500 hp Also for the fleet samples of propeller shafts, steering gears, ship anti-fouling paints, 406-mm and 280-mm ship-mounted towers, bomb-bombs, sonar equipment were purchased ...
You do not need to have a “seven heads in the forehead” to understand the obvious thing - in the pre-war years, the Soviet Union bought TECHNOLOGIES
Everything else he did himself.
With the beginning of the Cold War, the situation took an even tougher turn - in direct confrontation with the Euro-Atlantic civilization, the Union could rely only on itself. It’s just ridiculous to imagine an atomic submarine missile carrier for the Soviet Navy being built somewhere in the British Glasgow or in the American Philadelphia.
And the Union managed! Restoring the economy and industry after a terrible war, the USSR rolled out to the expanses of the World Ocean SUCH FLEET in 1960-s, from which both halves of the Earth trembled - in time with the submarine rocket carriers swaying around the piers in Gremikha and Krasheninnikov Bay.
It would be good to steal ready-made technologies in the West, but bad luck, there was nothing to steal - what the USSR did was often unparalleled in the world.
The first in the world sea ballistic missile and its underwater carrier; The “singing frigates” of the 61 project are the first ships in the world with a fully gas-turbine power plant; Legend-M sea space reconnaissance and target designation system ...
Anti-ship missiles - here the USSR Navy was not equal at all.
The reproachful phrase "the USSR has not built a single battleship" can only cause Homeric laughter. The Soviet Union was able to build titanium submarines, aircraft carrying cruisers and the giant Orlan nuclear submarines - any dreadnought dies against the background of these MASTERPADS of design ideas.
It’s simply not necessary to talk about any borrowing from the West - the Soviet ships had their well-recognized authentic appearance, layout, dimensions and a specific set of weapons. Moreover, the USSR Navy itself was a single alternative to the fleets of Western countries (by default, the US Navy). The leadership of the USSR Navy developed a completely original (and absolutely correct!) Concept of countering the US Navy and boldly adhered to the chosen direction, creating specific, previously unseen, samples of naval equipment:
- large anti-submarine ships - missile cruisers with hypertrophied PLO armament;
- heavy aircraft carrying cruisers;
- submarines with cruise missiles, the so-called. "Aircraft carrier killers";
- attack missile cruisers, known as the "grin of socialism" ...
Soviet naval power
Unique ships of the measuring complex of 1914 Marshal Nedelin Ave., nodes of ultra-long ocean communication (a low-frequency impulse of enormous power directed to the earth's crust, can be accepted even on board a submarine), small rocket ships and a mosquito fleet armed with large missiles (enough remember what a sensation in the world made the drowning of the Israeli "Eilat").
All this - own technologies and own production. Made in USSR.
Someone will probably ask a question about the large landing ships of the 775 project - the BDK of this type was built in the period from 1974 to 1991 year in Poland. The answer is simple: it was a purely political decision, dictated by the desire to support its ally in the Warsaw bloc.
I will say more - Finnish shipyards regularly received orders from the Soviet Navy - mainly the matter concerned the construction of tugboats and the floating tower. Purely economic motives — it was unprofitable for Soviet shipyards to mess with this “trifle”, because nuclear submarines and TAVKRs were on the stocks of Severodvinsk and Nikolaev.
Known история with the purchase of TOSHIBA machines for precise machining of screws of Soviet submarines is nothing more than a curiosity. In the end, they bought the machine, not the finished destroyer or submarine.
Finally, the Soviet Navy never disdained to use foreign equipment when it came to captured ships.
- The admiral does not spare funds for his new beloved, they say that the last gift - a luxurious collection of diamonds - was purchased with funds earmarked for the “Chilean contract” (note Russia planning to buy out the battleships under construction in England for the Chilean Navy).
- What did you want, sir? Eliza Ballet is now one of the richest women in Russia.
- Yes, the Grand Duke knows a lot about kickbacks - it’s not by chance that the contract for the supply of ship's armor was transferred from the Izhora factory to the private Mariupol plant, which drives hack at twice the price (9,9 instead of 4,4 rubles per pound).
Approximately in this vein, the high society St. Petersburg public in the early twentieth century gossiped among themselves - the Most Gracious Sovereign, Admiral, Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich rested notably on the Cote d'Azur and generously gave gifts to his young beloved, French ballerina Eliza Ballet, until Rus -Japanese war.
"Go away, Prince Tsushimsky"! - screamed furious public, at the sight of Alexei Alexandrovich entering the stalls of the Mikhailovsky Theater, which almost brought the admiral to a heart attack.
It got that day and his passion - a ballerina shining with “pebbles” was showered with all kinds of litter with shouts: “This is where our Pacific Fleet is! The blood of Russian sailors on your diamonds ”!
30 May 1905, the Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich resigned from his post as chief of the fleet and the Navy Department and drove off to Paris with Balletta.
Gentlemen, do you have the impression of déjà vu?