Military Review

The history of the creation of heavy cruisers like "Kronstadt" (project 69)

The history of the creation of heavy cruisers like "Kronstadt" (project 69)


The design of heavy cruisers in the USSR began in the middle of the 1930-ies, simultaneously with the development of projects of large (type "A") and small (type "B") battleships. In 1934 – 1936 several pre-sketch and draft designs of ships with 240-mm and 280-mm guns of the main caliber were considered, but they did not receive further development.

Heavy cruiser project 69

1 November 1937 was prepared new tactical and technical requirements for heavy cruiser, approved by the head of the Red Forces Naval Forces. arms Composition: 9 254-mm guns in three three-gun turrets, 8 130-mm guns in four twin towers, 8 100-mm anti-aircraft guns in four twin tower installations, 4 quad 37-mm anti-aircraft machine (after the start of the design number of them was increased to six), 2 three-tube 533-mm torpedo tubes, 80 - 100 min (in overload), 2 KOR-2 aircraft. The standard displacement of 22.000 is 23.000 tons. Travel speed - at least 34 nodes.

The design of the heavy (in fact linear) cruiser, which was assigned the index “project 69”, was performed by the collective of CDB-17 (until January 1937 of the city - TsKBS-1). In the course of the work, it turned out that it was impossible to meet the specified displacement - it was necessary to exclude torpedo armament, lower the range of travel and reduce ammunition.

Draft 69 finished in June 1938 year. The standard displacement compared with the TTZ increased to 24.450 tons, the estimated speed decreased slightly - to 33,3 nodes. The reservation was sacrificed for high speed and was: the main belt - 140 mm, the traverse beam - 210 mm, the barbety of the towers - 210 mm, the middle deck - 80 mm and the lower - 20 mm.

After the elements of Scharnhorst-type cruisers built in Germany became known to Soviet designers, the Defense Committee of the USSR SNK at the end of June 1938 decided to include in the range of tasks assigned to new heavy cruisers to fight these ships. July 10 approved the "Basic tactical and technical specifications for the design of heavy cruiser project 69". The main gauge increased to 305 mm, the standard displacement was limited to 31.000 T, the travel speed was 32 knots.

A new version of the draft project was submitted for review on October 20 1938. According to the conclusion of the Shipbuilding Department of the RKKF, it had a number of significant shortcomings, for which a special commission was created. The result of her work was the following recommendations: to replace 130-mm guns with 152-mm, to strengthen the booking and mine protection by reducing the cruising range and leave the speed unchanged.

Heavy cruiser project 69I

Heavy cruiser project 69I. Side view

Heavy cruiser project 69I, view from the bow and from the stern

The layout of the heavy cruiser project 69I. Copy of the original drawing

In preparing the revised draft, the above remarks were taken into account, while reinforcing the booking of the conning tower, the main and anti-mine caliber towers. Slightly increased length, width and height of the side and, as a consequence, the displacement.

The revised draft project was reviewed by the State Defense Committee and approved by 13 on July 1939. The building orders were issued in March by 1939, the deadline was set in 1943. 12 on April 1940, five months after the bookmark, by the decision of the Defense Committee, the technical design of the ship was finally approved.

Due to the lag in the creation of main-caliber guns in 1940, it was decided to accept the offer of the German company Krupp to supply main-caliber towers with 380-mm artillery. At the talks that took place soon, the German side expressed its readiness to supply six sets of two-gun 380-mm towers (for two ships of the 69 project) and firing controls for them.

The political decision to acquire 380-mm towers and PUS in Germany was made without taking into account the opinion of the Navy. 10 July 1940 was approved by "TTZ for the re-equipment of the 69 project ship with German 380-mm towers instead of 305-mm MK-15 towers and main caliber CCP." October 16 of the same year, the project 69-I (and - foreign) was ready.

The placement of the new gunships required significant changes in the overall location of approximately 40% ship length. Mine protection was extended by 9 m. To accommodate new firing controls, it was necessary to increase the size of the conning tower, to change the upper tiers of the tower-like foremast, the superstructure under the stern command-range post. The set of fire control instruments included two KDP with one 10-m range-finder in each (installed at KDP-8 sites). All these changes led to the fact that the ship’s standard displacement increased from 35.250 to 36.240 tons, the speed decreased.

In October 1940, the deadline for the delivery of cruisers was shifted to 1944 year.

In November, 1940 signed a contract for the supply of 380-mm towers and control devices, but they were not sent to the USSR.

The construction of the head Kronstadt was suspended three months after the attack of fascist Germany on the USSR - 10 of September 1941 of the year - with the readiness of the entire 12%. During the war, the armor prepared for the ship was partially used for the construction of fortifications near Leningrad. At the end of the war, the completion of the ship for technical reasons was considered inexpedient, and it was dismantled for metal. By that time, the readiness of the cruiser was just 7%.

The second cruiser - "Sevastopol" - 15 August 1941 g. At readiness about 13% was captured by German troops. During the occupation, the Germans partially dismantled it for metal. After the liberation of Nikolaev by Soviet troops, the ship’s readiness was estimated at 4% (and the fascists undermined the slipway during the retreat) and refused to complete the construction.

The program for the construction of heavy cruisers like "Kronstadt"


Place of construction

bookmark date



Plant №194, Leningrad

November 30.11.1939, XNUMX

Not completed


Plant No.200, Nikolaev

November 5.11.1939, XNUMX

Not completed


The main 230-mm armor belt with a height of 5 m was mounted with an 6 ° inclination outward and covered the middle part of the hull for between the barbetts of the end towers (76,8% of the hull length at the waterline) and was closed by the beam: 330-mm bow and 260-mm aft.

69 Heavy Cruiser Booking Scheme

The upper edge of the belt adjoins the 90-mm medium armored deck. Below was the 30-mm splinter deck, whose thickness outside the citadel was reduced to 15 mm.

The logging booking was: 330 walls - 260 mm, roofs - 125 mm; GK barbets - 330 mm above average deck, and mm 30 below; barbety towers 152-mm guns - 75 - 50 mm.

Mine protection within the citadel had a depth of 6 m and belonged to the "American" type, it consisted of five longitudinal bulkheads and boules. Bulkhead thickness - from 14 to 20 mm.

The power plant included the 3 turbo-gear unit of the Kharkov Electromechanical and Turbo-Generator Plant (manufactured under license from the Swiss company Brown-Bovery) with a total power of 201.000 hp; steam was produced by 12 steam boilers 7 bis (pressure 37 atm, temperature 380 ° С). The possibility of a two-hour forcing of a power plant up to the power of 230.000 hp was foreseen. and achieve full speed 33 nodes. The power plant was located echelon in six boiler rooms and three engine rooms.

According to the project, the main caliber was to consist of three three-gun 305-mm tower installations MK-15, located in the diametral plane. 305-mm / 54 guns B-50 had an elevation angle 45 °, which ensured the firing range of 470-kg projectile 260 KBT.

The GK artillery fire control was carried out by two KDP-8 with two 8 range finders in each: on a tower-like foremast and on the aft superstructure. In addition, each tower had its own 12 range finder.

Mine caliber counted 8 152-mm guns in the four MK-17 two-gun turrets in the middle of the hull. Their fire was controlled by two KDP-4. To ensure the fire of anti-aircraft 100-mm units MZ-16, there were two stabilized pickups with 4-m range finders.

The close-range anti-aircraft artillery consisted of seven quad 37-mm 46-K assault rifles in armored nests. In addition, it was planned to install four paired 12,7-mm machine guns DShK.

Tactical and technical characteristics of Soviet heavy cruisers of the "Kronstadt" type (project 69)

Displacement, t

• standard

• full




Dimensions, m

• length

• width

• draft





Power plant


12 PC

201.000 hp

5450 t oil

Speed, knots


Range, miles

8300 with 14,5 knots

Reservations, mm

• main belt

• traverse

• middle deck

• lower deck

• GK towers

• barbet GK

• cutting



330 ... 260







305-mm - 3 x 3

152-mm - 4 x 2

100-mm - 4 x 2

37-mm - 7 x 4

12,7-mm - 4 x 2

1 catapult

2 seaplane



According to the book "The Second World War Battleships" - M .: Collection, Yauza, Eksmo, 2005,
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  1. avt
    avt April 17 2014 09: 12
    A more interesting version of the Kronstadt weaponry was being worked out - 6 380mm German guns.
    1. Ptah
      Ptah April 17 2014 10: 47
      And why such unusual (pot-bellied) body contours in the underwater part?
      Typical for river vessels "flatness".
      Any suggestions or specific info?

      There is no pitching, which leads to a larger roll-out on the wave, but stability has increased.
      I don’t understand yet ... what
      1. avt
        avt April 17 2014 11: 08
        Quote: Ptah
        There is no pitching, which leads to a larger roll-out on the wave, but stability has increased.
        I don’t understand yet ...

        Why the heck with such a displacement, "deadweight", look at the US aircraft carriers, this is a boule - a variant of anti-torpedo and mine protection.
      2. nnz226
        nnz226 April 17 2014 15: 01
        Constructive anti-torpedo protection.
      3. Anton Gavrilov
        Anton Gavrilov April 17 2014 17: 39
        This is because of the PTZ.
      4. Sergey Vl.
        Sergey Vl. April 17 2014 22: 46
        "Pot-bellied" hull contours below the overhead line - bulI proto-mine (anti-torpedo) protection. Due to this, the Japanese Musashi withstood a dozen American torpedoes ...
    2. Vyalik
      Vyalik April 17 2014 11: 38
      On the cruiser, the caliber of the guns is the same as on battleships. This will require an increase in displacement. Yes, and the reservation is frankly weak. Remember, on battleships of the "Sevastopol" type, the armor of the main armor belt was 229mm so they were pierced by "all and sundry." Because of this, they stood throughout the war in Helsingfors.
    3. Anton Gavrilov
      Anton Gavrilov April 17 2014 17: 42
      It was not worked out, it was carried out in reality. The Germans naturally, shortly before the war, in every possible way let their responsibilities (supply of drawings and equipment) to the brakes. In photographs of the ships it is even visible that the hulls were almost not assembled at the extremities, drawings were needed because of transition to other towers, but we didn’t have them.
  2. Gunxnumx
    Gunxnumx April 17 2014 09: 38
    I read in one breath Anisimov's book "Option" Bis ". Genre - alternative history. There is about" Kronstadt ", including. I recommend members of the forum, who have not read, and the younger generation, in terms of education of patriotism.
    1. Spstas1
      Spstas1 April 17 2014 23: 33
      Great book! The best "alternative" in recent years!
      1. Sergey TT
        Sergey TT April 29 2014 12: 18
        I agree. I read. I liked it.
  3. KaKaDu
    KaKaDu April 17 2014 11: 11
    4 quad 37 mm anti-aircraft guns (after the start of design, their number was increased to six)

    Not enough? Or in those days, such air defense was enough?
    1. avt
      avt April 17 2014 11: 22
      Quote: KaKaDu
      Not enough? Or in those days, such air defense was enough?

      Very little ! According to Kuznetsov's recollections, to his proposal to reduce the number of heavy guns in favor of anti-aircraft guns, Stalin received a harsh response - “You will not fight off the coast of America!” Again, we did not have enough large-caliber, high-quality, universal guns. Minizini, they did not reach the US ones with their 127mm remote fuse. Again, the concept is this - for different targets, different caliber. So that the main one does not shoot. Here the amer with his 127 station wagons on battleships and cruisers acted very rationally, smarter than everyone else.
      1. goose
        goose April 17 2014 12: 30
        It was a vicious circle of artillery systems light projectile-high speed. If they set moderate ballistics, this would increase the accuracy and power of the projectile, increase the life of the main gun barrel several times, and reduce the cost and weight of the arsystem.

        As a minus, there is some loss of penetration at a distance of less than 8 km, a slightly reduced range, and a slightly larger weight of the BC (But this weight is lower).

        As a result, you can put the B-2U, or B-2LM as a universal caliber, at worst - Minisini, with the completion of shells.

        As a result - profit, the ship is more powerful and in size less than 30 kt
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. qwert
        qwert April 18 2014 07: 04
        With only one drawback. The American 127mm guns had a low muzzle velocity, even when compared to the standard 127-130mm guns of the time. And with anti-aircraft guns, the muzzle velocity is usually higher than that of conventional guns. Therefore, the amers did not get universalism. In principle, normal history, time has shown that it is impossible to create universal tools. It turns out a bad gun and a hr. "New anti-aircraft gun in one bottle. Therefore, the station wagons of the American fleet could simply conduct barrage of fire. This is certainly better than nothing, but not at all what the sailors wanted. In short, the idea of ​​the American admirals was true in its essence. 127mm for antiaircraft guns would be buzzing, but they had to be content with what they had.
        And hundreds were precisely anti-aircraft. and on the ballistics and angular velocities of movement. Although ideally it would be 130mm anti-aircraft guns to have with good ballistics. But they were created much later than the end of World War II.
        1. Andrey77
          Andrey77 April 19 2014 15: 50
          And why was it not to go the way of anti-aircraft guns? The Germans stuffed them with everything that was possible, and by the results - quite a coup. Cheap and cheerful. Why 127 mm? I am silent about the rate of fire; moreover, this is a separate cellar and feed system.
    2. qwert
      qwert April 17 2014 15: 12
      At the beginning of the war, this was standard. This is already during the Second World War they began to stick anti-aircraft guns on all ships wherever possible. In terms of already built ships. On the same Yamato, even two medium-caliber towers were dismantled. But most of all, the fear of aircraft crushed the Americans ... Although in the light of recent events in the Black Sea, where Su-24 simulated an attack, this fear still has not passed. laughing
  4. Arct
    Arct April 17 2014 11: 11
    If about patriotism and marine in the alternative genre, it’s better to read Savin, there are even fewer blunders ... And if the author reveals the topic, then why not completely? Where is the 69th aircraft carrier project?
    1. Gunxnumx
      Gunxnumx April 18 2014 07: 33
      Found Savina. And already managed to immerse himself in reading))). Thanks for the tip. I love such books.
  5. Yarik
    Yarik April 17 2014 11: 33
    380mm on a cardboard cruiser? Amazing. How far did the fantasy reach. The Scharnhorst is a completely balanced project. And this ... Where was Kuznetsov looking? The doer ...
    1. sv68
      sv68 April 17 2014 11: 51
      Well, the USSR had no experience building heavy cruisers, so they tried to make a station wagon for all types of tasks at once
      1. Andrey77
        Andrey77 April 19 2014 15: 57
        And what tasks were set at the time of the fleet?
    2. Vyalik
      Vyalik April 17 2014 11: 53
      Quote: Yarik
      380 mm on a cardboard cruiser?

      The Italians acted in this way. Their cruisers had very little armor, for which there was a very high speed, but they also suffered heavy losses.
      1. goose
        goose April 17 2014 12: 31
        That's just booking them was very powerful, better than competitors.
      2. The comment was deleted.
    3. avt
      avt April 17 2014 14: 05
      Quote: Yarik
      T. And this ... Kuznetsov, where did he look? Worker ...

      Heavy cruisers 69 were Stalin's favorites - “He must be like a bandit - he hit and ran away.” When Kuznetsov only hinted that they were not at all desirable for the Baltic and the Black Sea, Athets, again, according to Kuznetsov's recollections, looked at him sternly, as he understood where he was heading, lit a pipe and very slowly gave him - "We will collect dengi for a penny, but we will build it!" More Kuznetsov on this topic did not stutter. On the guns - in 1940, the Germans tied up with battleships of the Bismarck type, but the groundwork remained, so Tevosyan reported to Stalin, they say there are towers. As a result, the contract was signed on 30.11.40. For 122760000 marks, of which ammunition for 37766000 marks. Three towers were to be delivered at 42m, and the other three at 43m. A lot of alterations had to be done on the hull.
  6. Crang
    Crang April 17 2014 13: 31
    "Kronstadt" is not a heavy cruiser. According to any criteria, it does not pierce a heavy cruiser. Like the American Guam. As of WW2, this is either a battle cruiser (69-I) or, more obviously, just a class II battleship (69). A giant vessel the size of a full-fledged battleship and requiring escort by lighter ships to provide air defense and anti-aircraft defense.
  7. qwert
    qwert April 17 2014 15: 13
    At the beginning of the war, this was standard. This is already during the Second World War they began to stick anti-aircraft guns on all ships wherever possible. In terms of already built ships. On the same Yamato, even two medium-caliber towers were dismantled. But most of all, the fear of aircraft crushed the Americans ... Although in the light of recent events in the Black Sea, where Su-24 simulated an attack, this fear still has not passed. laughing
  8. qwert
    qwert April 17 2014 15: 23
    It was, like the American "Alaska", from a series of Dunkirks, Gneisenau and the Italian that later became "Novorossiysk" (I forgot the name). Development of the idea of ​​a pocket battleship. There it was. Initially, the Germans, limited by the Versailles agreements, create pocket battleships of the Deutschland type. The French are designing "Dunkirk" to resist the sub-lands. The Italians, who proclaim the Mediterranean to the Italians, in keeping with the French (their main opponents in the Mediterranean), are modernizing the old battleships. The Germans, moving away from the Versailles agreements, are building Gneisenau and sisterships, which should surpass Dunkirk. At the same time, the Germans plan to replace 280mm guns by 380mm and the transition to a different category, in which they could well withstand the "King George 5." The Americans and the USSR succumb to fashion trends and lay down Alaska and Kronstadt. But ours are planning the same modernization as the Germans. In principle, the project was not bad ...
  9. avt
    avt April 17 2014 16: 19
    Quote: qwert
    Italian which later became "Novorossiysk"

    Nah stop "Yulik Caesar" is a completely different compote! This is an old World War I dreadnought, which was remade from keel to keel, it was easier to make a new one than to drill 305mm to 320mm and generally bother with repairs. It is with "Sevastopol", Marat " ,,, Oktyabrina "should be compared. Well, the rest, if in general terms, then yes, somewhere like that.
  10. Anton Gavrilov
    Anton Gavrilov April 17 2014 18: 05
    The closest analogue is American Alaska — the most unsuccessful large US ships during WWII. Our country was deprived of some of the American flaws — for example, it didn’t have a PTZ at all, and it was not very weak on ours.
  11. alekc73
    alekc73 April 17 2014 18: 45
    carried away by gigantomania, roofing felts short-haul, roofing felts super heavy cruiser with cardboard armor. Better less caliber, displacement, more airborne. Less cost, maybe then they managed to build a couple before the war. For the Northern Fleet just right.
  12. Anton Gavrilov
    Anton Gavrilov April 17 2014 21: 27
    In general, these ships would be very useful - their guns would be a good help for the defense of Leningrad and Sevastopol, in addition, they would divert a lot of attention to aviation and coastal artillery, which would make it easier for other ships (and not only). it’s not a fact that they could be destroyed — Kirov was hidden in Leningrad as best they could and saved after all, but it was a light cruiser.
  13. Eugeniy_369k
    Eugeniy_369k April 18 2014 02: 19
    Wow !!! About the story)))) I thought here on the current site they write about Ukraine ...
  14. the handsome
    the handsome April 18 2014 03: 30
    Standard GK for the Washington type of shopping mall - 210 mm if sho. So of course it’s more like a battlecruiser or a battleship (the line between these types of ships is very arbitrary)
  15. Pamir210
    Pamir210 April 18 2014 07: 48
    As the experience of the Americans who built their large cruisers such as Alaska showed, an absolutely unnecessary ship turned out.
  16. rubin6286
    rubin6286 April 19 2014 09: 36
    It is difficult for me to judge whether the country needed such ships in the late 30s. Was there any experience in building ships of this class and the proper number of specialists for this purpose? Tsarist Russia preferred to order battleships and cruisers abroad. Remember the Varyag. "Aurora" and other ships. With great difficulty, the Soviet Union repaired and restored some of the ships in the Black Sea and Baltic. From 1933 until the beginning of the war, not a single large ship was built equal to those in the Navy of England, USA, Germany, Japan. The cruiser "Kirov", the leader of "Tashkent", was bought in Italy, the cruiser "Luttsov", a submarine of the "C" series in Germany. And what about ourselves?
    All Soviet submarines, to one degree or another, repeated the English L-55 of the First World War. Poor production quality, technical and technological defects, the absence or primitivism of domestic instruments and mechanisms made sailing on them extremely dangerous even in peacetime. Not only were there no sonars, but even echo sounders and sound direction finders. Successful destroyers of the 7 and 7U series were good in the Black and Baltic seas and were completely unsuitable in the Pacific Ocean and in northern latitudes. From the impact of ocean waves, their hulls cracked and destroyed. The famous MO boats had a hull and bottom made of pressed plywood, which, in contact with sea water, began to rot. These ships were constantly being repaired and leaks were their eternal "disease". Our G-5 torpedo boats could not be used when the sea is 4-5 points, radio communication was absent or did not work on them. Before naval battles, Comrade Stalin? Already during the war, using the example of the Allies, he realized that the fleet would still be needed and tried to save it as much as possible. They dreamed of future sea battles with former allies, but thank God, it didn't come to that.
    1. Trapperxnumx
      Trapperxnumx 28 March 2016 09: 54
      Quote: rubin6286
      Tsarist Russia preferred to order battleships and cruisers abroad. Remember the Varyag. "Aurora" and other ships.

      You're wrong. And very, very strong. Ships abroad were ordered only in exceptional cases.
  17. Arct
    Arct April 19 2014 14: 14
    What surprises you with 380mm on a battle cruiser or small battleship (whichever you like)? The Germans had a project to re-equip "Gneisenau" with this caliber during repairs. The Americans thought about a larger caliber on the second sub-series of "Alaska" - "Guamah". Fewer guns, but more power. And whether the designers were right or not - only time could tell ...
    So where is the carrier based on the 69th?