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Chervona Ukraina Class Light Cruiser
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|Chervona Ukraina||Naval Dky (Nikolaiev)||Jul 14||6 Nov 15||21 Mar 27||Lost 13 Nov 1941|
|Displacement: 7,480 tons/7,600 tonnes (standard); 8,268 tons/8,400 tonnes (full load)|
Length: 546ft 9in/166.7m (oa); 535ft 3in/163.2m (wi)
Beam: 51ft 6in/15.7m; Draught: 20ft 4in/6.2m (mean)
Machinery: 4-shaft Parsons geared turbines; 4 Yarrow boilers
Performance: 55,000shp=29kts; Bunkerage: 2,900 tons oil fuel
Range: 3,700nm at 14kts
Protection: as Krasnyi Kavkaz
Guns: fifteen 5.1in (15xl); six 3.9in (6xl); seven 45mm (7xl). Torpedoes: twelve 21in (4x3)
This ship was also one of the cruisers laid down before the First World War, formerly being Admiral Nakhimov of the enlarged Black Sea type. Although she was launched in November 1915, her completion had been delayed by the wartime conditions in Russia and the reliance on foreign firms for some equipment. Chief of the latter were the turbine rotors and blading, contracted to John Brown of Clydebank, Scotland, which had also secured the contract to install all the machinery of ships under construction at Nikolaiev. Her machinery was installed by October 1916, but progress thereafter was slow. When the ship was inspected by the British, in August 1919, she was about 80 per cent complete, with superstructure, funnels and masts in place, but lacking guns (which were still at the Obukhov works in St Petersburg) and with her electrical systems incomplete. When the White Russians evacuated Nikolaiev in January 1920 the ship was towed to Odessa, but when this port, too, had to be evacuated the ship was beached at the entrance. She was easily raised by the Soviet forces in February and towed to Nikolaiev for completion. Her completion, like that of her sisters, was tardy in the extreme, given her advanced state and the fact that she was completed more or less to her original design. On 27 December 1922 she was renamed Chervona Ukraina, and in April 1923 the Soviet Government decided to complete the ship, but it was to be another four years before she was commissioned. The armour scheme was the same as that of the original design, as per Krasnyi Kavkaz, but this ship was not given heavier guns, receiving instead fifteen 5.1 in single mountings in the as designed positions. The remainder of the gunnery outfit as completed was four old 4in singles and a couple of 3in single mountings. The original pair of submerged torpedo tubes were suppressed and replaced by three triple banks of 18in torpedo tubes originating from destroyers. These were sited on the quarterdeck, two sided and one on the centreline. Provision was also made to operate an aircraft, handled by a conspicuous crane between the second and third funnel. This was initially an Avro 504, licence-built as the MU-1.
In the early 1930s the ship was modernised and had the torpedo tubes removed from the quarterdeck. They were replaced by four triple banks, now for 21in torpedoes, on the main deck fore and aft of the midships 5.1in guns. About 1936 she received three twin 3.9in guns of Italian origin; one on the forecastle, where it obstructed the arcs of No. 1 gun, and the other pair aft. A refit started 26 August 1939, which was to include replacement of the 5.1in guns by a new model, probably that mounted in the newer destroyers. The outbreak of war postponed these plans, and the only change was the increasing of the 45mm outfit to seven mountings and the addition of .5in MGs. At the same time the mixed-firing boilers were replaced by fully oil-fired types. She did not return to service until 1 May 1941.
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Chervona Ukraina participated in the laying of defensive minefields off Sevastopol on the outbreak of war with Germany in June 1941, then, towards the end of August, she was one of the ships assigned to the defence of Odessa. In September she performed gun support duties against Axis shore batteries along the front around Odessa and transported troops to the port from Novorossisk. She assisted in the evacuation of Tendra Island in October, and of Odessa, then retired to Sevastopol. Between 1 and 10 November the cruiser assisted in the transport and evacuation of troops and materials to the Caucasian coast, and during the German attack on Sevastopol she engaged enemy batteries and formations. On 12 November, while engaged in a duel with shore batteries, she was attacked by a force of Stuka dive-bombers and hit by several bombs. The resultant damage and fires put her on the bottom, and the ship was abandoned. On 2 April 1942 she was bombed again and completely destroyed. The wreck was raised between January 1946 and November 1947, then broken up.