Add news
Король и Шут - Девушка и граф (English/Japanese cover by Even Blurry Videos feat. ICHIGO TANUKI)
Moscow.media
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021
12345678910111213141516171819
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
News Every Day |

Why Stalin’s Dreamed Russian Battleship Fleet Is Dead in the Water

Kyle Mizokami

Russian Navy,

By mid-1945 it was clear to Stalin that with Germany gone, his most powerful rivals—the United States and United Kingdom—lay across the water and out of his armies’ reach.

Here's What You Need to Remember: The rumors were advantageous to Moscow—if the NATO countries believed a fleet of super-battleships were on the way they would have to figure out a means to beat them, siphoning resources away from the ground forces that protected Western Europe.

At the end of the Second World War, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin stood undisputed as the most powerful man in Eurasia. His Red Army had crushed Nazi Germany, repelling an invasion and going on to capture Berlin after a grueling, four year campaign. Stalin’s Red Army was arguably more powerful than the American, British, French and western European armies combined.

Still, that was not enough.

Stalin had long craved a strong navy that would extend Soviet influence far from Europe and Asia, and do it in a big way.

The Soviet leader wanted battleships, and a lot of them.

A fleet that simply was never meant to be, it existed largely on paper and even included some highly advanced ships that were flat-out hoaxes.

The Idea:

During World War II the Soviet Navy was a distant third in priorities. It was the Red Army that had fought the grueling ground battles and campaigns that defeated Germany. Supporting it was a Red Air Force optimized, like the Luftwaffe, on tactical battlefield support of ground forces. The Navy, on the other hand had played a very limited role, providing convoy protection for Lend-Lease equipment from the U.S and support for land operations and harassment of the German military in the Baltic and Black Sea regions.

Still, by mid-1945 it was clear to Stalin that with Germany gone, his most powerful rivals—the United States and United Kingdom—lay across the water and out of his armies’ reach. So was Japan, which the USSR had been shut out of occupying, and many of the former European colonies that were ripe for revolution. Powerful army or not, if  Stalin wanted to remain a major military power, he was going to need a powerful navy.

Why Battleships?:

By the end of World War II it was clear that battleships were obsolete. Aircraft carriers had replaced them as the dominant naval platform, a fact made painfully clear to the Empire of Japan during literally dozens of sea battles in the Pacific Theater of Operations. After the war, the Western Allies mostly divested themselves of battleships, preserving their fleets of carriers instead.

Despite their success, Stalin disliked aircraft carriers and preferred battleships instead. At a September 1945 meeting of the Soviet leadership, Stalin overruled a proposal to build aircraft carriers and instead directed the Soviet Navy to complete construction of the battleship Sovetskaya Rossiya. The battleship had been laid down in 1940 and was still less than one percent complete by war’s end. He also directed the Navy to build two “Project 24” 75,000 ton battleships, and seven “Project 82” (Stalingrad-class) battlecruisers displacing 36,500 tons and equipped with nine twelve-inch guns. Stalin approved only two light carriers, a useless number considering the superiority of the American and British fleets.

A Bad Plan:

The plan was doomed to failure. The Soviet Union never had much large-shipbuilding capacity, and developing such capability had been delayed by the Great Patriotic War. Furthermore, the war had done great damage to the country’s industrial capacity, which needed replacing. There were only so many resources to go around, and gradually the Soviet Union scaled back plans for a grand surface fleet. The 75,000 battleships were never constructed, and only two of the seven battlecruisers began construction—none were ever actually completed. The death of Stalin in 1953 ended the dream of a large fleet of battleships.

Meanwhile, reports of a new class of Soviet super-battleships were percolating in the West. Several periodicals, including allegedly Jane’s Fighting Ships, spread the rumor of seven new super-battleships, nicknamed K-1000, under construction in Siberian shipyards.

The seven super ships: Strana Sovetov, Sovetskaya Byelorossia, Krasnaya Bessarabiya, Krasnaya Sibir, Sovietskaya Konstitutsia, Lenin, and Sovetskiy Soyuz were said to be between 36,000 and 55,000 tons—ironically smaller than the ships Stalin had actually approved. They were variously reported as having a top speed of between 25 and 33 knots, and carried a battery of between nine to twelve 16-inch guns and twelve 18-inch guns. They were also supposed to have guided missiles as armament.

The problem: they were a hoax. The rumor had spread in the Western press, but the Soviet Union, once it learned of them encouraged the rumors. Some of the names were retreads of the earlier, cancelled Sovetsky Soyuz class. The ships were just plausible enough to sound real, although the Soviet Union had not developed guided missiles capable of being fitted on ships. The rumors were advantageous to Moscow—if the NATO countries believed a fleet of super-battleships were on the way they would have to figure out a means to beat them, siphoning resources away from the ground forces that protected Western Europe.

As predominantly land power, the Soviet Union was fated to spend most of its resources on land forces. Sea power by necessity came in at third place. While the USSR did manage to field four  Kirov-class battlecruisers in the 1980s, it never came anywhere near to realizing Stalin’s great red fleet.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

This first appeared several years ago.

Image: Reuters.





Read also

Unfortunate that political, religious parties misuse Islam: PM Imran

Prince Philip funeral updates – Senior royals to be SLASHED as Charles and William hold crunch summit on family’s future

1 dead, 100,000 displaced as typhoon blows near Philippines





News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here
News Every Day

Andrade vs Williams: Live coverage