Andrei Pervozvannyi-class Battleship - End of an Era, 6 Years Late

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Andrei Pervozvannyi-class Battleship

Bluewater vessel, pre-dreadnought with decent armour, something like a more armoured IJN Kurama with stronger cannons.

The final pre-dreadnought battleships of the Imperial Russian Navy, the Andrei Pervozvannyi-class battleships started design work in 1902, as part of a program to construct 4 battleships for the Baltic and Black Sea Fleets (The Black Sea design being the Yevstafiy-class). Initially the design was meant to be a modified Borodino-class Battleship, but already in 1903 the design had changed to be much more. The first designs were submitted to the Naval Staff in February of 1903 by D. V. Skvortsov, the designer of the Borodinos, and the Naval Technical Committee, with Skvortsov’s design being accepted. Construction of 2 ships began in 1904 in Saint Petersburg, but soon after the experience of the Russo-Japanese War lead to extensive changes in the design. Changes included the removal of stored mines, the changing of the 47mm anti-torpedo boat guns to first 75mm, then 120mm, and the hull armour extended at the cost of some turret armour. Despite the large amount of changes, construction proceeded steadily, though the 1905 Revolution led to a slowdown. Further design changes were stopped around 1907, after a report pleaded that the ships be completed to the then-current design, and that “they’ll never make dreadnoughts out of the ships”. The ships were finally completed in 1910, long after dreadnoughts had become the standard type of battleship, and they joined the fleet in 1911. The ships looked very much unlike the previous battleships, with a distinctive superstructure and US-style lattice masts.

Andrei Pervozvannyi, named after Saint Andrew, was the class namesake, and entered service in the Baltic Fleet in March of 1911. It visited various foreign ports during the years before WW1, and also ran aground in 1914, with the repairs also cutting down the lattice masts to the level of the funnels as they proved to be unstable. During WW1, the ship was inactive due to the Baltic Fleet’s defensive strategy, and was also refitted at various points during the war. In 1917 the ship’s crew joined the February Revolution and subsequently the Bolsheviks, and during the Baltic Ice Cruise led the second detachment as an icebreaker. The only time it used its weapons in action was during the Fort Krasnaya Gorka Mutiny, bombarding the fortress. The ship was torpedoed by a British Coastal Motor Boat in 1919, and was taken back to the dockyard to be repaired. However, repairs were never completed due to strikes and the neglect of the Soviet shipbuilding industry, and in 1923 the ship started scrapping, though it was not officially decommissioned until 1925. Its guns would be put in forts and railway guns, and saw extensive action during the Second World War.

Imperator Pavel I was also completed at around the same time. it too entered service in March 1911. It had much the same service history as the lead ship, visiting ports and undergoing the same modifications. It had little to do in WW1 until 1917, when its crew mutinied after the February Revolution and started a general mutiny in the Baltic Fleet. It was renamed Respublika, and later along with Andrei Pervozvannyi led the second detachment of the Baltic Ice Cruise. In 1918 Respublika was laid up, and began its scrapping in 1923, though was not decommissioned until 1925. Like its sister its guns were installed into coastal forts.

Ship List:
Andrei Pervozvannyi
Imperator Pavel I - Respublika (1917)


Armament (As Built):

2x2 12"/40 (305mm) Pattern 1895 (240 rounds, 1 rpm)
4x2 8"/50 (203mm) Pattern 1905 (880 rounds, 2 rpm)
6x1 8"/50 (203mm) Pattern 1905 (660 rounds, 2.8 rpm)
12x1 120mm/45 Pattern 1892 (2400 rounds, 10 rpm)
4x1 47mm Hotchkiss (saluting guns)
4x1 7.62mm Maxim’s (somewhere, probably for landing parties)
2x1 450mm Torpedo tubes

Armament (1915):

2x2 12"/40 (305mm) Pattern 1895 (240 rounds, 1 rpm)
4x2 8"/50 (203mm) Pattern 1905 (880 rounds, 2 rpm)
6x1 8"/50 (203mm) Pattern 1905 (660 rounds, 2.8 rpm)
12x1 120mm/45 Pattern 1892 (2400 rounds, 10 rpm)
4x1 76mm Lender AA guns
4x1 47mm Hotchkiss (saluting guns)
4x1 7.62mm Maxim’s (somewhere, probably for landing parties)

Armour: (Krupp cemented steel)

216mm Main Belt
165mm Belt Over Magazines
127mm Fore Belt
102-114mm Aft Belt
127mm Middle Upper Belt
102mm Fore Upper Belt
79mm Aft Upper Belt
38.1mm Splinter Bulkhead
50.8mm Superstructure Bulkhead
15.9mm Funnel Uptakes
25.4mm Upper Deck (Nickel-Chrome Steel)
25.4-38.1mm Middle Deck (Nickel-Chrome Steel) + 22.2mm Deck Plating (Nickel-Chrome Steel)
22.2-23.8mm Lower Deck (Nickel-Chrome Steel) +15.9mm Deck Plating (Nickel-Chrome Steel)
203mm Fore Conning Tower
50.8mm Fore Conning Tower Roof
102mm Fore Communications Tube
79mm Aft Conning Tower
38.1mm Aft Conning Tower Roof
38.1mm Aft Communications Tube
203mm Main Turret
254mm Main Turret Backs
63.5mm Main Turret Roofs
127mm Main Barbettes
152mm Secondary Turret Fronts and Backs
127mm Secondary Turret Sides
102mm Secondary Barbettes
127mm 203mm Cannon Casemates
79mm 120mm Cannon Casemates
19mm Casemate Roofs (Nickel-Chrome Steel)

17 320 tons standard
18 580 tons full

Length: 140.2m

Beam: 24.4m

Draft: 9.0m

Propulsion: 2 VTE engines with 25 Belleville boilers, 17 600hp, driving 2 shafts

Speed: 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h)

Range: 2400nmi (12 kts)

Crew: 955

1x Barr and Stroud 9’ rangefinder
1x Barr and Stroud 4’6" rangefinder
Krylov rangefinders
Geisler range-and-order indicators




McLaughlin, S., Apalʹkov, Yu. V., & Burns, T. A. (2021). The Andrei Pervozvannyi Class. In Russian & Soviet battleships (pp. 180-188). Naval Institute Press.
McLaughlin, S., Apalʹkov, Yu. V., & Burns, T. A. (2021). The Imperial Navy in War and Revolution, 1914-1917. In Russian & Soviet battleships (pp. 302). Naval Institute Press.



I’m in favor of pre-dreadnoughts for all nations.

Talk about turret farm, they’re all over the place, especially odd is that primary turret being so far aft. Seeing late pre-dreadnoughts which keep to the same technology standards as current ships like Dreadnought and Ikoma with krupp armour and modern guns would be great as a transition between cruisers and battleships

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