Diana-class Protected Cruiser, Avrora - Winter Revolutionary

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Diana-class Protected Cruiser, Avrora

Bluewater vessel, archaic pre-WW1 cruiser, think SMS Elbing with more guns and very slightly better AA.

The last of the Diana-class protected cruisers, Avrora was built at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg in 1896. It was commissioned in 1903, and was originally meant for the Far East Squadron. When the Russo-Japanese War broke out, it was still in voyage and returned to the Baltic, where it joined the ill-fated 2nd Pacific Squadron. Its crew was one of the more well-drilled of the squadron, notably being fired on by friendly ships during the Dogger Bank Incident, and was one of the few Russian ships that survived the Battle of Tsushima, escaping to Manila where it was interned. It was returned to Russia in 1906, where it underwent an extensive refit to become a training cruiser, with its lightest guns and torpedoes removed. As a training cruiser, it carried out 6 cruises from 1906-1914. When the Great War broke out, the ship took part in Baltic operations, escorting minelayers and covering ground forces.

While the ship was docked in Petrograd for refitting in 1917, the crew joined the Bolsheviks, mutinied and murdered the captain. On the 7 November of that year, it fired a blank shot, signalling the Bolshevik forces to storm the Winter Palace and starting the October Revolution. During the Civil War, it took part in the Baltic Ice Cruise from Helsinki to Kronshtadt, where its guns were landed and where it would remain for the duration of the war. when the war was over, the Soviet Navy rearmed the ship and it was once again used as a training ship. There was plans in the interwar period to replace its boilers, but it seems only half of them were replaced, with the other half empty. During the Second World War, its guns were again landed and it was used as a base for submarine crews, eventually being sunk off the coast by German artillery in 1941. It was raised in 1944 and towed to Leningrad, where it was repaired and turned into a permanent museum. It has been repaired multiple times through the years since, most recently in 2016, and is currently displayed in approximately its WW1 refit.

Specifications: (1917)

14x1 152mm/45 Canet pattern 1892 (modified to max 25° elevation, 5 rpm, 1414 rounds?)
6x1 76mm Lender’s
2x1 7.62mm Maxim’s
(also a 40mm Vicker Mk.IIc might still have been mounted by then)
150 Mines

Armour: (Nickel-Chrome Steel)
38mm Deck/citadel roof (“Soft Nickel Steel”)
51-63.5mm Deck/citadel slopes (“Soft Nickel Steel”)
3000mm Coal bunkers above citadel slopes
152mm Conning tower sides
51mm Conning tower roof
38mm Engine rooms
25mm Gun shields
38mm Ammo elevators

6897 tons standard
7000 tons full

Length: 126.8m

Beam: 16.8m

Draft: 7.3m

Propulsion: 3 vertical-triple-expansion steam turbines with 24 Belleville-Dolgolenko boilers, 11 971 hp driving 3 propellers

Speed: 19.3 knots (35.7 km/h)

Range: 3700 nmi (at 10 knots)

Crew: 637

2 Barr and Stroud rangefinders
Geisler FCS
Fessenden oscillator (early “sonar”)


In the famous Tsarist black and yellow scheme

Avrora in 1910

Avrora in 1917, featuring its increased main battery

Also the model from the Other Ship Game is a good representation

McLaughlin, S. (2019). In Avrora’s Shadow: The Russian Cruisers of the Diana Class. In J. Jordan (Ed.), Warship 2019 (ePDF, Ser. Warship, pp. 81–97). Osprey Publishing.
Budzbon, P. Radziemski, J. Twardowski, M. (2022) Warships of the Soviet Fleets 1939–1945 (Kindle, pp. 97). Pen and Sword.

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