Russian battleship Knyaz Suvorov

The Knyaz Suvorov (Russian: Князь Суворов) was a pre-dreadnought
Pre-dreadnought battleship is the general term for all of the types of sea-going battleships built between the mid-1890s and 1905. Pre-dreadnoughts replaced the ironclad warships of the 1870s and 1880s...

 battleship of the Russian Imperial Navy, built by Baltic Works, St Petersburg. Laid down in July 1901, she was launched in September 1902 and completed in September 1904. This ship was named after the 18th-century Russian general Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov , Count Suvorov of Rymnik, Prince in Italy, Count of the Holy Roman Empire , was the fourth and last generalissimo of the Russian Empire.One of the few great generals in history who never lost a battle along with the likes of Alexander...

. Her only action was at the Battle of Tsushima
Battle of Tsushima
The Battle of Tsushima , commonly known as the “Sea of Japan Naval Battle” in Japan and the “Battle of Tsushima Strait”, was the major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War...

. During the battle, Knyaz Suvorov had to break off from the main battle line after a Japanese shell hit her control room, killing her helmsman and wounding her captain and Admiral Zinovy Rozhdestvensky. She managed to enter a fog where her crew extinguished several fires. However, she soon came under attack again and was sunk by Japanese torpedo boats.


Knyaz Suvorov was 389 in 5 in (118.69 m) long at the waterline and 397 in 3 in (121.08 m) long overall, with a beam
Beam (nautical)
The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point. Generally speaking, the wider the beam of a ship , the more initial stability it has, at expense of reserve stability in the event of a capsize, where more energy is required to right the vessel from its inverted position...

 of 76 in 1 in (23.19 m) and a draft
Draft (hull)
The draft of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull , with the thickness of the hull included; in the case of not being included the draft outline would be obtained...

 of 29 in 2 in (8.89 m), 38 inches (97 cm) more than designed. Her normal displacement was 14415 long tons (14,646 t), almost 900 LT (914 t) more than her designed displacement of 13516 LT (13,733 t).

Two 4-cylinder vertical triple expansion steam engines drove four-bladed propeller
A propeller is a type of fan that transmits power by converting rotational motion into thrust. A pressure difference is produced between the forward and rear surfaces of the airfoil-shaped blade, and a fluid is accelerated behind the blade. Propeller dynamics can be modeled by both Bernoulli's...

s, with twenty Belleville water-tube boiler
Water-tube boiler
A water tube boiler is a type of boiler in which water circulates in tubes heated externally by the fire. Fuel is burned inside the furnace, creating hot gas which heats water in the steam-generating tubes...

s providing steam to the engines at a pressure of 19 atm (1,925 kPa; 279 psi). The engines and boilers were both built by the Baltic Works
Baltic Shipyard
The Baltic Shipyard is one of the oldest shipyards in Russia. It is located in Saint Petersburg in the south-western part of the Vasilievsky Island. It is one of the three shipyards active in Saint Petersburg...

. The engines had a total designed output of 15800 ihp, but they produced 16378 ihp on trials and gave a top speed of 17.64 knots. At full load she carried 1350 long tons (1,372 MT) of coal that provided her a range of 2590 nautical miles (4,796.7 km) at a speed of 10 knots (5.4 m/s). She had four steam-driven dynamo
- Engineering :* Dynamo, a magnetic device originally used as an electric generator* Dynamo theory, a theory relating to magnetic fields of celestial bodies* Solar dynamo, the physical process that generates the Sun's magnetic field- Software :...

s, each with a capacity of 150 kW, and two auxiliary generators with a capacity of 64 kW each.

Knyaz Suvorovs 12 inch 40 caliber guns were mounted in two twin-gun turrets
Gun turret
A gun turret is a weapon mount that protects the crew or mechanism of a projectile-firing weapon and at the same time lets the weapon be aimed and fired in many directions.The turret is also a rotating weapon platform...

, one each fore and aft. They had a rate of fire of about one round per minute. Sixty rounds per gun were carried. The twelve 45-caliber 6 inches (152 mm) guns were mounted in six electrically powered twin-gun turrets carried on the upper deck. They had a practical rate of fire of approximately three rounds per minute and were provided with 180 rounds per gun. Four of the twenty 75 millimetres (3 in) guns used against torpedo boat
Torpedo boat
A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval vessel designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other large, slow and...

s were mounted in casemate
A casemate, sometimes rendered casement, is a fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired. originally a vaulted chamber in a fortress.-Origin of the term:...

s just below the forward main gun turret, two on each side. These guns were placed well above the waterline for use in any weather, unlike the remaining sixteen guns, which were mounted in casemates one deck lower and distributed over the length of the ship, close to the water. This was graphically demonstrated when Knyaz Suvorovs sister ship
Sister ship
A sister ship is a ship of the same class as, or of virtually identical design to, another ship. Such vessels share a near-identical hull and superstructure layout, similar displacement, and roughly comparable features and equipment...

  made a high-speed turn during her trials, heeling 15°, and began taking water through the lower casemates. Each gun had 300 rounds available. All but four of her 47 millimetres (1.9 in) Hotchkiss gun
Hotchkiss gun
The Hotchkiss gun can refer to different products of the Hotchkiss arms company starting in the late 19th century. It usually refers to the 1.65-inch light mountain gun; there was also a 3-inch Hotchkiss gun...

s were removed before she was completed and the remaining guns were used as saluting guns. She carried four 15 inches (381 mm) torpedo tube
Torpedo tube
A torpedo tube is a device for launching torpedoes. There are two main types of torpedo tube: underwater tubes fitted to submarines and some surface ships, and deck-mounted units installed aboard surface vessels...

s, one above water in the bow and one in the stern with two torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

es each, and a submerged tube on each side forward with three torpedoes each. Two of these were removed before 1904, although it is not known which ones were retained.


The Knyaz Suvorov had a short existence, serving for less than nine months within the Imperial Russian Navy
Imperial Russian Navy
The Imperial Russian Navy refers to the Tsarist fleets prior to the February Revolution.-First Romanovs:Under Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich, construction of the first three-masted ship, actually built within Russia, was completed in 1636. It was built in Balakhna by Danish shipbuilders from Holstein...

. She was completed at the beginning of September and had virtually no comprehensive sea trials. As a result, her crew was newly assigned and largely inexperienced. On 26 September 1904 Suvorov participated in a naval review for the Tsar. On 2 October, she left Russia together with the rest of the "Second Pacific Squadron" to the Far East as the flagship of Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky
Zinovy Rozhestvensky
Zinovy Petrovich Rozhestvensky was an admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy. He was in command of the Second Pacific Squadron in the Battle of Tsushima, during the Russo-Japanese War....

, having to take a long, nine month journey around the west coast of Africa, which was long and complicated. She arrived in Denmark on 4 October, where the fleet stopped for repairs. The icebreaker Yermak started to perform extreme maneuvers on the approach to a Danish port, and had several shells fired across her bow to warn her to stop. The ship was later sent back to Libau. Due to the orders of Rozhestvensky, the squadron was overloaded with coal at Madagascar so as not to waste time coaling from neutral ships whilst in Asia. This lowered the ships further into the water than their designed weight, putting the main armor belt under the waterline and exposing the lighter armored belt, which would prove fatal during her career, as the bulk of shells at Tsushima would have hit the main armor belt had it not been underwater.

Knyaz Suvorov was the flagship of Admiral Rozhestvensky at the Battle of Tsushima
Battle of Tsushima
The Battle of Tsushima , commonly known as the “Sea of Japan Naval Battle” in Japan and the “Battle of Tsushima Strait”, was the major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War...

, the only engagement she ever served in. Due to her position as the lead ship in the Russian battle line, Suvorov opened fire her twin bow guns at the Japanese battleship Mikasa
Japanese battleship Mikasa
is a pre-Dreadnought battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, launched in Britain in 1900. She served as the flagship of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō during the Battle of the Yellow Sea on 10 August 1904, and the Battle of Tsushima on 27 May 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. The ship is preserved as...

, the flagship of the opposing fleet, marking the first shots of the battle. Tōgō Heihachirō
Togo Heihachiro
Fleet Admiral Marquis was a Fleet Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and one of Japan's greatest naval heroes. He was termed by Western journalists as "the Nelson of the East".-Early life:...

, the commander of the Japanese fleet, ordered both Mikasa and Asahi
Japanese battleship Asahi
|-External links:***...

 to open fire on Suvorov, which, due to her position at the front of the Russian battle line, was a major target and was hit by Japanese 12-inch shells, disabling both main gun turrets and showering shrapnel amongst the deck, wounding and killing many officers, along with ripping open hoses that were planned to be used to start fighting the fires that had broken out amongst the ship. About an hour after the battle began, a Japanese shell disabled the steering equipment of Suvorov, forcing her to execute a sharp turn that nearly made her ram the ships behind her, Sissoi Veliki and Navarin, exiting the line in a circular movement. About a quarter of an hour later, a shell entered the conning tower of Suvorov, wounding her captain, killing both helmsman and knocking Rozhdestvensky unconscious.

Suvorov started to limp off to the southwest at 9 knots, and soon came under fire by several Japanese battleships. The captain of Imperator Aleksander III decided to recreate the charge executed by Retvizan
Russian battleship Retvizan
Retvizan was a Russian pre-dreadnought battleship built before the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 for the Imperial Russian Navy in the United States. She was built by the William Cramp and Sons Ship & Engine Building Company of Philadelphia, although the armament was made at the Obukhov works in...

 at the Battle of the Yellow Sea
Battle of the Yellow Sea
The Battle of the Yellow Sea was a major naval engagement of the Russo-Japanese War, fought on 10 August 1904. In the Russian Navy, it was referred to as the Battle of 10 August. The battle foiled an attempt by the Russian fleet at Port Arthur to break out and form up with counterparts from...

 to save the Tsesarevich, and turned his ship towards the Japanese battleline. With the enemy battleships distracted, Suvorov managed to limp off into the fog and started to fight fires caused during the battle. As Admiral Nikolai Nebogatov
Nikolai Nebogatov
Nikolai Ivanovich Nebogatov was a Rear-Admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy, noted for his role in the final stages of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.-Biography:...

’s 3rd Division, which consisted of older coastal-defense ships, attacked several Japanese armored cruisers which Togo had sent out to sink the remaining battleships, teams on Suvorov and Imperator Aleksander III were able to put out fires caused in the battle. Soon after, she rejoined the tail end of the remainder of the Russian battle line, but could not stay in formation for long, breaking off and starting to head south. Several minutes later, the Russian destroyer Bychok, came and took off most of the officers on Suvorov, including Admiral Rozhestvensky, leaving a midshipman in command of Suvorov as Bychok went to rescue the crew of the Oslyabya. With the destroyer slipping over the smoke filled horizon, four torpedo boats of the 11th Japanese Torpedo Flotilla closed in on the crippled Suvorov, now 15 kilometers away from the Russian fleet. The midshipman commanding the Suvorov tried to fend off the torpedo boats with the only operable 75 millimeter gun located in the stern of the ship, carrying the shells from the magazines by hand while seriously wounded, but failed to reduce the enemy attack. Soon, one 18 and two to four 14 inch torpedoes struck the ship, surrounding her in a cloud of yellow smoke and sinking her, leaving 20 survivors plus the men rescued by Bychok.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.