- Kirov class cruiser
The "Kirov"-class (Project 26)
cruisers were six vessels built between 1935–1944 for the Soviet Navy: "Kirov", "Voroshilov", "Maxim Gorky", "Molotov", "Kalinin", and "Kaganovich". After the first two ships, armor protection was increased and subsequent ships are sometimes called the "Maxim Gorky" class. These were the first large ships built by the Soviets after the revolution and were designed with assistance from the Italian Ansaldocompany. They were derived from the Italian cruiser "Raimondo Montecuccoli".
"Kirov" served 1937–1974 in the
Baltic Sea, and was one of the few large Soviet ships to survive World War II. She was part of the "Light Battle Group" together with the cruiser "Maxim Gorky" and nine destroyers.
Winter War, she battled with Finnish forts at Hanko and Russarö.
When the German advance in Operation "Barbarossa" was nearing
Estonia, "Kirov" was the flagship of the evacuation fleet from Tallinnto Leningrad in August 1941. She hit mines but survived, while 50 other Soviet ships were lost.
During 1941–1944 the Soviet fleet in the
Baltic Seawas mostly blocked in Leningrad and Kronstadtby Finnish and German minefields.
4 April 1942"Kirov" was sunk in an air attack in the German operation "Eisstoß" by Luftflotte 1, but was raised and repaired during 1943.
During June 1944, "Kirov" provided fire support for the Soviet Army's attack toward
Vyborg. During the 1960s, "Kirov" served as a training ship, regularly visiting Polandand East Germany.
When "Kirov" was decommissioned, two gun turrets were installed at St Petersburg as a monument.
"Voroshilov" and "Molotov" served in the
Black Sea, defending Sevastopolagainst German attacks. "Molotov" had British radarinstalled (probably Type 282 or 285?).
"Kaganovich" and "Kalinin" were towed incomplete to
Vladivostok. Although both were finished before end of the war, they saw no action.
hips of the class
;Kirov: Named after
Sergei Kirov. Built at the Ordzhonikidze Yard, Leningrad. Laid down on 22 October 1935, launched on 30 November 1936and completed on 23 September 1938. She was scrapped in 1974.;Voroshilov: Named after Kliment Voroshilov. Built at the Marti South yard, Nikolayev. Laid down on 20 December 1936, launched on 28 June 1939and completed on 20 June 1940. She was scrapped in 1973. Her 14-ton propellerand 2.5-ton stop anchorare on display at the Museum of Heroic Defense and Liberation of Sevastopol on Sapun Mountain in Sevastopol. [ru icon Sapun Mountain. Guide. Museum of Heroic Defense and Liberation of Sevastopol. Simferopol: PoliPRESS Publisher, 2006, p.140] ;Maxim Gorky: Named after Maxim Gorky. Built at the Ordzhonikidze Yard in Leningrad. Laid down on 20 December 1936, launched on 30 April 1938and completed on 12 November 1940. She was broken up in 1958.;Molotov: Named after Vyacheslav Molotov, later renamed "Slava" (Glory). Constructed at the Marti South yard, Nikolayev. She was laid down in November 1936, launched on 23 February 1939and completed on 14 June 1941. She was broken up in the 1970s.;Kaganovich: Named after Lazar Kaganovich, later renamed "Petropavlovsk". She was constructed at the Komsomolsk-na-Amure dockyard. She was laid down in 1939, launched in October 1943 and completed in June 1944. She was broken up in the 1960s.;Kalinin: Named after Mikhail Kalinin. Constructed at the Komsomolsk-na-Amure dockayrd. She was laid down in 1939, launched in April 1943 and completed in late 1943. She was broken up in the 1960s.
* [http://www.warship.get.net.pl/Rosja/Cruisers/CA_1938_Kirow-Gorkij_class/_Kirow-Gorkij_history.html Operational History (in English)]
* [http://flot.sevastopol.info/ship/cruiser/molotov.htm Cruiser "Molotov" from Black Sea Fleet (in Russian, with photos)]
* [http://flot.sevastopol.info/ship/cruiser/voroshilov.htm Cruiser "Voroshilov" from Black Sea Fleet (in Russian, with photos)]
* [http://ship.bsu.by/main.asp?id=100104 Article in Russian Language]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.