Thursday, 16 February 2017

Russia building aircraft carrier Stalin according to the Dutch magazine Marineblad dated 1938 no. 5

With thanks to Gollevainen aloowing us to publish

Russian cruiser Kirov

An item referred to the Proceedings dated May 1938 reporting that the rebuilding of the Soviet navy was such secret that hardly anything was known. The latest tidings reported the launching of the 15.000 tons aircraft carrier Stalin which carried 22 aircraft with her. At the same time was the 8.000 tons cruiser Kirov with a main armament of 9-17,8cm guns and a speed of 38 knots completed. Three cruisers of the same class were under building.(1)

1. The available details differs in the literature. The two Project 71(A) aircraft carriers would have a displacement of 10.600 (standard)-13.150 (full load) tons and as dimensions 195 (waterline) x 24 x 5,88 metres. The machinery would consist of steam turbines supplying 110.000hp allowing a maximum speed of 34-35 knots. Fuel oil bunker capacity 2.550 tons. The armour was to consist of 7,5-10cm thick belt, a 9cm thick deck and with the command centre protected by 5cm. The armament was to consist of 8-10cm anti aircraft guns, 4x4-3,7cm anti aircraft guns, 20-12.7mm anti aircraft guns machineguns. She was to carry 10 reconnaissance bombers and 20 fighters with her, although also is reported 15 fighters and 30 torpedo bombers, all to be launched by 2 pneumatic catapults. Two elevators. Two funnels which could be turned downward just like Japanese carriers. The intention was to use a hull similar to the Chapayev-class of light cruisers. Qua dimensions were these Russian carriers comparable with the British Colossus-class aircraft cruisers. One was to serve in the Baltic Fleet, the other in the Pacific Fleet. Never realized.