PCS Admiral Lech Wałęsa (BC-1939)
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The Admiral Lech Wałęsa was named after Plithstovias first Naval hero. In 1927 Admiral Wałęsa was in command of a cruiser squadron supported by three destroyers when they received a call from a forward signalling station at the border of Polithstovia and the Soviet Union that a Soviet force was entering Polithstovian waters uninvited. Admiral Wałęsa took his squadron and intercepted the Soviet force several miles into Polithstovian territorial waters. The Admiral signalled for the Soviets to leave those waters and return to their own or international waters. Receiving no reply to the two signals made by light and an international flag hoist, Admiral Wałęsa ordered a blank shot fired to the disengaged side to attract the Soviets attention to the signals. Which is what the Soviets had been waiting for. They could claim that the Polithstovian ships had fired first. On that blank being fired the Soviet flagship, a 12" armed Gangut class battleship, opened fire on the Polithstovian cruisers at a range of approximately 20,000 yards. The Soviet gunnery was appalling. Of the half dozen salvoes fired only one shot came close to the Polithstovian cruisers, but it was that shot that critically injured Admiral Wałęsa when splinters swept the bridge of the flagship. The return fire from the Plithstovian cruisers was much more accurate and caused enough superficial damage on the Soviet battleship and a cruiser to force the withdrawal of the Soviet ships. The appearance of a Scandinavian fleet that included a battlecruiser in international waters but steering a course that may have cut off the retreat of the Soviet forces may also have had an influence on the Soviet Admirals mindset. Round one to Polithstovia. Admiral Wałęsa died of his wounds while his flagship was racing back to base for better treatment for him. A State funeral was held in his honour.
The ship that would bear his name was a collaboration between British and Polithstovian companies. The guns for the ship came from the old battleship Polithsovia that was being converted to a training ship. The armour for the ship was purchased from Britain which also supplied technical assistance. The hull was designed by a little known architect Heuen Heuser, while the superstructures were modelled on the latest Town class cruisers. The secondary armament and light AA guns were supplied by British interests. The propulsion system was of local manufacture to a British design.
The ship design was for a fast ship with lighter armour as the compromise. The ship was to be able to choose whether it wished to engage an adversary or not. The high speed of 33 knots was specified to give the ship the chance to fulfill its mission statement.
As a challenge to produce a 25,000 ton BB/BC I redrew the Walesa in an RN format with aircraft and the 4.5" split fore and aft.
With construction commenced in 1935 and slated for completion in 1939, the ship was part of the general expansion of all services of the Polithstovian Armed Forces due to the actions of the Germanic States to its European neighbours. Part of the Germanic States plans were for the conquest of Polithstovia and its non-aggression pact with the Soviets sealed that fate. But the Germans dearly wished to trap the Polithstovian Naval forces within the Baltic so that once Polithstovia was forced to surrender the ships of the fleet would also surrender and come under German control. These future plans also included attempts to sabotage and slow down the construction of the Admiral Wałęsa so that the ship would not have gone to sea when the Germans took over. Unfortunately for the Germans the Admiral Wałęsa started its builders trials in May 1939 and led the exodus of the Polithstovian fleet in August 1939.
|Displacement||25,000 tons std 31,800 tons full load|
|Machinery||2 shaft steam turbines, 130,000shp|
|Range||4000 miles at 15 knots (1,000 nm at 30 knots)|
|Armour||5.9" side, 3.4" deck, 11/6/4" turrets|
|Armament||8 x 12" (4x2)
16 x 4.5" (8x2)
20 x 2pd (5x4)
20 x 20mm (6x2 8x1)
|Torpedoes||6 x 21" (2x3)|
|Notes||PCS Admiral Lech Walesa|
The 12" guns were removed from the battleship Polithstovia. As can be seen from the right photo, the 4.5" twin turrets were mounted into the deck.
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