INS Odessa Class (BB-1940)


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The Soviet Navy was very short of Capital ships. It had not had either the money or the infrastructure to produce large ships during the late 1920" to the mid 1930's. Finally the Soviets realised that warships would be required to help control the vast lands known as the Soviet Union. Money was spent in both the Black and Baltic Sea building yards to improve infrastructure so that warships could again be built. Destroyers, then cruisers and eventually battleships were laid down. The infrastructure to build large weapons would take some time before battleship sized guns could be built. What the Soviets did have was the four triple 12" turrets from the Poltava which could be used to provide the main armament for a new ship. The new ship would be built at the Black Sea yards. The turrets guns and barbettes were stripped out of the Poltava, put aboard transports and sent off to the Black Sea. while this was happening, designs for a new ship were being discussed and what the Navy could afford to build. It was decided that the Sevastopol could donate one of its 12" triple turrets to the new ship which would give space for the speed of the Sevastopol to be increased where the ships would be able to act together.

A modest secondary armament of ten single 5.1" dual purpose guns were fitted. Thought was given to fitting twins but a wider breadth would have been required and the hull size was the biggest that could be built in the slips available. No aircraft were contemplated either for the same reason. To fit aircraft the ship would have had to be bigger or sacrifice a triple 12" turret. The armour scheme was right up to date with the Italian Pugliese underwater system being fitted. An 11" armoured belt covered all the magazines and engineering spaces. The main armoured deck was a respectable 5.1" thickness.

I always enjoy doing these types of Alternate ships with reusable weaponry. Seeing how they come out is always a hit or miss affair. I start with an idea (5 by triple 12") and then start throwing parts at it. Italian hull, single 5.1, twin 45mm two sets of 3x21" torpedoes. I did not bother with aircraft as to add aircraft the ship would have to be another 60-70 feet longer and much bigger. Much bigger than the Soviets wanted to build at that time. On completion of the Odessa the two Sovetskii Soyuz class would be laid down. The techniques learned and trialled on the Odessa would be used for the new ships. The other two slips that could have built the Odessa were under reconstruction to be able to build the much bigger Sovetskii Soyuz type.

Displacement 30,000 tons std 35,750 tons full load
Length 705.5 ft.
Breadth 94 ft
Draught 28 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 110,000shp
Speed 28 knots
Range 5,500 miles at 12 knots
Armour 11" side, 5.1" deck, 8"/6"/4" turrets
Armament 15 x 12" (5x3)
10 x 5.1" (10x1)
12 x 47mm (6x2)
Complement 1100 (1175 as Flagship)
Notes SNS Odessa (1940)


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