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Destroyer Bditelny
Project 7 / Gnevny Class

The Gnevny class were a group of 29 destroyers built for the Soviet Navy in the late 1930s. They are sometimes known as the Gremyashchiy class and the official Soviet designation was Project 7. These ships fought in World War II.

The Gnevnys had an overall length of 112.8 meters, a beam of 10.2 meters, and a draft of 4.8 meters at deep load. The ships were significantly overweight, almost 200 metric tons heavier than designed, displacing 1612 metric tons at standard load and 2039 metric tons at deep load. Their crew numbered 197 officers and sailors in peacetime and 236 in wartime.

The ships were powered by two geared steam turbine sets, each driving a single three-bladed 3.18-meter propeller using steam provided by three water-tube boilers. The turbines, rated at 48,000 shp (36,000 kW), were intended to give the ships a speed of 37 knots.

The Gnevny-class ships mounted four 130-millimeter B-13 guns in two pairs of superfiring single mounts fore and aft of the superstructure. Each gun was provided with 150 rounds. The manually operated mounts had an elevation range between -5° to +45° and had a rate of fire of 6-10 rounds per minute. They fired a 33.4-kilogram shell at a muzzle velocity of 870 m/s, which gave them a range of 25,597 meters. Anti-aircraft defense was provided by two 55-caliber 76.2-millimeter 34-K AA guns and two 46-caliber 45-millimeter 21-K AA guns, all in single mounts as well as a pair of 12.7-millimeter DK or DShK machine guns. The ships were equipped with six 533 mm torpedo tubes in two rotating triple mounts amidships; each tube was provided with a reload. The ships could also carry a maximum of either 60 or 95 mines and 25 depth charges.

Destroyer Bditelny laid down on 23 August 1936 at the Shipyard named after 61 kommunara, Nikolaev (yard No.1070), launched on 29 June 1937, commissioned on 22 October 1939 and was assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.

When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Bditelny was assigned to the 2nd Destroyer Division and was refitting in Nikolayev. The refit was completed by 10 July when the ship steamed for Sevastopol, but she had to return for repairs. The same thing happened eight days later. While covering the transfer of incomplete ships from Nikolayev to Sevastopol on 13 August, Bditelny was damaged when she accidentally collided with the freighter SS Kaments-Podolsk. After repairs were completed, the ship provided gunfire support for the defenders of Odessa on 26-27 August. On 24 September, she ran aground, damaging her bow, and repairs were completed the following month. Bditelny helped to evacuate cut-off Soviet troops from pockets along the Black Sea coast to Sevastopol in early November. On 9 November, she ran aground off the Tuzla Spit, damaging her propellers and flooding her middle boiler room. The ship was pulled off and was under repair at Tuapse until mid-February 1942.

On 26 February, Bditelny, together with her sister Boyky and the leader Kharkov, bombarded German positions at Feodosia, expending 60 rounds from her main guns. The ship conducted further gunfire support missions in the area on 28 February and 3, 11 and 14 March. The following month, she began transporting supplies and troops to and from besieged Sevastopol and providing gunfire support. Between 16 April and 13 June, Bditelny fired 535 shells from her main guns. On 17 April, the ship rescued 143 survivors from the sunken transport SS Svaneti and she was briefly refitted the following month. After the destroyer leader Tashkent was crippled by German aircraft on 26 June, Bditelny was one of the ships sent to assist her and towed Tashkent to Novorossiysk for repairs.

During an air raid on Novorossiysk by I. Gruppe (First Group) of Kampfgeschwader 76 (Bomber Wing 76) on 2 July, bomb splinters caused torpedoes in her forward mount to detonate, which set off her aft magazines, sinking the ship. Her wreck was salvaged in pieces and scrapped in 1948-1952.

Displacement (tons):
Full load:2039
Dimensions (m):
Speed (knots):38,3
Range: 2640 nmi (20 knots)
Autonomy (days):10
Propulsion:2 geared steam turbines, 48,000 shp (36,000 kW), 3 water-tube boilers, 2 shafts

4x1 130-mm guns
2x1 76,2-mm AA guns
2x1 45-mm AA guns
2x1 12,7-mm AA machineguns
2x3 533 mm torpedo tubes
60-95 mines
25 depth charges

Complement:197 (15 officers, 44 warrant officers)


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