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Battleship Chesma


The Ekaterina II class were a class of four battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1880s. They were the first battleships built for the Black Sea Fleet. Their design was highly unusual in having the main guns on three barbettes grouped in a triangle around a central armored redoubt, two side-by-side forward and one on the centerline aft. This was intended to maximize their firepower forward, both when operating in the narrow waters of the Bosphorus and when ramming. Construction was slow because they were the largest warships built until then in the Black Sea, and the shipyards had to be upgraded to handle them.

Chesma was named after the Russian victory at the Battle of Chesma in 1770. She was built by the Russian Steam Navigation Company (RoPIT) at Sevastopol. She was laid down in late June 1883, launched on 18 May 1886, and completed on 29 May 1889.

She was turned over to the Sevastopol port authorities before being stricken on 14 August 1907. Before she was fully dismantled the Naval Ministry decided to use her hull for full-scale armor trials. She was redesignated as Stricken Vessel Nr. 4 on 22 April 1912 before being used as a gunnery target. Afterwards she served as a torpedo target for the destroyers of the Black Sea Fleet. During these attacks she settled to the bottom of Tendra Bay and was eventually scrapped during the mid-1920s.

Builder: RoPIT Shipyard, Sevastopol
Laid down June 1883
Launched18 May 1886
Commissioned 29 May 1889
Displacement 11,050 tons
Dimensions 103.4 x 21 x 8.5 meters
Speed15.2 knots
Propulsion 2 vertical compound steam engines, 14 cylindrical boilers, 2 shafts, 9,100 ihp
Guns3x2 305-mm guns, 7x1 152-mm guns, 8x1 47-mm 5-barrel revolving Hotchkiss guns, 4x1 37-mm 5-barrel revolving Hotchkiss guns, 7x1 356-mm torpedo tubes

belt: 203-406 mm, redoubt: 305 mm, decks: 51-64 mm, gun shields: 51-76 mm, conning tower: 203-229 mm

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