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Battleship Dvenadsat Apostolov

 
  
 

Dvenadsat Apostolov ("Twelve Apostles") was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Russian Navy. The ship was originally ordered as one of a pair of battleships for the Black Sea Fleet, but the second ship was awarded to a firm on the verge of bankruptcy and they made no significant progress. Her initial armament was planned to be eight 229-mm guns, four in two twin-gun turrets and the remainder in the central casemate. After construction of the hull began in early 1888, the Naval Technical Committee decided to increase the thickness of the waterline armor belt from 330 mm to 356 mm in exchange for a further 75 long tons (76 t) in displacement. It also decided to move the forward turret back 2,3 mbecause it thought that the ship might be bow-heavy, and revise the armament to four 305-mm guns in twin-gun barbettes at each end of the ship with four 150-mm guns in a shortened casemate. Altogether these changes, including the extra armor, added over 100 t of weight to the ship.

She was laid down on 21 August 1889, launched on 13 September 1890, and sailed to Sevastopol for fitting out on 11 May 1892. Completed in December, the ship joined the fleet on 17 June 1893, but she was not fully ready for service until 1894. In 1895 Dvenadsat Apostolov was used to test a new system of laying mines by rails that had been invented by Lieutenant A. P. Ygrumov and also to evaluate the proper dimensions for anti-torpedo nets and their booms. For this last test torpedoes were fired at the ship with the anti-torpedo nets deployed. One gun, of an unknown caliber, burst in 1903, killing one man and wounding two others.

Dvenadsat Apostolov participated in the failed attempt to recapture the mutinous battleship Potemkin on 30 June 1905. She attempted to ram Potemkin, but sailors sympathetic to the mutiny reversed the engines and then prevented an attempt by Dvenadsat Apostolov's commander, Captain Kolands, to blow up his own ship by severing the detonating wires.

The Sevastopol Port Authority proposed to reboiler her in 1904 with new Belleville boilers, but this was forestalled by a plan to reuse those of the battleship Chesma. Three years later a proposal to rearm her with four 10-inch guns in two turrets and several 6-inch guns in a new casemate was made by the Naval General Staff. This was estimated to cost 1,275,000 roubles and would only add 15 long tons (15 t) to her displacement, but the proposal was rejected by the Naval Technical Committee which believed it was a waste of money given her obsolete layout. The General Staff made another proposal in 1909 to rearm her with smaller guns as a guardship intended to defend Sevastopol from attacks by enemy light forces. This was initially approved by the Navy Minister, Admiral Ivan Grigorovich in June 1909, but was later reversed.

Dvenadsat Apostolov was transferred to the Sevastopol Port Authority on 01 April 1911, stricken from the Navy List and disarmed on 15 April. She became a depot ship for submarines in 1912. Renamed as Blokshiv (hulk) No.8 on 04 September 1914, she was used for harbor duties. Immobile, she was captured by the Germans in Sevastopol in May 1918 and handed over to the Allies in December 1918. She was first captured by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War, and then by the White Russians. The ship was abandoned by the Whites when they evacuated the Crimea in 1920. The following year her propulsion machinery was removed. She was used as a stand-in for the Potemkin during the filming of The Battleship Potemkin, while reportedly serving as a mine storage hulk, before she was sold for scrap on 28 January 1931.

Specifications
Builder: Nikolayev Admiralty Shipyard
Laid down 21 August 1889
Launched 13 September 1890
Commissioned 17 June 1893
Displacement 8850 tons
Dimensions

104,2 x 18,3 x 8,4 meters

Speed14,5 knots
Propulsion 2 triple-expansion steam engines, 8 cylindrical boilers, 2 shafts, 8500 ihp
Guns

2x2 305-mm guns
4x1 152-mm guns
12x1 47-mm guns
4 five-barrel 37-mm revolving Hotchkiss guns
10x1 37-mm Hotchkiss guns
6 381-mm torpedo tubes

Armor

belt: 305-356 mm, deck: 51-76 mm, barbette: 254-305 mm, barbette hood: 64 mm, conning tower: 203 mm, bulkheads: 229-305 mm

Crew599
 
       
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