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Battleship Ekaterina II


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.

Ekaterina II was named after the Empress Catherine II of Russia. She was the only one of her class to be built by the Nikolayev Admiralty Dockyard at Nikolaev. The ship was laid down on 26 June 1883, launched on 20 May 1886, and completed in 1889. She ran her first trials in 1888, after she had been transferred to Sevastopol to be fitted out, and spent her career with the Black Sea Fleet. In 1897 the Naval General Staff proposed to re-gun her with more powerful 12-inch 40-calibre guns and to replace the compound armour of her redoubt with Krupp armor, but this proved to be too expensive. Her machinery was upgraded between mid-1898 and 1902. Her boilers were replaced with eighteen Belleville water-tube boilers and her engines were converted to triple expansion. On trials after the refit she made 9,978 ihp (7,441 kW) and a speed of 15 knots on 8 November 1902.

Her crew was considered sympathetic to the revolutionary movement when the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutinied in June 1905 and her engines were disabled to prevent her from joining Potemkin. She was turned over to the Sevastopol port authorities before being stricken on 14 August 1907. She was re-designated as Stricken Vessel Nr. 3 on 22 April 1912 before being sunk as a torpedo target. The remnants of the ship were salvaged in 1914 in Nikolaev.

Builder: Admiralty Dockyard, Nikolaev
Laid down 26 June 1883
Launched20 May 1886
Commissioned 1889
Displacement 11,396 tons
Dimensions 103.4 x 21 x 8.8 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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