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Battleship Rostislav


Rostislav was a pre-dreadnought battleship built by the Nikolaev Admiralty Shipyard in the 1890s for the Black Sea Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy. She was conceived as a small, inexpensive coastal defence ship. Rostislav became the world's first capital ship to burn fuel oil, rather than coal.

From 1903 to 1912 the ship was the flagship of the second-in-command of the Black Sea Fleet. Rostislav was actively engaged in World War I until the collapse of the Black Sea Fleet in the beginning of 1918. She was the first Russian ship to fire on enemy targets on land during World War I, the first to be hit by a German airstrike, and the first to destroy a submarine, albeit a Russian one.

On April 29, 1918, the Bolsheviks managed to extricate two battleships and sixteen destroyers from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk, but Rostislav and the rest of the fleet remained in Sevastopol. The German occupation of Crimea from May to November 1918 did not affect the abandoned ship. The Anglo-French forces that replaced the Germans stayed in Sevastopol until April 1919. Before leaving, the British destroyed Rostislav's engines on April 25. The White forces of Baron Wrangel used the disabled ship as a floating battery in the Sea of Azov. The ship, manned by a ragtag volunteer crew, was stationed in the shallow waters of the Kerch Strait to harass the Reds in Taman and prevent a landing in the Crimea. After the defeat of Wrangel's land forces, the crew scuttled Rostislav in the Kerch Strait to prevent the Red forces from breaking through to the Black Sea. When Rostislav sank in the shallows her superstructure remained above water. In 1930, the EPRON (a Soviet salvage unit) retrieved the ship's guns and partially dismantled the hull.

Builder: Nikolayev Admiralty Shipyard
Laid down 17 January 1894
Launched 02 September 1896
Commissioned March 1900
Displacement 10140 tons

107,2 x 20,7 x 6,71 meters

Speed15,8 knots
Propulsion 2 triple-expansion steam engines, 8 fire-tube boilers, 2 shafts, 8500 ihp

2x2 254-mm guns
4x2 152-mm guns
12x1 47-mm guns
16x1 37-mm guns
6 381-mm torpedo tubes


belt: 368 mm, deck: 51-76 mm, turrets: 254 mm, conning tower: 152 mm, bulkheads: 127-229 mm

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