Russian Navy General-Admiral, Gerzog Edinburgski

The first armoured cruisers ?

This pair of Russian Imperial ships are considered by John Francis Beeler (p. 222, British Naval Policy in the Gladstone-Disraeli Era, Stanford U 1997) to be the world's first armoured cruisers. At that time, the Baltic has been pacified and now the old enemy of Russia was the Ottoman Empire, which boasted one of the most powerful fleets in the Mediterranean, counting dozens of ironclads, armoured frigates and corvettes. The Russian ships were classified first as "armored corvettes" before the plans were even laid down, then semi-armored frigates on 24 March 1875 as they were completed. In fact they resembled central battery ironclads, but to a smaller scale than actual capital ships. The armament was concentrated amidships and they had both a full sailing rig. The ships were named after, respectively, the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich of Russia and Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. They entered service in 1875 and 1877 and had a fairly long and colorful career.


The previous General Admiral, 1857 Frigate of the line.

Design of the General Admiral

As built they displaced 400 long tons more than the original design (5,031 long tons (5,112 t)). They measured 87.1 m x 14.6 m x 7.4 m (draft) or 285 feet 10 inches x 48 feet x 24 feet 5 inches overall. The General Admiral was laid down on 27 November 1870 and launched on 2 September 1873 and entered service in 1875 while the Gerzog Edinburgski was started on 27 September 1870, launched on 10 September 1875 and in service in 1877. Although externally similar, with about a completely different machinery, both ships tried totally different gunnery arrangement, not only in numbers but also in caliber: As an example, for secondary artillery, the first had 87 mm guns and the second 107 mm.


General Admiral under sail

Propulsion
They were propelled by a vertical compound steam engine fed by four to five cylindrical boilers (General Admiral), which drove a single two-bladed, 6.25 m propeller. Working pressure was 60 psi (414 kPa; 4 kgf/cm2) for 4,772 indicated horsepower (3,558 kW) and 12.3 knots (22.8 km/h; 14.2 mph) observed on sea trials on the General Admiral and 5,590 ihp (4,170 kW) for 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) for the Gerzog Edinburgski, not precisely blazing speed. To save performances both missed a ram but had a clipper bow instead. For autonomy, both ships carried up to 1,000 long tons (1,000 t) of coal for 5,900 nautical miles (10,900 km; 6,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). When under sail they could reduce drag by folding their single funnel while the propeller could be hoisted into the hull.

Protection
The General Admiral and her sister-ship were given a complete waterline belt. It was made ofwrought iron and 6 in thick in the center section, declining to 5 in (127 mm) on both the ends. Its height was 2.15 m or 7 feet 1 inch, and 1.55m (5 feet 1 in) below the waterline while above, the central battery was 6 in thick, also with wrought iron armour plates.

Armament
Both ships, built at Nevskiy Works, and Baltic Works at Saint Petersburg had a completely different armament: General-Admiral was given six 203 mm (8 in) as well as two 152 mm (6 in) and four 87 mm (3.4 in) rifled breech-loading guns (RBL). Her sister ship however had four 203 mm guns, five 152 mm, and six 107 mm (4.2 in) guns. Apparently none had torpedo tubes.

General Admiral
General Admiral. She was reformed circa 1906

Career of the General Admiral Cruisers

Like some other Russian ships of the same era, these ships had a fairly long career, although not always as cruisers. General-Admiral was caught in a heavy storm at Kronstadt in 1875 shortly after completion, went ashore and so she was towed to port for repairs. She therefore missed the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. After repairs, she sailed for the Pacific in the early 1880s and spent 1884–85 in the Mediterranean. In 1886 she was back home for a refit, partially re-boilered while her foldable funnel was replaced by two non-retractable models andd a fixed propeller later in 1892 eplace the removable model going back to th sailing era. She was reclassified as 1st-class cruiser on February 1892, and then sailed to Hampton Roads, Virginia in 1893 for a review. She became a training ship the next year, and in 1906 was completely converted in that new role, with her armament reduced to the minimum.

Gerzog Edinburgski served with the Baltic Fleet, made a Pacific cruise which lasted from 1881 to 1884, was refitted in 1890 with new boilers, a fixed funnel and later a fixed propeller later in 1897, together with new engines. She was then used as a training ship for petty officers and later converted and reclassified as a school ship in 1906. However this new career was again put to an end, when both ships were converted into minelayers in 1908–11. To free the name for more modern units, both were also renamed Saint Petersburg lake, Narova and Onega respectively. Their ancient rigging was removed and masts simplified to simple poles, the armament reduced to just four 75 mm or 3.0 in guns, but they could accomodate 600–800 mines.
Gertsog Edinburgskiy
Gertsog Edinburgskiy WW1: So as minelayers they took part in many missions in 1914-1915. By 1915 however, Onega was hulked and renamed Blokshiv No 9 used as a mine storage ship in Helsinki. The Narova, went on until 1918 in that role. According to The Treaty of Brest-Litovs, the Soviets evacuated Helsinki in March 1918 but both ships were not included in the evacuation before winter ice sets in. The Germans eventually agreed that they leave the harbor in May for Kronstadt. Under a soviet flag, Narova mined the approaches to Petrograd, empeding the British forces operating in the Gulf of Finland, and was finally renamed (third time) Dvadsatpyatavo Oktyabrya or "25 October" by 1922. Although her sister Blokshiv No. 9 was reported broken up in the 1920s, her sister-ship Dvadsatpyatavo Oktyabrya became also a mine storage hulk in 1938. She was afterwards sunk deliberately to served as a breakwater in the Neva River in 1959. At that time, given the fact she has been laid down in 1870, the cruiser was 90 years old ! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General-Admiral-class_cruiser
Illustration of the International Squadron arriving at Suda Bay, Crete, on 21 December 1898. Behind Bugeaud, carrying Prince George of Greece and Denmark en route to Crete, is followed by Gerzog Edinburgski and the battleships HMS Revenge and Francesco Morosini behind.

Specifications (General Admiral)

Dimensions (L-w-h)87.1 m x 14.6 m x 7.4 m (285 x 48 x 24 ft)
Total weight, fully loaded5,031 long tons (5,112 t)
Armament6 × 203 mm, 2 × 152 mm, 2 × 86 mm, 8 × 37 mm, 1 × 381 mm sub TT
ArmorBelt: 5–6 in (127–152 mm)
Crew482 officers and sailors
Propulsion1 Shaft, 1 comp.st.engine 4 Cyl. boilers 4,772 ihp (3,558 kW)
Speed (road) 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Range5,900 nmi (10,900 km; 6,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)

Gallery


Illustration by the author, after rebuild as a minelayer

Engraving of the General Admiral
Engraving of the General Admiral


The HMS Inconstant, which can have been an influence on the design

General Admiral in 1880
General Admiral in 1880

Gertsog Edinburgskiy in 1880
Gertsog Edinburgskiy in 1880

Sources

wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_cruiser_Minin (Russian)
https://www.fr.naval-encyclopedia.com/1ere-guerre-mondiale/marine-russe1914.php#crois
navypedia.org/ships/russia/ru_cr_minin.htm
Naval Warfare, 1815-1914 By Lawrence Sondhaus
naval-encyclopedia.com/ww1/pages/russia/russie1914d.htm
Conways all the word fighting ships 1860-1905


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Naval History

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Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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