Tashkent class destroyers (1937)

Soviet Navy

The "Blue Beauty" of the black sea.

Probably the most famous Soviet Destroyer at the beginning of the war was the Tashkent, also rapidly nicknamed the "blue beauty". This was one of the many collaborations of the Italians to the rebith of the Soviet Navy, through several designs and technical advisory. Let's cite among others the assistance of the Ansaldo yard for designing the Kirov class cruisers, which brings some uncanny similarity with the contemporary Italian cruisers.

Also this influence was clearly visible on the contemporary mass-produced Gnevnyi class destroyers, for which Italian engineers provided assistance all along the design process and during construction.


Arrival of the Tashkent in 1939, without armament.

For the Tashkent, this went even beyond, for the most striking result. The black sea admiralty drew plans in 1935 for a destroyer leader, part of the same year plan. The previous generation, the Leningrad class leader destroyers (six ships all named after large cities) in 1933, were built locally by Marti, Nikolayev, Zhdanov, Komsomolsk, or Dazlavod, and were inspired by the French large "Contre-torpilleurs".

But they later revealed themselves top-heavy and poor seaboats with in addition, five years of construction that made them obsolescent after entering service. However, they were the first major warships built in Soviet Union at that time and were considered at least a success start. However for the next generation, planners seeked again italian assistance, in order to study the design for future classes.

The new destroyer was started in January 1937, built in a record time and launched in november, and delivered unarmed in February 1939 by OTO Yard at Livorno. She was armed in USSR and quickly tested in 1941, painted with an unusual light blue scheme which earned her the nickname "blue cruiser" and "blue beauty". She was not only among the most strickingly handsome warships ever put at sea, but also very fast and well armed for a destroyer. The idea was to have a class prototype for a future production.

Design of the Tashkent

The blueprint was more of less something like an enlarged "Navigatori" with a much better armament and a more than generous powerplant. As a result, the Tashkent displaced no less than 2893 tonnes standard, 3200 at full load, for 140 m (458 ft 6 in) in length. Her designed armament of three twin turrets was only added in 1941. On trials and in service she saw excellent sea going behaviour and stability, and gave all satisfaction.

Her true limitation appeared with war operations: An inadequate AA protection, like most destroyers of this generation which were completely outmatched by the speed and capabilities of modern aircrafts. The Tashkent was totally unarmoured. Her hull was riveted with a raised forecastle and 15 compartments, but the strength was not up to requirements and Soviet engineers decided to increase it for the Project 48 destroyers (Kiev class).

Tashkent provisional armament in 1939-40.
Tashkent provisional armament in 1939-40.

Propulsion

The Tashkent was given two funnels, connected to four large Yarrow boilers housed in two separate compartments with alternating boiler rooms, feeding two shaft geared steam turbines for a total of 110,000 hp (up to 130,000 hp with forced heating, 97,000 kW at 350 rpm), an impressive raw power which traduced in high performances: Nominal service speed was 39 knots, but on trials she easily reached and maintained 44.2 knots with force heating.

This was a far cry of the 36 knots (with half the horsepower, though) of the previous class. Although the raked funnels, and blended superstructures in a rounded, uniquely shaped enclosed command bridge were of no help in aerodynamic terms, they participated in this impression of speed that recalled the popular streamline style that ruled car and locomotive design in that era. The maximal service figure given is also 43.5 knots (80.6 km/h; 50.1 mph). However this limited the planned range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). This was however quite sufficient for black sea operations.

Armament

When the Tashkent arrived in the black sea, she presented three masked platforms, as she came without armament. This was as much to avoid political turmoil for a Fascist country to deliver an armed warship to a Communist Nation, but to test a purely Soviet weaponry that was to be fitted in the next generation of ships, like the destroyer of the Ognevoi class and follows-up of the Tashkent, the new Kiev class.

However the planned twin turrets 130 mm (5.1 in) B-2LM turrets could not being installed upon reception by the future Admiral of the Black Sea Fleet, Lev Vladimirsky. He ordered to fit provisionally three single 130mm/33 under masks on the planned positions for the turrets. The final turrets arrived in late 1940 and fitting completion arrived in early 1941. The turrets were splinterproof and weatherproof for surface fire only. These 1936-patterned Soviet naval guns became fairly standard. They could fire 5 to 13 shots/min (depending on mounting) at a muzzle velocity of 820–870 m/s (2,700–2,900 ft/s) and maximum firing range of 25,597 m (27,993 yd).

Secondary armament was to comprise six 45mm/46 in single mounts. However these planned 45 mm (1.8 in) anti-aircraft mounts were replaced eventually by automatic 37 mm (1.5 in) air defense guns M1939 (61-K). The 45 mm (21-K) could fire armor-piercing, Fragmentation-tracer or High-explosive rounds at 335 up to 880 m/s (2,900 ft/s).

Practical rate of fire was 25-30 rpm, and ceiling was 6,000 m (20,000 ft) up to 9,000 m in indirect range. These guns were related to the standard Soviet 45 mm anti-tank gun M1937 (53-K). The 37 mm which replaced these saw a large production throughout the war. Inspired by the Bofors, their rate of fire was 60 rpm, at a muzzle velocity of 880 m/s (2,900 ft/s), and at an effective firing range of 4 km (13,000 ft).

In addition, six 0.5 in heavy machine guns (12.7 mm) were added als in single positions, on front and rear platforms, while the original 45mm were all concentrated around the aft funnel (and later the 37 mm). For close-quarter combat, the Tashkent was given three banks of 21 in torpedo tubes (533 mm) in triple banks, one between the funnels, and the two others aft of the second funnel, all three on surelevated superstructure. As a result, the Tashkent was also a roomy ship.

Wartime career: An heroic blockade runner

In August 1941, the Tashkent gave up a bank of torpedo tubes in favor of a pair of 75 mm (3.0 in) AA guns. Tashkent served with the Black Sea Fleet, fighting during the Siege of Sevastopol and making 40 supply trips through the German Blockade. In his memoirs Captain VN Eroshenko noticed this feat: "The leader «Tashkent» steamed 27,000 miles, escorted without loss of 17 transports, carried 19,300 personal, 2,538 tons of ammunition, food and other goods into Sevastopol.

She also fired 100 rounds and silenced six batteries, damaged one airfield, sank a torpedo boat and shot down and damaged 13 enemy aircraft."
. Not bad for a ship that showed that was more to meet the eyes than solely nice lines. However any such story ends one day, and the German Luftwaffe was now firmly in place to create havoc on the black sea.

On 28 June 1942, Tahskent was attacked once more by a swarm of Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka"s, and was badly hit and severely damaged, taking 1900 tons of water before the emeregency team working with makaroff gear and pumps could contain the flood. She was towed by the destroyer Bditelnyi and all the way back to Novorossiysk, but foundered in the harbour several days after, on 2 July 1942. Only gun turrets were salvaged, finding their way on the destroyer Ognevoi. The Germans would later partially scrap the wreck, but the Soviets would eventually broke the ship in 1943 after taking back the harbour.


Tashkent in her final livery and armament, summer of 1941.

Successors: Class Kiev/ Project 48 destroyer leaders

This ships were nominally follows-up of the Tashkent. Ordered in several yards in 1939. Four ships named Kiev (launched december 1940), Ochakov, Perekop, and Yerevan (launched june 1941) built at Marti yard, Nikolayev (Kiev and Yerevan), and 61 Kommmunar yard (other pair), the latter being never launched and scrapped in situ.

The third five-year plan included 12 ships as far as the sources goes, with a first batch of six. The project B-1 was an improved Tashkent design, with a stronger hull (length 127.8 and beam 11.7 m), but also a reduction in displacement to follow a specification for a smaller radius of action.

Specs included a planned top speed of 38 knots, the same twin 130 mm turrets, two 3-in/55 (76mm), three 45mm/46, eight 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and (apparently) two quadruple banks of TTs, but also rails for 80 mines. Other orders, six more ships (1 Black Sea, 3 Baltic and 2 Arctic) were ordered but not laid down and cancelled in the summer of 1941. Only the hulls of Kiev (49.8 % complete) and Yerevan (25.4 % complete) were evacuated to Poti in August 1941 for completion, which never materialized. Both were used as target ships and sunk in 1950.

Tashkent scrapped in 1943
Tashkent with her provisional armament in 1939
Tashkent with her provisional armament in 1939

Tashkent
Tashkent in the summer of 1941, before receiving her additional AA artillery.

Sources, read more

wikipedia.org/wiki/Tashkent-class_destroyer
Conway's all the worlds fighting ships 1922-1946
navypedia.org/ships/russia/ru_dd_tashkent.htm
kchf.ru/ship/lider/tashkent.htm
enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/3730276
forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/135218-pics-of-tashkent-image-heavy/ (photos)
Mussolini s Navy: A Reference Guide to the Regia Marina 1930-1945 By Maurizio Brescia
Jurg Meister, Soviet Warships of the Second World War, 1977 Arco Publishing

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PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
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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