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Title: Russian pre-dreadnought BB Retvizan


Viking - May 6, 2010 08:35 PM (GMT)
user posted image

Retvizan, weird name since its from Swedish Rättvisan, meaning Righteousness or something like that...
Anyway this ship did well at the Battle of the Yellow Sea, giving the Russian fleet at Port Arthur a few more days before their final loss.

I'm lazy so its not completely finished yet, but its close I believe. Just lots of rigging left and maybe some weird doors I need to double check a bit, since maybe these are actually huge windows instead, and stuff like that.

Novice - May 6, 2010 08:38 PM (GMT)
Viking
Seems interesting enough.

IsleofTexas - May 6, 2010 10:02 PM (GMT)
Interesting, very interesting. Looks good though Viking.

ALVAMA - May 7, 2010 07:35 AM (GMT)
Excellent! :) I always have liked Russian vessels of that kind! IIRC I've seen somewere a colored photo of that ship! :)

Viking - May 7, 2010 07:43 AM (GMT)
thank you guys

here is a colored photo of the ship after being captured by Japan in 1905.

user posted image

I guess I can use it a bit for improving the drawing (I forgot about it until you mentioned it...)

Bezobrazov - May 7, 2010 11:09 PM (GMT)
Rättvisan means in English 'Justice' simply. The name was given to this BB in commemoration of the Viborg Gauntlet in 1790, during the last year of the Swedish-Russian War (1788-90), and derives from one of F. H. af Chapman's ten ships-of-the-line built for King Gustavus III and for their time as advanced in technological progress as, perhaps the Aegis-ships are to us. The Swedish Rättvisan was captured after a hard and bitter fight, having grounded on one of the cobs scattered around the Finnish Archipelago. 'Retvizan' is the Russian phonetic version of the name.

klagldsf - May 8, 2010 12:17 AM (GMT)
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned yet that this ship was built in the U.S. at Philadelphia.

ALVAMA - May 8, 2010 06:14 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (klagldsf @ May 8 2010, 01:17 AM)
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned yet that this ship was built in the U.S. at Philadelphia.

I know I've seen a picture when leaving US harbour with a USN submarine!!

klagldsf - May 9, 2010 01:15 AM (GMT)
Interestingly...you take a closer look and the only secondary guns are small anti-torpedo boat guns. Wouldn't that technically make this ship a dreadnaught?

the_ed17 - May 17, 2010 05:18 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (klagldsf @ May 9 2010, 01:15 AM)
Interestingly...you take a closer look and the only secondary guns are small anti-torpedo boat guns. Wouldn't that technically make this ship a dreadnaught?

I thought it carried six-inch guns? (or did the Japanese remove those?)

Bezobrazov - May 17, 2010 08:18 PM (GMT)
The Retvizan carried 4 - 12' cal. 40 Obuchov guns, 12 - 6' cal. 40 and 22 3' guns, and numerous smaller ones and no, she was far, far from even being close to a semi-dreadnought, such as the Japanese Aki and Settsu, or British Lord Nelsons - let alone being able to stand in the battle-line against true dreadnoughts! (((Although the IRN:s Slava and Grashdanin (ex-Cesarevich) actually fought it out against the German dreadnought battle ships König and Kronprinz on 17th Feb. 1917. Although both ships were very heavily damaged in the process; Slava so badly that she had to be scuttled, the Obuchov guns proved themselves far superior to the German Krupp guns, outranging them with substantial margin (22,000 yards against the Germans 16,000!)))

klagldsf - May 17, 2010 08:39 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (the_ed17 @ May 17 2010, 05:18 PM)
QUOTE (klagldsf @ May 9 2010, 01:15 AM)
Interestingly...you take a closer look and the only secondary guns are small anti-torpedo boat guns. Wouldn't that technically make this ship a dreadnaught?

I thought it carried six-inch guns? (or did the Japanese remove those?)

Still, those would just be secondary anti-torpedo boat/anti-torpedo boat destroyer guns. At least in terms of main armament, she lacks 8-10 inch secondary batteries, so...a semi-dreadnaught in that regard?

Bezobrazov - May 17, 2010 09:49 PM (GMT)
No, Klagldsf, not at all...not according to the definition of how the main- secondary and tertiary batteries were supposed to be employed in battle.

At the turn of the last century, the effective battle range was envisaged at about 3,000 to 5,000 yards. The main battery guns would open up the initial stage of a battle and check the range. As the two fleets or squadrons moved closer on eachother, the secondary batteries would join in, again initially checking the range, and thus both main and secondary batteries would be employed in the main course of battle. This is what the Retvizan and all her siblings were designed for. The tertiary batteries (either 3", 20 pounders or something similar) would be used to repel any torpedoboat attack (the term 'destroyer' had yet to attain a wider usage, although many navies used it in combinations such as 'torpedoboat destroyer') - So, in short, the main and secondary batteries were designated 'shipkiller' weapons, both with armor-piercing shells or HE-shells.

But the fact that spotting was inherently complicated due to the difficulty at a certain range to properly distinguish between the fall of shots and the fact that, often the secondary battery splashes obscured the main battery splashes made target acquisition and direction very difficult.

This is why ships such as the Dreadnought were ultimately designed and built...

klagldsf - May 17, 2010 10:32 PM (GMT)
Yeah, but six-inch guns? C'mon. By that definition an Iowa is a fast pre-dreadnaught.

Bezobrazov - May 17, 2010 10:35 PM (GMT)
I'm not making the rules, buddy! It's just the way it's been defined. if you want to change the definitions, then be my guest. I've tried to explain...I cannot do more...

And, btw, the Iowa's are very fast super dreadnoughts...

Bezobrazov - May 17, 2010 10:51 PM (GMT)
Essentially, to try and make it simple the definitions are as follow:

A pre-dreadnought is a vessels from the era ca. 1889-1910 (with many exceptions, nota bene!) with a mixed ship-to-ship battery (consisting of everything from 9.4 to 13" and 5-8"). Main battery gun numbered from 2 to six, with four as the most common number. Assumed battle range was 2,000 - 5,000 yards, spotting and range finding was inherently very hard and complicated. Reciprocating engines were the most common propulsion system and speeds varied from ca. 15-19 knots in general.

A dreadnought is a ship designed around one, single ship-to-ship battery, such as 11", 12" or higher. Guns varied from 8-14; later variant often were designated as 'super-dreadnoughts'. Estimated battle range: 10,000 to 18,000 yards (In reality all the way up to 30,000 yards in some instances!) and speeds varied between 18 - 24 knots.

One variant was the 'dreadnought-cruiser' later coined 'battle-cruiser', such as the Invincibles or the Seydlitz.

klagldsf - May 18, 2010 02:21 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bezobrazov @ May 17 2010, 10:35 PM)
And, btw, the Iowa's are very fast super dreadnoughts...

I know that. But the Iowa also had a pretty powerful 5-inch secondary battery that was as much for ship-to-ship combat as it was for ship-to-aircraft combat (hence "dual-purpose")

I still say, an 8-10 inch secondary gun battery for a pre-dreadnaught.

Carthaginian - May 18, 2010 03:02 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (klagldsf @ May 17 2010, 09:21 PM)
QUOTE (Bezobrazov @ May 17 2010, 10:35 PM)
And, btw, the Iowa's are very fast super dreadnoughts...

I know that. But the Iowa also had a pretty powerful 5-inch secondary battery that was as much for ship-to-ship combat as it was for ship-to-aircraft combat (hence "dual-purpose")

I still say, an 8-10 inch secondary gun battery for a pre-dreadnaught.

Iowa's secondaries were never really intended for anti-ship combat... that was why she had escorting vessels. Her screening destroyers and cruisers were for killing the small fry- Iowa's 5" guns were almost completely intended for anti-air use.

And many, many, MANY pre-dreadnoughts had 6" secondary guns... I'm talking, like, a large portion of the British Royal Navy. Only the last few of the British battleships had 9.2" secondaries, and the American battleships never had more than 8" guns. Only the French had a real hard-on for the 'big secondaries,' with their secondaries going to almost 11" (I forget the metric gun bore they actually used).


The rules for designation of a battleship type are less about how large the secondaries are than they are about how plentiful 'battleship caliber' guns are on a same ship.

Kitsune - May 18, 2010 06:12 AM (GMT)
The splash from the eight inch (or larger) "secondaries" looked much like those of a 12 inch battery. As such, they created a lot of confusion.

Bezobrazov - May 18, 2010 11:12 AM (GMT)
The whole idea behind the Dreadnought-concept was the theory about the increased battle range, advocated by such theorists as Rear Adm Sir Percy Scott for instance. With a mixed battery you can engage an opponent at close range, say 5,000 yards with relative ease; every shot, even if it's hard to tell them apart is likely to be, at least a near-miss! But, as the Russian Vice Adm. Z. P. Rozhestvensky found out at Tsushima, opening up at long range could mean difficulty in differentiating between the shots. At that epic battle the Russians opened up at the extreme range of 18,000 yards and began to register hits or near-misses at 12,000 yards! But, since, in accordance with the common practise, the Russian battleships, especially the 'Borodinos' engged with their secondary batteries too, it became increasingly difficult for the Russian gunnery officers to actually tell what was hits and what was not. It is significant that one of the lessons gained from this, for the Russians so disastrous battle, was the increase in the calibre of the secondary battery in the next two Russian battle ship classes (Ioann Zlatoust-class and Imperator Pavel I class) till the Russians commenced their so-called 'Baltic Dreadnought' building program. For that one (The 'Gangut'-class) the Russians made sure to obtain the most powerful single calibre battery possible; the ships secondary battery being entirely devoted for anti-torpedoboat/destroyer repulsion!

Kitsune - May 18, 2010 01:24 PM (GMT)
You may want to recheck those ranges and who fired at what ranges as well?

Bezobrazov - May 18, 2010 03:13 PM (GMT)
:huh: If are referring to my statement about the Russians at Tsushima, I recommend you to read up on the subject. It is a widely recognized fact that many Russian battleships (Imperator Aleksandr III, Orel and Kniaz Suvorov itself) opened fire at such extreme range at the Japanese scouts shadowing the 2nd Russian Pacific Squadron. Rozhestvensky gave orders a few moments after firing commenced to check it to preserve ammo, but the fact is that the Japanese ships were surrounded by uncomfortably close water cascades! The Russian fire at the initial stages of Tsushima was not bad at all; in fact it was far superior to what they had accomplished at the Yellow Sea, and that was, mind you, a very, very close deal for the Japanese! So, in other words, I stand by my statements! ;)

klagldsf - May 18, 2010 04:03 PM (GMT)
I'm not doubting the concept of pre-dreadnaught battleships or what one is I'm saying a 6-inch secondary battery is kinda sad.

Do note that early super-dreadnaughts had six-inch secondary batteries, too. Many of these ships had primary armament not much bigger than Dreadnaught's (13.5 inches or less)

Kitsune - May 18, 2010 09:17 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bezobrazov @ May 18 2010, 10:13 AM)
:huh: If are referring to my statement about the Russians at Tsushima, I recommend you to read up on the subject. It is a widely recognized fact that many Russian battleships (Imperator Aleksandr III, Orel and Kniaz Suvorov itself) opened fire at such extreme range at the Japanese scouts shadowing the 2nd Russian Pacific Squadron. Rozhestvensky gave orders a few moments after firing commenced to check it to preserve ammo, but the fact is that the Japanese ships were surrounded by uncomfortably close water cascades! The Russian fire at the initial stages of Tsushima was not bad at all; in fact it was far superior to what they had accomplished at the Yellow Sea, and that was, mind you, a very, very close deal for the Japanese! So, in other words, I stand by my statements!  ;)

First, on page 11 of Friedman's "US Battleships", he states that the battle range was considered to be less than 10,000 yards and only the Nevada class began to address this increase in range. Battle ranges with a mixed battery were not considered at around 5,000 yards but not effective at anything over 3,000 yards.

According to "Sea Power", an old book I have, the Japanese opened fire at 7,000 yards but did not hit anything until they were considerably closer. "War at Sea in the Ironclad Age", the indication is that the Japanese engage at around 6,000 yards and nothing about a huge concern with being fire at from ranges of greater than 10,000 yards

NavWeaps shows a limitation due to elevation for the majority of Russian Battleships of 16,000 yards (15 degrees) and adds that due to fir control cannot engage effectively at beyond 10,000 yards (which is actually being quite nice)

the_ed17 - May 23, 2010 12:13 AM (GMT)
Plus, weren't the Russians hampered by such things as using sawdust instead of gunpowder because the latter had been sold on the black market?

Kitsune - May 23, 2010 01:23 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (the_ed17 @ May 22 2010, 07:13 PM)
Plus, weren't the Russians hampered by such things as using sawdust instead of gunpowder because the latter had been sold on the black market?

Not saying it is not true and have heard it myself although am cautious until I read something more concrete.

the_ed17 - May 23, 2010 06:19 AM (GMT)
I don't remember where I read it, but seeing as I don't have anything on Russian pre-dreads, I'm guessing that it wasn't very concrete (so, I'm the same as you). :) If you do find something, please let me know.

gral - May 23, 2010 11:18 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (the_ed17 @ May 23 2010, 12:13 AM)
Plus, weren't the Russians hampered by such things as using sawdust instead of gunpowder because the latter had been sold on the black market?

That was the Chinese Navy in the Sino-Japanese War.

Viking - June 24, 2010 09:21 PM (GMT)
Grreat discussions guys. (I managed to get my BA thesis on the Russo Japanese War approved a few weeks ago... loads of fun :D )

At last I did some fixing upon the picture after consulting with a number of different sources. Some more improvements will be upcoming most likely soon.
user posted image

Carthaginian - June 24, 2010 10:49 PM (GMT)
Awesome art... and thank God for Babelfish, I'm looking forward to reading your thesis.




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