History of Arkhangelsk

In 1941 the Soviet Navy had only three battleships, and the fleet consisted mainly of torpedo boats, submarines and destroyers, and seven cruisers (of which only four could be considered modern). After Germany invaded the Soviet Union through Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the navy became the recipient of foreign aid as it became more involved in fighting against the Axis powers.

HMS Royal Sovereign (05), officially part of the Royal Navy, commissioned in 1916 during World War I, transferred to the Soviet Navy on 30 May 1944 (Lend-Lease). After the acquisition, the ship was renamed "Arkhangelsk".

The Soviets' plans for the Royal Sovereign barely changed, so she kept her 4 x 15" main guns in four turrets with two turrets (two front, two rear). Other weapons include a 6-inch gun and a 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun.

Armor protection ranges from 13 inches on the conveyor belt and 4 inches along the deck to 13 inches on the main turret and 6 inches on the bulkhead. A single funnel is located amidships around which the superstructure is mainly concentrated, with two main masts. Power comes from 18 Babcock & Wilcox boilers feeding 4 40,000 hp steam turbines on 4 shafts below the stern.

With a crew of 1,240 people, the speed reaches 23 knots and the range is up to 7,000 nautical miles.

The warship left British home waters in August 1944 as part of the JW59 convoy. She arrived and anchored at Kola in Russia's Murmansk Oblast, where she survived repeated attacks on her by the German Navy.

The warship officially entered service with the Soviet Navy on 29 August 1944, and subsequently served as flagship in the Arctic Ocean, where British convoys continued to supply the Soviets. She held this position until the end of the war in 1945.

In 1947 the ship ran aground but recovered, and Arkhangelsk reluctantly returned to England in February 1949. In return, the Soviet Navy claimed possession of the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare (detailed elsewhere on this page), which was assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.

The now British owned Arkhangelsk/Royal Sovereign was found to be in poor condition and eventually scrapped.

Arkhangelsk Specification

Basic

Year:
1944

Roles

- Blue Water Operations

- Fleet Support

- Hunter

- direct attack

Dimensions

Length:

620.1 ft (189.01 m)

width/width:

88.5 ft (26.97 m)

Elevation/Draft:

33.6 ft (10.24 m)

Weight

Displacement (surface):

30,000 tons

Performance

18 x Babcock & Wilcox boilers power 4 x steam turbines rated at 40,000 hp on 4 x shafts.

Performance

Speed ??(surface):

23 kn (26 mph)

Area:

4,171 nautical miles (4,800 miles; 7,725 km)

Armor

8 x 15" (381 mm) main gun, four turrets, two guns.

14 x 6" (152 mm) gun in a single turret

8 x 4" QF Mk XVI gun

16 x 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun (AA)

2 x 2lb "pom-pom" guns

Wing

No.

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