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SOVETSKIY SOYUZ battleships (project 23)


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
Советский Союз [Sovetskiy Soyuz]   299 189 Ordzhonikidze Yd, Leningrad 31.7.1938 --- --- suspended 9.1941, cancelled 6.1948
Советская Украина [Sovetskaya Ukraina]   352 198 Marti Yd, Nikolayev 31.10.1938 --- --- abandoned 15.8.1941
Советская Белоруссия [Sovetskaya Belorussiya]   101 402 Yd, Molotovsk 21.12.1939 --- --- cancelled 10.1940
Советская Россия [Sovetskaya Rossiya]   102 402 Yd, Molotovsk 22.7.1940 --- --- suspended 9.1941, cancelled 4.1947

Technical data

Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

260.0 wl 269.4 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



3 sets Brown-Bovery geared steam turbines, 6 boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 6440

Endurance, nm(kts)5580(14.5)
Armour, mm

belt: 420 - 375, bulkheads: 365 - 285, decks: 155 + 50 + 20, turrets: 495 - 230, barbettes: 425, CT: 425


3 x 3 - 406/49 MK-1, 6 x 2 - 152/57 MK-4, 6 x 2 - 100/54 MZ-14, 8 x 4 - 37/63 46K, 2 catapults, 4 seaplanes



Standard scale images

<i>Sovetskiy Soyuz</i>
Sovetskiy Soyuz

Project history

3.8.1936 Naval Staff approved requirements specification on outline designing of battleships of "A" (project 23) and "B" (project 25) classes, offered on competitive basis by Central Shipbuilding Designing Bureau No1 (TsKBS-1) and Designing Bureau of Baltic Wks. For drawing up of the general engineering design of the first of battleships a variant of Baltic Wks was elected (45900t standard, 9 406mm, 12 152mm and 12 100mm guns, 2 catapults, 4 aircrafts, 380mm side armour) with the changes supposing growth of displacement up to 46000-47000t, and strengthening of protection of decks and fore end.

3.12.1936 the order for building of eight capital ships (4 of project 23 and 4 of project 25) was given out, with planned completion in 1941. In 1937 project 23 was redesigned with increase in standard displacement to 55000-57000t, optimization of armour and underwater protection and abandoning from two aft 100mm turrets.

Not waiting approving of an ultimate engineering design, on Baltic Wks 15.7.1938 a lead battleship of the project 23 was laid down, Sovetskiy Soyuz; on October, 31st in Nikolaev the laying of sistership Sovetskaya Ukraina has taken place. However, their stocks were not ready yet, and really works were begun only in Spring of 1939. Sovetskaya Belorussia and Sovetskaya Rossiya were laid down at Molotovsk (nowadays Severodvinsk) respectively 21.12.1939 and 22.7.1940. A ship engineering design (project 23) was approved by the decision of Committee of Defense only 13.7.1939. In July, 1940 the Naval Department has presented the modified program on the third five-years period. It was supposed in 1938-1942 to build 6 battleships of the project 23, and any of them was not planed to been completed earlier than 1.1.1942. To autumn of the same year Naval Department convinced, that planned limits for the readiness practically are not achievable, and the program requires reduction. According to the decision from 19.10.1940 construction of next large ships was cancelled, building of Sovetskaya Belorussiya was suspended at 1% availability (because of mass defects at riveting). For three remained battleships new terms of launches were established, however their completion was hindered by war.

Building of Sovetskiy Soyuz was suspended 10.9.1941 at 21% availability. During war the armour plates prepared for the ship were partially used for building of coastal fortifications near Leningrad. After an end of the war ship completion on technical condition of a slipway recognised as inexpedient, and in 1949 the hull was launched and broken up. Sovetskaya Ukraina 15.8.1941 at 18% availability was captured by German troops. During occupation the hull was partially taken apart on metal. After liberation of Nikolaev her availability was valued in 15%, the slipway has been blown up at departure of German troops. Ship completion was refused. Building of Sovetskaya Rossiya was suspended 10.9.1941 at 5.3% availability. Right after end of the war the decision on ship completion was accepted, however subsequently it have refused. 18.4.1947 building was ultimately cancelled and the hull was broken up.

Ship protection

 Main belt between end barbettes was 6.27m high and inclined outside at 5°. Its thickness varied from 420-406mm abreast fwd barbettes to 380-375mm abreast machinery and aft barbette. This belt was closed by 230mm fore and 180mm aft bulkheads. Additional 285mm bulkhead placed between barbette no1 and stem. Flat 155mm upper deck (between end barbettes) connected with upper edge of main belt, its thickness between first and second fore bulkheads was 100mm. 50mm splinter medium deck placed one level below, its thickness increased to 155mm aft from aft barbette. Forecastle deck had 25mm thickness. Fore CT had 425mm sides, aft had 220mm ones, roofs had 250mm thickness. Underwater protection of Pugliese system protected 123m long amidships part and was 8.2m deep, aft 33m part of hull had "American" protection system. Turrets had 495mm faces, 230mm sides and roofs, barbettes had 425mm sides. Secondary barbettes had 100-65mm protection.