Chapayev-class cruiser

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Kreiser komsomolec.jpg
Soviet cruiser Komsomolets
Class overview
Name: Chapayev class
Operators:  Soviet Navy
Preceded by: Kirov class
Succeeded by: Sverdlov class
Planned: 7
Completed: 5
Cancelled: 2
Retired: 5
General characteristics
Type: Cruiser
Displacement: 11,130 long tons (11,310 t) standard, 14,100 long tons (14,300 t) full load
Length: 201 m (659 ft)
Beam: 19.7 m (65 ft)
Draught: 6.4 m (21 ft)
Propulsion: 2 shaft geared steam turbines, 6 boilers, 124,000 shp (92,000 kW)
Speed: 33.5 knots (62.0 km/h; 38.6 mph)
Range: 7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph), 3,500 short tons (3,200 t) tons of oil fuel
Complement: 840
  • 12 × 152 mm (6.0 in)/57 cal B-38 guns in 4 triple Mk5-bis turrets,
  • 8 × 100 mm (3.9 in)/56 cal Model 1934 guns in 4 twin SM-5-1 mounts
  • 28 × 37 mm (1.5 in) AA gun
  • 6 × 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes (later removed)
Aircraft carried: 2 seaplanes planned (later removed)
Aviation facilities: 1 catapult (later removed)

The Chapayev class (Project 68 Чапаев) were a group of cruisers built for the Soviet Navy during and after World War II. Seventeen ships were planned but only seven were actually started before the German invasion. Two incomplete ships were destroyed when their building yard in Nikolaev was captured by Nazi Germany and the remaining five cruisers were completed only in 1950.


The design was based on the Kirov-class cruiser, but with significant changes in armament: 4 triple 152 mm (6.0 in) gun turrets replacing 3 triple 180 mm (7.1 in) gun turrets. The 152 mm B38 guns fired a 55 kg (121 lb) shell to 24,000 m (26,000 yd). The rate of fire was 6 to 7 rounds per minute. The guns were mounted in individual cradles with separate elevation.

The secondary armament consisted of 100 mm (3.9 in) CM-5 guns in twin enclosed powered turrets with a rate of fire of 15-18 rounds per minute. The light anti-aircraft guns consisted of 37 mm (1.5 in) weapons.

The hull was enlarged, and protection was improved compared to the Kirov class. The machinery was based on a unit system with alternating boiler rooms and engine rooms.

The five ships were completed after the war to a modified design (Project 69K). The aircraft facilities and torpedo tubes were removed and radar and improved anti-aircraft artillery added (37 mm guns in twin powered and water cooled mountings).


Luftwaffe aerial reconnaissance photo of the Ordzhinikidze Yard (Shipyard 189), Leningrad, showing the battleship Sovietsky Soyuz (top) and Chkalov under construction, 26 June

A large programme was envisaged and seventeen ships were authorised in 1939 and eleven ordered. Six ships were to be built for the Baltic Fleet, four for the Black Sea Fleet and one for the Pacific Fleet. Seven ships were actually laid down before the German invasion in 1941.

  • Chapayev (Чапаев)
Named after Vasily Chapayev,
Built by Ordzhinikidze Yard (Shipyard 189) Leningrad,[1]
Laid down 8 October 1939,[1]
Launched 28 April 1941,[1]
Completed 16 May 1950,[1]
Decommissioned 29 October 1960
  • Zheleznyakov (Железняков)
Named after Anatoly Zheleznyakov (1895-1919) a Bolshevik,
Built by Admiralty Shipyard (Shipyard 194) Leningrad,[1]
Laid down 31 October 1939,[1]
Launched 25 June 1941,[1]
Completed 19 April 1950,[1]
Decommissioned 1976[1]
  • Kuybyshev (Куйбышев)
Named after Valerian Kuybyshev,
Built by Marti Yard (Shipyard 200) Nikolayev,[1]
Laid down 31 August 1939,[1]
Launched 31 January 1941,[1] evacuated to Poti, Georgia (country); stern used to repair damaged cruiser Maxim Gorki,
Completed 22 December 1950,[1]
Decommissioned 1965
Originally named after Valery Chkalov,
Built by Ordzhinikidze Yard Leningrad,
Laid down 31 August 1939,
Launched 25 October 1947,
Completed 1 November 1950,
Decommissioned 1981
  • Frunze (Фрунзе) -
Named after Mikhail Frunze,
Built by Marti Yard Nikolayev,
Laid down 29 August 1939,
Launched 31 December 1940, evacuated to Poti, Georgia,
Completed 15 December 1950,
Decommissioned 1960

Two more ships, Ordzhinikidze and Sverdlov, were scrapped on the slipway after being captured by the Germans in Nikolayev during World War II.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Jarovoj and Greger 1994, p. 153.

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