Dekabrist-class submarine

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1973 CPA 4278.jpg
D-3 Krasnogvardyeyets on a Soviet stamp
Class overview
Name: Dekabrist
Operators:  Soviet Navy
Built: 1927-1929
In service: 1928-1958
Completed: 6
Lost: 4
Preserved: 1
General characteristics
Type: diesel/electric-powered attack submarine
  • 933 tons surfaced
  • 1,354 tons submerged
Length: 76.00 m (249 ft 4 in)
Beam: 6.5 m (21 ft)
Draught: 3.80 m (12.5 ft)
  • 2 shafts, three-bladed propellers
  • - Two 1,100hp MAN/Kolomna diesels
  • - Two 525hp PG-20 electric motors
  • - Two electric creeping motors 50hp
  • - 60 DK storage batteries
  • 14 knots (26 km/h) surfaced
  • 9 knots (17 km/h) submerged
  • 3,600 nmi (6,700 km) at 14 kn (26 km/h) surfaced
  • 7,500 nmi (13,900 km) at 9 kn (17 km/h) surfaced
  • 132 nmi (244 km) at 2 kn (3.7 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 295 ft (90 m)
Complement: 53 officers and crew

The Dekabrist-class were the first class of submarines built for the Soviet Navy after the October Revolution. They were authorized in the Soviet Naval Shipbuilding Program of 1926.

Operational-tactical requirements and design concepts were formulated in 1923. In 1925 a Soviet naval mission had obtained blueprints for the Balilla-class submarine from the Italians: concepts from that design were used together with Soviet ideas. The boats were constructed by the Ordzhonikidze Shipyard and the principal designer was Boris Malinin. The first boat in the class was laid down on March 5, 1927; launched on November 3, 1928, and commissioned on November 18, 1930. This first boat, Dekabrist, was later designated D-1 on September 15, 1934.[1]

The class was of a double–hull design with 7 compartments and constructed using riveting. These boats were of Soviet design and had numerous technical shortcomings and construction defects. The most serious problems were their slow diving time and poor stability during diving.

In May 1933, Dekabrist was shifted to the Northern Fleet via the White Sea–Baltic Canal. She remained in service until 1940. She showed high seaworthiness in polar circumstances. The boat was lost with her entire crew in a diving accident on November 13, 1940 in Motovsky Gulf.


Number Ship English translation Builder Launched Notes&Fate
D-1 Dekabrist Декабрист A member of the Decembrist revolt Ordzhonikidze Yard, Leningrad 3 November 1928 Lost in accident November 1940 in Motovsky Gulf near Murmansk during training mission.
D-2 Narodovolets Народоволец A member of Narodnaya Volya Ordzhonikidze Yard, Leningrad 1929 Sank German merchant Jacobus Fritzen.[2] Decommissioned 1958 but from 1956 to 1987 was based in Kronstadt and served as a training ship. Finally, in 1989 on completion of the reconstruction was installed on shore as a memorial museum in St Petersburg.[3]
D-3 Krasnogvardyeyets Красногвардеец Red Guardsman Ordzhonikidze Yard, Leningrad 12 July 1929 Sunk July 1942 off Norway
D-4 Revolutsioner Революционер Revolutionary Marti Yard, Nikolayev 1929 Sunk German merchants Boy Federson, Santa Fe and Bulgarian merchant Varna.[4] Sunk by German armed trawlers UJ 102 and UJ 103 off Yevpatoria, Crimea
D-5 Spartakovets Спартаковец Follower of Spartacus Marti Yard, Nikolayev 1929 Decommissioned 1950s
D-6 Yakobinets Якобинец Jacobin Marti Yard, Nikolayev 1929 Destroyed by bombing in Sevastopol dockyard, 12 November 1941
Narodovolets (D-2) on display in St Petersburg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived April 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "D-2 / Narodovolyets". Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Narodovolets D-2, submarine memorial complex". Saint Petersburg Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  4. ^ "D-4 / Revolutsyoner". Retrieved 11 December 2014.