Pervenets-class ironclad

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Pervenetz (1863).jpg
Pervenets at anchor
Class overview
Name: Pervenetz
Operators:  Imperial Russian Navy
Preceded by: Sevastopol
Succeeded by: Kniaz Pozharsky
Built: 1862–65
Completed: 3
Scrapped: 3
General characteristics (Pervenets as built)
Type: Armored frigate
Displacement: 3,412 tonnes (3,358 long tons)
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft)
Beam: 16.2 m (53 ft)
Draft: 4.6 m (15 ft)
Installed power: 1,067 ihp (796 kW)
Speed: 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)
Complement: 430 officers and crewmen
  • Initially:
  • 17 × 1 - 196 mm (7.7 in) guns
  • In 1877:
  • 14 × 1 - 203 mm (8.0 in) guns
  • 6 × 1 - 87 mm (3.4 in) guns
  • 2 × 1 - 44 mm (1.7 in) rapid-fire guns

The Pervenets-class ironclads were a group of three armored frigates built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1860s. The ships were the first class of Russian ironclad ships, designed and built as such.[1]


The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells as demonstrated by the Russian destruction of a Turkish squadron at the Battle of Sinope.[1] The first ironclad battleship, La Gloire, was launched by the French Navy in November 1859.[2] It was followed by the British Warrior-class ironclad. Russia was among the first countries to follow.


The Naval Ministry initially ordered two ships. The first ship in the class, Pervenets (Firstborn), was built in England and the second identical ship, Ne Tron Menia (Don't touch me) in Saint Petersburg. A few months later the decision was made to build a third ship, Kreml (Kremlin), at the Neva shipyards in Saint Petersburg.[1]

The ships were smaller and slower than the contemporary British HMS Warrior and French La Gloire, and were in fact designated "Armored Battery", rather "Armored Frigate", such as the later Admiral Lazarev class. They had the same 114-millimetre (4.5 in) armour as Warrior. Kreml had a few modifications such as a teak layer under the armor and design-planned later upgrade to the 203-millimetre (8 in) guns.[1]


Ship Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Fate
Pervenets England 1862 1864 (?) 1864 (?) Scrapped
Ne Tron Menia Galerny Island, Saint Petersburg 1862 1864 (?) 1864 (?) Scrapped
Kreml Neva Shipyard, Saint Petersburg 11 December 1864 14 August 1865 October 1865 Scrapped October 1905

Service history[edit]

All three ships served in the Baltic Fleet. They never saw any combat action, and gradually transferred from combat ships to training and coastal defence ships. The last ship in the class, Kreml suffered several serious accidents, accidentally scuttling the frigate Orel in 1869. Kreml itself sank due to a storm on 29 May 1885, although she was recovered five days later and returned to service. The last ship of the class, she was scrapped in October 1905.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e Military Ships of Russia ISBN 5-89410-001-1, p. 26
  2. ^ Sondhaus, Lawrence. Naval Warfare 1815–1914 ISBN 0-415-21478-5, pp. 73–4.


  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4. 
  • McLaughlin, Stephen (2011). "Russia's First Ironclads: Pervenets, Ne tron menia and Kreml". In Jordan, John. Warship 2011. London: Conway. pp. 112–29. ISBN 978-1-84486-133-0. 
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1984). Directory of the World's Capital Ships. New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-88254-979-0. 
  • Watts, Anthony J. (1990). The Imperial Russian Navy. London: Arms and Armour. ISBN 0-85368-912-1.