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Soviet cruiser Kalinin

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For other ships with the same name, see Kalinin (ship).
Kalinin in 1945
Soviet Union
Name: Kalinin
Namesake: Mikhail Kalinin
Builder: Shipyard 199, Komsomolsk-on-Amur
Yard number: 8
Laid down: 12 August 1938
Launched: 8 May 1942
Commissioned: 1943
Out of service: 1 May 1956
Reclassified: 6 February 1960 as floating barracks PKZ-21
Reinstated: 1 December 1957
Fate: sold for scrap 12 April 1963
General characteristics (Project 26bis2)
Class and type: Kirov-class cruiser
  • 8,400 tonnes (8,267 long tons) (standard)
  • 10,040 tonnes (9,881 long tons) (full load)
Length: 191.2 m (627 ft 4 in)
Beam: 17.66 m (57 ft 11 in)
Draught: 6.3 m (20 ft 8 in) (full load)
Installed power: 126,900 shp (94,600 kW)
  • 2 shafts, TB-7 geared turbines
  • 6 Yarrow-Normand oil-fired boilers
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph) (on trials)
Endurance: 5,590 nmi (10,350 km; 6,430 mi) at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Complement: 812
Sensors and
processing systems:
ASDIC-132 and Mars-72 sonars
Aircraft carried: 2 × KOR-2 seaplanes
Aviation facilities: 1 ZK-2b catapult

Kalinin (Russian: Калинин) was a Project 26bis2 Kirov-class cruiser of the Soviet Navy that was built during World War II. She was built in Siberia from components shipped from European Russia. She saw no action during the war and served into the Cold War. Her post-war career was uneventful until she was disarmed and converted into a floating barracks in 1960. She was sold for scrap in 1963.


Kalinin was 187 m (613 ft 6 in) long at the waterline, and 191.2 m (627 ft 4 in) long overall. She had a beam of 17.66 m (57 ft 11 in) and had a draft between 5.88 to 6.3 m (19 ft 3 in to 20 ft 8 in). Kalinin displaced 8,400 tonnes (8,267 long tons) at standard load and 10,040 tonnes (9,881 long tons) at full load.[1] Her geared steam turbines produced a total of 126,900 shaft horsepower (94,629 kW) on trials, but she fell somewhat short of her designed speed of 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph), only reaching 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph) on trials, because she was over 1,200 tonnes (1,181 long tons) overweight. The ship normally carried 650 tonnes (640 long tons) of fuel oil, 1,660 tonnes (1,634 long tons) at full load and 1,750 tonnes (1,722 long tons) at overload. This gave her an endurance of 5,590 nautical miles (10,350 km; 6,430 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) with overload fuel.[2]

Kalinin carried nine 180 mm (7.1 in) 57-caliber B-1-P guns in three electrically powered MK-3-180 triple turrets. The turrets were very small; they were designed to fit into the limited hull space available and were so cramped that their rate of fire was much lower than designed—only two rounds per minute instead of six. The guns were mounted in a single cradle to minimize space and were so close together that their shot dispersion was very high because the muzzle blast from adjacent barrels affected each gun. Unlike her half-sisters built in European Russia, her secondary armament initially consisted of eight single 76.2 mm (3.00 in) 55-caliber 34-K anti-aircraft (AA) guns mounted on each side of the rear funnel because the 100 mm (3.9 in) B-34 guns originally intended to be used had run into production problems. The 34-K guns were a stop-gap until the Army 85 mm (3.3 in) 52-K anti-aircraft gun could be mated with the mount of the 34-K and put into production as the 90-K. They replaced the 34-K guns in May 1943. Light AA guns initially consisted of six semi-automatic 45 mm (1.8 in) 21-K AA guns with 600 rounds per gun, ten fully automatic 37 mm (1.5 in) 70-K AA guns with a thousand rounds per gun, and six DK 12.7 mm (0.50 in) machine guns with 12,500 rounds per gun, but were significantly increased during the war. By 1945 Kalinin had exchanged her 45 mm guns for nine additional 70-K AA guns. By 1957 her light anti-aircraft armament consisted of only nine powered 37 mm V-11 mounts.[3]

Six 533-millimeter (21 in) 39-Yu torpedo tubes were fitted in two triple mountings, one on each side. She received the Lend-Lease ASDIC-132 sonar system, which the Soviets called Drakon-132, as well as the experimental Soviet Mars-72 system.[4]

As built Kalinin lacked any radars, but by 1944 she was equipped with British and American Lend-Lease radars as well as Soviet-designed systems. A British Type 291 and an American SG radar were used for air search. Two Soviet Yupiter-1 radars were used for main battery fire control while anti-aircraft fire control was provided by two British Type 282 radars.[4]


Kalinin was one of the Project 26bis2 cruisers, the third pair of the Kirov-class cruisers. She was larger and had a more powerful anti-aircraft armament than her half-sisters. She was assembled at the newly constructed Shipyard 199, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, from components built at the Shipyard 198 (Marti South) in Nikolayev. She was laid down on 12 August 1938, launched from drydock on 8 May 1942 and was completed on 31 December 1942 after being towed down the Amur River to Vladivostok. Her construction was prolonged by late deliveries from western factories. For example, her propellers had to be shipped from Leningrad after it had been surrounded by the Germans and her propeller shafts had to be removed from the Barrikada factory in Stalingrad in 1942 before it was destroyed by the Germans.[5]

She was commissioned into the Pacific Fleet in 1943. She was ordered to prepare for transfer to the Soviet Northern Fleet via the Northern Sea Route on 24 April 1943 and extensive preparations were made for the voyage. They included the installation of special propellers with removable blades and the strengthening of her hull to withstand ice pressure. The transfer was canceled without explanation on 1 June 1943, but the alterations remained in place until 1944. She remained inactive during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945.

Kalinin hosted the State Commissariat for Defence (Russian: Narodnyy Komissariaht Oborony—NKO) during their visit to the Pacific Fleet in October 1954 and demonstrated her main guns while they were aboard. She spent the post-war period on routine training missions until she was placed in reserve on 1 May 1956. She was reactivated on 1 December 1957 before being disarmed and converted into floating barracks PKZ-21 on 6 February 1960. Kalinin was finally sold for scrap on 12 April 1963.[6]


  1. ^ Yakubov and Worth, p. 84
  2. ^ Yakubov and Worth, p. 90
  3. ^ Yakubov and Worth, pp. 86-7
  4. ^ a b Yakubov and Worth, p. 88
  5. ^ Wright, Christopher C. (2008). "Cruisers of the Soviet Navy: Part II: Project 26 and Project 26bis—the Kirov Class". Warship International. Holden, MA: International Naval Research Organization. XLV (4): 311. ISSN 0043-0374. 
  6. ^ Yakubov and Worth, p. 95


  • Roger Chesneau, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2. 
  • Whitley, M. J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Cassell. ISBN 1-86019-874-0. 
  • Yakubov, Vladimir; Worth, Richard (2009). Jordan, John, ed. The Soviet Light Cruisers of the Kirov Class. Warship 2009. London: Conway. pp. 82–95. ISBN 978-1-84486-089-0. 

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