Storozhevoy-class destroyer

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Unidentified Project 7U in the Black Sea.jpg
An unidentified Storozhevoy-class destroyer in the Black Sea
Class overview
Operators:  Soviet Navy
Preceded by: Gnevny class
Succeeded by: Ognevoy class
Built: 1936–1942
In service: 1940–1963
Completed: 18
Lost: 9
Retired: 9
General characteristics (Storozhevoy as completed, 1941)
Type: Destroyer
Length: 112.5 m (369 ft 1 in) (o/a)
Beam: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draft: 3.98 m (13 ft 1 in)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 steam turbine sets
Speed: 40.3 knots (74.6 km/h; 46.4 mph) (trials)
Endurance: 2,700 nmi (5,000 km; 3,100 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Complement: 207 (271 wartime)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Mars hydrophones

The Storozhevoy class were a group of 18 destroyers built for the Soviet Navy in the late 1930s. The Soviet designation was Project 7U (Uluchshennyi (Improved)). The ships fought in World War II. The design was finalised in 1936 after initial disappointments with the Gnevny class. The main changes were unit machinery (four boilers instead of three), a strengthened hull and reduced fuel capacity. The anti-aircraft guns were repositioned to improve firing arcs.

Background and description[edit]

Naval historians Yakubov and Worth state that the change to unit machinery was due to an incident when the British destroyer HMS Hunter was stopped due to machinery damage by a mine during neutrality patrols in the Spanish Civil War. The incident reported at a meeting where Joseph Stalin was present and he ordered that the ships be redesigned with unit machinery so that a ship could still move if one of the two boiler or engine rooms were incapacitated. This change in design saved Slavny following mine damage in 1941, but led to a considerable delay in the Soviet destroyer program and the cancellation of six Type 7 ships. Fitting the additional machinery in the same hull presented significant challenges, leading to an increase in weight, cramped accommodation and a reduction in fuel capacity. These changes led Soviet sailors to nickname the Type 7U, 7 Ukhudshennyi (ухудшенный, made worse).

The Storozhevoys had an overall length of 112.5 meters (369 ft 1 in), a beam of 10.2 meters (33 ft 6 in), and a draft of 3.98 meters (13 ft 1 in) at deep load. The ships were slightly overweight, displacing 1,727 metric tons (1,700 long tons) at standard load and 2,279 metric tons (2,243 long tons) at deep load. Their crew numbered 207 officers and sailors in peacetime and 271 in wartime.[1]

The ships were powered by two geared steam turbine sets, each driving a single three-bladed 2.9-meter (9 ft 6 in) propeller using steam provided by four water-tube boilers that operated at a pressure of 26.5 kg/cm2 (2,599 kPa; 377 psi) and a temperature of 350 °C (662 °F).[2] The turbines, rated at 54,000 shp (40,000 kW), were intended to give the ships a speed of 38 knots (70 km/h; 44 mph). The designers had been conservative in rating the turbines and many, but not all, of the ships handily exceeded their designed speed during their sea trials. Storozhevoy reached 40.3 knots (74.6 km/h; 46.4 mph) during her trials in 1941, but Soobrazitelny only managed 36.8 knots (68.2 km/h; 42.3 mph). Variations in fuel oil capacity meant that the range of the Storozhevoys varied between 1,380 to 2,700 nautical miles (2,560 to 5,000 km; 1,590 to 3,110 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph).[3]

Armament and fire control[edit]

Soobrazitelny's forward guns

As built, the Storozhevoy-class ships mounted four 50-caliber 130-millimeter (5.1 in) B-13 guns in two pairs of superfiring single mounts fore and aft of the superstructure. Each gun was provided with 150 rounds. The development of the gun was troubled by excessive barrel erosion problems and three variants were built in a not entirely successful effort to resolve the problem which complicated logistical and operational support as each performed slightly differently. The manually operated mounts had an elevation range between -5° to +45° and had a rate of fire of 6–10 rounds per minute. They fired a 33.4-kilogram (74 lb) shell at a muzzle velocity of 870 m/s (2,900 ft/s), which gave them a range of 25,597 meters (27,993 yd).[4]

Anti-aircraft defense was provided by two 55-caliber 76.2-millimeter (3 in) 34-K AA guns and three 46-caliber 45-millimeter (1.8 in) 21-K AA guns, all in single mounts[5] as well as four 12.7-millimeter (0.50 in) DK or DShK machine guns. The 34-K guns could elevate betwwen -5° and +85°, had a rate of fire of 15–20 rounds per minute, and the ships carried 300 rounds per gun for them. Their muzzle velocity of 801 meters per second (2,630 ft/s) gave their 26-pound (11.9 kg) high-explosive shells a maximum horizontal range of 14,640 meters (16,010 yd) and an effective ceiling of 6,500 meters (21,300 ft). The 21-K was a converted anti-tank gun with a rate of fire of 25–30 rounds per minute with an elevation range between -10° and +85°. The gun fired a 1.41-kilogram (3.1 lb) shell at a muzzle velocity of 760 ft/s (230 m/s). This gave them a range of 9,200 meters (10,100 yd). The Project 7Us stowed 500 rounds for each gun. The DShK had an effective rate of fire of 125 rounds per minute and an effective range against aircraft of 2,500 meters (2,700 yd).[6]

The ships were equipped with six 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes in two rotating triple mounts amidships; each tube was provided with a reload. The Project 7U-class ships primarily used the 53-38 or the 53-38U torpedo, which differed only in the size of their warhead; the latter had a warhead 100 kilograms (220 lb) heavier than the 300-kilogram (660 lb) warhead of the 53-38. The torpedoes had three range/speed settings: 10,000 meters (11,000 yd) at 30.5 knots (56.5 km/h; 35.1 mph); 8,000 meters (8,700 yd) at 34.5 knots (63.9 km/h; 39.7 mph) and 4,000 meters (4,400 yd) at 44.5 knots (82.4 km/h; 51.2 mph). The ships could also carry a maximum of either 60 or 96 mines and 25 depth charges. They were fitted with a set of Mars hydrophones for anti-submarine work, although it was useless at speeds over 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph).[7]

Fire control for the main battery of the Storozhevoys was provided by a Mina-7 fire-control system that was derived from an Italian Galileo system. It included a TsAS-2 mechanical analog computer that received information from a KDP2-4 gunnery director on the roof of the bridge which mounted a pair of DM-4 four-meter (13 ft 1 in) stereoscopic rangefinders. Anti-aircraft fire control was strictly manual with only a DM-3 three-meter (9 ft 10 in) rangefinder to provide data to the guns. Some ships received the Soyuz high-angle fire-control system for the 34-K guns. It consisted of a mechanical analog computer, a Gazon vertical gyroscope and an SVP-29 stabilized viewfinder. The system could handle targets like bombers flying level, but was useless against aircraft attacking in a dive.[8]


Later in the war electronic equipment such as radar and sonar were supplied by the Allies for these ships.


Baltic Fleet[edit]

Ship Builder Commissioned Career
Silny Сильный (Strong) Shipyard No. 190 (Zhdanov), Leningrad 12 April 1941 Heavy action during the Baltic Fleet's fighting withdrawal from the Baltic States and subsequently in the defense of Leningrad. Became target ship TsL-43 on 29 February 1959. Sold for scrapping at Tallinn 21 January 1960.
StorozhevoyСторожевой (Protective) 12 April 1941 During minelaying operations in June 1941 Storozhevoi was torpedoed by the German E-boat S.31 and subsequently drydocked at Kronshtadt, where she received further damage during the Siege of Leningrad. She was repaired using the bow section of the incomplete Ognevoi-class ship Organizovannyi, and refitted with a twin turret forward instead of two singles. Reclassified as a training destroyer in February 1956 and scrapped at Liepāja in 1958–59.
Serdity – Сердитый (Enraged) 12 April 1941 Lost on 19 July 1941 near Moon Sound after suffering bomb damage the previous day. Wreck raised and broken up 1949–1952.
Slavny Славный (Glorious) #189 Ordzhinikidze Yard, Leningrad 31 May 1941 Served throughout the war in the Baltic, including the defense of Tallinn in July 1941. Target ship from 1960. Scrapped at Liepaya in 1964.
Smely Смелый (Valiant) 31 May 1941 Mined in Irben Strait and scuttled by Soviet motor torpedo boat TKA-27 on 27 July 1941.
Stoyky Стойкий (Steadfast) 12 April 1941 Renamed Vitse-Admiral Drozd on 13 February 1943. Became target ship TsL-54 in 1960. Sank in storm near Cape Taran on 2 July 1960.
Strashny Страшный (Frightening) Shipyard No. 190 (Zhdanov), Leningrad 22 June 1941 Commissioned during trials after Operation Barbarossa began. Badly damaged by a mine on 16 July 1941 and subsequently helped support ground forces during the Siege of Leningrad. Became training station UTS-83 in April 1958. Sold for scrap 12 January 1960.
Surovy Суровый (Severe) 31 May 1941 Attacked German convoy near Riga in company with destroyer Artem on 21 August 1941. Collided with minesweeper T-217 on 3 November during evacuation of Hango, then suffered mine damage leaving her immobile. Scuttled 13 November 1941.
Skory Скорый (Rapid) 18 July 1941 Joined Baltic Fleet before trials completed. Hit by shore fire while attempting to tow flotilla leader Minsk from Tallinn on 26 August 1941. Mined and sunk two days later.
Statny Статный (Stately) 9 July 1941 Commissioned during acceptance trials. Bow blown off by mine at Tallinn and salvage efforts proved unsuccessful. Sank in bad weather on 23 August 1941. Wreck raised and broken up 1957.
Strogy Строгий (Strict) 30 August 1941 Commissioned incomplete and towed to Neva River for fire support duties. Converted to Project 32 rescue ship 1953–58. Transferred to Northern Fleet under name SS-18. Finally served as target ship SM-16 from September 1963 until sold for scrapping at Murmansk on 26 June 1964.
Stroyny Стройный (Slim) 30 August 1941 Commissioned incomplete and deployed to Neva River for fire support duties in September 1941. Completed 15 September 1942. Subsequently, converted to Type 32 rescue ship with names SDK-10 and SS-17. Target ship TsL-2 from 27 August 1963 until scrapped at Liepaya 1965–66.
Svirepy Свирепый (Fierce) 22 June 1941 Commissioned before trials completed. Active during the retreat from the Baltic States and Siege of Leningrad. Refitted at Neptune Shipyard, Rostock 1947–52. Sold for scrap 28 January 1958.

Black Sea Fleet[edit]

Ship Builder[9] Laid down[9] Launched[9] Commissioned[9] Fate[10]
Smyshleny (Смышленый (Clever)) Shipyard No. 200 (named after 61 Communards), Nikolayev 15 October 1936
27 June 1938
26 August 1939 10 November 1940 Sunk by mines, 8 March 1942
Soobrazitelny (Сообразительный (Shrewd)) 15 October 1936
3 March 1939
7 June 1941 Scrapped, 1966
Sposobny (Способный (Capable)) 7 July 1936
7 March 1939
30 September 1939 24 June 1941 Sunk by aircraft, 6 October 1943
Sovershenny (Совершенный (Absolute)) Shipyard No. 200 (named after 61 Communards), Nikolayev
Shipyard No. 201 (Sergo Ordzhonikidze), Sevastopol
17 September 1936
25 February 1939 30 September 1941 Sunk by aircraft, 8 June 1942
Svobodny (Свободный (Free)) 23 August 1936
2 January 1942 Sunk by aircraft, 10 June 1942


  1. ^ Yakubov & Worth, p. 101
  2. ^ Platonov, pp. 205–206
  3. ^ Yakubov & Worth, pp. 101, 106–107
  4. ^ Yakubov & Worth, pp. 101, 103–104
  5. ^ Hill, p. 40
  6. ^ Yakubov & Worth, pp. 101, 104
  7. ^ Yakubov & Worth, pp. 101, 105–106
  8. ^ Yakubov & Worth, pp. 104–105
  9. ^ a b c d Rohwer & Monakov, pp. 234–235
  10. ^ Yakubov & Worth, pp. 112–114


  • Balakin, Sergey (2007). Легендарные "семёрки" Эсминцы "сталинской" серии [Legendary Sevens: Stalin's Destroyer Series] (in Russian). Moscow: Yauza/Eksmo. ISBN 978-5-699-23784-5.
  • Berezhnoy, Sergey (2002). Крейсера и миноносцы. Справочник [Guide to Cruisers and Destroyers] (in Russian). Moscow: Voenizdat. ISBN 978-5-203-01780-2.
  • Hill, Alexander (2018). Soviet Destroyers of World War II. New Vanguard. 256. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4728-2256-7.
  • Platonov, Andrey V. (2002). Энциклопедия советских надводных кораблей 1941—1945 [Encyclopedia of Soviet Surface Ships 1941–1945] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Poligon. ISBN 5-89173-178-9.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-119-8.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen & Monakov, Mikhail S. (2001). Stalin's Ocean-Going Fleet. London: Frank Cass. ISBN 0-7146-4895-7.
  • Yakubov, Vladimir & Worth, Richard (2008). "The Soviet Project 7/7U Destroyers". In Jordan, John & Dent, Stephen (eds.). Warship 2008. London: Conway. pp. 99–114. ISBN 978-1-84486-062-3.

Further reading[edit]

  • Budzbon, Przemysaw (1980). "Soviet Union". In Chesneau, Roger (ed.). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. pp. 318–346. ISBN 978-0-85177-146-5.

External links[edit]