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The Gangut-class battleship was a class of four dreadnought-era battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy, and were later used by the Red Fleet during World War II. They were laid down between the years 1909 and 1914, and served in both world wars.

History

Gangut was named after the Battle of Gangut, a decisive Russian victory against the Swedish in 1714. Gangut was laid down at the Admiralty works in St Petersburg on 16 June 1909. It was completed during the winter of 1914-15 and was commissioned on 11 January 1915. Gangut spent most of World War I training and supporting mine laying operations. Ganguts crew joined the mutiny of the Baltic Fleet after the February Revolution. They defected to the Bolsheviks in 1918. The same year, Gangut was laid up because of a lack of manpower. She was recommissioned in 1925 as the Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya was rebuilt between 1931 and 1934 with new equipment, such as boilers. In the Winter War Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya bombarded Finnish coastal positions. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiyas anti-aircraft armament was increased before Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya provided fire support against the Axis forces at Leningrad. During this period Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya was hit several times by bombs from German aircraft. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya became a training ship in 1954. She was struck from the Navy List in 1956 and scrapped.

Gangut battleship

The battleship Gangut, later renamed Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya.

Petropavlovsk was named after a Russian victory over the British and French in 1854. Petropavlovsk was the third Gangut-class battleship. It was laid down at the Baltic Works in St Petersburg on 16 June 1909. Petropavlovsk was commissioned on 5 January 1915. She spent most of the World War I training and supporting minelaying operations, as in the World War I service of the Gangut. Petropavlovsks crew also joined the mutiny of the Baltic fleet in 1917. Petropavlovsk was the only dreadnought battleship available to the Bolsheviks for a few years. Petropavlovsk bombarded the garrison of Fort Krasnoye Gorka and provided support to Bolshevik forces which were operating against British ships supporting the White Guards during 1918 and 1919 in the Gulf of Finland. The crew of the Petropavlovsk joined the Kronstadt Rebellion of 1921. When it was suppressed, Petropavlovsk was renamed Marat. Marat was rebuilt between 1928 and 1931. She represented the Soviet Union during the Coronation Naval Review of 1937 at Spithead. During the Winter War, Marat bombarded Finnish coast artillery positions before the Gulf of Finland iced up. After this, Marats anti-aircraft armament was increased. At the start of Operation Barbarossa she was at Kronstadt and provided fire support to the Soviet troops in September 1941. Later in that month Marats bow was blown off and she sank in shallow water after two hits by 2,200 bombs that detonated her magazine. Marat was refloated some months later and became a stationary artillery battery, Plans were made to rebuild Marat postwar, but they were not carried out. Marat was renamed Volkhov in 1950 and became a stationary training ship until she was stricken in 1953.

Poltava was the second Gangut-class battleship. She was laid down on 16 June 1909 and commissioned on 30 December 1914. She was named after the Battle of Poltava, a decisive victory for the Russians in 1709. Poltava trained and provided support to minelaying operations in the Gulf of Finland during World War I. Poltava was laid up in 1918 because of a lack of trained crew and suffered a fire that almost gutted her. Poltava was never rebuilt or modernized and scrapping began in 1940.

Sevastopol was the last Gangut-class battleship to be completed. Sevastopol was named after the Siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War. Sevastopol was laid down on 16 June 1909 and completed 30 November 1914. Sevastopol also spent most of WWI supporting minelaying operations in the Gulf of Finland. Sevastopols crew joined the mutiny of the Baltic Fleet after the February Revolution, as the other three Gangut-class battleships did. She defected to the Bolsheviks later in 1917. Sevastopol was laid up in 1918 because of a lack of manpower. In 1921, her crew also joined the Kronstadt Rebellion, with the crew of Petropavlovsk. After the rebellion was suppressed, Sevastopol was renamed Parizhskaya Kommuna (Paris Commune). Sevastopol was recommissioned in 1925. She was refitted in 1928 to prepare for her transfer to the Black Sea Fleet the next year. Parizhskaya Kommuna and the light cruiser Profintern (ex-Krasnyi Krym) ran into a severe storm. This severely damaged the Parizhskaya Kommunas fake bow. Parizhskaya Kommuna and Profintern put into Brest for repairs. They reached Sevastopol in January 1930. Parizhskaya Kommuna was comprehensively rebuilt in two stages in the 1930s. The modifications to Parizhskaya Kommuna included replacing the boilers, upgraded guns and anti-aircraft armament, modernized fire control systems and anti-torpedo bulges. In WWII she provided fire support during the Siege of Sevastopol and was withdrawn from combat in April 1942 because the risk of a German air attack was too great. Parizhskaya Kommuna became a training ship in 1954 and was broken up in 1956-57.

Ships in class

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