Tuesday 21 July 2009
Black Sea Fleet Russians Part 5
I feel a bit of an Archimedes 'Eureka' moment coming on.........At long last (and despite the best efforts of my camera - note to self: GET A NEW ONE!!!!!) the Black Sea Russian Fleet is ready for action and takes the number of 1/3000th models for the whole Eastern Mediterranean/Black Sea/Balkan War/World War 1 project to just over the 100 ships. Phew! First up, appropriately, is the 1st Battle Squadron with its escort of some 300 ton destroyers. These ships bore the brunt of the fighting for the Russians early on in the war - at least until the dreadnoughts started appearing. They had an active war and frightened the Yavuz Sultan Selim on more than one occasion. The Russians, quite sensibly under the circumstances, used these 'mob-handed' and had also taken the precaution of increasing the elevation of the main guns to extend the range. Later on, once naval superiority had been established, they enjoyed an active career bombarding Turkish coal mines and supply lines. Pantelejmon was previously known as Potemkin.
Above are the three dreadnoughts that ensured that the Turks would never have anything like a chance in the Black Sea - the only advantage the Yavuz Sultan Selim had over these was speed and even that was dependant on the state of the boilers and hull and was a major problem given the paucity of Turkish dockyard facilities for dealing with large warships. In attendance are some of the Novik class DDs and yes, they are really 1/3000th!
In the shot above are the three cruisers the Russians used in the Black Sea and the top two in the picture in particular are really lovely castings. The Prut was in fact the Turkish Mecidiye that the Russians had saved from sinking when she was mined and repaired and took into service. The Kagul and the Pamiat Merkurija had a very active war and were forever trying to catch the Turkish Midilli (ex Breslau) but given that she had a five knot advantage it was always going to be difficult - they did give it a good try though!
Finally we have a couple of very old battleships being used as guard/depot ships. I always like ships where the name is longer than the model!
So there you have it, three fleets now ready for action and virtually complete. There are some other vessels I would like to add - gunboats for all three, some torpedo boats for the Greeks and some seaplane tenders for the Russians but this will need a little further research in order to identify suitable alternatives. I will need to speak to Navwar Tony methinks!