Thursday 17 November 2011

Fezia and Rusland at Sea.... Part 1 - Rusland

Novgorod at sea and appearing unusually well behaved!

Without a doubt one of the attractions of the two protagonists I have chosen for my 'imagi-nations' is the inevitable naval dimension. Using both Russia and Turkey as the models for the two fleets - perhaps with some selected additions from elsewhere - will provide much in the way of inspiration for models for use in the naval wargames I shall be undertaking alongside the land campaigns. Actually, the naval dimension will be essential given the geography of the region as the only way the two sides can get to each (unless considerations of border violation are ignored!) is via the sea so I need to make some provision for this facet.

The models will be scratch built to my usual maximum hull size of 3 1/2" for the largest vessels and with everything else scaled back from that. Balsa wood, plastic card and tube and the contents of the spares box will provide more than sufficinet raw material for the purpose and so I do not envisage any major dramas in the construction process. For the most part the ships are relatively 'clean' looking and in any event, the models are representations rather than true scale versions.

The ships themselves are a fascinating mix of the very old, the old and the new. Broadside and central battery ironclads, barbette and turret ships being used alongside conceptually modern looking torpedo boats all feature with the majority of the former being in Turkish employ whilst the technologically more advanced vessels serve with Russia. As far as I can tell the Turkish navy appeared to have a greater selection of ships available but that they tended to be older. This then, will be the model for the fleets of both Fezia and Rusland and so the resultant actions will see battles between the more numerous old and the fewer new.

Russia had some interesting designs in use specifically for the Black Sea of which the famous circular warships were but one example. Rusland will undoubtedly acquire some of these - simply because they would be hard to resist making!

Deck view of the Novgorod

A brief introduction to these very unusual looking vessels can be found here:


The Russians also built the Ekaterina ll class of four battleships maounting 6 x 12" in three barbettes in an unusual triangular layout - two of the barbettes were forward with one aft so, in theory, the ship could fire 4 x 12" guns directly forward. Due to the guns being being sited very low this would usually result in a lot of deck related blast damage!

Top and side elevation of the battleship Sinop - of the Ekaterina ll class

An interesting design though - and one that will certainly feature in the Rusland navy.

The torpedo boats in use by either side were quite small and as a rule were around the 80 to 100 tons mark with a speed of around 20 knots. They were armed with a couple of 1" guns and a pair of 14 or 15" torpedoes. This was early on in the evolution of the ship type that would eventually become the destroyer.

Part 2 will follow later and will feature the warships of Turkey circa 1891.


Paul O'G said...

Great stuff!!!

Dd the Russian TBs use barbettes? what were the weapon configurations?

Bluebear Jeff said...

Actually the "Destroyer" grew out of the "Torpedo Boat Destroyers" (TBDs), which were designed to protect larger ships from the Torpedo Boats . . . of course the TBDs were little more than larger Torpedo Boats . . . so in essence you are correct.

-- Jeff

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

I will check my trusty copy of Conways and see what I can find - the 05 Janes I have might help as well.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bluebear Jeff,

Absolutely! I was merely following through until the ultimate evolution of the type which of course was a fusion of the TB and the TBD.

A late WW2 Narvik class DD was a far cry from these little ancestors for sure!

All the best,


Sidney Roundwood said...

David, fascinating stuff. As you say, a long way from the Narvik class DD, but it's a really interesting journey! Great post!

David Crook said...

Hi Sidney Roundwood,

This has really skated over the surface but the period was one of great technological transition which will make for interesting games. Much of the historical Turkish navy at the time was old and they were fond of rebuilding where able.

The naval side of the Russo Turkish war was limited but interesting all the same with Russian torpedo boats (using spar torpedoes I might add) being particularly active and sinking a Turkish ironclad on one occasion.

Fezia and Rusland will use their historical counterparts of circa. 1891 as the basis for their respective fleets.

All the best,


Chris said...

I couldn't help but notice the two grates in front of the guns look like dice. Kind of an eerie message--"don't forget to put me in your games", maybe?

Best regards,


David Crook said...

Hi Chris,

That is spooky - especially as a pair of 6s would be very effective under the rules I shall be using!

All the best,


Vintage Wargaming said...

I have a 25mm Russian circular floating battery, from PMC I think. of course, it is still in its bax...

David Crook said...


Now that would be a thing to see and no mistake!

All the best,