Projekt 83 Heavy Cruiser (ex-Lützow)

Istvan56
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Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:41 pm
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Projekt 83 Heavy Cruiser (ex-Lützow)

Postby Istvan56 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:22 pm

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Soviet heavy cruiser Tallinn née Lützow as she might've looked when completed save for the catapult plane would've been a KOR-2

One of the more interesting facts about the upcoming Russian Tech Tree is the number foreign made ships in their navy. Of course in the pre-World War I period there were many nations who had their ships designed and built in Great Britain. Italy also influenced Russian naval design, the Gremyashchy Tier V premium was, in fact, a joint Italian-Soviet design. Just as the Facists of Italy and the Communists of the USSR cooperated, so too did the Nationalist Socialists of Germany and their arch-enemies, the Soviets.

In 1939 when the Russians and Germans had just decided to split Poland between themselves the Soviets approached the Kriegsmarine with an offer. They wanted to buy two Hipper-class cruisers Prinz Eugen and Seyditz, the latter 95% completed. Instead the Kriegsmarine sold them the fifth ship of the class, the Lützow, which was not even as far along as the Seyditz. For the Germans it was a steal, almost literally as they charged the Soviet Navy twice what it was worth. The Germans then delayed and bickered over training, service manuals, etc. until Operation Barbarossa so the ship was never completed.

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German heavy cruiser Lützow as she looked when transferred to the Soviet Navy

During WW-II the ship now renamed the Petropavlovsk, with only half its main armament of 20.3 cm SK L/60 (8"/60 caliber) guns installed, no secondaries and AA limited to 37mm guns still went to defend the Rodina against the Hun invasion. With the cruiser Maxim Gorky she shelled the Wehrmacht forces advancing on Leningrad firing 700 rounds in all. German counter-battery fire hit the Petropavlovsk 53 times and her captain had to beach the cruiser to prevent sinking. Still she fought on surviving a bombing from the Luftwaffe that severely damaged her. When the German Army was pushed back the Petropavlovsk was refloated and taken to Neva for repairs.

Renamed again as the Tallinn she went back to defend Leningrad and helped in breaking the siege of that city in 1944. Post-war, still not complete she was finally renamed Dniepr and used first as a training ship and then as a barracks ship. There were plans to convert her to a missile cruiser using the empty aft section where the rear guns were never installed but this was cancelled. She was finally broken up for scrap between 1958 and 1960.

I don't believe World of Warships will put a 75% completed ship into the game. I am sure we'll see the ex-Lützow sporting one of her three names in full Hipper-class glory, possibly being slightly better since she would've been completed and blessed by Stalin himself. I am also betting this ship will be a premium and not a standard in the Russian Cruiser Tech Tree. If so I would buy it.
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Istvan56
ShipComrade Staff
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:41 pm
Location: Nampa, Idaho

Re: Projekt 83 Heavy Cruiser (ex-Lützow)

Postby Istvan56 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:07 am

Today I was browsing the WoWs Russian forums (via Google Translations) and saw a poll about which tech tree to add to the game next, of course Russia won. It also included a player made Russian Navy tech tree similar to the EU and NA player trees already on the forums. It was well received by the Devs. The glaring omission on the tech trees were "foreign" made ships such as the Projekt 83 heavy cruiser. There was a bias against the Luetzow (alternate spelling) due to her being of German origin and the betrayal that came shortly after delivering her. Frankly, I think the Projekt 83 cruiser (using whichever of her Soviet Navy names) belongs in the game but as a premium ship, just as I believe the other "foreign" ships do.

What the Russian players ignored though is the fact that Soviet authorities were looking to adapt much of the technology from the Projekt 83 cruiser for the Projekt 82 "heavy cruiser" which later became known as the Stalingrad-class. (Interesting side note, the Projekt 82 was to come after the Projekt 83 and would therefore be a higher tier ship). I won't delve into the convoluted story of the Projekt 82 "battlecruiser," (note that it changed over time,) it is full of bureaucratic bickering, delays due to several major revisions which led to the whole class being cancelled with only one hull built which was used for target practice. Rather I refer you to reading this excellent thread detailing the story here on the WoWs EU forum: http://forum.worldofwarships.eu/index.php?/topic/535-project-82-battlecruisers/

A final point came to me after I posted this for so forgive the late edit. How much of Projekt 82 would have been tested on Tallinn if she had been completed at the end of the war? She was 75% German and would've been 25% native Russian including secondary armament (likely the 100mm mounts from Stalingrad), keeping her 37mm AA and supplementing it with either 23mm or 25mm point defense guns. Stalingard also was to get a single 533mm triple tube torpedo launcher, would Tallinn get one or two? Also the cruiser would not have German radar, none was provided in 1941, so they would mount British wartime supplied units such as the Type 291 search radar though fire control would be unknown unless completion was pushed off until Soviet units such as the Zalp and/or Grot fire control radars proposed for Stalingrad became available. The Tallinn could be a more advanced ship than the Hipper-class due to these "native" improvements.
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