Russian armoured cruiser Admiral Nakhimov

Admiral Nakhimov (Адмирал Нахимов, named after Admiral Pavel Nakhimov) was an Imperial Russian armoured cruiser of the Russo-Japanese war.


Admiral Nakhimov was one of the first armoured cruisers, and one of the more interesting naval ships constructed in Russia in the late 19th century. She was modelled after the British cruisers, which were armed with four 234 mm guns in a diamond layout. The Nakhimov was considered a more successful design. Her main armament consisted of 203 mm guns, which were lighter and their number could be doubled. As a result, Admiral Nakhimov had probably the heaviest broadside (six 203 mm guns and five 152 mm guns) of all the armoured cruisers built in the 19th century. Unfortunately, her guns quickly became obsolete. Consideration was given to replacing them with quick-firing 152 mm guns (with eleven in a broadside), but it was not done due to the limited resources of Russian industry before the war with Japan. As well as steam engines, Nakhimov, like Imperieuse, was initially fitted with a full brig rigging, but this was a failure and was eventually removed in 1898-1899.

The deficiencies of the Nakhimov were connected with the time of her construction, and the rapid advance in naval technology during the period. As a result she was already an obsolete vessel by 1905, inferior to newer cruisers. The main fault was weak protection against torpedoes, despite the fact she was the first Russian vessel to introduce anti-torpedo nets (which were useful only at slow speed). As quick-firing medium-caliber artillery became widely used her limited amount of side armour left most of the hull vulnerable. Her machinery also became obsolete and her speed was low.

Construction started on 7 December 1883 (old style) at the Baltic Works in Saint Petersburg. The official start, in the presence of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, was in July 1884. She was launched on 21 October 1885, and entered service in October 1888 (old style).


After entering service, Admiral Nakhimov arrived at Vladivostok in May 1889, becoming the flagship of the Pacific Squadron. In September 1891, she returned to the Baltic for repairs. In July 1893, she visited New York City, then Toulon as a part of the Russian Squadron, then she sailed to Vladivostok again, serving there for the next four years and taking part in seizing of Port Arthur. In 1898, she returned to the Baltic for repairs and modernization. In November 1899, she was moved to the Pacific Squadron in Port Arthur again, and returned to the Baltic in 1903.

After the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, Admiral Nakhimov was assigned to the 2nd Pacific Squadron, created in the Baltic to reinforce the 1st Squadron at Port Arthur. In October 1904, she sailed to the Far East with the Squadron. As she was more powerful than other Russian cruisers, she was included into the 2nd Battleship Group of the Squadron, consisting of three obsolete battleships. On 27 May 1905, the first day of the battle of Tsushima, the Admiral Nakhimov was the eighth and last ship in the main column. She was hit about 30 times, mainly by fire from Japanese armoured cruisers, and suffered 25 killed, and 51 injured, but retained her combat capabilities. Nakhimov slightly damaged the armoured cruiser with three 203 mm shells. At night, when the remaining Russian ships were attacked by torpedo boats and destroyers, Nakhimov was visible, turning on searchlights. Around 21.30 - 22.00 hours she was hit at the bow by a torpedo, fired by an unidentified ship. Despite the struggle of the crew, the ship was sinking and she was abandoned the next morning close to Tsushima. The Japanese auxiliary cruiser Sado Maru captured 523 of her crew, another 103 men escaped in boats and were captured later, and 18 men were lost. At about 10.00 on 28 May, Nakhimov sunk at 34° 34'N, 129° 32'E.

Nakhimov was one of several Russian ships sunk at the battle of Tsushima, including: , , , , and .

See also


  • Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905, 1968
  • С. В. Сулига, Броненосный крейсер «Адмирал Нахимов», Morskaja Kollekcja 2/1995

External links


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