The Fidonisy class, also known as the Kerch class, were a group of eight destroyers built for the Black Sea Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy during World War I. They participated in World War I, the Russian Civil War, and World War II.
Fidonisy-class destroyers maneuvering in close formation
|Builders:||Naval Shipyard, Nikolayev|
|Preceded by:||Derzky class|
|Cost:||2.2 million rubles each|
|General characteristics (Fidonisy as built)|
|Length:||92.51–93.26 m (303 ft 6 in–306 ft 0 in)|
|Beam:||9.05–9.07 m (29 ft 8 in–29 ft 9 in)|
|Draught:||3.2–3.81 m (10 ft 6 in–12 ft 6 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts; 2 steam turbines|
|Speed:||31 knots (57 km/h; 36 mph)|
|Range:||1,850 nmi (3,430 km; 2,130 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)|
|General characteristics (1943)|
|Displacement:||1,760 t (1,730 long tons) full load|
Design and description
In early 1914, several months before the beginning of World War I, the construction of a third series of eight destroyers based on Novik for the Black Sea Fleet was proposed by the Naval Ministry in response to a perceived strengthening of the Ottoman Navy. This was approved by Nicholas II on 24 June after the destroyers had received names in honor of the victories of Admiral Fyodor Ushakov on 16 June. The Fidonisy-class ships were ultimately built as an improved version of the Derzky class with an additional 102-millimetre (4 in) gun. Naval historian Siegfried Breyer considered the class to be the least successful of Novik's successors.
The ships had an overall length of 92.51–93.26 metres (303 ft 6 in–306 ft 0 in), had a beam of 9.05–9.07 metres (29 ft 8 in–29 ft 9 in), and a draught of 3.2–4.04 m (10.5–13.3 ft) at deep load. They normally displaced 1,326 long tons (1,347 t) and 1,745 long tons (1,773 t) at full load. Their crew consisted of 136 officers and ratings.
They were powered by two Parsons direct-drive steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by five Thornycroft boilers that operated at a pressure of 17 kg/cm2 (1,667 kPa; 242 psi) and a temperature of 205 °C (401 °F). The turbines, rated at 29,000 shaft horsepower (22,000 kW), were intended to give a maximum speed of 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph), although they reportedly averaged about 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph) in service. The destroyers carried a maximum of 330 tonnes (320 long tons) of fuel oil although the ships varied widely in their endurance, ranging from 1,560 nautical miles (2,890 km; 1,800 mi) at 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h; 21.3 mph) (Nezamozhnik) to 2,050 nmi (3,800 km; 2,360 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) (Zheleznyakov).
The Fidonisy class were armed with four 60-calibre 102 mm Pattern 1911 Obukhov guns, one on the forecastle and three aft; one of these latter guns was superfiring over the other two. The guns had a rate of fire of 12–15 rounds per minute. They fired a 17.5-kilogram (39 lb) shell at a muzzle velocity of 823 m/s (2,700 ft/s), which gave them a range of 16,095 metres (17,602 yd) at an elevation of +30°. Each ship stowed 150 rounds per gun.
Anti-aircraft armament varied between ships. The first four were completed either with a pair of 39-calibre 40-millimetre (1.6 in) "pom-pom" guns or 58-calibre 57-millimetre (2.2 in) Hotchkiss guns. The second batch of four were fitted with a single 30-calibre 76-millimetre (3 in) Lender gun. The "pom-pom" fired its 0.91-kilogram (2 lb) shells at a rate of 300 rounds per minute. Its muzzle velocity of 620 m/s (2,040 ft/s) gave the weapon a range of 6,300 metres (6,900 yd) at an elevation of +45°. The 991 m/s (3,250 ft/s) muzzle velocity of the Hotchkiss gun gave its 2.22-kilogram (4.9 lb) shells a range of 8,520 metres (9,320 yd) at an elevation of +21°. The Lender gun's muzzle velocity of 588 m/s (1,930 ft/s) gave it a range of 6,100 metres (6,700 yd) with its 6.5-kilogram (14 lb) shell. It had a practical rate of fire of 10–12 rounds per minute.
The ships were also armed with a dozen 450-millimetre (17.7 in) torpedo tubes in four triple mounts amidships. They probably most often used the M1912 torpedo which had a 100-kilogram (220 lb) warhead. It had three speed/range settings: 6,000 metres (6,600 yd) at 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph); 5,000 metres (5,500 yd) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) and 2,000 metres (2,200 yd) at 43 knots (80 km/h; 49 mph). The ships could also carry 80 mines.
|Ship||Name in Soviet service||Laid down||Launched||Completed||Fate|
|Feodonisy (Феодониси) then Fidonisy (Фидониси)||Not applicable||29 October 1915||31 May 1916||28 May 1917||Scuttled, 16 June 1918|
|Gadzhibey (Гаджибей)||2 February 1915||27 August 1916||11 September 1917|
|Kaliakria (Калиакрия)||Dzerzhinsky (Дзержинский)||29 October 1915||14 August 1916||30 October 1917||Scuttled, 18 June 1918|
Salvaged, 4 October 1925
Sunk, 13 May 1942
|Kerch (Керчь)||Not applicable||31 May 1916||27 June 1917||Scuttled, 16 June 1918|
|Korfu (Корфу)||Petrovsky (Петровский) then Zheleznyakov (Железняков) then PKZ-62 (ПКЗ-62)||23 June 1916||10 October 1917||10 June 1925||Transferred to Bulgaria, 1947|
|Levkas (Левкас)||Shaumyan (Шаумян)||23 May 1916||10 December 1925||Sunk, 10 April 1942|
|Tserigo (Цериго)||Not applicable||1915||21 March 1917||1918||Interned in Bizerte, French Tunisia, with Wrangel's fleet and scrapped, 1924|
|Zante (Занте)||Nezamozhny (Незаможный) then Nezamozhnik (Незаможник)||May 1916||7 November 1923||Scuttled, February 1920|
Salvaged, 7 September 1920
Sunk as a target, early 1950s
Only Fidonisy was completed in time to participate in combat, helping to sink some Turkish sailing ships in October 1917, before the navy ceased offensive operations against the Central Powers in response to the Bolshevik Decree on Peace in early November before a formal Armistice was signed the next month.
- Verstyuk & Gordeev, p. 100
- Breyer, p. 64
- Apalkov, p. 136
- Apalkov, p. 137
- Platonov, p. 149
- Verstyuk & Gordeev, p. 116
- Breyer, pp. 64–65
- Friedman, pp. 263–264
- Friedman, pp. 119, 264–265
- Budzbon 1984, p. 311
- Friedman, p. 348
- Verstyuk & Gordeev, p. 101
- Likachev, p. 49
- Breyer, p. 119
- Breyer, p. 171
- Greger, pp. 64–65
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