Soviet cruiser Sverdlov versus late war Allied 6" cruisers

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Kitsetone
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Soviet cruiser Sverdlov versus late war Allied 6" cruisers

Postby Kitsetone » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:21 am

I am interested in how the large postwar class of Soviet Sverdlov class cruisers would have fared against late WW2 Allied 6 inch cruisers in a hypothetical ship versus ship encounter which just might have taken place during the early postwar era in the event of hostilities.

The Soviet vessels were completed postwar, but with much prewar technology incorporated, largely based on Italian concepts. They mounted 12 x 5.9s in triple turrets, again presumably of pre-war design. However, they supposedly shipped a post-war radar fit and new stablised directors based at least partly on late war German technology. Side and horizontal armour looks reasonably good according to the references in Conways and Janes, but I do not know how far they extended. Also, if the guns were derived from Italian sources, there might have been an inherited problem with excessive salvo spread, as Admiral Iachino once claimed had hampered Italian vessels in WW2. Soviet firing rates seem allegedly to have been slow, but that might have been due to poor crew training and also to Soviet bureaucracy being worried about ammunition consumption in peacetime, etc, rather than to any technological limitations. At any rate the Soviet cruisers certainly seemed to have impressed British and W. European observers when they visited Western ports soon after completion.

Anyway, how would a Sverdlov fare against say a possible cold-war encounter with a comparable adversary such as a US Cleveland class cruiser in the early 1950s, or a late-war British cruiser such as HMS Superb - assuming no aircraft are present and with equally trained crews? I leave out the early postwar US Worcester class cruisers here as they had fully automatic turrets, but as these were reportedly a little unreliable perhaps I shouldn't.

lwd
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Re: Soviet cruiser Sverdlov versus late war Allied 6" cruisers

Postby lwd » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:56 pm

The big problem I see for the Soviets in this one is crew training. The Soviet system relied heavily on conscripts (3 year term for the navy I believe) which included almost all enlisted ranks (few or no old seasoned "chiefs"). The Soviets also didn't get the sea time of the US or British forces. The latter would likely have a fair number of sailors with actuall WWII combat experiance.

I think I've read that a lot of the Italian problem with salvo spread was uneven filling of the shells. If so this could indeed plague the Soviets as well as their quality control in general was not up to western standards.

Looking at:
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNRussi ... _m1938.htm
and
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_6-47_mk16.htm
The Soviet vessel is firing a some what lighter shell at a considerably greater velocity. If she doesn't have dispersion problems this could be a plus especially at shorter ranges. If she's got dispersion problems this could accentuate it.

Kitsetone
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Re: Soviet cruiser Sverdlov versus late war Allied 6" cruisers

Postby Kitsetone » Sat May 22, 2010 4:46 am

A key decider might be a). fire control and b). the rate of fire. Re-a). Presuming the Russian vessel to have benefitted from late war German fire control and radar, this might give them an advantage against the Cleveland, especially if the latter suffered from the stability problems associated with the class in the Pacific. Re-b). Here I suspect the US ship might possess the advantage, based on Allied assessments of Soviet gunnery in the early post-WW2 era. Apparently the Royal Navy used two-ex E-Boats for the purpose of spying on the Soviet navy in the Baltic. The RN concluded that Soviet cruisers had a fairly low rate of fire compared to Western cruisers. However, this might have also been a matter of parsimony on the Soviet side, plus a lack of crew training. My scenario was based on equally trained crews however.

Bgile
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Re: Soviet cruiser Sverdlov versus late war Allied 6" cruisers

Postby Bgile » Sat May 22, 2010 2:11 pm

I would give a slight advantage to Sverdlov because it's larger, but really I don't see any reason to give either side much of an edge here.

lwd
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Re: Soviet cruiser Sverdlov versus late war Allied 6" cruisers

Postby lwd » Wed May 26, 2010 2:25 pm

The US ship does look like it's got better secondaries for use vs another cruiser particularly if AP ammo is available. I still think the most telling thing would likely be the crew and the US with more relativly fresh combat experiance in cruiser actions from WWII is likely to have a decisive edge here. The Soviets also tended to have quality control issues during this period but I don't have anything specific on these ships.


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