BORODINO CLASS ARMORED SHIPS
Vladimir V. Arbuzov
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In 1898—1899 battleships of "Borodino"class had been still in process of development while all the principal elements of their future adversaries — Japanese armorclads of "Shikishima" class — had been determined already, though not yet detailed. In December 1898 heads of the Russian Naval Department, after careful examination of various armored ship projects by the Naval Technical Committee (NTS), made a choice of the French engineer A. Lagagne project, who was building "Tsesarewich" in Toulon at that time. The armament of the developed ship was less formidable, being determined by NTS, than that of "Shikishima" (two 152-mm guns less); on the other hand, A. Lagagne managed to ensure the safe protection of the ship against shells and mines and arrange favourably her major and middle-caliber guns — in turrets — while having relatively small displacement (12 900 t). The main task of the battleship of this type was thought to be in the head of the squadron, when the decisive battle is fought with a formidable enemy. It had been presumed, that this ship was to be intended for actions in a limited sea area, being supported by its rear bases. Because of it the stock of fuel, capacity of reserve coal bunkers, supply of food and drinking water, the stock of other consumable materials were reduced to two-weeks norm, in order to strengthen the armor protection and gunnery of the ship as much as possible. The store boiler water was not included in the ship normal load at all, since high efficiency desalinators were installed on the board.
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