The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Black Sea campaigns (1941–44)
The Black Sea Campaigns were the operations of the Axis and Soviet naval forces in the Black Sea and its coastal regions during World War II between 1941 and 1944, including in support of the land forces. The Black Sea Fleet was as surprised by Operation Barbarossa as the rest of the Soviet Military; the Axis forces in the Black Sea consisted of the Romanian and Bulgarian Navies together with German and Italian units transported to the area via rail and Canal. Although the Soviets enjoyed an overwhelming superiority in surface ships over the Axis, this was negated by German air superiority and most of the Soviet ships sunk were destroyed by bombing. For the majority of the war, the Black Sea Fleet was commanded by Vice Admiral Filipp Oktyabrskiy, its other commander being Lev Vladimirsky. All of the major Soviet shipyards were located in the Ukraine and Crimea and were occupied in 1941. Many incomplete ships which were afloat were evacuated to harbors in Georgia which provided the main bases for the surviving fleet.
These ports such as Poti, however had limited repair facilities which reduced the operational capability of the Soviet Fleet. On 22 June 1941, the Black Sea Fleet of the Soviet Navy consisted of: Romanian naval forces in the Black Sea consisted of four destroyers, four torpedo boats, eight submarines, three minelayers, one submarine tender, three gunboats and one training ship; as Turkey was neutral during World War II, the Axis could not transfer warships to the Black Sea via the Bosphorus. However, several small ships were transferred from the North Sea via rail and canal networks to the Danube; these included six Type IIB U-boats of the 30th U-boat Flotilla which were dis-assembled and shipped to Romania along the Danube. They were re-assembled at the Romanian Galați shipyard in late 1942 and afterwards sent to Constanța; the Germans transported 10 S-boats and 23 R-boats via the Danube and built armed barges and KTs in the captured Nikolayev Shipyards in Mykolaiv. Some ships were obtained in Romania and Hungary, converted to serve the German cause, such as the S-boat tender Romania, the minelayer Xanten and the Anti-submarine trawler UJ-115 Rosita.
Additional vessels were built in German or local shipyards, captured from Soviets, or transferred from the Mediterranean nominally as merchant ships. In total, the German naval forces in the Black Sea amounted to 6 coastal submarines, 16 S-boats, 23 R-boats, 26 submarine chasers and over 100 MFP barges; the German Black Sea fleet operated hundreds of medium and small warships or auxiliaries before its self-destruction prior to the defection of Bulgaria. Few vessels were able to make good their escape via the Danube; the Croatian Naval Legion was formed in July 1941. It was comprised some 350 officers and ratings in German uniform, but this swelled to 900–1,000, their first commander was Andro Vrkljan replaced by Stjepan Rumenović. The Croats' purpose in posting a naval contingent to the Black Sea was to evade the prohibition on an Adriatic navy imposed by the 18 May 1940 Treaty of Rome with Italy; this prohibition limited the Croatian Navy to a riverine flotilla. Upon its arrival at the Sea of Azov, managed to scrounge up 47 damaged or abandoned fishing vessels sailing ships, to man them hired local Russian and Ukrainian sailors, many deserters from the Soviet Navy.
The Legion acquired 12 German submarine hunters and a battery of coastal artillery. Lieutenant Josip Mažuranić notably commanded the submarine hunter UJ2303. Despite Bulgaria's neutral status in the German-Soviet war, the Bulgarian navy was involved in escort duties to protect Axis shipping against Soviet submarines in Bulgarian territorial waters; the small Bulgarian Navy consisted of 4 old torpedo boats, 3 modern German-built motor torpedo boats, 4 Dutch-built motor torpedo boats of the Power type, 2 SC-1 class submarine chasers and 3 anti-submarine motor launches. In late August 1944, 14 MFP landing barges were transferred to Bulgaria; the Italian Navy dispatched a small force to the Black Sea. The force dispatched included a flotilla of torpedo motorboats. Hungary became landlocked in the aftermath of World War I, but some Hungarian merchant ships were able to reach the Black Sea via the Danube River. Hungarian cargo ships were operated as part of Axis sea transport forces on the Black Sea, thus participated in the Axis evacuation from Crimea.
On June 26 the Soviet forces attacked the Romanian city of Constanța. During this operation, the destroyer leader Moskva was lost to mines while evading fire from coastal batteries; the Black Sea Fleet supplied the besieged garrison in Odessa and evacuated a significant part of the force at the end of October, but lost the destroyer Frunze and a gunboat to the German dive bombers in the process. The Black Sea Fleet played a valuable part in defeating the initial assault on Sevastopol. In December, there was an amphibious operation against Kerch which resulted in the recapture of the Kerch Peninsula. A naval detachment including the cruiser Krasnyi Krym remained in Sevastopol to give gunfire support. Soviet submarines raided Axis shipping on the Romanian and Bulgarian coasts, sinking 29,000 long tons of shipping. During fall of 1941, both sides laid many mine fields in southern Black Sea: Romanian defensive minefields sunk at least 5 Soviet submarines during this period, however during such operations the Axis forces lost the Romanian minelayer Regele Carol I, sunk by a mine laid by Soviet submarine L-4: 2 of the 5 Soviet submarine
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy was a large part of the Soviet Union's strategic plan in the event of a conflict with opposing super power, the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or another conflict related to the Warsaw Pact of Eastern Europe; the influence of the Soviet Navy played a large role in the Cold War, as the majority of conflicts centered on naval forces. The Soviet Navy was divided into four major fleets: the Northern, Black Sea, Baltic Fleets; the Caspian Flotilla was a smaller force operating in the land-locked Caspian Sea. Main components of the Soviet Navy included Soviet Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry, Coastal Artillery. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia inherited the largest part of the Soviet Navy and reformed it into the Russian Navy, with smaller parts becoming the basis for navies of the newly independent post-Soviet states; the Soviet Navy was based on a republican naval force formed from the remnants of the Imperial Russian Navy, completely destroyed in the two Revolutions of 1917 during World War I, the following Russian Civil War, the Kronstadt rebellion in 1921.
During the revolutionary period, Russian sailors deserted their ships at will and neglected their duties. The officers were dispersed and most of the sailors walked off and left their ships. Work stopped in the shipyards; the Black Sea Fleet fared no better than the Baltic. The Bolshevik revolution disrupted its personnel, with mass murders of officers. At the end of April 1918, Imperial German troops moved along the Black Sea coast and entered Crimea and started to advance towards the Sevastopol naval base; the more effective ships were moved from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk where, after an ultimatum from Germany, they were scuttled by Vladimir Lenin's order. The ships remaining in Sevastopol were captured by the Germans and after the Armistice of 11 November 1918 on the Western Front which ended the War, additional Russian ships were confiscated by the British. On 1 April 1919, during the ensuing Russian Civil War when Red Army forces captured Crimea, the British Royal Navy squadron had to withdraw, but before leaving they damaged all the remaining battleships and sank thirteen new submarines.
When the opposing Czarist White Army captured Crimea in 1919, it rescued and reconditioned a few units. At the end of the civil war, Wrangel's fleet, a White flotilla, moved south through the Black Sea, Dardanelles straits and the Aegean Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to Bizerta in French Tunisia on the North Africa coast, where it was interned; the first ship of the revolutionary navy could be considered the rebellious Imperial Russian cruiser Aurora, built 1900, whose crew joined the communist Bolsheviks. Sailors of the Baltic fleet supplied the fighting force of the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky during the October Revolution of November 1917 against the democratic provisional government of Alexander Kerensky established after the earlier first revolution of February against the Czar; some imperial vessels continued to serve after the revolution, albeit with different names. The Soviet Navy, established as the "Workers' and Peasants' Red Fleet" by a 1918 decree of the new Council of People's Commissars, installed as a temporary Russian revolutionary government, was less than service-ready during the interwar years of 1918 to 1941.
As the country's attentions were directed internally, the Navy did not have much funding or training. An indicator of its reputation was that the Soviets were not invited to participate in negotiations for the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921–1922, which limited the size and capabilities of the most powerful navies - British, Japanese, Italian; the greater part of the old fleet was sold by the Soviet government to post-war Germany for scrap. In the Baltic Sea there remained only three much-neglected battleships, two cruisers, some ten destroyers, a few submarines. Despite this state of affairs, the Baltic Fleet remained a significant naval formation, the Black Sea Fleet provided a basis for expansion. There existed some thirty minor-waterways combat flotillas. During the 1930s, as the industrialization of the Soviet Union proceeded, plans were made to expand the Soviet Navy into one of the most powerful in the world. Approved by the Labour and Defence Council in 1926, the Naval Shipbuilding Program included plans to construct twelve submarines.
Beginning 4 November 1926, Technical Bureau Nº 4, under the leadership of B. M. Malinin, managed the submarine construction works at the Baltic Shipyard. In subsequent years, 133 submarines were built to designs developed during Malinin's management. Additional developments included the formation of the Pacific Fleet in 1932 and the Northern Fleet in 1933; the forces were to be built around a core of powerful Sovetsky Soyuz-class battleships. This building program was only in its initial stages by the time the German invasion forced its suspension in 1941; the Soviet Navy had some minor action
Siege of Sevastopol (1941–42)
The Siege of Sevastopol known as the Defence of Sevastopol or the Battle of Sevastopol was a military battle that took place on the Eastern Front of the Second World War. The campaign was fought by the Axis powers of Germany and Italy against the Soviet Union for control of Sevastopol, a port in the Crimea on the Black Sea. On 22 June 1941 the Axis invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Axis land forces overran most of the area; the only objective not in Axis hands was Sevastopol. Several attempts were made to secure the city in October and November 1941. A major attack was planned for late November, but heavy rains delayed it until 17 December 1941. Under the command of Erich von Manstein, Axis forces were unable to capture Sevastopol during this first operation. Soviet forces launched an amphibious landing on the Crimean peninsula at Kerch in December 1941 to relieve the siege and force the Axis to divert forces to defend their gains; the operation saved Sevastopol for the time being, but the bridgehead in the eastern Crimea was eliminated in May 1942.
After the failure of their first assault on Sevastopol, the Axis opted to conduct siege warfare until the middle of 1942, at which point they attacked the encircled Soviet forces by land and air. On 2 June 1942, the Axis began this operation, codenamed Störfang; the Soviet Red Army and Black Sea Fleet held out for weeks under intense Axis bombardment. The German Air Force played a vital part in the siege, its 8th Air Corps bombing the besieged Soviet forces with impunity, flying 23,751 sorties and dropping 20,528 tons of bombs in June alone; the intensity of the German airstrikes was far beyond previous German bombing offensives against cities such as Warsaw, Rotterdam or London. At the end of the siege, there were only 11 undamaged buildings left in Sevastopol; the Luftwaffe deterred most Soviet attempts to evacuate their troops by sea. The German 11th Army suppressed and destroyed the defenders by firing 46,750 tons of artillery ammunition on them during Störfang. On 4 July 1942, the remaining Soviet forces surrendered and the Germans seized the port.
The Soviet Separate Coastal Army was annihilated, with 118,000 men killed, wounded or captured in the final assault and 200,481 casualties in the siege as a whole for both it and the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Axis losses in Störfang amounted to 35,866 men. With the Soviet forces neutralized, the Axis refocused their attention on the major summer campaign of that year, Case Blue and the advance to the Caucasus oilfields; the Soviet naval base at Sevastopol was one of the strongest fortifications in the world. Its site, on a eroded, bare limestone promontory at the southwestern tip of the Crimea made an approach by land forces exceedingly difficult; the high-level cliffs overlooking Severnaya Bay protected the anchorage, making an amphibious landing just as dangerous. The Soviet Navy had built upon these natural defenses by modernizing the port and installing heavy coastal batteries consisting of 188mm and 305mm re-purposed battleship guns which were capable of firing inland as well as out to sea.
The artillery emplacements were protected by reinforced concrete fortifications and 9.8 inch thick armored turrets. The port was a valuable target, its importance as a potential naval and air base would enable the Axis to conduct far-ranging sea and air operations against Soviet targets into and over the Caucasus ports and mountains. The Red Air Force had been using the Crimea as a base to attack targets in Romania since the Axis invasion in June 1941, proving its usefulness as an air base; the Wehrmacht had launched a bombing raid on the Sevastopol naval base at the start of the invasion. Since the beginning of Barbarossa, the offensive against the USSR had not addressed the Crimea as an objective. German planners assumed the area would be captured in mopping-up operations once the bulk of the Red Army was destroyed west of the Dnieper river, but in June, attacks by Soviet aircraft from the Crimea against Romania's oil refineries destroyed 12,000 tons of oil. Hitler described the area as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" and ordered the conquest of Ukraine and Crimea as vital targets in the Directive 33, dated 23 July 1941.
The Command of the Army issued orders that the Crimea was to be captured as soon as possible to prevent attacks on Romanian oil supplies, vital to the German military. Hitler, impatient with obstruction to his commands to advance in the south, repeated on 12 August his desire that the Crimea be taken immediately. Over a month during the capture of Kiev, Generaloberst Erich von Manstein was given command of the German 11th Army on 17 September. After only a week in command, he launched an assault upon the Crimea. After severe fighting, Manstein's forces defeated several Soviet counteroffensives and destroyed two Soviet armies. By 16 November, the Wehrmacht had cleared the region, capturing its capital Simferopol, on 1 November; the fall of Kerch on 16 November left only Sevastopol in Soviet hands. By the end of October 1941, Major-General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov's Independent Coastal Army, numbering 32,000 men, had arrived at Sevastopol by sea from Odessa further west, it having been evacuated after heavy fighting.
Petrov set about fortifying the inland approaches to Sevastopol. He aimed to halt the Axis drive on the port by creating three defence lines inland, the outermost arc being 16 km from the port itself. Soviet forces, including the Soviet 51st Army and elements of the Black Sea Fleet, were defeated in the Crimea in October and were evacuated in December, leavi
NMS Mărăști was one of four Vifor-class destroyers ordered by Romania shortly before the beginning of the First World War from Italy. All four sister ships were requisitioned when Italy joined the war in 1915. Named Vijelie by the Romanians, she was renamed Sparviero in Italian service. Not completed until mid-1917, the ship engaged Austro-Hungarian ships in the Adriatic Sea only twice before the war ended in November 1918, she was given a new name as Mărăști when she was re-purchased by the Romanians in 1920. After the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Mărăști took part in the Raid on Constanța a few days and may have damaged a Soviet destroyer leader during the battle; the powerful Soviet Black Sea Fleet outnumbered Axis naval forces in the Black Sea and the Romanian destroyers were limited to escort duties in the western half of the Black Sea during the war. In early 1944 the Soviets were able to cut off and surround the port of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Mărăști saw no further action.
That year Romania switched sides, but despite that the Soviets seized the Romanian ships and incorporated them into the Soviet Navy. Renamed Lovkiy, the ship only served for a year before she was returned to the Romanians who redesignated her as D12 in 1952; the ship was subsequently scrapped. The Vifor-class destroyers were ordered in 1913 by Romania from the Pattison Shipyard in Italy, as part of the 1912 Naval Program, they were to be armed with three 120 mm guns, four 75 mm guns, five 45 cm torpedo tubes and have a 10-hour endurance at full speed. Three ships had been laid down by the time Italy joined the Allied side in World War I on 23 May 1915 by declaring war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the Italians requisitioned the Romanian ships on 5 June, redesignating them as Aquila-class scout cruisers. By this time Vijelie 50 percent complete and was renamed Sparviero; the ships had an overall length of 94.7 meters, had a beam of 9.5 meters, a draft of 3.6 meters. They displaced 1,594 long tons at 1,760 long tons at deep load.
Their crew numbered 137 sailors. The ships were powered by two Tosi steam turbines, each driving a single propeller, using steam provided by five Thornycroft boilers; the turbines were designed to produce 40,000 shaft horsepower for a speed of 34 knots, although Sparviero reached 38 knots during her sea trials from 48,020 shp. The scouts carried enough fuel oil to give them a range of 1,700 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots; the Italians intended to arm the ships with seven 120 mm guns and two pairs of twin mounts for 45 cm torpedo tubes, but they changed the gun armament to three 152 mm and four 76 mm weapons to outgun their nearest Austro-Hungarian equivalents, the Admiral Spaun and Novara-class scout cruisers. Two of the 152 mm guns were mounted side-by-side on the forecastle and the third gun was mounted on the aft superstructure; the 76 mm anti-aircraft guns were positioned two on each broadside. The torpedo mounts were abreast the middle funnel, one on each broadside. Sparviero could carry 44 mines.
Sparviero was laid down on 29 January 1914 by Pattison in its Naples shipyard. She was launched on 25 March 1917 and commissioned on 15 July 1917. On the night of 29/30 September, the ship led seven destroyers that put to sea to support an aerial bombardment of the Austro-Hungarian naval base at Pola when they encountered a force of four Austro-Hungarian destroyers and four torpedo boats on a similar mission against an Italian airbase; the Italians opened fire just before midnight at a range of 3,000 m, but received the worst of the initial exchange as the Austro-Hungarians concentrated their fire on the leading ship. Sparviero was hit five times, but only three men were wounded, one Italian destroyer was hit; as the Austro-Hungarians retreated towards the shelter of their minefields, the Italians crippled the destroyer SMS Velebit and set her on fire. Another destroyer took her in tow and both sides returned to port after an inconclusive exchange of fire inside the minefields that night. Sparviero and her sister Aquila escorted a force of destroyers and smaller vessels as they bombarded Grisolera on 19 December.
Sparviero, together with Aquila and their sister Nibbio, was protecting the recovery of a broken-down flying boat in the Gulf of Drin when they spotted three Austro-Hungarian torpedo boats sweeping mines on 5 September 1918. The sisters opened fire and damaged 86 F before the torpedo boats reached the shelter of Medua's coastal artillery; the following month, they escorted Allied ships as they bombarded Albania, on 2 October. The trio covered the ships bombarding Medua, Albania, on 21 October. Sparviero and Nibbio were re-purchased by Romania in 1920. Sparviero became Mărăști and Nibbio was renamed Mărășești when they were commissioned after arriving in Romania on 1 July 1920; the ships were formally re-classified as destroyers and assigned to the newly formed Counter-torpedo Division, renamed as the Destroyer Squadron on 1 April 1927. The sisters were sent to Italy in 1925–1926 for a refit where they had their 152 mm guns replaced by two twin-gun 120 mm Schneider-Canet-Armstrong 1918/19 turrets, one each fore and aft of the superstructure, a fifth gun on a platform amidships.
The aft 76 mm guns removed during this time. Fire-control systems were fitt
Soviet cruiser Voroshilov
Voroshilov was a Project 26 Kirov-class cruiser of the Soviet Navy that served during World War II and into the Cold War. She bombarded German troops during the Siege of Odessa before being badly damaged in November 1941 by German bombers. Upon her return from repairs in March 1942 she supported Soviet troops during the Siege of Sevastopol, the Kerch-Feodosiya Operation and the amphibious landings at Novorossiysk at the end of January 1943, her active participation in the war ended in October 1943 when three destroyers were lost to air attack and Joseph Stalin forbid missions using large ships without his permission. Postwar she was converted to a missile test ship before being sold for scrap in 1973. Voroshilov had a beam of 17.66 meters and had a draft of 6.15 meters. She displaced 7,890 metric tons at 9,436 metric tons at full load, her two steam turbines proved to be more powerful than anticipated, producing a total of 122,500 shaft horsepower. This was enough to achieve the ship's designed speed of 37 knots during her sea trials, reaching 36.72 knots despite being over 650 metric tons overweight.
Voroshilov carried nine 180-millimeter 57-caliber B-1-P guns in three electrically powered MK-3-180 triple turrets. Her secondary armament consisted of six single 100-millimeter 56-caliber B-34 anti-aircraft guns fitted on each side of the rear funnel; the ship's light AA guns consisted of six semi-automatic 45-millimeter 21-K AA guns and four DK 12.7-millimeter machine guns. Six 533-millimeter 39-Yu torpedo tubes were fitted in two triple mountings; when war broke out in 1941, Voroshilov was not equipped with any radars, but she received a number of British Lend-Lease radars by 1944. One Type 284 and two Type 285 radars were used for main battery fire control. One Type 291 was used for air search, while anti-aircraft fire control was provided by two Type 282 radars. Voroshilov was laid down at the Marti South shipyard in Nikolayev on 15 October 1935, she was launched on 28 June 1937, but she had to wait for her Soviet-built machinery to be delivered before she was completed on 20 June 1940. On 26 June 1941 Voroshilov covered Soviet destroyers bombarding Constanta, after the Germans attacked the Soviet Union, was damaged by a mine exploded by the destroyer Soobrazitelny's paravanes.
She bombarded Axis troops near Odessa on 19 September with 148 180 mm shells and was transferred to Novorossiysk shortly afterwards. On 2 November the ship was bombed in harbor by Junkers Ju 88 bombers of Kampfgeschwader 51, she was hit twice. Voroshilov had to be towed to Poti for repairs, which lasted until February 1942, she shelled Axis positions near Feodosiya on 19 March and 3 April 1942, but was damaged by fragments from bombs from Ju 88s on 10 April and had to return to Batumi for minor repairs. On 8 and 11 May she provided fire support for Soviet troops around the Taman Peninsula. On 27 May one of her turbines broke down, while helping to transfer the 9th Naval Infantry Brigade from Batumi to Sevastopol, required repairs lasting until 24 July 1942. On 1 December 1942, while she was bombarding the then-Romanian Snake Island together with the destroyer Soobrazitelny, the cruiser was damaged by Romanian mines, but she managed to return to Poti for repairs under her own power. During the brief bombardment, she fired forty-six 180 mm and fifty-seven 100 mm shells, which struck the radio station and lighthouse on the island, but failed to inflict significant losses.
After her repairs were completed she provided naval gunfire support for Soviet forces landing behind German lines at Malaya Zemlya at the end of January 1943. On 17 February the ship transferred from Poti to Batumi. Voroshilov was withdrawn from active operations, after the loss of three destroyers that were attempting to interdict the German evacuation of the Taman Bridgehead to air attack on 6 October 1943; this loss caused Stalin to forbid the deployment of large naval units without his express permission, not granted during the rest of the war. The ship was transferred to Sevastopol on 5 November, she was awarded the Order of the Red Banner on 8 July 1945. Voroshilov was inspected in 1946 and found unsatisfactory, she began her postwar modernization in April 1954, but the Navy reevaluated the scope of the work in 1955 and deemed it insufficient to create a modern ship. Unlike her half-sister Maxim Gorky, she was selected for conversion as a testbed for missile development as Project 33 on 17 February 1956.
The conversion process was prolonged, as her armament was removed and she received an new superstructure and masts. She was not recommissioned as OS-24 until 31 December 1961; the ship was modernized under Project 33M from 11 October 1963 to 1 December 1965. Her final conversion was to a floating barracks on 6 October 1972 and she was redesignated as PKZ-19. Voroshilov was sold for scrap on 2 March 1973. Voroshilov's 14-ton propeller and 2.5-ton stop anchor are on display at the Museum of Heroic Defense and Liberation of Sevastopol on Sapun Mountain in Sevastopol. Chesneau, Roger, ed.. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. Rohwer, Jürgen. Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-5
Constanța known as Tomis, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Romania. It was founded around 600 BC; the city is located on the Black Sea coast. It is the largest city in the region of Dobruja; as of the 2011 census, Constanța has a population of 283,872, making it the fifth most populous city in Romania. The Constanța metropolitan area includes 14 localities within 30 km of the city, with a total population of 425,916 inhabitants, it is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Romania; the Port of Constanța has a length of about 30 km. It is the largest port on the Black Sea, one of the largest ports in Europe. According to Jordanes, the foundation of the city was ascribed to Tomyris the queen of the Massagetae: "After achieving this victory and winning so much booty from her enemies, Queen Tomyris crossed over into that part of Moesia, now called Lesser Scythia - a name borrowed from Great Scythia -, built on the Moesian shore of the Black Sea the city of Tomi, named after herself."
In 29 BC the Romans captured the region from the Odryses, annexed it as far as the Danube, under the name of Limes Scythicus. In AD 8, the Roman poet Ovid was banished here by Augustus and it was where he spent the remaining eight years of his life, he laments his exile in Tomis in his poems: Epistulae ex Ponto. Tomis was "by his account a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire". A statue of Ovid stands in front of the History Museum. A number of inscriptions found in the city and its vicinity show that Constanța lies where Tomis once stood; some of these are now preserved in the British Museum in London. The city was afterwards included in the Province of Moesia, from the time of Diocletian, in Scythia Minor, of which it was the metropolis. After the 5th century, Tomis fell under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. During Maurice's Balkan campaigns, Tomis was besieged by the Avars in the winter of 597/598. Tomis was renamed to Constantiana in honour of Constantia, the half-sister of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.
The earliest known usage of this name was "Κωνστάντια" in 950. The city lay at the seaward end of the Great Wall of Trajan, has evidently been surrounded by fortifications of its own. After successively becoming part of the Bulgarian Empire for over 500 years, of the independent principality of Dobrotitsa/Dobrotici and of Wallachia under Mircea I of Wallachia, Constanța fell under the Ottoman rule around 1419. A railroad linking Constanța to Cernavodă was opened in 1860. In spite of damage done by railway contractors there are considerable remains of ancient masonry walls, etc. An impressive public building, thought to have been a port building, has been excavated, contains the substantial remains of one of the longest mosaic pavements in the world. In 1878, after the Romanian War of Independence, Constanța and the rest of Northern Dobruja were ceded by the Ottoman Empire to Romania; the city became Romania's main transit point for much of Romania's exports. The Constanța Casino, both a historic monument and a modern symbol of the city, was the first building constructed on the shore of the Black Sea after Dobruja came under Romanian administration, with the cornerstone being laid in 1880.
On October 22, 1916, the Central Powers occupied Constanța. According to the Treaty of Bucharest of May 1918, article X.b. Constanța remained under the joint control of the Central Powers. Allied troops liberated the city in 1918 after the successful offensive on the Macedonian Front knocked Bulgaria out of the war. In the interwar years, the city became Romania's main commercial hub, so that by the 1930s over half of the national exports were going through the port. During World War II, when Romania joined the Axis powers, Constanța was one of the country's main targets for the Allied bombers. While the town was left undamaged, the port suffered extensive damage, recovering only in the early 1950s. Constanța is the administrative center of the county with the same name and the largest city in the EU Southeastern development region of Romania; the city is located on the Black Sea coast. Mamaia, an administrative district of Constanța, is the largest and most modern resort on the Romanian coast.
Mineral springs in the surrounding area and sea bathing attract many visitors in the summer. Constanța is one of the warmest cities in Romania, it has a humid subtropical climate, with semi-arid influences. There are four distinct seasons during the year. Summer is hot and sunny with a July and August average of 23 °C. Most summer days see a gentle breeze refreshing the daytime temperatures. Nights are somewhat muggy because of the heat stored by the sea. Autumn starts in mid or late September with sunny days. September can be warmer than June, owing to the warmth accumulated by the Black Sea during the summer; the first frost occurs on average in mid November. Winter is milder than other cities in southern Romania. Snow is not abundant but the weather can be windy and unpleasant. Winter arrives m