Maxim Gorky Naval Battery, Sevastopol

After disastrous war with Japan in 1904-1905 Russian Imperial government decided to upgrade coastal defenses of the Sevastopol Navy Base in Crimea with two huge armored naval gun batteries.

Existing batteries of 11-inch naval guns were constructed in 1867-1877 and by 1905 they were completely outdated and outclassed by the guns of the modern battleships. Old coastal defense guns were standing in the open and all loading operations were conducted manually, slowing down the rate of fire to one shell in 2 minutes, against 2 shells per minute of contemporary English battleships. Another major drawback was concentration of all batteries on the relatively narrow shore strip from Cape Tolsty to Quarantine Bay, where they protected entrance to the Sevastopol Bay. This position was considered as suitable to protect Sevastopol from European Navies of 1870-s, but in 1900s, era of new, much more powerful battleships, able to shell Sevastopol from offshore areas near Balaklava and Cape Violent at 30 km distance above Mackenzie and Cape Chersonese mountain ranges, old coastal artillery defense system had to be completely updated and re-positioned.

In order to solve this problem, Russian fortification expert, General of Artillery César Cui, also famously doubling as Russian "silver age" composer and musical critic, suggested to construct first battery approximately 3 miles to the north from Sevastopol on the steep western slopes of the narrow Alkadar Heights near shore Lubimovka village.

Battery was designed by professor of the Nikolayev Engineering Academy General N. Buinicky, who used Cui's preliminary project, and after intensive polemics with, ironically, German expert von Sauer, who dismissed the very idea of naval shore batteries as outdated, project was approved and in 1912 construction started.

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Aricle and Image Source: http://www.allworldwars.com

Keywords: Fortifications,Artillery,Coastal Battery,Sevastopol.Crimea,Russia,WWII











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