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Long Live the Borodino

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By way of shamelessly plugging my pre-dreadnought thread I'll put up a ship for consideration now and then. Today's beastie is the Borodino...





This floating pitbull (attention, chien méchant!) is my absolute favourite for her sheer gnarliness and history. That this low-in-the-water iron and steel beast made it around Cape Horn on her 18,000 mile journey from the Baltic to the Sea of Japan is nothing short of epic, not to mention tragic given her fate. For those interested there is a fine book about this arduous journey: The Tsar's Last Armada: The Epic Journey to the Battle of Tsushima by Constantine Pleshakov (Basic Books, 2003).

"Borodino was the lead ship of her class of pre-dreadnought battleships in the Imperial Russian Navy although she was the second ship of her class to be completed. Named after the 1812 Battle of Borodino. The ship was laid down on 23 May 1900 in the presence of Tsar Nicholas II and launched on 8 September 1901. She was completed in August 1904.

While exact figures are not available for Borodino, it is probable that the ship was approximately 1,700 long tons (1,700 t) overweight as she and her sisters were overloaded with coal and other supplies; all of which was stored high in the ships and reduced their stability. The extra weight also submerged the waterline armor belt and left only about 4 feet 6 inches (1.4 m) of the upper armor belt above the waterline

On 15 October 1904, Borodino set sail for Port Arthur from Libau along with the other vessels of the Second Pacific Squadron, under the overall command of Vice Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky. Rozhestvensky led his squadron, including Borodino, down the Atlantic coast of Africa, rounding Cape Horn, and anchored off the north-west coast of Madagascar on 9 January 1905 where they remained for two months while Rozhestvensky finalized his coaling arrangements. During this time, Rozhestvensky learned of the capture of Port Arthur and changed his destination to Vladivostok, the only other port controlled by the Russians in the Far East. The squadron sailed for French Indochina, on 16 March and reached it almost a month later to await the obsolete ships of the 3rd Pacific Squadron, commanded by Rear Admiral Nikolai Nebogatov. The latter ships reached Camranh Bay on 9 May and the combined force sailed for Vladivostok on 14 May.

The ship was sunk during the Battle of Tsushima on 27 May 1905 due to explosions set off by a Japanese shell hitting a 6-inch (152 mm) magazine. There was only one survivor from her crew of 855 officers and enlisted men."

- from McLaughlin, Stephen (2003). Russian & Soviet Battleships. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press.


I'm taking the long view on this, but WG just might come to believe that their player base would better increase if new players had ships like the Borodino to battle with at low tiers. The tip of the wedge I am pushing is the Borodino for now and it can't hurt that this is a Russian ship (cunning or what?), but in any case it would be my favourite pre-dreadnought to see appear in the game.

Here's the thread. Drop by and vote:


Edited by Stauffenberg44
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