Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Imperial Russian Cruiser Bayan

A pierced piece of armor from the Imperial Russian cruiser Bayan sits next to the preserved pre-Dreadnought battleship Mikasa

Bayan was the first of a class of armored cruisers laid down in 1899. Bayan and her sister, Admiral Makarov, were constructed in France while the other two ships of the class were built in Russia.

The ship was damaged during the Battle of Port Arthur on February 8, 1904. She was further damaged by a mine in the summer of that year and ended up getting trapped at Port Arthur. Eventually the Japanese army managed to position artillery on the hills around the port and proceeded to fire upon the Russian ships in the harbor. Bayan was scuttled by the Russians in December 1904.

Bayan was captured and raised by the Japanese in 1905 and was put into service as the Aso. She served in the Imperial Japanese Navy until sunk as a target on April 1, 1932.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Partial Battleship - USS South Dakota

The South Dakota may be the only partial battleship (i.e. more than just a couple of pieces but not the entire thing) in the United States. Located in a park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the ship was cut up for scrap in 1962. 

Since it was not possible to move the old girl to her home state, the next best thing was to take pieces of her. A memorial was built with a cement wall forming the shape of her hull and pieces taken from her were placed in the approximate location where they were on the actual ship.

Looking forward you can see the outline of the ship's hull.

The museum building that houses artifacts is located where the superstructure would have been. It seems extensions were added to the original, circular building over the years.

Curious they kept the barrel of one of South Dakota's 5" guns rather than a complete mount. Note the ship's mast to the left.

The museum had additional artifacts including the flag flown on South Dakota during the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

 Stern view of one of her 16" guns and one of her four screws.

 The business end of a 16" 45.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Discovery of Russian Cruiser Pallada

The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reports on the rediscovery of the Russian cruiser Pallada, which was torpedoed and sunk in October 1914. After some brief mention in the contemporary press she was forgotten.

Interesting photos of the wreck, which appears to have escaped looters.