3106 Aurora

Cruisers of the 1st Rank. Avrora, Diana, Pallada

Maritime • 2015
AuthorsAleksiey V. Skvorcov
Release date2015-07-24
Cat. No.3106
CategoryAvailable CategoryDostępne
FormatA4 plus A3 foldout, 220 pages
Price169.00 PLN Price35.00 GBP

A monograph dedicated to the story of construction, building and service of the three sister-ships - “Aurora”, ”Diana” and “Pallada”, commissioned into the Russian Navy in the beginning of XX century. All of them participated Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905, the first two struggled in the Baltic Sea during WWI (1914–1918). More than 300 photos, mostly unpublished, and many scale plans including original ones.

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  • IPMS UK MAgazine 02/12016 • 2016-05-11
    avrora 1003
  • Cybermodeler.com • 2016-02-13

    Cruisers of the 1st Rank: Avrora, Diana, Pallada Book Review

    By David L. Veres

    Date of Review February 2016 Title Cruisers of the 1st Rank: Avrora, Diana, Pallada
    Author Aleksiey V Skvorcov Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
    Published 2015 ISBN 9788363678562
    Format 208 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $69.00




    A single blank shot from Russian cruiser Aurora supposedly signaled the start of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution – profoundly changing human history.

    Now the legendary warship and her sisters are subjects of a sumptuous study from MMP – Cruisers of the 1st Rank: Avrora, Diana, Pallada, part of the publisher’s “Maritime Series”.

    And yes, that’s “Avrora”. Author Aleksiey V Skvorcov helpfully includes illuminating instruction on key names and terms – including the correct transliteration of “Aurora”.

    Six substantial sections tell the total tale. Design. Development. And deployment – from the Russo-Japanese War through World War I to the Great Patriotic War and, in Aurora’s case, preservation. A final seventh recaps “sources and literature”. And annotations and extended captions supplement the study.

    Originally available in Russian from publisher Gangut Ltd, MMP’s copiously illustrated volume includes dozens of rare, detailed images – many from Russian State Naval Archives and other authoritative sources.

    Drawings, for instance, appear everywhere. General arrangement. Longitudinal. Cross-sections. Equipment. Launches and lifeboats. Even masts and rigging. You name it.

    Contents also include four separate, loose sheets – eight pages more – of additional plan- and profile-view drawings to unspecified scales. And top views charting changes in Aurora armament proved intensely informative.

    Dozens of photos did, too. Armament. Interiors. Powerplants. Storage. Crew accommodations. And historical shots. Lots and lots of them.

    And minutiae – metaphorical mountains of it – effectively dominate everything. Seeking the storage location for officers’ perishable food? Or an isometric of a refrigerator therein? They’re here. Combat chronicles likewise disburse detail in heaping helpings.

    Oh, and if you search for Internet histories of this Russian cruiser class, you'll find it called “Pallada” on Wikipedia and other sites. But Imperial Russia officially named the class for the second ship launched – “Diana”.

    My relatively few nitpicks frankly pander to pedantry. You’ll find two different sets of metric conversions, for instance, from identical English measurements on page 22. What distance is “25 cables”? Brackets – not parentheses – are proper punctuation for editorial addenda. And this volume really needs an index. You get the picture: pretty minor gripes.

    Wow. Among English-language histories of Imperial Russian warships, this terrific tome takes pride of place. Let’s hope it’s the first of many more from MMP-Gangut.

    Seeking to trick-out Heller’s classic 1:400 Aurora? This brilliant book is all you need!

    Rabidly recommend!

  • Airfix Model World 01/2016 • 2015-12-07
    Airfix mag 01 16 001
  • IPMSUSA.ORG • 2015-09-28

    Cruisers of the 1st Rank. Avrora, Diana, Pallada

    Published: September 27th, 2015      
    Product Image
    Cover image
    Author: Aleksiey V. Skvorcov
    Reviewed by: 
    Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
    Company: Mushroom Model Publications
    ISBN #: 978-83-63678-56-2
    Price: $53.13


    This is Mushroom Model Publications’ sixth book in their Maritime series. It is a translation of the same title in Russian published in 2012 (ISBN 978-5-904180-57-7) and is a monograph dedicated to the service of three Imperial Russian 415’ Protected Cruisers: “Aurora, Diana” and Pallada”. All three participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and the Aurora and Diana participated in World War I in the Baltic Sea. The Aurora participated in the Siege of Leningrad, one of the bloodiest battles in World War II. A video trailer of the book can be seen on YouTube at https://youtu.be/RJukrtoauDos. Four A3 folded up plans, printed on both sides, detailing the side and top views are included from the (Russian) State Naval Archives collection. I counted 224 black and white photos and 88 drawings or sets of drawings (not counting the four sheets of folded drawings). Additionally, there are six specification tables to compare other nation’s ships against and three maps.

    The Diana class cruisers surpassed anything previously constructed in Russia and represented the Russian’s shipbuilding industry’s first stab at a modern cruiser. Still, the Russian shipbuilding industry was not quite up to world standards. The Diana class cruisers did not pass on any of the three tasks they were assigned to. Designed to a maximum speed of 20 knots, all three were closer to 19 knots, some 4 knots slower than their competition. This lower speed made them unsuitable for military reconnaissance. The second task, actions on enemy communications, was compromised by their sailing qualities and moderate cruising range. All three ships were planned to displace 6,731 tons. The Pallada displaced 6,722 tons on acceptance, the Diana displaced 6,657 tons on acceptance, and the Aurora displaced 6,897 tons on acceptance. Their third task was to support battleships in the line of battle. These tasks were compromised by their weak and unprotected armament. These three issues would bite the Russian fleet hard in the Russo-Japanese war.


    • Introduction
    • Development of the Vessels’ Design
    • Construction and Testing of the Cruisers
    • Structure
      • Hull: Structure and Armour
      • Weaponry
      • Main Powerplant
      • The Ship’s Structure, Systems, and Equipment
      • Innovations and Disadvantages of the Diana-Class Cruisers
    • A Day Before and During the War with Japan
      • The Aurora, Diana, and Pallada, 1902-1903
      • The Diana and Pallada in the Battles at Port Arthur
      • The Battle of the Yellow Sea
      • Route to Saigon
      • The Pallada at the Besieged Port Arthur
      • The Aurora in the Battle of Tsushima
    • The Interwar Period, World War I and Revolution
      • The Diana and Aurora in the Period Between Two Wars
      • The Diana and Aurora in Campaigns of the First World War
      • In the Events of 1917
      • During the Civil War
      • Termination of the Diana, or: Why Isn’t the Diana a Perpetual Memorial?
    • Legend of the Domestic Fleet
      • The Aurora in the Years 1920-1930
      • In the Battles of the Great Patriotic War
      • An Education and Residential Base of the Nakhimov Naval School in Leningrad
      • The Ship as a Symbol, as a Monument, as a Museum, the Ship and its Repairs
    • Sources and Literature

    Aleksiey V. Skvorcov provides great insight into the problems, both technical and political, in the construction and launching of all three ships and their subsequent acceptance trials. The next sixty-one pages are devoted to a rather detailed analysis of the ship’s structure, engines, weapons, and other equipment liberally supported with drawings and photos. The rest of the book describes the service and development of all three vessels.

    Pallada, along with Diana, sailed from Kronstadt in October 1902 to join the First Pacific Squadron at Port Arthur. Their first mission was fraught with excessive coal consumption and equipment breakdowns, slowing the other ships in the detachment. The Aurora didn’t fare much better as she left Kronstadt on September 25, 1903 to reinforce the Pacific Fleet.

    Both the Pallada and Diana participated in the War with Japan as they played Russian roulette with the Japanese destroyers, described in great detail by Aleksiey V. Skvorcov. The Pallada was eventually hit by a torpedo and limped back to Port Arthur where she remained until captured by the Japanese. The Japanese repaired her and she served as a Japanese training ship and mine layer for ten years as the Tsugaru. The ex-Pallada was finally sunk by Japanese aircraft on the 19th anniversary of the Battle of Tsushima as a celebration of victory.

    The Diana suffered damage during the Battle of the Yellow Sea on July 28, 1904, when a shell hit the starboard quarter underwater. The Diana managed temporary repairs and made it to Saigon for more substantial repairs but did not leave Saigon till after the Russia – Japan peace treaty of 1905. Diana eventually returned to the Baltic where she faced a long series of repairs and design changes amidst artillery training detachments. Diana saw action in WWI in the Battle of the Gulf of Riga before joining the February Revolution. Diana served as a hospital ship and moved from Helsinki to Kronstadt where she was moored and disarmed. Diana’s end came in 1922 where she was towed to Germany and scrapped.

    Aurora, like her sister ships, suffered equipment breakdowns. The outbreak of the War with Japan saw her detached and sent back to the Baltic where she was refitted. Sent back to the Far East, Aurora suffered from friendly fire, known as the Dogger Bank incident. Aurora finally saw some real action in 1905 in the Battle of Tushima where she lost her captain. Along with two other cruisers, she headed to Manila, then neutral, where she was held by the US until the end of the war. Returning to the Baltic, Aurora became a training ship until the outbreak of WWI. When the February Revolution broke out, Aurora was in St. Petersberg. Aurora fired the first shot on the Winter Palace to start the October Revolution. Aurora returned to the Baltic as a training ship till the outbreak of WWII. Docked at Oranienbaum, Aurora’s guns were removed for the defense of Leningrad (St. Petersberg). Aurora served well as a target until she was finally sunk in late 1941 in her harbor. Aurora was subsequently raised to become a monument in St. Petersberg where she remains today as a museum ship.

    I was extremely impressed with the coverage and quality of this monograph. The drawings and photos support the entire timeline of the ships from ideation to present. Although there are a few minor typos, I was impressed with the job the translators did of the original text.

    All three ships have been released in 1/700 by Combrig.

    My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

    Highly recommended!

  • Amazon.co.uk customer review (1st) • 2015-09-23
    Aurora amazon review
  • ModelingMadness.com • 2015-08-17

    Stratus' Cruisers of the First Rank (Aurora, Diana, Pallada)


    Aleksiey V. Skvorcov






    Scott Van Aken

    Notes: 208 pages, hardbound, A4 format
    ISBN: 978-83-63678-56-2

    I have not read all that much about warships from the late 1800s/early 1900s. This was the era prior to the dreadnaught when ships had a variety of guns with different sizes. These ships were also coal fired and did not have the sort of range that was the norm for ships in later years.

    Imperial Russia had a fairly good sized navy during this time, and while not to the level of the UK (and frankly no nations were), on paper it was pretty impressive. One thing that was a bit different regarding the Russian navy at the time is they had quite a few of their ships either designed or built outside of the country with the UK being a major supplier. This was as much a result of a lack of shipyards as anything else. Most of the sea access areas in the west were frequently iced in during the long winter season which pretty much put a damper on ship construction.

    This book covers a class of three ships which at the time were considered to be 1st rank  or protected cruisers. These ships did not have a lot of armor plating, but were fairly heavily armed. For most of the time, their guns were open without splinter shields as the Russians did not think they were necessary. Later experience proved that having these added was a good ideal.

    The three ships covered are the Pallada, Diana, and the Aurora. Each one of these ships have their design and operational career covered to a level I have not seen on ships of this era before. Two of these ships participated in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. One of those two, the Pallada (which was also the lead ship of the class) did not make it back to the Baltic having been lost during the invasion of Port Arthur. The Diana survived this conflict and served during WWI being scrapped in the early 1920s.

    A great deal of space is provided to the Aurora. This was the last ship of the class and the one which saw the most action and survived the longest, being preserved in St. Petersburg and also still considered in active service. The Aurora survived the Battle of Tsushima and was interned in Manila after the battle until the end of the war. She participated in WWI in the Baltic, being used for shore bombardment. The Aurora is considered to be the most famous for signaling the beginnig of the October Revolution in 1917 while berthed in St. Petersburg. As you might suspect, there is a great deal of myth surrounding these actions which, thanks to this book, have been pretty well cleared up, but such was the need for something to latch onto by the revolutionaries, that it not only was elevated above the actual event, but this also led to the ship surviving when many other Russian navy ships were scrapped in the 1920s.

    Over the years, the ship was used for a variety of tasks, including as a training vessel. She was refit many times, but by the 1980s was in such sorry state that even the ship's pumps could not keep her from slowly sinking. In this case, a most unusual overhaul was done wherein everything below the waterline was replaced. This not only meant machinery but the entire lower hull. While purists may gasp with horror at doing this, it was the only way the ship could be saved. A full restoration to how it was in the early years was accomplished thanks to the availability of the ship's original plans.

    Many sections of these engineering planes are duplicated in the book and we are provided with separate, large sheets that are copies of the originals showing the details of each of the three classes of ships. This includes frame shape information, something that scratch builders will appreciate.

    The addition of hundreds of period photos and plans makes this very much a must have book for those interested in warships of this period. It was a book that I found to be a fascinating read and can highly recommend to you.

    August 2015

    Review book courtesy of MMP Books, where you can order your copy of this and many other superb nautical and modeling books. Get this book at this link.

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