Cruiser Aurora

Russian Pallada class protected cruisers (Pallada, Diana, Aurora).
History, development, service, specifications, pictures and model.

Cruiser Aurora
Cruiser Aurora today (2009), as museum ship at St Petersburg.

Pallada class (Pallada, Diana, Aurora)
Type: Protected cruisers.


The Pallada class were three-funneled cruisers having a fore­castle deck so far as the mainmast. The protective deck was 2 inch (5.08 cm) with 3 inch (7.62 cm) slopes, the command tower 6 inch (15.24 cm), the funnel uptakes 2.5 inch (6.35 cm) for just one deck as well as the hoists to the 6-inch guns 1.5 inch (ca. 4 cm).

The 3 ships were sheathed and coppered. There were a single 6-inch gun forward on the forecastle deck, 4 6-inch guns in sponsons at upper deck level close to the bridge and fore funnel, and 3 guns aft. The 11-pounders had been on the main and upper decks. Two more 6-inch guns had been afterwards incorporated by the mainmast, and during World War One Aurora’s armament had been improved to 14 x 6-inch guns, while Diana had the 6-inch guns replaced by 10 x 5.1-inch guns. 1 and 2 x 11-pounder anti-aircraft guns had been furthermore incorporated correspondingly.

The Pallada was torpedoed however, not seriously dam­aged in the Japanese attack on 8/9.2.1904, and it was sunk by 11-inch howitzers in the siege of Port Arthur on December 8, 1904. She was elevated by the Japanese and served in their navy as the Tsugaru.


Cruiser Aurora and the Russian Revolution:

The Provisional Government of 1917, established in the Winter Palace at the heart of Petro­grad, had been completely separated from Russia. The building had been guarded by units of officer cadets, Cossack’s, and women’s battalions. While the ring of insurgent troops came closer around the Winter Palace, and as the messages from the war fronts became more and more despairing, therefore the talks of the more con­ciliatory statesmen grew to become much more anxious as well as their steps turned out to be even more lacking of any sense. By constantly moving outside the congress and after that returning to it the Mensheviks as well as the right-wing Socialist Revolutionaries attempted to disorganize its function. The effect of their attempts had been really crippling for them.

Along with a little rowdy demos and a lot hysterical ranting as well as appeals the right-wing Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks succeeded in getting together out from the congress a minor crowd – about 50 of the delegates.
Simultaneously there occurred an important regrouping of forces at the congress. The quantity of Socialist Revolutionaries was cut down by 7, however the number of left-wing Socialist Revolutionaries raised to 81. The Mensheviks gone away entirely, but the number of Menshevik-internationalists increased to 21. Which means numerous people in the faction of Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries didn’t follow the orders of their leaders to go out of the congress, but preferred to change to the left-wing groups.

Aurora shot October Revolution
The signal for the October Revolution – a shot is fired from the cruiser Aurora.

Around 10 o’clock in the evening of November 7, 1917 (Russian calendar October 25, 1917) the revolutionary soldiers sur­rounding the Winter Palace went over to the assault for which the signal was a shot fired by the cruiser Aurora. The Winter Palace had been captured. Antonov-Ovseyenko charged the people of the Provisional Government and put them in charge of the Red Guards to be transported to the Peter and Paul Citadel.

Aurora is still conserved as a museum ship of the Russian Revolution:

Specifications Pallada class protected cruisers


Cruiser AuroraSpecification (in World War One)
Displacement 6,830 tons (Pallada 6,823; Diana 6,657)
Dimensions length 415 ft 8 in (126.69 m)
Dimensions beam 55 ft (16.76 m)
Dimensions draught 21 ft maximum (6.55 m)
Propulsion 24 Belleville boilers; 3-shaft VTE; 12,000-13,000 hp
Coal normal 960 tons; maximum 970 tons
Speed 19-20 kts
Main armament 10 x 6-inch guns
Secondary armament she was also fitted for minelaying (125 mines at Diana)
Anti-aircraft 5 x 6-pdr AA guns; 2 machine-guns
Torpedo tubes 2 x 18-inch submerged on broadside
Armor protective deck 2 inch (3 inch slopes)
Armor command tower 6 inch
Armor funnel on one deck 2.5 inch
Armor 6-inch guns 1.5 inch
Complement 573
Laid down June 1897 (Pallada Dec 1895; Diana Dec 1895)
Launched May 1900 (Pallada Aug 1899, Diana Oct 1899)
Completed 1903 (Pallada and Diana 1902)
Fate Preserved (Pallada scrapped 1923; Diana scrapped 1922)

References and literature

Conway’s all the World Fighting Ships 1860-1905
Jane’s Fighting Ships of Word War I
History of World War I (AJP Taylos, S.L. Mayer)

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