Tallin

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Ex-German heavy Cruiser L?zow commissioned incomplete in the Russian Navy as Tallin. This ship had a number of names, including Project 53, Petropavlovsk and Dnepr.  The story of this ship below is provided by Carl Proctor

German Heavy Cruiser /Russian Light Cruiser

1939-60

L?zow

Laid down on the 2nd August 1937, the L?zow was the last of five of the Hipper/Prince Eugen class of heavy cruisers. She was launched on the 1st July 1939.  As part of the Russian/German pact signed on the 23rd August 1939, L?zow was sold to the USSR on the 11th February 1940.  On the 15th April 1940 she was towed to the Ordzhonikidze ship Yard at Leningrad. The agreement was for her to be completed under German guidance no later than 1942.

Petropavlosk / Tallin /Dnepr

The ship (the former L?zow) was initially titled Project 53 but in September 1940 became the Petropavlosk.  By 1941 she began to look like a fighting ship, having main guns in both A and D turrets. 

With Germany secretly planning the invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarossa), the technical support slowly dwindled, leaving her around 75% complete by time of the German invasion.  Even at this stage, Petropavlosk was towed to Call harbour on the 15th August 1941 and used as a floating battery, defending Leningrad against advancing German army units.  After firing over 600 rounds she became disabled (after receiving 53 hits) on the 17th September 1941, subsequently she flooded and settled in shallow water. After exactly one year the Petropavlosk was raised in darkness, in the early hours of the 17th September 1942 and towed to Neva, so repairs could be started. By January 1944 she possessed only three serviceable 8in guns, which she put to use to bombard retreating German units (firing over 1000 rounds) during the break out of Leningrad.  In September 1944 she was renamed the Tallin, moving to the Baltic so her planned construction could be completed.  Post war, the Tallin was redesigned, but by 1948 the expense of the modifications was equal to a newly built Sverdlov cruiser.  This was unjustifiable and all further work on her was stopped.  She next became a static training ship under the name of Dnepr before ending her days as the accommodation ship PKZ-112.  The ship was removed from Russian Naval listings in 1958 and broken up in 1960 at the Vtorchermet yards, Leningrad.

Contributed by Carl Proctor