I.F. Aleksandrovskiy and his submarine of 1865

The most impressive of all 19th- century Russian submarine was based on a design of Ivan Fedorovich Aleksandrovskiy. This was a large 355- ton submarine contracted at the Baltic works in St. Petersburg during the 1860s’. The submarine was ordered on June 18, 1863, launched in 1865, and completed in May 1866. The Aleksndrovskiy craft had a length of all most 115 feet (35 m’) and a beam of over 13 feet (4 m’) with an iron hull of oval- triangle cross section. A chamber was fitted on the forecastle to embark divers while submerged. Propulsion was by 2 three- cylinder 70 hp compressed air engines driving two shafts. The ballast tank was also blown by compressed air. The submarine armament consisted of two mines.  

The initial dive took place in Kronshtadt harbor on June 19, 1866, and was quite successful. The calculated diving depth of the submarine was only about 40 feet (12 m’) but the boat successfully withstood a depth of 82 feet (25 m’). Admiral Aleksandr Popov, one of the more astute tsarist flag officers of the period, maintained close contact wit Aleksandrovskiy and participated in the trials of the submarine, making suggestions for improvements in the design.

The submarine’s hull was crushed during diving trials in 1871 when the craft reached a depth of almost 100 feet (30 m’), the wreck was raised two years later and scrapped. Aleksandrovskiy was involved in two more submarine designs- never built.

Specifications, Aleksandrovskiy craft:
One unit was built by the Baltic Shipyard & Engine Works at St. Petersburg, laid down Sep’ 1st, 1864, launched June 1865, completed May 1866. Lost on June 23rd during diving trials, raised and scrapped in 1873.

Displacement (srf tons):
Dimensions (L*B*D feet/meter): 109’11*13’2*11’10/33.5*4.0*3.6
Propulsion: 2*70hp compressed air engines, 2 shafts
Speed (sub knots): 1.5
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots):
Diving depth (feet/meter): 39/12
Complement: 22 officers and crew
Armament: 2 mines, no torpedo, no guns 

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Image Country Year Description
Saint Thomas 2009 Submarine designed by I.F.Aleksandrovskiy (1866)
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