Russian Imperial Navy submarine Bars by I.G. Bubnov

The most renowned submarines of Russian Imperial Navy, the Bars, were designed by
I.G.Bubnov in 1912 on the basis of the Akula boat. Bars submarines were built by Baltiysky Zavod in St. Petersburg, Noblessner Wharf in Revel and Baltiysky Zavod`s subsidiary in Nikolayev. Submarine Bars was the fifth type of the submarines constructed to Bubnov`s designs.

Specifications, Bars:
Ordered in September 1912, laid down on July 20, 1913 and commissioned on July 25, 1915. In WW-I she did not return from the 15th patrol. Probably she was lost on May 8, 1917 near Hefring (by German data).

Displacement (srf/sub tons):
Dimensions (L*B*D meter): 68.0*4.5*3.9
Propulsion: 2*250hp British Vickers diesels engines, 2*450hp electric motors, 2 shafts 3 bladed propellers
Speed (srf/sub knots): 11.5/8.5
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots): 2,250@9/30@5
Diving depth (feet): 164
Complement: 33 officers and crew
Torpedo: 2*17.7" (450mm) bow torpedo tubes+2*17.7" stern torpedo tubes+8*Dzhevetskiy drop-collar type torpedo launchers, total of 14 torpedoes
Mines: none
Armament: 1*57mm main deck gun, 1*37mm AA gun,1*machine-gun


Submarines of the Bars type were quite advanced for their time. In theory, they had very high torpedo power, high speed and good autonomy. However, it was not so in practice. 1,320 hp diesel engines were ordered from Nobel & Lessner in Germany but the war made their delivery impossible. To keep the construction schedule, the submarines were fitted with 250-hp Vickers diesels from Amur River gunboats. As a result, the surface speed dropped from the design value of 16 knots to mere 11. For some boats the engines were bought in USA, 420-hp New London, but they were also three times less powerful than required. The armament wasn`t beyond reproach, either. Dzhevetskiy torpedo tubes proved unreliable. The lack of water-tight bulkheads drastically reduced the survivability, which was also a great disadvantage. Any damage the hull became fatal to a Bars. In 1917 alone, 4 submarines sank: the very first Bars, Guepard, Lvitsa and Yedinorog. In Soviet times, collisions caused sinking of Rabochy (formerly Yorsh) and Bolshevik (formerly Rys).

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