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Rank IV USSR | Premium | Golden Eagles
Tu-1 Pack
GarageImage Zheleznyakov.jpg
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The Pr.68-K, Zheleznyakov, 1951 was a Project 68 (Chapayev-class) light cruiser built for the Soviet Navy in the 1940s, however the war delayed their construction. The Project 68 ships were to be built under Stalin's "Big Fleet Programme" of 1936 as the backbone of the Soviet light cruiser force, performing minelaying, shore bombardment, and commerce raiding operations. Unlike Project 26, 152 mm guns were chosen due to their higher fire rate, and armour protection was also improved significantly. Zheleznyakov was laid down on 31st October 1939 and commissioned on 19th April 1950. Just like her sister Chapayev, she served with the Northern Fleet before being transferred to the Baltic Fleet on 25th January 1952. She was reclassified as a training ship in 1973 and sold for scrap in 1976.

Zheleznyakov was introduced in Update "New Power" as a GE premium ship, and is functionally identical to the researchable Chapayev. Her armour protection is significantly improved over the previous Project 26 class, as well as having guns with higher rate of fire, although at cost of penetration characteristic. Her anti-aircraft protection suite was expanded as well with twenty-eight 37 mm automatic V-11 cannon barrels as well as eight 100 mm dual purpose guns. Unlike Kirov, her magazines are closer to waterline being more vulnerable to being hit, leading to fatal explosion. All the improvements on Zheleznyakov came at a cost. She lost the ship-launched aircraft found on Kirov, as well as torpedo tubes.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel120 / 100 / 50 mm
Main fire tower175 / 65 / 60 mm
Hull25 mm (steel)
Superstructure8 mm (steel)
Number of section8
Displacement14 040 t
Crew1 184 people

While this cruiser's armour is not enough to protect you from semi-armour-piercing and armour-piercing shells, it is still enough to prevent major damage from being easily inflicted by every shell that comes your way. Destroyers and any HE shell will have trouble with anything belowdecks, as the main battery ammunition, engines, and transmissions are all protected by 100 mm of rolled homogeneous armour. The front and rear belt armour are only 20 mm and 30 mm thick RHA; while this isn't very useful, there is also not much in those areas that can damaged besides the steering gear in the stern. The ammo elevators are protected by 130 mm RHA, while the turrets themselves have 175 mm thick fronts. The turret sides and rear are much thinner but this isn't a major problem as long as you keep your main batteries pointed towards whatever is shooting at you. Secondary batteries have 20 mm thick antifragmentation armour, which is only useful against smaller autocannons and strafing aircraft. Anti-aircraft batteries have no armour at all and are often knocked out. The bridge has a 130 mm thick belt surrounding it but can still be knocked out by rounds exploding above and below it.

While this ship is still a light cruiser, it can survive quite a bit of damage before succumbing due to its effective belt armour and main turrets that are tough to knock out. It isn't recommended to expose this ship to torpedoes though, as they often explode below the belt armour and unleash catastrophic damage. Aircraft bombs are still a threat to the crew compartments and weapons, as the turtleback armour is very thin and already below many of these modules. The crew of 1,184 can last you for a long time, but the compartments they are housed in are easily knocked out so it is best to not get into close-quarters combat or engage multiple targets at once.


Speedforward / back
AB71 / 37 km/h
RB61 / 31 km/h

The Zheleznyakov has a max speed of 61 km/h which is pretty good for a ship of its size. Turning ability is pretty standard for a cruiser, but it will still have issues avoiding close-in torpedoes or aircraft-dropped ordnance.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 71 37
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 61 31

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB6 254 Sl icon.png
RB6 257 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts800 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 500 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 340 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 450 / 600 / 50 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 190 / 190 / 190 % Rp icon.png
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Mods ship damage control crew.png
Damage Control Division
Mods ship fire control crew.png
Fire Division
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Mods ship venting.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Mods new aa caliber turrets.png
Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Mods he frag dist fuse ship.png
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods new aux caliber turrets.png
Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Mods he frag base fuse tank.png
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png


Primary armament

4 х Turret3 x 152 mm/57 B-38 cannon
Ammunition540 rounds
Vertical guidance-5° / 45°

The Zheleznyakov sports four triple-gun turrets, two fore and two aft, equipped with the 152 mm B-38 cannon. These guns have rather high firing arcs at long range, but work very well at short-medium range and have access to multiple effective shell types. All rounds have an initial muzzle velocity of 950 m/s.

  • The OF-35 High-Explosive shell is an amazing choice against destroyers or lightly armoured cruisers with a devastating 6 kg of TNT.
  • The B-35 Armour-Piercing shell is your go-to against battleships with its 301 mm of base penetration and 10 m fuse delay, allowing it to devastate internal modules.
  • The PB-35 Semi-Armour-Piercing shell is best used against cruisers or lightly armoured parts of battleships. A base penetration of 155 mm along with the 8 m fuse delay and high amount of TNT filler provides devastating damage to anything it penetrates.
  • The ZS-35 anti-aircraft round is a useful tool to have, but is often too unwieldy to use against fast-moving aircraft. The shell only has a time fuse (not proximity) which limits its utility against aircraft.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
OF-35 HE HE 50 50 50 50 50 50
B-35 AP APCBC 333 287 226 178 143 100
PB-35 SAP SAPBC 172 148 117 92 74 52
ZS-35 AA HE-TF 62 62 62 62 62 62
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
OF-35 HE HE 950 55 0 0.1 6 79° 80° 81°
B-35 AP APCBC 950 55 0.03 7 1.69 48° 63° 71°
PB-35 SAP SAPBC 950 55 0.03 7 5.9 48° 63° 71°
ZS-35 AA HE-TF 950 54.23 0 0.1 10.1 79° 80° 81°

Secondary armament

4 х Turret2 x 100 mm/70 SM-5-1 cannon
Ammunition600 rounds

The Zheleznyakov comes equipped with four SM-5-1 secondary mounts, each packing two 100 mm dual-purpose guns. These are excellent weapons for close and medium range with good ballistics and shell speed (all but the AA-VT shell have a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s, while the AA-VT gets 995 m/s). However, there are only two turrets on each side of the vessel which limits their overall usefulness.

  • The OF-55 HE is a standard high explosive shell. 24 mm of base penetration limits its utility against armoured targets, but it still packs a punch against coastal vessels and destroyers, as well as being your go-to choice if you want to start fires onboard your enemy's vessel.
  • The ZS-55 AA is a standard time fuse shell. Useful against aircraft with its high explosive mass, but harder to guarantee hits with due to the lack of the AA-VT's proximity fuse.
  • The F-55 HE-F is a high explosive shell that trades a small amount of explosive mass for 55 mm of base penetration, as well as a 4 m fuse delay. This shell can wreak havoc on the enemy's internal modules so it is an excellent idea to always have some of this onboard your ship.
  • The ZS-55R AA-VT is your best option against aircraft. The decent explosive mass and 15 m proximity fuse can make short work of any aircraft unfortunate enough to fly near you.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
100 m 1,000 m 2,000 m 3,000 m 4,000 m 5,000 m
OF-55 HE HE 24 24 24 24 24 24
ZS-55 AA HE-TF 26 26 26 26 26 26
F-55 HE-F HE 73 63 54 46 40 34
ZS-55R AA-VT HE-VT 17 17 17 17 17 17
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
OF-55 HE HE 1,000 15.6 0 0.1 1.94 79° 80° 81°
ZS-55 AA HE-TF 1,000 15.6 0 0.1 2.07 79° 80° 81°
F-55 HE-F HE 1,000 15.6 0.035 5 1.77 79° 80° 81°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
distance (m)
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
ZS-55R AA-VT HE-VT 995 15.9 0 0.1 270 15 1.26 79° 80° 81°

Anti-aircraft armament

14 х Turret2 x 37 mm/67 twin automatic V-11 cannon
Ammunition4000 rounds
Belt capacity5 rounds
Fire rate180 shots/min
Main article: V-11 (37 mm)

The anti-aircraft armament of the Zheleznyakov is a mixed bag. The fourteen twin 37 mm V-11 automatic cannons are devastating against enemy aircraft, but compared to other autocannons have a less than stellar aiming speed, allowing manoeuvrable aircraft and/or skilled pilots to easily evade their deadly shells. Against enemy coastal vessels and unarmoured destroyers, these can be incredibly powerful due to the massive amount of ammunition they can send downrange and are useful for every scenario you can find yourself in. The long range of these guns allows you a longer time cushion to engage aircraft than smaller autocannons, such as the 25 mm mounts on Japanese vessels, would allow.

Eight of the fourteen turrets are mounted on the sides of the forward superstructure, four on each side. The remaining six are positioned just forward of the rear main battery turrets, two on each side and two raised up on the ship's centerline. This usually means that six to eight of the turrets can fire on enemy vessels to either side, with more turrets being usable against aircraft due to their higher relative elevation.

Usage in battles

The Zheleznyakov is a ship that can fill many roles, but is most successful at duking it out with enemy destroyers and cruisers. While it isn't recommended, this ship can find some success in close-quarters combat due to the quick reload of the main guns and a large number of secondary and AA batteries. The ship is at its happiest when it can fire at enemy ships from medium range without return fire, or when supporting a larger cruiser or battleship with its fast-firing guns.

Pros and cons


  • Very effective main guns with a decent rate of fire
  • Powerful secondary and anti-aircraft armament.
  • Decent speed and manoeuvrability for a cruiser
  • Surprisingly high survivability for a light cruiser


  • Main batteries have high firing arcs, which can make long-range combat difficult
  • Secondary/AA batteries have slow traverse rates and are easily knocked out
  • Torpedoes easily cripple or even sink the Zheleznyakov
  • Smaller main batteries than some of its common adversaries, such as the American and German heavy cruisers


One of the five Chapayev-class cruisers completed for the Soviet Navy, Seventeen were originally planned, eleven were ordered, and seven were laid down. Two were destroyed during World War 2 when their shipyard was overrun by German forces, while the other five were not completed until 1950.

The Zheleznyakov was laid down on October 31, 1939 and launched on June 25, 1941. She was mothballed soon after, finally entering service with the 4th Fleet on September 7, 1950. Afterwards she served in both the Black Sea Fleet and the Baltic Fleet before being withdrawn from the Navy on April 18, 1961 and reclassified as a training ship for air surveillance radar operators. She was disarmed and discarded from the Navy on October 21, 1971, stricken on March 15 of 1976, and then broken up in 1977.

The Zheleznyakov's namesake was Anatoli Zheleznyakov, a Russian sailor known for dispersing the short-lived Russian Constituent Assembly during the October Revolution and for his death at the hands of anti-Soviet White Army members while helping the armoured train under his command escape from an ambush.



See also

Related development
Contemporary cruisers

External links

Admiralty Shipyards (Адмиралтейские верфи)
Light Cruisers 
Project 68  Zheleznyakov
Pr.68-bis-ZiF  Shcherbakov
Project 69  Kronshtadt
Sevastopol-class  Poltava

USSR light cruisers
  Imperial Russia
Svetlana-class  Krasny Krym* · Krasny Kavkaz*
  * Laid down by Imperial Russian Navy; Finished and renamed by the USSR
Project  Soviet Union
Pr.26  Kirov · Voroshilov · Maxim Gorky
Pr.68  Chapayev · Zheleznyakov
Pr.68-bis  Sverdlov · Mikhail Kutuzov
Pr.68-bis-ZiF  Shcherbakov
Trophies  Italy
Condottieri-class  Kerch

USSR premium ships
Motor torpedo boats  G-5 (ShVAK) · Pr.123K (A-11)
Motor gun boats  TKA-106 · Pr.183 BM-21 · Ya-5M
Motor torpedo gun boats  MPK Pr.12412P
Armoured gun boats  MBK-161 early · MBK pr.186 (MK 85) · Pr.1124 MLRS · Pr.1204
Sub-chasers  MPK Pr.122bis
Frigates  Rosomacha
Destroyers  Kerch · Ryany · Leningrad · Stroyny · Smelyi · Neustrashimy · Blagorodnyy
Light cruisers  Kerch · Zheleznyakov
Battleships  Marat