The last class of pre-dreadnought battleships in the Bahtiyaran Navy built before the advent of the dreadnought forced a worldwide shift to all-big-gun batteries, rendering her obsolete. Laid down in 504 K.E. and commissioned in 507-508 K.E., they were rendered obsolete immediately upon completion by foreign dreadnoughts. Transferred to a quiet, secondary theater of operations in 512 K.E. at the onset of the Great War, they saw limited action against enemy warships and spent most of their lives performing gunfire support. After the end of the war they were sold off to the Moravian Navy, and sunk or scrapped in later conflicts.
The battle of Osmakoyun (Osmakoyun Savasi in Bahtiyaran), was a major clash in 361 K.E. involving a large Rurikan Army, against a small cadre of elite Bahtiyaran Janissary cavalry. By a stroke of luck, the Rurikans had evaded the bulk of the main Bahtiyaran army that had marched out to intercept them, and were marching on the capital of Nassira, which lay largely undefended.
Under the command of General Serkan Zarakolu, a regiment of 2000 cavalry engaged 25,000 enemy soldiers, most of whom were on foot. With the cavalry making aggressive flanking attacks against the weaker units of the enemy force and threatening their supply train, the Rurikan army was forced to stop and fight to throw off their harassers at the village of Osmakoyun.
For six hours, Zarakolu and his riders bit at the sides of the massive formation, making attacks at a full gallop to bait the enemy ranks into firing their muskets outside of effective range, then charging in for sabre strikes. Eventually however, the Bahtiyaran Janissaries had accumulated a large number of wounded and were forced to withdraw under cover of darkness.
In the intervening hours, a message runner dispatched by Zarakolu reached the main body of the Bahtiyaran Army that had marched earlier that day. General Kaldirim had a precious few hours to reverse course and get his army back into the city to prepare for the siege. The following Siege of Nassira would be decisive in the outcome of the war.
Design work on a new battleship class began after the Mareşal Safar al-Aydin class
were finalized and well underway in their construction. By 502 K.E. the Bahtiyar Dominion had been building metal-clad warships for over three decades. The latest class of battleships, laid down at the beginning of the year 501, were representative of the doctrine that had driven Bahityaran ship design since the advent of the torpedo. It would not be exaggeration to say that the self-propelled steam torpedo was an overnight revolution in the Bahtiyaran Navy. From the day the Admiralty was aware of it, the torpedo was viewed as the death knell of heavily armored, slow ships, as a slow moving ship could be surrounded and destroyed by torpedo-armed small craft, which could strike below the waterline and bypass any amount of armor a ship could carry to protect her against guns.
The Mareşal Safar al-Aydin class
ships embodied the Bahtiyaran response to this threat that had been taken since the 480s. With a top speed of 21 knots, a high speed shared by the previous two classes, they were the fastest battleships in the world when commissioned in 504. They bristled with quick-firing secondary guns, boasting a total of thirty-two 6-inch weapons, with each side of the ship having sixteen ready to bear against the enemy. They were also the first large ships commissioned as-built with 3-inch guns, a new close-in defense weapon to replace the batteries of 3 and 6 pounder small guns that were rendered obsolete by the meteoric rise in the size and speed of torpedo craft.
Despite all this, these ships were largely unsatisfactory to the Bahtiyaran Admiralty. Previous battleships had followed a trend of two or four large caliber (usually 12-inch), guns supplanted by the maximum available battery of 6-inch quick firing guns that could be fitted into the dimensions of the hull. This was a pattern repeated on the Mareşal Safar al-Aydin class
, but this time the lack of heavy secondaries in favor of a large barrel count of small guns was seen as a disadvantage rather than a virtue. This was due to significant advances made in large caliber gun technology in recent years. Merely a decade earlier, most large caliber weapons could take as many as five minutes to ready up a single shell for firing. This made them impractical for use as the primary damage-dealers against enemy warships. But by 502 K.E., there were many 12-inch gun designs in service, including in the Bahtiyaran Navy, that could complete their reloading in under a minute. And many 8 and 10-inch guns could fire multiple times in the span of a single minute.
The greatly increased effectiveness of heavy caliber guns did not go unnoticed by the Bahtiyar Dominion, but this had to be weighed against the threat of torpedo attack. Installing more heavy guns to use against capital ships would mean fewer rapid firing weapons capable of stopping an incoming torpedo boat. This was compounded by the fact that large turrets of the time lacked a means to traverse precisely enough to accurately fire at fast moving targets, further reducing the effect of heavy guns against torpedo craft. The decision to retain the large farms of 6-inch guns on the Mareşal Safar al-Aydin-class
was made reluctantly, and it was repeatedly suggested that her upper battery of twin 6-inch turrets should be traded for 8-inch singles to supplement her anti-capital ship firepower.
While this was going on, however, the Navy’s dissatisfaction with the design of the previous ships had pushed them to commit to more heavy guns for their next class. Even if they were to retrofit the Mareşal Safar al-Aydin-class
with heavier guns it would be suboptimal since the finalized design had not been planned with them. For the next class, to get the most out of new advancements in large caliber guns, it would be designed from the beginning to have a large and powerful battery of 8- or 10-inch secondaries. The debate between which caliber to use was of serious importance, as the former would make for easier fire control arrangements given the more distinct difference between 8- and 12-inch shell splashes. However, 10-inch guns promised much greater effect against armor, and with twice the payload per shell, were more likely to land a killing blow if they struck an enemy ship.
Studies were conducted throughout the year of 503, with ships proposed ranging from 16,000 to 25,000 tons. The largest of these studies had mixed batteries of both 8-inch and 10-inch guns supplementing their 12-inch main weapons, but these were determined to be too large and extravagant for even the quality-minded Bahtiyaran Navy. Smaller designs with mixed large secondaries were discarded very early in the process, as they had too few of either sized guns to be effective.
By the winter of 503, the designs had been narrowed down to a series of 20,000-22,000 ton preliminaries, the largest ships that the Divan, the legislative body of the Dominion, would authorize construction of. Of these proposals, these were divided into those that had a secondary battery of sixteen to twelve 8-inch guns, and those that had twelve to eight 10-inch guns. All proposals had at least sixteen 6-inch guns in various arrangements to provide for defense against torpedo boats.
In early 504, the preliminary designs had been narrowed down further to a pair of 22,000 ton finalized ships, ready to be delivered to the shipyards for construction. The funds had been authorized for two ships the previous year, and it was coming time to begin work. Rumors of ships being built in Regia Nautica, Tethyssia and Auspitavia with exceptionally numerous large caliber gun batteries were circulating within naval intelligence, and it was these rumors that pushed the finalized version of these ships to take twelve 10-inch guns as their secondary armament, the heaviest available among the final designs.
The orders were placed with the shipyards in Nassira and Tel Faradh by the spring of 504, and in the fall, the keels were laid. The final specifications called for ships of 22,000 tons normal displacement, with four 12-inch, twelve 10-inch, sixteen 6-inch, and ten 3-inch guns. This would be supplemented by various smaller guns added as the construction proceeded, and six underwater 18-inch torpedo tubes, with four mounted in broadside pairs, one at the stern, and one at the bow. The armor scheme was effectively a repeat of the previous ships, with a maximum of 8 inches of belt armor, tapering to 6 inches at the upper and lower ends; and 4 inches of armor covering the bow and stern with end belts. 8 inches was also the chosen thickness for the barbettes, turret faces, and the conning tower as well. For protection against plunging fire, a modest 1.5 inch deck was placed over the vitals, and a thinner 1 inch deck over the ends. The main battery turret roofs received the same armor as the main deck, as did the conning tower roof. In terms of speed, they retained the 21 knots of their predecessors, and could sail for 5000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 10 knots.
Work proceeded at a stately pace throughout the first two years. By the end of 506, both ships had been launched, and christened with their names- the lead ship, Osmakoyun Savasi
, and her younger sister, Mareşal Serkan Zarakolu
. They followed in the tradition of Bahtiyaran Navy naming, in which all ships of a class would be thematically linked to the name of the lead ship. If, for example, a ship were to take the name of a great battle, then all her sisters would be named after its most notable participants, or landmarks within that battle which were important. Likewise, if a lead ship took the name of a famous general, then her sisters would take the name of battles he fought in, or other high ranking officers that served under him with distinction, or alongside him as an equal.
As the new ships were nearing completion towards the end of 506, the Bahtiyaran Navy was confident they were building ships that were, as they always had been, the largest and most powerful in the world of their kind. In one of history’s great ironies, it was true that the Osmakoyun Savasi-class
were in fact the largest and heaviest ships under construction at the time, but their size would not spare them from the coming revolution in naval warfare, one that would redefine warships forever.
Just before New Year’s, 506, and only two months before Osmakoyun Savasi
was scheduled to finish her construction and begin her builder’s trials, new information was finally obtained about the Regian Savitori-class
battleships that shed light on their true nature. Rather than carrying an unprecedentedly numerous battery of mixed heavy guns, as was presumed to be the case, these ships mounted a unified battery of heavy guns, all of the same caliber, designed to fire large salvoes of powerful shells from long range. It was an entirely new class of warship, the dreadnought, and all that came before it were rendered obsolete overnight. And Regia Nautica was not alone in building these ships- the Auspitavians and Tethyssians were likewise constructing this new type of capital ship.
The shift from what became known as pre-dreadnoughts to dreadnoughts was ushered in by the Regia-Eugerian war that had begun in 505 and was entering it’s closing stages by 507. Largely a naval conflict, experience had shown that large caliber guns were proving dominant over smaller weapons in fights between capital ships, and combat ranges were far longer than prewar planners had expected. While Bahtiyaran observers in the conflict had certainly noticed these trends, the Admiralty and the design commission had both underestimated how fast and how strongly the other great navies would react to this new information. Within weeks, the Design Commission had been tasked to develop a dreadnought of their own, and serious consideration was given to converting the Osmakoyun Savasi-class
into all-big-gun ships to get a foot in the door on this new dreadnought race.
Two schemes were drawn up for the possible conversion. One entailed replacing the 12-inch main guns with 10-inch guns in the same position, giving the ships a total of ten 10-inch guns firing broadside. The other scheme called for switching out the 10-inch twins for 12-inch singles, giving the ships a broadside of seven 12-inch rifles. Ultimately, the advanced stage of construction of both ships meant that any conversion would be costly and time consuming, and it was decided every ounce of available resources for capital ships would be best used to make the best dreadnought possible on the shortest timetable allowed.
Thus, while obsolete before they were ever commissioned, the two ships of the class were commissioned as the last conventional pre-dreadnought type ships of the Bahtiyaran Navy. On the 32nd of Coniaces, 507 K.E., the battleship Osmakoyun Savasi
was officially commissioned into the navy, followed shortly by her sister on the 11th of Oren, 508 K.E. Mareşal Serkan Zarakolu
had experienced about two months of delays as the rush to get dreadnoughts under construction had caused shortages of materials, but both would join the fleet two years prior to the arrival of the first all-big gun battleships.
Being obsolete upon their commissioning proved fortuitous for these ships. During their first two years of service they sailed the world, their impressive size making them perfect for showing the flag in foreign ports, while their obsolescence made it so that there was little concern about spies learning of their specifics. Throughout 508 and 509 they impressed foreigners, potential allies and enemies alike, with their distinct profile, well-trained crews, and their tumblehome hull form always drew comments. Whether derisive or complimentary, it was always striking in some regard. A third tour was planned for 510 but cancelled due to rising tensions.
On the 34th of Coniaces, 512 K.E., war broke out between Soira and Eugeria, and quickly engulfed their network of allies. The Bahtiyar Dominion went to war on Soira’s side, and the Osmakoyun Savasi-class
was transferred to the West Laramidian Sea, where she would be facing reserve units of the Rurikan Confederacy, who had joined the war on Eugeria’s side within hours of the declaration from Soira.
Their high speed for pre-dreadnought ships and their heavy guns made them well suited for gunfire support missions, and almost immediately the two sisters were sent to work. They fired on enemy troops in support of friendly units fighting on the coast, and served as a deterrent against enemy warships attacking friendly formations. Most of the Rurikan dreadnoughts were stationed in the East Laramidian Sea, leaving the Western side of the waterway occupied mostly by pre-dreadnoughts. Occasionally the ships would duel with land-based artillery batteries, and they successfully silenced several of these batteries while only taking light damage from them at worst.
Early in the war, the two ships would see Rurikan naval vessels only twice- the Rurikans made a point of avoiding surface battles on even terms against the Bahtiyarans, and likewise, the Bahtiyarans made a point not to chase down the Rurikans lest they be led into an ambush of torpedo craft or towards minefields. The first engagement, on the 17th of Gilihia, 512 K.E., occurred when three Rurikan pre-dreadnoughts and an armored cruiser sortied out to bombard Bahtiyaran troop positions at the same time as the Osmakoyun-class
vessels sailed in company of a scout cruiser squadron with the intent to do the same to Rurikan positions on the other side of the line.
The two sides met and briefly exchanged fire- the Rurikan ships were significantly older and retreated as soon as they identified the ships they were up against. A single hit from Mareşal Serkan Zarakolu
struck the funnel of the trailing Rurikan vessel and she began to fall out of line, the loss of pressure in her fire rooms causing her speed to drop. Before the two dreadnoughts could close in for the decisive killing blow however, Osmakoyun Savasi
struck a mine and was forced to slow down to help control the flooding. Her sister ship made smoke to cover her retreat, and the two sides disengaged with only one shell hit made by either force. Osmakoyun Savasi
limped back to port- her lack of a torpedo defense system meant that the flooding was very severe, and only her sheer bulk gave her the reserve buoyancy to make it home.
By the Spring of 513 K.E. both ships were back in action. Whilst performing their routine bombardment missions, they received word of enemy cruisers harassing Bahtiyaran fishing boats nearby. The two ships made full speed to the scene of the reportings, where a rain squall had moved in, making it difficult to see. After very nearly obliterating the fishing boats that called for their protection (they were briefly mistaken for Rurikan destroyers, but this mistake was fortunately corrected before the ships managed to land a hit), a single ship made itself visible through the dense rainfall. At 2000 yards it was identified positively as a Rurikan protected cruiser, and both ships opened fire with all their weapons at point blank range. The desperate enemy vessel returned fire, and in the ensuing exchange Mareşal Serkan Zarakolu
was hit multiple times. After nine minutes, the enemy cruiser exploded in a brilliant fireball, breaking in half and sinking. The two Bahtiyaran battleships only found four survivors in the water after an hour of searching, and with no more enemy vessels sighted nor distress calls from the fishing boats, they headed home.
These two actions would prove to be the only significant surface action these ships would experience. During 514 K.E., the Auspitavian Navy sent reinforcements into the Laramidian Seas, dissatisfied with how poorly the Rurikans and Eugerians had performed against the Bahtiyaran threat. Brilliant intelligence work by the Auspitavians allowed them to stage an interception of a major Bahtiyaran dreadnought squadron that was being evacuated from a port under siege. Three of the four ships in the squadron were sunk, out of a total of twelve in the whole navy at the start of the war. It was a crippling blow, and in the same time period the Osmakoyun-class
ships thrice escaped the same fate by brilliantly evading an enemy dreadnought squadron sent to intercept them.
After such a crippling blow followed by many close calls, the Bahtiyaran Navy was confined to port, with its excursions being very limited and cautious, all the way until the tide was decisively turned in late 517 K.E. Several major victories by the Regian Navy, and the Nova Emeraudan Navy, a new entrant into the war, changed the balance of power at sea, and forced the Auspitavian Navy to withdraw its units from the Laramidian seaways in order to focus on defending its own waters. With pressure relieved on the Bahtiyaran Navy, they entered a final period of major activity to provide fire support for many of the late war offensives.
On the 40th of Oren, 518, the guns fell silent. Eugeria and the Rurikan Confederacy surrendered, and the Auspitavians agreed to a separate white peace before any major amphibious operations could be launched against them. For the Osmakoyun class
, this meant the end of their active service life. Already deemed obsolete second line ships from the very start of the war, the major advances seen in naval technology and experience gained from combat during the conflict meant these ships had very little further use for the navy in the post-war period. In 521 K.E., Osmakoyun Savasi
and Mareşal Serkan Zarakolu
were reduced to reserve fleet status.
Several attempts were made to sell the ships to the Cuizāuhraqui Empire after the war, even with promised modernizations that would increase their speed to match their existing coastal defense battleships. These fell through however, and the ships were eventually sold off to an independent Moravia, one of the numerous new states to arise from the ashes of the old empires that fell in the wake of the Great War. With their departure in 525 K.E., the era of pre-dreadnoughts was truly over for the Bahtiyaran Navy. Their service from then onwards would be a relatively quiet life in a small but prosperous nation, lasting all the way to the Second Great War. Osmakoyun Savasi
herself would be sunk by a submarine early in the conflict, while Mareşal Serkan Zarakolu
would survive the war and be sold for scrap. Pieces of her were recovered by the Naval Museum in Nassira, including her bell and several guns, where they are currently displayed.
Osmakoyun Savasi, Bahtiyar Dominion Battleship laid down 1904
19,748 t light; 21,183 t standard; 22,162 t normal; 22,944 t full load
Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(570.00 ft / 570.00 ft) x 81.00 ft x (28.00 / 28.81 ft)
(173.74 m / 173.74 m) x 24.69 m x (8.53 / 8.78 m)
4 - 12.00" / 305 mm 40.0 cal guns - 800.00lbs / 362.87kg shells, 120 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1904 Model
2 x Twin mounts on centreline ends, evenly spread
12 - 10.00" / 254 mm 45.0 cal guns - 500.00lbs / 226.80kg shells, 150 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1904 Model
6 x Twin mounts on sides, evenly spread
16 - 6.00" / 152 mm 40.0 cal guns - 100.00lbs / 45.36kg shells, 250 per gun
Quick firing guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1904 Model
8 x Twin mounts on sides, evenly spread
8 hull mounts
20 - 3.00" / 76.2 mm 45.0 cal guns - 12.00lbs / 5.44kg shells, 200 per gun
Quick firing guns in casemate mounts, 1904 Model
20 x Single mounts on sides amidships
8 raised mounts
12 hull mounts in casemates- Limited use in heavy seas
8 - 1.46" / 37.1 mm 50.0 cal guns - 1.00lbs / 0.45kg shells, 1,000 per gun
Breech loading guns in deck mounts, 1904 Model
8 x Single mounts on sides amidships
8 double raised mounts
Weight of broadside 11,048 lbs / 5,011 kg
6 - 18.0" / 457 mm, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m torpedoes - 0.832 t each, 4.992 t total
In 6 sets of submerged side tubes
24 - 18.0" / 457 mm, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m torpedoes - 0.832 t each, 19.967 t total
In 6 sets of below water reloads
- Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 8.00" / 203 mm 376.00 ft / 114.60 m 14.00 ft / 4.27 m
Ends: 4.00" / 102 mm 205.00 ft / 62.48 m 14.00 ft / 4.27 m
Upper: 6.00" / 152 mm 376.00 ft / 114.60 m 10.00 ft / 3.05 m
Main Belt covers 101 % of normal length
- Hull Bulges:
0.00" / 0 mm 0.00 ft / 0.00 m 0.00 ft / 0.00 m
- Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
Main: 9.00" / 229 mm 6.00" / 152 mm 8.00" / 203 mm
2nd: 6.00" / 152 mm 3.00" / 76 mm 6.00" / 152 mm
3rd: 3.00" / 76 mm 1.50" / 38 mm 3.00" / 76 mm
4th: 3.00" / 76 mm 1.00" / 25 mm -
- Armoured deck - multiple decks: 1.50" / 38 mm For and Aft decks
Forecastle: 1.00" / 25 mm Quarter deck: 1.00" / 25 mm
- Conning towers: Forward 10.00" / 254 mm, Aft 0.00" / 0 mm
Coal and oil fired boilers, complex reciprocating steam engines,
Direct drive, 2 shafts, 28,940 ihp / 21,589 Kw = 21.00 kts
Range 5,000nm at 10.00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 1,761 tons (60% coal)
907 - 1,180
£2.258 million / $9.033 million
Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 2,282 tons, 10.3 %
- Guns: 2,257 tons, 10.2 %
- Torpedoes: 25 tons, 0.1 %
Armour: 6,245 tons, 28.2 %
- Belts: 3,197 tons, 14.4 %
- Armament: 1,992 tons, 9.0 %
- Armour Deck: 886 tons, 4.0 %
- Conning Tower: 170 tons, 0.8 %
Machinery: 4,092 tons, 18.5 %
Hull, fittings & equipment: 7,054 tons, 31.8 %
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 2,413 tons, 10.9 %
Miscellaneous weights: 75 tons, 0.3 %
- Hull below water: 25 tons
- Hull void weights: 5 tons
- Hull above water: 25 tons
- On freeboard deck: 10 tons
- Above deck: 10 tons
Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
21,539 lbs / 9,770 Kg = 24.9 x 12.0 " / 305 mm shells or 2.1 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.18
Metacentric height 5.0 ft / 1.5 m
Roll period: 15.3 seconds
Steadiness - As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 75 %
- Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.93
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 1.68
Hull form characteristics:
Hull has a flush deck,
a normal bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0.600 / 0.604
Length to Beam Ratio: 7.04 : 1
'Natural speed' for length: 23.87 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 43 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 45
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): -15.00 degrees
Stern overhang: -3.00 ft / -0.91 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
- Forecastle: 20.00 %, 23.00 ft / 7.01 m, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m
- Forward deck: 30.00 %, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m
- Aft deck: 35.00 %, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m
- Quarter deck: 15.00 %, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m, 22.00 ft / 6.71 m
- Average freeboard: 21.24 ft / 6.47 m
Ship tends to be wet forward
Ship space, strength and comments:
Space - Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): 103.5 %
- Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): 148.9 %
Waterplane Area: 33,768 Square feet or 3,137 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): 92 %
Structure weight / hull surface area: 161 lbs/sq ft or 788 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
- Cross-sectional: 0.96
- Longitudinal: 1.77
- Overall: 1.02
Hull space for machinery, storage, compartmentation is adequate
Room for accommodation and workspaces is excellent
Ship has slow, easy roll, a good, steady gun platform
Excellent seaboat, comfortable, can fire her guns in the heaviest weather