|Anker Models Russian 1937 Hybrid Design|
|By John Olsen|
This has to be one of the most bizarre hybrid warship designs ever produced. In the 1930's the Soviet Union initiated contact with a number of foreign shipbuilders in the effort to rebuild its long neglected Navy. This led to a contract with the US firm of Gibbs & Cox in August, 1937, for the preparation of several designs, including three for an enormous battleship-aircraft carrier. Design B, which the model depicts, was approved for further development in November, 1937, and called for a ship displacing 74,000 tons fully loaded, with an overall length of 1,005 ft, extreme beam of 128 ft and a draft of 34 ft. Armament was to be 12- 16in, 28-5in, 32-1.1in, and 12-0.5in MG. In addition, the ship was to carry 36 planes and 4 float planes on a flight deck amidships supplemented by 2 catapults. Designed speed was 34k via 6 shafts at 300,000 SHP, and cruising radius was to be 29,000 nautical miles at 12k. Obviously, such a ship was far beyond the means of the Soviet government at the time, and the plans were vetoed in November, 1938, in favor of a much scaled back conventional BB design (Design D), which Gibbs & Cox began in March, 1939, but suspended in October after the invasion of Poland.
The model is one of a number of never-built ships produced by Anker and faithfully follows the published material I've seen of this design. Hatches, bitts, winches and other deck fittings are shown, boats and anchor chain are in scale, and the model itself is clean and well executed, though bridge details are minimal. The main battery turrets are fixed in place, which, I suspect, will disappoint the wargamers. I understand some of the Ankerís models were issued as kits, so there may be a few out there with movable main battery turrets after all.
Unfortunately, the model is no longer in production, though it occasionally
turns up on the second-hand market. Price usually runs around $60-$70. This one
is definitely a must-have, especially for the collector of novelty designs- the
ultimate warship if ever there was one!