Friday, April 4, 2008

ESU Ships Names (Look from The Russian Side)

In the Name of Socialism.

VKF, as it is shown in the "Fleet Book 1" follows
mostly Russian (or better to say Soviet Union) naval
traditions. That affects not only ranking system, crew
official and nonofficial customs, but also nominatingships.
In this brief article I want to give some impression
of how to name military ships to make them sound "Soviet"
and "Communist". The truth is, that Russian Navy hasn't
ever had any single system of ships' names (that's probably
because of relative insignificense of the Russian VMS (navy)
in comparison with "Ground Forces", unlike, let's say, Britain,
Russia has always been a continental power). It would be more
right to say, that Russian navy has a mix of traditions,
and some of them were different in times of Empire and the
Soviet Union. Let's, finally look at them. Tradition 1. Adjectives.
In the last years of the 19th century our navy got new class of
ships: fast torpedo armed destroyers (in Russian "esmintsi"). For
those completely new light ships Admiralty set up a new tradition:
give them numbers or adjective names instead of nouns.
Note,that in British navy, adjectives (like "Invincible") belong to
capital ships, but in Russian - to light ones (no bigger than
destroyers).Additional rule: at the beginning they tried to invent
the names for the ships of the same design, starting of the same
letter.So I would
suggest adjectives as the names of the ESU escorts.Russians say
"he" about their fighting ships (but submarines are "ladies"),and
Russian male adjectives end with a combination of an impossible
for any English-speaker vowel (written like "bl" in capitals), and
aconsonant, which sounds like the "y" in English word "play".
Sonormally that combination is written "-iy", "-ii", or "-y" when
transliterated into English. Very good and traditional for Russian
escort would be names Agressivny (Aggressive), Aktivny (Active),
Bespokoyny (Disturbing, Restless), Voinstvenny (Militant), Gremiashchiy
(Thundering), Derzky (Daring),Proslavlenny (Renown), Sovremenny
(Modern), Yasny (Clear)etc.

Tradition 2. "Flyers". From the very beginning Russian submarines
got the names of fish and other water creatures: Akula (Shark),
Krokodil(Crocodile), Krab (Crab); while amphibious ships often got
names after small or medium predators: Kunitsa (Marten), Rossomaha
(Wolverine).So, once "swimming" submarines got fish-names, then
"flying"spaceships should have birds' names: Orel (eagle), Voron
(vulture), Yastreb(falcon), Socol (also falcon, but of different kind),
Orlan, Filin, Albatros,Burevestnik, Chaika, Skopa would be nice. But
more popular are not flying birds but flying winds. We still have in
Russian Navy "Buria", "Shtorm" (both mean storm). But in Russian
science fiction our spaceships are often called after snow winds.The
most popular spaceship in Russian Sci-fi is called "Hius" (Hius - is strong
cold wind, which blows in steppes in February). Like in Arabianlanguage
there are 20 words for "Camel", in Russian there are several wordsfor
"blizzard", and many of them are used for warships, while thelast - for
real spaceship. Here are some (and all of them are different blizzards):
Poziomka, Metel, Viuga, Purga, Zariad, Buran.Tradition 3. Geography.
That tradition evolved in 1920s-30s, and it isstill used, but it has changed
much and became non systematic now a days.I'll try to restore it.So, in
1920s-1930s some light cruisers were named after big national areas of
the USSR. The idea was to underline communist loyalty of the areas. They
were "Krasny Crim" ("Red Crimea", note male adjectiveending);"Krasny
Kavkaz" ("Red Caucasus"); "Chervona Ukraina" ("Red Ukraine",not Russian,
but Ukranian language name). Gunboats had the names ofthe smaller regions,
there were for example "Krasnaya Abhazia" ("RedAbhasia"), "Krasnaya
Gruziya" ("Red Georgia"), "Krasnaya Armenia".In VKF ESU there are some
light cruisers of the "Tibet" project. Tibet- is a national mountain area in China.
Add word "Krasny" and get thename of the tradition: "Krasny Kavkaz",
"Krasny Tibet", "KrasnyXinjian", "Krasnaya Transilvania" etc.There were
other ships in old Soviet Navy in 1920-1940s, which class was called "leaders".
Leaders were smaller then cruisers but bigger than esminets-classes
(destroyers), so we also may consider them like cruisers. They were named
after capitals of the Sovietrepublics "Moskva", "Kharkov", "Tashkent", "Kiev".
And, finally, Soviet battleships were also called after biggest ports and renown
naval fortresses: "Vladivostok", "Petropavlovsk", "Sevastopol", "Archangelsk"
+ In VKF ESU there are some ships of "Bejing" project. So, it would look authentic
if some cruisers (even big ones, cause "Kiev-class carriers" in Soviet Navy were
also officially called "aircraft carrying cruisers") in ESU squadrons would have
names of local capitals. Eg "Changsha", "Kunming", "Namp'o", "Nagpur",
"Rostov","Minsk", "Bratislava" etc. The biggest battleship of the Soviet Navy
was going to get name "Sovetskiy Soyuz" (The Soviet Union), but it hadn't ever
been finished. So I would suggest this kind of "geographical line, going up".
Cruisersare named after lands and local cities. Battlecruisers and battleships
-after biggest cities and small countries with adding words "Sovetsky"(Soviet),
"Narodny" (People's), "Sotsialistichesky" (Socialist) or "Krasny"(Red)
("Sovetskaya Manchuria", "Leningrad", "Narodnaya Korea","Sotsialisticheskaya Chekhoslovakia"). Dreadnoughts might have namesafter the biggest territories,
planets, star systems ("Sovetskiy Soyuz", "ChzhunGo").

Tradition 3. Revolutionaries.

In this "tradition" there are two"branches": revolutionary events, and
revolutionary leaders andorganizations.Events. Biggest and the most
powerful capital ships were named afterthe most powerful or most
significant Communist revolutions. In thesoviet Navy there were
battleships "Parizhskaya Komunna" (ParisCommune) and "Octyabrskaya
Revolyutsia" (October Revolution). You may call your battleships and
battledreadnoughts after any revolution you like from history of the
past or GZG-universe. Leaders. It's easy. Take any revolutionary or
communist leader from any history and give his (her) last name for a ship.
If you want to name a ship after a Chinese revolutionary, take his full name.
The only rule: more powerful ships should be called after a bigger leader.
Let's say "Bauman" or "Komarov" for destroyer, "Mikoyan"for cruiser,
"Che Gevara" for battleship, "Mao Zei Dong" or "Lenin" for
dreadnought. For lighter ships you may choose nonpersonal names
"Revoliutsioner" (Revolutionary), "Krasnogvardeets" (Red Guardsman),
"Stalinets" (Stalinist), or, for example, "Luddit" (Luddite).
Tradition 4. Famous people. Very often Soviet ships got names notafter
revolutionary leaders, but after famous warlords, naval commanders
and scientists. In that case slight different system is used. Not only
surname, but also rank of the person is included into the ship'sname. If
we take Full Thrust ESU classes, they should sound "AdmiralGorshkov",
"Marshal Voroshilov", "Marshal Zhukov". In the Soviet Union
there was rater a big scientific fleet, research ships of which were called
mostly after famous scientist. In GZG-universe ESU carriers are obviously
called after people, who stood at the beginning of the spaceflights(the same
way were some sci-ships in the USSR). So, in that tradition the ships
shouldn't have just surname, but also rank of the person."Kosmonavt
Komarov" (Cosmonaut Komarov), "Akademik Koroliov", "ProfessorYangel".
This way you can determine cruiser named afterrevolutionary Komarov
(which name would be just "Komarov"), from the carrier named after the
astronaut. If the person had no title or rank (like Tsiolkovsky), there should
be his first name instead: "Konstantin Tsiolkovsky".Tradition 5. Renown.
Since the middle of XIXth century in Russian navythere is a tradition to
"reincarnate" ships with admirable history.Several names have changed
three bearers so far. Those renowns are:"Merkuriy" (Merkurius). Brig,
which defeated in 1827 two heavy Turkishfrigates. Later there was a light
cruiser with the same name."Azov". Russian battleship renowned at the sea
battle of Navarin in 1829. In the end of the XIX century, there was raider
(cruiser) with the same name."Avrora". (Aurora). Corvette of the Baltic Fleet,
took part in the Crimean war against English and in 1862\63 journey to USA,
to uphold Notherns in the American civil war. Light cruiser with the same
name, built in about 1897, survived terrible Tsushima sea battle, took part
in the WWI, and became the leading force of the October revolution. Now,
it's one of the symbols of the Revolution, and "honorable older man" (ship
number 001) of the Navy."Variag" (Viking). Cruiser which in 1904 engaged
suicidal battle against Japanese navy, gloriously fought till the last cannon,
drowned, but didn't surrender. Battlesong "Our Variag isn't going to
surrender" became unofficial anthem of Soviet and modern Russian navies.
There was a missile battlecruiser with the same name. And non finished big
nuclear powered air carrier, scrapped in 1993, also supposed to be called
"Variag"."Slava" (Renown). WW1 battleship (yes, we also had one with that
name).Delayed advancing German fleet fighting all alone, in 1916 in the
Baltic Sea. Flagship of Soviet heavy fleet (former "Molotov") was renamed
into "Slava" in 1957, when Molotov tried to coup Khrushchev, and was expelled
from the leadership."Kirov". Cruiser of the Baltic fleet, which took huge part of
defence of Leningrad during WW2. Big nuclear powered battlecruiser
(flagship of late Soviet Baltic fleet) has the same name.So, for game purposes
you may choose any heroic episode of Russian, Chinese, Polish or Corean navies
(or imagine any from the history of ESU spaceforces) and transfer any name
from there.Minor traditions. Sometimes ships were called because of certain
anniversary or political event. "50 let Octyabria" (50 years of October
revolution). Sometimes they are called after sponsors. "Leninsky Komsomol"
(Leninist Young Communist League, traditional sponsor of SovietNavy) or
"Severstal" ("Northern Steel", an industrial concern, which builds submarines).
Traditionally auxiliary transports are called after big Russian rivers (Volga,
Lena, Volkhov, Dnepr, Don).Altered tradition. Battles. In "Fleet book one"
there are three ships, which are completely out from MODERN tradition,
but they could fit, into TSARIST tradition, never used in post-revolution
times, but rather possible. I mean names "Manchuria", "Rostov",
"Petrograd". There is NO city Petrograd, but there was a victorious
and glorious defense of it (from bolshevist side, surely) during the Russian
Civil war. And there was victorious battle for Rostov during WW2, and there
were successful battle for Manchuria where Soviets were against Japanese in
1945 and there was a "Manchurian victory" of the Chinese People's (Red)
Army during the Chinese Civil war in late 1940s. So, I would suggest name
capital ships after big victories of different communist armies.I hope these
short principles will help you to get more fun from fighting on the side (or
against) of glorious Peoples Military Space Fleet, which brings liberation to
the working class of all the nations of Human-kind.

Yours,Timophey (Tengel)

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