Irina of Saint Petersburg sent me this nice card showing ‘cleanship’ being carried out on the Rostislav, a Russian Battleship of the early ‘90s.
Rostislav was a pre-dreadnought battleship built by the Nikolaev Admiralty Shipyard in the 1890s for the Black Sea Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy. She was conceived as a small, inexpensive coastal defence ship, but the Navy abandoned the concept in favor of a compact, seagoing battleship with a displacement of 8,880 long tons (9,020 t). Poor design and construction practices increased her actual displacement by more than 1,600 long tons (1,600 t). Rostislav became the world's first capital ship to burn fuel oil, rather than coal. Her combat ability was compromised by the use of 10-inch (254 mm) main guns instead of the de facto Russian standard of 12 inches (305 mm).
Her hull was launched in September 1896, but non-delivery of the ship's main guns delayed her maiden voyage until 1899 and her completion until 1900. In May 1899 Rostislav became the first ship of the Imperial Navy to be commanded by a member of the House of Romanov, Captain Alexander Mikhailovich. From 1903 to 1912 the ship was the flagship of the second-in-command of the Black Sea Fleet. During the 1905 Russian Revolution her crew was on the verge of mutiny, but ultimately remained loyal to the regime, and actively suppressed the mutiny of the cruiser Ochakov.
Rostislav was actively engaged in World War I until the collapse of the Black Sea Fleet in the beginning of 1918. She was the first Russian ship to fire on enemy targets on land during World War I, the first to be hit by a German airstrike, and the first to destroy a submarine, albeit a Russian one. In April 1918 the fleeing Bolsheviks abandoned Rostislav in Sevastopol. A year later the British occupation forces permanently disabled her engines. The White forces used the ship as a towed floating battery, then scuttled her in the Strait of Kerch in November 1920.