Battleship model kits: Poltava (New Masters), 1914, scale 1/700
Battleship Poltava was the second of the Gangut-class battleships of the Imperial Russian Navy built before World War I. The Ganguts were the first class of Russian dreadnoughts. She was named after the Russian victory over Charles XII of Sweden in the Battle of Poltava in 1709. Poltava was completed during the winter of 1914–15, but was not ready for combat until mid-1915. Her role was to defend the mouth of the Gulf of Finland against the Germans, who never tried to enter, so Poltava spent her time training and providing cover for minelaying operations. She was laid up in 1918 for lack of trained crew and suffered a devastating fire the following year that almost gutted her. Many proposals were made to reconstruct or modernize her in different ways for the next twenty years, but none were carried out. While all this was being discussed Poltava served as source of spare parts for her sister ships and was used as a barracks ship. She was finally struck from the Navy List in 1940 and scrapping began at a very leisurely rate. She was intentionally grounded in late 1941 to prevent her from being sunk in some inconvenient location by the Germans. She was refloated in 1944 and scrapped beginning in 1949.