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Marat was partially reconstructed between the fall of 1928 and 8 April 1931 at the Baltic Works. The most obvious external change was a much more elaborate forward superstructure needed to house new fire control instruments. A KDP-6 fire control director, with two 6-meter (20 ft) Zeiss rangefinders, was positioned at the top of the tubular foremast. A 8-meter (26 ft) Zeiss rangefinder was also added on the rear superstructure. The top of the forward funnel was lengthened by about 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) and angled backwards in an attempt to keep the exhaust gases away from the control and gunnery spaces. A derrick was added to the mainmast to handle a KR-1 flying boat imported from Germany that was stored above the third turret. No aircraft catapult was fitted so the aircraft had to take off and land on the water. A forecastle was added to the bow, which was also given much more sheer and flare to improve her sea-keeping abilities. Her turrets were overhauled, her guns replaced and new 8-meter rangefinders were installed on every turret. Her boilers were converted to only burn fuel oil and the more powerful boilers allowed the forward three boilers to be removed. The space freed up was used for anti-aircraft ammunition and various control spaces. The cruising turbines were also removed which simplified the ship's machinery at a small cost in power. These changes increased her displacement to 26,170 tonnes (25,757 long tons) at full load and her overall length to 184 meters (604 ft). Her metacentric height increased to 1.93 meters (6 ft 4 in) from her designed 1.76 meters (5 ft 9 in) mainly because she now carried much of her fuel in her double bottom rather than in coal bunkers high on the sides of the ship. More weight was added to her before World War II, including an increase in the thickness of her turret roofs to 152 millimeters (6.0 in), that decreased her metacentric height to only 1.7 meters (5 ft 7 in). This was unsatisfactory and plans were made to reconstruct her again, but they were cancelled when the Germans attacked in 1941.
Marat took part in the 1937 Coronation Review in Britain. Her participation in the Winter War was minimal as she bombarded Finnish 10-inch (254 mm) coast defense guns one time at Saarenpää in the Beryozovye Islands with 133 high explosiveshells before the Gulf of Finland iced over. In early 1940 her anti-aircraft armament was reinforced. She exchanged her elderly 3-inch 'Lender' guns for modern 76.2-millimeter (3.00 in) 34-K guns and two twin 76.2 mm 81-K mounts were mounted on her quarter deck. The magazines for these guns were situated in the rearmost casemates on each beam, which lost their 120 mm guns. At some point six automatic 37-millimeter (1.5 in) 70-K guns were also added. These additions boosted her displacement to 26,700 tonnes (26,278 long tons) at full load. She sailed to Tallinn shortly after the Soviets occupied Estonia, although she returned to Kronstadt on 20 June 1941, two days before the German invasion of Russia began. Maratopened fire on troop positions of the German 18th Army from the Leningrad Sea Canal on 8 September. She was lightly damaged by German 15-centimeter (5.9 in) guns on 16 September.
She was sunk at her moorings on 23 September 1941 by two near-simultaneous hits by 1,000-kilogram (2,200 lb) bombs near the forward superstructure. They caused the explosion of the forward magazine which heaved the turret up, blew the superstructure and forward funnel over to starboard and demolished the forward part of the hull from frames 20 to 57. 326 men were killed and the ship gradually settled to the bottom in 11 meters (36 ft) of water. Her sinking is commonly credited to the Stuka Ace pilot Leutnant Hans-Ulrich Rudel of III./StG 2, but Rudel only dropped one of the two bombs. The rear part of the ship was later refloated and she was used as a floating battery although all of her 120 mm guns were removed. Initially only the two rearmost turrets were operable, but the second turret was repaired by the autumn of 1942. She fired a total of 1971 12-inch shells during the Siege of Leningrad. In December 1941 granite slabs 40–60 millimeters (1.6–2.4 in) thick from the nearby harbor walls were laid on her decks to reinforce her deck protection. Another transverse bulkhead was built behind frame 57 and the space between them was filled with concrete to prevent her sinking if the original bulkhead was ruptured.
She returned to her original name on 31 May 1943. After the war there were several plans to reconstruct her, using the bow of the Frunze, but they were not accepted and were formally cancelled on 29 June 1948. She was renamed Volkhov, after the nearby river, on 28 November 1950 and served as a stationary training ship until stricken on 4 September 1953. The ship was subsequently broken up.