Russia – continental state, but the length of its borders, passing on the water surface, is 2/3 of the total length. Since ancient times Russians were able to ride the high seas and were able to fight at sea, but true naval tradition of our country account for about 300 years.
Still arguing about a specific event or date, originates from the history of the Russian Navy. One thing is clear - it happened in the epoch of Peter the Great.
To Use waterways for the movement of the armed forces in a country where the rivers were the main routes of communication, the Russian began a very long time. Mention the legendary journey “from the Varangians to the Greeks" go back centuries. About the campaign “ladew” of Prince Oleg to Tsargrad have composed epics.
The Wars of Alexander Nevsky with the Swedes and German crusaders were one of the main goals the improvement of Russian settlements near the mouth of the Neva, to be able free shipping on the Baltic sea.
In the South the struggle for access to the Black sea with Tatars and Turks were the Zaporozhye and don Cossacks. Their legendary "Seagull" in 1350 successfully attacked and captured Ochakov.
The First Russian warship “eagle” was built in 1668 on the river Oka, in the village of Dedinovo by decree of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. But his real birth of the Russian Navy shall dream and will of his son-Peter.
At First the young king just liked to sail on a small boat found in a barn in the village of Izmailovo. This 6-meter boat, presented to his father, now kept in the Naval Museum of St. Petersburg.
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The Future Emperor then said, that from it originates the Imperial Russian Navy, and called him “the grandfather of the Russian fleet”. Peter I restored it, following the instructions of the masters of the German settlement, because their masters shipbuilders was not in Moscow.
When the future Emperor at the age of 17 became the real ruler, he began to realize truly that Russia can not develop without the economic, scientific and cultural relations with Europe, and the best routes are the sea.
Energetic and curious man, Peter sought to acquire knowledge and skills in different areas. His greatest passion was the theory and practice of shipbuilding, which he learned from the Dutch, German and English masters. He looked into the basics of cartography, learned how to use navigational tools.
The First skills he began to invest in the creation of “amusing flotilla” on lake Pleshcheyevo in Pereslavl-Zalessky of Yaroslavl. In June 1689 there in the shipyards were collected bot «Fortuna», 2 small frigates and yachts.
The Vast land of the giant, taking up one sixth of earth's land area, Russia is the end of the seventeenth century, at least other countries could claim the title of a Maritime power. History of the Russian fleet – this is the history of struggle for access to the world ocean. There were two ways out to the sea - two “bottleneck”: through the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic sea, controlled by a strong Sweden, and across the Black sea through the narrow Strait of the Dardanelles, which was under the control of the Ottoman Empire.
The First attempt to stop the raids of Crimean Tatars and Turks on the southern borders and to lay the foundations for a future breakthrough to the Black sea was taken by Peter the great in 1695. The fortress of Azov, located at the mouth of the don, stood the assaults of the Russian military expedition, and for a systematic siege was not strong enough, not enough money to cut the delivery of supplies surrounded by the Turks on the water. So to prepare for the next campaign it was decided to build a fleet.
Peter with unprecedented energy undertook the construction of ships. More than 25 thousand farmers were driven to work in the shipyards at the Transfiguration and on the river Voronezh. The specimen, brought from abroad, under the supervision of foreign masters were made 23 rowing galleys (prison), 2 large sailboat (one of which was a 36-gun “Peter”), more than 1,300 small ships-boats, planes, etc. This was the first attempt to create what is called a "regular Russian Imperial Navy". He perfectly fulfilled their task of delivering troops to the walls of the fortress and block surrounded by the Azov water. After six weeks of siege, July 19, 1696 the garrison of the fortress surrendered.
This campaign revealed the importance of the interaction of land and sea forces. It was crucial for the decision of the Boyar Duma on further construction of the ships. “Ships to be!” - Royal decree on the allocation of funds to the new court was approved on 20 October 1696. From this date the history of the Russian fleet and leads his time count.
The War for the South. the capture of Azov has only just begun, and Peter went to Europe in search of support in the struggle against Turkey and its allies. The king took advantage of his diplomatic tour, which lasted a year and a half, to enhance their knowledge in shipbuilding and the military.
Under the name of Peter Mikhailov he worked in the shipyards of Holland. He gained experience with a dozen of Russian carpenters. In the three months since their participation was built frigate ‘Peter and Paul" went then on Java under the flag of the East India company.
In England the king is also working in shipyards and machine shops. The English king especially for Peter satisfied with the naval maneuvers. Seeing the concerted interaction of 12 huge ships, Peter is overjoyed and says that he would like to be an English Admiral, than the Russian Tsar. Since then, the dream to have a powerful Imperial Russian Navy strengthened him completely.
The Marine business develops. In 1700 Peter the Great establishes the ensign of ships of the Russian Navy. It was named in honor of the first Russian order-St. Andrew. 300 years of the Russian fleet, and almost all the time overshadows Russian military Navy blue oblique cross of St. Andrew's flag.
A year later, in Moscow, opened the first naval school - school of mathematical and navigational Sciences. Established naval order to guide the new industry. Accepted naval Charter, entered naval ranks.
But most importantly – the Admiralty, in charge of shipyard – there are new ships.
The Plans of Peter I on further seizure of ports on the Black sea and the grounds there of the shipyards prevented a more formidable enemy from the North. Denmark and Sweden started a war over the disputed Islands, and Peter joined her on the Danish side, with the aim to break the "window to Europe" - the access to the Baltic sea.
Sweden headed by young and badass Karl XII was the main military force of the time. Inexperienced Russian Imperial fleet was waiting for the crucible. In the summer of 1714, the Russian squadron rowing boats led by Admiral Fyodor Apraksin met with a powerful Swedish sailboats at Cape Gangut. Yielding to the enemy the artillery, the Admiral did not dare to direct confrontation and reported on the situation to Peter.
The King made a diversion: ordered to make a deck for the crossing of ships on dry land and showing the intention to go across the isthmus to the rear of the enemy fleet. To prevent this, the Swedes split the fleet, sending a squad of 10 ships around the Peninsula to the place Perevoloka. At this time, the sea established a complete calm, which deprived the Swedes the ability of any maneuver. The massive fixed of the court, lined up an arc for the front of the battle, and the ships of the Russian fleet – fast rowing galleys - broke along the coast and attacked a group of 10 vessels, trapping her in the Bay. Flagship frigate “elephant” was taken on Board the ship, Peter was personally involved in melee, dragging sailors by example.
The Victory of the Russian fleet was complete. About a dozen vessels were captured, more than a thousand Swedes captured, over 350 – were killed. Without losing a single ship, the Russian had lost 120 men killed and 350 – wounded.
The First Victoria at sea-the Chaplain and, later, at Grengam, as well as land Poltava victory – has become the key to winning the Swedish Treaty of Nystad (1721), according to which Russia began to prevail in the Baltic. The goal is access to Western European ports was achieved.
The basis for the creation of the Baltic fleet was founded by Peter another ten years before of the battle of Gangut, when reconquered from the Swedes the mouth of the Neva river was founded St. Petersburg, the new capital of the Russian Empire. Along with the military base located nearby – Kronstadt, - they have the gates closed to the enemy and open for trading.
A quarter of a century Russia was the way in which the leading Maritime Nations took several centuries – a small ship for coastal navigation to large vessels that can overcome global spaces. The flag of the Russian Navy knew...
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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."
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