It has been 5 years after the bloody and disastrous Tsushima, when Fleet has just began to revive in and out of "posttsusimskogo syndrome", and our homeland, respectively, from the turmoil of the revolution of 1905 and the following uprisings in the fleet in Sevastopol, Vladivostok, … But Seaborge Fleet lived, the fleet put to sea again, performing not only, as they say now, combat training tasks, and showing the proud flag of St. Andrew, along with diplomatic functions.
In the summer of 1910 a squadron of the Baltic Fleet in the battleship "Crown Prince" and "Admiral Makarov", "Rurik" and "Hercules" under the command of Rear-Admiral Nikolai Stepanovich Mankowski make trips to the Mediterranean Sea. On board the "Crown Prince" was stately Duke Nicholas and his entourage, flew on the mast of the battleship grand flag. August 19 squadron went to the Montenegrin Antivari (now the town of Bar in Montenegro) for the role in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reign of the Montenegrin King Nicholas I. Celebrations were held in the capital, Cetinje, where, and headed the Russian namesake, King Nicholas and Nikolai Stepanovich. King was awarded the Russian Field Marshal's baton — so Makar, Montenegrin became the latest Russian field marshal. After graduation celebrations squadron went back to Russia. The stately Duke Nicholas because of urgent matters was not ready to go into a revolving way around Europe on the "Crown Prince" and decided to go down on the train home. To put the prince, the ships were to go to Austria-Hungary belonged to the port of Fiume (now Rijeka in Croatia). Fiume was one of the main bases of the Austro-Hungarian Navy with a strong fortress. Russian warships arrived there on September 1. Rite of mandatory when entering foreign warships in port or at a meeting 2-squadrons belonging to the fleets of different states, has been sharing the so-referred to as the salute, which consists of 21 volleys (for its implementation on the ships were special gun salute). Russian detachment was in Fiume guest, because the first saluted him. Fortress did not respond.
It was an insult to a weary Russian St. Andrew's flag and generally of. Especially since on board the "Crown Prince" was stately Prince. To him and went to the advice of Admiral Mankowski. But Nikolai behaved in this situation, essentially, to say the least, peculiar. Insult of, it does not hurt. The stately prince Mankowski said that after leaving the Antivari "Crown Prince" is no longer under its flag and the flag of the admiral, as it should, and to understand what happened, and decide how to proceed. And he Nikolay at the moment is a private person who has time to train. And on the left is saved. Almost immediately after the majestic Prince left the board the "Crown Prince", going "to do his stately affairs," Fiume went to the Austro-Hungarian fleet, consisting of 20 battleships and cruisers, under the flag of the Minister of Marine and commander of the naval forces of the country's vice- Admiral Montekkukoli. Again the needed exchange salute. The Russian guests were, in addition, Montekkukoli was older Mankowski officer. Because once again the first to salute given Russian. The squadron, as well as earlier fortress, did not respond. That was an open challenge. Admiral Mankowski went to the Austrian flagship for explanations.
On the ladder of Austrian battleship Russian admiral met Captain 1st Rank flag-Captain Admiral Montekkukoli. He seemed to be embarrassed, said that the Austrian commander at the moment guests because Mankowski take it fails.
This was the third in a row insult now personally Russian admiral. Moreover, when a boat with Mankowski walked away from the ladder Austrian ship, he was not given in this case, put a farewell salute.
Ships of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the main database — Fiume.
Returning to the "Crown Prince" Mankowski asked the officer of mine, which is in charge came and radio, is there a connection with St. Petersburg or, at least, with Sevastopol. The officer apparently responded negatively, is very weak at that time were radio communications. Admiral, in general, do not be angry, and faster, even happy. Now it certainly was for himself the owner.
— That's fine, darling! — Replied the admiral. — Neither I, therefore, no one "good" for the act is not requested, no no no I will not give the command. Full autonomy! Take everything on yourself. I have decided, I am for everything and the answer! Well, with God! And then that's what we do … Less than a quarter of an hour, to the right ladder, "Crown Prince" approached the Austrian barge with himself Prince Montekukkuli on board. Baron met his lieutenant Lange, Jr. flag-Commander of the Russian squad officer. Lieutenant in fluent German with all the politeness reported that the commander of the Russian squad to take his lordship can not, because at that time usually drinks tea. Austrian Admiral slap response to swallow. Under a farewell salute to the prince's boat departed to their ships.
Right behind him from the "Crown Prince" rolled boat with flag-officer Mankowski, who came to the Austrian flagship dry, but very firmly conveyed the wish categorical Russian Rear Admiral, that tomorrow, with the rise of the flag, the castle and the squadron made a regular fireworks. — Fortress produce, — assured the Austrian. — A fleet fails. Tomorrow at four in the morning, we urgently need to go to sea. — I have been ordered to say to you that no concessions commander of the Russian squad will not go squadron and Austro-Hungary, not having received the salute with the rise of the flag, with the raid will not release. — But we can not linger! — Puffed Austrian. Russian officer reiterated the conditions of its own admiral and coldly ref
used the offer of coffee, went down to own a boat. There was another reason for such reactions, because from a political point of view, this visit, except the sign of reverence and attention to the Montenegrin monarch was to show the European states and the first abutting Austria-Hungary increased the power of the Russian fleet, the willingness of the Russian Federation as needed to come to the aid of the Slavic people, well, to protect themselves. Left unanswered such an insult at the municipal level, it was not …
The cruiser "Rurik"
— Well, let concessions do not count — Mankowski said after hearing returning flag-captain, and ordered his ships to take new places. Central position, right on the fairway out of Fiume bay, took "Rurik" and "Makarov". "Crown Prince" and "Hercules" stood in the inner roads, closer to the shore. The ships have played a combat anxiety, and uncovered a weapons charge your live ammunition, deploying them on Austrian flagship. Night fell. On masts Austrians vainly blinking signal lights. Admiral Mankowski, remembering the feat "Varyag" and the command of the cruiser "Kuban" nedavneshney during the Russian-Japanese war and realized that people did not let you down, do not falter, because honor is above life and honor of powers — and even higher.
Dinner in the mess flowed into the stormy debate. Also remember Port Arthur, "Varyag" with "Korean" in Chemulpo remembered Kazarsky and brig "Mercury." The maid was on duty the night the guns. Twice he was on the "Crown Prince" flag-captain Prince Montekukkuli, urged to avoid conflict, argued that the Austrian fleet must leave before dawn. Russian admiral stood firm on its own. Before dawn, around 4 am, as announced, the Austro-Hungarian ships divorced couples, being in readiness to move … And at this time admiral Mankowski spoke to the crew: "Gentlemen! Midshipmen! Sailors! In this hour of honor likely to remind you about the symbolism of our flag. The snow-white color means nobility. Blue — military honor. A oblique Saltire says to us about loyalty, "even unto death." Brothers! My comrades! We had the good fortune to serve under the most beautiful flag in the world. So be worthy of it! ".
Thus, in the agony of waiting for a superior fleet attacks, were the following four hours. And now eight o'clock in the morning.
— At the flag and jack. Attention! — Heard a loud voice of the captain. — Flag and jack — lift!
The team froze in their places, it is gratifying and solemnly sang the horns, and jack flag went up, and the blue ribbon Andrew flag fluttered in the wind. And at the same moment the ramparts of the fortress thundered a salute Russian flag. Saluted the Russian and Austrian ships squadron. All honor to honor — 20 one! Orchestra of the Russian battleship struck copper Austrian anthem. With the Austrian flagship in response flowed prayer sounds Russian. Admiral Mankowski and Russian officers were standing on the deck, putting his hand to his cap, as long as by "Crown Prince" did not pass the last Austrian ship.
— Well, boys, — the admiral said the officers and midshipmen. — Our mission accomplished, and our flag is not osramlen, and then we do nothing else, and saves up to go to the Fiume, we will not. Time to go home, in Russia. She also, our mother, of blessed memory used to say as the sovereign-Emperor Alexander III, in the light of only two allies — the army of yes fleet. Let is our unshakable power. A St. Andrew's flag — soar over the seas for all eternity!
The crew of the battleship "Tsarevich"
On his return to Russia, November 1, on the way to Kronstadt Rear Admiral Mankowski met the commander of the Baltic Fleet and Nicholas Ottovich Essen, asking about whether there was a risk justified in Fiume, was little response: "The honor of the flag of St. Andrew's worth the risk!"
In the Russian naval historiography "Fiume incident" was no place, and if not placed in 1960 in Paris memoir of his party Rudensk Dmitry Petrovich "What happened in reality," we would never know the truth about those who defended honor of St. Andrew's flag.
But the fate of the hero's head Fiume Nikolai Stepanovich Mankowski was catastrophic. With the beginning of the "Red Terror", he was shot Jan. 10, 1919, at the age of sixty second, as a hostage, and member of the "White Movement" just for the fact that every morning in the yard of his estate in the old Russian town Yelets, raised the flag of St. Andrew, because for him was the motto of life — "Honor the flag of St. Andrew's worth the risk!"