The Last Stand era sailing

The Last Stand era sailing
Ivan Aivazovsky. "Sinop. Night after the fight November 18, 1853 »

Preparing for war

First, the 18th century the Ottoman Empire was a tremendous state, controlled the entire Balkan Peninsula, large areas in the north of the Danube and on the shores of the Black Sea. But in the early XIX century, the empire broke Greece, the French captured Algeria, the British began to keep control of Egypt, Syria and Palestine. The Ottoman Empire began to lose its former influence.

"Turkey — a dying man. We can try to keep him alive, but that we can not "- Nicholas I read about the Ottoman Empire.

In 1783, Our homeland annexed the Crimea for himself and built a mighty Black Sea Fleet. The Ottoman Empire tried by all means to prevent the strengthening of Russia's position in the Caucasus. England, seeking to subjugate the entire Middle East, the dreaded gain exposure in the Russian Black Sea straits and the Balkans. Austria has been interested in the Danube region.

First, in 1853 in Constantinople, Prince Menshikov led to many Turks, but fruitless negotiations. The culprit of this was the most experienced British diplomat Stratford de Redcliffe. He forced Menshikov to present an ultimatum to the Sultan and forced the Sultan to tear away any suggestion of. Because in the end the case with Turkey were broken, the war became imminent.

Navy in the middle of the 19th century

With the advent of steam engines in the fleet there was a real revolution. Their use ships not depend on wind substantially increase speed and maneuverability. The main drawback of the earliest ships were very vulnerable to enemy fire paddle wheel. But in the 40s there were ships to the propeller. Our homeland last of the maritime powers began to build ships with steam engines.

In naval artillery began to use explosive bombs and rifled naval guns, owning a much greater range and accuracy of fire. The most recent improvements have been bombicheskie gun, named in foreign literature Peksana guns. Mnogokalibernye not long guns fired with tremendous distances hollow explosive shells, bursting tube equipped with a remote. According to the memoirs of witnesses have already exploded a bomb inside the ship, causing terrible damage to wood structures. The French fleet in 1827, the first was to install these tools. Admiral Mikhail Lazarev, who led from 1833 all the Black Sea fleet and ports of the Black Sea, with great difficulty, persuaded their superiors to begin the creation of such guns. Casting them began in 1838.

Martial acts

October 4, 1853 the Ottoman Empire declared war on the Russian Federation, and is already 11 October battery Isaccea Turkish fortress on the Danube steamers fired "Rod" and "orderly". At night on October 16, Turkish troops occupied the post of St. Nicholas on the coast of the Black Sea. With all this the whole garrison had died in battle.

Later in this post was shot parohodofregatov "Colchis." 14 people were killed, including the commander of the ship, KA Kuz'minskii. 140000th army Omer Pasha crossed the Danube and stormed the position of General MD Gorchakov. But 82000th Russian army repulsed the attack, while managed to kill the entire Turkish fleet on the Danube. At the direction of the Transcaucasian military Abdi Pasha also suffered a severe defeat.

In October, the combined British and French fleet entered the Dardanelles, and emboldened by this sultan sent to the east of the Black Sea squadron of 12 ships, two brigs and two military transports with troops under the authority of the Vice-Admiral Osman Pasha. Total on Turkish ships were about 470 guns.

Fleeing from the storm, Osman Pasha took refuge in the harbor of Sinope, where he found a ship Nakhimov. Realizing that there is a serious fight, Turkish Vice-Admiral decided to take it in the Sinop harbor under the cover of 6 shore batteries. Most of the battery guns are outdated, but still fired red-hot cores, which caused explosions and fires on wood ships. Their vessels Osman Pasha arranged crescent for the cross-fire on the enemy though what that is part of Sinope on the raid. Transports and ships stood in the second strip. November 16 to the ships joined the court Nakhimov FM Novosilskogo — three massive 120-gun ships of the line — "Three Hierarchs", "The Grand Duke Constantine" and "Paris". So Makar, before the battle of the Russian fleet consisted of six battleships and two frigates, with more than 700 guns. We also can not take into account the highest morale and proficiency Russian sailors were formed over many years of substantially continuous wars. Nicholas I paid much attention to the preparation of high officers, and frequently inspected by the Sea Cadet Corps, headed from 1827 to 1842 the famous navigator Ivan Fedorovich Krusenstern.

The Last Stand era sailing
PS Nakhimov on the deck of the flag-ship "Empress Maria" during the battle of Sinop NP Medovikov

Early in the morning on November 17, on the flagship "Empress Maria" was organized by the council. The plan foresaw fight the enemy's attack with 2 columns. At 9:30 am pick up the signal to prepare for battle, the team had breakfast and took their seats. Around afternoon in silence columns ships approached the Sinop raid. Right, which was closer to the Turks, led by himself, Vice Admiral Nakhimov left column led by Rear Admiral Novosilsky. At 12:30, all Turkish ships fifth and sixth shore batteries opened heavy fire on the Russian squadron. Later, too late, they were joined by the battery number 3 and number 4. The nuclei of the first and second battery did not reach the Russian. Ships out on Nakhimov is ordained position. Lined up parallel to the Turkish Navy, Russian squadron opened fire. After which the result of the fight was a foregone conclusion. The first came on at 13:00 flagship "Avni-Allah", followed by the stage of the big established frigate "Fazli-Allah." By 14:30 after a clear Russian artillery fire, one by one out of the scrum and released on Preserving the Turkish ships "carry-Zafar", "Damiad", "Feyzi-Meabud" and "lower classes". Panic reigns in the middle of the Turks. "The Grand Duke Constantine" with "Chesma" systematically associated with the land of coastal batteries. Soar into the air frigates "Quaid-Zafar" and "Forever Bahri," corvette "Guli-Sefid". The fire from shore batteries thrown over the city. At 18:00 Russian ships, which completely destroyed the embankments and the Turkish squadron of the enemy, leaving Sinope raid. From the scrum manages to escape only parohodofregatov "Taif". Osman Pasha, the commander and two other ships are captured.

The Last Stand era sailing

Results of the fight

The victory was a real triumph of the Russian fleet. The Turkish side had lost 15 ships and 4,500 people from more than 3 thousand were killed, many were injured. The Russian squadron lost 37 sailors dead and 229 wounded. The ships were damaged, but all of them without the help of others returned to the port of Sevastopol. A few hours from the impressive Turkish fleet left rovnenky nothing. This victory led London and Paris to direct full attention to Russia. Thus began the sad popular Crimean War.

Vice Admiral PS Nakhimov was awarded the Order of St. ZHoru second degree.

Emperor Nicholas I himself wrote in the decree: "The extermination of the Turkish fleet at Sinop you have decorated the annals of the Russian Navy by a new victory, which remains forever remembered in maritime history."


Sinop battle was the last major battle of the era of sailing ships and the first with a massive role steamers, also the introduction of guns and ammunition to the new type. It showed that even the most solid wood board vessels are not able to protect against the destructive power of the terrible bombing guns. There comes a time with armored vehicles.

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