Military Review

Conqueror of Navarin

Conqueror of Navarin 280 back, 5 June 1737, was born Ivan Abramovich Gannibal. The Russian commander was the eldest son of "Arap Peter the Great" and the great great uncle of the great poet A.S. Pushkin. Ivan Hannibal became famous for the successful assault of Navarin, and the founding of the city of Kherson.

Ivan Abramovich Hannibal was born on May 25 (June 5) 1737 of the year (according to other sources, in 1736 or 1735) in the estate of Karjaküla, near Revel (now Tallinn) in Estland. He was the eldest 11 children of Abram Petrovich Hannibal and Christina Regina von Sheberg. Abram Petrovich by origin was the son of an African leader (possibly from Ethiopia), who was captured and sold into slavery. In 1704, the Russian ambassador Savva Raguzinsky brought him to Moscow, where he was baptized a year later. Since the godfather was Tsar Peter I, in Orthodoxy Ibrahim received the patronymic Petrovich. "Arap Peter the Great" was constantly around the king, slept in his room, accompanied in all the campaigns, Peter gradually began to entrust various important matters. In France, he received an engineering education. He chose to wear the surname Hannibal from the end of the 1720-s, in honor of the famous ancient Carthaginian commander Hannibal. Abram Petrovich stuck to the party dissatisfied with the elevation of Alexander Menshikov, for which he was sent into exile. In 1730-s - again in the service. Hannibal went up the hill with the accession of Elizabeth and rose to the rank of general-in-chief.

Even as a child (9 years), Ivan, against the will of his parents, was enlisted for military service. After graduating from the Naval Artillery School and the Marine gentry corps, he entered the service in the fleet. 10 February 1769 was appointed chief of naval artillery. He served in naval artillery, participated in many naval battles, where he showed courage and ingenuity.

During the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774. was in the First Archipelago expedition. Russia at that time did not yet have fleet at the Black Sea. The ships of the Baltic Fleet under the command of Alexei Orlov and Admiral Grigory Spiridov were supposed to strike the Ottoman Empire at the Mediterranean Theater. In St. Petersburg, they planned to raise a large-scale uprising of the Christian peoples of the Balkans (primarily the Greeks of the Peloponnese and the islands of the Aegean Sea), disrupt the sea communications of the Turkish Empire, block the Dardanelles, capture important coastal points, thereby distracting Porto from the Danube Theater and Crimea.

In February 1770, the Russian squadron reached the shores of Greece, where it attempted to organize an anti-Turkish uprising. For this landing was landed. The main forces of the Russian fleet headed west of the peninsula and besieged the fortresses of Navarin, Modon (Methoni) and Coron (Koroni). While the main forces of the squadron bombarded Coron, a squadron of 2 battleships (“St. Januarius”, “Three Saints”) and a frigate (“St. Nicholas”) under the general command of Ivan Hannibal laid siege to Navarin. The fighting against Navarin began on March 30 (April 9), when the Russian ships were met with strong fire from the fortress. Entering the bay, the Russian ships stopped at anchor at a distance of a cannon shot from the city. An 8 gun battery made of 24-pound caliber guns was erected on an elevated position on the east side of the city. Another battery of two 24-pound cannons was located at a height lying at the entrance to the bay from the west side. The fire from the Russian batteries led to the fact that a significant gap was formed in the wall of the fortress. The Turkish commandant did not become a hero and ordered the surrender of the city. 10 (21) April, the Russians occupied Navarin. The Russian trophies were 7 flags, 42 copper cannons, 3 mortars, 800 poods of gunpowder and other supplies. Navarinskaya bay was very convenient for fleet parking, and became the temporary base of the Russian fleet.

In the future, Hannibal took part in the Battle of Chesme. In a naval battle, he distinguished himself in the manufacture of firefighters (the ship that was used to arson and destroy enemy ships) and his art of controlling artillery to destroy the Turkish fleet. 27 November 1770 was awarded the Order of St. George of the 3 degree. December 7 1772 was promoted to major general. 10 July 1775 was awarded the Order of St. Anne. 7 July 1776 was appointed the general-lieutenant of the naval artillery. Since 1777, he is a member of the Admiralty College.

18 June 1778, Queen Catherine II, signed a decree establishing the fortress of Kherson and the shipyard (named after the Greek city of Chersonese of Tauris). At this time, the Russian Empire was actively creating a new part of the Russian Empire - Novorossia. The formerly deserted land, the Wild Field, was transformed by the efforts of the Russian people into a powerful industrial and prosperous region, first of the Russian Empire, and later of the Soviet Union. The development of New Russia was led by Prince Grigory Potemkin, who was then the de facto ruler of Russia (the all-powerful favorite of the Tsarina) and who had almost unlimited powers. Kherson became the cradle and the first base of the Black Sea Fleet, the economic and political center of the region.

Under the leadership of Ivan Hannibal, the city of Kherson was founded in 1778, in the same year he was appointed the chief commander of the Kherson fortress. Hannibal zealously set about fulfilling the task entrusted to him. Having formed 12 companies' mouth, he prepared forest materials in the upper reaches of the Dnieper and delivered them to the site. He hired more than 500 carpenters in the inner regions of the Russian Empire, in a short time built a shipyard and in August laid the fortified city. Three years later, there was already a new city with a palace, an admiralty, a foundry house, an arsenal, shipyards, barracks and private houses. The fortress had a garrison and was armed with 220 guns. Various ships were built at the shipyard, military and merchant ships were in the harbor, foreign trade houses appeared in the city. Ivan Abramovich attracted many Greek and Italian settlers to Kherson and its environs.

January 1 1779, Hannibal was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. In the 1780 year, Ivan Abramovich was granted 10 thousand acres of land. 21 April 1781 was awarded the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky. 16 May 1783 was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 1-th degree. In connection with the illness, and partly because of disgrace (due to a quarrel with the all-powerful leader G. A. Potyomkin) in 1784, he retired in the rank of chief general. There is an opinion that the anger of Potemkin was caused by the slowness of the work of Hannibal on the construction of ships of the Black Sea Fleet (he did not have the relevant experience and knowledge), and they were urgently needed because a new war with Turkey was coming.

The rest of his life Hannibal spent in his estate Suyda near St. Petersburg. He died in St. Petersburg 12 October 1801, was buried in the Lazarevsky cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.

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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 5 June 2017 07: 04
    "The heat of Africa gave birth, the coolness rested his blood, he served Russia, he made a path to eternity. Wailing about him, his kindred and neighbors, This monument to him was erected with zeal". Epitaph on the grave of I. Ganibal ...
  2. kvs207
    kvs207 5 June 2017 09: 23
    How many such glorious pages of our history have not yet been opened.
    This moment is incomprehensible.
    "As a child (9 years old), Ivan against the will of his parents was enlisted in military service."
    How so? Father is a general, all the more so, "the arap of Peter led whom" and resisted?
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 5 June 2017 18: 27
      This intrigued me, interestingly: did Alexander pay attention to this mistake or was he in a hurry and did not read?
  3. Curious
    Curious 5 June 2017 12: 53
    “Due to illness, and partly due to disgrace (due to a quarrel with the all-powerful favorite G. A. Potemkin), he resigned in the rank of general-general. It is believed that Potemkin’s anger was caused by the slowness of Hannibal’s construction work ships of the Black Sea Fleet (he did not have the corresponding experience and knowledge), and they were extremely necessary, since a new war was approaching with Turkey. "
    Despite the fact that the biography of I.A. Hannibal is well known; this moment is always mentioned in passing.
    The fact that Hannibal could not cope with the task is indirectly indicated by the preserved report of Vice Admiral F. Klookachev. addressed to G. Potemkin. In May 1783, Vice Admiral F. Klokachev, the commander of the Azov Flotilla, had to accept the post of chief of Kherson Admiralty from Lieutenant General I.A. Hannibal recalled to Petersburg. In his report, F. Klokachev points out: ““ Inspecting the admiralty and the ships under construction, which I found in a small building, moreover, it’s also not enough to build any rank of forest, in which neither Captain Ovtsyn, nor the ship foreman, nor even the keepers themselves or the arrival They don’t know the expense account. On the passage, my satisfied number saw forests scattered by rivers and water, of which a lot had completely decayed from long-standing lying without preservation. I was in all the shops to see supplies and materials, but I unexpectedly found almost empty ones ... In a word, this port was found both in poor and in a disordered state. ”
    An interesting version of this moment is put forward by a very interesting person, the "walking encyclopedia" of the history of Kherson, Alexander Nikolaevich Skorohod.
    A man of truly phenomenal erudition, I have met him.
    It should be noted that in Kherson they remember and honor the name of the founder of the city I.A. Hannibal, as well as political and military figures involved in the events of that era: Prince G. A. Potemkin, commander A. V. Suvorov, and Admiral F. F. Ushakov. I met a lot of interesting moments at the local historians and workers of the regional museum of local lore.
    According to Skorokhod, having learned the truth about the state of affairs in Kherson and his shipyard, Catherine was very angry: none of the courtiers could remember such a thing.
    “Dress of an ordinary naval servant and galleys. Land, estates and awards to the treasury, ”the empress threw to Hannibal, whose swarthy face turned whiter than the wall in an instant.

    His name, inextricably linked with the name of Peter I, saved the General-Zeichmeister. Such a sentence would cast a shadow on the memory of the emperor. This Catherine could not afford; she idolized Peter I.
    Cooling down, the Empress thought about her prestige: five years - and not a single descent ship with hundreds of thousands of treasury money invested. How will it look in the eyes of the Senate and the Admiralty Collegiums?
    On February 22, 1784, by her Decree, Catherine II dismissed Lieutenant General I. A. Hannibal for health reasons and paid him full salaries until the end of her life. Providing the general financially, the empress “buried” him as a military and state husband: until his death he was forbidden to occupy any responsible position. And this is 49 years old!

    The true reason for the removal of Hannibal from business knew a very narrow circle of very high-ranking officials. And 45 years later, when Alexander Pushkin extracted the name of Hannibal from the oblivion of history, there were no longer anyone who knew the truth. Direct documents exposing Hannibal to embezzlement could not be due to the foregoing. As for the documents confirming his mediocrity, negligence and professional incompetence, they are preserved in the Central State Archive of the Russian Navy in St. Petersburg.
    What Hannibal could not do in five years was defeated in half a year by his successor, Admiral Fedor Klokachev. On September 16, 1783, the ship “Glory of Catherine” and the frigate “Kherson” were launched, a little later - “St. Pavel". It was they who made up the nucleus of the future Black Sea Fleet.
    The full version can be viewed at
    Unfortunately, in 2006, the Skorokhod was gone. Therefore, I failed to find out on what documents he based his version.
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 5 June 2017 18: 46
      Curious, 1 thanks for the link to Fedorov (found, but could not read it completely: the Internet is dancing, the PAP format does not open well) I already read a long time ago: “In search of weapons”, but I didn’t know about things either.
      2.How are the names marked in Kherson: Klokachev, Potemkin, etc.? And another question, but not

      take offense at how the new authorities relate to this name, because they represent the Russian Empire.
      Perhaps Catherine the Great really revered Peter. And then some of the crown-bearers and later leaders (do you need names?) Belonged to history superficially and ostentatiously