This event took place at the St. Petersburg shipyard "New Admiralty". The official ceremony was held in the presence of Nicholas. It was the emperor who commanded to name the ship in honor of the goddess of dawn. The name "Aurora" inherited from the sailing frigate of the same name.
"Aurora" was one of three armored ships, built under the guidance of engineer Konstantin Tokarevsky. The two other cruisers of this type were the Diana and the Pallas.
The construction of the ship stretched for more than six years - the cruiser for the first time foamed the water of 24 May (in a new style) 1900 of the year in 11 hours 15 minutes. Moreover, he entered the ranks two years later than his “sisters”. It was necessary to eliminate numerous errors in the design and deficiencies during construction. The Aurora was inferior, both in equipment and speed, to other warships of a similar class.
However, in the early twentieth century, no one yet knew. The new cruiser looked very impressive. Bravo looked and personnel under the command of the captain of the 1 rank - on the sea slang - kapranga Ivan Sukhotin.
The launch ceremony of the Aurora was held under salvos of artillery salutes. The cruiser safely descended into the water, “without excess and leak,” as Tokarevsky subsequently reported. Soon the ship became part of the Russian Imperial fleet.
In early September, 1916, the Aurora went to overhaul in Kronstadt. Artillery was removed from the ship, ammunition was unloaded into the arsenal. Chimneys were dismantled, the covers of boiler rooms were opened. With the help of tugboats, the cruiser hull was transferred to the wall of the Petrograd Admiralty Plant.
It should be noted that the crew of the cruiser, in which the old servicemen prevailed, was distinguished by special unity and loyalty to the military duty. But gradually everything began to change - a deaf murmur began. Partly the reason for this was elementary idleness - there were few cases on the ship, sailors often went ashore, saw and heard what was happening in the capital. And Petrograd was already seething — the February revolution was inexorably approaching.
It occurred to those who put the workers detained in the city for revolutionary agitation in the ship's hold — God knows, but this nonsense happened. Rumors spread that this was only the beginning, and the command was going to use the Aurora as a floating prison.
27 February 1917, feeling the growing tension, the commander of the ship, the captain of the 1 rank, a participant in the Russian-Japanese war, a cavalier of several military orders, Mikhail Nikolsky demanded that the detainees be removed from the cruiser.
When the workers were brought to the deck, the air shuddered with joyful shouts. On the requirement of officers to stop the noise, the sailors responded with rude curses and threats. And then Nikolsky, either intuitively or fearing reprisals, fired a revolver several times at a crowd. He was supported by senior officer Pavel Ogranovich. Three men crashed to the deck: two of the sailors were injured, one was killed.
The sailors, holding back their anger, ebbed away. And here Nikolsky made a fatal mistake. He reported to the command headquarters about what had happened, but, contrary to the advice of other officers, he did not call the Cossack one hundred to pacify the sailors. The commander decided that he would be able to calm the team.
Meanwhile, the cruiser commander had previously absolutely accurately predicted impending events. In a report to the command, Mikhail Ilyich reported: “A team that has not yet succumbed to criminal agitation will succumb to it and, as often happens, will go to the other extreme — due to its solidarity, it will become the most unreliable during the war. The soil for this is the most favorable - a long parking lot in Petrograd near the plant. ”
Nikolsky tried to take the initiative in his own hands - he described the situation in the city to the sailors, explaining it with provocations of German spies. However, I did not meet with understanding. On the contrary, his eyes were burning with hate. He and other officers were threatened again, more fiercely. By the way, at that time the crew of the cruiser consisted of 550-ti sailors and junior commanders, 14-ti officers, a ship's doctor and a priest.
On the night of February 28, the commander did not close his eyes. He was restless in his heart - he heard excited shouts, the tramp of many shoes, the clanging weapons. Nikolsky summoned a senior mechanic to his cabin and handed him his wedding ring and pectoral cross. So that he passed on his wife if something happens to him ...
In grave meditations, Mikhail Ilyich met a gloomy February morning.
Workers with red flags and ribbons began to assemble around the Aurora. They urged the crew of the cruiser to go with them to the city. Nikolsky announced that the sailors are free and everyone except the watch crew can go ashore. However, the sailors did not leave the cruiser, but called the uninvited “guests” to their side.
The weapons, including the officers, were divided among themselves, a part was given to the alien. Those initially minded militarily showed even greater aggressiveness when they learned what had happened on the ship the day before. The workers decided to take Nikolsky and other officers to the Tavrichesky Palace, where they collected "prisoners", I mean those who served the autocratic ranks.
From Nikolsky and Ogranovich, from which ripped off shoulder straps, they demanded to take the red flags in their hands and lead the procession. But the officer's honor did not allow them to break the oath. Yes, and obey the mad mob was below their dignity.
The first fell Ogranovich - one of the sailors intoxicated with "freedom" - it was the cruiser engineer Sergei Babin - he thrust a bayonet into his throat. Seeing the death of his comrade, Nikolsky shuddered, but courageously rejected the repeated demand to carry the red flag. And then from the crowd came a shot. As it turned out later, another engineer, Nikolay Bragin, blurted out his commander.
The February 1917 events in the Baltic Fleet killed 95 sailors, including Helsingfors - 45, Kronstadt - 40, Revel - 5, Petrograd - 4. 11 went missing and the officer 4 committed suicide, more than 20 conductors died.
On the Aurora, a ship committee was elected, chaired by artillery non-commissioned officer Yakov Fedyanin. At first, the Bolsheviks were absent in its composition, but by the summer, after the speeches of the party propagandists, the ship cell of the Aurora already had more than forty members of the RSDLP. On the cruiser began endless rallies and meetings.
Meanwhile, repairs continued on it, and in October the Aurora was supposed to go to sea to test the machines. However, the Centrobalt decided: "Aurora" "... fully obey the orders of the revolutionary committee of the Petrograd Soviet". And the ship remained parked on the Neva embankment.
Many years later, in 1950, Alexander Belyshev, then the chief mechanic of the Lenenergo plant, who was the commissioner of the cruiser Aurora in the seventeenth year, shared his memories with young Nakhimovites. Of course, he told the guys about how he gave the order to the commandant Yevdokim Ognev to produce historical shot at the Winter Palace. Historians are still in doubt, what shells - idle or military - fired from the cruiser?
In 1917, Belyshev himself wrote a historical justification letter published by Pravda: “... The press writes that the Aurora opened fire on the Winter Palace, but did reporters know that our gentlemen would not leave a stone on the stone not only from the Winter Palace, but also from the streets adjacent to it? And is it really?
We appeal to you, the workers and soldiers of Petrograd! Do not believe the provocative rumors. Do not believe them that we are traitors and thugs, and check the rumors themselves. As for the shots from the cruiser, only one idle shot from the 6-inch gun was fired, indicating the signal for all ships stationed on the Neva, and calling them to be vigilant and ready ... "
However, some witnesses to the events claimed that the Aurora fired live shells. Thus, the English journalist John Reed in his book “Ten Days That Shook the World,” wrote: “The pavement under our feet was covered with plaster that collapsed from the palace ledge, where two shells hit Aurora. The bombing did not cause any other damage ... "
A shot - or were there two after all? - from the tank gun "Aurora" thundered 25 of October (old style) 1917 of the year in 21 hour of 40 minutes. Since then, the cruiser is considered legendary, because after its volley the assault on the Winter Palace began. This event marked the accession to power in Russia, which changed its political system.
However, the historian Sergey Melgunov believed that the storming of the Winter One began earlier - with another idle shot - from the Peter and Paul Fortress. According to other historians, the events on Palace Square were played out spontaneously, without any signal.
Aurora became famous not only because of its participation in both 1917 revolutions of the year. The cruiser was also involved in the three wars of the twentieth century.
Baptism "Aurora" received in the Russian-Japanese war. The cruiser, who was a part of the 2 Pacific squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Zinovy Rozhdestvensky, happened to participate in the notorious Tsushima battle. "Aurora" and three more ships - "Oleg", "Dmitry Donskoy" and "Vladimir Monomakh" - covered the "transports". This task was extremely difficult, because the Russian ships attacked more than a dozen enemy warships.
A hail of shells hit the Aurora. Two of them hit the starboard side, disabled the calculations of two guns and caused a fire. He was successfully extinguished, but the Aurora was waited by several more heavy blows. In particular, the cruiser received two holes, and streams of water rushed into the compartment of the torpedo tube.
Nevertheless, the cruiser remained afloat - largely due to the heroism and self-control of the crew. On the mast of the heavily damaged Aurora (18 shells hit her in total), the flag of St. Andrew continued to fly proudly. He was shot down six times (!) By Japanese artillery, but every time the sailors set the cloth in place.
In the Tsushima battle, the Aurora lost 15 crew members. In addition, more than 80 people received injuries of varying severity. The death of the cruiser commander, captain of 1 rank Yevgeny Egoryev became an irreplaceable damage ...
17 July 1914, the commander of the Aurora Rear Admiral Gregory Butakov received a short radio message: “Naval Forces and Port. Smoke, smoke, smoke. This meant that the Baltic Fleet, which included a cruiser, is on full alert. The war began with Germany.
"Aurora" went on patrol in the Gulf of Finland, participated in the preservation of the wrecked cruiser "Magdeburg". In 1916, the Aurora was involved in a landing operation in the Gulf of Riga. There were several cases when the Aurora was attacked by German airplanes, but they failed to inflict serious damage on the cruiser.
In the summer of 1918, the Aurora was towed to Kronstadt, removed its armament and put on conservation. The ship was empty - some sailors went home, others left to fight in the Civil War. In one of the battles, Commander Ognev laid down his head ...
The cruiser was long forgotten and remembered only at the end of the 1922 of the year. The ship was a sad sight — the sides were torn off, the cabins plundered, a thick layer of mud lay on the decks. The Aurora had to be repaired and equipped again.
23 February 1923, the updated ship returned to service. "The orchestra plays the" Internationale ", - the newspaper" Red Baltic Fleet "wrote. - A bright red flag is being deployed on the aurora flagstalk, and a motley flag on the stock rod. "Aurora" raised the flag! "Aurora" again in the ranks of the proletarian fleet. "
Time went by. "Aurora" became a training ship, made several trips abroad. But in the late thirties, the cruiser was about to send for ... scrap metal. Saved the case - it took the non-propelled staff vessel to submariners, and the cruiser had been fulfilling this role for some time.
When the Great Patriotic War struck, the Aurora was included in the Kronstadt air defense system, and more than once was subjected to raids by the Luftwaffe. However, the cruisers anti-aircraft gunners were not asleep. For example, 16 September 1941, they shot down an enemy plane.
Soon the cruiser received several hits, after which it strongly tilted to the starboard. However, the Germans continued to bombard “Aurora, trying to send the relic of October to the bottom. But the impregnable fortress remained afloat ...
During the war, in August 1944, the Aurora was towed to Leningrad, and a year later the heroic ship became the target of filming a film about his legendary relative, the cruiser Varyag, which had fought in the Tsushima battle for exactly forty years backwards
November 17 The 1948 of the year repaired cruiser took the place of the final parking on the Bolshaya Nevka. "Aurora" became the base of the Nakhimov military school, on board opened a museum of military glory ship.
Since then, the ship has been repaired, updated, and re-designed the interior several times. 30 years ago - in 1987, a large cruiser restoration was completed, lasting three years. When the Aurora was returned to its place, rumors spread that the strongly corroded underwater part of the ship was replaced. It was allegedly flooded in the Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg, and the residents of the nearby village dismantled parts of the interior decoration for souvenirs.
However, it seems that this is not fiction. “All you need is to go to nearby villages and take a closer look at the houses built at the end of 1980,” wrote Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the government body of the Russian Federation in November 2007. - Parts of the ship are visible here and there. The gangways became stairs in the houses, the metal frames went into the construction of greenhouses, here and there the roofs were covered with metal from the cruiser ... "
This was not the last test of the Aurora.
In 2014, the ship began another repair. A year ago, the cruiser was returned to its usual place, and the waves of the Neva again hit its sides. In the evening, its lights are visible far away.
How is it in the old Soviet song? “The old guns look sternly. Baltic sky overhead. / You never dreamed cruiser "Aurora", / What will you become a symbol of human drama ... "