“By exterminating the Turkish squadron under Sinope, you have graced the Russian chronicle fleet a new victory that will forever remain a memorial in the sea stories».
“The battle is glorious, above Chesma and Navarin ... Hooray, Nakhimov! M.P. Lazarev rejoices with his student. ”
V. A. Kornilov
“The battle is glorious, above Chesma and Navarin ... Hooray, Nakhimov! M.P. Lazarev rejoices with his student. ”
V. A. Kornilov
December 1 is the Day of Military Glory of Russia, the day of the victory of the Russian squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov over the Turkish squadron at Cape Sinop.
In March 1995, the Federal Law of the Russian Federation “On the days of military glory (victory days) of Russia” established the Day of military glory of Russia - the Victory Day of the Russian squadron over the Turkish squadron at Cape Sinop. The date of the Day of Military Glory is the law mistakenly set December 1. The battle itself took place on November 18 of the year 30 (1853) and went down in history as the last major battle of sailing fleets.
The Eastern (Crimean) War arose as a result of the Great Game - the contradictions between England and France on the one hand, and Russia - on the other, during the struggle for influence in the Middle and Near East, in the Balkans and in the Black Sea region. The Western masters tried to stop the advancement of the Russians in the Balkans, in the Black Sea region, where Russia could get the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, and in the Caucasus with the further expansion of Russia's influence in the eastern countries.
Russia was interested in expanding its sphere of influence in the Caucasus, on the Balkan Peninsula. Military strategy and the development of the national economy demanded the occupation of the straits and Constantinople. In order to secure the southwestern strategic direction forever - to exclude the possibility of the passage of the enemy fleet to the Russian (Black) Sea and to obtain free access to the Mediterranean Sea.
France had its own claims to the Ottoman Empire, especially in Syria and Egypt, and acted as Russia's rival in the Turkish possessions. London sought to include the Middle and Middle East in its sphere of influence, to turn Turkey and Persia into its semi-colonies. The British did not want the Russian Empire to strengthen at the expense of the rapidly degrading Ottoman Empire. Moreover, the masters of England cherished the plans for the dismemberment of Russia, the rejection of the Crimea, the Caucasian regions, the Northern Black Sea region, Little Russia, the Kingdom of Poland, the Baltic states, Finland. Russian wanted to cut off from the seas, push back to the east.
His weapons in the fight against Russia, the Westerners once again made Turkey. The Turks acted as "cannon fodder" in a thousand-year confrontation between the West and Russia (Russian civilization). To use the Turkish armed forces as a striking avant-garde in the fight against Russia, the leading circles of Britain, France and Austria provided enhanced military support to Turkey. Long before the war, it was flooded with British, French and Austrian military advisers who trained Turkish troops, built fortifications, and led the development of military plans. The Turkish troops actively used foreign military specialists, some of them converted to Islam, became “Ottomans”. Under the guidance of foreign experts, the construction of the Ottoman military fleet was carried out, which was replenished with ships built in Marseilles, Venice, Livorno. Almost all of the Turkish fleet artillery was of English production; English advisers and instructors were located at the headquarters and commanders of Turkish units.
Relying on the support of England and France (Austria was also afraid of strengthening the Russian positions in the Balkans and supported Porto), Turkey hoped for success in the Black Sea theater. Port was planning to return the lost possessions in the Caucasus, in the Northern Black Sea region, including the Crimean peninsula. England and France, setting Turkey on Russia, could not allow its military collapse and cardinal strengthening of the positions of the Russian Empire at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, the regional conflict went global - world war with the participation of leading world powers.
The outbreak of war
The formal reason for the war was a dispute between Catholics and Orthodox about the right to own holy places in Palestine, which was then part of the Turkish Empire. Great powers intervened in the dispute: Russia was on the side of Orthodox Christians, and France was on the side of Catholic Catholics. In order to push Turkey towards the opening of military operations against Russia, the Anglo-French fleet in May 1853 headed for Besiksky Bay, located at the entrance to the Dardanelles. There was a rupture of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Russia.
14 June 1853 Tsar Nicholas I ordered the Russian troops commanded by Prince M. D. Gorchakov to occupy Moldavia and Wallachia (Danube principalities). Nikolai Pavlovich, who had rather successfully led Russian foreign policy, this time made a strategic mistake. He hoped that with England it was possible to agree on the division of the inheritance of the Turkish “sick person”. France itself is not dangerous. And Austria and Prussia were considered close allies of St. Petersburg. It seemed that the time had come for the partition of the Turkish Empire. However, the owners of the West wanted to get the whole "Turkish pie", not allowing Russia to come to it. Moreover, use the war with Turkey for a decisive defeat and weakening of Russia.
Turkey presented an ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of the Russian army from the Danube principalities. October 4 Port declared war on Russia. Turkish troops bombarded our forces on the Danube, attacked the Russian garrison of the post of St. Nicholas on the Black Sea coast between Poti and Batum. October 20 Petersburg announced the state of war with Turkey. Later, England, France and Sardinia entered the war against Russia. Military operations were conducted in the Balkans and the Caucasus, in the Black, White and Baltic seas and in the Pacific Ocean. But the main theater of the war was the Black Sea.
The plan of the Turkish command was to oust the Russian troops from Moldavia and Wallachia and hold defenses on the Danube front until the approach of the Anglo-French forces. In the Caucasus was supposed to conduct offensive operations.
Black Sea Fleet
The Russian Black Sea Fleet had 14 sailing battleships, 6 sailing frigates, 16 corvettes and brigs, 7 steamer frigates and 138 small ships. Despite the fact that it did not include a single steam ship of the line, it was a serious fighting force. Sailing ships were distinguished by high speed and strong armament. The fleet had qualified officers and well-trained privates. The fleet was commanded by experienced and determined commanders who were not afraid to take the initiative.
In the prewar period, the Russian fleet on the Black Sea was headed by great people — Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev, Vladimir Alekseevich Kornilov, Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov, Vladimir Ivanovich Istomin. They were representatives of the advanced school of Russian naval art. For many years Nakhimov, Kornilov and Istomin were elected directors of the Sevastopol Maritime Library, one of the oldest in the country. Thanks to their educational activities, the book collections of the library have increased several times. Nakhimov widely popularized among the sailors the Sea Collection magazine, which had begun to appear since 1848,. The main attention of Lazarev, Kornilov, Nakhimov and other advanced commanders - the heirs of the school of Suvorov, Ushakov and Senyavin - focused on combat training of the fleet, training sailors in the techniques and methods of naval combat. The activities of D. N. Senyavin, that commanders “would communicate with their subordinates more often, would know each of them and know that their service is not only to command people during work, but that they they must also enter into their private life ... The chief and the officer must be able to stir up the competition for diligent service in their subordinates with the encouragement of the best. They must know the spirit of the Russian sailor, to whom sometimes thanks are most precious. ”
“A sailor controls the sails, and he directs the gun at the enemy. Sailor rushes to the boarding. If necessary, the sailor will do everything, ”said P. S. Nakhimov. In recognition of the primary role of an ordinary sailor in ensuring victory over the enemy, Lazarev, Nakhimov and Kornilov saw the success of combat training, the basis for increasing the combat capability of the fleet. They understood the sailors, brought up in them not a “serf on the ship”, but a sense of dignity and love for their native land. Kornilov and Nakhimov in every way sought to improve the living conditions of the sailors, who for years 25 carried heavy service. All contemporaries unanimously emphasized the care of Paul Stepanovich of the sailors. “Nakhimov’s care of the sailors,” wrote one of the Black Sea people, “reached pedantry.” In response, the sailors loved their commander.
Nakhimov clearly understood that the combat training system, aimed at flashy shine, would lead to disastrous results in real combat operations. He was an opponent of ceremonial drill and taught sailors what is needed in the war. He brought up initiative, decisiveness, endurance in sailors, strictly demanded the execution of all necessary and useful things. Personal example of the commander Nakhimov considered the best method of education. As a result, the authority of Nakhimov among the Black Sea sailors was very high. In the same vein educated sailors and Kornilov.
The first half of the XIX century. was an important stage in the development of technical progress in the fleet. Surveys in the field of naval artillery led to the creation of bombing (bombing) guns. These guns fired explosive bombs, which were extremely dangerous for wooden sailing ships. The viability of such weapons was first evaluated on the Black Sea Fleet. On the initiative of Lazarev, Kornilov and Nakhimov, such weapons were installed on many battleships. The greatest importance in the development of the fleet was the use of steam power for the movement of ships. In shipbuilding and naval affairs, a revolution took place. Ships with a steam engine acquired fundamentally new navigation, technical and combat qualities. In 1820, the military ship Vesuvius built in Nikolaev entered the Black Sea Fleet.
Before the 40s, many military experts still believed that sailing battleships with powerful artillery - 100 - 120 guns would remain the basis of military fleets. The first steamers had a small capacity, they could install all 10 - 20 guns. However, the development of scientific and technological progress led to the rapid improvement of ships. Lazarev, Kornilov and Nakhimov quickly appreciated this perspective. On the initiative of Lazarev at the end of the 1830-x-1840-s in Nikolaev, the first in Russia iron military steamers and the first steam-frigates were laid and built. They had both sailing equipment and a steam engine. Kornilov was an active supporter of the deployment of the construction of screw ships. From the very first years of his tenure as chief of staff of the fleet, he raised the question before the commanders of the maritime department about the rearmament of the Black Sea Fleet and the widespread introduction of the steam engine on ships. The construction of screw ships and the refurbishment of the shipbuilding base, he wrote, "are in my eyes items of paramount importance for the Black Sea Fleet, on the solid decisions of which all its future depends."
Advanced scientific and technical thought in Russia often went ahead of foreign science. However, many Russian discoveries and inventions did not find practical application in Russia (some later successfully mastered in the West). The Russian Empire began to lag behind the advanced Western powers in technical and economic development, which could not adversely affect the armed forces of the country, including the Black Sea Fleet.
The deck of the battleship "Empress Maria" during the battle at Sinop. 1853 year. Hood A. D. Kivshenko
The beginning of the fighting at sea
In the strategic plans of the Turkish command, an important role was assigned to the Caucasus. 20-thousand was concentrated in Batumi airborne troops and a large flotilla from 250 coastal vessels intended for the landing of airborne forces in the areas of Sukhumi, Poti, Gagra, Sochi and Tuapse. To ensure the landing of troops in Constantinople formed a squadron of the best ships. Commander was appointed Vice-Admiral Osman Pasha, the second flagship - Rear Admiral Hussein Pasha. The reconnaissance was carried out by a detachment of three steam-frigates under the flag of Vice Admiral Mustafa Pasha. The chief adviser of the Turkish command in this operation was the English captain A. Slade, who in the Ottoman fleet had the rank of rear admiral. Meanwhile, the Anglo-French fleet passed from the Dardanelles to the Bosphorus and was preparing to throw into the Black Sea.
In September, a squadron under the command of Vice Admirals V. A. Kornilov and P. S. Nakhimov brought 1853 Infantry Division (13 thousand people) to the Caucasian coast with the entire wagon train and monthly food supply. At the same time, a detachment of ships redeployed the 16 Infantry Division (14 thousand people) from Odessa to Sevastopol. Then the fleet began to cruise at the Bosporus and along the entire Anatolian coast of the Turkish Empire with the task of disrupting its communications.
The fighting in the Black Sea began with two battles, the result of which vividly demonstrated the high effectiveness of the Lazarev, Kornilov and Nakhimov schools of combat training of personnel. The first fight took place on November 5. The steamer frigate "Vladimir" under the command of Lieutenant Commander G. I. Butakov was searching for an enemy from the Turkish coast. On board was Vice-Admiral Kornilov. Early that morning, observers spotted the silhouette of an unknown ship in the north-west. Kornilov advised the commander to change course and go for rapprochement. An hour later, an unknown ship was overtaken. It turned out to be the Turkish military ship Pervaz-Bahri. A two-hour battle began, during which, according to Kornilov, the commander of the frigate Butakov "disposed of as if on maneuvers." “Pervaz-Bahri”, having received significant damage and suffered losses in people from the well-aimed fire of Russian sailors, lowered the flag. So the first in the history of wars, the battle of steam ships ended in a brilliant victory for the Russian steamboat frigate.
On the night of 9 (21) in November, according to other data, 6 (18) in November - the Russian sailing 44-gun frigate “Flora” by Lieutenant Commander A. N. Skorobogatov in the area of Cape Pitsunda met with three Turkish steamers - “Taif” , "Fezi-Bahri" and "Saik-Ishade" under the general command of Vice-Admiral Mustafa Pasha and the English military adviser A. Slade. A total of enemy ships had 6 10-inch guns, 12 36-pounders, 44 18-pounders. The battle began at 2 in the morning and continued intermittently until 9 in the morning hours. The frigate "Flora" skillfully maneuvered and by the end of the battle managed to inflict damage on the flagship steamer of the enemy. Turkish steamers hurried to the west. The Russian frigate with a victory returned to its base. At the heart of this success, on the one hand, lay the composure and courage of Captain Skorobogatov, who was not afraid of superior forces of the enemy, courage and knowledge of the case of the sailors, who skillfully maneuvered and fought. On the other hand, the unsatisfactory actions of the enemy commanders, who failed to take advantage of either the steam ships for simultaneous attacks from different sides, nor the large-caliber bomb guns that could be attacked while out of reach of the Russian frigate, as well as poor training of Turkish artillerymen.
A.P. Bogolyubov. Night attack on 44-gun frigate Flora from 5 to November 6 1853
At the beginning of November 1853, a Russian squadron commanded by Vice Admiral P. S. Nakhimov cruised off the coast of Turkish Anatolia. During the brutal 8 - 10 storm in November, the battleships of the “Brave” and “Svyatoslav” squadrons and the frigate “Kovarna” were severely damaged and were sent for repair to Sevastopol. In the squadron of Nakhimov remained 3 battleships and one brig. Continuing to search for the enemy, she 11 November approached Sinop Bay and found an enemy squadron under Osman Pasha, consisting of 7 frigates, 3 corvettes, 2 steamboats, 2 brigs and 2 transports. The ships were protected by six coastal batteries. In service with the Turkish ships were 476 guns, on coastal batteries were 44 guns.
Despite such a significant numerical superiority of the enemy, the Russian commander decided to block the Turkish fleet in the bay. Brig "Aeneas" was sent to Sevastopol for reinforcements. The Turks showed weakness and did not dare to break through the positions of the weak Russian squadron and began to expect the approach of the Anglo-French fleet. On November 16, the 3 battleship and the 2 frigate from Rear Admiral F. M. Novosilsky’s squadron arrived to help Nakhimov. Now it was possible to begin the attack, although the tactical advantage and this time remained for the Turkish squadron. With the armed steamers, the Turks could strike the Russian ships from any direction. In addition, the enemy was protected by coastal batteries. 17 November Nakhimov convened the commanders of the ships and acquainted them with the plan of the upcoming battle. In an order given just before the battle, the admiral wrote that Russia expects "glorious feats from the Black Sea Fleet. It is up to us to live up to expectations. ”
In 9 hours 30 minutes 18 (30) November on the Russian flagship "Empress Maria" a signal was raised: "Prepare for battle and go to the Sinop raid." The squadron was removed from the anchor. By noon she entered the Sinop raid in two columns. At the head of the first was the 84-gun ship “Empress Maria” under the flag of Nakhimov, and at the head of the second - the 120-gun ship “Paris” under the flag of Novosilsky. In the wake of the "Empress Maria" went 120-gun "Grand Duke Constantine" and 80-gun "Chesma". The ship "Novosilsky" was followed by the 120-gun "Three Saints" and the 80-gun "Rostislav". The Turkish fleet stood in the bay in the ranks in the form of a crescent, repeating the outline of the coast. The left flank of this system relied on the battery number 4, and the right flank relied on the battery number 6. In the center of the battle order, the Turks installed a 8 large-caliber gun battery No. 5. From all the ships, the flagship was tensely watched, waiting for the signal to start the battle. At 12 hours on the "Empress Maria" flag hoisted, meaning noon. Admiral and in such an alarming moment before the battle decided to observe the custom of the sea. This episode, which emphasized the exceptional calmness of Nakhimov, made a strong impression on the crews of the courts.
Around 12 hours 30 minutes, when the Russian ships approached the designated places, the Turkish squadron and the coastal batteries opened heavy fire. In the first minutes the Russian ships were literally bombarded with a hail of nuclei, knissels and grapeshot. However, the Ottoman gunners, as in the battle of Navarin in 1827, repeated the same mistake: instead of concentrating the fire on the hulls, they again beat on the spars and sails. With a fair and fairly strong wind, this fire often did not reach the goal. In addition, Nakhimov had foreseen that the enemy would not hit on the decks, but on the spars. This technique was used by the Turks in the calculation to disable as many Russian sailors as possible when they set sail before anchoring. But Russian sailors, thanks to the orders of the Russian admiral, were downstairs. Nakhimov decided to anchor, not fixing the sails, thereby saving the lives and health of many sailors, retained the combat capability of the Russian ships at a critical moment of the battle.
Having anchored, the Russian ships engaged almost all along the line. The Turks immediately felt the power and accuracy of the fire of the Russian ships. Half an hour later, the flagship frigate Avni Allah, unable to withstand the fire of the Empress Mary, broke off the anchor chain and ran aground. Several Turkish ships and coastal batteries brought the power of their guns to Nakhimov's ship: they killed most of the spars and standing rigging, only one full guy was left at the mainmast. But the Russians continued to fight. Having settled with the Turkish flagship, Nakhimov transferred fire to another frigate - "Fazli-Allah". Unable to bear the fire, and on this frigate the Turks riveted the anchor chain. The current and the wind quickly carried the frigate to the shore, and soon the Fazli-Allah was already burning.
The sailors of the battleship "Paris" under the command of the captain 1 of the rank of V.I. Istomin fought heroically. They defeated three enemy ships. Delighted with this success, Nakhimov ordered to send a signal of gratitude to the gallant crew. But on the "Empress Maria" all signal halyards were killed. Then the boat was sent to "Paris". Having destroyed four frigates and one corvette, the "Empress Maria" and "Paris" transferred fire to the most powerful battery number 5. After a few minutes from the battery there were piles of debris. The maid fled in panic.
I. K. Aivazovsky. "Sinop fight"
No less bravely fought and the crews of other Russian ships. “Grand Duke Constantine” stood up against two 60-gun frigates “Navek-Bahri” and “Nesimi-Zefer” and 24-cannon corvette “Nedzhmi-Feshan”. These ships were covered by the battery battery number 4. Initially, the full power of 68-pound bombardment "Constantine" brought down on the frigates. The Chesma that soon came up, despite shots from the battery number 3, sent its guns to the frigate Navek-Bahri. Twenty minutes later, the Turkish frigate blew up. The fragments of the frigate poured the battery number 4. Having finished with one frigate, “Konstantin”, turning to the spring, began to shoot “Nesimi-Zefer” and “Nedzhmi-Feshan”, and “Chesma” turned its guns against batteries No. 3 and 4 and soon razed them to the ground. Meanwhile, "Constantine" dealt with the frigate and the corvette. Enveloped in flames, both enemy ships were thrown onto the shore.
No less fierce was the battle on the left flank. On the ship "Three Saints" at the very beginning of the battle the Turks interrupted the spring. The remaining ship at one anchor turned stern to the battery number 6. The Turks, however, managed to produce only a few volleys. To the rescue of the "Three Saints" approached "Rostislav", who transferred the fire to the battery. Meanwhile, with the help of the barge, the position of the ship was restored. Together, the Rostislav and the Three Hierarchs first destroyed the frigate Qaidi Zefer and the corvette Feyze-Meabur, and then the battery No. 6. In an exchange of fire, the enemy core landed directly in the Rostislav battery: a powder box caught fire, the fire began to spread towards the side of the camera. “Rostislav” was in danger: he could fly into the air. But the brave midshipman Nikolai Kolokoltsev saved his ship from destruction. He received the rank of lieutenant and the Order of St. George 4 degree. In the same year, he was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 4 degree, and for participation in the defense of Sevastopol - with golden weapons.
The close range of shooting, excellent artillery preparation, the courage and heroism of the squadron sailors quickly decided the outcome of the battle. Under their fire, Turkish ships were stranded, burned and flew into the air. By 16 hours the battle was over. 15 Turkish ships and shore batteries were destroyed. Only one “Taif” steamer escaped, on which the Englishman A. Slade, the chief adviser to the Turkish admiral, was stationed. Having rushed to their heels at the most critical moment, he brought to Constantinople the news of the complete defeat of the Turkish squadron.
Sinop battle. Artist A.P. Bogolyubov
I. K. Aivazovsky. Sinop. The night after the fight 18 November 1853 of the year
In the Battle of Sinop, the Turks lost thousands of people killed and drowned 3. Several hundred sailors and officers were taken prisoner, including the commander of the Osman Pasha squadron. The Russian fleet has not lost a single ship. Personnel losses were: killed - 38 people and wounded - 233.
The Battle of Sinop was the last major battle of sailing ships. The actions of the Russian squadron were an outstanding example of active offensive tactics. Nakhimov at the very beginning of the battle seized the initiative and held it until the last moment. Ship artillery was effectively used. An elaborate artillery attack plan was developed by Nakhimov with the maximum use of bombing weapons, which played an important role in defeating the enemy. The decisive force that determined the defeat of the Turkish fleet in the Battle of Sinop were Russian sailors and officers, their excellent training, high morale and self-control.
The Sinope victory of the Russian fleet was of great political and military importance. The defeat of the Turkish squadron in Sinop significantly weakened the naval forces of Turkey and thwarted its plans for landing troops on the coast of the Caucasus. After the battle, the Russian fleet was able to contribute to the maritime flanks of the ground forces in the Danube and Caucasian theaters. Turkish troops on the Danube and the Caucasus were deprived of the support of their fleet.
Sinop defeat meant the failure of the traditional English policy of warfare by proxy. The mask was torn from the true organizers of the Eastern War. Turkey suffered a decisive defeat at the very beginning of the war. To save her from collapse, England and France entered into open war. 23 December 1853 English and French squadrons entered the Black Sea. 15 March 1854 England and France declared war on Russia. The forerunner of world war began, where Russia was the main enemy of the collective West.
Return of the Russian squadron to Sevastopol after the Sinop battle. Artist N.P. Krasovsky