Military Review

Shipyard named after 61 communard. The decline of shipbuilding after the Crimean War

The Paris Peace Treaty signed by 30 March 1856 completed the Crimean War. The Allies paid dearly for the ruins of Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet resting on the bottom of its bay. However, even a very long list of figures taken from the enemy is a poor consolation if the game is lost. The territorial losses of Russia were small, if not to say insignificant. But she was deprived of the right to have a fleet in the Black Sea basin - the offspring of Prince Potemkin, nurtured and tempered by Ushakov, Greig and Lazarev, was crossed out with a stroke of the pen of the high contracting parties. The era of classic sailing shipbuilding is over. Difficult and bleak times have come for Sevastopol and Nikolayev.

Shipyard named after 61 communard. The decline of shipbuilding after the Crimean War

Corvette "Memory of Mercury" and the yacht "Tiger". Artist A.P. Alekseev (from the album "Russian Imperial Yachts. Late XVII - early XX century", 1997)

Mission Admiral Butakova

Paragraphs of the agreement allowed Russia to have only a few small ships to protect the border and fight smuggling. Extensive shipbuilding capacities of the Nikolaev Admiralty, which were so lacking earlier, were now redundant for the meager detachment of ships performing border functions. Nikolaev nevertheless stood by the not swallowed bone in the mouth of the British lion, and at the Paris conference, representatives of Albion initially sought to demolish it.

The signing of the Paris Peace Treaty. Painting by Louis Edouard Dubuf, 1856

It is obvious that the British sought to destroy the Black Sea as the most Russian fleet, and its shipbuilding base. Fortunately, these ambitious plans were neutralized not only by the efforts of domestic diplomacy, but also by the allies' unambiguous allusions to excessive London appetite. And yet, the Nikolaev Admiralty was waiting for a significant reduction.

At the time of spring 1856, it was a large-scale structure in the south of Russia with a developed system of workshops, warehouses and auxiliary enterprises. The Paris Peace Treaty found two 135-gun ship-of-the-line battleships in the sheds - the Bosphorus (soon renamed the Sinop) and the Tsarevich. In addition, the building was the steamer "Tigr", screw corvette "Warrior", screw salhoy "Salgir" and "Don".

In the bustle of the last months of the war and the preparation of Nikolayev for a possible defense against the attack of the allies, everyone somehow forgot about Mr. Rafalovich and his private shipyard. However, Alexander Shlemovich and his numerous relatives were not among those who would humbly wait for their attention.

First, the owner of the private shipyard, Mr. Rafalovich, considered himself the victim: in the fall of 1855, the Allied ships entered the Dnieper estuary and destroyed two large rafts with oak and pine forests, intended for the construction of the Tsesarevich battleship and the Tiger steam ship.

Secondly, Mr. Rafalovich considered himself to be a doubly injured person: at the end of 1855, it was already officially announced that the contracts for the construction of his shipyard of two screw battleships were canceled. Alexander Shlemovich, in search of justice, appealed to the emperor with a request to compensate for the losses that the shipyard owner estimated at a modest sum of 120 thousand rubles in silver. In addition, losses in the amount of 12 thousand rubles spent by Mr. Rafalovich on the modernization of his two sheds, in which it was supposed to build these battleships, were indicated.

Given the difficult circumstances in which the state ended up after an unsuccessful war, Rafalovich, instead of money, asked for permission to issue a contract for the construction of several transport ships. In the summer of 1856 of the year, the highest permission was granted to grant the merchant the right to build the hawk corvettes Hawk, Falcon and Krechet allowed for service on the Black Sea and two steamboats.

We must pay tribute to Alexander Shlemovich: he was just as reverent about his reputation as he was about his own financial well-being. During the Crimean War, when, as a result of the next recruitment, a large number of artisans and workers were withdrawn from his shipyard, he was forced to ask not to apply fines and other similar measures, since the construction of the screw ship of the Tsarevich was far behind schedule. For the second time, Rafalovich was busy on a similar issue after the capture of the rafts with the construction forest that he had already mentioned. This loss greatly influenced the pace and timing of the construction of the Tiger Steamer. The authorities entered the position and did not impose any sanctions against Rafalovich.

Meanwhile, as they used to say in the times of ancient Rome, "treaties must be respected." And Russia had to follow the letter of the Paris agreement. The Nikolaev Admiralty was closed. For all involved, it was not easy to understand and accept. For almost seventy years, the Ingul shipyard built ships for the Black Sea Fleet. The ships were completed and left, and new ones were laid on the newly-opened sheds. One after another, year after year, decade after decade.

There were breaks, there were crises and delays. But never the shipbuilding process was interrupted so mercilessly. The difficult mission to ensure the completion of the existence of the Nikolaev Admiralty had to be performed by the retinue of His Imperial Majesty, Rear Admiral Grigory Ivanovich Butakov.

Grigory Butakov. From the album “Portraits of Persons Distinguished by Merit and Commanding Acting Units in the 1853 – 1856 War” in five volumes. T. 1. SPb., 1858 – 1861

Butakov was without a doubt an outstanding personality. A graduate of the cadet corps, he served in the Black Sea since 1838. For a long time he was engaged in hydrographic works and, together with Ivan Alekseevich Shestakov, was the author and compiler of the “Lion of the Black Sea”. At the beginning of the Crimean War, being the commander of the steamer “Vladimir”, successfully conducted the first stories the battle of ships, capturing the enemy ship Pervaz-Bahri. Later he began to command a detachment of steam-frigates and repeatedly distinguished himself in the defense of Sevastopol. He also led their flooding while leaving the southern side of Sevastopol.

At the end of the war, Butakov was assigned to Nikolaev as a military governor and head of the naval unit. Grigory Ivanovich literally collapsed a whole waterfall of cases, most of which were urgent and demanded prompt execution. First, it was necessary to understand the shipbuilding legacy - in Nikolaev a number of ships were in varying degrees of readiness. Secondly, thousands of people worked and served in the admiralty, whose fate and further presence in the city, deprived of its main profile, was foggy.

Descent of the battleship "Tsesarevich"

Sinop (formerly Bosphorus) and Tsesarevich were slowly completed, and in September and October 1857 were launched. They did not receive the steam engines provided for by the project and in the 1859 year they left for the Baltic under sail. The chief builder of Sinop, Colonel-Engineer Stepan Ivanovich Chernyavsky, still in 1855, went to the Baltic to oversee the construction of the screw ship “Emperor Nicholas I”, since he was one of the few in Russia who had an idea how to build such ships.

Work on the Sinop under construction in Nikolaev (then called “Bosphorus”) was headed by another honored Russian shipbuilder, Colonel Alexey Akimov. In his track record were more than forty ships.

Among them, for example, was the admiral yacht Oreanda built according to his drawings in 1838, in Nikolaev. In 1848 – 1849 "Oreanda" made a successful voyage around Europe and arrived in St. Petersburg. In the capital, a guest from the Black Sea took part in the race of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and won, having received the imperial prize.

Frigate "Flora". Painting by A.P. Bogolyubov, 1857

In 1837, Akimov in Nikolaev began building the 44-gun frigate Flora, which distinguished itself during the Crimean War. Flora successfully withstood three Turkish steamers, forcing the enemy to retreat. In 1856, Akimov was awarded the Order of St. George IV degree. In the years following the Crimean War, Aleksey Semenovich Akimov was engaged in the construction of corvettes - to replace those who came from Kronstadt and Arkhangelsk.

Laid in August 1854 of the year, the screw corvette "Warrior" with a displacement of 1800 tons did not fit into the terms of the Paris Peace Treaty. To save the ship, after launching in 1857, it was reclassified into unarmed vehicles.

It is noteworthy that shortly before the start of the war, two 20-gun ships were ordered for the Black Sea Fleet in England. One of them was to be called "Vityaz", and the other - "Warrior". However, this, the first, "Warrior" was not destined to walk under the flag of St. Andrew. After the severance of diplomatic relations with London, the Russian government, rightly fearing the requisition, sold both ships to the Hamburg merchant house.

As already mentioned, the private shipyard of Rafalovich, among other things, was occupied with the construction of the Tiger Steam Frigate with a displacement of 1900 tons. The 400 horsepower machine was dismantled from the British steamer "Tiger", which landed on the stones near Odessa. The signing of the world caught the "Tiger" on the stocks, and its future was uncertain. However, a way out was found. On the “Tigre” launched in the autumn of 1858, the gun ports were sealed up and no artillery was installed, except for four small-caliber gun salutes. By the highest order, the ship has now become an imperial yacht intended for sailing in the Black Sea basin.

Another important issue that Grigory Ivanovich Butakov was to solve was personnel. After all, if the previous commanders were concerned about finding a suitable human resource for the needs of the admiralty, then in the case of Butakov, the problem was where to put this resource. Trained personnel craftsmen were very valuable workers to lose them. The distribution of the staff of the Nikolaev Admiralty to other shipyards began.

In winter, 1855 – 1856. The personnel of crews No. 17 and No. 18 in the number of 200 non-commissioned officers and 2200 artisans were transferred to Astrakhan. However, in Nikolaev there were still other working crews, military workers and port companies with a total of 500 non-commissioned officers and 4400 privates. In addition, there were about a thousand Admiralty villagers who were busy working at the shipyard.

While the construction of the remaining ships in Nikolaev was underway, these qualified personnel were in demand, but by 1858, the bulk of the construction work in the former admiralty was completed. Keeping such a large number of people has become burdensome. In the spring of 1858, it was decided that among all the working crews in the city to form one non-commissioned officers and 50 workmen as part of 1000. From four mouths of crew one had to be in Sevastopol, and three – in Nikolaev. The rest of the staff had to be sent on indefinite leave.

The reduction was carried out in stages and systematically. So, for example, in 1857, the arrest companies were abolished. All the work that they carried out, now had to be carried out by workers or flippers, and for an additional fee. For the black work, which previously attracted prisoners, it was necessary to contract the civilian workers on piecework.

Flotilla instead of fleet. Corvettes

According to the articles of the Paris Peace Treaty, Russia was allowed to have in the Black Sea basin a flotilla of six corvettes of limited displacement to protect borders and combat smuggling. However, the problem turned out to be that at the time of the end of the war there were no such ships on the Black Sea. Virtually the entire fleet rested at the bottom of the Sevastopol Bay, and the few who remained in the ranks or were in construction, did not fit the tactical and technical characteristics.

It was necessary for lack of time and opportunity to use the resource of the Baltic and Arkhangelsk shipyards. Corvettes for the Black Sea were required in the shortest possible time, since, having lost the naval forces in this region, Russia was completely defenseless.

By the beginning of the Crimean War, the domestic shipbuilding significantly lagged behind the western shipbuilding in relation to the construction of steam warships, especially with a screw engine. As happened before, the situation was moved by the painfully pecking “roasted rooster”, which appeared to the shores of the empire in the form of an allied fleet. To protect the ports and naval bases, they began to build screw gunboats with assault methods, the first of which was the launch of the Baltic Fleet Sterlet in 1854 in September.

In a fairly short time, several dozen helical gunboats were built, whose design turned out to be quite successful. In the process of building these small ships, suddenly it turned out that the capabilities of the domestic industry were clearly underestimated, and constant purchases of ships and engines to them in the West were often only a way to improve the financial situation of the future enemy. Although the quality of English-built steamers was much better, the practice of regular purchases from foreigners adversely affected the domestic industry, depriving it of opportunities to gain experience.

A successful experience with gunboats prompted the leadership of the maritime department to proceed with the serial construction of larger screw ships. In the autumn of 1855, a series of twenty spiral corvettes for cruising service was laid in Petersburg and Arkhangelsk. Of these, fourteen were laid at the Okhta shipyard, and six - in Arkhangelsk. Such well-known personalities as the captain of the 2 rank Ivan Alekseevich Shestakov and the captain-lieutenant Andrei Alexandrovich Popov took part in the work on the corvettes.

Wartime ships, corvettes were built hastily from raw forest. However, it is noteworthy that all steam engines and other equipment were manufactured by St. Petersburg factories. By the summer of 1856, most of the corvettes were ready to be launched, but the war had ended by that time. From among these ships, it was decided to select six units for service in the Black Sea. In December 1856 of the year, four naval crews departed from Nikolaev on foot to Petersburg and Arkhangelsk, the personnel of which were intended to staff six corvettes destined for the Black Sea.

Screw corvette "Lynx". Model stored in the Central Naval Museum of St. Petersburg. Photo by Dmitry Kazakov

Then it was planned to replace them with the same number in Nikolaev - the very modest shipbuilding capacities that remained there should have been enough for a similar task. In June 1857, a detachment of corvettes that had already been commissioned — Boa, Lynx, and Bison — under the overall command of captain 1 rank Likhachev left Kronstadt and set off around Europe to the Black Sea. In September of the same year, the detachment arrived in Sevastopol.

The second detachment, consisting of the corvettes "Wolf", "Buffalo" and "Vepr", commanded by captain 1-rank Wink, left in September 1857 from Arkhangelsk and in April 1858 came to Odessa. These were typical, relatively small ships with a displacement of 885 tons, armed with nine guns. The 200 steam engine with nominal horsepower was developed on the basis of similar mechanisms purchased in England before the war. She allowed to develop full speed in 9 nodes under pairs. All six corvettes were in service until the 1869 year, when they were written off.

At the end of 1850's in Nikolaev, construction of their own corvettes was begun, which were to be put into operation without haste and built thoroughly. In order to somehow cover the borders and protect them from a possible threat from the Turkish fleet, they had to improvise, turn around and look for loopholes in narrow paragraphs of the Paris Peace Treaty.

In 1856, the Grand Duke Constantine turned to Emperor Alexander II with a proposal to create a joint-stock shipping company, whose vessels could be converted into military ships in a short time. The idea seemed to many not senseless, and the head of the naval unit and the military governor of Nikolaev, Grigory Ivanovich Butakov, had even more worries and work.

To be continued ...
Articles from this series:
Shipyard named after 61 communard. Shipyard during the Crimean War
Shipyard named after 61 communard. Lazarev school

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  1. Albatroz
    Albatroz 24 December 2018 08: 55
    The key powers of Europe, together with their minions, could not conquer a city from us for one year - and this is a difficult failure for us. Well, yes, a failure for a great empire. With shipbuilding a little bit behind, but this is temporary - more than make up for. And Butakov is handsome.
    An interesting article, the beginning of the cycle. I look forward to continuing
    1. BAI
      BAI 24 December 2018 10: 19
      With shipbuilding a little bit behind, but this is temporary - more than make up for.

      I don’t think so. Almost all screw (non-sailing) ships of the Russian fleet were weaker than their Western counterparts of the same year of construction, until the end of the Republic of Ingushetia. Mb the exception is the destroyer Novik.
      1. heavy division
        heavy division 24 December 2018 10: 23
        I don’t want to argue
        But Albatrose is right
        It depends on what to measure. We had a great fleet, balanced.
        And at the very beginning of the 20th century - even the ocean.
        Respect hi
        1. vladcub
          vladcub 24 December 2018 15: 24
          Division and BAI, maybe you are both right, or maybe not. Give addresses this question to Andrey from Chelyabinsk.
    2. Antares
      Antares 24 December 2018 11: 17
      Quote: Albatroz
      The key powers of Europe, together with their minions, could not conquer one Crimean city from us for a year - and this is a difficult failure for us.

      Part of Sevastopol was taken (South, where the defense was hastily built, Northern part-fortified)
      Despite the fact that the assault was repelled everywhere except the Malakhov Hill (a key point of defense), Khrulev did not have enough money, and the French stubbornly resisted to knock them out there.
      Even in the Russian wiki ... it is written
      Bottom line Allied victory.

      The city was lit up, powder cellars were blown up, warships in the bay were flooded. The allies did not dare to pursue the Russian troops, considering the city to be mined, and only on August 30 (September 11) entered the ruins of Sevastopol.
      As for the "not taken Crimean - even from memory from the book Sevastopol Passion - remember that Kerch, Balaklava, Evpatoria and others. Were taken.
      The clause of the Paris Treaty reads
      Russia returned the city of Kars with a fortress to the Ottomans, receiving in exchange Sevastopol, Balaklava and other Crimean cities seized from it.
      where "could not get" here ...
      Our ancestors defended the almost unprotected city from the south for a long time. They brilliantly defended themselves from the advanced countries of Europe. As did the whole south, but there were defeats and victories .. But in general, defeat. Although Orlov managed to sign some points of the PM in our favor.
      1. Albatroz
        Albatroz 24 December 2018 11: 35
        I know this, and therefore wrote:
        The key powers of Europe, together with their minions, could not conquer one city of Koyma from us for a year
        1. Antares
          Antares 24 December 2018 15: 57
          Quote: Albatroz
          The key powers of Europe, together with their minions, could not conquer one city of Koyma from us for a year

          what they besieged, they took in Sevastopol. The goals achieved — the fleet was destroyed.
          The north side and the safe withdrawal of parts along the bridge are our success. But formally the city was taken.
      2. vladcub
        vladcub 24 December 2018 15: 51
        If we ignore the idiology, then Russia is quite successful in resisting the coalition: England, France, Turkey and Sardinia, but the latter were there for the show: "we plowed." And during the Paris Conference, Russian diplomats coped quite successfully
  2. Plombirator
    24 December 2018 11: 25
    Quote: Albatroz
    An interesting article, the beginning of the cycle.

    This is a proverb, not a fairy tale - a fairy tale will be ahead. Just a saying at the plant named after the Communard 61 - more than a hundred years. Therefore, the background is so long.
  3. vladcub
    vladcub 24 December 2018 16: 15
    Butakov and the leadership of the Ministry of the Sea (he wouldn’t have been able to do anything) acted as master: retained valuable personnel of shipbuilders and complied with the articles of the Paris Treaty.
    “The capabilities of the domestic industry were clearly underestimated,” which reminds me of the current situation when, due to the sanctions, they remembered about domestic producers. I do not know how then, but now domestic manufacturers are literally catching up with the West with leaps and bounds. I think it was almost the same
  4. vladcub
    vladcub 24 December 2018 16: 27
    Alexander Shlemovich Rafalovich showed himself to be a flexible and intelligent entrepreneur: he did not bang his fist and list: "two cigarette cases, two movie cameras" and so on. Drive a coin. He correctly estimated that RI still needs a fleet, which means it is better to wait, but have a reliable profit.
  5. Black joe
    Black joe 24 December 2018 18: 52
    Article plus
    I'm reading, interested
  6. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 25 December 2018 00: 04
    Good article, I look forward to continuing. And vessels for Aral and Syr-Daria Butakov also ordered in Nikolaev?
    1. Plombirator
      25 December 2018 19: 57
      The Aral military flotilla was commanded by Captain Alexei Ivanovich Butakov - the brother of our hero, Grigory Ivanovich Butakova. In general, the sea dynasty of Butakovs is a separate topic.
      And the ships of the Aral Flotilla ordered abroad: the Perovsky steamboat and the Obruchev wheeled steamboat - in Sweden; the steamers Aral and Syr Darya - in England, in Liverpool. The ship "Samarkand" was ordered in Belgium. And only "Tashkent" was built at the Votkinsk plant.
      So Alexey Ivanovich Butakov traveled to 1850 in Sweden, and in 1860 in England, where he was sent to order steamboats.
      “Perovsky” and “Obruchev” were delivered unassembled to the Raimsky fortification, where they were assembled and launched. “Aral” and “Syrdarya” were launched in Kazalinsk.
      1. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 25 December 2018 20: 49
        Thanks for the detailed answer. I thought that Butakov was alone.