September 11 marks the next Day of Russia's military glory - Victory Day of the Russian squadron under Rear Admiral Fedor Fedorovich Ushakov over the Ottoman fleet at Cape Tendra. This Day of Military Glory was established by Federal Law No. 32-FZ of March 13, 1995 on the Days of Military Glory and Memorable Dates of Russia.
During the Russian-Turkish war 1768-1774. The Crimean Peninsula was annexed to Russia. Russia begins the creation of the Black Sea Fleet and the corresponding coastal infrastructure. The port was eager for revenge; besides this, the British and French, fearing that Russia would consolidate in the Black Sea region and enter the Mediterranean, were pushing the Turkish government toward a new war with the Russians. In August, Istanbul presented an ultimatum to Russia demanding the return of the Crimea and revision of all previously concluded agreements. These brazen demands were rejected. In early September, the Turkish authorities arrested the Russian ambassador Y. I. Bulgakov without an official declaration of war, and the Turkish fleet under the command of the Crocodile of Sea Battles, Gassan Pasha, left the Bosphorus in the direction of the Dnieper-Bug estuary. A new Russian-Turkish war has begun.
By the beginning of the war, the Russian fleet was significantly weaker than the Turkish. Naval bases and the shipbuilding industry were in the process of being built. The vast territories of the Black Sea coast were at that time one of the distant outskirts of the empire, which had only just begun to be developed. It was not possible to replenish the Black Sea Fleet at the expense of the ships of the Baltic Fleet, the Turkish government refused to let the squadron through the straits from the Mediterranean into the Black Sea. The Russian fleet was much inferior in the number of ships: by the beginning of the hostilities, the Black Sea fleet had four battleships, and the Turkish military command around 20, in terms of the number of corvettes, brigs, transports, the Turks had about 3-4 times superiority. The Russian battleships were inferior in qualitative terms: in speed, artillery weapons. In addition, the Russian fleet was divided into two parts. The core of the fleet, mainly large sailing ships, was based in Sevastopol, rowing ships and a small part of the sailing fleet was located in the Dnieper-Bug estuary (Liman flotilla). The main task of the fleet was to protect the Black Sea coast in order to prevent the invasion of enemy troops.
The Russian fleet, despite its weakness, successfully resisted the Turkish Navy. In 1787-1788 The Liman flotilla successfully repulsed all enemy attacks, the Turkish command lost many ships. 14 July 1788, the Sevastopol squadron under the command of the battleship "Pavel" Ushakov, the formal squadron leader, rear admiral M.I. Voinovich was indecisive and withdrew from combat, defeated considerably superior enemy forces (the Turks had 15 battleships and 8 frigates , against 2 Russian battleships, 10 frigates). It was the first baptism of the Sevastopol squadron - the main combat core of the Black Sea Fleet.
In March 1790, Ushakov was appointed commander of the Black Sea Fleet. He had to spend a lot of work to improve the combat readiness of the fleet. Much attention was paid to the training of personnel. The naval commander in any weather brought the ships into the sea and conducted sailing, artillery, boarding and other exercises. Ushakov made a bet on the tactics of maneuvering combat and the training of his commanders and sailors. He gave a big role to the "useful occasion" when the hesitation of the enemy, his hesitations and mistakes, allowed the more proactive and strong-willed commander to win. This made it possible to compensate for the higher numbers of the enemy fleet and the better quality of the enemy ships.
The Turkish fleet after the battle at Fidonisi for about two years did not undertake active operations in the Black Sea. In the Ottoman Empire built new ships, waged an active diplomatic struggle against Russia. During this period there was a difficult situation in the Baltic. The Swedish government considered that the situation was very beneficial for the start of the war with Russia, in order to return the maritime regions lost during the Russian-Swedish wars. England took an inflammatory position, pushing the Swedes to attack. The government of Gustav III presented St. Petersburg with an ultimatum demanding the transfer of part of Karelia with Kexholm to Sweden, the disarmament of the Baltic Fleet, the transfer of Crimea to the Turks and the adoption of "mediation" in the Russian-Turkish conflict.
At this time, the Baltic Fleet was actively preparing to march into the Mediterranean Sea, for action against the Turks. The Mediterranean squadron was already in Copenhagen, when it had to be urgently returned to Kronstadt. The Russian Empire had to wage war on two fronts - in the south and north-west. For two years, there was a Russian-Swedish war (1788-1790). The Russian armed forces with honor came out of this war, the Swedes were forced to sign the Verelsky peace treaty. The end of this war has improved the strategic position of Russia, but this conflict has greatly depleted the military and economic resources of the empire, which affected the course of hostilities with Turkey.
The Turkish command planned to land in the 1790 year on the Caucasian coast of the Black Sea, in the Crimea and seize the peninsula. The commander of the Turkish fleet was appointed Admiral Hussein Pasha. The threat to the Crimean peninsula was very significant, there were few Russian troops here. The Turkish troops landed on ships in Sinop, Samsun and other ports could be transferred and landed in the Crimea in less than two days.
Ushakov conducted a reconnaissance march along the Turkish coast: Russian ships crossed the sea, went to Sinop, and from it went along the Turkish coast to Samsun, then to Anapa and returned to Sevastopol. Russian sailors captured more than a dozen enemy ships and learned about the preparation of the Turkish fleet with airborne forces in Constantinople. Ushakov again brought his forces to sea and July 8 (July 19) 1790 broke the Turkish squadron near the Kerch Strait. Admiral Hussein Pasha had a slight superiority in strength, but was unable to use it, Turkish sailors flinch under the Russian attack and fled (the best running performance of Turkish ships allowed them to escape). This battle disrupted the landing of an enemy assault force in the Crimea, showed the excellent skills of the crews of Russian ships and the high naval skills of Fyodor Ushakov.
After this battle, the Turkish fleet hid on its bases, where intensive work began on the restoration of damaged ships. The Turkish admiral concealed the fact of defeat from the Sultan, declared victory (sinking of several Russian ships) and began to prepare for a new operation. To support Hussein, the sultan sent an experienced junior flagship - Seyid-bey.
Battle at Cape Tendra 28-29 August (8-9 September) 1790
On the morning of August 21, the main part of the Turkish fleet was concentrated between Haji Bey (Odessa) and Cape Tendra. Under the command of Hussein Pasha there was considerable power of the 45 ships: the 14 battleships, the 8 frigates and the 23 auxiliary ships, with the 1400 guns. At this time, Russian troops launched an offensive in the area of the Danube, and the rowing fleet was supposed to support them. However, due to the presence of the enemy fleet, the Liman flotilla could not support ground forces.
25 August Ushakov put his squadron into the sea, it was composed of: 10 battleships, 6 frigates, 1 bomber ship and 16 auxiliary ships, with 836 guns. In the morning of August 28, the Russian fleet appeared at the Tendrovsky Spit. The Russians found the enemy, and the admiral gave the order to go for rapprochement. For the Turkish Kapudan-Pasha, the appearance of the Russian ships was a complete surprise, he believed that the Russian fleet had not yet recovered from the battle of Kerch and was stationed in Sevastopol. Seeing the Russian fleet, the Turks rushed hastily to chop off the anchor, set sail and in disorder moved to the mouth of the Danube.
Russian ships began pursuing a departing enemy. The Turkish avant-garde, led by the flagship Hussein Pasha, took advantage of the progress and took the lead. Fearing that the lagging ships would be overtaken by Ushakov and pressed to the shore, the Turkish admiral was forced to make a turn. At a time when the Turks were rebuilding their orders, the Russian squadron on the signal of Ushakov lined up from three columns into a battle line. Three frigates - "John the Warrior", "Jerome" and "Pokrov of the Virgin", were left in reserve and stationed at the vanguard, which would, if necessary, stop the attacking actions of the advanced enemy ships. At three o'clock both squadrons went parallel to each other. Ushakov ordered to reduce the distance and open fire on the enemy.
Ushakov, using his favorite tactic - to concentrate fire on the enemy’s flagship (his defeat caused the demoralization of Turkish sailors), ordered to strike the Turkish avant-garde, where the Turkish flagship ships Hussein Pasha and Seyid-bey (Seit-bey) were located. The fire of the Russian ships forced the forward part of the enemy fleet to turn through the forwind (turn the ships with its head to the wind) and retreat to the Danube. Russian squadron drove the Turks and led a constant fire. By 17 hours the entire line of the Turkish squadron was finally broken. The pursuit lasted for several hours, only the coming of dark saved the Turks from complete defeat. Turkish ships went without lights and constantly changed courses to confuse the Russian squadron. However, this time the Turks did not escape (as was the case during the Kerch battle).
At dawn the next day, the Turkish fleet was found on Russian ships, which was "scattered all in different places." The Turkish command, seeing that the Russian squadron is located nearby, gave a signal to join and depart. The Turks headed for the southeast, that heavily damaged ships slowed the squadron's speed and fell behind. One of the Turkish flagships 80-gun ship "Captain" closed the Turkish system.
At 10 in the morning the Russian ship “Andrey” was the first to catch up with the enemy and opened fire on him. Behind him came the battleships "George" and "The Transfiguration". They surrounded the enemy flagship and replacing each other made a volley after volley on it. Turks offered stubborn resistance. At this time, came the Russian flagship "Christmas". He got up from the Turks at a distance of 60 meters and shot the enemy ships at the closest distance. The Turks could not stand it and "asked for mercy and their salvation." Seyid Pasha, captain of the ship Mehmet Darsey and 17 staff officers, was taken prisoner. The ship could not be saved, because of the fire on board he soon flew into the air.
At this time, other Russian ships overtook the enemy 66-gunship “Meleki-Bagari”, blocked it and forced to capitulate. Then several more ships were captured. In total, more than 700 Turks were captured. According to Turkish reports, the fleet lost thousands of people killed and wounded to 5,5. The remaining Turkish ships in disorder retreated to the Bosphorus. On the way to the Bosphorus, another ship of the line and several small ships sank. About the military skills of the Russian squadron say its loss: 46 people killed and wounded.
In Sevastopol squadron Fyodor Ushakov was arranged a solemn meeting. The Russian Black Sea Fleet won a decisive victory over the Turks and made a significant contribution to the overall victory. The northwestern part of the Black Sea was cleared of the enemy's navy, and this opened access to the sea for the ships of the Liman flotilla. With the assistance of the ships of the Liman flotilla, the Russian troops took the fortresses of Kiliya, Tulcha, Isacchi and then Ishmael. Ushakov inscribed one of its brilliant pages into the Russian marine chronicle. The maneuver tactic of the sea battle of Ushakov fully justified itself, the Turkish fleet ceased to dominate the Black Sea.