At the end of the nineteenth century, the Russian navy grew and was replenished with new ships. According to the classification of that time, there was such a subclass of cruisers - armored, that is, having an armored deck to protect the vital parts of the ship from the mounted fire of enemy artillery. Airborne armor cruisers were not carried and were not intended for a duel with armadillos. It was to such a type of warships that the 23 of May 1897 of the year in St. Petersburg (in the New Admiralty) belonged to the Aurora cruiser, of the same type with the previously laid Pallada and Diana.
In the Russian navy there was (and is) a tradition of continuity of ship names, and the new cruisers inherited the names of sailing frigates. The construction of the ship took more than six years - the Aurora was launched on May 11, 1900 at 11 a.m., and the cruiser entered the fleet (after completion of all construction work) only on July 15, 16.
Somehow unique in their fighting qualities, this ship was by no means. Neither the frisky speed (total 19 nodes - squadron battleships of that time developed the speed of 18 nodes), nor armament (8 152-mm guns of the main caliber - far from amazing firepower) could not boast. Ships of another armored cruisers of the Russian fleet of the type (“Bogatyr”) then adopted were much faster and one and a half times stronger. And the attitude of officers and crews to these "goddesses of domestic production" was not too warm - the Diana-type cruisers had a lot of flaws and constantly arising technical problems.
Nevertheless, its intended purpose — reconnaissance, destruction of enemy's merchant ships, cover of battleships from the attacks of enemy destroyers, patrol service — these cruisers fully corresponded, possessing a substantial displacement (about seven thousand tons) and, as a result, good seaworthiness and autonomy . With a full supply of coal (1430 tons), the Aurora could, without additional bunkering, walk from Port Arthur to Vladivostok and return.
All three cruisers were destined for the Pacific Ocean, where a military conflict with Japan was brewing, and the first two of them were already in the Far East by the time Aurora entered operational ships. The third sister also hurried to relatives, and on September 25 of 1903 (just a week after the staffing ended on September 18) of Aurora with a crew of 559 a man under the command of 1 rank captain I. Sukhotina left Kronstadt.
In the Mediterranean, the Aurora joined the detachment of Rear Admiral A. A. Virenius, consisting of the Oslyabya squadron, the Dmitry Donskoy cruiser and several destroyers and auxiliary vessels. However, the detachment was late to the Far East - on the Russian ships in the African port of Djibouti they learned about the night attack of the Japanese on the port-arthur squadron and about the beginning of the war. It was deemed too risky to follow further, since the Japanese fleet blocked Port Arthur, and there was a high probability of meeting with superior enemy forces on the approach to it. A proposal was made to send a detachment of Vladivostok cruisers to the Singapore area towards Virenius and go along with them to Vladivostok, and not to Port Arthur, but this quite reasonable proposal was not accepted.
April 5 The Aurora returned to Kronstadt, where it was incorporated into the 1904 Pacific squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral Rozhestvensky, who was preparing to march on the Far Eastern theater of operations. Here, six of the eight main-caliber guns on it were covered with armor shields - the experience of the Arthur squadron battles showed that the fragments of high-explosive Japanese shells literally mow down unprotected personnel. In addition, the commander changed on the cruiser - the captain of the 2 rank E. E. Egoriev. October 1 2, in the squadron "Aurora" again hit the road - to Tsushima.
"Aurora" was in the detachment of the cruisers of Rear Admiral Enquist and in the course of the Tsushima battle faithfully carried out the order of Rozhestvensky - covered the transports. This task was clearly not on the shoulder of the four Russian cruisers, against whom eight, and then sixteen Japanese, acted first. They were saved from the heroic death only by the fact that a column of Russian battleships, who had driven away the enemy, approached them by chance.
The cruiser in battle did not distinguish itself with something special - the author of the damage inflicted on Aurora by Soviet sources, which the Japanese cruiser Izumi received, was in fact the cruiser Vladimir Monomakh. The Aurora itself received about a dozen hits, had a number of injuries and serious losses in people - up to one hundred people killed and wounded. The commander was killed - his photo is now on display in the museum of the cruiser in the frame of a steel sheeting punched by a Japanese shell and burnt boards of the deck flooring.
At night, instead of covering the wounded Russian ships from the furious mine attacks of the Japanese, the cruisers “Oleg”, “Aurora” and “Zhemchug” broke away from their main forces and headed to the Philippines, where they were interned in Manila. However, there is no reason to accuse the cruiser crew of cowardice - the responsibility for fleeing from the battlefield lay with the confused admiral Enquist. Two of these three ships subsequently died: the Pearl was sunk in 1914 by the German Emden corsair in Penang, and the Oleg in 1919 was sunk by English torpedo boats in the Gulf of Finland.
The Aurora returned to the Baltic Sea at the beginning of 1906, along with several other ships that had survived the Japanese defeat. In the 1909-1910 years, Aurora, along with Diana and Bogatyr, was part of a foreign navigation squad specifically designed for the practice of the midshipmen of the Marine Corps and the Marine Engineering School, as well as students of the martial arts non-commissioned officers.
The cruiser passed the first modernization after the Russian-Japanese war, the second, after which it took on the appearance that was preserved, in the 1915 year. Strengthened the artillery armament of the ship - the number of 152-mm guns of the main caliber was first brought to ten, and then to fourteen. Numerous 75-mm artillery was dismantled - the size and survivability of destroyers increased, and three-inch shells were no longer a serious danger to them.
The cruiser was able to take on board up to 150 mines - mine weapon widely used in the Baltic and proved its effectiveness. And in the winter 1915-1916 on the Aurora installed a novelty - anti-aircraft guns. But before the second modernization the glorious cruiser could not live ...
The First World War "Aurora" met in the second brigade of the cruisers of the Baltic Fleet (together with the "Oleg", "The Athlete" and "Diana"). The Russian command was expecting a breakthrough of the powerful German Open Sea Fleet into the Gulf of Finland and an attack on Kronstadt and even on St. Petersburg. To counter this threat, mines were quickly placed, and the Central Mine and Artillery Position was equipped. The cruisers, on the other hand, were entrusted with the task of performing patrol service at the mouth of the Gulf of Finland in order to promptly notify the appearance of the Germanic Dreadnoughts.
The cruisers went on patrol in pairs, and upon the expiration of their patrols, one pair succeeded the other. The first success of the Russian ships was already 26 of August, when the German light cruiser “Magdeburg” sat on the island on the island of Odenholm. The Pallas cruisers came to their rescue (the Aurora's elder sister died in Port Arthur, and this new Pallada was built after the Russian-Japanese war) and the Bogatyr attempted to capture the enemy's helpless ship. Although the Germans managed to blow up their cruiser, Russian divers found secret German ciphers at the scene of the accident, which during the war did a good service to both the Russians and the British.
But the Russian ships were waiting for a new danger - from October on the Baltic Sea, German submarines began to operate. The anti-submarine defense in the fleets of the whole world was then in its infancy - no one knew how and by what means an invisible enemy hiding under water could be struck and how to avoid his sudden attacks. Neither the diving shells, nor, even more so, the depth charges and sonars were even mentioned. Surface ships could only rely on the good old ram - after all, they should not take seriously the anecdotal instructions, which were supposed to cover the periscopes seen with bags and fold them with sledgehammers.
October 11 1914, at the entrance to the Gulf of Finland, a German U-26 submarine under the command of Lieutenant Commander von Berkhheim discovered two Russian cruisers: the Pallas, which is completing patrol service and replaced the Aurora. The commander of the German submarine, with German thoroughness and scrupulousness, assessed and classified the targets - in all respects the new armored cruiser was a much more tempting booty than a veteran of the Russian-Japanese war.
The flag of the cruiser I rank "Aurora" after the Tsushima battle (from the collection of N.N.Afonina)
A torpedo hit caused a detonation of the ammunition cellars on the Pallada, and the cruiser sank along with the entire crew - only a few sailors from the sailor were left on the waves ...
"Aurora" turned around and hid in skerries. And again you should not blame the Russian sailors for cowardice - as already mentioned, they still did not know how to fight submarines, and the Russian command already knew about the tragedy in the North Sea 10 days earlier, where the German submarine sank three British armored cruisers at once. "Aurora" again escaped death - fate obviously kept the cruiser.
Captain 1 rank EG Egoriev - commander of the Aurora, who died in the battle of Tsushima (from the collection of NN Afonin)
On the role of "Aurora" in the events of October 1917 in Petrograd, especially not linger - this is said more than enough. We only note that the threat to shoot the Winter Palace from cruiser guns was pure bluff. The cruiser was under repair, and therefore the entire ammunition was unloaded from it in full accordance with the instructions in force. And the “Aurora salvo” stamp is incorrectly purely grammatically, since a “salvo” is simultaneously fired from at least two barrels.
In the civil war and in battles with the English fleet "Aurora" did not participate. The acute shortage of fuel and other types of supply led to the fact that the Baltic Fleet was reduced to the size of the bunker, “the current detachment” - consisting of only a few combat units. The Aurora was taken to the reserve, and in the fall of the 1918 of the year, part of the guns from the cruiser were removed for installation on self-made gunboats of river and lake flotillas.
At the end of 1922, the Aurora, by the way, the only ship of the old imperial Russian fleet that retained its name given to it at birth, was decided to be reinstated as a training ship. The cruiser was repaired, installed ten 130-mm guns on it instead of the previous 152-mm, two anti-aircraft guns and four machine guns, and on July 18 1923, the ship went to sea trials.
Then for ten years - from 1923 to 1933 year - the cruiser was engaged in a business already familiar to him: the cadets of naval schools were on board. The ship made several voyages abroad, participated in the maneuvers of the newly revived Baltic Fleet. But the years took their toll, and because of the poor state of the boilers and Aurora mechanisms, after the next repair in 1933-1935, became a non-self-propelled training base. In winter, it was used as a floating base for submarines.
During World War II, the old cruiser stood in the harbor of Oranienbaum.
The guns from the ship were once again removed, and nine of its hundred-thirty installed on the coastal battery defended the approaches to the city. The Germans did not pay much attention to the decrepit veteran, trying to disable the best Soviet ships (such as the cruiser "Kirov" and battleships), but the ship still received a portion of the enemy shells. 30 September 1941 of a semi-submerged cruiser, damaged by shelling, sat on the ground.
But the ship again - for the third time in its more than forty-year history - survived. After the blockade of Leningrad was lifted in July 1944, the cruiser was removed from the state of clinical death - lifted from the ground and (for the umpteenth time!) Put in for repair. The Aurora boilers and on-board machines, propellers, side shaft brackets and shafts themselves, as well as part of the auxiliary mechanisms, were removed. Installed weapons, which stood on the ship in 1915 year - fourteen 152-mm guns Kane and four 45-mm salute guns.
Now the cruiser was to become a ship-monument and at the same time the training base of the Nakhimov school. In 1948, the repair was completed, and the restored Aurora stood where it stands to this day - to the Petrograd Embankment opposite the building of the Nakhimov school. And in 1956, the Ship Museum was opened aboard the Aurora as a branch of the Central Naval Museum.
The training ship for pupils of the Leningrad Nakhimov School “Aurora” ceased to be in 1961, but the status of the ship-museum was maintained. Long voyages and sea battles are in the past - the time has come for a well-deserved and honorable pension. A ship rarely has such a fate - after all, ships usually either perish at sea, or end their way at the factory wall, where they are cut for scrap ...
In the Soviet years, of course, the main (yes, perhaps the only) attention was paid to the cruiser’s revolutionary past. Images of the Aurora were present wherever possible, and the silhouette of the three-pipe ship became the same symbol of the city on the Neva as the Peter and Paul Fortress or the Bronze Horseman. The role of the cruiser in the October Revolution was strongly praised, and there was even a joke-anecdote: “Which ship in history had the most powerful weapons?” - “Aurora” cruiser! One shot - and the whole power collapsed! ".
In 1967, the 50 anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution was widely celebrated in the Soviet Union. In Leningrad, fires were burning near Smolny, near which, leaning on rifles, there were people in soldiers' overcoats and in jackets of revolutionary sailors of the seventeenth year with an indispensable attribute - with machine-gun belts crossed on their chest and back.
It is clear that the honored ship just could not ignore. For the anniversary, the film “Aurora Volley” was made, where the cruiser played the main role — itself. For the greater accuracy of the events depicted, all the shooting was done on location. It was an impressive sight, and thousands of Leningraders and guests of the city watched the gray three-pipe beauty floating slowly and majestically along the Neva.
However, the Aurora itself was not the first time to act as a movie star. Back in 1946, during the renovation, the Aurora played the role of the cruiser Varyag in the eponymous movie. Then “Aurora”, as a true actress, even had to make up for her character — she took off shields from the guns (they were not on the Varyag), and installed the fourth fake pipe for the veracity of the image of the heroic cruiser of the Russo-Japanese War.
The last repair of the Aurora took place in the middle of the 80 of the last century, and rumors of the “unreal Aurora” are associated with this. The fact is that the cruiser completely replaced the bottom, and the old one was dragged into the Gulf of Finland and abandoned there. These amputated remains gave rise to rumors.
In the 2004, the cruiser Aurora became part of the Association of Historical Marine Ships, which includes 90 museum ships from nine countries of the world. Russia first joined this unusual organization: simultaneously with the Aurora cruiser, the Krasin icebreaker was accepted into the Association’s flotilla.
Today, the main occupation of the Aurora cruiser, whose age has already passed for a hundred years, is to serve as a museum. And this museum is very visited - on board the ship is up to half a million guests per year. And honestly, this museum is worth a visit - and not only for those who are nostalgic for irretrievably gone times.
1 December 2010, the cruiser "Aurora" by order of the Minister of Defense of Russia (guess who!) Was withdrawn from the service of the Navy and transferred to the balance of the Naval Museum. The military unit that served on the ship was dismissed. The crew of the cruiser "Aurora" reformed into a staff of three soldiers and 28 people of civilian personnel; ship status remained the same.
27 June 2012, the deputies of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly adopted an appeal to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces with a request to return to the cruiser the status of the ship No. 1 as part of the Russian Navy with the military crew remaining on board.
Guards "withdrawal in the shadow." We deduce from the lists of the fleet, remove the military crew, leave the staff of cleaners, guides and ticket collectors? What's next? Restaurant in the mess room? It was already (Kudrin, it seems, after the summit was noted). Hotel complex in the crew cabins? Apparently, it is possible. And then quiet grabbing ... familiar story. I would not want to.
I am surprised at the very attitude to memory. We are surprised at the lack of proper patriotism, unwillingness to serve in the army or in the navy. And forgive, than to support him? From 1957 to 2010, 20 ship museums were opened in the country.
Cruiser - 2 ("Aurora" and "Admiral Nakhimov")
Nuclear icebreaker - 1 ("Lenin")
Patrol ship - 1
Riverboat - 1
Diesel Submarine - 9
Schooner - 1
Icebreaker - 2
Research vessel - 2
Trawler - 1
Lot? Few? In the US, 8 battleships and 4 aircraft carriers serve as museums ... Moreover, Iowa and Wisconsin MUST be kept in good condition, suitable for combat use. About destroyers and submarines silent.
It may seem that started for health, and finished for the rest. A little bit wrong. Neglect of symbols cannot but affect many aspects of thinking.
And the matter is not even in the October firing idle. This is not the main thing in the fate of the ship. Much more important are the thousands of cadets who were trained aboard a cruiser and thousands of shells of his guns, which were fired at the enemy, even on land. What is important is the symbol of a ship that has gone through three wars. And it is important that such characters should be much more. And they need to be presented somewhat differently.
Here take the USA. They have no problems with patriotism. Perhaps, by the way, due to the fact that they have no problems with access to such symbols. I brought below saytik, there is even a map where these symbols are located. And you can not only look, but climb aboard, go around the whole battleship or aircraft carrier, play on simulators, sit in the cockpit. And next to it, the destroyer usually hangs out and the submarine. On, young citizen, join ... And we are surprised that we do not have proper respect for the armed forces.
And where does he come from, even if it’s unrealistic to dismantle a splattered AK-47 at school after the abolition of the NWP? And how many possibilities does a person under 18 have in the cabin of an airplane or helicopter? Or in tank? Somehow crookedly with us. But there is Internet around the clock broadcasting about army nightmares. There are all kinds of discoveries broadcasting about the heroic victories of the US Army. Mountains of Hollywood films on these topics (when I looked at “K-19”, there would be admission to the coveted button - hell would have found America later) There are a bunch of computer toys scattered around the oceans there. And now here’s the result ... Where are the Aurora and Nakhimov against such a patriotic fleet, with 8 battleships and 4 aircraft carriers?
It's sad all this. We kept a miser, and we didn’t appreciate what we saved. Well, to hell with him, with the babakhom of that ... But after all, besides him, there is something to show by the example of the same Aurora. I, in fact, for this, the whole path of the ship and led. The main thing is not to show the shot, but the path of the ship, three wars that served their country.
Why is that? Why do we want to see our country strong, the army and navy powerful, but we do not do almost anything for this? I understand that it does not depend on us. Then what do we demand from those who should come to replace us, but do not want this? We spit so easily into our past that it becomes scary. And do not appreciate what is left.
Write it all prompted me heard in the bus dialogue of two young people. They discussed airplanes of the Second World War. And one gave another the following argument: “Where are all these wonderful planes of ours? On the fields of war remained. Won in the states of the "Mustangs" dozens of fly, and "Messers" and "Spitfire" in England. Have you ever seen ours? Layouts on the monuments do not count! ”And the second did not find what to answer. And I remembered the Victory Parade in Samara. When flew only in the country IL-2. Last of 33 000. And I also had nothing to say, although I really wanted to. The guy was right in his own way: he was simply not allowed to touch the story.
This picture was long before my eyes: the masses of battleships and aircraft carriers, ready to show everyone their strength, and a small cruiser under the gloomy Baltic sky ...
Vladimir Kontrovsky "The fate of the cruiser"