“Hurray, Nakhimov!” Destruction of the Turkish squadron in the Battle of Sinop
Battle of Sinop November 18, 1853. Hood. A. P. Bogolyubov, 1860
you decorated the Russian chronicle fleet a new victory,
which will forever remain memorable in the sea stories».
Russian Tsar Nicholas I
170 years ago, the Russian fleet under the command of Nakhimov almost completely destroyed the Turkish squadron, while suffering minimal losses. This was the last major battle in the history of the sailing fleet.
War and the Black Sea Fleet
In 1853, another war with Turkey began (How Türkiye opposed the “gendarme of Europe”). Fronts were opened on the Danube and the Caucasus. There was a threat of France and England entering the war on the side of the Ottomans. Turkey could, with the help of the Shamil mountaineers, create a serious threat to Russia in the Caucasus, even to the point of losing the entire region. The Turkish army was supported from the coastal flank by the Ottoman fleet.
The Black Sea Fleet received two tasks:
1) urgently transport reinforcements from Crimea to the Caucasus;
2) strike at Turkish sea lanes.
Pavel Nakhimov successfully completed both tasks.
On September 13, an emergency order was received in Sevastopol to transfer an infantry division with artillery to Anakria (Anaklia).
The Black Sea Fleet was in turmoil at that time. There were rumors about an Anglo-French squadron acting on the side of the Ottomans. Nakhimov immediately took over the operation. In four days, he prepared the ships and deployed the troops in perfect order: 16 battalions with two batteries - more than 16 thousand soldiers, 824 people and all the necessary equipment.
On September 17, the squadron entered the stormy sea, and on the morning of September 24, he arrived in Anakria. By evening the unloading was completed. The operation involved 14 sailing ships, 7 steamships and 11 transport vessels. The operation was considered brilliant; there were only 4 sick people among the sailors, and 7 among the soldiers.
Having solved the first problem, Pavel Stepanovich proceeded to the second. It was necessary to find the enemy in the sea and defeat him. Prevent the Ottomans from carrying out an amphibious operation in the area of Sukhum-Kale and Poti by providing assistance to the highlanders. A 20-strong Turkish corps was concentrated in Batumi, which was supposed to be transported by a large transport flotilla - up to 250 ships. The landing was to be covered by Osman Pasha's squadron.
At this time, the commander-in-chief of the Crimean Army and the Black Sea Fleet was Prince Alexander Menshikov. He sent a squadron of Nakhimov and Kornilov to search for the enemy. On November 5, Kornilov met the Ottoman 10-gun steamer Pervaz-Bahre, coming from Sinop. The steam frigate "Vladimir" (11 guns) under the flag of the Chief of Staff of the Black Sea Fleet Kornilov attacked the enemy.
The battle was directly led by the commander of the Vladimir, Lieutenant Commander Grigory Butakov. He used the high maneuverability of his ship and noticed the weakness of the enemy - the lack of guns at the stern of the Turkish steamer. Throughout the battle I tried to stay in such a way as not to fall under Ottoman fire.
The three-hour battle ended with a Russian victory. This was the first battle of steam ships in history.
Kornilov returned to Sevastopol and ordered Rear Admiral F. M. Novosilsky to find Nakhimov and reinforce him with the battleships Rostislav and Svyatoslav, and the brig Aeneas. Novosilsky met with Nakhimov and, having completed the assignment, returned to Sevastopol.
Since the end of October, Nakhimov had been cruising between Sukhum and part of the Anatolian coast, where Sinop was the main port. After the meeting with Novosiltsev, the vice admiral had five 84-gun ships: Empress Maria, Chesma, Rostislav, Svyatoslav and Brave, as well as the frigate Kovarna and the brig Aeneas.
On November 2 (14), Nakhimov issued an order for the squadron, where he notified the commanders that in the event of a meeting with an enemy “superior to us in strength, I will attack him, being completely confident that each of us will do his job.” Every day we waited for the enemy to appear. In addition, the possibility of a meeting with the British squadron, which was at the Dardanelles, was taken into account.
There was no Ottoman squadron. We only met Novosilsky, who brought two ships, replacing those battered by the storm and sent to Sevastopol. On November 8, a severe storm broke out, and the vice admiral was forced to send 4 more ships for repairs. The situation was critical. Strong winds continued after the storm on November 8th.
On November 11, Nakhimov approached Sinop and immediately sent a brig with the news that an Ottoman squadron was stationed in the bay. Despite significant enemy forces standing under the protection of 6 coastal batteries, Nakhimov decided to block Sinop Bay and wait for reinforcements. He asked Menshikov to send the ships “Svyatoslav” and “Brave”, the frigate “Kovarna” and the steamer “Bessarabia” sent for repairs.
The admiral also expressed bewilderment why he was not sent the frigate "Kulevchi", which is idle in Sevastopol, and demanded to send two more additional ships necessary for cruising. Nakhimov was ready to fight if the Turks made a breakthrough. However, the Ottoman command, although at that time had an advantage in strength, did not dare to engage in a general battle or simply make a breakthrough.
When Nakhimov reported that the Ottoman forces in Sinop, according to his observations, were higher than previously thought, Menshikov sent reinforcements - Novosilsky's squadron, and then a detachment of Kornilov's steamers.
A. V. Ganzen “Battleship “Empress Maria” under sail”
The forces of the parties
Reinforcements arrived on time.
On November 16 (28), 1853, Nakhimov’s detachment was reinforced by the squadron of Rear Admiral Novosilsky: the 120-gun battleships “Paris”, “Grand Duke Konstantin” and “Three Saints”, frigates “Kahul” and “Kulevchi”. As a result, under the command of Nakhimov there were already 6 battleships: the 84-gun “Empress Maria”, “Chesma” and “Rostislav”, the 120-gun “Paris”, “Grand Duke Constantine” and “Three Saints”, the 60-gun frigate “ Kulevchi" and the 44-gun "Kahul". Nakhimov had 716 guns; from each side the squadron could fire a salvo weighing 378 pounds 13 pounds. In addition, Kornilov rushed to Nakhimov’s aid with three steam frigates.
The enemy had 7 frigates, 3 corvettes, several auxiliary ships and a detachment of 3 steam frigates. In total, the Turks had 476 naval guns, supported by 44 coastal guns. The Ottoman squadron was led by the Turkish Vice Admiral Osman Pasha. The second flagship was Rear Admiral Hussein Pasha. There was an English adviser with the squadron - Captain A. Slade. The steamship detachment was commanded by Vice Admiral Mustafa Pasha.
Osman Pasha, knowing that the Russian squadron was guarding him at the exit from the bay, sent a message to Istanbul asking for help, significantly exaggerating Nakhimov’s forces. However, the Ottomans were late; the message was transmitted to the British on November 17 (29), a day before Nakhimov’s attack. Even if Lord Stratford-Radcliffe, who at that time actually led the policy of the Porte, gave the order to the British squadron to go to the aid of Osman Pasha, help would still be late. In addition, the English ambassador in Constantinople did not have the right to start a war with Russia; the admiral could refuse.
I. K. Aivazovsky “120-gun ship “Paris”
Nakhimov and the fleet
Russia was lucky that during this period the Black Sea Fleet was commanded by such people as Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov (1802–1855). Already in his youth, the future hero of the Crimean War revealed a curious feature, which was immediately noticed by his comrades and colleagues.
This trait dominated Nakhimov until his death during the defense of Sevastopol. Naval service was the only thing in life for Nakhimov. He did not know any personal life other than service, and did not want to know. Naval service was everything to him. He was a patriot who selflessly loved his Motherland, the Russian Navy, who lived for Russia and died at his combat post.
As the famous Russian historian E.V. Tarle noted:
Nakhimov was the favorite student and follower of Mikhail Lazarev, who, together with Bellingshausen, became the discoverer of Antarctica. Lazarev quickly appreciated the young officer’s abilities, and they practically never separated in their careers.
Nakhimov was noted in 1827 in the Battle of Navarino (The defeat of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet in the Battle of Navarino). From 1828 he commanded the corvette Navarin, and in 1831 he headed the new frigate Pallada. Soon the frigate became a showpiece.
In 1834, at the request of Lazarev, commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Nakhimov was transferred to the south. In 1836, Pavel Stepanovich received command of the battleship Silistria, built under his supervision. A few months later he was promoted to captain of the 1st rank. Nakhimov served on this ship for 9 years. Pavel Stepanovich made Silistria an exemplary ship and carried out a number of important and difficult assignments on it. The commander became known to the entire fleet.
Pavel Stepanovich was the head of the Suvorov and Ushakov schools, believing that all the strength of the fleet is based on the sailor.
The sailor, he said, was the main military force of the fleet.
He suggested emulating Nelson, who “embraced the spirit of popular pride of his subordinates and with one simple signal aroused the fiery enthusiasm of the common people who had been educated by him and his predecessors.”
N. P. Medovikov “P. S. Nakhimov during the Battle of Sinop on November 18, 1853", 1952
In 1845, Nakhimov was promoted to rear admiral. Lazarev appointed him commander of the 1st brigade of the 4th naval division. In 1852, he received the rank of vice admiral and headed a naval division. His authority during these years spread throughout the entire fleet and was equal to the influence of Lazarev himself.
All his time was devoted to service. He didn’t have an extra ruble, giving every last bit to the sailors and their families. Service in peacetime was for him the time that fate allowed to prepare for war, for the moment when a person would have to show all his best qualities.
At the same time, Pavel Stepanovich was a man with a capital M, ready to give his last penny to someone in need, to help an old man, woman or child. All the sailors and their families became one big family for him.
Lazarev and Nakhimov, like Kornilov and Istomin, were representatives of a school that demanded moral heights from the officer. War was declared on laziness, sybarism, drunkenness and card games among officers. The sailors under their command were supposed to become warriors, not toys of the whims of the “naval landowners.” They demanded from the sailors not mechanical skill during reviews and parades, but genuine ability to fight and an understanding of what they were doing. Corporal punishment became a rarity on Black Sea ships, and external veneration was reduced to a minimum.
As a result, the Black Sea Fleet has become an excellent fighting machine, ready to stand up for Russia.
Nakhimov perspicaciously noted a feature of a significant part of the Russian elite class, which would ultimately destroy the Russian Empire.
Nakhimov was a unique person who reached amazing heights in his moral and mental development. At the same time kind and responsive to the grief of others, unusually modest, with a bright and inquisitive mind. His moral influence on people was enormous. He brought up the command staff. He spoke to the sailors in their language.
The sailors' devotion and love for him reached unprecedented heights. Already on the Sevastopol bastions, his daily appearance aroused incredible enthusiasm among the defenders. Tired, exhausted sailors and soldiers were resurrected and were ready to work miracles. It’s not for nothing that Nakhimov himself said that with our dashing people, by showing attention and love, you can do such things that are simply a miracle.
The deck of the ship "Empress Maria" during the battle of Sinop. 1853 Hood. Alexey Kivshenko. 1880, Central Naval Museum, St. Petersburg
Russian admiral's plan
Nakhimov, as soon as reinforcements arrived, decided not to wait, to immediately enter Sinop Bay and attack the enemy. In essence, the admiral was taking a risk, albeit a well calculated one. The Ottomans had good naval and coastal guns, and with appropriate organization and preparation, Turkish artillery could inflict serious damage on the Russian squadron.
However, the once formidable Ottoman navy was in decline, both in terms of combat training and leadership. The Ottoman command itself played along with Nakhimov, positioning the ships extremely inconveniently for defense.
The Turkish squadron was positioned like a fan, a concave arc. As a result, the ships blocked the firing sector of part of the coastal batteries. Also, the ships were located near the embankment, clinging to the very shore, which did not give them the opportunity to maneuver and fire with both sides. This weakened the firepower of the Turkish squadron.
Nakhimov's plan was imbued with determination and initiative. The Russian squadron, in the formation of two wake columns (the ships followed one after another along the course line), received the order to break through to the Sinop roadstead and deliver a fire strike on the enemy ships and batteries. The first column was commanded by Nakhimov. It included the ships “Empress Maria” (flagship), “Grand Duke Konstantin” and “Chesma”.
The second column was led by Novosilsky. It included “Paris” (2nd flagship), “Three Saints” and “Rostislav”. The movement in two columns was supposed to reduce the time it took for ships to pass under the fire of the Turkish squadron and coastal batteries. In addition, it was easier to deploy Russian ships into battle formation when anchored. The rearguard was frigates, which were supposed to stop the enemy’s attempts to escape.
The targets of all ships were distributed in advance. At the same time, ship commanders had a certain independence in choosing targets, depending on the specific situation, while implementing the principle of mutual support.
At dawn on November 18 (30), Russian ships entered Sinop Bay. At the head of the right column was the flagship Empress Maria, at the head of the left was the Paris of Fyodor Novosilsky. The weather was unfavorable. At 12:30 p.m., the Ottoman flagship, the 44-gun Avni-Allah, opened fire, followed by guns from other ships and coastal batteries.
The Turkish command hoped that strong barrage fire from naval and coastal batteries would not allow the Russian squadron to break through at close range and would force the Russians to retreat. Possibly will lead to severe damage to some of the ships that the Russians abandon.
Nakhimov's ship went ahead and stood closest to the Ottoman ships. The admiral stood on the captain's cabin and watched the fierce artillery battle unfold. The victory of the Russian fleet became evident in just over two hours. Turkish artillery showered shells on the Russian squadron and was able to cause significant damage to some ships, but failed to sink a single one.
The Russian admiral, knowing the techniques of the Ottoman commanders, foresaw that the main enemy fire would initially be concentrated on the mast (above-deck parts of the ship's equipment), and not on the decks. The Turks wanted to incapacitate as many Russian sailors as possible when they removed the sails before anchoring the ships, as well as disrupt the controllability of the ships and worsen their ability to maneuver.
And so it happened, Turkish shells broke the yards, topmasts, and made holes in the sails. Admiral Nakhimov's flagship took on a significant part of the enemy attack, most of its spars and standing rigging were broken, and only one shroud of the mainmast remained intact. After the battle, 60 holes were counted in one side.
However, the Russian sailors were below, Pavel Stepanovich ordered the ships to be anchored without removing the sails. All Nakhimov’s orders were carried out exactly. The frigate "Avni-Allah" ("Aunni-Allah") could not withstand the confrontation with the Russian flagship and washed ashore after half an hour. The enemy squadron has lost its control center. Then the Empress Maria bombarded the 44-gun frigate Fazli-Allah with shells, which also could not withstand the duel and ran ashore. The admiral transferred the fire of the battleship to battery No. 5.
I.K. Aivazovsky. "Battle of Sinop" 1853
The ship "Grand Duke Konstantin" fired at the 60-gun frigates "Navek-Bahri" and "Nesimi-Zefer", the 24-gun corvette "Nedzhmi Fishan", at battery No. 4. "Navek-Bahri" took off after 20 minutes. One of the Russian shells hit the powder magazine. This explosion also disabled battery No. 4. Corpses and wreckage of the ship cluttered the battery. Later the battery resumed fire, but it was weaker than before.
The second frigate, after its anchor chain was broken, washed ashore. The Turkish corvette could not stand the duel and ran ashore. “Grand Duke Constantine” received 30 holes and damage to all masts in the Battle of Sinop.
The battleship "Chesma" fired at batteries No. 4 and No. 3. Russian sailors strictly followed Nakhimov's instructions for mutual support. When the ship "Konstantin" was forced to fight three enemy ships and a Turkish battery at once, "Chesma" stopped firing at the batteries and concentrated all fire on the Ottoman frigate "Navek-Bahri", which attacked "Konstantin" especially fiercely. The Turkish ship, hit by the fire of two battleships, took off into the air. Then "Chesma" suppressed the enemy batteries. The ship received 20 holes, damage to the mainmast and bowsprit.
In a similar situation, when the principle of mutual support was fulfilled, half an hour later the ship “Three Saints” found itself. The battleship under the command of K. S. Kutrov fought with the 54-gun frigate "Kaidi-Zefer" and the 62-gun "Nizamiye". Enemy shots broke the spring of the Russian ship (the cable to the anchor holding the ship in a given position), and the “Three Saints” began to turn into the wind with its stern towards the enemy. The ship was subjected to longitudinal fire from battery No. 6, and its mast was seriously damaged.
"Rostislav", under the command of captain 1st rank A.D. Kuznetsov, who himself was subjected to heavy shelling, provided assistance to the "Svyatotel". The ship stopped returning fire and focused all its attention on battery No. 6. As a result, the Turkish battery was razed to the ground. The Rostislav also forced the 24-gun corvette Feyze-Meabud to beach itself.
When midshipman Varnitsky was able to repair the damage on the Svyatitel, the ship began to successfully fire at the Kaidi-Zefer and other ships, forcing them to run ashore. "Three Saints" received 48 holes, as well as damage to the stern, all masts and bowsprit.
The help was not cheap for the Rostislav either; the ship almost blew up, a fire started on it, the fire approached the cruise chamber, but the fire was extinguished. "Rostislav" received 25 holes, as well as damage to all masts and bowsprit. More than 100 people from his team were wounded.
The second Russian flagship "Paris" of captain 1st rank Vladimir Istomin fought an artillery duel with the 56-gun frigate "Damiad", the 22-gun corvette "Gyuli Sefid" and the central coastal battery No. 5. The corvette caught fire and took off into the air. The battleship concentrated its fire on the frigate. The Damiad could not withstand the heavy fire, the Turkish crew cut off the anchor rope, and the frigate was thrown ashore.
Then the Paris attacked the 62-gun Nizamiye, on which Admiral Hussein Pasha was holding the flag. The Ottoman ship lost two masts - the fore and mizzen masts, and a fire started on it. The Nizamiye washed ashore. After the defeat of Nizamiye, Paris concentrated on the central coastal battery, which provided great opposition to the Russian squadron. The Turkish battery was suppressed. The battleship received 16 holes, as well as damage to the stern and gondeck.
In a report to the Tsar, Nakhimov especially noted the actions of the battleship in the Battle of Sinop:
The Ottoman squadron was almost completely destroyed. During the three-hour battle, the Turks were defeated, their resistance was broken.
A little later, they suppressed the remaining coastal fortifications and batteries and finished off the remnants of the squadron. One after another, Turkish ships took off. Either Russian bombs fell into powder magazines, or fire reached them, often the Turks themselves set fire to the ships, leaving them. The coastal batteries were finally razed to the ground by the beginning of 17:XNUMX.
I.K. Aivazovsky. Sinop battle November 18, 1853 (Night after the battle)
It must be said that the presence of two steam frigates in the Turkish squadron seriously puzzled the Russian admiral. Nakhimov did not have steamers at the beginning of the battle; they arrived only at the very end of the battle. The fast Taif, under the command of a British captain, could perform well in a battle when Russian ships were engaged in battle and their sails were damaged.
Nakhimov took this threat into account so much that he dedicated an entire paragraph of his disposition to it (No. 9). Two frigates were left in reserve and were given the task of neutralizing the actions of enemy steam frigates.
However, this reasonable precaution was not justified. Nakhimov assessed the enemy’s possible actions on his own. He was ready to fight even in conditions of complete enemy superiority; the Turkish commanders thought differently. So, during the battle, the commander of the corvette “Feize Meabud” - Itset Bey, escaped from the ship, from the steamship "Erekli" - Izmail Bey, and some other officers were not up to the task.
The commander of the Taif, Adolf Slade, was an experienced officer, but he was not going to fight to the last drop of blood. Seeing that the Turkish squadron was in danger of destruction, the British captain skillfully maneuvered between the Rostislav and battery No. 6, left the raid and rushed to the Turkish capital.
The frigates "Kulevchi" and "Kahul" tried to intercept the enemy, but they were unable to keep up with the fast steamer. Slade changed course several times, knowing that large sailing ships would have difficulty changing course quickly. Breaking away from the frigates, the Taif almost fell into the hands of Kornilov. A detachment of Kornilov's steam frigates hurried to the aid of Nakhimov's squadron and collided with the Taif. However, Slade was able to damage the steamer Odessa and broke away from the Crimea and Chersonese. As a result, Taif was able to leave.
A. P. Bogolyubov “Sevastopol”, 1846. The painting depicts the 120-gun battleship "Three Saints"
Russian sailors destroyed 15 of 16 enemy ships and suppressed all Turkish batteries. Four frigates, a corvette and a steamship were blown up into the air and turned into a heap of rubble; their crews were killed almost entirely. Three frigates and one corvette were set on fire by the Turks themselves. The remaining smaller ships also perished. The Turks lost about 4 thousand people, the British reported 3 thousand. Turkish ships traditionally had large crews and took soldiers for landing.
Explosions at batteries, fires and explosions of beached ships led to a strong fire in the city. Sinop suffered greatly. The population, authorities and garrison of Sinop fled to the mountains. The British later accused the Russians of deliberate cruelty towards the townspeople. 200 people were captured by the Russians. Among the prisoners was the commander of the Turkish squadron, Vice Admiral Osman Pasha (his leg was broken in the battle) and two ship commanders.
Russian ships fired about 17 thousand shells in four hours. The Battle of Sinop showed the importance of bombing guns for the future development of the fleet. Wooden ships could not withstand the fire of such cannons. It was necessary to develop armor protection for ships.
The Rostislav gunners showed the highest rate of fire. 75–100 rounds were fired from each gun on the active side of the battleship. On other ships of the squadron, 30–70 shots were fired from each gun on the active side.
Russian commanders and sailors, according to Nakhimov, showed “truly Russian courage.” The advanced system of educating the Russian sailor, developed and implemented by Lazarev and Nakhimov, proved its superiority in battle. Hard training and sea voyages led to the fact that the Black Sea Fleet passed the Sinop exam with flying colors.
Some Russian ships received significant damage, they were then towed by steamers, but all remained afloat. Russian losses amounted to 37 killed and 233 wounded.
Everyone noted the highest skill of the Russian admiral, he correctly took into account his own strengths and the enemy’s forces, took reasonable risks, leading the squadron under fire from coastal batteries and the Omani squadron, worked out a battle plan in detail, and showed determination in achieving the goal. The absence of dead ships and relatively low losses in manpower confirm the reasonableness of Nakhimov’s decisions and naval leadership.
Nakhimov himself was, as always, modest and said that all the credit belongs to Mikhail Lazarev. The Sinop battle became a brilliant point in the long history of the development of the sailing fleet. It should be noted that Lazarev, Nakhimov and Kornilov understood this very well, being supporters of the rapid development of the steam fleet.
At the end of the battle, the ships carried out the necessary repairs and weighed anchor on November 20 (December 2), moving to Sevastopol. On December 4 (22), the Russian fleet entered the Sevastopol roadstead with general jubilation. The entire population of Sevastopol greeted the victorious squadron.
It was a great day. Endless “Hurray, Nakhimov!” rushed from all sides. News of the crushing victory of the Black Sea Fleet rushed to the Caucasus, the Danube, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Tsar Nicholas awarded Nakhimov the Order of St. George, 2nd degree.
Battle of Sinop. A. Bogolyubov
The emergence of the Anglo-French fleet
But Nakhimov was concerned.
The admiral was pleased with the purely military results of the Battle of Sinop. The Black Sea Fleet brilliantly solved the main problem: it eliminated the possibility of a Turkish landing on the Caucasian coast and destroyed the Ottoman squadron, gaining complete dominance in the Black Sea. The colossal success was achieved with little blood and material losses. After a difficult search, battle and passage across the sea, all ships successfully returned to Sevastopol. Nakhimov was pleased with the sailors and commanders; they behaved superbly in the hot battle.
Contemporaries noted that Nakhimov had strategic thinking and understood that the main battles were still ahead. It was obvious that the Sinop victory would cause the appearance of Anglo-French forces in the Black Sea, which would concentrate their efforts on destroying the Black Sea Fleet.
The real war was just beginning.
The Battle of Sinop caused complete confusion in Constantinople. The Ottoman authorities were afraid that the Russian fleet could now strike the capital. In Western Europe, at first they tried to belittle and belittle the significance of the feat of the Nakhimov squadron, and then, when this became useless, as details of the Battle of Sinop appeared, a wave of hatred and Russophobia arose. The Europeans were shocked by the brilliant efficiency of the Black Sea Fleet. As Count Alexey Orlov wrote
England and France are beginning to take retaliatory steps. The English and French squadrons, which were already stationed in the Bosphorus, on December 3 sent 2 ships to Sinop and 2 to Varna for reconnaissance. Paris and London immediately gave Turkey credit for the war. The Turks had been asking for money for a long time without success.
Sinop changed everything. France and England were preparing to go to war, and the Battle of Sinop could force Constantinople to agree to a truce; the Ottomans suffered defeats on land and sea. It was necessary to encourage an ally.
The largest bank in Paris immediately set about organizing the matter. The Ottoman Empire was given a loan of 2 million pounds sterling in gold. Moreover, half of the subscription for this amount was supposed to be covered by Paris, and the other by London. In England they began to demand the introduction of a fleet into the Black Sea. Nationalist and Russophobic sentiments gripped almost the entire high society.
On December 17, the French Emperor Napoleon III spoke with the English Ambassador to France, Lord Cowley. The Emperor said that it was Sinop, and not the passage of Russian troops across the Danube, that should become a signal for the allied fleet. The head of France directly said that it was time
Napoleon III even expressed his readiness to act alone, without the support of England. On the night of December 21–22, 1853 (January 3–4, 1854), the English and French squadrons, together with a division of the Ottoman fleet, entered the Black Sea. Petersburg was informed that the allied fleet has the task of protecting Ottoman ships and ports from attacks from the Russian side.
An interesting fact is the dominance of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea and the development of the slave trade in this region.
Russian ships intercepted ships with “live cargo” and freed people. As a result, prices for Circassian (Caucasian) slaves, especially girls, skyrocketed. According to Turkish sources, it became impossible to replenish harems and brothels. The Eastern “middle class” could not buy slaves, prices were high.
The Russians interfered with the “normal” operation of the slave market. The appearance of the Anglo-French-Turkish fleet immediately revived the slave trade on the Black Sea. Prices for “live goods” dropped by a third. The Europeans hastened to reassure the Ottoman shipowners, saying that shipping is safe, resume a profitable business.
The European press avoided this terrible topic, preferring to talk about the need to protect the “rich, but somewhat peculiar Turkish culture” from the northern barbarians.
The 84-gun ship "Empress Maria" under the flag of P. S. Nakhimov after the victory in the Battle of Sinop. Album Russian Navy, 1904
- Alexander Samsonov
- https://ru.wikipedia.org/, https://encyclopedia.mil.ru/
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