About the death of the British rear admiral before the attack of the Anglo-French squadron on Petropavlovsk during the Crimean War

About the death of the British rear admiral before the attack of the Anglo-French squadron on Petropavlovsk during the Crimean War

On August 31, 1854, the Anglo-French squadron was preparing to attack the Port of Petropavlovsk (now Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky) during the Crimean War. Pacific Command fleet carried out by Royal Navy officer Rear Admiral David Powell Price.

According to historical According to information, preparations began at 4 a.m. Before noon, Price managed to visit the French flagship Forte, and then, returning to the President, went to his cabin. At about one o'clock in the afternoon a shot was heard on the ship, which ended the life of the British rear admiral.

Until relatively recently, what happened was a mystery to historians. There were several versions circulating: murder, careless handling weapons or even committing suicide...

It was also suggested at one time that Price died heroically in battle. However, at the moment of the shot, the battle had not yet begun. By the way, most experts also rejected the murder version, since the rear admiral was highly respected by his subordinates.

As a result, for a long time historians believed that the British officer accidentally shot himself while checking his Colt. Nobody took the suicide seriously, since such an outcome seems strange, given that the battle had not yet begun.

Meanwhile, this is exactly what happened to David Powell Price. It was possible to unravel the mystery of the rear admiral's death thanks to the notes discovered by historians from chaplain Thomas Huhn, who was next to the commander-in-chief when he was dying.

It turns out that after Price shot himself in the heart (the right side was damaged), he lived for another 4 hours. At the same time, the officer remained conscious all this time.

As he explained to his chaplain, he made this decision because he did not want to send so many good and worthy people to their deaths.

How much influence the death of the rear admiral had (and whether it had at all) on the battle for Petropavlovsk is not stated in historical references.

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  1. +3
    17 December 2023 19: 00
    The English did not consider the garrison of Petropavlovsk a strong enemy, so the story that this “general” experienced a surge of philanthropy does not sound convincing...
    1. +1
      17 December 2023 19: 03
      Quote: svp67
      the story that this “general” experienced a surge of philanthropy does not sound convincing...

      Most likely, the “cuckoo” has gone, among the Anglo-Saxons, this is a congenital disease.
  2. 0
    17 December 2023 19: 01
    As he explained to his chaplain, he made this decision because he did not want to send so many good and worthy people to their deaths.

    Well, this doesn’t even look like a joke.
    Can anyone believe that the Anglo-Saxon wanted to escape the death of people and for this he fired a bullet in the forehead.
    The Anglo-Saxon was born to kill, but not anyone, not even his own. regret.
    1. +5
      17 December 2023 19: 25
      If not for the death of the rear admiral, they would definitely have won and taken Petropavlovsk. It is necessary to explain somehow that it was not possible to take a practically unarmed town.
      1. +1
        25 December 2023 13: 55
        Take a closer look at the defense of Petropavlovsk. It was built quite competently. The allies on land, unlike ours, operated in unfamiliar terrain. If serious damage to ships were to occur, it would be extremely difficult to repair given the remoteness and the need to return to distant ports.
        1. 0
          25 December 2023 14: 09
          Alexander, you didn't understand the sarcasm.
          1. 0
            26 December 2023 16: 22
            Then I apologize. Others will actually think so.
    2. -2
      18 December 2023 11: 49
      There is no need to descend into deep racism. Not all Anglo-Saxons are the same (like any other nation)
  3. +1
    17 December 2023 19: 17
    It’s strange that this story was not revealed 100 or 150 years ago.
    Why secrecy!?
  4. +6
    17 December 2023 19: 59
    At the same time, in 1854, the English steamer Miranda shot the polar city of Kola. A peaceful city was turned into ruins
  5. +7
    17 December 2023 20: 02
    There were, of course, people-loving Englishmen, but, as a rule, they chose a different profession) request
  6. +3
    17 December 2023 20: 27
    The picture in which we see a handsome young captain always misled me, but in fact he was 63 years old, of which he endured the most difficult trials at a young age. He fought in the navy from the age of 11, was seriously wounded many times, was captured, but at the same time participated in brilliant operations, including the capture of a Russian warship. Having become the youngest captain in the fleet, he was forced to live on land for 20 years for half his salary, awaiting the rank of admiral for his length of service. By that time, in my opinion, age-related chronic diseases had accumulated. He saw equality of forces and extremely low chances of victory.
  7. +3
    17 December 2023 21: 01
    Coastal batteries, consisting of 3-5 guns, did not pose a threat because they could be suppressed individually by concentrated fire from several ships. True, due to the calm, they would have to be towed by one steamer for quite a long time. The main threat was from unknown hidden field fortifications on land. It is enough to place 2 light cannons on the street and a linear attack of the battalion in the city will become impossible. Flanking fire from redoubts hidden in the taiga was capable of inflicting terrible losses on the marines, which ultimately happened when a group of French armed sailors, coming under grapeshot fire near the lake defile, partially ran away and partially rushed to take cover on a hill, interfering with the formation and causing confusion among the Marines of the Gibraltar Regiment. The admiral foresaw all this, so pride and prejudice forced him to pick up the Colt.
  8. +1
    18 December 2023 00: 10
    Not a young admiral somehow gets shot, talks to someone about something for 4 hours. It seems they are not providing him with medical assistance, for some reason? He is buried somewhere next to the dead British sailors under the stone birches of the present "Wasp's Nest" - the glorious city of Vilyuchinsk. For some reason the body is not being taken home. For some reason the body is not delivered to the sea. The grave is not marked with anything. The Admiralty does not seem to be conducting any checks. Were there any personal belongings on the ship, who described them and how, or were they divided “purely on the basis of ideas” directly onto the ship’s boat? I wonder if his heirs received something as a pension from the Admiralty or from the royal family? Some of the comrades from "V.O." knows something about the admiral's family? Did the admiral have any debts? Everything is somehow cloudy and unclear...
    1. +3
      18 December 2023 03: 39
      After the battle, he shot himself; there is a document about this in the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Museum.
  9. +1
    18 December 2023 01: 20
    Well, what can I say, as a person I sincerely feel sorry for him, but as an officer I despise him, consider that he betrayed his subordinates, if he is so sick, why did he even choose the navy, it’s some kind of idiocy.
  10. +6
    18 December 2023 03: 37
    It’s not true, your comrade author, the admiral shot himself after a failed operation to capture Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky when the Russian people, through heroic efforts, were able to turn the battle in their favor while having a total loss in the guns in front of the Anglo-French squadron.
    The rest is speculation from liberals trying to rewrite the heroic history of Russia.
  11. 0
    18 December 2023 09: 07
    The attackers did not have total superiority in artillery. In total they had 200 guns, including bow and stern ones. the broadside of ships in a linear formation is about 90 guns versus 70 of ours. The number of normal infantry they have is a battalion of the Gibraltar Regiment, against our battalion from the 47th Regiment. The rest of the people were sailors and volunteers who fought to the death with us, but with them they preferred to run away to the boats.
    1. +3
      18 December 2023 11: 20
      Well, not 200 but 210 guns, firstly and secondly, this was the number of guns used in one place of attack; our guns were dispersed over many areas and the frigate "Aurora", being hidden behind the Nikolskaya hill, had the opportunity to conduct mounted fire in a limited sector on limited distance (and this is almost half of the operating Russian guns).
      Regarding the adversary’s Marine Corps battalion, if they wished, they could have sent most of the sailors out of 2200 souls into battle on the shore if not for their self-confidence in the outcome of the battle.
      And by the way, a battalion of 600 people put our forces of 120 people to flight, something like that.
      1. +2
        18 December 2023 13: 59
        A list of 800 landing troops was found in the possession of a deceased French lieutenant. Our forces, in my opinion, were more than 120 people. The governor gathered everyone who was at hand and sent about 300-400 people from the garrison, batteries and ship crew into battle on the hill in several scattered detachments. By this time, the French admiral, waving a gilded sword, standing on the bank of the boat, realized that there was nothing to catch because... The French run to the whaleboats and depart for their cruiser "Strong" (La Forte). The captain of the English marines was killed, the lieutenant of the French detachment was also killed, and the entire landing party rolled back to the boats. Our warriors fought like lions, one against two, and knocked out the warriors of the Lady of the Seas from the beach. In San Francisco they watched with surprise and gloating as the ships of the beaten Englishmen could not remove the sails at the same time on all masts due to the lack of people.
      2. +1
        18 December 2023 14: 14
        The frigate "Aurora" is, of course, more than half of our guns because ships of this series, copied from standard European ones, carried 56 guns with 44 main guns, i.e. 22 main guns remained on board, and the remaining 34 were on the shore as part of batteries. The garrison also had its own guns; a transport with a battalion of the 47th regiment brought something, and a dozen guns were also removed from the corvette transport for the battery outside the lake.
  12. 0
    18 December 2023 11: 49
    If true, then this is not an admiral, but some kind of rag. Wars are not won by those who are afraid of losses.
  13. 0
    18 December 2023 15: 04
    The admiral had a severe hangover
  14. -2
    18 December 2023 15: 16
    Igor K (Igor), dear, do you believe that a drone was able to fly into the cabin of the British admiral, shoot video and broadcast the sound directly to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky? Or was the British admiral’s cabin cleaned and food brought to him by an entire illegal colonel of the SVR of the Russian Empire, who returned to Russia after the Crimean War and translated voice recordings from English into Russian for almost a whole year? Was any of the British taken prisoner, after the funeral of the British in Tarya Bay (Krasheninnikov), split into a characteristic crunch, and he put his whole life on paper, including all the military actions in the Far East against Russia in great detail? I don't believe in such documents.
    Our museums, alas, are too politicized. Therefore, either tsarism is the black pages of history, or the Bolsheviks are the fiend of hell, only they shot in basements, drowned and hanged in barges. In the Museum of Artillery, Engineering Troops and Signal Corps in St. Petersburg today you will not find a stand about the first Hero of the Soviet Union, nor about the first full holder of the Order of Glory, nor about the heroes who were awarded 2 or more medals “For Courage” for their exploits among artillerymen, sappers, signalmen.
    1. 0
      18 December 2023 19: 20
      The history of battles is always politicized, because war is a continuation and instrument of politics. The British are no exception here. Recognizing the fact that the commander shot himself, experiencing the shame of defeat, is much more disadvantageous than attributing to him highly moral qualities, simultaneously describing the difficult conditions of the assault. And even add to them the premature death of the commander. A shameful defeat will never be a valor in any military history. And this commander, with his suicide, unequivocally confirmed the fact of the shameful defeat. In this sense, it is better to present everything as the madness of the brave than to try on the image of unlucky victims. At Balaklava, the British also turned something similar into a heroic epic.
      1. 0
        18 December 2023 19: 50
        And ours did not lag behind in the depiction of heroism. Then many English aristocrats were killed in a cavalry attack on our artillery positions. It was called the Battle of Alma, I think. No matter who you respect, there are heroes on both sides. And it is true. Although in the end ours lost, and this gives today’s commentators a reason to dance on their bones. But if one of our people had shot himself, they would have immediately quieted down. Well done. Realized his guilt. It’s as if a bullet to the forehead will raise a soldier from the grave.
        1. 0
          19 December 2023 17: 08
          Quote from cpls22
          many English aristocrats in a cavalry attack on our artillery positions.

          This concept is very loose. About 200 people died there. Not very many compared to the overall losses. Moreover, the attack had a chance of success
          1. 0
            19 December 2023 17: 20
            Quote from Kartograph
            Not much compared to the overall losses. Moreover, the attack had a chance of success

            At the same time, it was reflected in English poetry, and became a symbol of the death of the color of the nation.
    2. 0
      19 December 2023 02: 12
      And I trust our museums and not Wikipedia and foreign historians together with our liberal idiots.
  15. -2
    18 December 2023 20: 17
    cpls22 (Dmitry)?, dear, I haven’t written a word about what I think is completely different from what you wrote: “The history of battles is always politicized, because war is a continuation and an instrument of politics.” I tried to cast doubt on a certain document , which is kept in the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Museum, about which Igor K (Igor) wrote. Everything...
    1. 0
      18 December 2023 21: 07
      I did not object, but added that the English version also does not seem reliable, for the reasons stated below. The minus is not mine, if anything.
  16. -1
    18 December 2023 21: 16
    cpls22 (Dmitry), dear, I understand you. Igor K did not provide either the text or the title of the document that is kept in the museum, and did not retell it even briefly.
    And the minusers are harmless animals, they won’t bite off your pension or veteran’s benefits. Let them frolic if they can’t write, or they don’t have enough time, or they’re poorly trained in literacy, they seem to read syllable by syllable, but it’s difficult for them to write...