A Russian naval officer in his memoirs described the state of the Black Sea Fleet at the beginning of the First World War
Triumphant cruise of two Imperial Navy cruisers fleet Germany - “Goeben” and “Breslau” across the entire Mediterranean Sea to Constantinople at the beginning of the First World War sharply aggravated the situation in the Black Sea.
Against the backdrop of the above-mentioned success, the pro-German Young Turk party, essentially controlled by the German ambassador, became more active in the Ottoman Empire. As a result, without informing either the Sultan or the government, this political force led the matter to war with Russia.
At the same time, as he writes in his memoirs Russian naval officer Nestor Monastyrev, who before the outbreak of World War I was assigned to the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, the breakthrough of German cruisers to Constantinople greatly changed the balance of power in the Black Sea.
According to him, Russia found itself in a very difficult situation. The Russian Black Sea Fleet at that time had in service five outdated battleships, whose speed did not exceed 14 knots. In addition, two old cruisers and several dozen obsolete destroyers were in service.
As Monastyrev writes, by the beginning of the war only 4 new destroyers capable of reaching speeds of up to 38 knots had entered service. Regarding submarines, according to the author of the memoirs, we can assume that they did not exist at all. The thing is that the submarines in service with the Black Sea Fleet are so outdated that they could barely sail near the coast itself.
As a result, Russia could only operate successfully against Turkish ships, where our fleet surpassed the enemy in the number of combat units and training of personnel. However, as Monastyrev writes, the appearance of the battle cruiser Goeben completely changed the roles.
German battlecruiser Goeben
A modern warship, equipped with heavy artillery and developing a speed of up to 28 knots, according to the author, could fight on equal terms with almost the entire Black Sea Fleet.
- archive photo
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