Sinop battle 18 (30) November 1853, the year in gold letters inscribed in the Russian military chronicle. It was the last major battle in stories sailing fleet. In this battle, Russian sailors and commanders showed what they are capable of if they are led by such great people as Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov, an admiral whom the people around him loved and respected from the bottom of their hearts. In the battle of Sinop, the Russian fleet almost completely destroyed the Turkish squadron, with minimal losses. This naval battle was an example of the brilliant training of the Black Sea Fleet, led by one of the best representatives of the school of Russian military art. Sinop, impressed the whole of Europe with the perfection of the Russian fleet, fully justified the many years of hard educational work of Admirals Lazarev and Nakhimov.
Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov (1802 - 1855)
The future admiral was born on June 23 (July 5) 1802, in a family of poor Smolensk nobles. His small country was the village Gorodok in Vyazemsky district. His father, Stepan Mikhailovich Nakhimov, was an officer and resigned in the rank of second major even under Catherine the Great. Of the eleven children born in the family, five boys were navy. One of them, Pavel’s younger brother, Sergey Doros, was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral, headed by the Naval Cadet Corps.
Already in 13 years, Paul was enrolled in the Naval Cadet Corps, he studied brilliantly. In 1817, he received the rank of midshipman and participated in the campaign of the brig "Phoenix". In 1818, he entered the service on the cruiser “Cruiser” and under the command of Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev made a world tour. During the voyage he was promoted to lieutenant. Already in these youthful years, Pavel Nakhimov showed a curious feature, which was immediately noticed by his comrades and colleagues. This feature dominated Nakhimov until his death during the defense of Sevastopol. Naval service was the only business of life for Nakhimov. He did not know any private life, except for the service, and did not want to know. The naval service was everything to him. It was a patriot who selflessly loved his homeland, the Russian fleet, who lived for the sake of Russia and died in his military post. As noted by the famous Russian historian E.V. Tarle: “For lack of time and too much preoccupation with sea interests, he forgot to fall in love, forgot to marry. He was a fan of maritime affairs, according to unanimous testimonies of eyewitnesses and observers. ” Even during the world tour he almost died, saving the sailor who fell overboard.
Nakhimov during a long round-the-world trip - it continued from 1822 to 1825 year, became a favorite student and follower of Mikhail Lazarev, who, along with Bellingshausen, became the discoverer of Antarctica. Lazarev quickly appreciated the abilities of the young officer, and they practically did not leave the service. After completing the world tour, Pavel Nakhimov was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 4 degree. Together with Lazarev, the young lieutenant in 1826 passed to the battleship Azov, in which he took part in the famous Battle of Navarino in 1827. The ship "Azov" from the combined Anglo-French-Russian fleet came closest to the Turkish naval forces. In the fleet it was said that the “Azov” smashed the enemy almost at the distance of a pistol shot. Nakhimov in this battle commanded the battery. Pavel Nakhimov was wounded, the ship suffered the greatest losses, but also caused harm to the enemy more than the best ships of the allied fleet. Lazarev, who, according to the commander of the Russian squadron L.P. Heyden, "ruled the movements of" Azov "with composure, art and courage exemplary," was promoted to rear admirals. Ship "Azov" the first in the Russian fleet was awarded the St. George flag. Pavel Nakhimov was awarded the rank of lieutenant commander and the Order of St. George 4 degree. So brilliantly Pavel Stepanovich began his combat journey.
In the year 1828 Nakhimov already became the commander of the ship - the corvette Navarin. It was a prize ship captured by the Ottomans. In Malta, the ship was restored, armed and took part in the blockade of the Dardanelles. Nakhimov proved to be a tireless worker. Moreover, the comrades never reproached him for his desire to curry favor, careerism. Everyone has seen that their commander is committed and works the most. Since 1830, on his return to the Baltic, he continued to serve on Navarino. In 1831, the new frigate “Pallada” took the lead. Soon the frigate became indicative. 17 August 1833 g. Nakhimov saved the squadron, in poor visibility, the sailor noticed the Dagerort lighthouse and gave a signal that the ships were under threat.
In 1834, at the request of Lazarev, who commanded the Black Sea Fleet, Nakhimov was transferred to the southern maritime frontiers of the empire. In 1836, Pavel Stepanovich was given command over the battleship Silistria, built under his supervision. A few months later he was promoted to captain of the 1 rank. On this ship, Nakhimov served 9 for years. Pavel Stepanovich made Silistria a model ship and carried out a number of responsible and difficult assignments on it. The commander became known throughout the fleet. Pavel Stepanovich was the head of the Suvorov and Ushakov schools, believing that all the power of the fleet rested on the sailor. “It’s time we cease to consider ourselves landowners,” said Nakhimov, “and the sailors are serfs. A sailor is the main engine on a warship, and we are only the springs that act on him. The sailor controls the sails, he directs the guns at the enemy; a sailor will rush to the boarding, if necessary; the sailor will do everything if we, the bosses, are not selfish, if we do not look at service as a means of satisfying our ambition, but at subordinates as at the stage of our own elevation. ” The sailor, he said, was the main military force of the fleet. “This is who we need to elevate, teach, arouse courage and heroism in them, if we are not self-lovers, but really servants of the fatherland.” He offered to be aligned with Nelson, who "grasped the spirit of the people's pride of his subordinates and with one simple signal aroused enthusiastic enthusiasm among the commoners who were brought up by him and his predecessors." By his behavior, Pavel Nakhimov raised a team that had to be completely confident in him. So, once during the exercises, the ship "Adrianople" made an unsuccessful maneuver, making a collision with "Silistria" inevitable. Nakhimov ordered everything to retire to a safe place, he remained on the poop. During the collision, he was not injured. The captain explained his action by the need to show the team "presence of mind", in battle it will bring great benefits. The crew will be completely confident in their commander and will do everything possible and impossible to win.
In 1845, Nakhimov was promoted to Rear Admiral. Lazarev appointed him the commander of the 1 th brigade of the 4 th naval division. In 1852, he was promoted to vice-admiral and led the naval division. During these years, his authority spread to the entire fleet and was equal to the influence of Lazarev himself. All his time was devoted to the service. He did not have too much ruble, all to the last giving the sailors and their families. Service in peacetime was time for him, which fate let go to prepare for war, by the time when a person would have to show all his best qualities. At the same time, Pavel Stepanovich was a man with a capital letter, ready to give the last penny to a person in need, to help an old man, a woman or a child. All the sailors, their families became one big family for him.
Lazarev and Nakhimov, like Kornilov and Istomin, were representatives of the school, which demanded that the officer be moral high. Leni, Sybarism, drunkenness and card games among the officers, was declared a "war." The sailors under their command were to become warriors, not the toys of the whims of "naval landlords." They demanded from sailors not a mechanical skill during parades and parades, but a genuine ability to fight and, realizing what they were doing. Corporal punishment on the Black Sea ships became rare, external servitude was minimized. As a result, the Black Sea Fleet has become an excellent fighting vehicle, ready to stand up for Russia.
Nakhimov shrewdly noted the line of a considerable part of the Russian elite class, which in the end would destroy the Russian Empire. “Many young officers surprise me: they lagged behind the Russians, they did not stick to the French, they also did not resemble the British; they neglect their own, they envy others, they do not understand their benefits at all. This is no good! ”
Nakhimov was a unique person who reached amazing heights in his moral and mental development. At the same time kind and sympathetic to the grief of others, unusually modest, with a bright and inquisitive mind. His moral influence on people was enormous. He pulled the commanders. With the sailors spoke their language. Devotion and love for him sailors reached unprecedented heights. Already in the Sebastopol bastions, his daily appearance caused incredible enthusiasm among the defenders. Tired, exhausted sailors and soldiers, resurrected and were ready to repeat the miracles. No wonder that Nakhimov himself said that, with our attention and love, we can do such things with our dashing people, which is just a miracle.
Monument to P. S. Nakhimov in Sevastopol.
1853 has come the year. Another war began with Turkey, which soon led to a global conflict with the participation of leading world powers. Anglo-French squadron entered the Dardanelles. Fronts were opened on the Danube and Transcaucasia. Petersburg, which was counting on a quick victory over Porto, a decisive advancement of Russian interests in the Balkans and a successful solution to the problem of the straits, received the threat of war with great powers, with dim prospects. There was a threat that the Ottomans, and behind them the British and French would be able to provide effective assistance to the highlanders of Shamil. And this is the loss of the Caucasus and the serious advance of the forces of the enemy from the south. In the Caucasus, Russia did not have enough troops to simultaneously deter the advance of the Turkish army and fight the highlanders. In addition, the Turkish squadron supplied troops on the Caucasian coast weapons and ammunition.
Therefore, the Black Sea Fleet received two tasks: firstly, to rush to transport reinforcements from the Crimea to the Caucasus; secondly, to strike at the Turkish maritime communications. Both tasks Pavel Nakhimov fulfilled. September 13 in Sevastopol received an emergency order to transfer to Anakria (Anaklia) infantry division with artillery. At the Black Sea Fleet at that time was restless. There were rumors about the performance on the side of the Ottomans of the Anglo-French squadron. Nakhimov immediately took over the operation. For four days I prepared the ships and deployed the troops in perfect order: the 16 battalions with two batteries — more than 16 thousand people, 824 people and all the necessary property. September 17 squadron entered the stormy sea and in the morning on September 24 came to Anacria. By evening, the unloading was completed. 14 sailing ships, 7 steamers and 11 transport ships participated in the operation. The operation was recognized to be brilliant; among the sailors of the patients there were only 4 people, among the soldiers - 7.
Having solved the first problem, Pavel Stepanovich proceeded to the second. It was necessary to find a Turkish squadron in the sea and crush it. Do not allow the enemy to conduct a landing operation in the Sukhum-Kale and Poti regions, by rendering assistance to the highlanders. In Batumi, 20 was concentrated in a thousand Turkish corps, which was supposed to transfer a large transport fleet - to 250 ships. The landing of the landing was supposed to cover the Osman Pasha squadron.
At this time, the commander of the Crimean army and the Black Sea Fleet was Prince Alexander Menshikov. He sent in search of the enemy squadron Nakhimov and Kornilov. On November 5, Kornilov met the Ottoman 10-gun ship “Pervaz-Bahre”, which was coming from Sinop. Steamer frigate "Vladimir" (11 cannons) under the flag of the chief of staff of the Black Sea Fleet Kornilov attacked the enemy. Directly the battle led by the commander of "Vladimir" captain-lieutenant Grigory Butakov. He used the high maneuverability of his ship and noticed the weakness of the enemy - the absence of guns at the stern of the Turkish steamer. The whole battle tried to keep so as not to fall under the fire of the Ottomans. The three-hour battle ended with a Russian victory. It was the first in the history of the battle of steam ships. Then Vladimir Kornilov returned to Sevastopol and ordered Rear Admiral F. M. Novosilsky to find Nakhimov and reinforce him with the battleship Rostislav and Svyatoslav, and the brig Eney. Novosilsky met with Nakhimov and, having completed the assignment, returned to Sevastopol.
The battle of the Russian steamer frigate "Vladimir" and the Turkish steamer "Pervaz-Bahri".
From the end of October, Nakhimov cruised 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 "The Brave", as well as the frigate "Kovarna" and brig "Eney". 2 (14) November 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, I attack him, being absolutely sure that each of us will do his job." Every day, waiting for the appearance of the enemy. In addition, there was the possibility of meeting with British ships. But there was no Ottoman squadron. Met only Novosilsky, who led the two ships, replacing the battered storm and sent to Sevastopol. On November 8, a cruel storm broke out, and the Vice Admiral was forced to send another 4 ship for repair. The situation was critical. The strong wind continued after the November 8 storm.
On November 11, Nakhimov approached Sinop and immediately sent the brig with the news that there was an Ottoman squadron in the bay. Despite the significant enemy forces that were under the protection of coastal batteries 6, Nakhimov decided to block Sinop Bay and wait for reinforcements. He asked Menshikov to send the ships Svyatoslav and the Brave sent for repairs, the frigate Kovarny and the steamer Bessarabia. The admiral also expressed bewilderment as to why he was not sent a frigate “Kulevchi”, which is idle in Sevastopol, and to send two more additional steamships necessary for cruising. Nakhimov was ready to fight if the Turks went on a breakthrough. However, the Ottoman command, although at that time had the advantage in strength, did not dare to enter a general battle or simply go for a breakthrough. When Nakhimov reported that the forces of the Ottomans in Sinop, according to his observations, were higher than previously thought, Menshikov sent reinforcements — the squadron of Novosilsky, and then the detachment of steamboats Kornilov.
The forces of the parties
The reinforcements arrived on time. 16 (28) November 1853, the Nakhimov detachment reinforced the squadron of Rear Admiral Fyodor Novosilsky: 120-gun battleship Paris, Grand Duke Constantine and Three Saints, frigates Kagul and Kulevchi. As a result, under the authority of Nakhimov there were already 6 battleships: the 84-gun "Empress Maria", "Chesma" and "Rostislav", the 120-gun "Paris", "Grand Prince Konstantin" and "Three Saints", 60-gun frigate " Kulevchi ”and 44-gun“ Cahul ”. The guns of Nakhimov was 716, from each side of the squadron could give a volley of weight in 378 pounds 13 pounds. In addition, Kornilov was in a hurry to help Nakhimov with three steam-powered frigates.
The Ottomans had 7 frigates, 3 corvettes, several auxiliary vessels and a detachment of 3 steam frigates. In general, the Turks had 476 naval guns, backed by 44 coastal guns. The Ottoman squadron was led by the Turkish Vice-Admiral Osman Pasha. The second flagship was Rear Admiral Hussein Pasha. When the squadron was English adviser - Captain A. Slade. The detachment of steamboats commanded by Vice Admiral Mustafa Pasha. Osman Pasha, knowing that the Russian squadron was guarding him at the exit from the bay, sent a disturbing message to Istanbul, asked for help, greatly exaggerating Nakhimov's forces. However, the Ottomans were late, the message was passed to the British 17 (29) in November, one day before the attack of Nakhimov. Even if Lord Stratford-Radcliffe, who at the time was actually in charge of Porta’s policy, ordered the British squadron to go to the aid of Osman Pasha, it would still be late. Besides, the English ambassador in Istanbul had no right to start a war with Russia, the admiral could refuse.
The admiral, as soon as the reinforcements arrived, decided not to wait, immediately enter Sinop Bay and attack the Ottoman ships. In essence, Nakhimov was taking a risk, albeit well calculated. The Ottomans had good ship and coastal guns, and with proper leadership, the Turkish forces could inflict serious damage on the Russian squadron. However, the once formidable Ottoman fleet was in decline, both in terms of combat training and leadership. The Ottoman command itself played along with Nakhimov, arranging the ships extremely inconvenient for defense. First, the Ottoman squadron was located like a fan, a concave arc. As a result, the ships closed the sector of shelling of coastal batteries. Secondly, the ships were located along the embankment, which prevented them from maneuvering and firing with two sides. This weakened the firepower of Osman Pasha's squadron.
Nakhimov's plan was imbued with determination and initiative. The Russian squadron in the ranks of two wake columns (the ships followed one after another along the course line) was ordered to break through the Sinop raid and inflict a fire strike on the enemy’s ships and batteries. The first column commanded Nakhimov. It included the ships "Empress Maria" (flagship), "Grand Duke Constantine" and "Chesma." The second column was led by Novosilsky. It included "Paris" (2-th flagship), "Three Saints" and "Rostislav." The movement of the two columns was to reduce the time of passage of ships under the fire of the Turkish squadron and coastal batteries. In addition, facilitated the deployment of Russian ships in combat order when anchored. In the rearguard were frigates that were supposed to stop the enemy's attempts to escape. The targets of all the ships were distributed in advance. In this case, the commanders of the ships had a certain independence in the choice of targets, depending on the specific situation, while fulfilling the principle of mutual support.
A. V. Ganzen "The ship of the line" Empress Maria "under sail".
To be continued ...