Military Review

The Legend of Makarov

Makarov Stepan Osipovich
O sun of the north! How stately

It fell into a steep whirlpool.
Let, as in the wilderness, everything will freeze all around,
To him in silence giving glory!
Ishikawa Takuboku, "In memory of Admiral Makarov"

There is a monument on the main square of Kronstadt. From the high pedestal, on which the gilded inscription “Remember the war” is knocked out, the broad-shouldered admiral looks towards the sea, stretching out his hand forward. This is a monument to Stepan Makarov, a talented navigator, whose name is inextricably linked with the Russo-Japanese War. His death in 1904 was an irreparable loss for the Russian fleet.

Could one person influence the course of the Russian-Japanese war? Many historians believe that if Admiral Makarov had not died, Russia would have had a chance of winning the war. However, there is also an opinion that Makarov’s achievements are somewhat exaggerated, and even if he survived, the problems in the military system of that time were too great for one person to cope with them and lead Russia to victory.

Stepan Osipovich Makarov was born in 1848 year. His father served in the training fleet crew, and his son, following the example of his father, entered the Naval Naval School of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. Although Osip Makarov did not pay too much attention to the children, nevertheless, Stepan adopted from his father such qualities as curiosity and responsibility in performing his work, discipline, diligence and love for the sea.

According to the established tradition of the Nicholas School, the junior Cadets were fully placed in the care of their elders, on the part of whom they endured all kinds of mockery. The elders even had the right to punish the younger ones. According to Makarov, seniors could force the little ones to do anything for themselves, they were not allowed to rebuke. In the past, such orders reigned in one form or another in almost all men's educational institutions, especially provincial ones. However, Makarov himself from an early age did not allow himself a bad attitude towards the younger ones. The school played an important role in the life of Makarov. He was on friendly terms with many teachers, received books from them. Rumors of a diligent student reached Rear Admiral P. V. Kazakevich, who appointed a young cadet to the Pacific squadron under the command of A. A. Popov.

At that time, only noblemen had the right to occupy command positions in the fleet, and noble surnames. Natives of non-titled noble families, with rare exceptions, could not climb the corporate ladder, despite all their merits or abilities. Appointment to a post most often depended on kinship or familiarity with senior officials of the maritime ministry. The top of the fleet (the naval ministry and the maritime technical committee) was replenished, as a rule, from representatives of a narrow circle of noble families of nobles and had a bad attitude towards talented sailors who were able to advance.

In August, Makarov, 1865, was assigned to the Varyag corvette, the flagship of the squadron commander, Admiral I. A. Endogurov. The commander of the corvette was an experienced sailor, captain of the second rank, R. A. Lund. Until November 1866, Makarov was constantly in swimming, visited the Japanese, Chinese and Okhotsk seas, as well as in the Pacific and Indian oceans. In November 1866, Makarov was transferred to the flagship "Askold", which sailed under the flag of Rear Admiral Kern. But a month later he was sent to Kronstadt, in the Baltic Fleet.

Michman Makarov was appointed watch supervisor for the double-topped armored ship "Mermaid". While sailing near the Finnish coast, the Rusalka received a hole. For sealing holes on ships, a plaster made from a large piece of tarred canvas has long been used. A significant drawback was that the patch began to be made after the ship had received damage, thus losing valuable time. And Makarov developed detailed instructions for the manufacture of patches in advance, and also improved the design of the patch itself. The young inventor sought to ensure that any hole could not lead to the death of the vessel, and prepared the device drainage system, located between two bottoms. Makarov presented all his projects and ideas in detail in the first serious scientific work - “The Battleship“ Mermaid ”. A study of buoyancy and the means proposed to enhance it. ”

During the Russian-Turkish war 1877-1878. Stepan Makarov tested his new inventions in the mine business, for which he later received the nickname “the grandfather of the mine fleet”. He first brought the mine business to the system and in every way promoted mines as the most important weapon in a naval war. Makarov also conducted a study of the Bosphorus Strait, which resulted in the work "On the exchange of waters of the Black and Mediterranean Seas." Printed in the Notes of the Academy of Sciences, this study was awarded an Academy Award in 1885. The general conclusion was as follows: there are two currents in the Bosporus, the upper one - from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea and the lower one - from the Sea of ​​Marmara to the Black Sea. The difference of these currents can be advantageously used in combat operations in the Bosphorus Gulf. Makarov's work is still considered classic and the most complete in addressing the issue of currents on the Bosporus.

In the summer of 1882, Makarov was appointed the flag officer of the head of the Baltic Sea navy ships detachment, Rear Admiral Schmidt. His work has increased. Makarov established a system of alignments and signs to mark the skerry fairway and took an active part in the transportation of large arms all types of weapons from the outskirts of St. Petersburg to various districts of the Finnish coast on military ships. In 1886, on the ship "Vityaz" Makarov went to circumnavigate the globe.

“Vityaz” followed the following route: Kronstadt, Kiel, Gothenburg, Portsmouth, Brest, El Ferrol (Spain), Lisbon, Madeira Island and Portopraise on the Cape Verde Islands. 20 November ship entered the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. Having safely passed the Strait of Magellan, the Vityaz 6 of January 1887 was in Valparaiso, and then crossed the Pacific Ocean in the direction of Yokohama. During the voyage, Makarov made hydrological and meteorological observations, measured the depths, and took water and soil samples.

In the autumn of 1891, a broad discussion began in the Russian fleet on the issues of armor protection of ships and increasing the penetrating power of projectiles. In the midst of this discussion, Stepan Osipovich Makarov was appointed Chief Inspector of Naval Artillery. He is actively engaged in technical improvements to the maritime service. So, at this time he developed a semaphore system. Signal transmission using flags significantly accelerated the exchange of information between ships. Makarov tried to introduce the latest innovation - radiograms, but did not receive approval from the authorities.
At the end of 1894, Makarov was appointed commander of the Russian squadron located in the Mediterranean. At this time, he was seized by the idea of ​​reaching the North Pole. Makarov persuaded Witte to find funds for the construction of the Yermak icebreaker, which was launched in 1899. However, during the test voyages, Yermak could not break through the ice, and Makarova was soon eliminated from this project.

In 1899, Makarov was appointed commander of the port of Kronstadt, the military governor-general. The situation in the Far East is gradually heating up due to the strengthening of Japan. As Makarov said to his biographer, Wrangel, about the situation in Port Arthur: “They will send me there when our things become absolutely bad.”

The admiral arrived at Port Arthur and led the Pacific Fleet in February 1904. From the first days he began to take action, coached the sailors, went out with a squadron into the sea in search of the enemy. Even the Japanese had heard about this talented man, they were afraid and respected by Makarov.

At the end of March 1904, the admiral received a report on the concentration of Japanese ships in the Elliott Islands area with a view to their further transfer to the Kwantung Peninsula. On the night of 30 on 31 in March old style, he decided to send a group of destroyers to intercept, and in the morning to withdraw the squadron from Port Arthur and destroy the enemy ships. The 8 destroyers went to the raid: "Brave", "Watchdog", "Silent", "Thistle", "Terrible", "Stormy", "Hardy" and "Fighting". In the dark, the destroyers "Terrible" and "Brave" behind the group and lost. The main detachment, saw in the distance numerous ships of the Japanese, turned to Port Arthur. The lagging ships stumbled upon the enemy: "The Terrible" was shot at point-blank and went to the bottom, and the "Brave" was able to return to Port Arthur. Makarov sent the Bayan cruiser to the aid of the “Terrible”, but it was too late.

Without waiting for the entire squadron to go out, Makarov on the battleship Petropavlovsk at 8 hours of the morning moved towards the enemy. Soon the main forces of the Japanese, 6 battleships and 2 cruisers appeared on the horizon. Petropavlovsk was at a very disadvantage far from the base, and Makarov turned to Port Arthur. In 9 hours 43 minutes, the battleship came across a mine can, and an explosion rang out over the sea.

Together with the headquarters of the fleet commander, there were 705 people on Petropavlovsk, of whom 636 died and died from wounds. Among them was the Russian artist Vereshchagin. For some reason, the Japanese commander-in-chief, H. Togo, did not develop success, and after a few hours the enemy’s squadron departed from Port Arthur.

The Russian fleet suffered a huge loss, having lost the commander in chief. The morale of the sailors plummeted, and faith in the victory, which Makarov managed to convince, was greatly shaken. Subsequent admirals did not show such zeal in the fighting, and no one treated ordinary sailors as well as Makarov. The outcome of the war was obvious. “Only he wins who is not afraid to die,” said Admiral Makarov.
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  1. shurup
    shurup 4 March 2014 10: 02
    Upon learning of the death of Makarov, the Japanese immediately carried out an amphibious operation.
    This is the question of whether one person could influence the course of the Russo-Japanese war.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 4 March 2014 10: 16
    Russia did not work out, the war ... and especially did not work out after the death of Admiral Makarov ... Honor and glory!
  3. SPLV
    SPLV 4 March 2014 12: 06
    A summary of the events of a century ago. But most of all I liked what was done by the lady. So interest in history from the weaker sex has a place to be. Thank.
  4. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 4 March 2014 12: 20
    Nevertheless, with all due respect to Stepan Osipovich, he was still not a genius (to recall the idea of ​​an armless vessel, and it was Makarov who owed light shells with a minimum of explosive reefs to Makarov)
    However, Stepan Osipovich:
    1) In no case was he a parquet admiral
    2) Had a very lively and quick mind
    3) He was not afraid of the enemy himself and did not allow it to others :)
    4) Was a supporter of active and offensive actions
    5) He knew how to raise not only the morale of the squadron entrusted to him, but also its military training - immediately, rolling up his sleeves, he began to "pull up" the people with exercises
    And this, in principle, would have been more than enough for Togo (who himself was far from a genius of tactics) Even if Makarov couldn’t defeat the Japanese fleet, he would mutilate him to the point where he could no longer resist the second Pacific squadron. IMHO, of course
    1. nnz226
      nnz226 5 March 2014 01: 11
      There is information that when leaving Port Arthur's bay, he canceled the mandatory trawling of the fairway, and ran into a mine can .... But his death really undermined morale ... And this is very important ...
    2. Alex
      Alex 5 July 2014 23: 56
      I completely agree with your assessment. Stepan Osipovich had, of course, shortcomings, but whoever did not have them. And the fact that he, if he was mistaken, was only because he was trying to do something for Russia and the Navy, unlike many.
      I agree that Russia would hardly be able to win this war, but to reduce this game to a draw and get out of it without territorial losses and revolution is a very real alternative. And the Japanese fleet could decrease interest on 50-60.
  5. ivanovbg
    ivanovbg 4 March 2014 13: 15
    Interestingly, I did not know that during the Russian-Turkish war 1877-1878. military operations were conducted at sea. I only read somewhere about the transfer of Suleiman’s troops from Istanbul to Varna by sea.
    1. Yarik
      Yarik 4 March 2014 13: 55
      They fought on the Danube. Basically mine boats. Well, on the Black Sea. "Vesta" is there, Rozhdestvensky ... don't you remember?
  6. blizart
    blizart 4 March 2014 19: 54
    He fought not only actively, but aggressively. One of the reasons for the defeat was the extremely low psychological training of senior and higher command personnel in relation to the conditions of the war. Simply put, the lack of a "winning spirit". Example-Admiral Ukhtomsky
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 4 March 2014 22: 02
      But Ukhtomsky didn’t please you? :)
    2. The comment was deleted.
  7. Arct
    Arct 4 March 2014 21: 38
    The material has a very promising second paragraph, which unfortunately has not been expanded. The result was a brief biography, not an interesting article. Andrei has already stated a point of view close to mine. I do not want to glorify Makarov in any way, but I also see no reason to make an icon out of him. Unfortunately, he was not a talented naval commander (like Ushakov, for example). Talented engineer, very good organizer, good admiral. Yes, Heihatiro Togo was not a genius, but in order to defeat him under the current conditions, a real naval commander was needed. There were one and a half such people in the Empire of that time. Therefore, IMHO, the maximum that Makarov would achieve with his active actions is a more careful sea blockade by the Japanese. And anti-Tsushima was needed. Port Arthur would not have saved. Everything was decided in the fields of Manchuria.
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 4 March 2014 22: 16
      Quote: Arkt
      Therefore, IMHO, the maximum that Makarov would achieve with his active actions is a more careful sea blockade by the Japanese. And anti-Tsushima was needed.

      I don’t think so. Makarov would have climbed into the general battle after the commissioning of Retvisan and Tsesarevich - well, maybe he would have driven the squadron a little for combat coordination, and so on ... And here I wouldn’t be jealous of the Japanese - in principle, even Witgeft had a good chance to roll great the Japanese in the second phase of the battle in the yellow sea.
  8. cap-blood
    cap-blood 5 March 2014 01: 00
    Nikolaev city. At the beginning of the Makarov Boulevard there is (for now) a rather monumental monument to Stepan Osipovich. The place is beautiful! Under the Union was the Makarov Nikolaev Shipbuilding Institute: after all, he was also a scientist, inventor. Now, instead of the NQI - UMGU (Ukrainian Maritime State University), I think there is no need to explain further.
    Now, when the "Banderlog" came, all the monuments to Lenin were thrown off in the city, every day people are fighting off attempts to destroy other monuments, especially zealously "gangs" want to drop on the memorial, next to the boulevard, a monument to 68 paratroopers (all heroes of the Soviet Union) Nikolaev from the Nazis ...
    Veterans are trying not to say anything so that kondraty is not enough. Cops and local authorities do not touch the maydans; indulgences bargain for themselves. GAI officers are now on duty on 6 people, but the Nikolaev cars are being kicked, although the city is flooded with cars with numbers from the western regions, there are enough European Union ones. On the streets are full of guys with backpacks, with faces clearly not of the Nikolaev type.
    So now we have fun. The night has passed - and thank God that they are still alive. Some kind of surrealism.
    1. VKabanov
      VKabanov 5 March 2014 11: 02
      My advice to you is to take a good camera and photograph the monument from several angles. Though it will be what to show the children ...
  9. Arct
    Arct 6 March 2014 19: 33
    Andrei, theoretically we can argue until blue in the face. Practice has shown something else. Togo would simply leave the battle and go to the far blockade. I think you will not argue that it would be possible to impose the tactics of battle necessary for Makarov on our ships to the very end?