Military Review

Today is the Day of the Black Sea Fleet

Today is the Day of the Black Sea Fleet

May 13, 1783 11 ships of the Azov Sea entered the Akhtiar Bay of the Black Sea flotilla under the command of Admiral Fedot Klokachev. This happened two months after the annexation of Crimea to Russia. On the shores of the bay, construction of the city and port soon began, which became the main base of the Russian fleet and received the name Sevastopol. May 13 is annually celebrated as the birthday of the Black Sea Fleet.

However, the date of the foundation can be considered a different date: January 11 1783 c. Catherine II signed a rescript on the introduction of the post of commander of the Black Sea Fleet. Thus, this day - January 11 old style, or January 22 new style - was the birthday of the Black Sea Fleet.

Glory of the Black Sea. The fleet and Sevastopol in the late XVIII - early XIX centuries.

Having received bases for the fleet in the Sea of ​​Azov, Russia hastened to strengthen its military presence in the Black Sea. Empress Catherine II ordered to send a cruiser detachment of military vessels disguised as commercial ships from the Sea of ​​Azov to the Black Sea. In addition, the Empress ordered to send a detachment of six frigates to the Black Sea from the Baltic Sea under the command of 2-rank captain T.G. Kozlyannikova, however, the Turks did not let the military vessels through the straits. It remained to build ships in place. But the construction of the fleet in the south was hampered by the shallowness of the Don and its tributaries, where the shipyards were located, as well as the Taganrog Bay. To build ships more or less suited only to the Dnieper-Bug estuary, and in December 1775, Catherine II issued a decree of the Admiralty Board, ordering at the same time to reduce the construction of ships in the Sea of ​​Azov. 31 May 1778, by Catherine's rescript, a new shipbuilding and naval base was placed in the care of the Novorossiysk Governor-General of the Most High Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin. 18 June 1778, the Empress ordered to call the new naval base Kherson. 7 July 1780 in Kherson were laid the first two ships. Catherine understood the dangerous fragility of the Russian-Turkish treaty and in every possible way hurried to build the Kherson shipyard and ships. In 1782, Prince Potemkin even had to resort to the free hire of 1150 carpenters "for the manufacture of a ship's structure" [5] ;. In August 1783, in Kherson arrived 2-captain rank, the future Admiral Fyodor Ushakov with 700 3 thousand sailors and artisans [6].

At the end of 1782, the town of Potemkin reported to Catherine his plan for annexing Crimea to Russia. A significant place was given in terms of the actions of the fleet, and the brightest prince offered to take over the general command of the fleet and army in the south. The Empress agreed with all points of the plan, without even asking for the opinion of the Admiralty Board that managed the fleet. 11 January 1783 Propulsion Ekaterina II signed a rescript on the introduction of the post of commander of the Black Sea Fleet. Thus, this day - January 11 old style, or January 22 new style - was the birthday of the Black Sea Fleet. The rescript said: "To Command intravascular our fleet in the Black and Azov Seas ordain immediately send our Vice Admiral Klokachev, which for the adoption of required instructions come from our Azov Novorossiysk and the Governor-General Prince Potemkin" [7]. In honor of the founding of the Black Sea Fleet Catherine ordered to cast the medal "Glory to Russia".

The first Black Sea Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Fedot A. Klokachev distinguished himself in the battle of Chesma 24-25 1770 June, commanding a captain 1-rank battleship "Europe", with 1776 he headed the Azov flotilla. He was distinguished by his personal courage and was not only an experienced sailor, but also a good manager, so the choice of Catherine was infallible.

Meanwhile, Turkey was preparing for a new war with Russia, she could not reconcile with the loss of the Crimea. In 1776, the Turkish government demanded the return of Kinburn and Crimea. Then in the fall of 1776, Russia sent A.V. troops to the Crimea. Suvorov and put on the Crimean throne Shagin-Giray, the khan she pleased with her. Fearing for his power, Khan asked Russia to leave the troops in the Crimea. Turkey withdrew its troops, but soon its emissaries raised a revolt against Shagin Giray there. Turkey sent troops, but they did not land in Crimea, fearing Suvorov and the Russian strike from the sea. Spring 1779, Turkey signed the Convention to confirm the contract, however 1774 8 1783 April, Catherine II in view of Turkey's persistent violation of the contract conditions including the Crimea to Russia and renamed it in Tauris. The empress entrusted Potemkin to govern the Tauride province. A dream come true for generations of Russians, their blood was not shed in vain - Russia joined Crimea, and with it has gained a strong position in the Black Sea and the Black Sea is very profitable trade routes, the economy of the south of Russia has received new opportunities for development. But only the military fleet could ensure the full strategic position of Russia in the south. The creation of the Black Sea Fleet was required to accelerate in every way.

In early May, 1783, the city of Potemkin, sent Klokachev a warrant with instructions to take command not only of the fleet, but also of the Kherson shipyards, which were in a state of neglect. Captain over the Kherson port of captain 1 rank I.Т. Ovtsyna Potemkin shifted temporarily appointed in his stead captain 1-rank Marco Ivanovich Voinovich known courage and honesty to build a ship commander "Glory of Catherine". At the end of July, Voinovich was replaced by the captain of the 1 rank A.P. Muromtsev. Voinovich returned to his former position and took part in the urgent completion of his ship - the first battleship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. 16 September 1783 g. 66-gun "Glory of Catherine" was launched. In May, 1788, Mr. Potemkin ordered to rename the ship in the "Transfiguration". Under this name, the ship participated in many battles of FF Squadron. Ushakov [8].

The newborn Black Sea Fleet needed a good, convenient base in all respects. The Akhtiar bay in the southern tip of the Crimea became such a base. The first of the major Russian military leaders drew attention to the Akhtiar Bay, Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov. As already mentioned, Lieutenant-General A.V. Suvorov commanded the troops that Russia sent to the Crimea at the end of 1776. Suvorov immediately assessed the strategic and operational-tactical importance of the Ahtiar Bay. "Just the harbor, - he wrote - not only in the local peninsula, but throughout the Black Sea, the other is not there, where would be better to keep the fleet and employees on the one A comfortable and relaxing to be able to put" [9]. 15 June 1778 The Suvorov city deployed 6 infantry battalions, cavalry and artillery along the shores of Akhtiar Bay. He ordered urgently to cover the bay with batteries, and ordered to work in secret, at night, so that the Turkish ships in the bay would not notice anything. On the morning of June 16, the watch on Turkish ships suddenly saw themselves at the point of the Russian coastal batteries. Turkish squadron consisted of more than 10 vessels and Russian batteries were only three, and yet be more in the Bay of the Turks did not dare, at 17 June, they left it in the waters of the night. The headwind interfered with the movement, the Turks had to tow ships with boats, and they did not move far from the bay. As he wrote Suvorov Russian resident at the court of the Crimean khan Sakharov Konstantinov: "Nasty weather prevented stambultsev exit from Acht [iarskoy] wow [Ani] perpetrate one shot, stretched them out of the harbor in boats shot 7 times, further on rumba eg [avilis. ] to Ochakov; 1 / 2 hour could not move, one more than the other frigate struggled to but not prevailed, and the boat went Upon this distance they stand ... "[10].. The departure of the Turkish fleet strengthened the regime of the Russian protégé Shagin-Giray. Empress appreciated demonstrative action Suvorov - "to oust the Turkish fleet of Ahtiarskoy harbor and from the Crimean coast," she complained to the commander with diamonds gold snuffbox with its portrait [11].

In the same city of 1778 Ahtiarskuyu bay for the first time examined the marine point of view of the crew of the frigate "Cautious" under the command of Captain 2-rank Berseneva [12]. In 1780, the bay again visited the Russian ship. According to the description of that time, the shores were deserted, "the whole place was wild and covered with small woods and bushes" [13]. Only on the north bank housed the Tatar village of 7-9 shacks called Ak-Jar (White Rock), on behalf of the bay and has long called on the Russian maps Ahtiarskoy.

17 November 1782. The Russian frigates “The Brave” and “The Wary” entered the bay under the general command of the captain of the 1 rank I.M. Odintsov. They were the first of the Russian ships left at Aq-Yar for the winter. The sailors built for themselves in a beam, later called Sukharnaya, a small barracks, dug four wells. In the next girder frigates were keeled - they were tilted on board to clean the bottom and keel of the accrued shells and algae. The place where the kilevaniye took place, later received the name "Kilen-beam". During the winter, the crews of ships measured the depths of the North and South bays, made their description and maps. On the shores of the bays found many keys and wells. Now, after the surveys, it was possible to transfer the entire core of the Black Sea Fleet to the Ahtiar Bay. But first they took care of the coastal and antiamphibious defense - in the middle of April 1783 a grenadier battalion arrived on the shores of the bay, and at the end of April - Kaporsky and Dneprovsky regiments and field artillery. The troops built barracks and warehouses ("Akhtiar shop"), began to strengthen the shores of the harbor.

2 May 1783. 11 ships of the Azov and then 17 ships of the Dnieper Flotilla entered the Akhtiar Bay. The Black Sea Fleet for the first time concentrated in its new main base. The ships are located in the South Bay, which is recognized as the most secure.

May 6 fleet commander Vice Admiral FA Klokachev, having personally examined the Akhtiar Bay, came to a complete delight. Here is what he wrote to the Vice-President of the Admiralty Board, Count Ivan Grigorievich Chernyshev, a member of the Academy of Sciences, a disinterested scientist and a clever leader: After entering and looking around, I can say that in the whole of Europe there is no such harbor like this - position, size, depth.

It is possible to have a fleet in it up to 100 of linear ships, moreover, nature has set up estuaries, which themselves are divided into different harbors, that is, military and merchant. One cannot believe without this view that so this harbor was good. Today, I began to carefully describe this harbor and describe the position of its place and, once I finish, I will immediately send a map. If it would be pleasing to Her Imperial Majesty to have a fleet in the local harbor, then on a similar basis it would be necessary to start a port here, as in Kronstadt "[14]. 13 July 1783 the card was sent to the Admiralty Collegium; cities.

In the meantime, in St. Petersburg, city plans were being prepared, 3 June 1783 on the western shore of the South Bay sailors laid the first three stone houses: a chapel, a forge for the Admiralty and a house for Rear Admiral F.F. Mekenzie (from 8 in May 1783, he headed the Black Sea squadron instead of FA Klokachev who left for Kherson). In the southern part of the harbor, on the Nikolaevsky cape, they began to build a wooden boat mooring and a staircase - the future Ekaterininskaya, then the Grafskaya, pier. This day - June 3 (June 14 in a new style) - became the founding day of the city. In honor of this event in 1783, the medal "Benefit of Russia" was cast. Originally, the city was called Akhtiar, after the coastal Tatar village Ak-Yar. 10 February 1784 Decree of Catherine II legitimized the birth of a new city and commanded to continue to call it Sevastopol, which in Greek means "City of Glory" [15]. After the death of Catherine II (6 in November 1796), the new emperor Paul I in 1797 ordered the city to return its first name, Akhtiar. For four years, the city was again called Akhtiar, until Alexander I finally renamed it to 1801 in Sevastopol [16].


1 History domestic shipbuilding. Ed. I.D. Spassky, - T. I. - SPb., 1994. - S. 188-190.
2 Veselago F. A brief history of the Russian fleet (from the beginning of the development of navigation to the 1825 year). - Ed. 2 - M.-L., 1939. C. 66, 67.
3 The history of domestic shipbuilding. - S. 242-243.
4 Veselago F. Decree. cit. - S. 102-104.
5 The history of domestic shipbuilding. - S. 248-255.
6 Black Sea Fleet: Historical Sketch. - M., 1967. - S. 11.
7 The history of domestic shipbuilding. - S. 256.
8 Ibid., S. 257-258.
9 Cit. By: The history of the hero-city of Sevastopol: 1783-1917. - Ed. S.F. Naida. - Kiev, 1960. - S. 27.
10 A.V. Suvorov. Letters - M., 1987. - S. 42-43, 506.
11 Ibid., S. 515.
12 Black Sea Fleet. C. 11.
13 Cit. By: History of the hero-city of Sevastopol. - S. 27.
14 Ibid., S. 28-29
15 Black Sea Fleet. - S. 12; Sevastopol 200 years: 1783-1983 // Collection of documents and materials. - Kiev, 1983. - S. 29.
16 Zverev B.I. Pages of the Russian marine chronicle. - M., 1960. - C.124.
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