England, in principle, did not like Russia's gain at the expense of Turkey. However, London during the Russian-Turkish war 1768 — 1774. He held the position of neutrality benevolent to Russia. This was due to the fact that during this period the Turks became very close to the French, which irritated England. The British loved to fight with someone else's hands and with great pleasure pitted Petersburg with Paris and Istanbul. In addition, it should not be forgotten that at that time a serious dependence on Russian trade greatly influenced the foreign policy of England. In 1760 — 1780, Russian ports annually came from 600 to 700 of English merchant ships. The English fleet was built from the Russian forest and other materials.
As a result, during the war of 1768-1774. (and during the second Russo-Turkish war) the British were pretty good allies of Russia. The relations of the two powers during this period were surprisingly harmonious. So, when the Russian Empire moved a military squadron into the Eastern Mediterranean, the British envoys in Paris and Madrid unequivocally stated that the refusal to allow Russian ships to enter the Mediterranean "would be seen as a hostile act directed against England." During the movement of Russian ships in 1769-1774. off the French and Spanish coasts, London concentrated nearby large forces of its fleet. Britain provided its ships with Russian ports for basing and repair. During both Russian-Turkish wars, the British willingly sold to Russians weaponand even warships. In particular, two bombing ships were bought in England - the “Lightning” and the “Terrible”. Moreover, in the Russian armed forces served a lot of English officers.
Among those who switched to the Russian service was Samuel Greig. Samuil Karlovich Greig rose to the rank of admiral, distinguished himself in the 1770 Chesmean sea battle, led the Russian Mediterranean squadron in 1774 — 1775, led the Baltic fleet, and defeated the Swedes in the Gogland naval battle in the 1788, Admiral Greyg. and the rearmament of the Russian fleet. In particular, he improved the sailing system of ships and the design of ship hulls and ship devices. Under Greig, for the first time, the underwater part of the ships was sheathed with copper sheets, which increased their driving performance.
Admiral C. C. Greig in the portrait of an unknown artist. After 1788
Great help to the British in the supply of ship guns. It was a serious problem. Russian iron foundries supplied extremely low-quality tools. The service was taken from different batches from 12 to 50% of the cast-iron cannons, the rest were rejected. Yes, and adopted weapons often exploded, killed and maimed people, harmed ships. As a result, the government was forced during the war to buy large quantities of guns in England. The main supplier was the Carron plant in Scotland. This company has supplied Russia with several hundred naval guns of all calibres used in the Russian fleet: 6, 8, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 pounds. Purchased guns and other British factories.
The Russian government not only bought weapons, but also took care of the development of the military industry in Russia. For example, in England, one of the creators and director of the Carron plant in Scotland, Charles Gascoigne (called Karl Karlovich in Russia), invented a new type of ship's tool - carronade. The cannon was first called by its name - Gascon. Due to the shorter length and special design of the gasconade, the weight of the 3-4 was less than that of a similar cast-iron cannon. This reduced the cost of the new artillery system. Moreover, its rate of fire was 3 times higher than that of guns. The recoil of the gun also decreased, which made it possible to install carronades on the upper deck of the ship without reducing stability and to use carriages instead of wheels. True, the range of firing carronades was lower than that of guns. However, at close range it was a terrible weapon. In the conditions of sea battles of the XVIII century, when the ships converged on the minimum distance (“on a pistol shot”), the advantages of carronades outweighed their disadvantages.
140-mm English carronade of the 18th century on a sliding carriage
8-pound bronze carronade on the ship's machine tool of the XVIII century. Museum of the Black Sea Fleet, Sevastopol
Admiral Greig suggested that Empress Catherine transport Gascoigne to Russia to organize the production of new tools. It was very difficult. It was forbidden to take out engineers and cars from England, for which severe punishment was imposed, up to the death penalty. However, it was possible to buy officials not only in Russia, but also in England. The Russian ambassador in London, Count Vorontsov, received money to bribe officials and Gascoigne gave permission for a "private trip." In 1786, Gascoigne, with 11 engineers and several dozen machine tools, and materials necessary for organizing production, arrived in Russia. In Russia, the engineer received a huge salary for those times - 2500 pounds per year, plus half the profit from manufactured products.
Gascoigne completely rebuilt the Aleksandrovsky cannon-foundry in Petrozavodsk, restored the Konchezersky copper and iron foundry, built a small iron foundry in Kronstadt itself. Karl (Charles) Gascoigne also played a key role in the construction of the Lugansk foundry and founded the Mechanical Plant in Petersburg (the future Putilovsky). One of the companions of Gascoigne, who arrived with him from Scotland, Charles (Karl Nikolaevich) Bird founded the future famous Byrd Plant, which eventually became one of the best foundry-mechanical enterprises in Russia and built the first steamboats on the Neva.
In 1788, for the first time in Russia, at the Aleksandrovsky Plant, a railroad was launched - the “cast-iron wheel line” (it became the world's first railroad of the factory). In 1789, the plant built Russia's first steam engine for production purposes. Thanks to the activities of Gascoigne, the Russian fleet received hundreds of first-class cannons and carronades. At the Alexander Plant and other enterprises that Gascoigne managed, the marriage was reduced to a few percent.
Scottish inventor and gunsmith Karl Karlovich (Charles) Gascoigne
Relations between Russia and England deteriorated during the American Revolution (War of Independence). English King George III appealed to Catherine II with a request to send Russian troops to America to fight the rebels. Naturally, the service promised to pay well. It must be said that in the light of the future, the extremely hostile attitude of the United States to Russia, the participation of Americans in the outbreak of the First and Second World Wars, the organization of 1917 and 1991 revolutions in Russia, maybe Catherine and it was worth sending Russian troops led by Suvorov to suppress the future cancer in the embryo. However, the Russian empress categorically refused to help the British. In addition, she believed that the English king had gone mad (George III really suffered from a mental disorder) and should not help him.
France recognized the independence of the United States and signed a trade agreement with them. The British government immediately broke off diplomatic relations with the French kingdom and declared war on France. England also declared war on Spain, and then on Holland. The united fleets of the British opponents were not inferior to the British fleet, but they acted inconsistently, so that England was left to dominate the sea. British ships and privateers attacked, stopped and robbed the courts of almost all European countries, causing outrage of neutral powers. So, England captured and 17 Russian ships.
As a result, the patience of Empress Catherine II snapped. 28 February 1780 Russia declared the Declaration of Armed Neutrality. New principles of navigation of ships of neutral countries during the war allowed them: 1) to sail freely from one port to another and off the coast of warring countries; 2) the property belonging to the subjects of the warring powers was free on neutral ships, except for protected items; 3) only weapons, projectiles and ammunition were considered protected items; 4) was considered a blocked port only where there was an obvious danger of opposition from the fleets of the warring powers. Thus, the neutral court received the right to defense. In order to support its declaration, Russia immediately sent several warships to the North Sea to ensure the freedom of navigation for all peoples and the elimination of privateers.
This step had the effect of a bombshell. Armed Neutrality Act in 1780-1783 Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Prussia, Austria, Portugal and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies joined. The principles of armed neutrality were recognized by France and Spain. The document was supported by the United States. As a result, an extensive, almost pan-European anti-British coalition began to take shape. England had to reckon with the opinion of such power. In consequence, the principles of the Declaration of Armed Neutrality formed the basis of international maritime law.
The proclamation of the policy of armed neutrality by St. Petersburg also meant the government’s final rejection of the idea of the “Northern chord”. At the same time, the author of the Northern Union, Nikita Panin, lost his influence. In 1781, he was sent on long sick leave. Soon he was completely removed from the leadership of Russian foreign policy. In addition, there was a rapprochement between Russia and Austria, the two great European powers joined the anti-Turkish alliance.
Despite the success of the British fleet, in general, England lost the war 1778-1783. In 1783, the Paris Peace (Versailles Peace) was signed. England recognized the independence of the United States. France returned to England all the captured islands in the West Indies. England ceded the rights of France to Senegal and Tobago, Spain - the rights to the island of Menorca, Mosquito Coast (the territory along the Atlantic coast of present-day Nicaragua) and the coastal part of Florida. Holland opened the Strait of Malacca to the English and ceded the city of Negapatam in India to Britain. Thus, Russia had an important influence on the emergence of the United States, not allowing England to suppress revolt in the colonies.
Plans for the release of Constantinople
In 1789, a revolution began in France. It led to the restriction and then the fall of the monarchy in 1792. Catherine II officially expressed extreme indignation at the events in France and called on the European powers to intervene. However, in reality, St. Petersburg was profitable that all the leading European powers were mired in French affairs. At this time, Russia could solve national problems.
In 1792, the Austro-Prussian forces invaded France, the period of so-called began. “Revolutionary wars. Russia had a free hand. Petersburg begins preparing an operation to seize Constantinople (the so-called “Dacian project” or “Greek project”). Catherine II planned to restore the Byzantine state headed by her grandson (he was even given the name of the founder of the city and capital of Byzantium - Constantine).
To solve the strategic task of capturing the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, Constantinople was planned in 1793-1794. The decisive role in the operation was to play the Black Sea Fleet, where dozens of gunboats and rowing ships were actively built for the landing. Alexander Suvorov was to lead the landing forces. There was no doubt that the Russian troops would take Tsargrad-Constantinople. The Russian Black Sea Fleet under the command of Fyodor Ushakov was at the peak of his might. Russian wonder-heroes of Suvorov can solve almost any problem.
However, the plan failed. Distracted Polish affairs and the intervention of France in them. Austria and Prussia were distracted by Poland. The second, and then the third sections of the Commonwealth led to the elimination of Polish statehood. The lands inhabited by the Poles proper were divided between Austria and Prussia. Russia returned the Western Russian regions and received part of the Baltic states. To divert England, a defensive alliance was concluded with her in 1795. Russia has promised to put 12 thousand corps for annual monetary assistance in 500 thousand rubles and the maintenance of troops. In addition, an auxiliary squadron was sent to the North Sea. She did not conduct military operations, only escorted merchants and led the blockade of the coast of Holland.
A little later, Catherine returned to this project. Only plans were expanded. In 1796, the Persian campaign was organized under the command of Valerian Zubov. The operation was successful (Punishing non-peaceful Persia - 1796 campaign of the year). The Russian Empire included Derbent, Baku, Cuba, Karabakh, Shemakhi, Ganja princedoms (Khanate). Russian troops opened the way to South Azerbaijan and Tehran. The Persians were demoralized and gave one territory after another practically without a fight. Thus, before the Russian army opened up bright prospects. It was possible to go to the Persian Gulf and India, or strike at Turkish Anatolia. In fact, Peter the Great opened this opportunity first, but his work was not continued (How Peter I cut the door to the East; Part 2).
Thus, in 1797, Russian troops could strike a fatal blow to the Ottoman Empire. According to Catherine’s plan, the Russian forces were to strike in three directions. The Persian Expeditionary Corps of Zubov was to end the war in Persia and move to Constantinople through Anatolia. Vice-Admiral Ushakov with a ship and rowing fleet - to conduct the Bosphorus operation. Suvorov was supposed to launch an attack on Istanbul through the Balkans. The death of Catherine ruined all grand designs. Pavel I did not share the political views of the mother and her favorites and decided to reconsider Russia's foreign policy. Zubov's troops returned from Persia. Preparation for the Bosphorus operation was canceled. The squadron from the North Sea was recalled.
Russian military commander, commander-in-chief of the Russian-Persian 1796 war of the year Valerian Alexandrovich Zubov
The beginning of the war with France
At first, the emperor Pavel Petrovich (in more detail about his policy - The myth of the "mad emperor" Paul I; Knight on the throne.) planned to conduct a peace policy. In the first months of his reign, the Russian sovereign did not interfere in European affairs. Even as heir to the throne, Pavel Petrovich made long journeys in European countries and managed to become well acquainted with the political situation and the interests of various countries. The emperor was a staunch enemy of the revolution. The French Revolution was a product of the Freemasons and the Illuminati, who followed the path of the revolutionary transformation of Europe, the destruction of the former political systems, the monarchy, the “outdated” morality and religion. French revolutionaries carried out a massacre in France and carried the virus of destruction across Europe. What will happen to revolutionary Europe, perfectly showed the example of France. In the country reigned most brutal terror. At the same time a bunch of bankers, speculators and politicians fabulously enriched. The spread of the revolution in Europe threatened with terrible disasters, the death of hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions of people.
It is clear that with such a plague it was necessary to fight. Moreover, it is desirable for distant frontiers. Seeing the political instability of France and the success of the French revolutionary army, Paul decided to intervene. It was difficult to establish order without Russia. In addition, several other factors played a role. So the Russian "military party" fabricated a "conspiracy of the Poles" in Vilna. Supposedly Polish conspirators were subsidized by Napoleon. In fact, Poland was full of pan-adventurers, but there was no serious conspiracy. France was not up to Poland. However, taking into account the ancient ties of France and Poland in Petersburg, they believed in this conspiracy. Paul was in a rage (in fact, he was deceived).
In addition, in 1798, the French captured Malta, and the Order of Malta was left without a grand master and base. The Maltese knights turned to the Russian sovereign, Paul, who, sharing the ancient knight ideals, had declared himself the protector of the Order of Malta a year earlier.
As a result, Paul became an ally of Austria and England in the fight against revolutionary France. Ushakova squadron was sent to the Mediterranean Sea. In December 1798, the Russian-English agreement was signed in St. Petersburg. Russia pledged to expose 45-th for the war in Europe the army. England promised to pay a one-time subsidy in 225 thousand pounds sterling and pay monthly on 75 thousand pounds sterling. Russia also deployed an auxiliary squadron, which was to operate in the North Sea. Interestingly, Europe needed not only Russian bayonets, but also a Russian commander. The British and Austrian ambassadors almost ultimatum demanded the appointment of Alexander Suvorov as commander of the Russian army, which will operate in Europe.
Suvorov acted brilliantly in Italy, and Ushakov in the Mediterranean. However, the Russian and British troops were defeated in Holland. Then the Austrians and the British set up Suvorov in Switzerland. The great Russian commander and his wonder-heroes with honor went out of the trap, but suffered unnecessary losses. Suvorov's health was undermined. Gradually, Pavel Petrovich began to realize the destruction of the union with England and Austria and the stupidity of the war with France. France had already recovered from the revolution and was about to restore the monarchy. Napoleon was quite a sensible politician with whom to deal.
Napoleon on Arkolsky bridge
To be continued ...