We all heard about "historical "Aurora volley" in Petrograd in 1917. Everything else about this famous cruiser we know poorly or do not know at all.
24 May 1900 of the year, 110 years ago, in the presence of Emperor Nicholas II, Empresses Maria Feodorovna and Alexandra Feodorovna, the cruiser Aurora was solemnly launched from the ship ramps of the New Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg. The family of the emperor and he himself watched the ceremony from the elegant pavilion.
Under the salvoes of the artillery salute of the ships on Neva, the new cruiser safely sailed, "without kinking and leaking," as reported to the emperor, and "as the ship emerged from the boathouse, flags were raised on it and the mast-mast was His Majesty's standard."
According to the tradition that existed since the time of Peter I, the right to give the name to the large ships belonged to the tsar, therefore Nicholas II was offered a list of possible names.
The options were: "Aurora", "Naiad", "Helion", "Juno", "Psyche", "Askold", "Varyag", "Bogatyr", "Boyar", "Polkan" and "Neptune". The emperor emphasized the name in the list, and in the margins with a pencil wrote: "Aurora".
Aurora was the name of the ancient Roman goddess of dawn. But for the Russian emperor, she became, rather, the symbol of the sunset ...
Structurally, the cruiser was, to put it mildly, not the most successful project - the vehicles were low-powered, the armor was thin, the artillery was weaker than that of its foreign counterparts. On the navy in those days there was a joke: "Low speed and few guns - this is what distinguishes the Aurora from an ordinary steamboat." The crew was almost six hundred people. The case was lined with copper, against fouling with shells.
In 1904, the Aurora embarked on a march as a part of the Second Pacific Squadron of Rear Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky to the war with Japan. The journey to the Far East was a long one. No "revolutionary" sentiment on the ship was still in sight. Appointed to the "Aurora" senior court physician court counselor Kravchenko wrote in his diary: "The first impression of the Aurora is the most favorable. The team is cheerful, vigorous, looking straight into the eyes, not frowningly, it does not walk around the deck, but flies straight, executing orders. All this is gratifying to see. "
On the night of October 9, when the squadron was in the North Sea, an incident occurred, which in Russia was called Gullsky. The silhouette of the ship was detected, which was moving without identification lights and was following the course of crossing the course of the Russian flotilla, which was a gross violation of international rules. The squadron decided that it threatened to attack, and opened fire. It turned out later: Russian ships fired at small British fishing vessels, one of which was flooded. At the same time, the silhouettes of two more ships, on which fire was also opened, appeared on the horizon. At this time, the Aurora and Dmitry Donskoy cruisers, which were located at a distance from the main group of ships of the squadron, were shot at.
The incident led to a serious diplomatic conflict with England, which was resolved only after Russia agreed to compensate the losses to the fishermen and ensure the relatives of the dead and wounded by pensions. The squadron, meanwhile, continued on its way.
Many ships often had their pets. For a while, two crocodiles inhabited the Aurora, which were taken on board in one of the African ports. They were given the nicknames: one - himself, the other - Togo, on behalf of the Japanese admiral, who later led the defeat of the 2 th Pacific squadron. “The tropical climate, the difficult conditions of navigation undermined the health, the psyche,” describes the presence of reptiles on a warship the writer Yuri Chernov in his book Aurora High. - Exhausted deadly monotony. Sailors, even before indifferent to animals, irresistibly drawn to them ... Two young crocodiles appeared on the cruiser, several chameleons, not only changing their color, but also their body shape — they were inflated, transformed before their eyes. ”
One day, Sam suddenly rushed to the board and jumped into the ocean. The commander of the Aurora wrote in his diary: “One of the young crocodiles did not want to go to war, whom the officers released today for fun, he chose to jump overboard and die.” But his fellow Togo stayed and lived, as if nothing had happened.
On the night of May 14, the squadron entered the Straits of Korea 1905. Early in the morning, the Japanese intelligence officer Izumi was spotted on the horizon on the starboard side. After 9 hours, Japanese ships proceeding in parallel course appeared, and soon the main Japanese forces appeared seven miles away. During the battle, the Aurora suffered serious injuries, there were wounded and dead. The captain of the 1 rank, Yevgeny Yegoryev, was fatally wounded in the head and soon died.
During the battle on the Aurora, the flag was shot down six times by shrapnel, but the sailors invariably raised it. By evening, he was riddled, but continued to fly over the cruiser.
Going south, the Russian cruisers made attempts to turn to Vladivostok, but each time they encountered Japanese ships. After the ships arrived in Manila, on May 26 a subscription was given to the cruisers' crew not to take part in hostilities, the Portsmouth peace treaty between Russia and Japan was signed on August 23, and our ships left the capital of the Philippines. The Aurora was returned to Kronstadt, where it became a training ship for a long time.
In February 1911, the Aurora visited Messina on the Italian island of Sicily, and in September went to Siam to attend the coronation ceremony of the king there. During the First World War, the cruiser was a watch in the Baltic ...
The 1917 year came on, February 28 opposite the Aurora, which stood in Petrograd for repairs, groups of workers with red flags appeared, some of them with weapons. There were shouts from the crowd calling for the cruiser crew to quit work and go to the city. The captain of the cruiser, Mikhail Nikolsky, said that everyone, except those employed on the watch, could go ashore. The crowd, meanwhile, filled the ship and began to seize weapons. The sailors decided to forward the captain and the senior officer to the Tauride Palace, where they took everyone who resisted the uprising. On the shore, the officers were demanded to go at the head of the procession with red flags in their hands. Nikolsky refused, then a shot rang out from the crowd, a bullet hit the captain in the head, and he died on the spot.
In Soviet times, the Aurora was called the "ship of the revolution." By the morning of October 25 - in the old style - in the hands of the Bolsheviks were the main strategic points and government offices of Petrograd. It remained to capture Winter, in the event of the government’s refusal to surrender, it was supposed to fire at him from the Peter and Paul Fortress and from Aurora, and then take the palace by storm. The chief of staff of the rebels, Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko, arrived on the cruiser and ordered: on the signal shot of Peter and Paul Fortress, the Aurora will give a couple of single shots from six-inch shots.
It is customary to say: "Aurora Volley." In reality, only one single shot was fired from the tank gun, which supposedly served as a signal for the start of the Winter assault. However, as is now known, there was no “assault”; revolutionaries without any interference entered the palace and arrested the Provisional Government.
The legend of the “heroic assault” was created later and enshrined in Sergei Eisenstein’s feature film “October,” which was shown as documentary in the USSR.
A member of the crew, Khovrin, described the events on the night of 25 on October 26: “One of the orders of the Military Revolutionary Committee was to order the Aurora cruiser to anchor at the Nikolayevsky Bridge in case of shelling of the Winter Palace, where the Provisional Government was located. Not knowing how the existing military units would behave, this measure was necessary, especially since there were large-caliber guns on the Aurora. However, the command of the cruiser refused to execute orders, referring to the shallow fairway on the Neva. In addition, the Aurora vehicles were not assembled at that time. Nevertheless, the tug brought the cruiser to the bridge, where it anchored. When they began to prepare guns, it turned out that there were no sights for them. Someone locked the sights in the cabin. So, in search of both, they made it to the evening. In short, everything was done to ensure that the order of the Military Revolutionary Committee was not executed. But still, at the most crucial moment, the Aurora gave one single shot, and with that the cruiser’s role was exhausted. ”
The next day, rumors began to spread that they were firing live shells at Zimniy. To disprove them, Pravda published a note on October 27 in October: “The Aurora cruiser crew protests the abandoned accusations, especially the accusations that are not verified, but throw a spot of shame on the cruiser crew. We declare that we have come not to smash the Winter Palace, not to kill civilians, but to protect and, if necessary, die for freedom and revolution from counter-revolutionaries. The press writes that the Aurora opened fire on the Winter Palace, but did gentlemen reporters know that the fire opened by us from guns would not leave a stone unturned not only from the Winter Palace, but also from the streets adjacent to it? We appeal to you, the workers and soldiers of Petrograd! Do not believe the provocative rumors. As for the shots from the cruiser, only one single shot from the 6-inch gun was made, indicating the signal for all ships stationed on the Neva, and calling them to be vigilant and ready. Chairman of the Sudkoma A. Belyshev. Secretary S. Zakharov "
Shoot fighting "Aurora" could not even for the simple reason that it was not ammunition. He was removed from the ship during the repair.
Since the beginning of World War II, the ship, which was in Oranienbaum, was included in the air defense system of Kronstadt. From the Aurora to the front went navy men, with the cruiser removed the weapons.
In July 1941, the battery “A” - “Aurora”, located in the region of Dudergof, was formed, which included nine guns removed from the cruiser.
In September, during the week, the battery fought with the German tanksfighting in complete surroundings to the last shell. By the end of the eighth day of fighting, out of 165 personnel, only 26 sailors had reached their own.
German aviation began to subject the Aurora to ruthless raids, trying to destroy the monument to the revolution. Seeing the futility of the crew staying aboard a fixed vessel, Captain Ivan Sakov placed sailors on the shore, leaving a permanent watch on the Aurora. For this, he was arrested and soon shot on charges of panic and fleeing the ship.
At the end of November, the crew were again transferred to the shore. The watch was carried at the only combat-ready anti-aircraft gun and flag. Seeing this flag, waving above the cruiser that had landed on the ground, German batteries, from time to time, opened fire on it. In August 1943, the flag was shot down by a shell fragment, but it was immediately lifted out of the water. The shelling of the Aurora ceased only with the lifting of the blockade of Leningrad.
In August 1944, the Leningrad City Council executive committee adopted a resolution according to which the Aurora was to be installed at the Petrograd Embankment as a museum-monument to the history of the fleet and a training blockhouse of the Nakhimov Naval School. The museum created on the cruiser in 1956 was expanded and made a branch of the Central Naval Museum.
By the end of the seventies, the Aurora Corps was in disrepair. Despite the protests of fleet historians who sought to preserve a unique monument, it was decided to completely replace the underwater part using modern technology. The hull was put into the dock, where almost the entire underwater part was separated from it. It has not been disposed of, and is in a flooded condition near the village of Stream of the Kingisepp District. As the newspapers wrote, local residents began to saw off pieces from him for souvenirs.
After the war, Aurora had to play the role of another heroic cruiser, the Varyag, about which they began to make a film. Soviet filmmakers "made up" the ship: they built a commander’s balcony on the bow of the ship, made a different canopy of the bow, added tools, built another, fourth pipe. She was out of plywood, but out of it, as expected, thick black smoke poured on the screen. The film "Cruiser Varyag" was released in 1946 year.
In 2009, Aurora had to play a different role, but this time it was far less honorable - a restaurant for VIPs. On its board, they organized a party at the end of the International Economic Forum held in St. Petersburg.
The event was held under the flag of the magazine “Russian Pioneer”, which is published with the money of oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. “The whole elite and business elite of St. Petersburg have gathered,” they will write later about a party in a magazine. - Almost all guests of the International Economic Forum met together. Elvira Nabiullina, Minister of Economic Development, Ilya Klebanov, Plenipotentiary of the President in the North-West Federal District, Rustam Tariko, owner of the Russian Standard company, Oleg Tinkov, beer magnate, Mikhail Khabarov, Alfa-Capital president, Nikita Sherman, President, Odnoklassnikov.ru, Nikita Sherman, Chief Editor of the Russian " Forbes "Maxim Kashulinsky ..."
The party provoked outrage in St. Petersburg, especially among veteran sailors. The main military prosecutor’s office, after conducting an investigation into the “tusovka” with the participation of high-ranking officials at the Aurora, made a submission to the address of the commander-in-chief of the Navy ...
Now the cruiser has been sent back for repairs to Kronstadt. It is assumed that in the year 2016 "Aurora" will return to the place of his "eternal parking" at the Petrograd embankment.