110 years ago, on November 24, 1905, the Sevastopol uprising began, led by Lieutenant P.P. Schmidt. This was one of the largest armed demonstrations in the Black Sea. navy during the Revolution of 1905-1907. in the Russian Empire. It began spontaneously in response to an attempt by the fleet command to massacre participants in a rally of thousands of sailors and soldiers. It covered over 4000 coastal sailors, soldiers and port workers. The rebels joined the team of the cruiser "Ochakov", the battleship "St. Panteleimon "(former" Potemkin "), a total of 12 ships.
The passivity of the rebels led to the fact that the military command pulled together troops and ships loyal to the government and defeated the rebels. More than 2000 people were arrested on land and land. 300 participants in the uprising were convicted by military courts, more than 1 thousand people were punished without trial, and Lieutenant Schmidt, sailors Gladkov, Antonenko and Chastnik were sentenced to death. It should be noted that in comparison with the policies of a number of other countries, the Russian authorities were quite humane.
The first mass action in the fleet was a riot of Black Sea sailors who rebelled in June 1905 on the battleship Prince Potemkin-Tavrichesky. Less than six months later, a rebellion broke out on the Ochakov cruiser, then the center of revolutionary activity shifted to the Baltic, and the uprising was launched on the Azov Memory Cruiser. Finally, the revolutionary wave reached the Far East: in October 1907, events began there, the center of which was the Ambulance Destroyer. All the rebellions were suppressed, but the reasons that made people oppose the authorities were not eradicated. It is therefore not surprising that the fleet will play an important role already in the 1917 Revolution.
The prerequisites for the uprisings in the fleet must be sought in the general crisis of the Russian empire. The project of the Romanovs initially laid a few mines under the Russian statehood. For the time being, it was possible to smooth the contradictions, but by the twentieth, Russia had approached the “transition point”. It was necessary to fundamentally solve the accumulated problems and issues: peasant, workers and national issues; the problem of forced industrialization and nationalization of the most important sectors of the economy, the nationalization of banks; the problem of eliminating the illiteracy of the majority of the population and the creation of mass technical education; the elimination of cultural and political-economic dependence on the West; the transition from parasitic capitalism to creative socialism; to destroy the caste-class system, with the inequality of classes, with privileged groups and the masses of the disadvantaged common people; the problem of creating an effective security system, special services that will stop the activities of foreign subversive structures and agents inside the country and much more. However, the tsarist government could not solve this multilateral task, it had to be addressed by the Bolsheviks.
The 1905 revolution became a kind of “warning” to the tsarist government. By the beginning of the XX century. capitalism in the Russian Empire, as well as throughout the world, experienced another crisis. As a result, all the social, economic and political contradictions of the bourgeois system have reached their extreme aggravation. The agrarian and industrial crisis that swept the country, and loud defeats during the Russian-Japanese war, as well as the intensification of the subversive activities of foreign agents (including Japanese intelligence) and revolutionary forces with support abroad, led to a revolutionary explosion. The shooting of a working demonstration in St. Petersburg 9 (22) in January 1905 (Bloody Sunday), where, apparently, provokers from both sides worked, led to the beginning of the First Revolution.
Sailors also took an active part in the events. It was not awesome. If the soldiers, in the mass of their own peasants, were traditionally conservative and passive, retaining faith in the "good king", and did not notice significant revolutionary performances, then with the sailors the picture was different. Among the sailors there were many workers, so that it was connected with the necessity of operating ships with complex stuffing. The fleet finally became steam and armored. This left its mark on the social composition of the sailors. Every year, among the draftees, the percentage of working youth increased. They had a certain education, read books and newspapers. Therefore, it was much easier for revolutionary activists to create underground cells in the fleet.
At the same time, the situation in the country and in the navy caused discontent among the sailors. The situation of the working class was difficult, which is typical of any capitalist country (for example, modern Russia is very clear, after the collapse of the USSR, workers have less rights, and the arbitrariness of the authorities is stronger, even to the point of entering the “sweatshop”). The service in the navy was heavy and lasted 7 years. Little money was allocated for the maintenance of personnel, often they were simply stolen (corruption was one of the scourges of the Russian empire). The navy flourished severe drill and scuffle. The traditions of Ushakov, Lazarev and Nakhimov concerning the upbringing of sailors and the human attitude towards them, except for a few exceptions, were firmly forgotten. The arbitrariness and senseless drill caused a sense of protest and repressed anger among the soldiers and sailors; not surprisingly, activists of social democratic movements received considerable support in the fleet. Foci of revolution appeared in the fleet. Already in 1901-1902. The first Social Democratic groups and circles arose in the fleet.
At the end of 1901 in Sevastopol, circles unite in the Social Democratic “Sevastopol Workers' Union”. However, after a few months, the Sevastopol Workers Union was crushed by the secret police. At the beginning of 1903, in the main base, a committee was created to lead the revolutionary movement in the Black Sea Fleet. Later, he joined the Sevastopol Committee of the RSDLP, established at the end of 1903. Thus, the revolutionary movement in the fleet becomes organized and gradually becomes widespread.
In April, 1904, as a result of merging the 37 groups of the naval crew in Nikolaev, the 32 crew in Sevastopol and a number of other teams, organized the Central Navy Committee (Tsentralka), which became the military organization of the Sevastopol RSDLP Committee. It consisted of the Bolsheviks A. M. Petrov, I. T. Yakhnovsky, G. N. Vakulenchuk, A. I. Gladkov, I. A. Cherny, and others. Tsentralka had connections with the Social Democratic organizations of Kharkov, Nikolaev, Odessa and other cities, as well as with Geneva, where V. Lenin was located. The Central Committee led propaganda and agitation among sailors and soldiers, distributed revolutionary literature and proclamations, held illegal meetings of soldiers and sailors.
The authorities reacted to this extremely ineptly. Trying to prevent joint performances of seamen and workers of Sevastopol, fleet commander Vice Admiral Chukhnin 1 November 1904 issued an order prohibiting dismissal to the city. This only caused the indignation of the sailors. On November 3, several thousand people from the Lazarev barracks demanded that the duty officer be fired into the city. Not having received permission, they broke the gate and left. The instigators of this speech were arrested. Part of the sailors of the naval division was written off on ships. Several hundred sailors were transferred to the Baltic. However, this could not eliminate the roots of the problem.
Meanwhile, the revolution was growing. In January-March 1905, 810, thousands of industrial workers, took part in the strikes. The peasant movement in the spring and summer of 1905 covered more than one fifth of the empire's counties. Revolutionary sentiments in the armed forces also increased. The distemper after the Tsushima defeat was especially intensified.
The Central Fleet Committee, guided by the decisions of the Third Party Congress, began preparations for an armed uprising in the Black Sea Fleet. The purpose of the speech was to capture all the ships of the fleet and, together with the soldiers of the garrison and the workers of the city, take power into their own hands. It was planned that Sevastopol would be the center of the revolution in the south of Russia and from here the fire of the uprising would be transferred to the Caucasus, Odessa, Nikolaev, the entire Northern Black Sea region. The uprising was going to start at the end of the summer fleet maneuvers, in August-September 1905, when, as expected, the revolutionary movement in Russia would reach its peak.
However, this plan was thwarted by the spontaneous entry in June on the squadron battleship "Prince Potemkin-Tavrichesky". The Potemkin epic ended with the battleship arriving in Constanza and, due to the lack of fuel, fresh water and food, the sailors had to surrender to the Romanian authorities as political immigrants. Some sailors remained in Romania or moved to Bulgaria, England, Argentina and other countries, some returned to Russia and were convicted. The ship was returned to Russia and renamed the "Saint Panteleimon." Despite the spontaneous speeches of the battleship - this was the first mass revolutionary entry into the armed forces, the first uprising of a large military unit.
In addition to the uprising on the "Potemkin", a revolt occurred on the training ship "Prut". The sailors, having learned about the performance of the Potemkin team, arrested the commander and officers of the ship. The rebels decided to go to Odessa and join the Potemkin. But there the ship did not find the battleship. "Prut" went to Sevastopol, hoping to raise a rebellion in the squadron. Two destroyers were sent to the Prut, who took him under convoy. In Sevastopol, the 44 uprising participant was arrested and put on trial. The instigators (A. Petrova, D. Titov, I. Cherny and I. Adamenko) were sentenced to death, the rest to hard labor and imprisonment. These uprisings led to increased repression and intensified search, which thwarted plans to start a major uprising.
In the second half of 1905, the revolutionary movement in Russia continued to grow. The All-Russian political strike in October led to the formation of working deputies in many cities of the Soviets. Tsar Nicholas II was forced to publish an 17 of October 1905 in a manifesto in which he promised political rights and freedoms to the people. In Sevastopol, October 18 held a rally and demonstration of workers, sailors and soldiers who demanded the release of political prisoners. When the demonstrators approached the gates of the prison, the guard soldiers opened fire. 8 was killed and 50 people were injured. The military authorities imposed martial law in the city.
In the following days, the situation in Sevastopol continued to heat up. Protesters demanded to remove martial law, withdraw Cossacks from the streets, bring to justice the perpetrators of the execution at the prison and release all political prisoners. They even created the people's militia, it lasted only three days and caused a great stir in the authorities. October 20 in Sevastopol held a funeral, which resulted in a powerful demonstration. A rally was organized at the city cemetery; Lieutenant Peter Schmidt spoke at it, who enjoyed great popularity among the revolutionary intelligentsia of the city and the sailors of the Black Sea Fleet. By order of the fleet commander, Chukhnin Schmidt was arrested. However, at the request of the workers, sailors and soldiers of the garrison, the authorities had to release him.
Thus, the situation in the city heated up. In late October, a general strike of workers, railway workers and seamen of the merchant fleet began in Sevastopol. On November 3, Admiral Chukhnin issued an order prohibiting sailors from attending rallies, meetings, and distributing and reading "criminal" literature. However, this could not stabilize the situation.
The 8 (21) of November occurred unrest on the Ochakov cruiser and the battleship Saint Panteleimon. 10 (23) November after the demobilized sailors' wires a large rally was held. The military organization of the Sevastopol Committee of the RSDLP tried to prevent an unprepared explosion. But to prevent the premature start of the uprising failed. 11 (24) November rebellion broke out spontaneously in the naval division.
The November 11 (24) elections to the Council of Workers, Sailors and Soldiers' Deputies were to be held. In this regard, it was planned to hold large rallies at the sailor and soldier’s barracks. The fleet commander Chukhnin, trying to prevent a rally from the naval barracks, sent there a consolidated detachment of sailors from the naval crews and soldiers of the Belostok regiment, who occupied the exits from the barracks and did not release the sailors to the rally.
Soon, in a heated situation, a skirmish occurred. Sailor KP Petrov wounded the commander of the joint detachment Rear Admiral Pisarevsky and the commander of the training team Stein, with rifle shots, and the second one was fatally. Petrov was captured, but almost immediately the sailors released him. After that, the officers on duty were arrested, disarmed and taken to the office. In the morning they were released, but expelled from the barracks. The rebels of the naval division were joined by soldiers of the Brest regiment, serf artillery, a serf sapper company, and also sailors of the duty company of the battleship Sinop, sent by Chukhnin to pacify the rebels. So began the November uprising, which figuratively called Lenin "Sevastopol fire."
12 November in the city began a general strike. On the night of November 12, the first Sevastopol Council of sailors, soldiers and workers' deputies was elected. In the morning the first meeting of the Sevastopol Council was held. The meeting went to no avail. The Bolsheviks called for decisive action, while the Mensheviks suggested not to aggravate the situation and turn the uprising into a peaceful strike with the advancement of economic demands. Only in the evening were the general requirements developed: the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the establishment of an 8-hour working day, the release of political prisoners, the abolition of the death penalty, the lifting of martial law, the reduction of the period of military service, etc.
The power in the city passed into the hands of the Council of Sailors, Soldiers and Workers' Deputies, who organized patrols, took control of stocks of fuel, food, and warehouses. Meanwhile, the military command was building up forces to quell the uprising. On the night of November 13, officers of the Brest Regiment managed to bring the soldiers out of town to camps in the area of the Belostok Regiment. In Sevastopol, they urgently began to pull troops from other cities. Chukhnin declared the city in the military, and the fortress was under siege.
The uprising continued to grow. The 13 (26) of November began an uprising on the Ochakov cruiser. The officers tried to disarm the team, but could not. Then they, together with the conductors, left the ship. The Bolsheviks of the cruiser — S. P. Chastnik, N. G. Antonenko, and A. I. Gladkov — took the leadership of the uprising. The 14 (27) November crew and the future revolutionary fleet were led by Schmidt. On the night of 15 (28) in November, revolutionary sailors took possession of the mine cruiser “Griden”, the destroyer “Ferocious”, three numbered destroyers and several small vessels, and in the port seized some weapons. At the same time, the crews of the gunboat Uralets, the destroyers Zavetny, Sharp, and the training ship Dniester joined the rebels. In the morning on all the rebel ships were raised red flags.
The rebels hoped that the rest of the fleet ships would join them. However, the command had time to take countermeasures. On the squadron, personnel were updated, sailors who were sympathetic to the insurgents and were under suspicion were written off or arrested. In order to attract the entire squadron to the rebels, Schmidt walked around on the ferocious destroyer, but without success. Command already controlled the situation. The Panteleimon (the former Potemkin) joined the uprising, but the battleship itself was no longer a combat unit, since weapons were removed from it.
The forces of the rebels were 14 ships and ships, and about 4,5 thousands of sailors and soldiers on ships and shore. However, their combat power was insignificant, since most of the ship's guns were rendered unusable even before the uprising. Only on the Ochakov cruiser and on the destroyers artillery was in good repair. The soldiers on the shore were poorly armed, there were not enough machine guns, rifles and cartridges. In addition, the rebels missed a favorable moment for the development of success, a strategic initiative. The passivity of the rebels' defensive tactics prevented them from attracting the entire Black Sea squadron and the Sevastopol garrison.
But opponents of revolutionaries, unlike 1917, have not yet lost their will and determination. Commander of the Odessa Military District, General A.V. Kaulbars, Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral G.P. Chukhnin and commander of the 7 Artillery Corps, lieutenant A.N. Meller-Zakomelsky, put the king at the head of a punitive expedition, pulled to 10 thousand soldiers and were able to put the 22 ship with 6 thousand crew.
In the afternoon of November 15, the rebels were given an ultimatum to surrender. Having received no response to the ultimatum, the troops loyal to the government went on the offensive and opened fire on the “internal enemies”. An order was issued to open fire on rebellious ships and vessels. Not only ships, but also coastal artillery, guns of ground forces, as well as soldiers with machine guns and rifles (they were placed along the coast) fired. In response to the shelling, three destroyers, including the "Fierce", tried to attack the battleship Rostislav and the cruiser Memory of Mercury. However, under heavy fire, they received great damage and could not bring the torpedo attack to the end. The "ferocious" was shot until all the deck superstructures were demolished. At the same time many sailors of the ship died.
Ship and coastal artillery dealt a powerful blow to the rebels. The cruiser "Ochakov", the most powerful unit of the insurgent (from armed ships), remaining on the roadstead a fixed target, immediately lost all the advantages of a lightweight high-speed cruiser. In addition, this ship, just built and still undergoing tests, could not be considered a full-fledged combat unit and did not even have complete gun crews (on the ship, instead of 555, there were only 365 sailors). Ochakov received dozens of holes, caught fire and in response was able to make just a few shots. As a result of the shelling, the cruiser suffered severe damage (when the cruiser was restored, the hull counted 63 holes and repairs lasted more than three years). The shelling of the revolutionary ships lasted until 16 hours 45 minutes. Many ships were engulfed in fire, and the sailors began to leave them.
Wounded Schmidt with a group of sailors tried on the destroyer number 270 to break into the Artillery Bay. But the ship was damaged, lost its course, and Schmidt and his comrades were arrested. The sailors and soldiers who were in the barracks of the naval division resisted until the morning of November 16 (29). They surrendered after the ammunition ran out and the barracks were subjected to a powerful artillery bombardment.
In general, given the scale of the rebellion and its danger to the empire, when there was a possibility of an uprising in a significant part of the Black Sea Fleet, with the support of part of the ground forces, the punishment was quite humane. But the uprising itself was crushed firmly and resolutely. Hundreds of sailors died. The leaders of the Sevastopol Uprising, P. P. Schmidt, S. P. Chastnik, N. G. Antonenko, and A. I. Gladkov, were sentenced by a naval court in March 1906 to be shot on the island of Berezan. Over 300 people were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment and hard labor. About a thousand people were subject to disciplinary punishment without any trial.
One of the leaders of the Sevastopol uprising 1905, Peter Petrovich Schmidt