Military Review

As a warrant officer Schegolev defended the whole of Odessa

As a warrant officer Schegolev defended the whole of Odessa

22 April 1854, the only four-gun battery prevented the Anglo-French squadron to land troops in the port of Odessa
Most of the inhabitants of Russia, the Crimean War of 1853 – 1856, is known primarily for the heroic defense of Sevastopol. A much smaller number of our compatriots will remember that in the world this war was called Eastern and that during its course military operations took place not only on the Black Sea, but also in the Pacific Ocean, where the Anglo-French troops did not take Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in August 1854 of the year, and in the White Sea, where the British bombarded the Solovetsky Monastery and the city of Kola, the satellite of present-day Murmansk. And there are almost no people who know about the first major feat of the Russian army during the Crimean War, more than two months before the attack on Sevastopol. 22 April (10 old style) 1854, a four-gun battery under the command of Ensign Alexander Shchegolev, fought a battle with the enemy’s squadron many times over for the number of guns for six hours - and still did not allow her to land troops in the vicinity of Odessa.

Odessa met the beginning of the Crimean War in a state of almost complete unpreparedness for defense. A purely commercial port was not at all adapted to resisting the onslaught of the enemy for a long time if he chooses to attack him. And although after the Anglo-French fleet entered the Black Sea in January 1854, the troop group in Odessa was tried to be strengthened, it was difficult to call it a serious rival. Russian troops in the city only had hastily deployed six batteries in the vicinity of the port with a total number of 48 guns and the forces of the Odessa garrison, which numbered up to 6 thousands of bayonets and 3 thousands of sabers with 76 field guns. But, as it turned out, among these small forces there were quite a few heroes who managed to turn weakness into strength. And the first among them was Ensign Alexander Shchegolev, the commander of the left-flank 6 battery, located almost on the outskirts of the port - on the Military Cape in Practical harbor.

The battery of ensign Shchegolev, who served in the 14-th reserve artillery brigade in Nikolaev and transferred to Odessa at the end of winter, was by no means the best. As his colleague recalled, during the transfer of the battery, after examining all the property that was being transferred to him, her new commander ventured to stop the colonel in charge of the process with the question: “Where are the weapons, Mr. Colonel?”. To which he replied: "Oh, yes! Didn't they give you shovels and axes to dig cannons out of the ground? Here are your guns! ”- and pointed to the breech of the guns, which played the role of mooring bollards.

As a result, armed with the battery number 6 were four dug from the ground 24-pound guns, firing red-hot cores. But the command of the defense of Odessa did not worry about this. As Alexander Shchegolev himself recalled, “my bosses didn’t even think that the main purpose would be battery No. 6, both because it was removed from the right flank and went deep into the harbor, and because not only the old-timers, but also the captain of the port, Mr. Frolov, assured that the sea was in front of the battery in the outskirts of Peresyp so shallow that even military ships could not approach them with a cannon shot, losing sight of the fact that the enemy iron ships did not require a particularly large depth to reach the Practical (Military o) mola, - which was confirmed in practice. Therefore, on the eve of the bombing, the commander of the 5 artillery division and the head of the coastal batteries, Colonel Yanovsky, personally ordered me to transfer most of the charges to the battery number 5; I knew from the questions of the skippers I knew the approximate depth of the sea in my battery and in Peresyp, and therefore I asked what I would shoot, assuming also that the bombing would not be limited to one day - and therefore did not transfer a single charge, and did well, otherwise the day after a lot of 5 – 6 bursts of shots the battery would have been forced to shut up. ”

Alexander Petrovich Schegolev. Pencil drawing, 1860 year

Foresight Ensign Shchegolev justified the next day, when his battery was closest to the attacking squadron of four French and five British ships, early on Saturday morning 10 (22) on April 1854, which began shelling of Odessa and the landing. The attackers probably knew how small the enemy's forces were: four long ago outdated cannons and 30 personnel, of which only about a dozen were professional gunners, and the rest were infantry assisted. Plus, the battery number 3 under the command of Lieutenant Voloshinov, armed with dozens of the same 24-pounder guns and with the same composition of gun maids (and she could not seriously help Schegolev, because it was located further from the attacking ships). And they have - over 350 guns, and mostly 68- and 98-pound guns, quite modern, with a much greater range of fire. What is there to be afraid of!

And the fear was not the power of Russian guns, but the power of the Russian spirit. Scattered inaccurate volleys of British and French steam-frigates, trying to cover as much as possible, the battery of Ensign Shchegolev responded invariably with a meager, and therefore much more accurate counter-alert. To understand how effective the fire of outdated 6 battery guns was, it suffices to say that the attackers managed to silence the Russian guns only after six hours (!)! In this case, all the losses of Shchegolevs were eight dead and four guns, while the British and French had four ships set on fire or damaged, which had to be taken away from the battlefield in tow ...

Here is how the eyewitnesses described the finale of the heroic battle: “The fire quickly began to approach the charging boxes that could not be moved, since everything was already on fire ... And then only because of the inability to remain in the flame of a destroyed and burning battery surrounded by a common by fire on the mole, Schegolev decided to leave the number 6, - but for the last time he shot at the enemy. At that time, the flames grew so wide and spread over the entire tip of the Military Pier that most battery soldiers had to jump out through the embrasure and bypass the battery from the outside, under the very shots of the enemy. There was no other way out: everything was ablaze behind the battery. Shchegolev and his team, half-burned, exhausted to exhaustion, barely managed to move no more than fifteen steps from the battery, as the powder boxes exploded; - but, fortunately, while no one was hurt. As a result of this explosion, even in the city, far from the battery, a terrible concussion was felt (which we talked about above), especially in the cathedral, due to the area open on all sides. "Hourra, vive l'Empereur!" - rang out from the enemy steamers with an explosion on the battery. Shchegolev, having built a team to the front, with a drumbeat, went to the battery number 5, - according to this order in advance: to transfer people from a downed battery to the next one. Saken (cavalry general Dmitry Osten-Saken, commander of the defense. - RP), however, sent to invite Schegolev and his team to his boulevard. Here the baron kissed the young hero and congratulated the lower ranks who distinguished themselves on the battery with the cavaliers of the military order badge (St. George's Cross - RP). Shakolev, smoky, soiled, drenched in sweat, could hardly answer the questions of Saken: he was completely deaf from the thunder of guns and completely exhausted, not having any crumbs of bread in his mouth, not a drop of water from five o'clock in the morning, being in terrible physical and mental stress. Only a few rests, he gradually could come to the state to give short answers.

Three days later, on April 13, in an annex to the emergency issue of Odessa Herald, General Osten-Sacken’s order was announced that the battery number 6 would be restored and be given the name of Schegolevskaya. And so it happened: already in October, in a place that eyewitnesses in April described as “all burned and dug outside and inside, inside — ash, burnt logs, traces of bomb strikes, beaten wheels and gun carriages”, revived the battery, which covered itself with unfading glory. As monuments to the courage of its defenders, as witnesses wrote, “there were five huge cannons and an anchor from the frigate Tiger with the monograms of Queen Victoria”. This frigate was among those who attacked 10 (22) in Odessa on April, and 20 days later ran aground during a regular attack on the city; the crew surrendered to Russian sailors, and the ship itself was shot by coastal artillery.

The feat of ensign Alexander Shchegolev, a graduate of the Noble regiment who met his finest hour in part-time 21, was appreciated in Russia. Emperor Nicholas I ordered “in consideration of resplendent courage and self-sacrifice” to make Ensign Schegolev headquarters captain, that is, immediately after two ranks. In addition, he was awarded the Order of St. George, IV degree, and the sign was given to him by Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich (future emperor Alexander II). The heir accompanied his truly royal gift with a letter in which he wrote (the original spelling was preserved): “My dear Shchegolev! I am sending you the highest order for the production of you as lieutenants, lieutenants, and captains; a charter with a statute on the most graciously bestowed upon you on the Order of St. George and the Order itself. I also enclose the Cross of St. George from my chest; accept him as a gift from a grateful father to an honorable son. " And the Grand Dukes Nikolai, Alexander and Vladimir Alexandrovich, at their own expense, ordered and sent Shchegolev staff captain epaulets with the number "14" on the field, denoting the 14-th reserve art brigade in which he served.

The post-war fate of captain Alexander Shchegolev formed happily. He served until January 1889, managed to take part in the 1877 – 1878 Russian-Turkish war, then commanded the 1 grenadier artillery brigade and retired with the rank of major general and gentleman of several orders. And General Schegolev died in Moscow in the year of the outbreak of the First World War, which revealed to Russia the names of new heroes, quite worthy of the glorious act of the legendary defender of Odessa ...
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  1. Serg65
    Serg65 April 23 2016 06: 24
    The author's statement that "And there are almost no people who know about the first major feat of the Russian army during the Crimean War" is a little untrue. In Odessa, at the Marine Station in the Museum of Anchors, there is a miraculously preserved cannon from the Shchegolevskaya battery.
    1. Serg65
      Serg65 April 23 2016 06: 26
      And near Primorsky Boulevard there is a gun from the Tiger steam frigate.
    2. sherp2015
      sherp2015 April 23 2016 09: 19
      Quote: Serg65
      The author's statement that "And there are almost no people who know about the first major feat of the Russian army during the Crimean War" is a little untrue. In Odessa, at the Marine Station in the Museum of Anchors, there is a miraculously preserved cannon from the Shchegolevskaya battery.

      And now, somehow, cities and lands watered with the blood of the Russian people turned out to be the territory of another state.
      How much harm our country did Gorbachev-Yeltsin
  2. semirek
    semirek April 23 2016 07: 02
    Thanks to the author for the article! I read with pleasure about the Russian hero - truly, the heroism of a Russian soldier, is almost unknown in Russian history, but it is he who makes our enemies retreat from our land. Glory to the Russian soldier!
  3. parusnik
    parusnik April 23 2016 08: 34
    The reason for the attack on Odessa during the Crimean War of 1853-1856. served as an incident with the British warship "Furyus". On March 27, 1854, this ship approached the city on a cannon shot and began to conduct reconnaissance of the raid and coastal fortifications. The warnings from the port's signal battery did not work on the "British envoy," and he was driven away from Quarantine Harbor by four cannon salvos. Then the commander of the Russian troops, General D.E. Osten-Saken allied admirals, English Dondas and French Gamelin, gave an ultimatum: for the alleged "insult of the parliamentary flag" to give them all the English and French merchant ships, which were embargoed in connection with the war, as well as all Russian ships in the port The general responded to the ultimatum with silence. The military began to urgently prepare for defense. Particular attention was paid to the defense of the coast and the observation service over the sea. In total, six batteries of 48 cannons were built and armed, they were placed on the pier of the port from Langeron's dacha to the Boulevard stairs. The left-flank battery No. 6 was installed in the Practical harbor on the Voenniy pier. It so happened that Shchegolev's sixth battery took the main blow. Tsarevich Alexander, the heir to the Russian throne, honored Staff Captain Shchegolev with the following rescript:
    My dear Schegolev!
    I congratulate you on your glorious feat and the royal reward for him.
    I am sending you the highest order to manufacture you as second lieutenants, as lieutenants, and as captains of the headquarters; a letter with a statute to the all-mercifully bestowed upon you the Order of St. George and the Order itself. I also attach here the St. George Cross from my chest; accept it as a gift from a grateful father to your venerable son. I thank you for your courageous, steadfastly statutory merit; I thank you from all military schools in which your name will be pronounced with respect from now on, and your deed will serve as an example of military valor. I also seal two letters in your name in your envelope, both of you congratulating and both of you thankful: one from all The noble regiment, another from those still in this regiment, is the regiment of your one-year company co-graduates.
    Thank you, darling Schegolev; the sovereign rewarded you - God will reward you too.
    St. Petersburg, April 22, 1854.
    1. moskowit
      moskowit April 24 2016 18: 43
      A little help. "Noble Regiment" This is a military educational institution organized in 1807. During its almost 50-year coexistence, the regiment changed its structure several times until the Constantine Cadet Corps was created on its basis in 1855.

      "... 1807 officers were released from the Noble Regiment for the period 1854-13519 (329 - in the guard) ..."
      (from Wikipedia)
  4. Victor N
    Victor N April 23 2016 10: 26
    Here you have the king - so appreciate the feat of low rank! Take an example for everyone!
    Thanks to the author and everyone who added information about the hero and his comrades. This country was created by our glorious ancestors!
  5. Basil50
    Basil50 April 23 2016 11: 36
    There were a lot of different information, assumptions and questions about that war, but one thing is certain - THE RUSSIAN ARMY and Navy did everything to protect RUSSIA.
  6. ovod84
    ovod84 April 23 2016 12: 24
    And I would like to hear about the defense of Petropavlovsk Kamchatka.
    1. Turkir
      Turkir April 23 2016 18: 10
      Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the book and the name of the author about the defense of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The book was published, I am writing from memory, back in the 60s of the last century ..
      Enough volume book, very interesting.
      If I find this book, I will definitely let you know.
      I join your wish about the article.
    2. Turkir
      Turkir April 23 2016 18: 38
      It seems all the same N. Zadornov, "War for the Ocean".
  7. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack April 23 2016 15: 50
    Eternal Glory to the Hero !!!!! Thank you - I did not know about this episode at all.
  8. Turkir
    Turkir April 23 2016 18: 04
    Good article. Knew about Schegolev, but not as detailed as described in the article.
    Thank you.
    1. kotvov
      kotvov April 23 2016 19: 50
      Good article. Knew about Schegolev, but not as detailed as described in the article. ,,
      it was my favorite book, Ensign Schegolev, and even now I sometimes re-read it. Year of publication 1956.
  9. Mikhail Matyugin
    Mikhail Matyugin April 23 2016 19: 07
    In contrast to the British army, which proved to be a very effective force, the actions of the British Navy in the Crimean War were even assessed by contemporaries "below the floor." The British then turned out that - "wherever you throw - everywhere a wedge" - wherever they did not attack the ports and remote outposts of Russia, everywhere they did not succeed.

    "One gets the feeling that God is not pleased with the British defeating the Russians." - this was the opinion of his contemporaries.
  10. samarin1969
    samarin1969 April 23 2016 20: 38
    As a child, I read with interest the book "Ensign Shchegolev", this illustration is well remembered
  11. KRIG55
    KRIG55 April 23 2016 23: 22
    Good article, there would be more of them. (and that’s all Ukraine and Ukraine)
  12. Jääkorppi
    Jääkorppi April 24 2016 09: 39
    Thank! And such people should be erected monuments. And then we (with all due respect to them) at every step, Peter I or Lenin. Puppies, Skuratov, Apraksin, Menshikov, Minih, Wittgenstein, Raevsky and many others ... The new generation must be brought up! And even Russia will be dragged!
    1. pacific
      pacific April 24 2016 12: 48
      Skuratov, Minich, Wittgenstein did not meet monuments and did not hear that such are available. But in St. Petersburg there are monuments to Raevsky, Suvorov, Orlov-Chesmensky, Potemkin.
      It is important that the monuments to these wonderful heroes stand where they performed their exploits. But how to protect these monuments, if all of them that were installed outside the Russian Federation are now in danger of being destroyed by various marginals?
  13. Nikita Gromov
    Nikita Gromov April 24 2016 10: 11
    Glory to the Russian warrior heroes!
  14. Nick1953
    Nick1953 April 24 2016 14: 26
    Konstantin Simonov - poems
    Anthology of Russian poetry Poruchik

    For the hundredth day grenades crash
    In Malakhov, a bloodied mound,
    And the ginger British soldiers
    They go on an assault under a hoarse drum.

    And the fortress of Petropavlovsk-on-Kamchatka
    Immersed in the usual peaceful sleep.
    A lame lieutenant pulling on gloves
    In the morning he goes around the local garrison.

    The gray-haired soldier, looking awkwardly,
    Rubs lazy eyes with a sleeve
    And wandering around the cannons on a rope
    Thin garrison goat.

    No letters, no news. No matter how you ask them,
    They forgot there, over the seven seas,
    What is here, at the very tip of Russia,
    The lieutenant lives with a company of huntsmen ...

    The lieutenant, squinting against the light for a long time,
    Looked south at sea, where in the distance -
    Is there really going to be a relay race? -
    Shipped in the fog ships.

    He took the pipe. Swell, then green,
    That white from excitement, here,
    Built by a wake column,
    Went to shore British ships.

    Why did they come from Albion?
    What do they need? There came a distant thunder
    And the waves at the foot of the bastion
    Boiled, burned by the core.

    Half a day they fired at random
    Threatening the whole city to turn into a bonfire.
    Holding in my pocket the demand for change
    The delegate ascended the bastion.

    Lieutenant, seeing in his limp
    Danger to the dignity of the country,
    Arrogantly accepted the British, sitting
    On a bench by the fortress wall.

    What to protect? Rusted guns
    Two streets in puddles, then in dust
    Oblique garrison huts
    A scrap of land that nobody needs?

    But still, after all, something is there,
    What a pity to give the Briton from the ship?
    He rubbed a handful of earth with his hand:
    Forgotten, but still land.

    Leaky, weathered flags
    Noise above the roofs among the branches ...
    "No, I will not sign your paper,
    So tell your Victoria! "
    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
    The British have long been pushed back,
    All the sheets were patched on the roofs,
    For a long time all the dead were buried,
    They put pine crosses

    When St. Petersburg couriers
    Suddenly brought, stuck on the road for a year,
    Order to take decisive action
    And bring the garrison to the oath.

    For fighting to the squad
    A new captain was sent to the fortress,
    And to the old lieutenant as a reward
    Was a full retirement vacation given!

    He walked around the fortress, poor fellow,
    All hesitated to climb the gangways of the ship.
    Cold breech paper,
    An absurd beloved land ...
    1. serge siberian
      serge siberian April 24 2016 20: 50
      nickname done.
      THANKS to the author of the article. There would be more of such articles. Not only on this site, but also on TV. But money bags rule there, they are talking about the rich who cry.
  15. as_1967
    as_1967 April 25 2016 04: 48
    Most likely it means the book RUSSIAN FLAG. The author is Alexander Borschagovsky. I have a story from 1971. A very interesting novel about the defense of Petropavlovka from the English-French squadron.
  16. polkovnik manuch
    polkovnik manuch 20 October 2016 21: 08
    Yes ! ! There were people ......