Military Review

Day of military glory of Russia. Destruction of the Turkish fleet in the Battle of Chesmen

When, according to his mania, threw Perun
The eagle, in superior courage,
The fleet of the Turks at Chesme - burned Ross in the Archipelago,
Then Orlov-Zeves, Spiridov - was Neptune!
GR Derzhavin

Every year on July 7, Russia celebrates the Day of Military Glory of Russia - Russian Victory Day fleet over the Turkish fleet in the battle of Chesme in 1770. The Chesme battle took place on June 24-26 (July 5-7) in 1770 in the Chesme Bay on the west coast of Turkey. During the Russo-Turkish war, which began in 1768, the ships of the Baltic Fleet went to the Mediterranean Sea to distract the enemy from the Black Sea theater of operations. Two Russian squadrons under the command of Admiral Grigory Spiridov and Rear Admiral John Elphinstone, combined under the general command of Count Alexei Orlov, discovered the Turkish fleet on the raid of Chesmenskaya Bay and attacked it. The victory was complete - the entire Turkish fleet was destroyed.


In 1768, under the influence of the Polish question and the pressure of France, the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia. The Bar Confederation in Poland, which operated with the support of the Catholic powers - France and Austria, was losing the battle against the Russian and Polish government forces. Caught in a difficult situation, the Polish rebels turned to Porte for help. Jewels were collected for bribing the Ottoman dignitaries in Constantinople. Turkey promised Podolia and Volyn for helping in the war with Russia. Paris also pressured Istanbul. France traditionally supported the Poles against the Russians and wanted to use the war of Turkey against Russia in order to get Egypt into its sphere of influence. In addition, France considered itself the main power in Europe, and Russia's desire to achieve access to the southern seas met with active resistance from the French.

By this time, the same situation as in the 17th century remained in the south-western strategic direction. Russia did not have its own fleet in the Azov and Black Seas, where the sea forces of Turkey dominated undividedly. The Black Sea was, in fact, the "Turkish Lake". The northern Black Sea coast, the Azov Sea region and the Crimea were under the control of Porta and were a springboard for aggression against the Russian state. In the Northern Pontic there were strong Turkish fortresses, which locked the mouths of the main rivers.

In the fall of 1768, the Crimean cavalry invaded Russian territory, starting a war. The enemy was defeated and retreated, but the threat persisted. The Northern Black Sea region and the Danube direction became the main battlefields, where the Russian army fought for more than five years with the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate.

In order to somehow compensate for the absence of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, St. Petersburg decided to send a squadron from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean and threaten the Ottoman Empire from there. The main objective of the expedition was to support the possible uprising of the Christian peoples of the Balkan Peninsula (primarily the Peloponnese Greeks and the islands of the Aegean Sea) and the threat of rear communications Porta. Russian ships were supposed to disrupt the Ottomans' sea communications in the Mediterranean, to divert part of the enemy’s forces (especially the fleet) from the Black Sea theater of military operations. With luck, the squadron was supposed to block the Dardanelles and capture the important coastal points of Turkey. The main theater of action was located in the Aegean Sea or, as they said, in the Greek Archipelago, hence the name Archipelago Expedition.

For the first time, the idea to send Russian ships to the shores of the Aegean Sea and to raise there an uprising of Christian peoples against the Ottomans was expressed by the then favorite of Empress Catherine II Gregory Orlov. It is possible that the idea was first expressed by the future head of the expedition, Count Alexei Orlov, Gregory's brother, and Gregory only supported her and brought it to Catherine. Alexey Orlov wrote to his brother about the tasks of such an expedition and the war as a whole: “If we are to go, then go to Constantinople and free all Orthodox and pious from the burdensome. And I will say this, as in the diploma of Tsar Peter I said: but to turn their infidel Mohammedans into the steppes of sand to their former dwellings. And here piety will be brought on again, and let us say, glory to our God and all-powerful. " When submitting a draft expedition to the Council under the Empress, Grigory Orlov formulated his proposal as follows: “send, in the form of a voyage, several ships to the Mediterranean Sea and from there make a diversion to the enemy.”

Day of military glory of Russia. Destruction of the Turkish fleet in the Battle of Chesmen

Count Alexei Orlov - the inspirer and the first commander of the expedition. Portrait of KL Khristinek

Russian admiral Grigory Andreyevich Spiridov


In the winter of 1769, in the harbor of Kronstadt, preparations were under way for a voyage of the Baltic Fleet ships. The expedition was to take part in several squadrons of the Baltic Fleet: a total of 20 battleships, 6 frigates, 1 bomber ship, 26 auxiliary ships, over 8 thousands of troops. In total, the crew of the expedition had to number over 17 thousands of people. In addition, several ships were planning to buy in England. The British, at that time, considered France to be the main adversary and supported Russia. Russia was a major trading partner of England. Alexey Orlov was appointed commander of the expedition in the position of General-in-Chief. The squadron was headed by Admiral Grigory Andreyevich Spiridov, one of the most experienced Russian sailors, who began service under Peter the Great.

In July 1769 was the first squadron under the command of Spiridov. It consisted of 7 battleships - Saint Eustathius, Svyatoslav, Three Hierarchs, Three Saints, Saint Yanuarius, Europe and Northern Eagle, 1 bombing ship Grom, 1 frigate "Hope Well-Being" and 9 auxiliary vessels. Almost all battleships had 66 guns, including the flagship Saint Eustathius. The most powerful ship was the Svyatoslav - 86 guns. In October 1769, the second squadron, led by Rear Admiral John Elphinstone, transferred to the Russian service of an Englishman. The second squadron included the 3 battleships - the flagship “Do not touch me”, “Tver” and “Saratov” (all had 66 guns), 2 frigate - “Nadezhda” and “Africa”, ship “Chichagov” and 2 kick. During the campaign, the squadron’s composition changed somewhat.

The campaign of the Russian squadron around Europe was difficult and met the hostile attitude of France. The news of the Russian campaign was a complete surprise to Paris, but the French were convinced that this maritime expedition, with complete detachment from the bases and the lack of necessary experience, would end in complete failure of the Russian sailors. The British, in opposition to France, decided to support the Russians. However, in London they also believed that the Russian fleet, which was in complete decline after Peter I, was waiting for failure.

“The desire to bring the naval forces of Russia to a considerable size,” the English ambassador to Russia noted, “can be fulfilled only with the help and assistance of England, and not otherwise. But it is impossible for Russia to become a rival able to inspire us with envy, either as a commercial or as a naval military power. For this reason, I have always considered these kinds of Russia very happy for us, because as long as it is done, it should depend on us and hold on to us. In case of its success, this success will only increase our strength, and in case of failure, we will lose only what we could not have. ”

In general, the assistance of England during this period was useful to Russia: they managed to hire experienced combat officers of various levels and to receive extremely important support in the supply and repair of ships directly in England and in its strongholds in the Mediterranean - in Gibraltar and Minorca. Benevolent neutrality and assistance to the Russian fleet was also provided by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (a region of modern Italy). In the main port of this state - in Livorno, Russian ships were repaired and kept in contact with Russia through Tuscany.

It is clear that for Russian sailors the long-distance march around Europe was a difficult and responsible test. Prior to that, Russian ships mostly kept the Baltic Sea, most often went to the Gulf of Finland. Only individual merchant ships left the Baltic. Thus, the Russian ships had to confront the elements far from their repair and supply bases, having the need for the most necessary. And in the Mediterranean, they faced an experienced adversary who relied on his territory.

Campaign Spiridov squadron was accompanied by difficulties. The most powerful ship, Svyatoslav, was damaged. 10 (21) August on the ship opened a leak and he barely returned to Revel. "Svyatoslav" after the repair joined the second squadron of Elphinstone, became the flagship of the second squadron. Therefore, Spiridov, with his own decision, joined the battleship Rostislav from Archangelsk to the squadron.

In the area of ​​the island of Gotland, a storm broke out, which lasted almost continuously until the squadron entered the North Sea. At Cape Skagen, the pink “Lapomink” died. August 30 (September 10) squadron arrived in Copenhagen. The 4 (15) of September, the battleship of the Three Saints, hit a sandy bank and was able to remove it, but the ship was badly damaged. There were a lot of sick people on the ships. By the arrival of the ships in England 24 September, hundreds of people fell ill. In England, a significant part of the squadron remained to be repaired, including the "Prelate", under the command of brigadier Samuel Greig.

Further hike was also difficult. In the Bay of Biscay, a storm broke out. Some ships were badly damaged. The ship "Northern Eagle" was forced to return to the English city of Portsmouth, where he was eventually found unfit for service and dismantled. In the long hike, the insufficient strength of the hulls of the ships was revealed: during the rolling of the planking, the trimming boards retreated and a leak appeared. Poor ventilation and the absence of hospitals led to massive illness of the teams and high mortality. The unsatisfactory preliminary preparation by the Admiralty also had an effect. Fleet officials sought to formally solve the task set in order to get rid of the troublesome business: they somehow supplied the ships and escorted them from Kronstadt. Crews of ships were in great need of food, good drinking water and uniforms. To repair and eliminate damage in transit to the entire squadron, which was sent on a long hike, only one shipmaster was appointed.

For about a month, the transfer of Russian ships from the coast of England to Gibraltar lasted — over 1500 miles without a single stop at the ports. In November 1769, the ship “Evstafy” under the flag of Spiridov passed Gibraltar, entered the Mediterranean Sea, and arrived Port Magon (Minorca). 12 (23) November Greig with the main body of the squadron in Gibraltar, where he heard from Spiridov and headed for Minorca. For Christmas 1769, only 9 ships gathered in Minorca, including the 4 battleships ("Saint Eustathius", "Three Hierarchs", "Three Saints", "Saint Yanuarius"). In February 1770, the 1-I squadron reached the shores of the Morea Peninsula (Peloponnese). In March, the ships of the line "Rostislav" and "Europe" arrived.

With the support of the Russian squadron, the Greeks began an uprising. To use the Greek national liberation movement against the Turkish yoke, Empress Catherine II sent Count A. Orlova to Italy, even before the start of the operation, who was to establish contact with the rebel commanders and support them. Orlov was to lead all Russian forces in the Mediterranean. The Russian squadron landed small landings, reinforcing Greek troops and beginning a siege of coastal fortresses on the southern coast of Greece. 10 April capitulated the fortress of Navarin, which became the base for the Russian fleet.

However, in general, the uprising failed. The rebels, who fought in the depths of Morea, were defeated. The Turks crushed resistance in the most cruel way. Used punitive Albanians. The siege of the seaside fortress Coron, part of the Russian squadron launched in March, did not lead to victory. Unable to take the fortress Modon. New troops arrived from Turkey to Greece. Soon Turkish troops laid siege to Navarin. Eagles, due to the military weakness of the Greek troops, problems with drinking water and the threat from the approaching Turkish army, decided to leave the fortress. May 23 (June 3) fortress blew up and left. Russian troops left Morea, moving the fighting in the Aegean Sea. Thus, the Russian squadron was unable to create a stable base in Morea. The Greek uprising was crushed.

Actions of Russian troops and fleet in 1770

Fight at sea

In the meantime, the Ottoman command was not only the ground forces, but the fleet. The Turks planned to block Navarin not only from land, but also from the sea. A large squadron was dispatched from the Turkish ports. At the same time, the second squadron under the command of D. Elphinstone - the ships "Saratov", "Do not touch me" and still behind the first squadron "Svyatoslav", 2 frigate ("Nadezhda" and "Africa"), several transport and auxiliary vessels. In early May, the squadron of Elphinstone approached Morea and moved along the coast. In the morning of May 16 (27), the Russians discovered an enemy near the island of Spezia. The Ottomans had more than double superiority in forces, but did not take the fight and hid in the port of Napoli di Romagna.

Happy 17 (28) May, Russian ships attacked the enemy. The battle ended with no casualties on both sides. The Turks believed that they were dealing with the vanguard of the sprawling Russian fleet, so they retreated under the protection of coastal batteries. Elphinstone believed that he would not have enough forces to block the Turkish fleet, and departed.

May 22 (June 2) The second squadron of Elphinstone near the island of Cerigo was united with the squadron of Spiridov. The combined Russian forces returned to Napoli di Romagna, but the Ottomans were no longer there. The commander of the Turkish fleet Hasan Bey took the fleet to the direction of Chios. 24 May (4 June) near the island of Spezia Russian and Turkish ships were within sight. However, the calm prevented the sea battle. For three days the opponents saw each other, but could not join the battle. Then the Ottomans took advantage of the favorable wind and disappeared. Russian ships continued to search for the enemy. For nearly a month they plowed the waters of the Aegean Sea in pursuit of the Ottomans. In mid-June, a detachment of ships joined them, the last to leave Navarin.

All Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean were united, and Orlov took over the overall command. It should be noted that Spiridov was dissatisfied with Elphinstone, who, in his opinion, had missed the Turks under Napoli di Romagna. The admirals quarreled. According to Catherine’s instructions, Admiral Spiridov and Rear Admiral Elphinstone were put on an equal footing, and neither of them was subordinate to the other. Only the arrival of Orlov defused the situation, he took the supreme command of himself.

15 (26) June, the Russian fleet was supplied with water on the island of Paros, where the Greeks reported that the Turkish fleet left the island 3 a day ago. The Russian command decided to go to the island of Chios, and if there is no enemy there, then to the island of Tenedos to block the Dardanelles. 23 of June (4 of July) at the island of Chios, the patrolmen found an enemy on the vanguard of the Rostislav ship.

Source: Bloodless L. Atlas of maps and schemes for the Russian military stories

Fight in the Chios Strait

When the Russian ships approached the Strait of Chios, which separated the island of Chios from Asia Minor, it was possible to determine the composition of the enemy fleet. It turned out that the enemy has a significant advantage. The Turkish fleet consisted of: 16 battleships (5 with 80 guns each, 10 with 60-70 guns), 6 frigates and dozens of shebeks, galleys and other small combat and auxiliary ships. The Turkish fleet was armed with 1430 guns, the total crew numbered 16 thousand people. Orlov before the start of the battle had 9 battleships, 3 frigates and 18 other ships that had 730 guns and a crew of about 6,5 thousand people. Thus, the enemy had a double superiority in guns and men. The balance of power was clearly not in favor of the Russian fleet.

The Turkish fleet was built in two arched lines. The first line was the 10 of the battleships, the second was the 6 of the battleships and the 6 frigates. Auxiliary vessels stood behind the second line. The construction of the fleet was extremely close (150-200 meters between the ships), only the first-line vessels could fully use their artillery. A large fortified camp was set up near the coast, from where the ships replenished their supplies. The commander of the Turkish fleet Ibrahim Husameddin Pasha watched the battle from the shore. Admiral Gassan Bey was on the flagship of Real Mustafa.

Count Orlov was confused. However, the majority of Russian sailors were ready to fight. The enthusiasm of the crews, the persistence of Spiridov and the ship commanders convinced the commander-in-chief of the need for a decisive attack. “When I saw this construction (the battle line of the enemy),” Orlov reported to Petersburg, “I was horrified and in the dark: what should I do? But the courage of the troops, the zeal of all ... forced me to decide and, despite the excellent forces (of the enemy), dare to attack - to fall or destroy the enemy. "

Assessing the situation and weaknesses of the battle formation of the enemy fleet, Admiral Spiridov proposed the following plan of attack. The battleships built into the wake of the wake, taking advantage of the windward position, were to approach the enemy at right angles and strike at the vanguard and part of the center of the first line. After the destruction of the ships of the first line, the strike was made on the ships of the second line. This showed the courage of Spiridov as a naval commander who violated the rules of linear tactics, according to which it was necessary to first build a line parallel to the enemy. Such a construction was associated with risk, since the Russians, moving closer to the enemy, were subjected to longitudinal fire by strong artillery of the Turkish fleet. Spiridov’s calculation was built on the speed and decisiveness of the attack. For Russian ships, with a large number of small-caliber guns, the least distance was more advantageous. In addition, the rapprochement made it possible to somewhat reduce losses, since then not all Turkish ships could fire, especially aimed.

On the morning of June 24 (July 5), the Russian squadron entered the Strait of Chios and, on a signal from Commander-in-Chief A. Orlov, who was on the battleship Three Hierarchs, formed into a wake column. The lead ship was the Europa under the command of Captain 1 of the rank of Fedot Klokachev, followed by Evstafy, on which the avant-garde commander Admiral Spiridov held his flag, then the ship the Three Saints under the command of 1-rank captain Stepan Khmetevsky. They were followed by the “Yanuariy” battleships of captain 1 of the rank of Mikhail Borisov, the Three Hierarchs of the brigadier Samuel Greig and Rostislav of Captain of 1 of rank Lupandin. The rear-guard ships “Don't touch me” —Elphinstone's flagship — commander — 1 captain of the rank of Beshentsev, Svyatoslav of the captain 1-th rank of Roxburgh, and Saratov of Captain Polivanov closed the battle line.

At about 11 hours, the Russian squadron, in accordance with the previously developed plan of attack, turned to the left and almost at a right angle began to descend on the enemy. In order to accelerate the exit to the distance of the artillery volley and the deployment of forces to attack, the Russian ships marched in close formation. Around noon, the Turkish ships opened fire. The advanced Europe-class battleship approached the battle line of the Turkish fleet at a pistol shot distance - 50 meters, and was the first to return fire. Captain Klokachev wanted to bring the ship closer to the enemy even closer, but the proximity of the rocks made him turn and temporarily get out of the line.

Leading was the flagship Spiridov. A concentrated fire of several enemy ships at once fell on the Russian flagship. But our flagship continued to move confidently, setting an example for the entire squadron. Inspiring the sailors to the battle with the Ottomans, Admiral Gregory Spiridov stood on the upper deck with a bare sword. On the Russian ships combat marches thundered. The musicians received the order "Play to the last!".

The admiral ordered to concentrate the fire on the flagship of the Turk "Real Mustafa". Following the flagship, the rest of the Russian fleet joined the battle. By the end of the first hour, the battle had become general. The battleship "Three Saints" led extremely accurate fire at the enemy, causing serious damage to the Turkish ships. At the same time, several enemy shells were hit in the Russian ship, with which the brasas were killed (rigging tackle, with the help of which the yards were turned in the horizontal direction). The Three Saints began to demolish right in the middle of the Turkish fleet, between its two battle lines. The situation has become very dangerous. At the slightest mistake, the ship could collide with a Turkish ship or crash against stones. However, Captain Khmetevsky, despite his injury, continued to skillfully guide the actions of the ship. The Russian ship withstood a powerful shelling of the enemy. From the enemy shelling on the Three Saints there appeared underwater holes, masts were damaged. But the Russian sailors continued to fight at close range, and they themselves threw hundreds of shells at the enemy. They fired at the enemy from both sides at once.

The ship "Yanuariy" under the command of Captain Borisov, passing along the Ottoman line, and shooting several enemy ships at once, turned and again walked along the line. Then he took a position opposite one of the ships and concentrated the fire on him. For the "Januarius" followed the ship "Three Hierarchs." He approached another enemy ship, the flagship of the Kapudan-Pasha, anchored and began a fierce duel. Russian ships became almost close to the enemy ships, which made it possible to use not only small-caliber artillery, but also guns. The Turkish ship could not stand the fire and retreated, showing aft. He was "broken to the extreme." Other Turkish ships, against which Rostislav and Europe fought, were also seriously damaged.

The flagship of the Russian squadron fired from such a short distance that its sides were piercing both sides of the Turkish flagship and the crews fired rifle and pistol firefights. Many Turks could not stand the battle, and rushed overboard. But the enemy fire led to severe damage "Eustache". Masts, yards and sails of the Russian ship were badly damaged. Things reached the point that the Efstafiy met with Real Mustafa and the Russian sailors rushed to the boarding. During the boarding battle of the teams "Eustache" and "Real Mustafa" the Ottoman ship caught fire, the flames spread to the Russian ship, and both of them exploded. Admiral Spiridov managed to leave the Eustathians before the explosion. With the death of the Turkish flagship enemy fleet control was disrupted. In the magazine of the flagship Three Hierarchs it was noted: “Passing close to the enemy fleet, we began to shoot at him from cannons with nuclei, which happened to the rest of our fleet of ships; and the battle took place before the end of the 2 hour, and at the end of the 2 hour the entire Turkish fleet anchored and went to Chesma, and anchored there. In 2 hours we turned over the tack. ”

Under heavy artillery fire of the Russian ships of the squadron, the Turks retreated in disarray into the Chesme Bay. The Turks hoped for an unapproachable position at Chesma. The high banks of the bay protected it from the wind, and the batteries at the entrance to the bay seemed to serve as an impregnable barrier for enemy ships.

Thus, as a result of the first stage of the battle, which lasted about two hours, one ship perished on each side, and the initiative completely passed to the Russians. The Turks retained almost the entire fleet, but were demoralized by the fearless attack of the inferior enemy forces. With the explosion of the battleship "St. Evstafy "killed about 500-600 people. The Turks also lost their flagship; there were significant damage on several Turkish ships. Of the Russian ships, minor damage was only on the Three Saints and Europe.

The picture of Aivazovsky depicts the climax of the battle - the clash of two flagships.

Chesme battle

It was necessary to complete the case and destroy the demoralized enemy. On June 25 (July XNUM) a military council was convened under the chairmanship of Commander Orlov, with the participation of G. A. Spiridov, C. C. Greig, D. Elfinston, Yu. V. Dolgorukov, I. A. Hannibal and other commanders. It was decided by Orlov and Spiridov, using the night breeze blowing from sea to shore, to attack and burn the Ottoman fleet in the Chesme Bay. In the memoirs Spiridov noted: "So, without delaying at all, according to Count Alexei Grigorievich, and with other flagships, with whom he always acted with everyone, he gave the disposition to burn the entire Turkish fleet."

In order to set fire to enemy ships, a special detachment was formed under the command of the junior flagship SK. Greig's 4 battleships, 2 frigates and the Thunder bombing ship. Orlov ordered Greig to immediately send the “Thunder” to the Chesme Bay and, while the Turks were confused, to continuously fire at the enemy. The foreman of the naval artillery, I. A. Hannibalu, was assigned to train firefighters to attack the enemy. Brander called the ship, loaded with flammable or explosive substances, used for arson and destruction of enemy ships. The next day, the fireworks were ready. They were equipped from small sailing schooners and filled with gunpowder and tar.

The Turkish fleet commander Ibrahim Husameddin Pasha hoped that Russian ships would not be able to attack his forces after a fierce battle and, relying on the inaccessibility of Chesma’s positions, abandoned the idea of ​​entering the sea with the aim of detachment from the Russian squadron, which was possible with regard to the best Ottoman maritime qualities ships. The Turkish command hastily intensified the defense of the Chesme Bay. On coastal batteries, located at the entrance to the bay, long-range guns were taken from ships. As a result, coastal defense was significantly enhanced.

On the night of June 26 (July 7), Greig's detachment entered the bay. The “Europe”, “Rostislav” and “Don't touch me” battleships, formed a line from north to south, engaged in battle with Turkish ships. The 66-gun "Saratov" stood in reserve, and the "Thunder" and the frigate "Africa" ​​attacked the batteries on the west bank. Soon the first Turkish ship exploded. Burning debris fell on other ships in the bay. After the explosion of the second Turkish ship, the Russian ships ceased firing, and firefighters entered the bay. Three different firewalls for various reasons did not reach the goal. Only one under the command of Lieutenant D. S. Ilyin fulfilled the task. Under enemy fire, he approached the 84-gun Turkish ship and set it on fire. The Brander team, together with Lieutenant Ilyin, got into the boat and left the burning Brander. Soon on the Ottoman ship an explosion occurred. Many burning debris scattered throughout the Chesme Bay, spreading the fire on almost all the ships of the Turkish fleet.

Greig wrote in his own journal: “The fire of the Turkish fleet became common by three o'clock in the morning. It is easier to imagine than to describe the horror and confusion that captured the enemy! The Turks stopped all resistance, even on those ships that had not yet caught fire. Most of the rowing ships sank or overturned from the multitude of people rushing into them. Entire teams in fear and despair threw themselves into the water, the surface of the bay was covered with countless unhappy, fleeing, drowning one another. Few reached the shore, the goals of desperate efforts. The fear of the Turks was so great that they left not only the ships that had not yet caught fire, and coastal batteries, but even fled from the castle and the city of Chesma, which had already been abandoned by the garrison and the inhabitants. ”

One of the heroes of the Chesme battle Samuel Greig

By morning, 15 of Turkish battleships, 6 frigates and more than 40 auxiliary ships were burned and sunk. One enemy battleship "Rhodes" and 5 galleries captured. The Turkish fleet suffered huge losses - 10-11 thousand people. Eventually prince Yu. Dolgorukov wrote later: “Water mixed with blood and ash received a very nasty look. Burnt corpses floated on the waves, and the port was so full of them that it was hard to drive around in boats. ”

The Russian fleet had no losses on ships that day. Killed 11 people. Thus, the Russian fleet achieved brilliant success, completely destroying the enemy fleet, and with minimal losses.

After the victory, Spiridov reported to St. Petersburg in the Admiralty Board to its President, Count Chernyshov: “Thank God and honor to the All-Russian Fleet! From 25 to 26, the enemy fleet attacked, smashed, smashed, burned, was let into the sky, sank and turned into ashes, and left in that place a terrible disgrace, and themselves began to be in the whole Archipelago of our All-merciful Sovereign ”.

The defeat of the Turkish fleet at Chesma. Painting by Jacob Phillip Hackert

Chesme battle. Artist I. K. Aivazovsky


The Chesme battle was of great military and political importance. The Ottoman Empire, having lost its fleet, was forced to abandon offensive actions against the Russians in the Archipelago, concentrating its forces on the defense of the Dardanelles Strait and the coastal fortresses. In Istanbul, they feared that the Russians could now threaten the capital of the empire. Under the leadership of the French military engineers, the Turks hastily strengthened the defense of the Dardanelles. Part of the Turkish forces was distracted from the Black Sea Theater. All this played an important role in the conclusion of the Kyuchuk-Kaynardzhi peace treaty. The battle was a testament to Russia's increased sea power. The Chesme Victory caused a wide resonance in Europe and Asia. The largest combat success of the Russian sailors was so obvious that neglect and skepticism regarding our fleet were replaced by thoughtfulness and even apprehension. The British highly appreciated the results of Chesma: “With one blow, the entire sea force of the Ottoman Empire was destroyed ...”

Empress Catherine II generously rewarded all those distinguished themselves: Admiral Spiridov was granted the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, Count Fyodor Orlov and Commander Greig received the Order of St. George 2 St., 3-th degree of the Order of St. George was awarded the captains Fedot Klochochev Khmetevsky, a number of officers, including the commanders of all the firemen, received the cross of the Order of St. George 4-st. Commander-in-chief of all Russian forces in the Mediterranean, Alexei Orlov from that moment received an honorable addition to his last name, Chesmensky, and for the “brave and reasonable leadership of the fleet and winning the victory famous on the banks of the Assyys over the Turkish fleet and completely destroying him” he was granted the highest degree Order of St. George. In addition, the column was given the rank of General-in-Chief, granted the right to raise the Kaiser flag and enter it in the emblem.

Medal "In commemoration of the burning of the Turkish fleet at Chesme". 1770

By order of Catherine II, the Chesme Column in Tsarskoe Selo (1778) was erected to glorify the victory, and the Chesme Palace (1774 — 1777) and the Chesme Church of St. John the Forerunner (1777 — 1780) were built in St. Petersburg. In memory of the Chesme victory, gold and silver medals were cast. The name "Chesma" was carried by the squadron battleship of the Russian military fleet.

In July, 2012. President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin signed amendments to the law “On Days of Military Glory and Memorable Dates of Russia”, which supplement the list of days of military glory with the date of July 7 - the Day of Victory of the Russian Navy over the Turkish Navy in the Chesmen Battle. The Chesme Victory is one of the most brilliant victories of the Russian fleet in the naval record of Russia.

Chesme Column in the Catherine Park Tsarskoye Selo. Installed in 1776 by architect Antonio Rinaldi

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  1. Uncle Murzik
    Uncle Murzik 7 July 2016 06: 24
    great article! thanks hi
  2. dmi.pris
    dmi.pris 7 July 2016 06: 26
    Yes, there were people. Under the sounds of the orchestra they went into battle, they fought merrily .. This is how we imagine it ... Rubilovo, of course, was notable, then Europe was scratching his head for a long time ..
    1. dima mzk
      dima mzk 7 July 2016 07: 43
      as if it’s different now, all the same, to the sound of the orchestra go into battle well, every day we had a divorce from the orchestra
  3. svu93
    svu93 7 July 2016 06: 51
    and now the Turks forgot ... oh, forgot .....
    1. dima mzk
      dima mzk 7 July 2016 07: 44
      they forgot nothing
    2. Amurets
      Amurets 7 July 2016 08: 09
      Quote: svu93
      and now the Turks forgot ... oh, forgot .....

      And in order not to be forgotten, it is necessary to congratulate the Republic of Turkey on a memorable date.
    3. Imperialkolorad
      Imperialkolorad 7 July 2016 10: 00
      Quote: svu93
      and now the Turks forgot ... oh, forgot .....

      They recently ran up again. Fortunately, our supreme commander had the patience not to start the next Russian-Turkish war.
  4. Korsar4
    Korsar4 7 July 2016 06: 54
    Russian glory. You feel the time from such events.
  5. knn54
    knn54 7 July 2016 07: 17
    With one blow, the entire sea power of the Ottoman Empire was destroyed!
  6. netvrz
    netvrz 7 July 2016 07: 18
    The battle of Chesme led to the appearance of the first strip on sailor's ribbons. The other two are Gangut and Sinop. I hope there will be articles about these battles
    1. Korsar4
      Korsar4 7 July 2016 07: 25
      There is a version of the stripes on guis. But in any case, the Gangut will be early.
    2. wasps
      wasps 7 July 2016 08: 31
      not ribbons, but on guis - 3 strips - 3 battles, Gangut, Sinop and Chesmen.
      1. V.ic
        V.ic 7 July 2016 09: 32
        Quote: vespe
        3 battles, Gangut, Sinop and Chesmen.

        They forgot about Navarin.
    3. Lyubopyatov
      Lyubopyatov 7 July 2016 17: 40
      You wanted to say: on sailor clothes.
  7. 1536
    1536 7 July 2016 07: 21
    Also then Russia was restrained! And all the same: Poles, French, Turks.
    They didn’t understand anything, they didn’t learn anything.
    1. rusmat73
      rusmat73 7 July 2016 10: 21
      glavnyukov - the Anglo-Saxons forgot to mention ... hi
  8. parusnik
    parusnik 7 July 2016 07: 23
    ... In 1776, when the squadron returned to Kronstadt, Empress Catherine II inspected the ships. After that she invited to her table on the battleship "Rostislav" all the officers who had taken part in the glorious Chesme battle. And one of her first toasts was to the health of the hero and cavalier of St. George, Dmitry Ilyin.
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 7 July 2016 08: 22
      Military glory! Pride of Russia! A very good article!
      The history of relations with Turkey is a history of military conflicts. This has historically happened and we must not forget about it, the Turks remember.
  9. Arkan
    Arkan 7 July 2016 09: 10
    Note that the defendants in the incitement of Turkey against Russia are all the same. However, with the same result as now.
  10. V.ic
    V.ic 7 July 2016 09: 34
    I personally like the inscription "BYL" / was / on the left image of the medal at the top!
  11. Vades
    Vades 7 July 2016 09: 52
    Erdogan needs to send a greeting card.
  12. Mantykora
    Mantykora 7 July 2016 10: 21
    The funniest name of the ship is "Don't touch me." And they didn't! Truly, how can you call a ship ...

    Quote: Amurets
    Quote: svu93
    and now the Turks forgot ... oh, forgot .....

    And in order not to be forgotten, it is necessary to congratulate the Republic of Turkey on a memorable date.

    Quote: Vades
    Erdogan needs to send a greeting card.

    Officially, the Turkish Republic has no relation to the Ottoman Empire - it did not proclaim itself to be its heir. How the USSR renounced the Russian empire. And do not be so petty - inciting hatred is not good.
  13. Verdun
    Verdun 7 July 2016 12: 16
    Thanks to the author for the article! Spiridov and Gpeig, for not entirely obvious reasons, were in the shadow of the glory of Ushakov and Nakhimov. Meanwhile, their victories were also very significant for Russia, and their naval talent was obvious. Alas, far from always talented performers - in this case Spiridov and Greig - find themselves in the same boat with talented organizers - for example, Orlov. But only this combination can benefit any business.
  14. Kotyara Fat
    Kotyara Fat 7 July 2016 15: 45
    Thanks to the author! Great article!
    Thunder of victory be heard!
    Have fun brave growing up!
    Decorate with magnificent glory!
    Mohammed you shook!
    Glorious season of brilliant victories of Russian weapons! The great century.
  15. Cat
    Cat 7 July 2016 18: 43
    Appreciate the humor of Catherine the Great with the "byl" medal.
  16. Talgat
    Talgat 7 July 2016 19: 20
    History and geopolitics. Was the Ottoman Empire - and where is it now? I could not stand the confrontation with Russia. Swedes, for example, were also an empire - and now Sweden is a small country - but they fought with Russia in the south - look where Poltava is very far from Sweden

    The result is Europe (Hitler - and now the European Union - but basically the same thing - a united Europe). China rises. Eurasia is in decline and the Anglo-Saxon world is only consolidating in its prime (USA with England and Canada, autosalias, etc.)
    1. Alex
      Alex 7 July 2016 23: 10
      Quote: Talgat
      Swedes, for example, were also an empire - and now Sweden is a small country - but they fought with Russia in the south - look where Poltava is very far from Sweden

      Well, here the Poles themselves rather tried. Poland’s ties with Sweden were quite strong at that time; they invited all the kings from there to their throne. And then another internal strife began, the applicants faced: one party for August Saxon the Strong, the other for Stanislav Leshchinsky. Here Karl number 12 and decided to kill two birds with one stone: both Poland can do for themselves, and go to Russia from the south. And then another self-taught intriguer sought out - Mazepa, promised to help and pave the way to Moscow with almost red cloth. In general, everyone made a mistake, near Poltava everything fell into place: both the Poles with their showdowns, and Mazepa with their independents, and Karl with his idea of ​​fixation.
  17. visitork67
    visitork67 7 July 2016 20: 16
    Not so weakly distracted from the other theater of the Turks. Type made a slight noise, indicated the presence.
  18. not main
    not main 7 July 2016 23: 38
    Thank you for the article! This honor of Count Orlov was especially struck! To recognize after the victory that the authors are subordinates is heroism for a military of such a level!
  19. Gost171
    Gost171 8 July 2016 02: 07
    It’s well written, plus. But then there was more, and more than once. It seems that in Sevastopol \ if you made a mistake, correct it \ there is a modest monument with a short inscription: "Kazarsky, Mercury, for posterity as an example." It would be nice to continue with such materials.
  20. Stiletto
    Stiletto 8 July 2016 09: 41
    I am proud that it was my fellow countryman, Lieutenant Dmitry Ilyin, with the brave team of his fireman that burned the Turkish fleet in the Battle of Chesme! Now it’s on such examples of perseverance, courage and selfless courage, multiplied by fidelity and love for our own country, our boys should grow up!
  21. nikcris
    nikcris 8 July 2016 23: 50
    Transition from Kronstadt under sail. Past the French. Without air conditioning ())). And to remain so combat-ready ... We are not heroes.
    What can be sent from the Baltic today? And what comes from the North?
    BDK from Cherny is still to help. There is also "Saratov" there.
  22. Pate
    Pate 7 July 2017 18: 44
    Great article, thanks for it !!!