Aug 7, 2022
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Cruiser “Aurora” – history, facts, photos

Aurora“- cruiser of the 1st rank of the Baltic Fleet of the “Diana” type. Named after the sailing frigate “Aurora”, which became famous during the defense of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky during the Crimean War. During the Russo-Japanese War, he participated in the campaign of the Second Pacific Squadron.

Cruiser “Aurora” 1909-1910

The cruiser took part in the First World War (1914-1918). A blank shot from the Aurora was the signal for the start of the assault on the Winter Palace; the cruiser became one of the main symbols of the October Revolution. On the morning of May 24, 1900, the ship, which was to remain forever in the history of the Russian fleet, was launched.

Cruiser name

In the summer of 1896, a decree was issued on the start of construction of a cruiser with a displacement of 6630 tons of the Diana type. It is curious that this name of the vessel was preserved for about a year, until Nicholas II renamed it.

This happened in the spring of 1897, when the tsar ordered the name of the ship under construction – “Aurora” in honor of the Roman goddess of dawn. It is worth noting that the king chose this name from 11 proposed options.

From Tsushima to Manila

The cruiser “Aurora” went on its first military campaign in 1902, and after 2 years already participated in the Russo-Japanese War. He happened to go on a long transition of the Second Far Eastern Squadron and take part in the infamous Battle of Tsushima.

When the Japanese received reinforcements, they began to actively attack the Aurora. One shell hit the wheelhouse, as a result of which all the sailors in it received shrapnel wounds. The captain of the cruiser was killed in action. The surviving Russian ships began to hastily leave the Korea Strait.

In total, 9 people died on the Aurora cruiser, including its captain, Yevgeny Egoriev. After repairs in Manila, the ship returned to the Baltic Sea in 1906.

The death of the captain

Captain 1st rank Evgeny Yegoriev received a mortal wound in the head due to an exploding shell. For a while he was still alive. The captain died in the arms of sailor Andrei Podlesny, when he was carrying him to the cabin. Yegoryev was buried off the coast of Luzon on May 21, 1905, according to maritime custom.

War without battles

After returning home, the Aurora cruiser was re-equipped, as a result of which they began to regularly use it in foreign campaigns. An interesting fact is that after Tsushima, the ship no longer participated in any serious battle. Every year, the Aurora became more and more obsolete, which is why it could no longer be effective in military operations.

Cruiser “Aurora” 1909-1914

The most large-scale operation of the First World War, for the cruiser, was the landing in the Gulf of Riga. The frigate, as far as possible, covered the Russian infantrymen with fire.

The real story of the shot in October

At the height of the February Revolution, the sailors of the cruiser supported her, with the exception of the captain and chief mate. As a result, both officers were killed by the rebellious sailors. By the time of the October Revolution, there were already quite a few supporters of the Bolsheviks on board the Aurora.

An interesting fact is that in reality the cruiser did not give any signal for the start of the assault on the Winter Palace. According to the crew members, the shot that went down in history was fired as a warning to the ships standing on the banks of the Neva.

But the real signal for the attack was 2 volleys from the Peter and Paul Fortress. It is curious that both shells landed directly on the windows of the Winter Palace. It is fair to say that it was from the cruiser “Aurora” that the legendary message of Vladimir Lenin “To the citizens of Russia” was transmitted.

How the Aurora was almost sent for scrap

The Revolution and the Civil War led to the loss of a large number of Russian ships and sailors. Having lost artillery and ammunition by 1922, the Aurora received the status of a training ship. On the eve of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), the cruiser, outdated in every sense, was almost scrapped, but this did not happen for a number of reasons.

Ship cannons on the ground

Despite the fact that the Aurora cruiser could no longer pose a threat to the enemy at sea, it was well armed. 9 guns (caliber 130 mm) were dismantled from the ship, which were used by Russian infantry near Duderhof. Soon all this equipment was destroyed, and most of the guns were blown up by the sailors themselves so that they would not fall into the hands of the enemy.

How “Aurora” was “Varangian”

The cruiser survived the blockade of Leningrad, and the only combat-ready gun on it was only an anti-aircraft gun. However, the cruiser did not lower the flag, which is why it was constantly subjected to German shelling.

After the blockade was lifted, the ship was in a terrible state. However, the government decided to save and restore it as a museum ship. During the repair work, the cruiser starred in the Soviet film “Varangian”, where he got the role of a cruiser of the same name.

Disarmed cruiser “Aurora” on the ground during the blockade of Leningrad

After the end of filming, the Aurora continued to repair, which was completed by the fall of 1948. At the same time, the cruiser was towed to a permanent parking lot to Bolshaya Nevka.

Twice decorated “Aurora”

Multiple repairs have seriously changed the internal and external appearance of the Aurora cruiser. According to experts, a modern ship has almost nothing in common with what it was at the beginning of the last century.

In February 1968, the ship was awarded the Order of the October Revolution, which made her the only one in the history of the Russian fleet twice decorated. As an exception, the Aurora retained the status of a warship – the longest-lived in the domestic fleet.

Repair and new life of the museum ship

On the morning of September 21, 2014, the Avrora cruiser was towed to the Kronstadt Shipping Plant for repairs. For almost 2 years, the ship was repaired and restored. It is worth noting that the hull of the frigate has been completely renovated.

After a major overhaul, on July 16, 2016, the cruiser was returned to the Petrogradskaya embankment. About 1,500 people visited it on the opening day. Today the cruiser “Aurora” is an object of cultural heritage of Russia.

Photo of the cruiser “Aurora”

The first commander of the cruiser “Aurora” Evgeny Egoriev
Cruiser “Aurora” in Revel 1908
Cruiser “Aurora” 1903
“Aurora” after the battle in the Tsushima Strait

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