History of the naval forces of different countries of the world is full of mysteries. Such a complex machine, as a warship, filled with equipment, weapons and machines, improper handling of which could lead to the loss of the vessel. But that's not explains it. Disaster is often so swift and massive that to tell about all her circumstances, no one. Debris are a pile of twisted metal, usually lying on the bottom, so the investigation and the investigation of causes is extremely difficult. So it was with the Japanese ships "Fuso" "Congo", «Sochi”, “Yamato" of the American dreadnought “Arizona”, the Italian cruiser «Roma», Soviet ‘Marat" English ‘Barham” and “Evil”. After the war, the martyrology added "Novorossiya". The death of the battleship "the Empress Maria” in October 1916 it can be attributed to inexplicable historical facts.
Contrary to popular belief, the origin of which is explained by the specific approach of the Soviet party leaders to pre-revolutionary Russian history, the Russian Empire backward country was not. The discoveries of our scientists will be remembered in the annals of world science. Russian electrical engineering developed the world's first three-phase power supply system, invented the induction motor and wireless communication. All these achievements have been applied in the design of new ships of the Imperial fleet, running in the series in 1911. There are three of them: the battleship "the Empress Maria” was the first of them. “Catherine the Great” and “Emperor Alexander III" in General, repeating its design decisions, although, as is often the case, was tailored to occur during the production process of new ideas. In the spring of 1914, the head unit was launched. It happened at an opportune moment. World war began seems to be sudden shots thundered in Sarajevo, a surprise in fact was not. Battleships type ‘the Empress Maria” significantly leveled the balance of power on the proposed Maritime theater of military operations. Russian fleet, Tsushima healed wounds.
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A Series of ships were named after the royalty of the Russian State. Interestingly, the only ship of the line ‘the Empress Maria” the black sea fleet was named after living, surviving at the time of the widow of Alexander III, nee Danish Princess Louisa Sophia Frederica Dagmar, who became a real Russian patriot, by the way, despite its foreign origin. However, this has happened enough to remember Catherine the Great, whose name was given to another battleship of the same type. Without a doubt, this woman deserved this honor, moreover she was the mother of Nicholas II. Its role in Russian history, and the strength of character, kindness and righteousness of life successfully competed with external beauty.
The Fate of Maria Feodorovna tragic, she died at his home in Denmark (1928), at the same time being in exile and incarnating in himself the fate of all those Russians who has ever eaten the bitter bread of exile, the “leaving crusts”. And before she lost dear and close friends: two sons, daughter-in-law, four granddaughters and a grandson.
Battleship “Empress Maria” was the ship in all respects outstanding. He walked rapidly, developing speed of almost 24 knots (about 40 km/h) when loaded 2 tons of coal and 600 tonnes of fuel oil had autonomy in eight days, the team consisted of 1260 officers and men. Powerplant - turbine type, it consisted of two cars of 10 000 HP.
Battleship – a special type of naval equipment, they have a high level artillery weapons. Four gun turret was equipped with three 12-inch guns (made famous Obukhov factory) each. In addition to the main fire, was presented and auxiliary, in the amount of 32 pieces, These guns had a different purpose, one of them was anti-aircraft, which spoke of the ability of Russian engineers to think in perspective and take into account the growing threat of air attack. There was another design feature that distinguishes the battleship "the Empress Maria”. Drawings add-ins were compiled with the maximum increase of the sector of fire, so the power of the volley did not depend on the angle of the target relative to the course.
Outputs torpedo tubes located below the waterline, which was a revolutionary achievement at the time. Encircled the body of the armour layer with a thickness of 250 mm, it was protected and the deck. Special mention deserves the system of electrical supply of the vehicle. Battleship “Empress Maria” powered the six dynamos (today they call them generators). All heavy mechanisms are rotated by electric motors, in particular, for each artillery tower 22 EA.
A ship like This could carry out combat missions, even in our time.
In the Fall of 1915 the heat of naval battles in the Black sea reachedpeak. Turkey, an ally of Austria-Hungary, showed regional activity, not less aggressive behaved the German submarine fleet. In response, BSF was subjected to artillery bombardment of the Ottoman ports in North coast - ereğli Kilimli, Zonguldak and the Goat. On the flagship battleship, the ‘Mary’, undertaken by the office of naval operations Admiral Kolchak. On account of the team appeared more sunk enemy ships. German cruiser "Breslau", hurrying to the aid of the Turkish fleet, in February, was not able to perform the tasks and with difficulty broke away from the Russian battleships, having received multiple injuries. For the whole of 1916, another German raider, “Gabin”, only three dared to go to the black sea from the Bosphorus Strait, Yes for a short while and without success. From his last trip to Sevastopol Bay, the battleship "the Empress Maria” returned 6 October 1916.
Unlike many other Maritime disasters, in that most of the team managed to survive. Of the 1260 crew members immediately were killed on different data from 152 to 216 people. The number of wounded and burned ranged from a hundred to 232 people. Despite receiving immediate medical attention, he died in hospital even one hundred and fifty sailors. Thus, the death of the battleship "the Empress Maria” has caused the death of three hundred and fifty people (maximum estimate), or approximately 28% of the whole team. Victims could be much greater, but fortunately, almost all seafarers that do not carry over service, and participated in the prayer service that took place on the aft deck. That is, God saved.
That happened on the battleship early on the morning of 7 October, told by the surviving crew members. In a sense, a witness can be called all Sevastopol, awakened by a terrible roar. People who accidentally saw the whole picture of the disaster from the shore and other ships of the black sea fleet, saying that the first explosion from places disrupted the fore-mast, the front pipe and the conning tower. But the main reason why the fight for life was futile, was the destruction of the body, expressed in the rupture of the sides to below the waterline, and then seawater began to enter the compartments. The fire continued, however. Within minutes the ship arrived the commander of the black sea fleet, Admiral Kolchak, to lead the rescue work, arrived, the fire boats and tugs, but to do already nothing. In less than an hour detonated the ammunition in the cellar of the bow tower, he heard several more explosions, the battleship received a negative buoyancy, overkill capsized and sank.
Sailors during the disaster, acted in accordance with the Charter and fulfill her duties as ordered staffing. 7:20 the men of the fourth casemate, who was on watch, noticed a strange hissing coming from the cellar bulkhead adjacent the bow of the tower. They immediately reported to your immediate supervisor about what is happening, managed to roll out fire hoses and pumped water. It took only two minutes. Change after you watch the sailors was washed before the holiday, they were all burned by Hellfire blast. The power supply was broken, the light went out. Explosions continued (occurred on 25), detonated the shells of 130-mm caliber. Meanwhile, on the orders of a senior mechanical engineer warrant officer Ignatiev tried to start the fire pump. He did not succeed, the brave sailor died. Attempt to flood the cellars of the bow second tower to create a water barrier also proved unsuccessful, it just not enough time. Realizing that not all escape, the chiefs ordered the sailors to leave, while they themselves remained to his death, trying to do his duty. After lifting of the ship were found and interred the remains of heroes…
People tend to look for clues around the inexplicable. Than mysterious circumstances, the more difficult and confusing they usually are interpreted. So the official version of the Commission of inquiry that the explosion on the flagship of the black sea fleet occurred because of spontaneous combustion of essential gunpowder fumes, have caused many a disappointment. However, most likely, it was. Shells for a long time along with cap were in the trunks, especially when the battleship was hunting for ‘Gabin” and it could provoke detonation. But there is another version according to which the mysterious destruction of the battleship "the Empress Maria” there was no accident.
In favor of “subversive” hypothesis, also some circumstances. On the ship repair work was carried out, the access control was weak, and that could prevent the scout put into the cellar microcrystal, similar to what was discovered on the Italian dreadnought “Leonardo da Vinci” in summer 1915? Moreover, many hatches were not locked. Another fact says at first glance, in favor of spy sabotage: in 1933, the NKVD was neutralized residency of the German intelligence service headed by some kind of Verman. According toarrested, he was recruited before the revolution. And was interested in the military achievements of Russian electrical engineering, including circuits «Empress Maria”. Attention to this then the KGB did not give. Whether Verman spy is unknown, then people have confessed to anything.
The Ship was cut up for scrap in 1926. Was only a memory of what was battleship “Empress Maria”. The model is in the Museum of Sevastopol, the home of the naval commander - in Smolensk region. Another artfully executed layout on a large scale - is decorated with the exposition of the Nikolaev Museum of history of shipbuilding and fleet.
Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."
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