Oskar Victorovich Stark
Oskar Victorovich Stark was a vice-admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy
Imperial Russian Navy
The Imperial Russian Navy refers to the Tsarist fleets prior to the February Revolution.-First Romanovs:Under Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich, construction of the first three-masted ship, actually built within Russia, was completed in 1636. It was built in Balakhna by Danish shipbuilders from Holstein...

 and a noted explorer of Peter the Great Bay and the Far Eastern seas. A strait in Peter the Great Bay and a bay in the Tatar Strait are named after him.


Stark graduated from the Sea Cadet Corps
Sea Cadet Corps (Russia)
The Sea Cadet Corps , occasionally translated as the Marine Cadet Corps or the Naval Cadet Corps, is an educational establishment for training Naval officers for the Russian Navy in Saint Petersburg.It is the oldest existing high school in Russia.-History:...

 in 1864. In his early career, he participated on numerous expeditions as commander of the frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

 Vostok from 1874-1977 to chart the Arctic
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 and Pacific coasts of Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

. He subsequently captained a gunboat
A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.-History:...

 in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) and later the gunboats Sivuch and Pervenets. He was captain of the cruiser from 1891-1892. From 11 April 1898 to 7 October 1902 Stark served in the Russian Pacific Fleet. On 6 December 1902, he was promoted to vice admiral. By appointment from Viceroy of the Far East Yevgeni Ivanovich Alekseyev, Stark was commander of the Russian naval base at Port Arthur
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

 from 1 May 1898 to 7 October 1902. On 7 February 1902 he concurrently held the position of Commander of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

At the start of the Russian-Japanese War, the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 launched a pre-emptive strike
Pre-Emptive Strike
Pre-Emptive Strike is the first release by Five Finger Death Punch on July 10, 2007. It was only released as a digital download to the American iTunes Music Store. The live version of "The Devil's Own" was recorded at a performance in Las Vegas, Nevada....

 on the Russian fleet anchored at Port Arthur. At the time of the attack, Stark was holding a birthday party for his wife on the deck of his main battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

, the , and the crowd attending the party mistakenly thought the exploding Japanese ordnance was fired in honour of the birthday. Here is a quote from commentary on the beginning of the battle:
The Japanese attack less-than-entirely successful, and Stark (despite wanting to engage the Japanese and being over-ruled by the viceroy) was loudly criticized in the Russian and the world press as having suffered a huge defeat, and was subsequently sacked by Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 from his post on 24 February 1904. Vice Admiral Stepan Makarov
Stepan Makarov
Stepan Osipovich Makarov was a Ukrainian - born Russian vice-admiral, a highly accomplished and decorated commander of the Imperial Russian Navy, an oceanographer, awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences, and author of several books. Makarov also designed a small number of ships...

 arrived on 8 March 1904 as his replacement.
Stark was given the Order of St. Vladimir
Order of St. Vladimir
The Cross of Saint Vladimir was an Imperial Russian Order established in 1782 by Empress Catherine II in memory of the deeds of Saint Vladimir, the Grand Prince and the Baptizer of the Kievan Rus....

 and recalled to a staff assignment with the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and continued to be regarded ss a scapegoat for the Battle of Port Arthur
Battle of Port Arthur
The Battle of Port Arthur was the starting battle of the Russo-Japanese War...


After the war, Stark was discharged from the military in 1908 and became involved in business activities. For a time he was Chairman of the Board of the Obukhov State Plant
Obukhov State Plant
Obukhov State Plant is a major Russian metallurgy and heavy machine-building plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was founded in 1863 to produce naval artillery based on German designs by Krupp. It has since been a major producer of artillery and other military equipment. From 1922 to 1992 it...

 and the Izhorskiye Zavody.

With the start of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Stark was recalled to duty. He was sent to Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

 to take command of the Russian Siberian Squadron, the battered remnants of the Russian Pacific Fleet. Although he was able to keep the port open, vital military stores accumulated on the docks due to the small number of trains on the Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

 and the brutal Siberian winter. After the Russian Revolution, Allied forces occupied Vladivostok as part of the Siberian Intervention
Siberian Intervention
The ', or the Siberian Expedition, of 1918–1922 was the dispatch of troops of the Entente powers to the Russian Maritime Provinces as part of a larger effort by the western powers and Japan to support White Russian forces against the Bolshevik Red Army during the Russian Civil War...

 to precent these war materials from falling into Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 hands. Stark became part of the White movement
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

 and remained at Vladivostok throughout the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

. With the victory of the Bolshevik Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 imminent by October 1922, Stark mustered the 30 barely working ships of the Siberian Squadron and organized an evacuation of Vladivostok of more than 9,000 people to Wonsan
Wŏnsan is a port city and naval base in southeastern North Korea. It is the capital of Kangwŏn Province. The population of the city is estimated to have been 331,000 in 2000. Notable people from Wŏnsan include Kim Ki Nam, diplomat and Secretary of the Workers' Party.- History :The original name of...

 in Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. Eighteen ships and three fourths of the refugees remained in Korea under the care of the Japanese Red Cross
Japanese Red Cross
The ' is the Japanese affiliate of the International Red Cross.The Imperial Family of Japan traditionally has supported the society, with Empress as Honorary President and other royal family members as vice-presidents. Its headquarters is located in Tokyo and local chapters are set up in all 47...

 as their ships had either broken down or did not have enough fuel to continue. The remainder of the fleet moved on through a typhoon in which the destroyer Dydymov and the transport Asia were lost with all hands. Stark arrived in Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

 with only ten ships and 3,000 refugees. However, the Chinese government ordered his stateless navy and its unwelcome refugees to depart Chinese waters in 48 hours or be attacked. Stark disembarked all of his non-naval personnel including former White Army General Mikhail Dieterichs
Mikhail Dieterichs
Mikhail Konstantinovich Diterikhs was a general in the Imperial Russian Army and subsequently a key figure in the White movement in Siberia during the Russian Civil War, noted in particular for his monarchist and anti-Semitic views.-Biography:...

 and the civilians in Shanghai and proceeded to Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila , in the Philippines.The bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world...

 where he sold the last of his pitiful fleet at auction to help support the refugees. He ordered the flag of Imperial Russia lowered for the last time in the Pacific on January 15, 1923.

Stark subsequently went into exile at Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, where he died in 1928.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.