Russian armoured cruiser Admiral Nakhimov

Admiral Nakhimov , was an armoured cruiser 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...

 during the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

. She was named after Admiral Pavel Nakhimov
Pavel Nakhimov
Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov |Siege of Sevastopol]] during the Crimean War.-Biography:Born in the Gorodok village of Vyazma district of Smolensk region. Nakhimov entered the Naval Academy for the Nobility in Saint Petersburg in 1815. He made his first sea voyage in 1817, aboard the frigate Feniks ,...



Admiral Nakhimov was ordered in 1881 as one of the first armoured cruisers, and one of the more interesting naval ships constructed in Russia in the late 19th century. She was modeled after the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

  cruisers, which were armed with four 234 mm guns in a rhomboid layout. The Nakhimov was considered a more successful design. Her main armament consisted of 203 mm guns, which were lighter and their number could be doubled.

As a result, Admiral Nakhimov had probably the heaviest broadside (six 203 mm guns and five 152 mm guns
6 inch 35 caliber naval gun 1877
6 inch 35 caliber naval gun 1877 was a 152 mm naval gun used by Russian Empire. The gun was used from 1887 as battleship secondary armament and cruiser armament. The gun was mostly replaced by newer 6 inch 45 caliber Canet gun 1892 by Russo-Japanese War, but was still used on some ships...

) of all the armoured cruisers built in the 19th century. Unfortunately, her guns quickly became obsolete. Consideration was given to replacing them with quick-firing 152 mm guns (with eleven in a broadside), but it was not done due to the limited resources of Russian industry before the war with Japan. As well as steam engines, Nakhimov, like Imperieuse, was initially fitted with a full brig
A brig is a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. During the Age of Sail, brigs were seen as fast and manoeuvrable and were used as both naval warships and merchant vessels. They were especially popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries...

 rigging, but this proved to lack utility and was eventually removed in 1898-1899.

The deficiencies of the Nakhimov were connected with the time of her construction, and the rapid advance in naval technology during the period. As a result she was already an obsolete vessel by 1905, inferior to newer cruisers. The main fault was weak protection against torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

es, despite the fact she was the first Russian vessel to introduce anti-torpedo nets (which were useful only at slow speed). As quick-firing medium-caliber artillery became widely used her limited amount of side armour left most of the hull vulnerable. Her machinery also became obsolete and her speed was low.

She was laid down at the Baltic Shipyard
Baltic Shipyard
The Baltic Shipyard is one of the oldest shipyards in Russia. It is located in Saint Petersburg in the south-western part of the Vasilievsky Island. It is one of the three shipyards active in Saint Petersburg...

 in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 in the presence of 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...

 Alexander III
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

 in July 1884, launched on October 21, 1885, and entered service in September 9, 1888.

Early service

Upon commissioning, Admiral Nakhimov was assigned to the Russian Pacific Fleet, departing Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

 on September 29, 1888 and arriving at 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...

 on May 1889, where she was appointed flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...

. In September 1891, she returned to the Baltic for repairs. In July 1893, she visited New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, then Toulon
Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

 as a part of the Russian Squadron, then she sailed to Vladivostok again, serving there for the next four years and taking part in seizure of 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....

 following the Triple Intervention
Triple Intervention
The was a diplomatic intervention by Russia, Germany, and France on 23 April 1895 over the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki signed between Japan and Qing dynasty China that ended the First Sino-Japanese War.-Treaty of Shimonoseki:...

 against Japan at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

. In 1898, she returned to the Baltic for repairs and modernization. In November 1899, she was moved to the Pacific Squadron in Port Arthur again. From 1900-1903, she was used for diplomatic missions between Port Arthur, Korea and Japan. During this time, her captain was Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich Romanov.

Admiral Nakhimov returned to Kronstadt again in 1903 for refit and modernization, as her weaponry was obsolete with a slow rate of fire and short range. However, due to the slow rate of work and economic issues, refit had not progressed very far before the start of the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 in 1904.

Russo-Japanese War

During the Russo-Japanese war, Admiral Nakhimov was assigned to the Second Pacific Squadron, under the overall command of Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky
Zinovy Rozhestvensky
Zinovy Petrovich Rozhestvensky was an admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy. He was in command of the Second Pacific Squadron in the Battle of Tsushima, during the Russo-Japanese War....

, which was created from the Russian Baltic Fleet to relive the Japanese blockade of Port Arthur
Battle of Port Arthur
The Battle of Port Arthur was the starting battle of the Russo-Japanese War...

. She departed the Baltic in October 1904, and as Admiral Nakhimov was more powerful than the other Russian cruisers, she was included into the 2nd Battleship Group of the Squadron, consisting of three obsolete 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...


On 27 May 1905, the first day of the Battle of Tsushima
Battle of Tsushima
The Battle of Tsushima , commonly known as the “Sea of Japan Naval Battle” in Japan and the “Battle of Tsushima Strait”, was the major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War...

, the Admiral Nakhimov was the eighth and last ship in the main column. She was hit about 30 times, mainly by fire from Japanese armoured cruisers, and suffered 25 killed, and 51 injured, but retained her combat capabilities. Admiral Nakhimov slightly damaged the armoured cruiser with three 203 mm shells. At night, when the remaining Russian ships were attacked by torpedo boat
Torpedo boat
A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval vessel designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other large, slow and...

s and destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s, Admiral Nakhimov was visible, turning on searchlights. Around 21.30 - 22.00 hours she was hit at the bow by a torpedo, fired by an unidentified ship. Despite the struggle of the crew, the ship was sinking and she was abandoned the next morning close to the island of Tsushima
-Places:* Tsushima, Nagasaki, a city in Nagasaki Prefecture * Tsushima Basin, also known as Ulleung Basin, located at the juncture of the Sea of Japan and the Korea Strait* Tsushima Island, part of Nagasaki Prefecture...

. The Japanese auxiliary cruiser Sado Maru rescued 523 of her crew, another 103 men escaped in boats and were captured later, and 18 men were lost. At about 10.00 on 28 May, Admiral Nakhimov sunk at 34° 34'N, 129° 32'E. Captain Rodionov later claimed that the ship had been sunk by a floating naval mine
Naval mine
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

 rather than a torpedo, and some crewmen testified that the captain had ordered the ship scuttled to avoid surrender, so accounts of her final moments vary.

Legend of sunken treasure

In 1933, an American author named Garry Berg published a book 600 Billion in Water, making the unfounded allegation that the four ships of the Second Pacific Squadron which were sunk at the Battle of Tsushima had a horde of gold, worth US$5 million dollars, of which $2 million was carried on the Admiral Nakhimov.

In 1980, controversial Japanese businessman Ryoichi Sasakawa
Ryoichi Sasakawa
was a Japanese businessman, politician and philanthropist born in Minoh, Osaka. He was accused but acquitted of being a Class A war criminal after World War II, was a self-proclaimed fascist, kuromaku , and the founder of The Nippon Foundation...

 was salvaged the wreckage of Admiral Nakhimov over the strong protests of the Soviet Government. Sasakawa later publicized photos of what appeared to be a valuable cargo of gold bullion, platinum
Platinum is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina del Pinto, which is literally translated into "little silver of the Pinto River." It is a dense, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal...

 ingots, and British sovereigns, as well as crates of precious jewels. Sasakawa claimed that the treasure was worth over $36 billion in modern currency, but offered to turn it over to the Soviet Union, in return for the Kuril Islands
Kuril Islands
The Kuril Islands , in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater...

 to Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. Eventually, it turned out that the supposed platinum ingots were in fact lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...


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