As the torpedo boat " was killed in unequal battle; Guarding “ the repeated feat “ Varangian “?
on March 10, 1904 near Port - Artur the Russian torpedo boat " was killed in unequal battle with the Japanese ships; Guarding “. Torpedo boats - the ships small, and their death in sea battles at all not a rarity. Perhaps, this case would remain only in memory of witnesses of fight and in staff documents, but the destiny disposed differently.
In several days after fight in London “ Tayms “ article which forced the whole world to be surprised to firmness and dedication of the Russian seamen was published. It is remarkable that for several weeks before newspapers of many countries described a feat “ Varangian “ and here the similar feat makes “ Guarding “ confirming that the Russian seamen prefer to perish in fight, but not to hand over the ship to the enemy.
The correspondent, referring to stories of the Japanese seamen, wrote that deprived of the course “ Guarding “ accepted unequal battle with the Japanese ships, but refused to lower a flag. Soon the deck of a torpedo boat was a heap of the bent metal among which bodies of the killed seamen lay. Japanese, having approached on the whaleboat a torpedo boat to take it on a tow, saw that “ 35 killed and wounded lay on the deck of the Russian torpedo boat. But two sailors “ Guarding “ were locked in hold and were not given, despite all admonitions. They not only did not give up to the enemy, but pulled out at him production which he considered as the: having opened valves, they filled a torpedo boat with water and buried themselves together with it in sea abysses “.
It is natural that article was reprinted also by the Russian newspapers which often scooped information at foreign colleagues. “ Guarding “ and his commander lieutenant Alexander Sergeyev became known to all country. The feat of seamen made big impression on the Russian society, long wrote newspapers about it, devoted it verses, carried out charity events on fund raising to families of the died seamen. The artist N. S. Samokish painted a picture in which he represented the sailors opening a valve by the perishing ship. After war the sculptor K. V. Izenberg on the basis of this picture created the project of a monument “ To Two unknown seamen - heroes “. The monument was pleasant to the emperor, and the contract for its construction was signed. Then - all details of legendary fight also decided to specify that to place the corresponding inscription on a pedestal.
It turned out that developed in realities of an event a little not as they were described by newspapers. At dawn on March 10 to the torpedo boats which are coming back from investigation “ Guarding “ and “ Resolute “ the way to Port - to Artur was blocked by 4 Japanese torpedo boats possessing more powerful arms. The Russian ships tried to break with fight, but it worked well only “ Resolute “. At “ Guarding “ from a direct hit of a shell coppers were damaged, and it continued fight, having practically lost the course. Despite significant superiority of the opponent, “ Guarding “ the Andreevsky flag conducted a battle of nearly an hour
Even at the beginning of fight nailed up to a mast that incidentally did not break it explosion. Strikes composure with which seamen acted in fight. The captain lieutenant Sergeyev directed fight lying on the deck with the killed legs. When he died, command was accepted by the lieutenant N. Goloviznin, but also he was soon struck by a splinter. Seamen not only fired on the opponent from four guns (one caliber 75 mm and three calibers 47 mm), but also tried to fight for survivability of the ship which sustained multiple damage and holes. On the deck “ Guarding “ there is no place to take cover, even its tools had no boards, but to the place of the dead to guns right there were those who else could conduct a battle. According to escaped, most longer from a nasal gun the warrant officer K. Kudrevich who got several wounds fired. Firemen and drivers brought shells and extinguished the fires. By the end of fight by the ship the seriously injured mechanical engineer V. Anastasov ordered. When the last tool, the dying signaller Kruzhkov by means of the fireman Osinin became silent the smog threw out overboard alarm books, having tied to them freight.
By the ship the commander, all officers and 45 of 49 sailors who executed at the cost of the life the last order of the commander died: “ To Fulfil the duty to the Homeland up to the end, without thinking of shameful delivery to the enemy of the native vessel “. Actually, Japanese had nothing to capture already. It is confirmed also by the warrant officer from the Japanese ship: “ The Inhabited deck was absolutely in water, and it was impossible to enter there. In general, the provision of a torpedo boat was so awful that does not give in to the description... “. By the time of approach of the Japanese " whaleboat; Guarding “ was poluzatoplen, could remove only two living sailors from it and picked up two more from water where rejected them explosion.
Japanese tried to tow “ Guarding “ but the ship continued to plunge and the cable broke. From Port - Artur to the aid of a torpedo boat already hurried the cruiser, sent by the admiral Makarov, and the Japanese ships preferred to leave, without accepting battle especially as also they sustained damage, had the killed and wounded. More than others the torpedo boat " suffered; Akebono “ to which about thirty shells got.
The English correspondent described death of the Russian ship very truthfully, except one: valves on “ Guarding “ nobody opened. In it there was no need and them any more and is not present by the ships of this class. By and large, the feat of seamen did not need additional glorification, but the legend of valves was hardy.
Japanese were struck with firmness of the Russian seamen, perhaps, it also served the legend birth. In Japan since samurai times were able to respect courage of the opponents. Not for nothing they kept the Russian name on lifted from a bottom “ Varangian “ and to seamen “ Guarding “ even put a monument with a laconic inscription - “ That who more life honored the Homeland “.
But we will return to a monument in St. Petersburg. Submitted to the emperor the report in which stated details of fight and disproved the version about two unknown heroes who opened a valve. On it the monarch wrote the instructions: “ To Consider that the monument is built in memory of heroic death in fight of a torpedo boat “ Guarding “. It is natural that earlier assumed inscription did not begin to be done, but the monument was left without change. The monument in the presence of the emperor was solemnly opened on April 26, 1911 in Aleksandrovsk park. When noted 50 - the anniversary of a feat “ Guarding “ on a pedestal of a monument strengthened a bronze board with the list of its crew and the image of legendary fight.
Feat of seamen “ Guarding “ immortalized not only in monuments (already today one more is established in Kronstadt), in April, 1905 the Russian military fleet was filled up by two torpedo boats - “ Lieutenant Sergeyev “ and “ Mechanical engineer Anastasov “ and at the Nevsky plant put the mine cruiser “ Guarding “. From now on the ship with the proud name “ Guarding “ constantly is in structure of fleet.
And the legend of valves continues own life, even today she can be met in publications about a crew feat “ Guarding “ probably, it is promoted also by a monument. In far 1910, expecting such succession of events, the chief of Historical part of the Sea General Staff E. Kvashin - Samarin told: “ Let the legend live and lives future heroes on new unprecedented feats “. And similar feats the Russian fleet knows much. So, in 1915 died, having accepted unequal battle, the kanonersky boat “ Eared seal “ and at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War to the last the " patrol ship conducted a battle with three German destroyers; Fog “.