Rus Articles Journal

To whom the first monument in Sevastopol was delivered? A. I. Kazarsky

V Sevastopol, the city rather young, built the first monument too recently, in 1839. This monument was devoted to a remarkable victory of the Russian sailing ship over two Turkish frigates which are obviously surpassing it in force.

It is accepted to call the city of Sevastopol the city of the Russian glory. Though both serious fights on defense of the city were lost, despite heroism of defenders. Neither to make jokes, nor you should gloat over about it.

War is a war. There is a place of accident. If carries, and weaker can win. And therefore the place to a feat when it is necessary to be got involved in battle on the terms of obviously losing always is at war, nevertheless hoping for a victory. What result of such fight will be - God knows. In this case it is the best of all to be guided by the well-known motto: “Do that has to, and let will be that will be“. This saying very much was pleasant to artillery to the second lieutenant Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy defending Sevastopol in 1854-1855.

The Black Sea fleet which was based in Sevastopol just by definition was aimed at the main enemy of Russia in this region - the Ottoman Empire. Yes differently also could not be. To Bosphorus - day of the course at good wind. Therefore all feats of the Black Sea fleet in 19 - m, anyway, were connected a century with russko - the Turkish wars.

One of such wars happened in 1828-1829. It was that war on which east front Alexander Pushkin “not eligible to travel abroad“ (“Travel to Arzrum“) contrived to go. On the western front, in the Black Sea, the brig feat “Mercury“ under command the captain - the lieutenant Alexander Ivanovich Kazarsky thundered (1797-1833) .

A brig - the ship small, intended for patrol and investigation. Two masts, on everyone on four direct sails. One more slanting sail improved maneuverability of the ship. Several additional slanting sails opened at a fair wind for increase in speed.

The small ship and arms needed small. On the deck of “Mercury“ 18 guns for near fight were established. Two mobile guns allowed to fire at a long range in the different directions. The crew of a brig “Mercury“ made 115 people, of them 5 officers. With such forces and with such arms with superior forces of the opponent did not enter fight, and retired. The benefit, sailing equipment of the ship allowed to execute such maneuver.

But on May 14, 1829 everything occurred not as it was expected. At dawn a brig “Mercury“ with two other Russian ships plied along the Turkish coast near an exit from the Bosphorus Strait. Having noticed that the Turkish squadron as a part of 8 ships puts out to the Black Sea, they did not begin to accept battle, and were developed and went north everyone the course, to the Russian squadron. Investigation - on that and investigation to report on the on approach of enemy forces.

But at weak wind a brig “Mercury“ could not gather sufficient speed, having even set all sails and helping wind oars. Two Turkish frigates overtook for it. The ratio of forces was not so joyful for the Russian seamen. 115 people against 1200, 20 guns against 184. It is senseless to accept battle. What is called, sushi of an oar, lower sails and a flag.

But the crew of “Mercury“ accepted battle. On council of officers it was solved: to fight to the last, and at impossibility to continue fight, to approach a frigate by which there was the Turkish admiral and to blow up a brig. That the fodder flag could not be lowered, it was beaten to a yard.

The captain Kazarsky (he was then 28 years old) well knew the ship and understood that only skillful maneuvering and accurate shooting will allow “Mercury“ to hold on in unequal fight longer. About rescue - all this was perfectly understood - speeches and could not be. Unless very much will carry.

Soon two Turkish frigates surrounded a brig and began to fire at it to tumble down masts and to start the fire on the deck. But Kazarsky skillfully maneuvered, and the rigging of “Mercury“ remained intact. Means, the ship kept mobility. The team extinguished the fires arising onboard three times. Gunners attacked the enemy ships shots from both boards. The fact that guns of a brig were adapted for near fight did not disturb, and helped when firing: such guns could be loaded quicker.

Skillful gunners of “Mercury“ damaged masts at first by one of frigates, and then and on another. The Turkish frigates lost maneuverability, and the Russian brig remained safe and sound, could come off enemies and with the hoisted colors left towards to the fleet. By the way, it was the second ship flag. The first, what was nailed to a yard at the beginning of fight was brought down together with a yard. On its place right there fixed a spare flag that it did not seem to enemies, as if the brig is given.

Losses on “Mercury“ appeared unexpectedly small, 4 killed and 6 wounded. During fight contused the captain Kazarsky, but he did not leave the captain`s bridge. Such losses seemed by miracle. The miracle was also that having received 22 holes in the case, the brig was drivable and could go to Sevastopol.

The fight accepted by “Mercury“ in absolutely losing conditions especially was important that in only two days before a frigate of “Rafail“, the ship considerably bigger, than a brig “Mercury“ armed with 36 tools, having got into the same stalemate, gave in to the enemy without a fight. The unwillingness of sailors to perish in obviously disastrous battle was the reason of delivery of “Rafail“.

The brilliant behavior of officers and seamen of a brig “Mercury“ covered shameful delivery of other Russian fighting ship. Therefore the highest awards to the ship and crew were very generous.

The ship was awarded by a fodder flag Of St. George. This award especially was high that before it only one ship - the hero of Navarinsky battle the battle ship “Azov“ was awarded. The Order of Saint George of the IV class awarded the captain A. I. Kazarsky and the lieutenant I. P. Prokofiev.

The lieutenant Ivan Petrovich Prokofiev rose to the rank of an officer from the lower ranks. Therefore the fact that there was it on age the most senior of officers not especially surprises, and on a rank - the youngest, occupying not too those years dear position of the navigator. For what it was excellent more other officers? That on a Council of War before battle it as the youngest on a rank, acted as the first. The offer to accept deadly battle proceeded from it.

But reckless bravery in I. P. Prokofiev`s words was not. There was a calculation on knowledge and abilities of crew. As the person of an origin not notable, from all officers he most closer stood to simple sailors and in many respects patronized them. Sailors reciprocated to it. Prokofiev knew moods of “bottoms“ and could tell surely that sailors will not refuse to go into battle as it occurred by a frigate of “Rafail“.

All other officers of a brig “Mercury“ received the Orders of St. Vladimir 4 class with a bow. The lower ranks of an award did not need to hand therefore they were awarded distinctions of the Order of St. Vladimir. They had to decorate the peakless caps with a St.George`s Ribbon as crew of the Guards ship. All officers and the lower ranks received lifelong pension at a rate of a double salary of the salary corresponding to that position in which they were at the time of battle.

The lieutenant commander A. I. Kazarsky was made in captains 2 - go a rank. Besides, it was granted a rank a wing - the aide-de-camp. Other officers of “Mercury“ were made in the following rank relying them. Besides, they acquired the right to add the image of the Tula gun to the family crests (and all naval officers at that time were noblemen). It was memory that the captain A. I. Kazarsky at the beginning of fight put the cocked gun near a powder cellar. One of officers had to blow up the ship with his help if the brig is not able to resist more.

Besides, the emperor ordered to immortalize a name of a heroic brig. The special decree recommended that as a part of the Black Sea fleet there was always a ship with the name “Mercury“.

Assignment to A. I. Kazarsky of a rank a wing - the aide-de-camp meant transition of this naval officer to court service where both ranks, and awards, and ranks, slept off more generously, than for service on fleet. However, as it appeared, it led to premature death of the hero - the seaman.

When the commander of the Black Sea fleet admiral M. P. Lazarev learned that A. I. Kazarsky died, it initiated fund raising on a monument to a brig “Mercury“ and to the captain Kazarsky. On a subscription more than 12 thousand rubles were collected. Monument opened in Sevastopol in 1839, in 10 years after a brig feat “Mercury“. The monument to a brig “Mercury“ was put in Warrant officer`s (nowadays Sailor`s) boulevard. It was the first monument in the young then city.

The brother of the famous artist academician of architecture A. P. Bryullov (1798-1877) was the author of the project. The monument is executed in the form of the truncated pyramid from a white local inkermansky stone. In the top part of a monument the ancient Roman fighting ship of a trirem from bronze is set. On bronze bas-reliefs Kazarsky and Ancient Greek gods are represented: Mercury which name called a brig, the goddess of victory Nika and the patron of the seas Neptune. On a monument an inscription: “To Kazarsky. To posterity as an example“.

All excursions coming to Sevastopol bring to this place. It is characteristic that is not present and someone from tourists will ask a question: “And who is Kazarsky?“ Or is even more cheerful: “And who such Brig Mercury?“