Aurora

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
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Trip End Jun 30, 2006


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Flag of Russian Federation  ,
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

We made a visit to the Aurora. If you ever make it to Russia, you will surely hear about the legendary cruiser. To the Russian people the ship, its crew and everything they symbolize are of utter importance. The following text is a short history of this central St. Petersburg landmark. The version I put up for you is taken from a Russian History book. You may compare to the Wikipedia entry on the Aurora to obtain a more complete point of view. Enjoy. Don't forget to check out the pictures!

HISTORY OF THE AURORA

The legendary cruiser Aurora is St Petersburg important historic landmark, which glorifies the Russian shipbuilding industry, the history of the Russian state and the Russian Navy.

May 23, 1897 : The construction of the cruiser began at the New Admirality Shipyard in St. Petersburg.

May 11, 1900: The Ship was launched.

July 16, 1903: The cruiser Aurora joined the Russian Navy.

1904-1905: Now being a unit of the 2nd Pacific Squadron, the cruiser sailed from Libava on the western Baltic coast (modern Liepaja, Latvia) to the Far East and reached the Tsushima islands in the Korean Strait.

May 15, 1905: The Aurora took part in the two-day Tsushima Battle with the Japanese navy. Accompanied by the cruisers Oleg and Zhemchug, the Aurora sailed away and took refuge in Manila in the Philippine islands, where she remained until the end of the Russo-Japanese War.

1906: The cruiser returned to the Baltic Sea and after undergoing repairs became a training vessel for the Naval Corps. In this capacity she took part in a number of important expeditions in the Atlantic and in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and to the coasts of Thailand and Indonesia.

1914-1916: During the First World War the cruiser carried out patrol missions on the Baltic Sea, provided regular artillery support for a flank of the 12th Army, participated in the landing operation on the coast of the Gulf of Riga and mine laying in the southern part of the Baltic.

October 1917: The Aurora came back to Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) to be put in the docks for repairs. During the February Revolution the Aurora's crew came over to the side of the rebels and was one of the first naval crews to set up an elective committee of representatives. The committee was headed by a Bolshevik, machinist A.V. Belyshev, who was also appointed Commissar of the Military Revolutionary Committee for the Aurora.

October 25, 1917: Along with ten other ships the cruiser took a position on the Neva River, ready to follow the directions of the Revolutionary Committee. In the morning the Aurora's radio station broadcast Lenin's proclamation "To the Russian Citizens", which declared the transfer of the state power to the Revolutionary Committee.

1918-1920: During the Civil War the Aurora's crew fought in land forces and river flotillas at different fronts. The cruiser's guns were removed and rigged up on the ships of the Volga Flotilla.

1923: After repairs the Aurora became one of the first cruisers to join the Baltic Fleet of Soviet Russia.

1924: Together with another training ship, the Komsomolets, the cruiser sailed from Kronstadt to Arkhangelsk, making the first long voyage in the history of the Soviet Navy.

1927: The Central Executive Committee of the USSR awarded the cruiser the Order of the Red Banner for her service in October 1917.

1941-1944: During the Second World War all the 130-mm guns of the cruisers fired at the enemy at the front lines around Leningrad (now St Petersburg), with nine guns mounted at the land positions (the "A" Battery) and one gun, on board the armoured train Baltiets.

November 17, 1948: After the war the cruiser was restored and moored at the Petrogradskaya embankment in Leningrad to become a training base for the Nakhimov Naval College and to serve as a memorial to honour the October Revolution.

1950: A museum was set up on board the cruiser (entry is for free!!!).

1956: The museum was converted into a branch of the Central Naval Museum.

February 23, 1968: The Aurora was awarded the Order of the October Revolution to mark the 50-th anniversary of the Soviet Armed Forces.

1984-1987: The cruiser was under reconstruction, which restored her to the appearance of 1917.

August 16, 1987: The cruiser Aurora returned to her 'permanent berth' as a memorial to the Russian history and shipbuilding industry.

October 10, 1998: The Aurora was included into the Golden Book of St. Petersburg.

July 27, 2002: The cruiser became a member of the International Association of Historic Ships.

In the course of her loyal service to the fatherland, the cruiser Aurora was deservedly considered the best warship in all kinds of combat training and seafaring skills. Her crew was often held up as an example to all ships of the Russian fleet.
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