Question: the Pacific coast during the Civil War

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan. Hosted by Art.
mihu
Member
Posts: 56
Joined: 19 Mar 2020 16:50
Location: axis history forum

Question: the Pacific coast during the Civil War

Post by mihu » 25 Mar 2020 14:19

Was there much naval activity (other than troop transport) along Russia's Pacific coast during the Civil War, either by opposing Russian factions or intervention forces? If so, I'm interested in learning some details, or even recommendations for texts that cover the topic so I can go read up on it myself.

Thanks.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4201
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Question: the Pacific coast during the Civil War

Post by OpanaPointer » 25 Mar 2020 16:45

Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

mihu
Member
Posts: 56
Joined: 19 Mar 2020 16:50
Location: axis history forum

Re: Question: the Pacific coast during the Civil War

Post by mihu » 25 Mar 2020 16:52

Um, that's the American Civil War pal... I posted this in the section on Russia and mentioned "Russia's Pacific coast", hence, Russian Civil War is what I'm asking about :P

lupodimare89
Member
Posts: 471
Joined: 07 Mar 2013 01:32

Re: Question: the Pacific coast during the Civil War

Post by lupodimare89 » 06 May 2020 17:58

mihu wrote:
25 Mar 2020 14:19
Was there much naval activity (other than troop transport) along Russia's Pacific coast during the Civil War, either by opposing Russian factions or intervention forces? If so, I'm interested in learning some details, or even recommendations for texts that cover the topic so I can go read up on it myself.

Thanks.
A question usually left unanswered for general lack of info/sources and interest (even among russians that mostly focus WWII).
Thanks the covid pause i had some time to dig in old russian (Soviet) text and articles that mention fragments and references of actions.
I am going to post a short text on another site, so i will be brief: on the earlier stage (1918-1919) the Amur Flotilla was on the Soviet side but was entirely lost in multiple steps by scuttling or seizure in harbor by the Japanese. Gunboat "Orochanin" is mentioned as the most active one with shelling of enemy ground targets, before her capture in harbor.
On May 1920 the Amur Flotilla was re-organized as part of the Far Eastern Republic forces, but again some ships by seizure in harbor in October 1920. I found virtually no reference of combat actions during this period, apparently ships were mostly inactive in Khabarovsk.

Early 1921 the ships begun to resume operations: even in Soviet literature there is no detailed account, just brief mentions of two contacts with hostile ships in Amur River during summer and a minefield laid in Amur River, however again the Flotilla suffered losses by seizures in harbor when the Japanese took Khabarovsk on December 1921 (the Flotilla lost 2 of 5 Tayfun class monitors, and 1 of 3 Vogul class gunboats). No other actions are known to me, but post-war the Japanese released most of the captured ships.

In August 1921 the Japanese orchestrated a coup in Vladivostok that de-facto reinstated the White on the city: this brought to the creation of a small "partisan flotilla" centered at Terney with merchant ships/tugs that sailed away from Vladivostok and others that were seized by direct actions. Among the most interesting one was the custom-cruiser "Lieutenant Dydymov". It could have been converted into a auxiliary cruiser for other "corsair-like" raids but a White flotilla departed from Vladivostok on 14-15 Novemeber and re-seized all the ships. Interestingly, during the brief but bitter fighting on the town, most of partisan casualties was from a group of Korean volunteers.
During this existance, all actions sems to have been direct seizures/captures but no exchange of gunfire.




The final and likely most "known" component of the conflict was the actions and events of armed yacht Admiral Zavoyko.
She departed Vladivostok in spring 1921, to deliver supply to pro-Soviet partisans in Kamchatka peninsula exploiting the status and flag of Far Eastern Republic (Japanese nominally attempted to mantain a not-belligerant attitude toward the buffer-state). However once onboard the ship they knew of the coup, Admiral Zavoyko sailed with a 16-days voyage from Kamchatka to Shangai without being intercepted by the White forces.
In Shangai, i read an interesting report of Vasily Blyukher (Soviet commander of the FAR military) complain over the expenses to mantain the ship operative, but it was decided to do so for allowing the ship to "fly the flag" as de-facto only FAR warship. Admiral Zavyoko remained in Shangai, with crewmembers repulsing several attempts by White soldiers to go onboard. Crew also made and printed propaganda articles and managed to seize control of steamers "Astrakhan" and "Erivan", removing part of the crews and preventing their partecipation to evacuate White troops from Vladivostok.

Interestingly, the Far Eastern Republic Fleet out-lived the Republic itself (the buffer-country was absorbed by Soviet Russia on 15 November 1922, but the Navy ceased to exists two days later). Also, the "Admiral Zavyoko" apparently changed flag only on 24 January 1923 once returning to Vladivostok. The ship was (properly) named Krasnyy vympel (“Red Pennant”) and for years remained an active ship of the fleet, in 1924 the ship "captured" a White-officer found alone in a rowboat who had no clear idea of the latest events and demanded the lower of "rebellious" red flags from the ship.

You can find a full article of the ship here on the link. She kept serving for the Soviet Union and survived as memorial-museum ship still nowadays.
https://laststandonzombieisland.com/tag ... l-zavoyko/
The page mention further operations/actions after 1923, but i have found no solid trace of significant events (as for fights with Whites, pirates etc.)

Return to “The Soviet Union at War 1917-1945”