The Russian Baltic Fleet

The Russian Baltic Fleet

Author
Admiral S N Timiryov
ARRSE Rating
2.5 Mushroom Heads
The translation of these memoirs brings an important and authoritative historical source to those interested in Russian or naval history who are unable to access them in the original Russian. Their author, Rear Admiral S N Timiryov, was well placed to make observations on the character of many of the significant commanding officers and also many of the operations of the Baltic Fleet from the beginning of the war in 1914 up to exit from it in 1918. He trained with many of the key figures and shared battle experience with them in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 and the siege of Port Arthur; and he spent a year in Japan as a prisoner of war with a number of them. In his subsequent career in the Navy he had roles which brought him into contact with new recruits as well as with many serving officers, and as the Executive Officer on the imperial yacht - Standart_ for some years, he came into contact with senior members of the navy establishment and of the government, including the imperial household. His memoirs also exhibit an unusual degree of self-awareness. Written in Shanghai in 1922, these memoirs remained unknown to scholars for several decades. Since their publication in New York in 1961, in the absence of access to authoritative archives, many historians in the West used them as a source for the study of the role of the Navy in the Russian revolution, particularly as it unfolded in the north. They have also been used as a source in numerous studies of the naval war in the Baltic, and following the fall of the Soviet Union they were re-published in Russia and are regarded there as an authoritative source on the history both of the revolution and of the Russian Navy in the First World War. This first English-language edition, complemented by extensive notes and commentary on issues which may not be familiar to many, will fascinate scholars and naval historians alike.

This is not a bad book despite the low score on reviewing. However this was the hardest book which I've ever had to wrestle with, and fight it I did. Usually if I'm not interested by chapter three I skip a few and see if it gets better, this I tried after SEVEN chapters and still lost the plot.

The first five chapters are a list of ships their bits and bobs and an endless list of captains admirals of all kinds. Not being a sailor type I found it tedious except for gems like the Russians total preparedness for WW1 despite all the warnings; together with the role of mine layers and sweepers.

Once we got to the revolution there were more lists of REDS and New Admirals. I'm sorry to say that ten minutes after reading a section I forgot all about it, I referred to my notes for this review. It's just a tedious boring read. I would say say that if you are a researcher or doing a degree course on the Russian Navy this would be a great resource for you . Definitely an archive piece but not for the ordinary chap on the Clapham Omnibus. 2.5 mushrooms for its historical value.

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sirbhp
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