On the last day of the current New Year holidays, January 8, 2018, marks the 169th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian naval commander, marine engineer, oceanographer and ship builder Stepan Osipovich Makarov. Coryphaeus of the world shipbuilding science academician A.N. Krylov wrote that Admiral S.O. Makarov “entered the history of the Russian fleet not only as a remarkable naval commander, but also as an outstanding theoretician of naval affairs,” who wrote more than fifty scientific works on shipbuilding and oceanology.
Makarov is the inventor of the mine transport, the developer of the theory of unsinkability, the developed academician Krylov, the father of Russian and world ice-building, the pioneer of the practical use of icebreakers in the sea, the developer of the Russian semaphore alphabet.
The first to pay attention to the gift of young Makarov, who was thoughtful and curious, commanders of the ships on which he sailed the Cadet. An unusual cadet was reported to Admiral Andrey Aleksandrovich Popov, commander of the Pacific Ocean squadron. Sam inveterate inventor, innovator and shipbuilder Popov transferred the young Makarov to the flagship corvette “Bogatyr” and ordered to crouch in his own admiral’s cabin. Admiral Yendogurov, who succeeded Popov, also did the same. Both outstanding admirers were personally convinced of the brilliant talents of the cadet Stepan Makarov.
After a cruise on a number of ships in April 1865, Makarov passed his final examinations to the school and for outstanding achievements in studies he was introduced to production not as “conductors of the naval navigators’ corps” but as naval midshipmasters (along with graduates of the naval corps). The sailing of the midshipman Makarov, including on the armored boat “Rusalka”, which received a hole and ran aground, and also the cases of the destruction of the ships from the received holes in the domestic and foreign fleets, served as an excuse for Makarov’s writing “Investigations on the unsinkability of ships”.
Makarov defined the unsinkability (the term he introduced into shipbuilding) as the ship’s ability to swim and not lose its combat qualities from the received holes, offered “a number of devices for pumping out water, its famous rake plaster for fast sealing of a hole, a system of flooding individual compartments of the ship for leveling the roll and trim “.
Some of his famous inventions are “Makarov’s caps” for armor-piercing shells. Makarov suggested putting a cap of soft metal on the head of an armor-piercing projectile, which, at the time of penetration of the armor, preserved the integrity of the armor-piercing head and served as a “lubricant” for the projectile. Shells with “Makarov’s caps” soon appeared in the fleets of various powers. “According to the laws of that time, Makarov had the right to take over his invention a patent in all countries and would make millions … But not such was Makarov, a true patriot of his homeland,” AN noted. Krylov.
January 8, 1904 Makarov, foreseeing the inevitability of war with Japan, gives a letter to the manager of the maritime ministry, which says about the need to keep the fleet in the internal roadstead of Port Arthur, and not on the outside, as it was at that time. The answer of General-Admiral Alexei Alexandrovich was: “There will be no war,” but it began the next night, and the battleships “Tsesarevich” and “Retvizan”, the cruiser “Pallada” were put out of order. After this, on February 14, S.O. Makarov was appointed commander of the fleet in the Pacific Ocean.
The activities of Admiral Makarov as commander of the fleet in the Pacific are described in detail in the novel by A.S. Stepanova Port Arthur. The author gives such a description of the death of Admiral Makarov and the artist Vereshchagin, when the battleship “Petropavlovsk” came across a mine: Petropavlovsk moved slowly in front of the Electric Cliff … Suddenly a column of fire and yellow smoke rushed high into the air … The whole battleship covered the smoke , then a white vapor poured in. The stern of the battleship rose from the water, exposing the blades of the propellers, and the ship disappeared from the surface of the sea. Only a cloud of steam and smoke that had not yet dispersed pointed to the place where Petropavlovsk was a minute ago.
Stepan Osipovich Makarov was killed at the 56th year of his life, valiantly fulfilling his duty to defend his homeland. In honor of it, many ships and geographic objects are named. In Kronstadt, Nikolaev, Vladivostok, in the building of GUMRF in St. Petersburg on Vasilevsky Island monuments to our great compatriot are put.
The flagship institute of maritime education in Russia – the State University of Marine and River Fleet – is proudly named Admiral Stepan Makarov and does much to ensure that the legacy of the great seaman, the cause of his heroic life, military courage and creative burning, act as an inspiring example and guiding light a lighthouse for new generations of Russian navigators, naval specialists, engineers and scientists undergoing training here.
Source: Maritime News of Russia