Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

The Russian Baltic Fleet in the Time of War and Revolution, 1914–1918 (Hardback)

The Recollections of Admiral S N Timiryov

WWI Seaforth: General Seaforth Naval

Translated by Dr Stephen Ellis
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 3 and 1 map
ISBN: 9781526777027
Published: 16th April 2020


£17.50 was £25.00

You save £7.50 (30%)

You'll be £17.50 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase The Russian Baltic Fleet in the Time of War and Revolution, 1914–1918. What's this?
+£4.50 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £35
(click here for international delivery rates)

Order within the next 9 hours, 50 minutes to get your order processed the next working day!

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

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 Shtandart 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 a fascinating account of a little-known period in the history of this historic navy.

Warship Annual 2021 Edition

An excellent addition to the historiography of the Imperial Russian Navy during the twilight of it's existence.

A key resource for scholars of the Baltic Fleet and naval aspects of the Russian Revolution.

The Northern Mariner Vol 30 No 3 (2020)

This excellent book is a fascinating and extremely engaging read which is very highly recommended.

World Ship Society - Marine News, September 2020

Taking the vivid recollections of Timirev, the translator, Stephen Ellis, has done an excellent job in producing an accessible narrative, which he has complemented with extensive explanatory notes and commentary, contemporary obituaries and a foreword by Professor Norman Saul.

Mariners Mirror

I found this an utterly fascinating read, and extremely engaging which can be a challenge for some memoirs written by senior officers. In this Ellis is to be warmly congratulated.

Naval Wargames Society

Review by Mark Bailey PhD

This book is a valuable addition to the library of those interested in WWI naval history and the war in the Baltic. The coverage of Russian operations, command structure dynamics and their impact on operational capability makes it worthy of recommendation to ANI members.

Click here for the full review

Australian Naval Institute

I finding that I am greatly getting into war on the sea through warships, u-boats and the commanding officers. There is a great deal of difference compared with their counterparts in the air or on the land. This excellent read gives a very good account of the events in the Baltic. This book offers a good glimpse in the difference between leadership and you common sailor, as we quite a few instances of mutiny as bolshevism increased its presence within the ranks. This is a very good book and I enjoyed how you get a more personal look at life from the man, and this is bought over well in the translation of his work. A really good read and I would recommend this as one of the books I have read and have got into the subject.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

This is a virtually unknown set of memoirs that are published for the first time in English, the edition published in 1961 by the American Society for Russian Naval History having been in the original Russian. The memoirs provide a unique view of the Russian Navy during the First World War and the Revolutionary Wars – Valuable Rare Source Material

Read the full review here


The First World War at sea in northern waters is often portrayed as a purely German and British affair but the Russian Baltic fleet saw frequent and at times desperate action against Germany. Vividly written in Shanghai in 1922, this memoir remained unknown for several decades until its publication (in Russian) in New York in 1961. Translated into English by naval historian Stephen Ellis, it offers unique insights into the characters of key figures Rear Admiral S N Timirev met during his years of service. Timirev was well placed to make observations on the operations of the Baltic Fleet from 1914 up to 1918. He had trained alongside many of the commanding officers and fought in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 and the siege of Port Arthur with them. This edition is complemented by extensive notes and commentary. A spotlight on the Russian mind-set in home waters and engaging account of Russian naval operations in general during these formative years of the First World War and the Russian Revolution.

Read the full review here

Julian Stockwin

This book offers a good account of events in the Baltic and through to the revolutions in 1917, offering an insight into those significant events against the background of conducting naval warfare. It is a very personal account, written soon after the events described (in 1922) and adds value to the seldom measured efforts of the Russian Baltic Fleet in the Great War. The author’s descriptions of the behaviour of mutineers as the fabric of the Baltic Fleet essentially collapsed as revolutionary activity increased, is well worth reading as a lesson of the failure of authority and the rise of the mob. This is further expanded after the Bolsheviks took control and created impossible conditions for the fleet to function. Overall an interesting read written by a witness to the events.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Dr Stephen Ellis

Dr Stephen Ellis, the translator, read Australian and American history at the University of New England, Australia and Russian history at Duke University, North Carolina USA. He began to learn Russian at a summer school at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, in 1971, where he was taught by Russian emigres who had trained at the Harbin Pedagogical Institute in the 1930s. He continued his studies at Duke University with Russian emigres who had come from Russia via Asia and California, and at another summer school at the University of Toronto with emigres who had come from Russia via Poland. From fellow graduate students at the Moscow and Leningrad State Universities he learnt how to swear in Russian and why it was important not to do so.

Customers who bought this title also bought...

Other titles in Seaforth Publishing...