The Russian Baltic Fleet in the Time of War and Revolution, 1914–1918 (Hardback)
The Recollections of Admiral S N Timiryov
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.
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.Julian Stockwin
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