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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

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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.

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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.

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