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Admiral Ushakov

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Admiral Ushakov

"Admiral Ushakov" redirects here. For other uses, see Admiral Ushakov (disambiguation).
Fyodor Ushakov
Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov
Native name Фёдор Фёдорович Ушако́в
Birth name Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov
Born (1745-02-24)24 February 1745
Burnakovo, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russian Empire
Died 14 October 1817(1817-10-14) (aged 72)
Alekseevka, Tambov Governorate, Russian Empire
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Service/branch  Imperial Russian Navy
Years of service 1766–1812
Rank Admiral

Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov (Russian: Фёдор Фёдорович Ушако́в) (February 24, 1745, Burnakovo – October 14, 1817, Tambov Governorate) was the most illustrious Russian naval commander and admiral of the 18th century.

Life and naval career

Ushakov was born in the village of Burnakovo in the Yaroslavl gubernia, to a modest family of the minor nobility. On February 15, 1761, he signed up for the Russian Navy in Saint Petersburg. After training, he served on a galley in the Baltic Fleet. In 1768 he was transferred to the Don Flotilla (Azov Sea Navy) in Taganrog and served in the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774. He commanded Catherine II's own yacht, and later defended Russian trade ships in the Mediterranean from British pirate attacks.

After the Russian Empire annexed Crimea (1783), Ushakov personally supervised the construction of a naval base in Sevastopol and the building of docks in Kherson. During the Second Russo-Turkish War (1787-1792) he brilliantly defeated the Turks at Fidonisi (1788), Kerch Strait (1790), Tendra (1790), and Cape Kaliakra (1791). In these battles, he demonstrated the excellence of his innovative doctrines in the art of naval fighting.

In 1798 Ushakov was promoted to full admiral and sent to the Mediterranean to support Suvorov's Italian campaign in command of a joint Russian-Turkish fleet. This expedition started with the conquest of the French departments in the Ionian islands, only acquired the year before from the demised Republic of Venice in the Treaty of Campo Formio, culminating in the siege of Corfu (1798-1799) (ru) and leading to the subsequent creation of the Republic of Seven Islands. Ushakov's squadron then blocked the French bases in Italy, notably Genoa and Ancona, and successfully assaulted Naples and Rome.

Emperor Paul of Russia, in his capacity as the Grand Master of the Order of St John, ordered Ushakov to proceed to Malta, which the British had besieged to no effect. Admiral Nelson could not bear the idea that he would have to follow Ushakov's orders (the Russian commander being his senior in naval rank) and suggested dispatching the Russian squadron to Egypt instead.

Brewing conflict between the commanders was prevented by Ushakov's being recalled to Russia in 1800, where the new Emperor, Alexander I, failed to appreciate his victories. Ushakov resigned command in 1807 and withdrew into the Sanaksar Abbey in modern-day Mordovia. He was asked to command the local militia during the Patriotic War of 1812 but declined.

In the course of 43 naval battles under his command he did not lose a single ship and never lost a battle.


Distinguishing features of Ushakov's tactics were the using of unified marching and fighting orders, resolute rapprochement with the enemy forces on a short distance without evolution of a fighting order, a concentration of the basic efforts against flagships of the enemy, reserve allocation («Kaiser-flag squadrons»), a combination of aim artillery fire and maneuver, chasing the enemy up to its full destruction or capture. Giving great value to sea and fire training of staff, Ushakov was the supporter of generalissimo Suvorov's principles of training of sailors and officers. Ushakov's innovations were the one of the first successful development of naval tactics from its "line" to manoeuvring concept.


On March 3, 1944 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR established the Order of Ushakov which, among several other decorations, was preserved in Russia upon the dissolution of the USSR, thus remaining to be one of the highest military awards in the Russian Federation. In addition to the Order of Ushakov, there have been the Ushakov Medal and several warships named after Admiral Ushakov. The Baltic Naval Institute in Kaliningrad also carries his name. A minor planet 3010 Ushakov discovered by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Ivanovna Chernykh in 1978 is named after him. [1]


The Russian Orthodox Church glorified him as a patron saint of the Russian Navy in 2000. His relics are preserved in Sanaksar. He was also declared the patron saint of Russian nuclear-armed strategic bombers in 2005 by Patriarch Alexius II and Cathedral of St. Theodore Ushakov


External links

  • M. Romm movie (IMDb)
  • English biography
  • The Naval Art of Admiral Fyodor F. Ushakov
  • Ushakov's battleship St Paul
  • (Святой морской дьявол) (The holy sea-devil), an article in online
  • Baltic Naval Institute named after F.F. Ushakov [1]
  • Sanaksar Monastery - Official site (Russian)
  • Sanaksar Monastery - Photo gallery (Russian) (English)
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