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Pavel Nakhimov

Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov, admiral Nakhimov (June 23, 1802 - 1855) was one of the most famous admirals in Russian naval history, is remembered above all as the commander of naval and land forces during the Siege of Sevastopol (Sebastopol) in the Crimean War.

Born in the Gorodok village of Vyaz'ma district of Smolensk region in the family of a retired major of Russian Army, he entered the Morskoy Shlyakhetskiy Corpus (Naval Academy for the Nobility) in St. Petersburg in 1815. His first sea voyage aboard the frigate "Feniks"(Phoenix) to the shores of Sweden and Denmark took place in 1817. Soon afterwards he was promoted to the rank of non-commissioned officer. In February 1818 he passed examinations to become a midshipman, and was immediately assigned to the second Flotskiy Ekipazh (Fleet Crew) of the Russian Imperial Navy Baltic Fleet.

At the beginning of his naval career, Nakhimov's experience was limited to the voyages in the Baltic Sea, and a more extensive trip from the White Sea port of Arkhangelsk to Kronshtadt (Kronstadt / Cronstadt) naval base near St. Petersburg. His lucky strike came in March 1822 when he was assigned to frigate "Kreiser" taking part in the round-the-globe expedition under the command of the well-known Russian explorer Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev who had already undertook several such voyages before that.

During the three-year-long round-the-world adventure Nakhimov was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. On accomplishing this long voyage he received his first award, Order of Saint Vladimir IV degree. Then came the assignment to seventy-four-cannon Imperial Navy ship "Azov" whose maiden voyage from Arkhangelsk to Kronshtadt took place in autumn of 1826.

Next summer "Azov" sailed to the Mediterranean sea together with the Russian squdron under the command of rear-admiral Geiden for a joint allied expedition together with the French and English navies against the Ottoman Empire. Just before the departure "Azov" was visited by the Russian Emperor Nicholas I who gave the order in case of hostilities to deal with the enemy "as the Russians do".

The Russian flag-ship "Azov" under then captain first rank Lazarev most distinguished itself in the battle of Navarino where the allied British-French-Russian fleet totally destroyed the Ottoman fleet in 1827. For his outstanding gunnery performance during the battle of Navarino Nakhimov was promoted to the captaincy of a trophy ship. He was also decorated by the allied governments.

During the Crimean war Nakhimov distinguished himself by annihilation of the Ottoman fleet at Sinope in 1853. His finesse hour came during the Siege of Sebastopol (Sevastopol) where he and admiral V.A.Kornilov organized from scratch the land defence of the city and its port, the home base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. As the commander of the port and the military governor of the city, Nakhimov in fact became the head of the Sevastopol naval and land defence forces. On June 28, 1955 during the inspection of forward defence positions on Malakhov kurgan he was fatally wounded by a sniper.

P.S.Nakhimov was buried inside St Vladimir Cathedral in Sevastopol along with Lazarev, V.A.Kornilov and general V.I.Istomin. There is a monument erected in his memory. The Naval college in St. Petersburg in Russia is named after Nakhimov. Order of Nakhimov (with two degrees) was established, and there is also Nakhimov medal for Navy personnel.

Compilation-translation from different Russian sources by G.N.Boiko-Slastion