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aim

Destruction of Bolshevik Armed Vessels

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aim

I have stumbled across the record of RM Musician 1331 Gilbert, Jasper, on the TNA website.

 

This seems to say that, on the 18th. of March 1922, he received a remittance for "Destruction of Bolshevik Armed Vessels" 1910 or 1911.

 

Would this relate to his time on HMS Attentive in 1918, which I think sank three vessels in the Archangel area on the 9th. of August 1918, and therefore be part of The Great War?

 

aim.

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RNCVR

No idea but there were no "bolshevik armed vessels" in 1910 or 1911.

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seaJane

According to Wikipedia's entry for ATTENTIVE, "The ship was sent to the White Sea later in the year [1918] to support the unsuccessful British attempt to intervene in the Russian Civil War." 

 

Don't know where 1910-1911 comes from unless from a transliteration error across from another column in the record?

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rolt968

Were  Marines involved in the Baltic Campaigne?

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RNCVR
Posted (edited)

Of 1854-55? Yes, & received the Baltic medal.

Edited by RNCVR
.

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RNCVR
Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, RNCVR said:

Of 1854-55? Yes, & received the Baltic medal.

 

Apologies, wrong campaign.

 

Marines would have been carried on RN Cruisers that participated in the 1919 Baltic campaign.

Edited by RNCVR

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seaJane

1911 check - I have now looked at the record in question via the preview option on the TNA's Discovery catalogue, and it does appear at first glance to read "... Bolshevik vessels 1911."

 

On zooming in close, however, I think the last figure is curvier than the 1s in "191", and was in fact intended for an 8; the intention defeated by the ink, the pen and the slant of the handwriting. So it should be 1918. 

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KizmeRD
Posted (edited)

350 British servicemen died during the allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in the words of one in a letter home “It is a damn shame that troops who have been in France should have to come out here to suffer this when the war is over and we ought to be at home having a good time with our wives and children".
 

HMS Attentive got involved in supporting operations around Murmansk and Archanagel (August to December 1918)

Edited by KizmeRD

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KizmeRD

Naval operations in the White Sea, 1918....

“Modyugski Island, at the seaward end of the channels leading to Archangel, was captured on 1st August 1918, after the batteries had been silenced by the Allied warships, and the town of Archangel was occupied on the 2nd August, the Bolshevik Forces being quickly and efficiently overcome and driven out of the vicinity.


Following these operations, a River Expeditionary Force was Organized with local craft, armed and manned by Allied crews, and this expedition succeeded, in co-operation with the military forces, in clearing the River Dwina and the River Vaga of hostile craft up to the time when Allied ships had to be withdrawn to avoid the ice, several of the principal enemy vessels being destroyed.”

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Keith_history_buff

Damien Wright has a very interesting book on the North Russia intervention. In addition to Royal Marine personnel from ships' complements, the 6th Royal Marine Battalion also served in Northern Russia in 1919, after having been formed for a peacekeeping mission on the German/Danish border.

The dates of destruction of Bolshevik vessels would seem most likely to have occurred in 1919. It appears that HMS Attentive was paid off in December 1918.

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horatio2
51 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

The dates of destruction of Bolshevik vessels would seem most likely to have occurred in 1919. It appears that HMS Attentive was paid off in December 1918.

The sinkings are covered in Damien Wright's excellent book, Chapter 7 = Archangel: Dvina River Front September - December 1918. The ATTENTIVE-manned 'Naval Gunboat Squadron' seems to be the guilty party during August/September 1918.and Musician Gilbert was awarded his share of Prize Money.

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KizmeRD
Posted (edited)
Australian newspaper report...
FIGHT ON RIVER DWINA - Enemy Vessels Sunk.
LONDON, September 21. 1918
A British official despatch, from Northern Russia reports a successful operation by naval units and allied troops on September 16 and 17 on the Dwina River, which resulted in the sinking ot two enemy snips, the capture of three guns, and the infliction of heavy loses on the opposing forces.
Edited by KizmeRD

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aim

Thanks to you all for your interesting and informative replies. I shall have to look out for Damien Wright's interesting/excellent book!

 

aim.

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KizmeRD
Posted (edited)

From what I’ve been reading recently, I believe that the Bolshevik armed vessels that earned Attentive’s crew prize money may well have been

(1) the five-funnelled protected cruiser Askold whose crew mutinied at Murmansk on 12th July 1918, resulting in Allied marines boarding the ship in order to regain control. The Royal Navy then recommissioned her as HMS Glory IV.

(2) the second ship was the icebreaker Svyatogor which was sunk during the approach to Archangel on 2nd August, but which was subsequently re-floated, seeing service with the Royal Navy for a couple of years before being handed back to the Soviets (who renamed her Krassin).

 

postscript - From Rear-Admiral Kemp’s despatch – “It was found that two large icebreakers, "Sviatogor" and "Mikula," had been sunk, with the intention of blocking the channel at a narrow point in the river, but fortunately leaving enough room for ships to pass. The two icebreakers were raised shortly afterwards and refitted. The squadron anchored off Archangel, which was occupied, troops having been landed at Solumbola and other places on the way up. The Russian tricolour and naval flag had everywhere replaced the red flag of the Soviet. At 7 p.m. the "Attentive" captured the armed yacht "Gorislava," which was firing on the town, and brought her down. 
 

Mikula was subsequently handed over to the French.

Edited by KizmeRD
Postscript added

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Falloden

A picture of the very distinctive Russian cruiser "Askold"  mentioned:

Askold - Russian Cruiser 001 (800x460).jpg

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horatio2

I have my doubts that the prize money to ATTENTIVE was based on AKOLD and SVIATOGOR.

ASKOLD was not "destroyed" when taken over at Murrmansk on 12 July 1918 and, anyway, HMS ATTENTIVE was not at Murmansk on that date.and played no part in ASKOLD's  removal from Bolshevik control.

Again, SVIATOGOR was not "destroyed" but sunk by the Bolsheviks as a block ship. Subsequent salvage would not qualify for prize money.

I remain of the opinion that the prize money was for the operations of the ships up-river from Archangel under ATTENTIVE in August - September 1918

 

From Rear-Admiral Kemp’s despatch – Four river paddle-craft were manned and armed, and, together with "M.25," and two small seaplanes from "Nairana," were placed under the immediate command of Captain Edward Altham, R.N., of the "Attentive," with orders to co-operate with Army. "M.25" drew 9 feet of water, and it was not possible to reduce her draft materially. Only abnormally high water in the river during the summer permitted her employment. During the latter half of August, September and until the advent of ice-conditions in October caused the flotilla to be withdrawn to Archangel, it was in constant action with the enemy gunboats and shore batteries. Three enemy ships were sunk and twenty-four mines swept up. 

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KizmeRD
Posted (edited)

Horatio2  - I only said ‘may well have been’ i.e. I was offering a provisional suggestion. The only way to know for sure is to get hold of a copy of the Prize Proclamation from TNA and I’m not likely to visit there anytime soon. However, having now done some additional reading, I’m inclined to agree with your opinion that none of the larger Russian naval units taken over by the Royal Naval contributed to Attentive's prize money. In fact the only firm reference I’ve so far come across to the taking of a ‘prize’ is Attentive’s capture of a Bolshevik armed yacht on 2nd August, shortly before her arrival alongside at Archangel. 

 

However, at risk of digressing, I can’t quite fathom your notion that enemy ships have to be ‘destroyed’ in order for there to be an award of prize money. My understanding is very different, in that prize money is awarded for the capture of enemy ships (in tact) which are then either pressed into service, or sold off. All officers & crew involved in the capture then have an entitlement to a proportionate distribution of the financial gain thereby accruing. 
 

Best account I’ve so far read concerning the activities of HMS Attentive comes from Henry Newbolt’s History of the Great War, Naval Operations Vol. V.  It contains an especially good account of the work of the naval river flotilla under Capt. Altham (SNO). By the way, the four river steamers fitted out as improvised gunboats on the Dvina were named ‘Advokat’, ‘Gorodok’, ‘Opit’ and’Rasiv’.

Edited by KizmeRD

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horatio2
Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, KizmeRD said:

I only said ‘may well have been’ i.e. I was offering a provisional suggestion

Of cxourse. And I only stated "I have my doubts".

32 minutes ago, KizmeRD said:

I can’t quite fathom your notion that enemy ship’s have to be ‘destroyed’ in order for there to be an award of prize money.

Not my "notion". I was merely drawing on the service record notation -  "...remittance for "Destruction of Bolshevik Armed Vessels

 

I understand that Prize Money was also awarded for sinkings in WW1 e.g. LG 18 April 1916 -  "Distribution of the Prize Bounty awarded for the destruction of the enemy armed ship "Cap Trafalgar" by H.M. Ship "Carmania," on the 14th September, 1914."  Lots more "desructions" on the LG Entries on this link -  https://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritishLGNavalPrizeMoney.htm#lg

 

Thanks for the ID on the four Allied gunboats. I note that, like OPIT, a fifth vessel TOLSTOY had a Russian CO and crew. Of the Bolshevik vessels they engaged with, I have only found MAGOOCHY (gunboat) and DEDOUSHKA (armed steamer) but I am pretty sure there were more in the Bolshevik River Flotilla.

Edited by horatio2

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horatio2

NOTICE OF INTENDED DISTRIBUTION OF NAVAL PRIZE BOUNTY MONEY. Department of the Accountant-General of the Navy, Admiralty, S.W. 1, 24:th January, 1922. Notice is hereby given to the Officers, Seaimen and Marines, and to all Persons interested therein, that the distribution of the awards of Bounty granted in respect of the undermentioned services will commence on Saturday,- the 28th instant, in the Prize Branch of the Department of the Accountant-General of the Navy, Admiralty. Capture of armed! Bolshevik Vessels iby H.M. Ships at Archangel on 2nd August, 1918. Destruction of Bolshevik Gunboats " Mogouchy" and "Dedoushka" by H.M. Ship " M.25" on 14th-15th September, 1918. Destruction of a iBblsneviki 'Gunbarge by H.M. Ships ".Glow-worm" and "Cockchafer " .on 20th, June 1919. All applications fromi persons entitled to share, who are not now serving, should be addressed to the Acoountant-tGeneral of the Najvy (Prize Branch, Roomi 33), Cornwall House, Stamford Street, London, S'.E. 1. Such applications should .be accompanied by Certificates of. Service.

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KizmeRD

Thanks, I wasn’t previously aware of the provisions of the Naval Prize Acts of 1864, ‘droits of the crown’, bounties paid for destruction of enemy vessels and the reforms to the Prize system introduced by the Navy Prize Acts 1918 & 1939 - I do now!


 

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KizmeRD
15 hours ago, horatio2 said:

Of the Bolshevik vessels they engaged with, I have only found MAGOOCHY (gunboat) and DEDOUSHKA (armed steamer) but I am pretty sure there were more in the Bolshevik River Flotilla.

There were 3 armed Bolshevik paddle steamers operating on the Dvina in 1918 (as well as artillery barges, armed tugs and patrol boats).

(1) ‘Bogatyr’ 410 tons, 59 metres in length

(2) ‘Magouchy’ very similar to above.

(3) ‘Phoenix’ 120 tons, 43.9 metres
All three were initially equipped with 2 x American 37 mm McLean auto cannons, but from August 10 the two larger ships each received a 76 mm field gun (M. 1902).

Other vessels joined the flotilla in 1919.

Source: The Great River War 1918-20, Alexander Shirokrad (2006)

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wrightdw
Posted (edited)

I have quite a bit on the naval operations on the Dvina River, August-October 1918 in Chapter 7 of my book as has been mentioned.

 

After the capture of Archangel in early August, the British rapidly set to fitting out local river craft as gunboats and set off down the river in support of the British and US troops pushing the Red Army up the Dvina.

 

There is too much in my book to post here but in summary the vessels were named Opyt (Commander Kaskoff, Russian Navy), paddle steamers Razlyff (Lieut. Malet, RAF), Tolstoy (Russian crew), Motor Launch 1 (Sub Lieut. Royer Dick, RN - awarded DSC), Motor Launch 2 (Lieut. Henry Cavendish, RN), gunboat Gorodok (Gnr. William Kewish, RN - wounded and replaced with Lieut. Daniel Fedotoff White, former Imperial Russian Army locally enlisted into RNVR) and later a 130mm gun barge under Lieut. Robert McNair, DSC, RN who was awarded a DSC Bar for the Onega Raid on the White Sea in August 1919.

 

Monitors HMS M.25 and M.27 (both scuttled in September 1919 when the level of the Dvina fell to the level that they could not be evacuated to Archangel) also saw extensive action on the Dvina August-October 1918. The Dvina froze over mid-October 1918 so the Royal Navy flotilla had to be withdrawn to Archangel to avoid being iced in but returned to operations after the thaw in 1919.

 

If anyone is interested in operations of the Royal Navy on the Dvina River, North Russia 1918-19, I humbly recommend obtaining a copy of my book.

 

 

 

146.jpg

Edited by wrightdw

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KizmeRD

Damien, thanks for posting and great job with the book.

 

Do you happen to know the name of the Bolshevik vessel that McNair’s gun barge sank?

I have read a Russian account of the ’Magouchy’ sinking, is that the same incident? (they credit M.25 with the sinking).

 

No doubting that on the Dvina gun barges were highly effective and the Allies could have done with more of them.


Michael

 

 

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aim
Posted (edited)

Did Lt. Robert McNair, RNR (or any of the other officers/boats mentioned) relate to HMS Attentive?

 

aim

Edited by aim

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wrightdw

Hi Michael,

I have never found in Admiralty records the name of the vessel sunk by McNair's 130mm gun barge. It was also not mentioned in the correspondence to SNO White Sea in September 1919 regarding the bounty.

 

The sinking of Magoochy was earlier on 14 September 1918, sunk by Monitor HMS M.25.

 

Hi Aim,

I don't know which ship McNair was serving on before he was detached to command the 130mm gun barge, as an RNR officer I would have through a posting to a cruiser would be less likely. I expect he was detached either from Q-ship HMS Tay and Tyne (Captain Henry Albert Le Fowne Hurt, RN) or one of the RNR trawlers which took part in the invasion and occupation of Archangel in early August 1918.

 

It is a very interesting and little known part of Royal Navy history.

140.png

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