Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov
|Native name||Фёдор Фёдорович Ушако́в|
|Birth name||Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov|
24 February 1745|
Burnakovo, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russian Empire
|Died||14 October 1817
Alekseevka[disambiguation needed], Tambov Governorate, Russian Empire
|Service/branch||Imperial Russian Navy|
|Years of service||1766–1812|
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.
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 Royal Navy 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) 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: use of unified marching and fighting orders; resolute rapprochement with the enemy forces at 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); combination of aimed artillery fire and maneuvering; and chasing the enemy up to its full destruction or capture. Giving great value to sea and fire training of staff, Ushakov was a supporter of generalissimo Suvorov's principles of training for sailors and officers. Ushakov's innovations were among the first successful developments of naval tactics, from its "line" to maneuvering concepts.
Several warships have been named after Admiral Ushakov.
On March 3, 1944 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR established the Order of Ushakov for Navy officers who showed outstanding achievement leading to victory over a numerically superior enemy. This medal was one of several which was preserved in Russia upon the dissolution of the USSR, thus remaining one of the highest military awards in the Russian Federation. The Ushakov Medal was established simultaneously for servicemen who had risked their life in Naval theatres defending the Soviet Union. In May 2014, 19 surviving British WW2 servicemen who had served on the Arctic convoys received the medal on HMS Belfast.
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.
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
- John Naughton (22 May 2014). "Arctic Convoy veterans honoured by Russia on HMS Belfast". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Dictionary of Minor Planet Names - p.247
- 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 Kommersant-Dengi (in Russian), available online
- Baltic Naval Institute named after F.F. Ushakov 
- Sanaksar Monastery - Official site (Russian)
- Sanaksar Monastery - Photo gallery (Russian) (English)