Vladivostok Fortress

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Vladivostok Fortress
Владивостокская крепость
Vladivostok, Russia
Карта В.кр.jpg
Vladivostok Fortress Old Map
Type Fortress
Site information
Controlled by  Russia

Vladivostok Fortress is a complex system of unique fortifications, built in the end of the 19th–the beginning of the 20th centuries in Vladivostok, Russia.

Vladivostok fortress is the unique long-term complex of fortifications built in the late 19th - early 20th century in Vladivostok and the surrounding area. While constructing, the recent experience of the Russian- Japanese war was taken into account, so the castle is the most fortified of all the fortresses built and rebuilt at this time. Construction of the fortress was halted with the structure about 2/3 complete, due to the disruptive combination of the First World War and the October Revolution.

Fortress Features[edit]

The fortress is one of the most powerful maritime fortresses in the world, created exclusively by Russian military engineers and builders, soldiers, combat engineers. By the First World War it was one of the few strongholds, which had a solid defense in the Russian far east. Its design takes into account all the shortcomings that caused the fall of Port Arthur in 1904. At the time, the fortress was about fifty shore batteries, able to withstand the most powerful enemy ships, sixteen forts and dozens of coastal caponiers, a lot of strong points and land batteries. All the basic facilities were supplied with electricity and connected by roads and underground communication cables. It provided rapid deployment of minefields, together with the fleet. On several major forts for protection against artillery fire tunnel casemated barracks were erected, more than three kilometers galleries and six kilometers of tunnel moves.

The fortifications were built taking into account all the achievements of fortification science of the time. It is noteworthy that an impregnable fortress was built just a few years before the First World War. The construction was in a mountainous area difficult to access for the first time in the practice of fortification works were massively used rope. Thanks to them, as well as the use of cutting edge construction technology such as compressors, concrete mixers, power and other mechanization turned to achieve high rates of construction production.

The quality and durability of the installations and their subsequent modernization enabled to retain the Fort's value for decades. It was one of the reasons why the Japanese government did not dare to enter the war on the side of Nazi Germany.

Stages of construction[edit]

By type (and scope) of fortifications constructed building can be divided into three stages:

Creating a fortress (1889–1899 years) Construction of the second line of defense of the fortress (1899–1905 years) Design and construction of the main line of defense of the fortress (1906–1918 years) Construction of the main line of defense The reasons for strengthening the fortress September 5, 1905 a peace treaty at Portsmouth was signed, and ended with the Russian-Japanese war. According to the agreement Russia ceded Japan lease rights to the Liaodong Peninsula including Port Arthur. Including Russia lost the southern branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway Station at Kuanchentszy, the southern part of Sakhalin Island, and allowed the Japanese fishing in its territorial waters on unfavorable terms. Russia has retained the right to keep the Pacific only two cruisers and all the remaining available destroyers. Vladivostok, the end point of the Trans-Siberian railway, was the only naval base at the Russian Pacific Ocean, the only equipped commercial port in the Far East. Thus the value of Vladivostok fortress had increased sharply, it now without the help defend from all possible actions of the enemy in the northern part of the Gulf of Peter the Great and to avoid the possibility of using the enemy's well-equipped port of Vladivostok as a base of operations and supply point troops. However, the state of defensive structures of the fortress was unsatisfactory. In addition, the end of the Russian-Japanese war coincided with the famous revolutionary actions in Vladivostok in October 1905 and January 1906. By the beginning of 1906, the fortress had about thirty shore batteries. Many of them, covering the most important sections of the coast were temporary, their guns were mounted on wooden bases, dominated by outdated artillery systems.

The temporary nature of some of the shore defenses caused the question to be raised about the fate of the fortress. Commissions were set up to develop questions about its strengthening. April 16, 1907 the castle was declared a 1st class of its staff assigned to the appropriate state in accordance with the highest command of Nicholas II.

Construction progress[edit]

The year 1910 brought a final draft of construction plans. The project is expected to build forts № 1-7 and strongholds letter A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and 3 on the southern side of the valley of the Ussuri Sedanka to the Amur Bay, forts № 9-12 on the southern and eastern shores of the Russian Island tunnel cellars casemated a refrigerator the First River, an airfield in the Second River, over 200 km of roads and many other ancillary facilities.


On the land front - 1290 guns and 268 machine guns; including: Ranged weapons - 572, melee weapons - 718 guns - 268, mortars – 64, rocket machines - 36. On the coastal front - 316 guns and 56 machine guns; including: Ranged weapons - 212, melee weapons - 104 guns - 56 rocket machines - 36. The garrison of the fortress was to have 48 infantry battalions, 15 battalions of fortress artillery, pulled by eight batteries of field and mountain, two battalion, a battalion of mine, a telegraph battalion, a battalion of the train, two aeronautic company, and three Cossack squadrons.

Their facilities, unlike those at Port Arthur, featured many casemated underground structures, the thickness of the concrete coating provides protection against fire from 280-mm guns.

Designers tried not to copy the model projects, and according to the mountainous terrain conditions attached forts configuration corresponds exactly to the relief that was not broken, and fire facilities dispersed over a large area, making it difficult to sighting the enemy artillery. All these bold departures from the long-established rules of academic fortification in connection with a very respectful attitude to all the vagaries of extremely rough terrain is made of each individual to strengthen always original and in most cases a talented example of contemporary art of fortification. Forts were connected with each other ring by the main road and the center of the fortress - radial highways. Roads all over the defensive lines were equipped with at least two, to be able to maneuver troops along the position even during the shelling of the area highways. All roads were laid on the reverse slopes of hills outside the scope of observations on the part of a potential enemy attack vectors. Through the underground cable lines of telegraph and telephone all the forts, batteries, cellar, barracks towns and other important objects have been included in the switch Staff fortress.

In January 1913, the fortress was tested for durability on the results of these tests and other landfills recommended increasing the thickness of the concrete structures. Upon receipt of the information about the first results of experiments in Vladivostok, without waiting for instructions and orders people started to strengthen concrete structures. With ready-made structures removed earthen dusting, reinforced vaults and floor wall rubble of durable stone thickness of 5 m and then covered with earth. The arches of the buildings exposed to direct enemy artillery (gallery areas located close to the surface, barracks), inside reinforced curved shape ceiling channel, which had to manually cut down the chute under them. With the construction of new facilities in the gutter vaulted structures formed in advance and cover shelters of guns and made flat coffers, leaving the chute for stacking of I-beams close to each other. Between the coating and metal reinforcement layer of asphalt concrete was packed for waterproofing. Later on some of the fortifications from this scheme refused to work and began to lay concrete directly on structures, covered with a layer of asphalt. Concrete construction of forts on the project in 1910 looked different from ground fortifications built in 1900-1904. Firstly, the new construction, received in 2-3 times more potent against the former, design coatings significantly higher old. For example, the height of the wardrobe trunks from ground level in some cases, up to 8 meters. Secondly, the construction of 1910 is almost entirely devoid of "architectural excesses" exception to the rule can be partly considered as the widespread use of metal canopies, performing the functions of the cornice. The latter fact reflected the global trend to simplify the appearance of the fortifications and outlined in the 1880s in connection with the transition to a new building material - concrete. Thus, the concrete construction casemated 1900-1904 biennium. have elements of civil architecture - cornices, frames on the windows, and, due to its small size, commensurate with one-story building. Facilities as 1910–1915 years. Arrays are concrete, the facades of which formed a "game" of large, carefully decorated, planes.

In May 1913, one of the orders AP Shoshin wrote: "1. Without exception, all structures other than the strength and stability must be properly performed and the outside. 2. The absence of a thorough job in this regard, rough and ugly form of construction is characterized by insufficient attention and love builder to his works, and on the outside observer the impression of carelessness. Every last detail has to be done carefully, correctly and cleanly. All lines of construction, the corners, the edges, the line of intersection of the arches, plane surface and so must be completely geometrically correct, really steep vertical line and the horizontal truly horizontal. " Caring about the appearance of buildings was not some personal whim of AP Shoshin because, as he noted in a conversation with the Minister of War in 1914 .: "The main idea is to strengthen the fortress motto:" Russian is here to stay forever. '"

First World War[edit]

1914 was a turning point in the building - the First World War. Deliveries of cement ceased, which previously carried by sea from Novorossiysk, since Turkey closed the Straits. Initially, the pace of construction is not reduced because the fortress had accumulated large stocks of cement, but since 1915 as the prolongation of the war the situation began to deteriorate.

By the end of 1916 were ready for about two-thirds of all 11 forts (many of them were built not only gorge barracks), all the planned construction of the road, two reference points, five types of long-term coastal batteries and four for 120-mm Vickers guns, 21 Coast caponier, 8 groups tunnel powder magazines.

In the forts and strongholds "North Division" was equipped with a 2641-meter concrete lines of fire for shooters 24 Barbette for withdrawable guns, built 21 trunk and caponier for defense ditches and barbed wire (another trunk on Fort number 6 was prepared by two-thirds ), as well as four half-caponiers. It was built 25 shelters for the roll-out of anti-assault weapons and machine guns at the fortress looms, seven tunnel (including three in the fort number 6 and number two on the fort 2) and one casemated barracks 2468 linear meters of galleries, 2756 linear meters. of countermine galleries and 5516 linear meters. of tunnel trenches and inspection gallery. Fort "Southern Division" (Russian Island) built 882 linear meters of concrete lines of fire for shooters 18 barbettes for withdrawable guns, four coffer to flank the ditches (another double trunk on the fort number 9 was prepared by half). It was built 12 shelters for withdrawable guns, 666 linear meters of galleries, 593 linear meters of countermine galleries and 480 linear meters.

Before the defense capability of the state brought four more reference points and seven coastal batteries. However, the work of war on the scale did not go to any comparison with the peaceful years. The signing of the Convention of the Union and Japan turned Vladivostok point lying in the deepest rear. For the needs of the front immediately it began the withdrawal of weapons and various stocks. The material of the fortress artillery also gradually sent to the front, and in the first place from the fort seized most modern artillery systems.

The fortress before the Patriotic War[edit]

In 1917, they were completely halted the construction work in the fortress. In the forts, batteries and other buildings were only technology-keepers. At the headquarters of the fortress worked liquidation committee that wrote off assets or enter in the books of Construction. However, we can assume that the Office of the Builder of Vladivostok fortifications and to preserve the order of objects. About a year later came the "agony". Remaining in the fortress and returned from the fronts of military engineers tried to honestly fulfill professional duties to counteract stripping of the construction of the property. Then began the so-called "coal and wood-burning catastrophe" completely devalued money, constantly changing position of the authorities was not clear. Boats Construction, Property military pigeon station and telegraph company went under the hammer for covering debts. Part of the building materials has been transferred to the Vladivostok military-industrial committee for the construction of a shipyard for the construction of airfields and hangars in Vladivostok, Verkhneudinsk, Harbin, Qiqihar, Ninguta at station Manchuria for aviation troops of Admiral Kolchak. In late 1918, the Office of the Builder of Vladivostok fortifications was abolished. Vladivostok fortress engineering management lasted longer - until 1923, serving as the supply of engineering troops. These agencies from time to time underwent reduction of the already poorer states.

In 1923, in connection with the agreement between the Japanese command and the command of the People's Revolutionary Army of the Far Eastern Republic of demilitarization of Vladivostok fortress was abolished. By that time in Primorye already established Soviet power. The remaining arms were dismantled, headquarters and management disbanded fortifications were permanently abandoned.

Organization and staff of the fortress[edit]

The structure of the fortress consisted of: 1 st Vladivostok fortress artillery brigade

1 st Vladivostok fortress artillery regiment, 2nd Vladivostok fortress artillery regiment, and 2nd Vladivostok fortress artillery brigade

3rd Vladivostok fortress artillery regiment, 4th Vladivostok fortress artillery regiment, and Vladivostok fortress Sapper Brigade.

Fortress Governors[edit]

  • 7.03.1906-1.07.1908 - Major General Vladimir Alexandrovich Irma;
  • 7.08.1913–1915 - Lieutenant-General Sergey Savich, Chief of Staff of the fortress;
  • 21.12.1887-16.05.1889 - Colonel Nadarov, Ivan Pavlovich, Commanders of the 1st artbrigady;
  • 25.06.1907-? - Colonel Mikhail Makeev;
  • 26.10.1908-20.12.1911 - Colonel Konstantin Alexis;
  • 02.04.1912-after 04.15.1914 - Major General Joseph Antonovich Dumbadze;

Current state[edit]

October 30, 1996 on the territory of Vladivostok fortress Battery Nameless was opened museum "Vladivostok Fortress", dedicated to the history of Vladivostok fortress. Fort number 7 rented and turned into a museum. Battery "Paul mortirnaya" is rented by Cossacks Ussuri Cossack troops site

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°07′21″N 131°52′36″E / 43.1224°N 131.8766°E / 43.1224; 131.8766