Maritimes Museum Hamburg (@maritimesmuseum)

2 weeks ago

The armored cruiser Rurik (Рюрик ) of the Russian Imperial Navy was one of the last designs of this warship's type. This led to the fact that she was one of the most advanced armored cruisers ever, but got quickly outdated by new warship types. She was named after a legendary Varagian chieftain from the 9th Century, founder of the Novgorod. But, actually, she got her name from an earlier armored cruiser of the Russian Imperial Navy that was sunk in 1904 at the Battle off Ulsan during the Russ-Japanese War. That war had seen the destruction of a large part of the Russian Fleet. The Russian Empire went from having the 3rd largest Navy in the world, to be in 6th position. For that reason, Russia started an intensive and naval construction program after the war. To act fast, the Empire ordered warships from foreign shipyards. That was the case with the Rurik, that was built at the Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, England. The work started in 1905 and was completed in 1908. Her armament was the most powerful ever to be built on an armoured cruiser, and her cruising speed of 18 knots was slower than other similar ships of her time. She was obviously a fine ship, but the arrival of the new battlecruiser rendered her obsolete very soon. Nevertheless, she was the flagship of the Russian Baltic fleet for most of her short active service. That was her position at the start of World War I. During the war she participated in a number of raids and mine laying operations, and had a relevant role in the Battle of Åland Islands, July 1915. But on November 1916 she suffered serious damage from a German mine and had to retreat for repairs. The success of the Bolshevik in the Russian Revolution took place before she could enter action again. In March the 3rd 1918, the new Russian government signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and retired from World War I. The Rurik was sent to the reserve and moored in Kronstadt (today's Kronshtadtsky District, Saint Petersburg ). Her condition decayed in mooring and she was finally scrapped between 1924 and 1925. This magnificent model of the Rurik in a scale of 1:100 is part of our exhibition on modern naval warfare, on deck 5 of the museum.