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Touring the Siberian Flotilla Headquarters

The town of Vladivostok was established as a military post in 1860, but soon grew into a flourishing city as residents increased and quaint wooden cottages were being flanked by stone mansions. As more people started to flock to this beautiful coastal settlement, the military and naval operations also started to grow after the 1871 assessment to increase military presence in the town. The steam ships that lay in the harbor as part of the naval fleet, in later years, were replaced by torpedo boats and submarines, and military personnel worked from the Siberian Flotilla Headquarters, which can still be seen on Svetlanskaya Street.

Russian history is filled with turmoil, victory and development, and there is no better place to learn of the navy’s humble beginnings than at the Siberian Flotilla Headquarters and the surrounding monuments and museums of Vladivostok. The decision to build the town into a naval stronghold was taken in the 1890’s, and by 1895 the Siberian Flotilla Headquarters were complete. It was to become a significant naval force in the coming wars, and cemented its rightful place in the celebrated annals of history.

The Russian-Japanese war was fought between the year 1904 to 1905, and ironically, the engineer that designed the Siberian Flotilla Headquarters, fought in this war. By this time, the Siberian Military Flotilla of Vladivostok consisted of six cruisers, twenty-two torpedo boats, five gun boats and two mine cruisers. Two of the cruisers, the mine cruisers, gunboats and twelve torpedo boats from Vladivostok, made up a part of the 1st Pacific Squadron during the war. But it was really a few years before the Russian-Japanese war, in 1854, that the Siberian Military Flotilla asserted themselves as an elite unit, while protecting Petropavlovsk in the Crimean War. With the Siberian Flotilla Headquarters being stationed in Vladivostok, job opportunities were created in the large factories that maintained and repaired the fleet.

While investigating the Siberian Flotilla Headquarters and the naval history of this town in Russia, visitors are also recommended to discover the hidden secrets of the Krasny Vympel (Red Pennant), which was the Soviet Pacific Fleet’s first ship. It has now been conserved as a museum and visitors will be able to explore an old WWII submarine that also functions as a naval museum. The Siberian Flotilla Headquarters were not only important to war strategy of the military, but in the shaping of town of Vladivostok.


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