Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Pamyat Azova and a rotten egg.

The Pamiat Azova (Память Азовa meaning Memory of Azov) was a unique armoured cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the late 1880s. She was decommissioned from front line service in 1909, converted into a depot ship and sunk by British torpedo boats during the British Campaign in the Baltic 1918-19, in the Russian Civil War.

The ship served with the Baltic Fleet and took part in a round the World Cruise with Crown Prince Nicholas on board. This led to a Fabergé egg, the Memory of Azov being made to commemorate this event. There was a mutiny aboard the cruiser in 1906 near Reval and the ship was placed in reserve. In 1909 she was converted into a torpedo boat depot ship and renamed Dvina. She was sunk by the British torpedo boat CMB79 in Kronstadt Harbour on 18 August 1919. The wreck was raised and scrapped.

The egg commemorates the voyage made by then-Tsarevitch Nicholas and Grand Duke George to the Far East in 1890.
The trip was made after a suggestion by their parents to broaden the outlook of the future Tsar and his brother. At the time, Grand Duke George was suffering from tuberculosis and the voyage only exacerbated it. Tsarevitch Nicholas was also the victim of an attempted assassination whilst in Japan and sustained a serious head wound. The Tsarina was presented with the egg before these events occurred and it was never one of her favourite eggs.

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