Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Second Act: The Potemkin in the First World War

Everyone has heard of the famous mutiny in 1905 aboard the Russian battleship Potemkin (or, more properly, Kniaz Potemkin Tavricheskii). Less well known is the fact that, after the ship returned to the Russian Navy, she was renamed Panteleimon (after an early Christian saint) and served throughout the First World War in the Black Sea Fleet.

During the war she earned the unusual distinction of being one of the few pre-dreadnought battleships ever to score a hit on a dreadnought in battle. On 10 May 1915, while the Russian fleet was bombarding the Turkish fortifications at the Bosphorus, the Panteleimon hit the German-built battlecruiser Goeben with two 12-inch shells. This was enough to convince the battlecruiser to break off the action.

Thanks to author Steve McLaughlin for these details.

1 comment:

  1. SMS Goeben was turned over to the Ottoman Empire in 1914 and became the principal Ottoman ship after the British confiscated two nearly completed dreadnought battleships.