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War on the Far East

War on the Far East

The Siege of Petropavlovsk was the main operation on the Pacific Theatre of the Crimean War. The Russian casualties are estimated at 100 soldiers; the Allies lost five times as many.

The siege started on 18 August 1854, when an Allied squadron of three British and French frigates, one corvette, one brig and one steamship cast anchor in the Avacha Bay. The Allied forces far outnumbered the Russians, and the main Russian vessel, the 60-gun Pallas, was sent far up the River Amur out of harms way. The remaining forces led by Rear Admiral Yevfimy Putyatin took refuge in the harbour of Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka peninsula, defended by its shore batteries. Aurora was anchored behind a sand spit topped by a shore battery.

The Allied force, commanded by Rear Admirals Fevrier de Point and David Price (newly-promoted after serving as post captain for 39 years) advanced to bombard Petropavlosk on 30 August 1854. They had some 218 cannons at its disposal, as compared to 67 cannons available to the defenders of Kamchatka's main city under Vasily Zavoyko. Almost immediately, Price went below decks and shot himself. The Allies withdrew, but within two days returned to resume the bombardment on 31 August with Captain Nicolson of HMS Pique in temporary command.

Petropavlovsk was lightly defended, with just over 1,000 troops, including the crews of the vessels sheltering in its harbour. The Allied squadron re-entered Avacha Bay to storm the city. A Naval Brigade of around 700 British and French seamen and marines landed on 4 September, under Captains Burridge and de La Grandiere, but they were ambushed and, after some heavy fighting, retreated with 107 British and 101 French dead. On 24 August, 970 aggressors landed west of Petropavlovsk, but were repelled by 360 Russians.

The Allies withdrew, although President and Virago managed to capture the Russian Anadis, a small schooner, and the 10-gun transport Sitka on 7 September 1854. The Allies left Petropavlovsk to the Russians until April 1855, when Nikolay Muravyov, aware of the insufficiency of troops and weapons to repel another attack on the city, had Petropavlovsk garrison evacuated under the cover of snow.

Russia, 2004.08.2830, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Monument to Maksutov

USSR, 1987.06.18, Moskow. Fregate Pallada

Russia, 1999, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Monument Chasovnya

Russia, 2004, Monument to Maksutov in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

USSR, 1975, Monument to Maksutov in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

USSR, 1976, Monument to Maksutov in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

USSR, 1985, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Monument Chasovnya

USSR, 1987, War ship Pallada

USSR, 1976.04.26, Monument to Maksutov in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

USSR, 1982.01.19, Monument to Maksutov in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

USSR, 1982.01.19, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Monument Chasovnya


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