2013 King Hall Day 1 Session 3 - 1

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2013 King Hall Conference Proceedings

2013 King Hall Conference Proceedings

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  • 1. ST ANDREW AGAINST THE KAISER: Russia’s Naval Strategy & Operations in the Baltic & Black Sea Theaters 1914–18 The 2013 King Hall Naval History Conference Dr Alexey D Muraviev Head, Department of Social Sciences & International Studies Director, Strategic Flashlight forum School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013
  • 2. Major Considerations  Russia as the ally of the Entente The Eastern Front as the strategic distraction Vital assistance Critical in 1914, 1916 Kaiser’s Hochseeflotte (the High Seas Fleet)  The Eastern/Northern European combined strategic maritime theater Baltic, Black Sea, Arctic MTVDs (maritime theaters of military operations) Secondary in terms of importance compared with the North Sea and the Atlantic School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013
  • 3. Major Considerations  The Tsushima catastrophe The Russian Navy could no longer challenge the world’s leading navies British and German From third down to fifth in world ranking Russian Black Sea Fleet pre-dreadnoughts at seas, 1913 478 units (1 July 1914) 11 pre-dreadnaughts (3 in the Baltic, 8 in the Black Sea) 10 cruisers and 126 torpedo boats  Rebuilding the navy as a national priority School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013 The main calibre (305 mm) of a Gangut class dreadnaught
  • 4. The Baltic MTVD: Key Issues  Strategic maritime defence 17 June 1912 ‘Plan of the Baltic Sea Naval Forces Operations in Case of a European War’ (updated in late 1914) Maritime defence of the Gulf of Finland/St. Petersburg (from 1914 Petrograd) Battle squadron of the Baltic Fleet at sea, 1914 Russian Baltic Fleet is inferior to the Hochseeflott 6th Army Preventing enemy’s main strike and amphibious forces attacking the national strategic centre of gravity The German battle fleet in Kiel, 1900s School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013
  • 5. The Black Sea MTVD: Key Issues  Securing the theater 8 June 1908 Nikolai II signs a revised battle plan for the Black Sea Fleet ‘The main strategic task…remains the maximum preservation of the Black Sea control’ Dreadnaughts of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, 1914 Strategic maritime defence Blockade of the Bosporus  Evolving geo-strategic realities Turkey-Germany, Bulgaria (October 1915) Aiding Romania (from 1916) School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Yavuz Sultan Selim (a.k.a Goeben) battle cruiser 23.05.2013
  • 6. War in the Baltic Sea 1914–15  Establishing layered defence Mine laying operations in the southern Baltic (October 1914–February 1915) 1,458 sea mines over 107 days Operation was 500 km in depth Occasional engagements with German forces Forcing the Magdeburg to beach Blocking maritime supplies from Sweden Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J  The Memel Operation (June 1915) Attempt to influence Germany’s public opinion  Anti-SLOC warfare School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts German cruiser Magdeburg captured by the Russians, 1914 23.05.2013 Battle near Godland Island (19 June)
  • 7. War in the Baltic Sea: 1916–17  Limited operations Main battle forces largely inactive Reliance on sea mines, destroyers, submarines, coastal artillery By late 1917 about 35,000 sea mines were deployed; 83 coastal gun batteries (282 guns) Russian torpedo boat destroyer Novik, top speed of 37.5 knots Supporting the army’s maritime flank Defensive operations in the Moozund/Gulf of Riga (8–21 August 1915) Germans withdrew from the Gulf Pre-dreadnaught Slava in action near Moonzund, 1915 School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013
  • 8. October 1917: Operation Albion Dreadnaughts Cruisers Destroyers  Strategic Amphibious operation Submarines 2/3 10 German of German naval forces (over 300 6 10 68 units) against 116 units of the Baltic Fleet Occupation of the Moonzund and securing 2 3 36 3 the Gulf of Riga (Phase One) prior to attacking Petrograd Russian Dreadnaughts Cruisers Destroyers  Tactical Advance, strategic failure (3) 10 (13) Moonzund and Gulf of Riga were secured German The Baltic Fleet was not destroyed Russian 1 (1) Petrograd remained defended 1 (3) Aircraft Troops Guns 100 25,000 125 30 10,000 64 (54) German forces land on Moonzund, 1917 Gun-boats Minesweepers - 6 2 30 Russian 305-mm coastal gun battery, Moonzund 1917 School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013
  • 9. War in the Black Sea 1914–15  Confronting Turkish-German forces Arrival of the German task force on 10 August 1914 29 October - combined attack on Russian ports and bases 18 November – engaging the ‘Turkish’ task group near the Sarych Peninsula Novorossiisk under fire from the Breslau, October 1914  Blockade of the Bosporus 1,347 sea mines (1914–15) Bombardment (28, 29 March, 10 May 1915) School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013 Bombardment ofand Breslau crossing the Straits, August 1914 SMS Goeben the Bosporus fortifications,28 March 1915
  • 10. War in the Black Sea 1916–17  Pressuring Turkey Mine laying and anti-SLOC operations About 6,000 sea mines layered Blockading Bosporus, Ulzundak and Varna Russian submarine escorts captured Turkish merchant, 1916 ASW operations Deployment of 10 German submarines Supporting the Russian Caucasian Front Engaging Goeben and Breslau Preparing for a strategic move on the Straits School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013 The sinking ofaircraft carrying cruiser Nikolai at sea, 1915 The Imperatritsa Maria [super]-dreadnaught I Russian the Maria after explosion, 20 October 1916
  • 11. In Conclusion…  The Baltic theater  The Black Sea theater Limited initiative and failure to capitalise on successes More initiative and success but little recognition Limited use of battleships Regular use of battleships Predominant reliance on light manoeuvre forces The use of maritime layered mineartillery defence as a strategic success Failure to maintain strategic initiative Achieving the main strategic objective - maritime defence of Petrograd School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013 Dominance in the MTVD A complete suit of operational activity More attempts to interact with allied forces Failure to achieve the prime strategic objective - The Bosporus
  • 12. In Conclusion…  Fighting defence war at sea The use of maritime layered mine-artillery defence as a strategic success Over 43,000 sea mines deployed  Bad timing for Russia Russia entered the war in Europe unprepared In the midst of rebuilding its navy Pre-war plans to restore Russian global naval power by 1918–19 Lack of political courage and failure to capitalise on gained advances Developing crisis (Revolution on the horizon…) School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J 23.05.2013
  • 13. QUESTIONS? St Andrew against the Kaiser 23.05.2013 Dr Alexey D Muraviev School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Phone: (+61 8) 9266 2234 Email: A.Muraviev@curtin.edu.au