In the summer of 1910 a squadron of the Baltic Fleet (battleships "Crown Prince" and "Glory", the cruiser "Admiral Makarov", "Rurik", "Hercules"), under the command of Rear-Admiral Nikolai Stepanovich Mankovsky make trips to the Mediterranean Sea. On board the "Tsarevich" was the Grand Duke Nicholas and his entourage, on the mast of the battleship Grand waving flag. August 19 squadron (without the "Glory", which is due to machinery breakdown remained in the French Toulon) came into the Montenegrin port of Antivari (today - Bar newly independent Montenegro) to participate in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reign of King Nicholas I. The celebrations were held in the capital, Cetinje, where Russian and went to the King's namesake, Nikolai Nikolai Stepanovich. King was awarded the Russian field marshal's baton - thus was the last Montenegrin Russian field marshal.
After celebrations squadron - the already "Admiral Makarov", who went to Crete, where he was before - went back to Russia. Grand Duke Nicholas due to pressing matters at home was not ready to go in the opposite way around Europe on the "Crown Prince", he decided to go home by train. To land a prince, the ships had to go to Austria-Hungary belonging to the port of Fiume (now - Rijeka in Croatia). Fiume has been one of the main naval bases of Austria-Hungary with a powerful fortress. Russian ships arrived there on September 1.
(Rear-Admiral Nikolai Stepanovich Mankovsky)
The obligatory ritual when entering a foreign warships in port or when two squadrons belonging to the fleets of different countries, was to share the so-called salute, salvo of 21 (for the implementation of its ships had special gun salute). Russian detachment was in Fiume guest, so he first gave a salute.
Fortress did not respond.
It was a serious insult Russian St. Andrew's flag and all Russia. Especially on board the "Tsarevich" was the Grand Duke. To him and went for advice Admiral Mankovsky.
However, Nikolai behaved in this situation is highly peculiar. Insult to Russia, it will not hurt. Grand Duke Mankovsky said that after the departure of Antivari "Crown Prince" is no longer under its flag and under the flag of Admiral, therefore, and to understand what happened, and decide how to act. And he Nicholas is now just a private person to whom it is time to train. And went ashore.
Almost immediately after the Grand Duke left the board "Tsarevich", going to administer their "great things" to Fiume came the Austro-Hungarian squadron (20 battleships and cruisers) under the flag of the Austrian Minister of the Navy and the commander of the naval forces of the country's Vice Admiral Montekkukoli. Again, the exchange was needed salute. Russian guests were also Montekkukoli was older Mankovsky officer. Therefore, once again the first to salute given Russian.
The squadron, as well as before the fortress, did not respond.
This was an open challenge. Admiral Mankovsky went to the Austrian flagship for explanations.
On the ladder of the Austrian Russian battleship Admiral met Captain 1st Rank ("Captain zur See"), the flag-captain Admiral Montekkukoli. He, as if embarrassed, said that the team is now the Austrian guests, so take Mankovsky he can not.
This was the third consecutive insult now personally Russian admiral. Moreover, when a boat with Mankovsky walked away from the ladder of the Austrian ship, he was not given the situation in the case of a farewell salute.
Returning to the "Crown Prince" Mankovsky mine asked the officer in charge and was part of radio equipment, there is a connection to St. Petersburg, or, at least, with Sevastopol. The officer, of course, answered in the negative, were too weak while the transmitters and receivers. The admiral, however, is not angry. Even happy. Now he's certainly been my own boss.
(Battleship "Crown Prince" - a veteran of the Russian-Japanese War, the flagship unit of Admiral Mankovsky)
Meanwhile, to the ramp "Tsarevich" came the Austrian admiral's boat with himself Montekkukoli on board. He met his lieutenant Baron Lange, junior flag officer Mankovsky. He was in flawless German, he said that the commander of the Russian squad to take his lordship can not, because at this time is usually drinks tea. Austrian boat went back, and the Russian laid farewell salute was given. Now insult Mankovsky was washed away, the item sides were even. However, it was much more serious insult inflicted on St. Andrew's flag and, consequently, Russia.
Therefore, the Austrian flagship boat went back to the "Tsarevich". On board was a senior captain flag Mankovsky Captain 2nd Rank Rusetsky. He demanded that the Austrian official explanation as to why no fortress Fiume or Austrian squadron did not give Russian ships laid salute.
Austrian flag-captain, the one that had not received Mankovsky now was very kind with Russian counterpart. He began to refer to certain technical and service problems and missteps, making it clear that very much like to hush up the case. However Rusetsky handed Austrian categorical demand Mankovsky tomorrow at 8 am, at the time of raising the flag on the Russian ships, and strength, and the squadron should give salute.
Austrian promised fireworks castle will certainly, but the squadron would not be able to plan it should go to sea at 4am. In response Rusetsky said that any concessions will not go to Russian and without the salute at the flag raising Austrians from the bay would not be released. Austrian flag-captain said that their fleet could not linger. Russian flag-captain answered that it is impossible to change the conditions.
Mankovsky after hearing returned Rusetsky, ordered his ships to change the position. "Rurik" stood right in the middle of the bay out of Fiume, "Crown Prince" and "Hercules" moved closer to shore. The ships had been played alarm, uncovered weapons, warheads are charged and imposed on the Austrian flagship.
(Armored cruiser "Rurik" - the most modern and strong troop ship Admiral Mankovsky)
On the Austrian ships and ashore all this, of course, well you are seen and heard. And I understand that it takes a bad turn, which they did not expect. It is still unclear, Austrians offended Russian intentionally or because of the chaos, in which the "patchwork empire" enough. But now, the consequences were obvious.
Double boat with the Austrian flag-captain went to the "Tsarevich", explaining that the Austrian squadron have to leave, she can not wait until 8 am. Mankovsky both times stated that concessions can not be and speeches.
Russian admiral knew that if the battle between squadrons no chance he does not, the superiority of the Austrians, taking into account the guns of the fortress, was about 10-fold (even if you ignore the fact that the Austrians quickly could come additional forces, Russian also in the Mediterranean Sea no reinforcements could not wait). Moreover, the actions of Russian squad will almost certainly become the cause of the war between Russia and Austria-Hungary. And yet, right Mankovsky "substituted a" Grand Duke Nicholas, who at this moment on the train cut through the vastness of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Grand Duke in the event of the outbreak of hostilities in the bay of Fiume automatically becomes a hostage, which increased the likelihood of the incident in full-scale war. However, the fate of Nicholas hardly worried Nikolai Stepanovich. He may even have experienced some pleasure, substituting the evil nobleman, so indifferent otnesshiysya to insult his powers. It is possible and what Mankovsky no thought to the Grand Duke. Because the honor of the country and the St. Andrew's flag was paramount. Officers are taught that it is necessary for her to die. Behave differently simply impossible (yes, six years ago was already putting shame admirals Nebogatov Christmas and during the Battle of Tsushima, but the majority of naval officers is a disgrace him and thought). Therefore, three Russian ships ready to fight two dozen Austrian backed by a powerful fortress.
(Cruiser 1st rank "Hercules" did not have the firepower of armored ships, but they had a lot of high-speed)
At night, both squadrons no one slept. It has been seen as the Austrian ships and strength actively wink flashing lights. At 4 am the Austrian squadron start breeding pairs of the smoke pipes. Russian gunners on the ships waiting command to open fire. If the Austrians moved away, she would have acted immediately. Only the Austrians have not left, not even the anchor raised. Apparently, they are well aware of their overwhelming advantage at the moment, in this place, but I understand that, at least, the flagship Russian disfigure succeed. And start a war, which would be the cause of their own inexplicable rudeness, hardly worth it.
Interestingly, by the way, as if the story went, if Fiume incident really was the cause of the outbreak of war between Russia and Austria-Hungary? How she would have turned out to be a large-scale and, most importantly, would come to the aid of Austria-Hungary, the other members of the Triple Alliance (Germany and Italy), and to the aid of Russia - the other members of the Entente (Britain and France)?
That would have started World for 4 years before? And by "real" First World, the participants were, in general, are not very willing, although the "preparatory period" between the shot in Sarajevo and the beginning of the war itself took more than a month, and there would have to fight literally "on wheels", so the composition of the participants, course and outcome of military operations would be completely unpredictable. And if the war remained a matter of only two countries were drawn into it (although on our side with a guarantee of close to 100%, fought to Serbia and Montenegro), then Russia would almost certainly win it. At least, during the First World Russian almost always defeated the Austrians, and even if it did not help the Germans, then the outcome of the war, especially no doubt. Moreover, Austria-Hungary, in this case, most likely, would wait for the same fate as the real 1918 - complete disintegration.
In this case, the First World then simply would not have been - Germany could not fight alone, t. E. The whole history of humanity would have been completely different, in fact, this war, it is now clear, was a turning point in history, at least, the European as a maximum - the world civilization, and about Russian history and say nothing.
However, in the morning September 2, 1910 in the Bay of Fiume people in the Russian and Austrian ships appreciate it all, of course, could not see into the future and now no one has learned. They were just waiting for you to start a fight here and now.
At 8 am, as expected, the teams were built on the deck in front of the flag raising ceremony. The commander gave the usual command "to the flag and the jack! Attention! The flag and the jack to lift! ". True, this time for a team if the Austrians behaved in the same way as before, could follow the war.
(Morning raising of the flag on the armored cruiser "Rurik»)
But this did not happen. As soon as the flag and the jack on the "Crown Prince", "Rurik" and "heroes" have gone up, the gun salute thundered fortress Fiume and all ships of the Austrian squadron. Mankovsky considered volleys. There were twenty-one, full salute. Russian Admiral won the fight. He is one with his will to defend the honor of St. Andrew's flag and the honor of Russia. Demonstrate a willingness to shed the blood of his enemy, and he prevented bloodshed.
Austrian ships started immediately weighed anchor and headed to sea past the Russian squad. Mankovsky knew maritime customs. Team "Tsarevich", "Heroes" and "Rurik" were lined up in the front, the band played the Austrian national anthem. And now it was honor for the honor. Austrian team were also built as expected, and the orchestra played Russian national anthem. Quarrel with Russian, they no longer wanted it too expensive to dispense.
September 4 withdrew from Fiume and Russian, their mission was accomplished. Their will was stronger than the will of the Austrians.
However, it may be, we must regret the fact that the then owners of Fiume were not only boors, but cowards. As has been said, let's start a war - we would almost certainly have won it, averting thus the catastrophe 1917. But, apparently, rudeness and cowardice are inseparable, so everything went as gone.
Fiume incident has sunk into oblivion, his forgotten. Lost and its protagonist Admiral Mankovsky.
Nine years later, when there was no longer on the planet either Russian or Austro-Hungarian empires, and "Crown Prince" (renamed "citizen"), "Hercules" and "Rurik" rot in Kronstadt (none of these ships at sea longer not out) in a small Russian town of Yelets 60-year-old Vice-Admiral Nikolai Stepanovich Mankovsky Cheka was arrested and killed in prison.
(Minesweeper "whaling" - little boat with two small-caliber pushchonkami opposed the entire British squadron)
In the same 1919 in the Baltic Sea trawler "Whaler" boat with a displacement of 280 tons with two small guns, went from red to Estonia, raising St. Andrew's flag. At the beginning of 1920 because of the possibility of capture Estonians "Whaler", commanded by Lieutenant Oscar Oskarovich Fersman, previously fought in the army as a tank driver Yudenich, he moved around Europe in the Crimea, Wrangel. February 27 he went on a raid in Copenhagen, where there was a strong British squadron led by the battle cruiser "Hood". The commander of the squadron commanded "whaler" pull the St. Andrew's flag, because Britain no longer recognizes him.
If a unit in Fiume Mankovsky inferior Austrians about 10 times, the combat capability "Kitoboy" and British ships were basically comparable. However, Fersman refused to lower the flag and said he would fight.
("Whaler" after the "battle" of the British)
The conflict was resolved in Copenhagen Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. Thanks to a minesweeper, not to lower the flag, was equipped with food and coal. He went to Sevastopol, took part in the evacuation of Wrangel's army from the Crimea and along with the other ships in the Black Sea Fleet has left the Tunisian port of Bizerte. Fersman Oscar died in 1948 in Argentina.
Mankovsky learned nothing about his worthy successor Fersman. And the country has forgotten both ...