Author Topic: USSR: commemorative 10 kopek, 1967  (Read 4149 times)

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Offline bgriff99

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Re: USSR: commemorative 10 kopek, 1967
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2015, 08:15:58 PM »
You guys are seeing one side of this being made heroic.   The opposite view is that the mutineers, of Aurora that day, and the fleet were cowards, playing at being revolutionaries, just like Lenin ready to hand to Germany as much of Russia as they cared to take.   

While the attack on the Winter Palace was being planned, THAT WEEK, the German Navy was opportunistically trying to invade the Russian Baltic at Riga.   The Russian 1st fleet stationed at Helsinki was ordered to intercept.   Sorry, revolution.   Kronstadt?   Sorry, the sailors' committees vote no.   Enter the obsolete pre-dreadnought Slava, stationed at Riga.   Her 4 sister-class ships were all ignominiously sunk or surrendered at Tsushima (1905), for which Slava was the last built and not finished in time.   She had one of the finest post-1908 era trained crews.   Yes they had their revolutionary committee, composed of sailors already renowned for service even before 1914.

Germany sent their 10 newest dreadnoughts along with a supporting flotilla.   Not much less than had been at Jutland, and fought THE WHOLE ROYAL NAVY to a draw (RN minus two new battlecruisers).   Each one carried triple the firepower, more range and speed than Slava's flank 16 knots.   With help from a couple Royal Navy subs, guess who won?    To match the German's range, Slava flooded her coal bunkers on one side to elevate her guns on the other broadside when engaging SMS Koenig.   The Germans sent Kronprinz around her other side for point blank fire which could not be returned (borrowing Nelson's trick that won Trafalgar).   After being shot to scrap metal, unable to fire or negotiate the shallow sound awash, Slava was scuttled in a channel the Germans needed to move forward.   They had themselves by then sustained so much damage they gave up.   The mighty Kriegsmarine, what was still afloat, steamed home, listing, holed, to form their own revolutionary committees and decide to fight no more.   

So because they defended Russia, brilliantly and heroically, when Aurora and almost all the rest of the Baltic Fleet refused, are they the bad guys to Komsomol teachers?   Or just not mentioned?

Second point, Aurora was laid down in 1897.   It is a 19th century ship.   To see it commemorating events of 1917, sending a beacon to the future, it strikes my eye as a joke.    But there it is today, stuffed and on display just like Lenin.    Oh, the captain of Slava?   Kicked out of the navy by the Bolsheviks, harassed, jailed and finally executed in 1920, as being suspected not loyal enough. 

Offline Gusev

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Re: USSR: commemorative 10 kopek, 1967
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2015, 11:55:57 AM »
No one doubts the heroism of Russian sailors in the war. But the revolution - it's a different category.
There is a famous quote:
"Every revolution is conceived romance, fanatics carry out and enjoying its result dirty rotten scoundrels"
"Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there."- Marcus Washling.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: USSR: commemorative 10 kopek, 1967
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2015, 12:02:43 PM »
As Aeschylos wrote, In war, truth is the first casualty. That includes civil war. It is a general truth in all times and places, including the US. Our heroes are flawed and history is written by the victors.

One of my history teachers made a highly useful distinction between cause and starting point. Starting points are easy. They are verifiable and documented. Causes are complicated to the point of chaotic, harder to understand and there's always a cause behind the cause. Yet causes, not starting points, determine the flow of history.

It is undeniable that Aurora was a starting point and had little* to do with the causes of the Bolshevik revolution. Finding the causes of Bolshevism may yield such uncomfortable facts as "life was very unpleasant indeed for the Russian poor, agricultural and industrial workers" and "czarist policy was often repressive, unjust, conservative, out of touch and therefore counterproductive".


* There probably is a cause, running from the Battle of Tsushima via general dissatisfaction in the fleet to Aurora, but it is a contributing, rather than a main cause.
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.