1860s: Russian Ironclads including Monitors

With as much time as I spent reading and researching things related to various iron hulled 19th century ships, running into these 1860s Russian Ironclads was a bit of a surprise. The history of the mentioned wiki page partially explained the reason I did not see this page prior to 07/31/2020. I'm still not sure why I did not bump into these ships through my generic search pertaining to such ships, but... it is what it is.

Ironclad Ships
Simon says: An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates, which were predominantly constructed from 1859 to the early 1890s. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells.

Russian Ironclads
To be honest, after seeing these ships, I can't help it but continue thinking that we are missing a chunk of our history, containing all the information about some unknown Global World Order of the past. Without knowing that some (Charodeika and Uragan Class Monitors) of these ships were Russian, their design would have tricked me into thinking that the ships in question were American Ironclads.
  • I figured a little wiki-based compilation would not hurt.
  • Will list some ships built in 1860s only.
Broadside Armored Frigates
Pervenets-Class Ironclads
The Pervenets-class ironclads were a group of three armored frigates (Pervenets, Ne Tron Menia and Kreml) built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1860s. The first ship was built in England because the Russian Empire lacked the ability to build its own ironclads, but the other two were built in Russia.
Edwin Weedon - Launch of the Russian Ironclad Floating Battery Pervenetz at Blackwall.jpg

And... them shenanigans start from the very beginning.
  • #1 - Pervenets- built in England
    • Ordered: 18 November 1861
    • Laid down: December 1861
    • Launched: 18 May 1863
    • Commisioned: 28 July 1864
  • #2 - Ne Tron Menia- built in Russia
    • Ordered: 31 March 1862
    • Laid down: 1 December 1863
    • Launched: 23 June 1864
    • Commisioned: 18 July 1865
  • #3 - Kreml- built in Russia
    • Ordered: 20 April 1863
    • Laid down: 23 December 1863
    • Launched: 26 August 1865
    • Commisioned: Unknown Month in 1865
Apparently, in 1861 Russia lacked the ability to build ironclads, but in 1862 it lacked this ability no longer.
  • Question: What kind of industrial infrastructure did Russia have in the early 1860s to overcome this "lack of ability" within one year, between 1861 and 1862?
All three ships differed from one another as the design evolved over time.
  • None of the ships ever saw combat and only Kreml had an eventful career, sinking a wooden frigate in an collision in 1869 and sinking herself in 1885. She was refloated and returned to service.
  • They were assigned to the Baltic Fleet upon completion and never left Russian waters.
  • They served with the Gunnery Training Detachment for the bulk of their careers before being reduced to reserve in 1904.
  • They were sold four years later and Pervenets and Ne Tron Menia were converted into coal barges.
    • Pervenets survived World War 2 and was scrapped in the early 1960s
    • Ne Tron Menia was sunk during the war and scrapped around 1950
    • Kreml's fate after her sale for scrap in 1908 is unknown
The Russian ironclad Pervenets was a broadside ironclad built for the Imperial Russian Navy in Britain during the 1860s. The ship had to be built abroad as no Russian shipyard had mastered the techniques required to build iron-hulled armored vessels. She was assigned to the Baltic Fleet upon completion and never left Russian waters. Pervenets served with the Gunnery Training Detachment for her entire career until she was reduced to reserve in 1904. She was disarmed and stricken the following year and finally sold in 1908. After the end of the Russian Civil War, the ship was reacquired by the Soviets in 1922 and used to transport and store coal, a role she performed until discarded in the late 1950s. However, she was apparently not scrapped until the early 1960s.


Ne Tron Menia
The Russian ironclad Ne Tron Menia was the second of the three Pervenets-class broadside ironclads built for the Imperial Russian Navy during the mid-1860s. She joined the Baltic Fleet upon completion and never left Russian waters. Beginning in 1870 the ship was assigned to the Gunnery Training Detachment and was frequently rearmed. Ne Tron Menia was placed in reserve and hulked a decade later. In 1905 the ship was disarmed and she was sold in 1908. After the end of the Russian Civil War, she was acquired by the Soviets before being sold to a factory in 1925. The ship was sunk in the Siege of Leningrad during World War II and was scrapped after she was salvaged in 1950.
  • Ne Tron Menia
  • The WW II Siege of Leningrad started on 09/08/1941
    • This ship lasted for at least 77 years? Wasn't it supposed to be the very first ironclad ever built in Russia?


The Russian ironclad Kreml was the third and last Pervenets-class broadside ironclad built for the Imperial Russian Navy during the mid-1860s. She joined the Baltic Fleet upon completion and accidentally sank a Russian frigate in 1869. The ship was assigned to the Gunnery Training Detachment in 1870 and was frequently rearmed. Kreml sank in shallow water after a storm in 1885; she was refloated and returned to service. The ship was placed in reserve in 1904 and disarmed the following year before being sold for scrap in 1908.


KD: Somehow, the first two ships reminded me of this 1874 USS Alarm. Additionally, with some oars through those gun ports, the one on the left would have gotten propelled by some giants just fine.


Additionally, there were two more ships of the same class made:
  • Sevastopol (1864) – decommissioned in 1885 and sold for scrap in 1897
    • The Russian ironclad Sevastopol was ordered as a 58-gun wooden frigate by the Imperial Russian Navy in the early 1860s, but was converted while under construction into a 32-gun armored frigate. She served in the Baltic Fleet and was reclassified as a training ship in 1880. Sevastopol was decommissioned five years later, but was not sold for scrap until 1897.
  • Petropavlovsk(1865) – decommissioned in 1885 and sold for scrap in 1892
    • The Russian ironclad Petropavlovsk was a 22-gun armored frigate in the Imperial Russian Navy during the late 19th century. She was originally ordered as a 58-gun wooden frigate, but she was reordered as an ironclad while under construction and subsequently converted into one. She served as the flagship of the Baltic Fleet during the 1860s and 1870s. The ship was decommissioned in 1885, but was not sold for scrap until 1892.

A monitor was a relatively small warship which was neither fast nor strongly armored but carried disproportionately large guns. They were used by some navies from the 1860s, during the First World War and with limited use in the Second World War. During the Vietnam War they were used by the United States Navy. The Brazilian Navy's Parnaíba is the last monitor in service.
There were at least four classes of Monitor type ironclads produced by the Russian Navy in 1860s.
Uragan Class
Uragan was the name ship of her class of 10 monitors built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the mid-1860s. The design was based on the American Passaic-class monitor, but was modified to suit Russian engines, guns and construction techniques. Spending her entire career with the Baltic Fleet, the ship was only active when the Gulf of Finland was not frozen, but very little is known about her service. She was stricken in 1900 from the Navy List, converted into a coal barge in 1903 and renamed Barzha No. 39, then Barzha No. 52 and finally Barzha No. 325. Abandoned by the Soviets in Finland in 1918, the ship was later scrapped by the Finns.


Uragan Class
Latnik was an Uragan-class monitor built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the mid-1860s. The design was based on the American Passaic-class monitor, but was modified to suit Russian engines, guns and construction techniques. She was one of two ships of the class to be built in Belgium and assembled in Russia. Spending her entire career with the Baltic Fleet, the ship was only active when the Gulf of Finland was not frozen, but very little is known about her service. She was stricken in 1900 from the Navy List, converted into a coal barge in 1903 and renamed Barzha No. 38 and then Barzha No. 326. Abandoned by the Soviets in Finland in 1918, the ship was later scrapped by the Finns.

Uragan Class
Bronenosets was a Uragan-class monitor built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the mid-1860s. The design was based on the American Passaic-class monitor, but was modified to suit Russian engines, guns and construction techniques. The ship was only active when the Gulf of Finland was not frozen, but very little is known about her service. She was stricken in 1900 from the Navy List, converted into a coal barge in 1903 and renamed Barzha No. 324. The ship was lost in a storm sometime during World War I.

Here are the other ships of the same class:
  • Veschun (1864) – stricken in 1900 and scrapped around 1918
  • Koldun (1864) – stricken in 1900 and scrapped around 1918
  • Edinorog (1864) – stricken in 1900, final destination unknown
  • Strelets (1864) – stricken in 1900 and converted into a floating workshop until 1955
  • Lava (1864) – stricken in 1900 and scrapped around 1922
  • Tifon (1864) – stricken in 1900 and scrapped after 1922
  • Perun (1864) – stricken in 1900 and scrapped around 1924
  • Smerch (1864) – stricken and scrapped in 1959
Charodeika Class
The Russian monitor Charodeika was the lead ship of her class of monitors built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1860s. She served for her entire career with the Baltic Fleet, mostly as a training ship. She was decommissioned in 1907, but was not broken up until 1911–12.

Charodeika Class
Rusalka was one of two Charodeika-class monitors built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1860s. She served for her entire career with the Baltic Fleet. Aside from hitting an uncharted rock not long after she was completed in 1869, she had an uneventful career. Rusalka sank in a storm in 1893 with the loss of all hands in the Gulf of Finland.
  • A memorial was built in Reval (modern Tallinn) to commemorate her loss almost a decade later.
  • Her wreck was rediscovered in 2003, bow-down in the mud, which has prompted a new theory regarding her loss.
  • Rusalka

Question: Decks of these particular ships are like 2-3 feet above the water level. Allegedly, they were not made for calm waters. Is there anything wrong with the narrative there?

If you want to see two additional classes of the 1860s monitors, here are the links:
Central Battery Frigate
I did not find any Russian Navy related info on this. Here is some generic info: The central battery ship was a development of the broadside ironclad of the 1860s, given a substantial boost due to the inspiration gained from the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between ironclads fought in 1862 during the American Civil War. The central battery ships had their main guns concentrated in the middle of the ship in an armoured citadel. The concentration of armament amidships meant the ship could be shorter and handier than a broadside type like previous warships. In this manner the design could maximize the thickness of armour in a limited area while still carrying a significant broadside. These ships meant the end of the armoured frigates with their full-length gun decks.
Kniaz Pozharsky
Central Battery Frigate
The Russian ironclad Kniaz Pozharsky was an iron-hulled armored frigate built for the Imperial Russian Navy during the 1860s. She was the first Russian armored ship to leave European waters when she cruised the Pacific Ocean in 1873–75. The ship did not participate in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, and remained in the Baltic Sea until 1879–80, when she made another cruise to the Pacific. Kniaz Pozharsky was assigned to the Baltic Fleet for the rest of her career. She mainly served as a training ship after her refit in 1885 until she was hulked in 1909 and probably scrapped in 1911.

KD: As far as I understand, there were other Russian 1860s ironclad ships not mentioned on this wiki page. I accidentally bumped into this Minin ironclad. Could it suggest that there are other ones out there? It probably could. Will we know the exact number of the ironclad ships allegedly built in Russia in 1860s? That I doubt.
  • There is probably nothing tremendously bizarre about the Russian Navy having these ships built in the 1860s. It sure is no more weird than the Union & Confederate Navies building ironclads during the US Civil War.
  • But I do think that there was something happening starting with approximately 1850s, and that "something" we do not fully understand. We accept this "no R&D" progress like it was something natural.
  • Where was the industrial and educational infrastructure to achieve the achieved?
  • Did we inherit this tech and supporting infrastructure in a manner we possibly inherited some of the world's most beautiful buildings?
Some things I noticed in the photo of the Latnik which suggest she is not in the Baltic.
This chap is dressed as a US Marine is he not?


There is a second monitor anchored in the current.


There is clear wiping of the sky.


Even so a couple of roofs are still visible as the wiping seems very half hearted.

EDIT to add they could also be tents.


As to the use of these ships. The guns point ahead over the bows of the vessel. They have very little elevation as evidence by the slots they are in.


The only use they would have is if the ship that they were defending against were opening their guns by moving across the bow of the monitor to let off a broadside and at that point the monitor could fire her guns to disable the attacker at the water line shattering a wooden hull and loosening an iron plated one and in either case water could enter and sink the ship at best or render it unable to manoeuvrer. The profile bow on. of these monitors would make them very hard to see and even better from the monitors crews perspective not much of a target to aim at. To me they only makes sense when anchored as almost sea level gun batteries. In the dark I doubt there would be any chance of seeing them.
They would of course be vulnerable to a bigger ironclad ramming them or even moving past swiftly enough to make them spin on their anchors as in motion they would be absolutely useless as they would if there was any sort of sea state much above flat calm.
This chap is dressed as a US Marine is he not?

I am not sure what uniforms US Marines had in 1860s. Internet says they looked like this, but the linked photo appears staged. The headgear definitely resembles a campaign hat.


I don't think that Russian Imperial navy had this type of campaign hats.
I've found a lot of information about the monitors in Russian but have yet to translate it however on the uniform front this is the nearest I've got to the uniform of the chap on the Latnik. He is labelled policeman, his hat is different, although that to is very 'civil war' looking but at least the light pants and dark jacket with leather belt are similar.

Russian People in the 1860s (67).jpeg
I hear you. I doubt there is enough info out there to figure the actual ships.

I do get this feeling that Russia and USA were operating under the same management though. This is such a rabbit hole.
It's not rabbit holes old man just pissed off with liars and their lies to be brutally honest.
Imperial Russia, France the 'Union' were as far as I can tell interchangeable.
Here's an illustration of the problems with this ironclad history.

First the Russian site - Source
The Miantonomo itself was a triumph of steampunk: no masts, two armored turrets, each with two 15-inch Dahlgren guns firing 450 pounds of shells, armor up to 250 mm thick, in general - a real killing machine.

Then a British site - Source
The Miantonoma was a twin-turreted monitor, carrying two of Parrot’s 480 pounder smooth-bore.
Which one if either has the truth of it.

The monitor must have been towed and must have been sealed up tight as a drum and must have had favourable weather for such a crossing or it could actually built in St Petersburg or by one of the two British owned private shipyards, one in Russia and one in Belgium and passed off as the USS Miantonomoh by simply sending the original as far as Newfoundland then sending the two steamers which were capable of an Atlantic crossing over to the Baltic where they met up with the Miantonomoh's doppelgänger which was then passed off as the real mcoy.

It would have been much less riskier and far easier to send the plans over to the shipyard than sending the shallow sea monitor into the deep blue ocean even if it was in the care of two steamships.
Tracking down people who might better inform me about the politics of our times, I spent some time listening to the podcasts of Ryan Dawson. He is moderately interesting in this regard. But he is a Southerner. He gets very excited about succession and especially excited about the Civil War. I listened to this one, Civil War Greatest Battle No One Heard Of. Unfortunately, I can't get it to load right now. (Bitchutte is popular with all those kicked off youtube). In any case, I thought the story was very strange, having read through SH for over a year. One thing I recall about the yarn he spun is that this battle was one of the few actually won by the Rebels. The story is full of the usual pathos. The union soldiers were raping local women and stealing the crops and loaded with all sorts of technology. But us (as he told it) plucky Rebels outsmarted them and outfought them. But absolutely key to the whole adventure was that the good old boys constructed an ironclad in a corn field upriver from the two forts the Union held. They sailed down the river one night (after the corn field flooded, of course) and surprised the union ships in the bay....I kept thinking: Who could write this kind of thing? Is there any evidence? But people like Dawson will die on that hill, as it were. A type of religion.

(Sorry I can't get the name of the battle and the details. Maybe it will load for the reader of this note).
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A bit about hats and pants.

Around this period, a uniform was introduced in the form of a light gray work robe.


Also, for sailors, they introduced insulated jackets (pea jacket) of a dark color.

A sailor in a light robe and pea jacket looked something like this.


Now about the hats.

1 (1)_2.jpg

Sailors of the Guards Crew 1859.

From 1852 to 1872, the lower ranks of the navy wore a peakless cap without a ribbon, and in a dress uniform - a round lacquered hat with a ribbon, which was later transferred to a peakless cap.

In general, I see a sailor who, in his everyday uniform, put on a dress hat.
In light of what cemen has provided then it looks as though the chap is the duty guard all dressed up for the ghostly dignitaries inspection.
This post in the archive shows that the Russians likely had sight and knowledge of ironclads whilst the squadron was in San Francisco during the years of the civil war.

Searching gibiru only one single entry came up for the search string Адмирал андрей попов поповкас in english "Admiral Andrei Popov popovkas" and it was wikiliar!

Russian ships in San Francisco


The ships of the squadron of Rear Admiral A.A. Popova on the roads of San Francisco. From left to right: the corvettes "Rynda", "Bogatyr" and "Kalevala" (from the album "Remembering the Russian Imperial Fleet" M., 2001).

Monitor history in San Francisco

Went there just to see if popov would have seen one. popov was there 1863-4 we are told and the comanche was assembled in 1863 so it is highly likely popov witnessed the asseembly process himself and highly likely he had engineers in his ships capble of recording the process.Given the reason for the russian ships presence it is not unreasonable to argue the russians would have had full access to the assembly process of the comanche.


The USS Comanche (above), a single turret Monitor was constructed, then disassembled to be shipped to San Francisco aboard the cargo vessel Aquila; she was the first Monitor to arrive on the Bay. Upon arrival in November 1863 the Aquila sunk, and the Comanche had to be retrieved from the waters of the Bay before assembly. She went into commission in May 1865, just after the end of the Civil War. This ship carried two 15 inch Dahlgren muzzle-loading smoothbore cannons in one turret.

Then the question arose why send this specific russian admiral?

This site has some clues. Translation by google translate.

Legendary shipbuilder Admiral Andrei Popov was born on September 22, 1821 in St. Petersburg into the family of a nobleman, manager of the Okhta shipyard, a famous shipbuilder, Major General Alexander A. Popov.
Since childhood, Andrew stood out among other boys unusual curiosity and perseverance. In addition, the boy spent days on end in the attic, where he read out old books, especially about the sea. Leafing through the dilapidated pages, the future shipbuilder mentally went to the Around the World and made arctic campaigns. Interest in the history of the Russian fleet at an early age led Popov to the Naval Cadet Corps, which he successfully completed in 1838.Seventeen-year-old Andrei Popov was sent to the 32nd naval crew in the Black Sea Fleet. As part of this compound, midshipman Popov participated in hostilities in the Caucasus, and after that, with the rank of lieutenant, he served on ships of the Black Sea. Soon an experienced officer was authorized to command his first ship. So Popov became commander of the auxiliary cruiser "Meteor".

In 1853, before the beginning of the Crimean War, Lieutenant Commander Popov received an important order. He was seconded to Constantinople to collect data on the fortifications of the Bosphorus, but in May of that year provocation by the British led to the rupture of diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey and on October 11, 1853 the war began.
In September 1854, in the period of the heroic defense of Sevastopol, Lieutenant Commander Popov was appointed special commission officer under Admiral Nakhimov and Admiral Kornilov. From that moment on, both renowned naval commanders became the role model for the young officer. And then Popov made his first feat. One September night, the frigate Taman left the besieged Sevastopol under the command of Popov without signal lights. Skillfully maneuvering between the invaders' ships, he arrived safely at the port of Odessa. Having received a secret cargo for the besieged city, Popov successfully delivered him to his destination. For the brilliant execution of the order, Andrei Popov was given the extraordinary rank of Captain 2 ranks.

During the Crimean War, Popov, on the frigates "Elbrus", "Andiya" and "Turk", carried out raids on the Black Sea, defeated six Turkish transports.

During the defense of Sevastopol in 1855, dismantled naval guns were installed at the coastal bastions. It was Popov who led the installation of naval cannons at the fortifications of Sevastopol, and soon he was already in charge of artillery ammunition in the entire defensive line of the city. So the officer had the opportunity to show his character as an engineer and inventor. To block the enemy’s entry into the Sevastopol raid, Popov equipped two firefighters and adapted naval artillery to ground defenses. For innovation and courage, the engineer was awarded the Order and the weapon of name. Starting the company captain-lieutenant, Popov finished her in the rank of captain 1 rank.

In 1856, Popov was appointed to the post of chief of staff of the port of Kronstadt, where he remained until 1858. In the same period, Andrei Alexandrovich was in the shipbuilding committee and under his patronage new military ships were built at the Arkhangelsk shipyard. Under his command, including ship designs, 14 screw corvettes and 12 clippers were built, and in the era of the development of the steam fleet, Popov made a huge contribution to its creation. Combining the skills of the commander and shipbuilder Popov, together with Makarov, developed the first samples of ship mines - a formidable and completely new weapon of the time.

In the period from 1858 to 1861, a detachment consisting of two corvettes and one clipper, under the command of Popov, made the transition from Kronstadt to the Sea of Japan, where he conducted research off the coast of Russian Primorye. At the end of the campaign, the naval commander was promoted to rear admirals. Later, Popov was elected a full member of the Marine Scientific Committee and was engaged in converting sailing ships into screw clippers. In the same year, the shipbuilder was appointed commander of the Pacific Squadron, which made a number of successful campaigns to the shores of Great Britain and the United States.

Strangely enough, but the sea voyage to the shores of America had an enormous political significance, both for Russia and for the USA. The fact is that at the height of the American civil war, the arrival of the Russian squadron formulated open assistance to the federal government of President Lincoln in the struggle against the “southerners” and possible intervention by Britain and France. In addition, when the Russian Empire itself was on the verge of another military conflict with England and France, the march of Russian ships to the shores of North America showed the power of the reviving Russian military fleet after the defeat in the Crimean campaign.

Admiral Popov commanded the Pacific squadron until 1864, and after a long voyage, returning to the port of Kronstadt, he took up the problem of shipbuilding closely, for which he often went abroad to gain experience in military shipbuilding. The result of hard work was the laying in 1869 of the paramilitary battleship "Cruiser" at the shipyard of the Galerny Island in St. Petersburg. In 1867, Admiral Popov became the representative of the Shipbuilding Department of the Marine Technical Committee, and actively promoted the need to build a Russian steam armored military fleet. At this time, he personally developed a number of original ship projects, including the famous battleship Cruiser, later renamed Peter the Great. Its distinctive feature was the hydraulic system for lifting the guns and turning the towers. Later, Admiral Popov put forward the idea of creating armored cruisers, which subsequently received the classification "rank 1 cruisers". This idea was immediately picked up by many foreign maritime powers.

In the period from 1869 to 1870, Admiral Popov led the construction of armored frigates, which marked the beginning of the creation of a new class of ships — an armored cruiser, the first of which was the General-Admiral, launched in 1872.

At this time, Popov was promoted to vice admirals. Then he became a member of the Admiralty. The famous shipbuilder here creates completely new types of ships. Admiral Popov proposed the construction of round armored ships with a large displacement and low draft. His firstborn was the ship "Novgorod". This was followed by a series of round courts, which were comically called “popovka” in honor of their creator.

So he was in America not just San Francisco an experienced and successful sailor who was born into shipbuilding and engineering. The perfect man to have a round when the comanche was being assembled.

Missed this bit from the bottom of the page.

Until 1891, when Popov was promoted to full admirals, he headed the design of the first Russian destroyers, oversaw the conversion of the “Europe”, “Asia” and “Africa” merchant ships into cruisers, and also directed the design of the semi-lightweight frigates “Dmitry Donskoy” and “ Vladimir Monomakh ”, the construction of which was completed in 1899 after the death of the admiral. Andrei Alexandrovich Popov died in 1898 and was buried at the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery in St. Petersburg.

Admiral Andrei Alexandrovich Popov was a talented and highly educated man who devoted his entire life to shipbuilding. Though they called him an eccentric admiral for round ships, the contribution of this gifted person and remarkable naval commander to the creation of an armored and cruising fleet of Russia is undoubtedly.
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