Russian cruiser Aurora

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Image:Aurora.jpg
Career
Laid down:1896
Launched:24 May 1900
Commissioned:29 July 1903
Fate:museum ship
Decommissioned:November 17, 1948
General Characteristics
Displacement:6731 tons
Length:126.8 m (416.0 ft)
Beam:16.8 m (55.1 ft)
Draft:7.3 m (24.0 ft)
Speed:19 knots
Complement:578
Armament:1903: eight 152 mm (6in) guns, 24 x 75 mm guns, 8 x 37 mm guns, 3 torpedo launchers

1917: fourteen 152 mm guns, 4 x 76 mm AA guns, MG's, 3 torpedo launchers

The Aurora (Russian: Авро́ра; English transliteration: Avrora) is a Russian protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in St. Petersburg. She became a symbol of the communist revolution in Russia.

She was one of three Diana-class cruisers, built in St. Petersburg for a service in the Far East (on the Pacific). The keel of the Aurora was laid on May 23, 1897, in St Petersburg. All the ships served during the Russo-Japanese War (the other two ships of the class, Diana and Pallada, were sunk by the Japanese in Port Arthur in 1904).

Missing image
Aurora_1903.jpg
Aurora in 1903

Aurora was part of the Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron, which was sent from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific, under the command of Admiral Rozhestvenski. On 27 and 28 May 1905, Aurora took part in the battle of Tsushima, along with the rest of the Russian squadron. Aurora managed to avoid being destroyed unlike the majority of the Russian vessels, and with two other cruisers broke through to a neutral Manila, where she was interned.

In 1906, the Aurora returned to the Baltic and became a cadet training ship. Then, she served in the First World War. In 1915 her armament was changed to fourteen 152 mm (6in) guns. At the end of 1916, the ship was moved to Saint Petersburg (then: Petrograd) for a major repair. The city was brimming with revolutionary ferment and part of her crew joined the Bourgeois 1917 February Revolution. A revolutionary committee was created on the ship (Aleksandr Belyshev was elected its captain). Most of the crew joined the Bolsheviks, who were preparing for a communist revolution.

On (o.s.) 25 October (= n.s. 7 November) 1917, at 9.45 p.m., a blank shot from her forecastle gun signalled the start of the attack on the Winter Palace, which was to be the first episode of the communist Russian Revolution. Aurora's crew actually took part in the events of that night.

In 1922, The Aurora was brought to service again as a training ship. During World War II, the guns were taken from the ship and used for land defence of Leningrad. The ship itself was docked in Oranienbaum port, and was repeatedly shelled and bombed. On 30 September 1941 she was damaged and sunk in the harbour.

Missing image
Aurora_cruiser.jpg
Aurora in 2004

After extensive repairs in 1945-1947, Aurora was permanently anchored on the Neva in Leningrad (currently: St. Petersburg) as a monument to the Great October Socialist Revolution and in 1957 became a museum-ship. In 1984-87, the ship was reconstructed, including the replacement of the entire hull below the waterline and new funnels and masts. From 1956 to the present day, more than 28 million people have visited Aurora.

On November 2, 1927, Aurora was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for its revolutionary merits and on February 22, 1968 - the Order of the October Revolution.de:Panzerkreuzer Aurora fr:Croiseur Aurore pl:Aurora (okręt) ru:Аврора (крейсер)

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