Vasily Golovnin

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Vasily (Vassili) Mikhailovich Golovnin (Головнин, Василий Михайлович in Russian) (4.8(19).1776 6.29.(7.11).1831), Russian navigator, Vice Admiral, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg (1818).

Golovnin graduated from the Naval College in 1792. In 18011805, he served in the British fleet. On his return to Russia, Golovnin compiled a code of naval signals. He made two voyages around the world on the ships "Diana" (18071809) and "Kamchatka" (18171819). In 1811, Golovnin described and mapped the Kuril Islands from the Strait of Hope to the eastern shores of the Iturup Island (Etorofu in Japanese). While exploring the Kunashir Island (Kunashiri in Japanese), Golovnin was taken prisoner for two years by the Japanese. He described his years in captivity, life in Japan, and his voyages around the world in his books. In 1821, Golovnin was appointed assistant director of the Naval College, and later in 1823 - General Quartermaster of the Fleet. Being a highly educated person and a talanted administrator, Golovnin successfully managed activities of the shipbuilding, clothing, and artillery departments (under Golovnin's supervision, they built over 200 ships, including the first Russian steamships). Golovnin tutored a number of famous navigators like Fyodor Litke, Ferdinand Wrangel and others.

He died from cholera in 1831.

The village of Golovin, Alaska is named after Golovnin. A strait between the Kuril Islands, a mountain, a cape on Novaya Zemlya and other landmarks bear his name.de:Wassili Michailowitsch Golownin

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