Kerch Naval Battle of 1790

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kerch’ Naval Battle of 1790


a battle on July 8 (19) between the Russian and Turkish navies during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–91.

The Turkish squadron (ten battleships, eight frigates, and 36 auxiliary vessels, commanded by Capudan-Pasha Hussein) was coming from Turkey to land troops in the Crimea. During the daylight hours of July 8 (19), about 20–25 miles south of Kerch’ Strait, it met the Russian squadron (ten battleships, six frigates, one bombardier ship, and 18 auxiliary vessels, commanded by Rear Admiral F. F. Ushakov). Taking advantage of its upwind position and its superiority in artillery (1,100 guns against 860), the Turkish squadron attacked the Russian squadron on the run. By skillful maneuvering Ushakov gained an advantageous position and inflicted losses on the vanguard and center of the Turkish squadron with accurate fire at close range. Only the speed of its ships and the oncoming darkness saved the Turkish squadron from a rout. The Kerch’ naval battle of 1790 was one example of the new maneuvering tactics, the foundations of which were laid by Russian admirals G. A. Spiridov and F. F. Ushakov in the second half of the 18th century.


Admiral Ushakov: Materialy, vol. 1. Moscow, 1951.
Boevaia letopis’ russkogo flota. Moscow, 1948.
Morskoi atlas, vol. 3. [Leningrad] 1959.
Zverev, B. I. Stranitsy russkoi morskoi letopisi. Moscow, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.