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Essen, Nikolai Ottovich
Born Dec. 11 (23), 1860, in St. Petersburg; died May 7 (20), 1915, in Tallinn. Russian admiral (1913).
Essen graduated from the Naval Cadet Corps in 1880 and the Naval Academy in 1886. He joined the 1st Pacific Ocean Squadron in 1902 and commanded the cruiser Novik. After assuming command of the squadron ironclad Sevastopol’ in 1904, Essen took part in the defense of Port Arthur. He served as chief of the 1st Mine Division of the Baltic Fleet from 1906 to 1908. An advocate of the ideas of Admiral S. O. Makarov, Essen transformed the division into a unique school through which most of the ship and unit commanders of the fleet passed. Essen was named chief of the combined detachments of the Baltic Fleet in 1908, chief of the Baltic Naval Forces in 1909, and commander of the Baltic Fleet in 1911.
Essen directed the drafting of a plan of operations to be used by the Baltic Fleet in the event of a war. The plan, which provided for the creation of a system of mine-artillery positions in the Gulf of Finland and for coordinated actions with ground forces, was implemented after the outbreak of World War I. As a result, the Germany Navy suffered heavy losses, and its operational effectiveness was impaired.