Sevastopol Mutiny of 1905

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sevastopol’ Mutiny of 1905

 

a major armed revolt in the Black Sea Fleet during the Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia. The Sevastopol’ mutiny of 1905 broke out spontaneously on November 11, as the fleet command attempted to take reprisals against those who had been present at a meeting of many thousands of sailors and soldiers. It spread to more than 2,000 soldiers, port workers, and seamen stationed on shore. The Social Democratic organization in Sevastopol’ tried to impart some organization to the premature outbreak. On November 12 the insurgents were joined by the crews of the cruiser Ochakov and the battleship St. Panteleimon (formerly the Potemkin), led by members of the Social Democratic military organization, including the Bolshevik seamen A. I. Gladkov, N. G. Antonenko. and S. P. Chastnik. The insurgents elected a soviet of sailors’, soldiers’, and workers’ deputies (chairman, I. P. Voronitsyn), which presented the following demands to the tsarist government: the calling of a constituent assembly, the establishment of a republic, an eight-hour workday, a shorter period of military service, and better conditions of military service.

The mutiny was led by P. P. Shmidt, who boarded the Ochakov on November 14. By midday on November 15 he had 12 ships, with crews totaling 2,000 men, under his command; however, the ships had been disarmed on the eve of the mutiny. The Bolsheviks tried to turn the mutiny into an armed insurrection. However, the passive and defensive tactics of the soviet enabled the government to assemble as many as 10,000 troops in punitive detachments at Sevastopol’ and to make use of the 22 warships that remained loyal to the tsar in order to crush the mutiny. More than 2,000 participants were arrested on land and sea. More than 300 were court-martialed, and more than 1,000 were punished without trial. Lieutenant Shmidt and seamen Gladkov, Antonenko, and Chastnik were sentenced to death and shot on Mar. 6, 1906, on the island of Berezan’.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. “Voisko i revoliutsiia.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 12.
Lenin, V. I. “Chashki vesov kolebliutsia.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 12.
Sevastopol’skoe vooruzhennoe vosstanie ν noiabre 1905 g.: Dokumenty i materialy. Moscow, 1957.

M. IA. POPOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.