View Full Version : Variations on a Russian story

tim lewin
30-10-2007, 14:00
Two months ago the president of the Russian Financial conglomorate Metropol sponsored the placing of a memorial on the West coast of Scotland in the tiny village of Lendelfoot, Ayrshire. This was a major performance with ranks of senior Russian official, military and diplomats in attendance. The memorial was to the bravery and resistance of the crew of the Russian cruiser Varyag (try Google). Varyag was a US built cruiser later involved in the slaughter on the battle of Tsushima in 1903. Outgunned and badly mauled the captain of the Varyag decided to scuttle his ship rather than have her fall to the enemy. The surviving crew were rescued and some time later the Varyag was salved to serve in the Japanese navy as "Soya". Eventually she was sold back to the Russians who decided to have her completely refitted in the UK. Unfortunately the Revolution intervened and Varyag was forgotten until she was eventually sold for scrap to a German yard. Towing to her destiny she broke adrift and went aground where she lay for a few years before slipping off into deep water where she still lies. Remembered in poetry and song the bravery of the Varyag in further imortalised in a Scottish monument.

There must be something about the name Varyag and the far East as the second Varyag, an aircraft carries building in Ukraine for the Red Fleet was also interrupted by the next revolution. nfinnished she lay rusting in the Black Sea unti bought by a mysterious Macau casino and entertainment complex. The reality seems to be even stranger; the Chinese Navy now seem on the verge of completing the construction of the Varyag and commissioning her in the next 18 months. Take a look at www.jeffhead.com/redseadragon/varyagtransform.htm
to see some spectacular shots of the work underway.

06-02-2009, 04:50
Tim, Very interesting reading, and somewhat scary. Especially for Pacific countries, like here in New Zealand. Are they building the fleets just to match the USA Navy, or are they planning to move into "Greener Pastures", southwards?? NZ has a good relationship with China at the moment with a free trade agreement, and taking a lot of Chinese Immigrants to live and train here,----BUT???. I don't think Britain would come to our aid, if indeed She could, and we've given USA the cold shoulder with our Non Nucular ships visits, policy. I don't think they'll Nuke us though,the Chinese, we are too useful growing food. I suppose some Prayer practise would be useful in the future! Regards, Dagwood

tim lewin
06-02-2009, 05:40
thanks Dagwood, we should revisit this one and see what further progress has been made. I read a report in the English language press from Moscow a few days ago about Russia'a ambitions to have some six aircraft carriers in the nearest future. The reporter went on to say that the older designs had been discarded because they used steam turbines and the new ones would be nuclear-powered. I wonder how they think N-power actually works!

06-02-2009, 06:07
I don't know if the Non-Nuclear policy would any effect on relation's between to country's. For instance there are several port's in the U.S. that have almost the same policy, my guess that is a short term effect if any at all. There is a agreement called "Mutual Aid" in time of Crisis and most government's have sign on to this.

As for the Chinese carrier program is moving along very well. There is a flaw in the machinery of those ship's. For example, one deployment of the Russian Aircraft Carrier the evaporator's broke down with no part's to fix the problem, the USN offered to transfer potable water but the offer was turned down. The mechanical aspect's of these ship's is less than desirable let alone reliable. I would venture to say the chinese may not be very happy with the ship's reliability in the operational aspects. We will have to wait and see.


06-02-2009, 08:58
On the initial unveiling of the memorial and again in 2007 i was present at the ceremonies while onboard HMS Bangor, in 2007 we had the job of looking after a Russian destroyer in company with HMS Lancaster.
Ive attached a couple of pictures i took at the time