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Russian Fleet Officers: 1893

Russian Fleet Officers: 1893

New York, 1893. "Officers of Russian fleet, Columbian Naval Review." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Grand Duke/Vice-Admiral Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia

I think "jsmakbkr" is onto something; the picture below is a later photo known to depict Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, who had a distinguised career in the Imperial navy, and in which he eventually attained the rank of Vice-admiral.

After the czarist government fell, he escaped to France and died there in 1933. (Most of the modern remnants of the Romanov dynasty are descended through his bloodline.)

Also noteworthy in the crew photograph are the ribbons on the sailors' hats which read, "Admiral Nakhimov Cadet School," a St. Petersburg military academy.

This was likely a port call by the heavy cruiser "Dmitri Donskoi," which was making a 'round-the-world trek in observance of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage of discovery in 1492. Was this visit intended to be part of the Colombian Exposition?

I wonder how many of these crewmembers made a career of the Imperial Navy, and how many of them perished during the Russo-Japanese War a decade later?


The older seated gentleman with white hair, a dark coat, white vest, watch chain and a mustache with an incredible wingspan, would seem to match this photograph of of a somewhat older Admiral Nikola I. Kaznakov in the Russian edition of Wikipedia:


According to several articles and books about the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the Russian fleet was represented in the Exposition's International Naval Review by Vice-Admiral N. I. Kaznakov's flagship, armored cruiser "Dmitrii Donskoi," the armored cruiser "General Admiral," and the corvette "Rynda." Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, first cousin and future brother-in-law of future Tsar Nicholas II, was Kaznakov's second-in-command. He was feted at a ball in Manhattan in May 1893. Photographs of the Duke reflect that, as a young adult, he had a striking resemblance to Nicholas (as well as to Nicholas's cousin, Britain's future King George V).

Could the Duke be the white-suited officer near the center of the photo, leaning on the right arm of the chair of the older seated gentleman with white hair, a dark coat, white vest, watch chain and a mustache with an incredible wingspan?

And not a sober one amongst them

At least the extremely relaxed swabbies up front put aside their drinks before taking the photo, as opposed to some of the gents in the rear.

In Czarist Russia

Sailors don't wear beards; beards wear sailors.

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