Mikhail Lazarev

Mikhail Lazarev
Portrait of Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev

Admiral Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev (Russian: Михаил Петрович Лазарев, November 3, 1788 – April 11, 1851) was a Russian fleet commander and explorer who discovered Antarctica.


Education and early career

Lazarev was born in Vladimir, a scion of the old Russian nobility from the Vladimir province.[1] In 1800, he enrolled in Russia's Naval College. Three years later he was sent to the British fleet, where he would stay for a continuous five-year navigation. From 1808 to 1813, Lazarev served in the Baltic Fleet. He took part in the Russo-Swedish War of 1808-1809 and Patriotic War of 1812.

Career as an explorer

Lazarev first circumnavigated the globe in 1813-1816, aboard the vessel Suvorov; the expedition began at Kronstadt and reached Alaska. During this voyage, Lazarev discovered the Suvorov Atoll.

As a commander of the ship Mirny and Fabian von Bellingshausen's deputy on his world cruise in 1819-1821, Lazarev took part in the discovery of Antarctica and numerous islands. On January 28, 1820 the expedition discovered the Antarctic mainland, approaching the Antarctic coast at the coordinates 69°21′28″S 2°14′50″W / 69.35778°S 2.24722°W / -69.35778; -2.24722 and seeing ice-fields there.

In 1822-1825, Lazarev circumnavigated the globe for the third time on his frigate Kreyser, conducting broad research in the fields of meteorology and ethnography.

Wartime commands

In 1826, Lazarev became commander of the ship Azov, which would sail to the Mediterranean Sea as the flagship of the First Mediterranean Squadron under command of Admiral Login Petrovich Geiden and participated in the Battle of Navarino in 1827. Lazarev received the rank of Rear Admiral for his excellence during the battle.

In 1828-1829, he was in charge of the Dardanelles blockade.

In 1830, Lazarev returned to Kronstadt and became a commander of naval units of the Baltic Fleet. Two years later, he was made Chief of Staff of the Black Sea Fleet.

In February–June 1833, Lazarev led a Russian squadron to the Bosporus and signed the Treaty of Hunkar-Iskelesi with Turkey. In 1833, Lazarev was appointed Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, the Black Sea ports, and also military governor of Sevastopol and Nikolayev.

Influence and legacy

Admiral Lazarev was influential both in technical matters and as a mentor to younger officers. He advocated the creation of a steam-powered fleet, but Russia's technical and economical backwardness was a major hindrance to this. He also tutored a number of the Russian fleet commanders, including Pavel Nakhimov, Vladimir Kornilov, Vladimir Istomin, and Grigory Butakov.

An atoll in the Pacific Ocean, capes in the Amur Liman and on the Unimak Island, a former island in the Aral Sea, a bay[citation needed] and a port[citation needed] in the Sea of Japan, bay and sea in the South Ocean, a settlement near Sochi and other locations bear Lazarev's name.

Several ships were named after the Admiral:

Lazarev is buried with his disciples Nakhimov, Kornilov and Istomin in the Admirals' Burial Vault in Sevastopol. A minor planet 3660 Lazarev, discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh in 1978, is named after him.[2]

Honours and awards

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.

References and notes

  1. ^ V.V. Rummel, V.V. Golubtsov, Rodoslovnyi sbornik russkikh dvorianskikh familii, vol. 1, Sankt Petersburg, 1886, p. 504. The Russian noble family Lazarevs shall not be confused with the Armenian family Lazariants who russified their surname from Lazariants into Lazarevs.
  2. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 308. ISBN 3-540-00238-3. http://books.google.com/books?q=3659+Bellingshausen+1969+TE2. 

External links

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