‘Holy spirit’ and ‘courier’

‘Holy spirit’ and ‘courier’

Vadim Kulinchenko ,

Three hundred and twenty years ago, the foundation was laid for the very first of the Russian fleets – the Baltic Fleet. And although it was not yet the construction of ships for the Baltic, but to gain dominance on Lake Ladoga, the beginning was laid here.
In 1702, in the Novgorod region, at a newly created shipyard, they began building warships. The beginning of this was laid by the decree of Peter 1 of January 22 (February 2) of the same year: “… in defense and repulse against the enemy Svean (Swedish – V.K.) troops on Lake Ladoga, make military 6 ships of 18 guns … on the Syasi River … “But this decree of Peter 1 cannot be considered an order by which the creation of the Russian Baltic Fleet began. The decree itself sa-ys that the six ships planned for construction were inte-nded for operations on La-doga against the Swedish flotilla, without the defeat of which it was impossible to take Oreshek.
To establish the state shi-pyard at Syasi, they chose a section of the river near its confluence with Lake Ladoga. The lower reaches of the Syasi were deep enough for escorting even large ships. The new shipyard was almost entirely provided by local workers. The shipyard was supplied from the central regions of the country through the Admiralty Order in Moscow. The financing of the shipyard was initially assigned to the Novgorod City Hall. Work on the creation of the shipyard itself near the Syaskoye Ustye began in February 1702. In March, logging began. In less than three months, timber was harvested for all six ships, but it was damp …
Two small frigates at the Syaska shipyard were laid down already on May 1, 1-702. They were named “F-an Sas” No. 1 and No. 2, a-nd were launched in 1703. They were completed afloat.
But time was pressing. In January 1702, to repulse the Swedes on the White Sea, Peter 1 decided to build two small frigates at the Solombala shipyard.
In May 1702, on Trinity Day, both frigates were launched and received the names “Holy Spirit” and “Courier”. At this time, Peter 1 had the idea to drag these two ships overland from the White Sea to Lake Onega in order to use them against the Swedes on Ladoga.
To do this, as they would say today, research work was carried out “to describe and conduct a road water and land route” to Veliky Novgorod “capable and close.” This project was given the unspoken name “Tsar’s Road”. Interesting but different topic. On August 16, this passage of ships began, which showed the great selflessness of the Russian people during the Northern War (1700-1721). The frigates “Holy Spirit” and “Courier”, having made an unusual journey, reached Lake Onega on August 26, 1702.
But already on August 27, the Swedish flotilla of three brigantines, two galleons, shnyava and two boats (49 small guns in total) suffered a crushing defeat from Russian soldiers planted on karbas, soims and boats in the form of Cossack plows. Having lost most of the ships and more than 300 people, the Swedes left Ladoga for Vyborg. Although the small frigates brought with such difficulty from the White Sea did not have to participate in this battle, they played their role in the capture of Oreshok. During the assault on the fortress, “Holy Spirit” and “Courier” anchored at the source of the Neva and covered its northern branch.
The return on October 11, 1702 of Oreshok to the bosom of Russia, which for almost three centuries has been the guardian of the Baltic coast of Russia, significantly changed the military situation in this region. After the capture, Oreshek was renamed Schlisserburg (in German – Key – city). Prussian resident in Moscow G.I. von Keyserling, having learned about the fall of the fortress at the source of the Neva, assessed this event in a congratulatory message to the tsar: “… you, by taking this fortress for yourself, open a haven (harbour) on the Baltic Sea.”
Figuratively and accurately, it was said about the key importance of the fortress on the 17th anniversary of its capture. On October 11, 1719, at a sermon in Shlisserburg, Chief Hieromonk of the Fleet G. Buzhinsky said: “With this key, the province of Izherskaya, Korelskaya, Livonskaya is opened. This key was opened by the Baltic Sea … the prosperous beginning of the Russian fleet … “
So, the capture of Oreshok prepared the conditions for transferring the question of creating a regular fleet to the Baltic Sea into the plane of practical affairs. Now it was possible to move on to translating into reality the idea long nurtured by Peter 1 to create a fleet in the Baltic. Laid down at the end of 1702 on Syasi, two new frigates were originally intended not for Lake Ladoga, but specifically for the formation of the ship composition of the future Baltic Fleet. The first of these frigates, Ivangorod, was apparently laid down on December 1, 1702, and the second, Michael the Archangel, began to be built in the first months of 1703. These frigates were much larger ships than the first frigates built at the Syaska shipyard, laid down on May 1, 1702.
With this message, I wanted to draw the attention of readers to how the Baltic Fleet began, as well as to how big and great is born from small things!

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