1905-07-10 THE KNIAZ POTEMKIN. SURRENDER TO THE RUMANIANS

London Times, 10 July 1905, p. 5: THE KNIAZ POTEMKIN. SURRENDER TO THE RUMANIANS. CONSTANZA, JULY 9.*

            The Russian torpedo-boat which accompanied the Kniaz Potemkin has left in the direction of Odessa without surrendering, declaring that she did not mutiny, but was forced by the battleship to follow her. The crew of the Kniaz Potemkin were landed after a brief consultation, all the sailors wishing to surrender with the single exception of Matushenko, the leader of the mutiny, who resisted for some time and wished to blow up the ship. The crew declared that they wished to remain in Rumania.

            On board the battleship were found seven officers, prisoners, in a pitiable condition and suffering from ill-treatment. The officers declare that Matushenko himself killed ten officers. The cash on board, amounting to 23,000 roubles (£2,300), was shared among the 650 sailors. All the papers and books were torn up. Matushenko has left for Bukarest.

 

11 A.M.*

            The Russian battleships Sinop and Tchesme, with Admiral Krieger on board the latter, have just anchored in the roadstead here.

 

AFTERNOON.*

            The transfer of the Kniaz Potemkin to Admiral Krieger was effected this afternoon on receipt of orders from the Rumanian Government.

            I have just paid a visit to the surrendered battleship. I found everything on board in a state of wild disorder, notwithstanding the efforts made since yesterday by Rumanian soldiers to put things ship-shape. The officers’ cabins especially have been pillaged, everything worth taking having been removed. There are bloodstains everywhere. During the last few days the Kniaz Potemkin was commanded by two of her engineers and one officer, who were compelled to navigate the ship with revolvers at their heads. There was sufficient ammunition on board to enable the mutineers to make a desperate resistance and hold their own in a great engagement.

 

BUKAREST, JULY 8.

            The crew of the Kniaz Potemkin will be sent to any frontier which they may choose, and will there be set at liberty. An undertaking to this effect was given by the Rumanian authorities.

 

(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) CONSTANTINOPLE, JULY 8.

            As regards Turkey, the principal results of the mutiny of the Kniaz Potemkin have been the decline of Russian prestige and the improvement of the fortifications at the mouth of the Bosporus. The Porte has long wished to improve the defenses of Kavak, but has been afraid of wounding Russian susceptibilities. The uncertainty with regard to the movements of the Potemkin afforded a welcome opportunity, and during the last few days everything possible has been done to enable the Bosporus forts to repel an intruder. Heavy modern guns are being mounted in place of the old more or less useless cannon, and mines are being laid at the entrance of the channel. 

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin

 

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