London Times, 12 September 1913, p. 6: THE RUSSIAN NAVAL VISIT. OBJECT OF THE CRUISE. The announcement made in The Times of yesterday that a Russian naval squadron, under the command of Admiral von Essen, is to pay a visit to Portland next week has caused widespread interest. It must be many years since such a powerful squadron of the Russian Navy visited an English port. There have been several visits of divisions of ships employed on training duties to Portsmouth or Plymouth, but rarely has the number of vessels exceeded three. In the squadron which will be at Portland from Sunday to Friday next there are 14 units, including nine battleships and cruisers – practically the whole of the effective strength of the Russian Fleet in the Baltic. This fact, and the personality of the admiral who is in command, will make the occasion a notable one. At the expressed desire of the Russian authorities, however, the visit is to be regarded as a private one, and for that reason it is unlikely that there will be any other entertaining of the officers and men than that accorded them by the British warships at Portland.

It was at first understood that the squadron was coming to return the visit of the British Second Cruiser Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir George Warrender, to Reval, in October 1912, but this is apparently not the case. The visit seems rather to correspond to that of the First and Second Squadrons of the United States Atlantic Fleet to Portland in November and December, 1910, which was made in the course of a cruise undertaken to afford opportunities of training for the officers and men and of trial for the ships and their equipment. As the Special Correspondent of The Times wrote in describing the arrival of the American vessels, “The visit is not indended to be official, and Admiral Schroeder is anxious that, while there shall be plenty of liberty for his men, they shall not be too much fêted. The object of these long cruises appears to be that of getting a real good disciplinary grip over the personnel of the Navy.”

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin