Russian cruiser Almaz

Almaz (Russian: Алмаз; literally "Diamond") was a 2nd-class cruiser in the Imperial Russian Navy, built by Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg, Russia,[1] as a yacht for Viceroy Yevgeni Alekseyev,[2]

Class overview
Operators:  Imperial Russian Navy
Preceded by: Pamiat Merkuria
Succeeded by: None
Built: 1902–1903
In service: 1903–1934
In commission: 1903–1920
Planned: 1
Completed: 1
Scrapped: 1
Russian Empire
Name: Almaz (Russian: Алмаз)
Namesake: Diamond
Operator: Imperial Russian Navy
Builder: Baltic Works, Saint Petersburg
Laid down: 25 September 1902[Note 1]
Launched: 2 June 1903
Completed: December 1903
Reclassified: Seaplane tender, 1915
Fate: Scrapped 1934
General characteristics
Type: Unprotected cruiser
Displacement: 3,285 long tons (3,338 t)
Length: 365 ft 8 in (111.5 m) o/a
Beam: 43 ft 6 in (13.3 m)
Draught: 17 ft 3 in (5.3 m)
Installed power: 7,500 ihp (5,600 kW)
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Complement: 336
General characteristics 1915
Aircraft carried: 4 flying boats


Almaz had her first keel plate laid down at the Baltic Shipyard on 25 September 1902, in the presence of Tsar Nicholai II, Grand Duke Konstantin and King George I of Greece.[3] She was launched on 2 July 1902, and completed in December that year.

Service history

Almaz was commissioned into the Baltic Fleet in 1903. At the start of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), she was assigned to the Baltic Fleet, and was subsequently transferred to the Second Pacific Squadron, which transited the Suez Canal under the command of Admiral Dmitry von Fölkersam. On 28 May 1905, with most of the ships in the Russian fleet destroyed or captured at the Battle of Tsushima, Almaz was the only major ship to reach Vladivostok after the battle.[4] She returned to the Baltic Fleet after the war, serving as an aviso and temporarily as an imperial yacht in 1908. In 1911, after repairs, she was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet and at the start of World War I was rebuilt as a seaplane tender in 1914, carrying four seaplanes. She was at the Battle of Cape Sarych on 5 November 1914.

However, the crew of Almaz revolted in early 1918, joining the Rumcherod against the authority of the Ukrainian People's Republic and supporting the Odessa Soviet Republic. The ship became the center of a “people marine military tribunal”, where many officers of the former Imperial Russian Navy were imprisoned, tortured and executed. In September 1918, while docked as Sevastopol, Almaz was captured by the White movement forces. In 1920 she was interned at Bizerta with the remainder of Wrangel's fleet.

On 29 October 1924, she was turned over to the Soviet Union by France, and was subsequently sold to a French firm for scrap in 1934.


  1. All dates used in this article are New Style


  1. Mason, Herbert B. (1908). Encyclopaedia of Ships and Shipping. Chichester House. p. 21.
  2. Pleshakov, Konstantin (2002). The Tsar's last armada: the epic journey to the Battle of Tsushima. New York: Basic Books. p. 64. ISBN 0-465-05791-8.
  3. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36883). London. 26 September 1902. p. 8.
  4. Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5. page 34


  • Robert Gardiner, ed. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
  • Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5.
  • Layman, R. D. (1989). Before the Aircraft Carrier: The Development of Aviation Vessels 1859–1922. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-210-9.
  • Watts, Anthony J. (1990). The Imperial Russian Navy. London: Arms and Armour. ISBN 0-85368-912-1.
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