Aurora, has a couple of meanings it can mean the great lights seen twisting and turning in the night skies of the north, or it can mean sunrise, or it can in fact mean the roman goddess of the dawn. So Aurora is an interestingly ambiguous name to give to a naval cruiser. On the other hand she was laid down in St Petersburg, so maybe the first meaning is closest to the mark. Aurora’s most famous for firing the first shot in the assault on the Winter Palace that kicked off the October revolution, she also fought at the battle of Tsushima, where she covered the retreat of the fleet and subsequently broke through the Japanese lines to Manilla*.

She is, along with the Mikasa (Adm. Togo’s flagship) the only survivor of Tsushima, and the USS Olympus in Philadelphia, she’s one of the few remaining pre-dreadnought warships still afloat. Oh and her guns were also used in the defence of Petrograd, so you can understand why the old lady is treasured the way she is 🙂

After the Aurora our day was pretty much done and we walked through the winter darkened backstreets to Gorkovskaya metro and then home.

*Guess who picked the Russo-Japanese war as an essay topic at the Naval College.

On the ice of Neva

Standing on the ice of Neva. On our way to the Aurora we decided we’d see whether the the ice was thick enough to take our weight. Yep, it was, though I wouldn’t guarantee it out in the centre of the channel. 🙂

The Aurora, a protected cruiser (that means lightly armoured).

The Aurora, a protected cruiser (meaning lightly armoured). Three funnels and ventilators so that’s three boilers down in the engine rooms, secondary armament along the side and note the ram style bow, all typical warship thinking of the period.

looking forward from the aft gangway

Looking forward from the aft gangway


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