Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Sebastopol Uprising Of 1905

I am no history buff, and I certainly didn't cover this in my History GCSE, but I do have most of the scripts of ‘The Mary Whitehouse Experience’ and ‘Baddiel and Newman In Pieces’ indelibly etched on my mind. Having recently been reading about the problems in the former USSR I had a brief flashback to this period the other day that left me asking myself the question: Was the Sebastopol Uprising the birthplace of the Russian Revolution?

Well it appears that city of Sebastopol is a port in the Ukraine on the coast of the Black Sea. Sebastopol has been a key naval base throughout history from the Crimean War through World War Two and even today. The port is currently leased to the Russians and they used it to stage part of the August assault on Georgia. This has led to the Ukrainians stating that the lease will not be renewed after its expiration in 2017.

As for the Russian revolution it does appear that the Sebastopol uprising in 1905 can be seen as a precursor to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In October 1905 a part of the Russian fleet rebelled against the Emperor and led a fleet only slightly smaller than the remainder of the government forces. They were roundly defeated and the ringleaders executed (see more here).

It was earlier in the year that the Battleship Potemkin had suffered its own uprising that was later to be dramatised in the film Battleship Potemkin, directed by Sergei Eisenstein in 1925. This was designed as a piece of revolutionary propaganda and contains the famous and incendiary scene on the Odessa Steps where women and children are killed by Russian forces. Of the sailors on board the Potemkin in 1905, Ivan Beshoff made it to Ireland and set up a fish and chip shop, Beshoff's.

I think that is quite enough for now.

No comments: