Return to Index page
28/09/2023 - Having redone the Russian and some of the American ships that populate the Venezuelan Navy it is time I redid the drawings that go with the arrival of Wrangel's Fleet and sourcing ships from the US. Looking through the drawings showed how far my drawing skills and those of others have come in the 11 years since I did the original Venezuelan drawings. Hopefully I can get some better results.
One of the worlds 'interesting' moments occurred in 1920 with the departure of "Wrangels Fleet" from Sevastopol accross the Black Sea and through the Bosphorus then down the Mediterranean to end up at Bizerte in French Tunisia in 1920/21. I am all for rescuing displaced persons and these White Russians should be no different. I have had a problem with where to have them go to with their fleet which would be acceptable to both sides. Whichever country it was to be had to be outside of Europe or Asia where the Soviets could not bring direct pressure for the return of the 'Fleet' at a later date. The country has to be a far right wing governed area that would accept 'royalists' without fear of them trying to take over their country. Unfortunately Russia does not have any overseas colonies that I could send the fleet to. Central and/or South America has to be the destination of choice and then the country has to be 'rich' enough to be able to make use of the 'fleet' of ships. It really came down to 2 choices for me, either Mexico or Venezuela. Mexico already had displaced Russians there, with Karl Marx being in exile and eventually murdered there. So that ruled Mexico out and left me with Venezuela.
Wrangel's Fleet (This is the information from Wiki on the original Wrangel's Fleet)
What was available to the White Fleet in 1918-1920 were 2 battleships of the Imperatritsa Mariya class, one near completed battleship, 3-4 pre-dreadnoughts, Armoured cruisers, light cruisers, destroyers, submarines, gunboats and merchantmen from liners to coasters.
The White Russians trapped in the Crimea knew what awaited them when the Soviets arrived. Death followed the Soviets like a black cloud. So they had a great incentive to decamp and emigrate to another country. The White Russians also required as much finance as they could raise to evacuate the citizenry, then clothe and feed them till they could relocate to a final destination. They stripped the Crimea of everything that could be loaded onto the convoy of ships at Sevastopol.
The first move of the Fleet was to Turkish waters where the last minute rush was then able to be sorted into more comfortable arrangements. Feelers were then sent out by the White Russians to their countries of choice with requests for asylum for the 50 odd ships and over 100,000 men, women and children aboard them. Rejection after rejection arrived by telegraph and the list dwindled down to those countries which were of a marginal choice. In December 1920 an emissary from the Venezuelans arrived requesting an audience with the White Russian leadership. The Venezuelans spent the next week interviewing and inspecting the ships, their crews and the general population as to their skills.
The Venezuelans arranged with the White Russian leaders that Venezuela would offer everyone on the fleet that wished to come to Venezuela asylum and citizenship on their arrival in Venezuela. The Venezuelans would also purchase any ships from the "White Russian Government" that arrived in Venezuelan waters, the monies from these purchases would be disbursed amongst all of the immigrants at a rate to be worked out with the White Russian Government. Everyone that arrived in Venezuela would have a stake to start off their new life with. 98% of the people decided to accept this offer. The last 2% went to France.
In one stroke the Venezuelans went from a 3rd-4th division country to equal with the Brazils and Chiles of South America. With what amounted to over 2-3 divisions of infantry and cavalry (very few horses survived - most got eaten) and a complete 'Navy' to add to their Armed Forces the Venezuelans cast eyes around their near neighbours to see what could be added to their country while they still had the edge the White Russian units gave them.
Over half a million Venezuelans lined the shore and vantage points around Puerto Cabello to welcome the new Venezuelan Navies arrival.
Page Address (Click on thumbnail for page view)
|BAV Caracas (CVE)||2||1910|
|BAV Zulia (CV)||1||1928|
|BAV Tachira (CV)||3||1942-43|
Battleships / Battlecruisers / Pre-Dreadnoughts
|BAV Maracaibo (BB)||3||1915+|
|BAV Maturin (BB)||1||1925|
|BAV Trujillo (BC)||1||1929|
|BAV Anzoategui (BC)||1||1936|
|BAV Venezuela (BB)||1||1940|
|BAV Amacuro (BB)||1||1941|
|BAV Bolivar (BB)||2||1942-43|
Armoured / Heavy / Light Cruisers
|BAV Carabobo (CLA)||
|BAV Sucre (CB)||1||1940|
|BAV Falcon (CA)||3||1936/37|
|BAV Amazonas (SC/CLA)||4||1926-27|
|BAV Yaracuy (CL)||2||1935+|
|BAV Valencia (CA)||2||1927-28|
|BAV Merida (ACR)||1||1917|
|BAV Aragua (CL)||2||1917|
|BAV Nueva Esparta (ACR)||1||1910|
|BAV Caracas (ACR)||4||1910|
|Old cruisers scrapped 1930||2||1905+|
|BAV San Cristobal (TB)||4||1916|
|BAV Guanare (DD)||7||1916+|
|BAV San Carlos (DD)||42||1927+|
|BAV Barquisimeto (DD)||8||1939+|
|BAV Cumana (DDL)||4||1941+|
|BAV Caracas (ADV)||2||1910|
|BAV Nueva Esparta (ADV)||1||1910|
|BAV Angel Falls (MS/ES)||24||1942+|
The whole premise for Venezuela and Wrangel's Fleet is for the Russian immigrants to improve the infrastructure to the point where the Navy can build, armour, and arm ships of all sizes. They have the luxury of starting with many major parts (guns, armour etc) to start building minor vessels and slowly work up the ladder to major vessels as infrastructure improves over time.
Return to Index page