Venezuela

   

Return to Index page

 

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.

Wrangels Fleet   (This is the information from Wiki on the original Wrangels 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 assylum 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 assylum 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.

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.

 

Venezuela  (BAV)

Class Name

No.

First Date

Page Address (Click on thumbnail for page view)

Aircraft Carriers

BAV Zulia (exBB/CV) 1 1917/28
Tachira (CV) 1 1940

Battleships / Battlecruisers / Pre-Dreadnoughts

BAV Maracaibo (BB) 2 1915+
BAV Trujillo (BC) 1 1929
BAV Anzoategui (BC) 1 1934
BAV Amacuro (BC) 1 1940

Armoured / Heavy / Light Cruisers

BAV Carabobo (CLA)

2

1940

BAV Falcon (CB) 1 1936
BAV Amazonas (CA) 1 1933
BAV Yaracuy (CL) 2 1926+
BAV Merida (AC) 1 1917
BAV Aragua (CL) 2 1915
BAV Nueva Esparta (AC) 1 1908
BAV Bolivar (CL) 2 1906
BAV Caracas (AC) 2 1905
BAV Sucre (CL) 2 1905+

Destroyers

San Cristobal (DDE) 9 1914+
Guanare (DD) 7 1916+
San Carlos (DD) 4 1927+
Barquisimeto (DD) 12 1934+
Cumana (DDL) 4 1938+

Miscelaneous

Angel Falls (MS/ES) 24 1940+

The Venezuelan Navy can do basic maintenance on its ships at the main base of Puerto Cabello. Any major reconstruction work (that requires work with armour plate) is usually sourced in the United States as being the closest major power with the required facilities. The Naval yard is upgraded slowly by the Russian immigrants till the normal refits can be carried out and light vessels up to destroyer (unarmoured) size can be built. The Navy also starts an arsenal to produce the small arms up to the 5.1" while the armoury starts producing the shells for the fleet. Various guns and turrets are licensed for use from countries as diverse as the US to the Netherlands.

 

Return to Index page