Russia: The Officers of the Baltic Fleet
This chapter traces the evolution of the administration and officer corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet from its establishment by Peter the Great through the reign of Catherine the Great. It emphasizes the role that foreign-born officers played in its development, the efforts to recruit and train native-born Russian officers, and the deployment of the navy across the century’s wars. Peter the Great’s vision for the navy proved difficult to sustain and subsequent administrations struggled to find funds for it. Manning and revenue problems undermined its effectiveness, and foreign-born officers continued to play important roles right up until the end of the century.