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The Legendary Life of John Paul Jones

  In the 1780s, the United States Congress awarded John Paul Jones a medal, King Louis XVI of France awarded the American Sailor Medal and a golden saber, and Queen Catherine II of Russia honored Jones in Russia and Turkey. He was awarded the Order of Santa Ana for his outstanding exploits in the defeat of the Turkish fleet in the war.
  Why did the American sailors who made great contributions to the American Revolutionary War receive this international honor? Answers to the article “American Pirates – Russian Admiral” written by Yuli Korshunov published by the Russian “Universal Magazine” this problem.
  Jones was originally an Englishman, born in Scotland in 1747. At the age of 12, he went to sea as a young apprentice sailor, and at the age of 19, he became the captain’s assistant on a ship that trafficked African slaves. Despised by the slave trade, he soon left the slave-trafficking fleet and worked as a freighter captain for a few years. He immigrated to Virginia in 1773 and joined his brother who ran a small farm.
  At the beginning of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, Jones volunteered to be a captain in the United States Navy. It is rare for a merchant seaman to become a naval captain overnight. It is said that only six of the merchant seamen in the U.S. Navy have achieved this rank. Soon, Jones was ordered to command a 12-gun warship “Destiny” (also translated as “Providence”) began fighting with the British colonial army.
  Four months of fighting, he captured 16 British ships, one of which was loaded with a large amount of money, which was the pay of the British colonial army. This resulted in a heavy loss to the Royal Bank of England, estimated to be worth millions of dollars at the time.
  On April 14, 1777, the U.S. Congress passed two resolutions: First, the flag of the United States of America, consisting of 13 states, consists of thirteen red and white stripes, with 13 stars on a blue background in the upper left corner, symbolizing the Alliance of 13 states. Second, the appointment of Captain John Paul Jones as captain of the USS Rangers.
  Later, Jones quipped: “I and the flag are twins, we were born at the same hour.”
  That same year, Jones led a fleet to visit France with letters from Washington and Jefferson. The purpose of the visit was to persuade the French government to participate in the war against Britain. The French government hesitated, and Jones returned without success. In January of the following year, Jones went to sea to fight the British at his own risk. “The Rangers” activities across the Atlantic Ocean to the English Channel, the North Sea and the Irish Sea. Jones was brave and good at fighting, captured and burned many British ships, often landed and fought, destroying castles and fortresses along the coast. The admirals of the British Empire hated him so much that they vowed to catch the “American pirate” and hang him alive.
  In 1778, several colonial powers in Europe at that time participated in the war against Britain based on their own colonial interests. France and the United States also signed the “American-French Alliance Treaty”. As a result, a French-American combined fleet cruised in the North Sea. One evening in September, not far from the corner of the Framburg Gorge, the coalition encountered a powerful British escort fleet. At that time, in addition to Jones’ flagship “Good Man Richard”, there were two warships under his command – an American three-masted cruiser and a French frigate. The “Richard” was facing a British frigate with the most advanced 50 guns. Under a salvo from the ship, all the artillery of the Americans were muted, the enemy ship was already winning, and the American ship was in danger , At this moment, Jones made a decisive decision and made a desperate fight with the opponent.
  One of the fiercest and most brutal battles in the history of the sailing fleet begins. Before the “Richard” was entangled with the enemy ship, the hull was riddled with bullets. All I could hear was, “Hey, brothers on Richard, surrender!” Jones replied, “I haven’t even started this battle yet!” So the head-to-head battle began. Although the British captain was not an ordinary person, he was slightly less brave and fearless than Jones. The British fought until late at night, and the British finally lowered their flag. Jones had just transferred his crew to the captured enemy ship, and the “Good Man Richard” quickly sank into the sea with the sound of the hook breaking.
  Since then, Jones has made many military exploits in the battle with the British colonial army, and made great contributions to the victory of the American Revolutionary War.
  In the 1780s, on the other side of the world, the expanding Russian Empire faced a war on two fronts, the north against Sweden and the south against Turkey. Empress Catherine II of Russia decided to hire the then world-famous US Navy officer to serve her.
  In July 1788, Jones went through hardships on the Baltic Sea and finally arrived in St. Petersburg on the 23rd. The Queen summoned the American from afar the next day. A U.S. naval officer came out of the Queen’s office as a Russian rear admiral. Jones later recalled: “Her Majesty the Queen was very concerned about the United States and was convinced that the American Revolution would affect governments of all countries.” Jones also introduced the then-adopted U.S. Constitution to the Queen.
  What was the reason that drove the US Navy officer to accept the Queen’s invitation? Fame, fame and success are certainly one of them, but the most important motive is that Jones is quite talented and thinks that extensive international cooperation between major powers is urgent for the newly independent United States. He used “armed neutrality” to illustrate the importance of international cooperation to the United States. The so-called “armed neutrality” means that after Russia issued the declaration of armed neutrality on February 28, 1780, Russia established an alliance of armed neutrality with some major powers in Europe to jointly deal with the British army’s frequent looting and attacking the ships of neutral countries at sea. Completely isolated and, moreover, allied with France two years ago with the signing of the Franco-American Treaty of Alliance. These international cooperations strongly contributed to the victory of the American Revolutionary War.
  Jones gladly accepted the Queen’s invitation, and his motives were quite commendable. Once he arrived in the Russian capital, he received the highest courtesy. However, his arrival was not welcomed by everyone, and the British officer serving in the Baltic Fleet at the time declared that he would never obey a sworn enemy cursed by the British.
  Catherine II was furious when she learned of this situation. A few days later, many Britons were forced to leave Russia.
  At this time, the Russian-Turkish war was in full swing, and Jones rushed to the city of Kherson on the north coast of the Black Sea on May 7 to report to the high command of the Russian Grand Duke Marshal Grigory Potemkin. Soon, Russia and Turkey launched a battle for the Ochakov fortress not far northwest of Kherson. In June 1788, the Russian army besieged this natural coastal fortress, which Catherine II called “the south’s natural coastal defense. The commander of the ground forces was the famous Marshal Suvorov, and the main force at sea was Jones. Commanded squadron. The fleet has 2 battleships: “Vladimir” and “Alexander”, 4 three-masted cruisers and 8 small boats. In addition, there is a German prince Nassa who served in the Russian army. The rowing team led by U Keegan. Their mission was to blockade the earthen fortress of Ochakov from the sea.
  On July 7, 1788, the Turkish army with maritime superiority began to attack the Russian army at sea. At that time, the Turkish Navy had 10 warships, 6 three-masted cruisers, 47 large warships (single-row paddle warships) and a large number of small craft. With their numerical superiority, the Turks attempted to eliminate the Russian fleet to relieve Ochakov. However, due to the fierce resistance of the Russian Navy, the Russian army quickly turned to a counter-offensive, and the Turkish army hurriedly retreated to the Ochakov Fort.
  A few days later, Marshal Potemkin received the battle report: “His Royal Highness Grand Duke… Our army surrounded the 60-gun battleship of the Turkish army, its artillery was muted, the flagship with 70 guns lowered its flag, and our army boarded the enemy. ship”. The next day came the battle report: “I would like to report to Your Highness that half of the Turkish fleet in the Ochakov area has been buried at the bottom of the sea, and the remaining enemies have fled from Liman. Congratulations on defeating the old Turkish guy.”
  The military operations at sea came to an end, The fate of the fortress was completely in the hands of the Suvorov soldiers. On December 9, 1788, the Ochakov fortress was captured by the Russian army, but Jones was unable to participate in the military action to capture the fortress, because during this period the commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet, Admiral Greg, died suddenly in St. Petersburg, and the Swedish fleet had Entering the Gulf of Finland and facing the city of St. Petersburg, the situation was critical, and the Queen ordered Jones to be recalled.
  Soon, news came out of St. Petersburg that Jones would succeed Greg. The British immediately panicked: Is the “American pirate” going to be the commander of the Baltic Fleet?
  On the evening of December 28, Jones arrived in St. Petersburg. The social life there is still the same as before, and the Russian fleet, which is frozen in the harbor, is completely in a state of slack. What can an admiral do? He has to integrate himself into the upper class life of the capital. He stayed in one of the most luxurious hotels and enjoyed the generous treatment of the Russian government. Before long, the hero of the Battle of Ochakov, the American sailor became a dazzling figure in the high society of St. Petersburg, but the only thing that disturbed him was the uncertainty of his future: the appointment of the commander of the Baltic Fleet had been discussed many times in the Admiralty. But the Queen remained hesitant. Jones had no complaints against the Queen, but had to wait patiently.
  During this period an accident ruined Jones’s great future in Russia.
  About this, Jones once wrote: “A few days ago a girl knocked on my door, and the pantry said, it seemed to be the daughter of a washerwoman, and she came to take care of the work. When she entered the living room, she acted presumptuously. I am for her Surprised by the rudeness. I persuaded her not to do such a thing. Out of pity I gave her a ruble and tried to send her away, but when I opened the door, the nasty woman took off her turban and tried her best to rip off the shorts I took off my shirt, and rushed out yelling, jumping into the arms of a middle-aged woman who was waiting on the stairwell, and then the two of them walked to the street and scolded me so much
  that passersby stopped and watched.” Jones is very embarrassed, because Jones rarely has such scandals. Most disturbing was the French ambassador, since the Russian empress had invited Jones on the recommendation of King Louis XVI of France. The French ambassador wrote on the matter: “It doesn’t take much time to find out that this old woman is a pimp.” But the ambassador was unable to find out who was behind the incident. It happened after all, and rumors spread all over St. Petersburg.
  Now the British can sit back and relax: “American pirates” are no longer the commander of the Baltic Fleet.
  Although Catherine II completely agreed with the French ambassador and Jones himself, and did not accuse the Americans, the precepts of the upper class were ruthless, the admiral of the fleet could not be appointed, and the queen finally gave Jones a reassuring Mission to inspect the Baltic Fleet. Jones unfortunately turned into pneumonia from wind chill at sea.
  Jones arrived in Paris on August 18, 1789, and never returned to Russia. Later, his condition worsened and he died in Paris in July 1792. It is said that a female gatekeeper found his remains in the uniform of a Russian admiral.

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