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Wednesday, 03 December 2014 08:38

Alexander Vasilievich Kolchak - "Polar". The role of A.V. Kolchak in strategic development of the arctic region

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What do we know about Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak? One know it as a great admiral, the hero of Port Arthur and Baltic, the brilliant naval commander, the expert in mine business on the sea. Others - as Supreme governor, cruel dictator. But very few people knows it as the talented polar researcher, Outstanding ocean explorer, outstripped a science about the sea without small on half a century, the scientific hydrobroad gull which has devoted to studying of Arctic regions for 15 years.

Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak did not think of the life without polar expeditions of which dreamt since the childhood, without the sea, and the military service was its elements. It loved for honesty, for utter devotion to business, courage. A.V.Kolchak's contribution to studying of the novel earths of Arctic regions is rather significant and valuable. Kolchack's works have played an important role in development of Northern territories of the Russian Federation.

For Russia end XIХ and beginning ХХ of centuries is time of active development of the North. As well as in the beginning of the XX-th century a problem of development of the Arctic region are actual. Various aspects of its development cause a great interest both domestic, and foreign researchers. Enormous mineralno-raw and water resources have defined the major value of region in world economy. Already in the end of ХIX centuries the world community has realised that Arctic regions takes a special place in geopolitical space, has realised its strategic role in the decision of global problems (for example, limitation of resources).

Geopolitical interests of Russia in Arctic regions, have especially amplified in the XIX-th century beginning in connection with a growing political and economic competition in the given region. Russia in ХIX was centuries the basic barrier to "the external world", aspiring to supervise world resources, Arctic regions represents itself as the original buffer between the basic world centres.

Throughout the history «northern policy» Russia appeared a resource and a starting point for a foreign policy lining.

«Today the Russian North serves not only a rich pantry of minerals, but carries out also other functions: defensive, ecological, recreational. For example, it provides an essential share of export incomes of our country. On a share of the enterprises located in northern territories, it is necessary more than 20 % of gross national product of Russia and 70 % of its foreign trade currency receipts». [11] Geopolitical and strategic role of the North always was defining because of big on extent of the Arctic sites of borders between the region countries. Thus, the Arctic region has the major strategic and geopolitical value for modern Russia.

Important role in North development A.V.Kolchak - an admiral, the Supreme governor, the researcher and the geopolitician has played.

A.V.Kolchak in a family of the shtabs-captain of sea artillery of military engineer V.I.Kolchaka was born on November, 4th, 1874. In 1888-1894 studied in Sea military school. After the termination of military school Alexander Kolchak soon has started to pursue science seriously. In 1894 Alexander Vasilevich ends Sea military school, and already in the end of 1896 A.V.Kolchak has been appointed to a cruiser of 2nd rank "Cruiser" on a post of the log chief. In these campaigns of Kolchak not only carried out the duties on service, but also actively was engaged in self-education and scientific activity. It seriously was fond of oceanography and a hydrology, and in 1899 has published article «Supervision over superficial temperatures and relative densities of the sea water, made on cruisers„ Rjurik "and" the Cruiser ”from May, 1897 till March, 1898».

In 1900 has gone to the Arctic region as a part of the First Russian polar expedition under the direction of E.V.Toll.

Polar expedition of 1900 was, perhaps, the most important in life for A.V.Kolchak. Alexander Kolchak has appeared as a part of expedition thanks to the persistence and ambition. The academy of Sciences has paid attention to works of a young scientific hydrobroad gull. A.V.Kolchak has been enlisted by the employee in academy of Sciences. Into its duties entered: topographical and hydrological works, geochemical, magnetic and other researches. An important problem of Kolchaka on this expedition was research of such problem as “dead water”. «Behind the ship on a heavy bottom salty sheet of water the special wave of the freshened water which complicates vessel movement is formed. Such phenomenon is characteristic only for Arctic ocean where the cold fresh water which is taken out great Siberian rivers, mixes up with warm and salty streams of Gulf Stream. Here this“ dead water ”also it was necessary to study Kolchaku.» [7]

The basic private reason for expedition equipment is Sannikov Island search. It was supposed that on this island the big deposits of coal. No, coal were not going to deliver to Russia from Arctic regions. The idea consisted in that the vessels going from Arkhangelsk to Vladivostok Northern By sea, could fill up the stocks of fuel. If it would be possible to arrange on the Earth Sannikova coal station battleships could bend around Chukotka and get to Vladivostok in the shortest way. It would promote the further development of Northern sea way and as to strengthen foreign economic relations thanks to the shortest way of transportations. Sea transport plays an important economic role in maintenance of ability to live of the population. But especially important role is played by the strategic factors connected with geopolitical and transnational values of a sea way. It is possible to carry control to them over the sea water areas potentially rich with natural resources, transit value of Northern sea way as internal route between northwest and Far East regions of Russia, and also possibilities of growth of transnational transit transportations on a line of Northern sea way between the European ports and ports of Pacific region.

Throughout all expedition an admiral conducted active scientific activity. Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak made hydrographic works, hydrological supervision, performed promeasured works, made magnetic supervision, studied ices, took ground samples, made the navigating description of coast and islands. Also, in A.V.Kolchak's first wintering has executed topographical shooting of area of parking of a vessel and has made a card of spot-check of "Dawn".


Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak in "the Dawn" wardroom

After complex hydrological researches which were conducted during expedition, the coastal line of Tajmyra and nearby islands has got new outlines on cards. And one of these islands the chief of expedition E.V.Toll named A.Kolchaka's name.

In the spring of 1901 A.V.Kolchak has gone to a campaign on inspection of an island Belkovsky and the next islands. It have found out rocky anonymous island which has been named by Kolchakom in honour of its companion island Strizheva.

Opening of the new earths in the Arctic region has expanded a zone of influence of Russia in the given region that has great value from the economic and geopolitical point of view.


A.V.Kolchaka's second polar expedition

«From the moment of a withdrawal from Ekaterina's harbour (on August, 1st) and on September, 15th, 1900 Kolchak has spent supervision at 32 stations which are in the high sea and on anchor parking at coast. It has been selected about 100 samples of water and a ground, 65 analyses of sea water on the chlorine maintenance on which calculation of its salinity» became are spent. [3]

During the second wintering in Nerpichej to a lip of island Boiler (from September, 24th, till June, 3rd, 1902) Kolchak carried out weekly supervision over relative densities and temperatures of a subglacial sheet of water and defined a thickness of ice. Among other things - daily as he writes, «serial supervision over water temperatures to the bottom and definitions of relative density of benthonic water». [10]

Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak actively was engaged in astronomical supervision. It has allowed it to define subsequently degree of influence of star systems on structure of the Earth and tectonic processes which passed in its depths on Tajmyre and on all extent of Siberia.

Besides geological inspections, Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak spent мерзловедческие and гляциологические works. It also continued to classify versions of ice and has made concept definition «стамуха» (поморское the name) which was included subsequently into the world literature.

«On an island Faddevsky Kolchak for the first time has found out fossil ice and bayjarahi (the Yakut name) - sure signs of development of processes freezening up and thawing rocks». [4]

On results of  A.V.Kolchak researches sea navigation charts have been created. МНК are used for swimming safety. They reflect character coastal a line, a relief of a bottom, an obstacle, a place for anchor parking, the information on inflow. Cards of Kolchaka used the long period of time.

Time of end of polar works (1903) came nearer and Roofing felt has decided to send A.V.Kolchaka with the report to St.-Petersburg. And itself has decided to leave "Dawn" and to go on searches of the Earth Sannikova, without waiting, when it ices and weather will allow. A.V.Kolchak has arrived to Petersburg on December, 2nd, 1902. In the beginning of 1903 Kolchak in expedition on E.Tollja's rescue. But to find out Tollja and it was not possible, on a place he has found out only E.Tollja's scientific materials. On the termination of expedition Alexander has published some special works, basic of which became «Ice of the Karsky and Siberian seas» which has been published in 1909. In this work, volume 169 p. with the appendix of 11 tables and 24 photos of various forms of ice, 11 heads.

In the given monography results of supervision along coast Tajmyra and Novosibirsk islands are generalised. A.V.Kolchak has established difference of a structure of ice Karsky and the Siberian seas, having explained to distinction of depth and speed of a current in these seas. In all polar pool it has defined a direction of main currents on movement Arctic пака which occurs on the stretched ellipse: along the evropejsko-Asian sector from the east on the West, and along the grenlandsko-American sector - from the West on the east. Most ледовитыми, according to Kolchaka, are Chukchi and the seas Boforta. He also asserted that ice conditions substantially depend on the general fiziko-geographical conditions, depth, a relief of a bottom, climatic features, in particular, "wind roses".

«A.V.Kolchak has put forward model 4-steps formations of sea ice: crystals - ice porridge (ice fat) - adfreezing separate sites (pancake-shaped ice) - an ice surface - formation of continuous ice». [5]

On the basis of researches about the ices spent by A.V.Kolchak during expedition, the civil-engineering design of icebreaking courts «Taymir« and "Vaigach" is developed. One opens the way in ices guns, and another bears onboard all hydrographic, hydrological and other equipment for researches. It has given the chance to move ahead in depth of Arctic regions, reducing thus wintering time. In 1909 expedition has gone to Bering strait through the Far East that summer of 1910 to begin works in the Arctic pool.

Thus, summing up, it is possible to tell that А.В, Kolchak was the greatest figure of time. He has lived not long, but rather sated and bright life. A.V.Kolchaka can consider as the outstanding son of Russia, the true patriot who served for the good of fatherland. Thanks to it we know about Arctic regions, its scientific works are actual and today. Its basic monography “Ice of Karsky and northern seas” was it is republished in 2012. The cards of Arctic regions made by Alexander Vasilevichem, used till 1950 that speaks about split-hair accuracy of the data. Now A.V.Kolchak's works in the Russian national library. Generalisation of domestic historical experience (the positive and negative moments) on development of territories of the Arctic region has both scientific, and practical value, as represents possibility to use it at the present stage to consider by working out of modern strategy of development of northern territories.

Shkrum V. I.

The list of the used literature

  1. Interrogation of Kolchaka//the Prisoner of the fifth chamber. - М, 1990;
  2. Кolchak A.V.supervision over superficial temperatures and the relative densities of sea water made on cruisers "Rjurik" and "Cruiser" from May, 1897 till March 1898//of Note on hydrography. - SPb., 1899. - Vyp. XX.
  3. Кolchak A.V.report about the hydrological works made in navigation on 1900//Izv. Имп. АН. - SPb., 1901г.
  4. Кolchak A.V.report on the hydrological works made during the first wintering in navigation on 1901
  5. Кolchak A.V.ice of Karsky and northern seas.-Zap. Имп. АН. - SPb., 1909
  6. Sinjukov V.V.Alexander Vasilevich Kolchak as the researcher of Arctic regions. - М: the Science, 2000.
  7. Tcherkashin N.A.last love of Kolchaka. - М: algorithm, Eksmo, 2008г.

Additional sources of the information

  1. Magazine «the Science and life» № 1, 2005. The doctor of historical sciences G.Ioffe. «Admiral Kolchak:« People, give me people!»
  2. Magazine «the Science and life» № 11, 1995. «Polar одиссея Alexander Kolchaka».
  3. Magazine «the Science and life» № 2, Gavrilova M. K «the Arctic epopee of admiral A.V.Kolchaka».
  4. Magazine «Arctic regions: ecology and economy» № 3 (11), 2013. V.N.Polovinkin, A. B.Fomitchyov. «Value Northern and ктического regions in new geopolitical and geoeconomic conditions».


Source: <http://csef.ru/index.php/ru/politica-i-geopolitica/project/501-arktika-i-antarktika-v-sovremennoj-geopolitike/1-stati/5941-aleksandr-vasilevich-kolchak-polyarnyj-rol-a-v-kolchaka-v-strategicheskom-razvitii-arkticheskogo-regiona>

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