Apostle Peter


May 17, 2022

Apostle Peter - passenger and cargo ship, side wheel steamer built for a Russian shipping company. During World War I, it was confiscated for the needs of the Navy of the Russian Empire and transformed into a minesweeper. In 1918 handed over by the Bolsheviks to the Red Finns, captured by the Whites and sold to Estonia. In Eesti merejõud was given the name "Suurop". Together with other Estonian units it was taken over by the USSR in 1940. It sank on August 11, 1941.

Construction and technical description

Order and construction

"Apostle Peter" was commissioned by Oneskie Towarzystwo Żeglugi Steamowej (Onezskoye parochodnoje obszczestwo) based in Petrozavodsk. The demand was for two low draft, fast passenger and cargo ships. The model for the construction was packet boats running on the English Channel. It was built in Greenock by a company called Grangemouth and Greenock Dockyard. The ship was launched and completed in 1906. At the same time, a twin "Apostle Paul" was also constructed. The total price of both ships was 150 thousand rubles.

Technical description of the vessel

The length of the steamer was 57.9 or 57.88 meters, width with paddle wheels 15.2 or 15.35 meters (7.9 or 7.95 meters without water wheels). The displacement was 499 tons, the standard draft was 1.8 meters and the maximum draft was 2.35 meters. The ship could take cargo with a total capacity of 470 registered tons. The unit was powered by a coupled steam engine with two cylinders, with a cylindrical boiler with an indicated power of 750 HP, which gave it a maximum speed of 13.5 knots. The stock of 262 or 54 tons of coal allowed for 1000 nautical miles at 8 knots or 800 nautical miles at 10 knots. The bilge pumping system was capable of removing up to 60 tons of water per hour.


Passenger Ship

The "Apostle Peter" was put into operation in 1906. The name of the unit referred to a saint popular in northern Russia. The first captain of the steamer was Fiodor Matwiejewicz Riuchin. The ship sailed on Lake Onega and the neighboring waterways on line cruises, as well as taking pilgrims to the island of Wałaam, to the monastery located there. He wintered mainly on the Świr River, where the Society had workshops. At that time, the entire crew, apart from the mechanics, was released to their homes, and they made minor repairs. A major renovation in St. Petersburg was necessary as early as 1906, it was caused by the crew's lack of familiarity with the modern mechanisms of the unit.

Russian ship

In the first months of World War I, a mine war began in the Baltic Sea. As the number of minesweepers in the Baltic Fleet was insufficient, the admiralty decided to acquire civilian ships of low draft for this purpose. "Apostle Peter" was on the list of recommended units, prepared in February 1915 by the second-rank captain, Nikolai Tyrkov. A special commission chaired by N.N. The Apostle inspected the ship on May 5, and on May 12, the owners handed over the confiscated vessel to the Navy of the Russian Empire. "Apostle Peter" was valued at 190,648 rubles. He was entered on the fleet list on June 3, 1915. In the following months, it was rebuilt at the Admiralty Shipyard into a minesweeper (Russian: tralszczik, abbreviation TSzcz), assigned the number 18. The ship was armed with a 47 mm Hotchkiss cannon and a machine gun. The entire reconstruction cost 88,200 rubles. The new crew of the ship consisted of 51 people, including 3 officers. At the beginning of the naval service of the ship, deficiencies in course stability related to a small draft were noticed. Together with the twin minesweeper No. 19 (former "Apostle Pawieł"), they initially served as bases for minesweepers in Rewel, and from 191