Berh Vasiliy Nikolaevich

A sailor by training, a scientist, known for his historical and geographical works.
Born in Moscow. After graduating from the Marine Corps in the rank of midshipman in 1799, he began service in the Baltic Fleet. Berch was in the squadron sent to the aid of the British during the liberation of Holland from the French. After this campaign, he spent several months in England, having fully mastered English.
In 1803–1806 Berch participated in the first Russian expedition around the world under the command of Yu.F. Lisyansky on the sloop "Neva". In 1808, he submitted for publication a map of the Russian-American possessions compiled by him, for which he received a diamond ring. This period also includes the beginning of his literary activity. He published several translations of travel descriptions, articles, the life story of Admiral Nelson.
In 1809, due to illness, Berch was forced to resign, receiving the rank of lieutenant commander and a pension of 800 rubles a year. Departure to Perm for 8 years interrupted his literary activities. He painstakingly engaged in the collection of historical materials, which formed the basis of his many subsequent works.
In 1821, Berch returned to service in the Admiralty Department. From this period his literary activity resumed, which became unusually fruitful and made him an outstanding naval historian. Among his many essays of historical and historical-geographical nature, which have not lost interest so far, was the Chronological History of All Journeys to the Northern Polar Countries, published in 1821. Almost every year he published 1–2 major works, not counting numerous articles in various journals.
In 1823, Berch became an honorary member of the Admiralty Department, in 1827 - an honorary member of the Marine Scientific Committee, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and in 1830 - colonel of the KFSh. The name of Berch, as a connoisseur of history, especially the history of discoveries in the North, was widely known in Western Europe. He was a member of the Copenhagen Royal Society of Northern Antiquities, the Mining Scientific Committee, the Free Society of Lovers of Literature, Sciences and Arts. For his work on the history of the fleet and the XVII century, Berch repeatedly received various awards.
He died in St. Petersburg. He was buried at the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery. The grave is not preserved.


In the background is  Berh Island, in the fore -  Lichutin Island, between them -  Pakhtusov Strait

(photo by EA Korago)

Island near William Islands near the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named by F.P. Litke in 1822.
Cape on the east coast of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya. Opened and named by P.K. Pakhtusov in 1833.


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