Vasilyev Mikhail Petrovich 
(17.10.1857–31.03.(13.04).1904)


The Russian sailor, the first captain of the Yermak icebreaker, a student and officer of admiral S.O. Makarov. 
Born in the city of Petrokov, in Poland, in the family of a retired colonel. In 1873, he entered the service of a second class conductor of the 2nd class in the Warsaw engineering serf management. In 1874 his father applied to the Naval School for his son to study. He pledged to take it without delay if the son for any reason does not fit. But this did not have to do. In 1878, Vasiliev graduated from college, received the title of midshipman and was enlisted in the 4th fleet crew of the Baltic Fleet. In the Baltic Fleet he served for four years, and in 1882, already in the rank of midshipman, he was transferred to the Siberian Flotilla, where he served for almost six years, receiving in 1884 the rank of lieutenant. In 1888 he was again transferred to the Baltic Fleet, he graduated from the mine officer class and was appointed a mine officer to the corvette Vityaz, on which he sailed during 1890-1893. across the Baltic Sea, the northern seas, the Pacific Ocean. 
In 1891, Vasilyev received the French Order of the Legion of Honor, then served as a mine officer on the battleship "Sysoy the Great", commander of the destroyer "Sokol", and a senior officer on the battleship "Imperator Nicholas". In 1896 he was promoted to captain 2 rank. In 1897–1898 on behalf of Makarov, he supervised the construction of the "Yermak" icebreaker in Newcastle, and after launching him, he was appointed commander. Vasiliev remained in this position until the autumn of 1901, leading a number of ice operations to escort and rescue ships.In March 1899, when moving from Newcastle to Kronstadt, and then to Revel, "Yermak" freed 29 steamers from the ice. In June-August of the same year, together with Makarov, Vasilyev made two test voyages to the North. In the process of the second of them reached north of Spitsbergen 81° 21' N. In the summer of 1901, after a major overhaul of the nose (the nose screw was removed), "Ermak" sailed under very difficult conditions in the Barents Sea, twice approaching the
Franz Josef Land and twice to the north-west coast of Novaya Zemlya. 
In 1904, Vasilyev was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and, in the rank of captain of the 1st rank, was appointed commander of the battleship "Tsesarevich". Not having time to enter into a new position, he was killed along with Makarov on the battleship "Petropavlovsk" while leaving the sea from the Port Arthur raid. 
After the death of the vessel Vasiliev managed to swim to shore, but he died from a broken heart and was buried in Port Arthur. 
After the end of the war, the widow Vasiliev managed to transport his ashes to Petersburg.

The merits of Vasiliev are marked by the Russian orders of St. Anna of the 2nd degree, St. Vladimir of the 4th degree, St.Stanislav of the 2nd degree and the French Order of the Legion of Honor.

He was buried at the Nikolsky cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery (the photo was taken with the help of N. Kuznetsov). The grave is not preserved. 
The island among the islands Tsivolki archipelago of Nordenskjold. Named by Russian Polar expedition in 1901. 
Cape in the west of the island of Wiener Neustadt archipelago Franz Josef Land. The name was given by Soviet cartographers in 1953–1955.

 

Cape Vasiliev

(photo by N.M. Stolbov)


Glacier in the south of the island of West Svalbard.

 

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