March 19 in Russian history

1441: Metropolitan Isidore comes back to Moscow from Florence. Isidore was appointed by the patriarch of Constantinople Joseph II. He convinced the grand knyaz Vasily II in the necessity of the union between the orthodox and catholic churches. In September 1437, he left Moscow with the retinue of 100 people. He had to participate together with other hierarchs of the Greek orthodox church in the ecumenical council of Florence, which was to take place in 1438. During the council, the orthodox hierarchs scrutinized the teaching of the Roman catholic church and concluded that this was an orthodox teaching. On July 6, 1439, they signed the resolution of the council and the Papal bull Laetentur coeli, thus establishing the union between the Greek orthodox church and the Roman catholic church, known as the Union of Florence. Isidore, an active participant of the discussions, was appointed the cardinal-presbyter and the Papal legate in Lithuania, Livonia, Russia and Poland. When he came to Moscow, he read the manifesto of the union in the church and handed to Vasily II a letter from Pope Eugene IV, who asked the Russian tsar to help Isidore to establish a solid and reliable union. Three days later Isidore was detained and sent to the Chudov monastery on the order of Vasily II. In September, half a year later, he fled from the monastery (probably, Vasily II gave him a permission to flee) and went to Tver, then to Lithuania and, at last, to Rome. In 1458 he was appointed the patriarch of Constantinople.

1898: The opening of the Russian museum in St.Petersburg. It was established by the decree of Nicholas II in 1895 and opened three years later. The museum was the first collection of the Russian art: painting, sculpture, furniture, porcelain, embroidery, lace, etc.

1906: The Ministry of Navy of Russia officially recognizes submarines as a special class of ships. Now, this day is the holiday of all sailors of submarines. The first Russian submarines were built in the first half of XVIII century. In 1718 a carpenter Yefim Nikonov sent a letter to Peter I reporting that he can build an underground vessel. The first model was built and successfully tested in 1721. It had a cylindrical wooden hull, covered with leather. The submersion system consisted of a metal "water box", a pump and metal pipes. The water box was filled with water through a number of small holes in special tin plates. It was about 6 meters long and 2 meters in diameter. The second, larger, vessel was finished in 1724, but it was damaged during the launch. After the death of Peter I, the supplies of materials and workforce stopped and in 1728 the Admiralty ordered to stop the works, Nikonov was found guilty in embezzlement in sent into exile to Astrakhan.

In 1786 someone E.Kalyin sent a letter to the Chamber of Commerce, where he said that he had invented a underground vessel. In 1799, S. Romodanovsky from Kremenchug sent an analogous letter. The Academy of Sciences gave a negative response to the proposal, but Romodanovsky built his submarine and invited specialists once again. The submarine worked, but the response was negative again.

In 1829, a political criminal K. Charnovsky proposed a project of a metal submarine. The project included a rotating periscope.

The first real Russian submarine was built in 1834 by an engineer Carl Schilder. It was made of iron, it was 6 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and 1.8 meters high and it was of 16.4 tons displacement. The boat was propelled by four oarsmen. It also sported a periscope. The planned speed was 2.1 kmph, but the real speed was only 0.7 kmph. The boat was armed with an electric mine and rockets, which made the boat the first underground rocket carrier. The second submarine of Schilder was smaller, but not faster.

Ivan Alexandrovsky in 1863 built a submarine with a pneumatic engine, working on the compressed air. This was the first submarine which used compressed air to free the ballast tanks from water for surfacing. The speed was about 1,5 knots. Two years later Alexandrovsky invented a "self-moving mine", named torpedo. Only three years later the Admiralty allowed him to build a torpedo. Unfortunately, Whitehead patented his torpedo in 1866. The torpedo of Alexandrovsky was faster than the Whitehead's (10 knots vs. 7 knots), but the patent law forced the Russian navy to buy the torpedoes from Whitehead. Alexandrovsky developed more projects, including a submarine with the steam engine fueled by oil, but these projects were not implemented.

In 1885, Stefan Drzewiecki builds the first submarine with an electrical engine.

In 1900, the Russian Naval ministry decided to build a submarine which could become a really usable weapon. In May, 1901 the project was ready. The tests started in 1903. In 1904 the submarine was officially named Dolphin. In June 1904, the ship drowned because of negligence of the sailors. And yet, the boat was very good and in 1905 Dolphin participated in the Russo-Japanese war. Since then, the boats were built and used more and more often, eventually leading to the recognition of submarines as a special class of ships.

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